When you begin to go blind from trachoma, the first thing you feel is an eyelash scraping your eye.
As for the horror of leprosy, it often begins with a puzzling rash. Among the first signs of polio are fatigue, vomiting and back pain.
Yet these diseases are on their way out. We in journalism mostly focus on problems, but one of the remarkable changes in the developing world has been the decline of these ancient scourges.