They just came back from a month in Mexico City and now are being denied participating in their college graduation ceremony. Fair?

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    May 01, 2009 11:57 PM GMT
    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2009/05/01/dnt.swine.flu.graduation.wpxi?iref=videosearch ... sorry, CNN vids dont embed on RJ

    My POV is that since none of them is exhibiting flu symptoms after all this time being home the decision is ridiculous.
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    May 02, 2009 1:17 AM GMT
    beyond ridiculous, check out the World Health Org's WHO, website for the real stats and severity of this "outbreak"

    Denying participation won't prevent the spread if any of the students are infected.
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    May 02, 2009 1:19 AM GMT
    WHAT?! I would raise hell if I was in their shoes! After all those years of hard work they deny them being able to walk?!
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    May 02, 2009 1:31 AM GMT

    Is this the Slippery Rock University PA article?

    If it is, then...

    "So far, the 22 students are in good health, but Saturday's commencement ceremonies fall in the middle of an incubation period during which the students have been advised to limit contact with others, the university said.

    "To allow them to be exposed to 3,000 to 5,000 people would be an error on our part," spokesman Karl Schwab said Thursday.


    The Uni has to consider that if they do go ahead and permit the 22 students still in incubation period and it starts a mini-pandemic, they could face enormous lawsuits should someone catch it and die.

    Why can't they just postpone the ceremony til the incubation period is passed?
  • MSUBioNerd

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    May 02, 2009 1:38 AM GMT
    I, too, would raise hell if this was my university. The university is being completely ridiculous. It sounds as if they're more concerned about the public relations angle than with the students actually having the flu.

    The university could so easily save face by instead telling this set of students "You will each need to report to the health center on campus and be examined by a doctor or nurse there at our expense. If the medical professional feels you are not a danger to the community, you may attend graduation as normal." That way they could defuse the hysterical fears of the people worried about infection by saying that they've taken steps to ensure these individuals are not a risk, while at the same time not destroy graduation for people who have earned it merely to placate an overwrought and underinformed public.

    A college, as an institution of learning, should not bow to the whims of an ignorant mob. It would be ironic if it weren't so infuriatingly stupid.
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    May 02, 2009 1:42 AM GMT


    So how does the Doc tell they're not incubating the disease if they're still in the window of incubation?

  • MSUBioNerd

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    May 02, 2009 1:49 AM GMT
    The students got back on Tuesday. Graduation is on Saturday. The CDC says that the incubation period is most likely 1-4 days, though it admits that it's possible that it's longer. As such, the students aren't likely to still be in the incubation period, even if they were ill.

    Further, as I pointed out on another thread about the swine flu, currently there's 1 death in the US with over 100 confirmed cases. (Currently: 141 confirmed in the US) That puts mortality in the range of a normal flu, not the hysteria that's been going on for the past few days.

    Just because people are scared does not mean that their fears are reasonable, or that their fears should trump everything else. If there's an individual who is that afraid of catching a disease that the best evidence available shows is not particular deadly, and which these individuals are unlikely to have in the first place, it's up to the scared individual to stay away, not up to the remotely-plausibly-infectious person to do so.
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    May 02, 2009 1:52 AM GMT
    Hmm, no replies...

    Do you guys think the CDC is wrong?


    Here: Interim Guidance on Antiviral Recommendations for Patients with Confirmed or Suspected Swine Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Infection and Close Contacts

    April 29, 2009 02:45 PM ET

    Objective: To provide interim guidance on the use of antiviral agents for treatment and chemoprophylaxis of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection. This includes patients with confirmed, probable or suspected swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection and their close contacts.
    Case Definitions for Infection with Swine-origin Influenza A (H1N1) Virus (S-OIV)

    A confirmed case of S-OIV infection is defined as a person with an acute febrile respiratory illness with laboratory confirmed S-OIV infection at CDC by one or more of the following tests:

    1. real-time RT-PCR
    2. viral culture

    A probable case of S-OIV infection is defined as a person with an acute febrile respiratory illness who is positive for influenza A, but negative for H1 and H3 by influenza RT-PCR

    A suspected case of S-OIV infection is defined as a person with acute febrile respiratory illness with onset

    * within 7 days of close contact with a person who is a confirmed case of S-OIV infection, or
    * within 7 days of travel to community either within the United States or internationally where there are one or more confirmed cases of S-OIV infection, or
    * resides in a community where there are one or more confirmed cases of S-OIV infection.

    Infectious period for a confirmed case of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection is defined as 1 day prior to the case’s illness onset to 7 days after onset.

    Close contact is defined as: within about 6 feet of an ill person who is a confirmed or suspected case of swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus infection during the case’s infectious period.


    Acute respiratory illness is defined as recent onset of at least two of the following: rhinorrhea or nasal congestion, sore throat, cough (with or without fever or feverishness)

    High-risk groups: A person who is at high-risk for complications of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection is defined as the same for seasonal influenza (see MMWR: Prevention and Control of Influenza: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 200icon_cool.gif.

  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    May 02, 2009 2:19 AM GMT
    1) What do you mean, "no replies"?

    2) Your bolded selection concerns patients who are already expressing flu-like symptoms, and gives conditions under which they should be suspected of carrying this particular strain of flu subject to tests for confirmation. That doesn't address the previously posted link where the CDC says that the probable incubation period is 1-4 days.

    Essentially, once someone has flu-like symptoms, you take extra precautions if they might have this particular strain of the flu. That doesn't mean that you should treat everyone who might hypothetically carry this strain of the flu as if they have it.

    3) By the logic of using the bolded section you've quoted, lots more people should be banned from this graduation. Anyone who has been to any community where there has been a confirmed case should be excluded. That includes such major cities as New York, San Diego, San Antonio, Dallas, Philadelphia, Raleigh, Montreal, and Vancouver, not to mention many places further afield. Is everyone who has been to one of those locations in the past 7 days being excluded? If the school's going to be paranoid (which I would still find wrong), then it should at least be equitably paranoid.

    4) At no point do I say that the CDC is wrong. I actually relied on the CDC for some of my earlier arguments. But I don't agree with how you're interpreting what the CDC is saying; guidelines for how to treat someone who has flu-like symptoms aren't the same as how to treat people who are symptom free.
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    May 02, 2009 2:40 AM GMT
    Thanks MSUBioNerd, We were hoping you'd come back.

    We highlighted the part of the CDC text that applies to possible exposure.

    We're not interpreting, we're asking, and showing what we're asking about.

    The CDC English is pretty plain, so we're misunderstanding you when you say we're interpreting.



    respectfully, Doug and Bill

    PS when you replied to us the first time, we didn't see it though we looked a few times. Trouble with RJ? When we logged in tonight we saw the strangest fields. All vertical columns of posts with no pics, the topics were also vertical with no barriers between postings.

  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    May 02, 2009 2:45 AM GMT
    Again, the section of the CDC advisory that you highlighted concerns people who have already expressed flu like symptoms, and gives conditions under which you should treat them as probable cases of having this particular strain of flu.

    That is entirely separate from whether you should treat someone who has not expressed flu-like symptoms as being a probable carrier of the disease.

    I feel that you are misinterpreting that CDC's statements by conflating those two concepts.
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    May 02, 2009 2:49 AM GMT

    Thanks, point taken - we vastly appreciate you taking the time. Our first and foremost question was how does the Uni Doc tell if they've been exposed and incubating while still in the 'window period'. Blood test?
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    May 02, 2009 3:01 AM GMT
    Well, as I said before, I think the university is primarily worried about the PR, not actually worried that these students are contagious. If so, the test by the doctor is

    "Are you exhibiting flu-like symptoms?"

    Anyone who is can have their strain typed by RT-PCR, as per the CDC guidelines for suspected cases.
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    May 02, 2009 3:38 AM GMT
    If they're not exhibiting symptoms yet, is there a 'window period' where they can still be incubating it? Would a blood test at that time be effective and how long til test results?


    Thanks -Doug
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    May 02, 2009 5:16 AM GMT
    Part of what is so ridiculous about this hysterical decision is that thousands of people die in the US of the plain old generic flu every year. They would have to totally close down graduation based on this reaction cuz you can always catch some form of the flu which could kill you just as well.
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    May 02, 2009 6:19 AM GMT
    Over-reaction!