A rash of RouechÃ‰--a veritable epidemic: 22 wonderful pieces culled from The New Yorker and dating as far back as 1947. Here is ""Eleven Blue Men""--the classic tale of the Bowery bums severely stricken after eating oatmeal laced with sodium nitrite instead of salt. And ""Impression: Essentially Normal""--the story of the poor woman who complained of the floor tilting or the world turning every time she looked around or took a step (the eventual diagnosis was Meniere's disease). Many of the stories deal with deadly infections that called for the sleuthing of experts from the federal government's Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. It was tularemia, a rabbit-borne infection, that laid low all members of a family gathered in Martha's Vineyard for a reunion one summer; histoplasmosis (a fungus) that affected schoolchildren in Arkansas; trichinosis that killed a kitchen worker in New York City. In these and other gems, RouechÃ‰ taps into deep-rooted fears of the unknown and of dying. His technique--confrontation with striking symptoms, methodical workup, long verbatim quotes from experts--builds suspense and holds the reader in psychic tension until the final denouement and release.