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Swine Flu Outbreak At PAX 374

whisper_jeff writes "There's been a confirmed outbreak of Swine Flu at PAX. Those who attended and are feeling under-the-weather after the con should not write it off as a typical convention cold and go see a doctor to make sure, just in case." The linked post also lists the airplane flights of the cases known so far, so if you flew from Seattle on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday for any reason, you might want to compare your itinerary.
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Swine Flu Outbreak At PAX

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  • First pox (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward


  • Spread the FUD (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RazzleDazzle ( 442937 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:11PM (#29369907) Journal

    Isn't it just influenza?

    • by Kligat ( 1244968 )

      Swine flu is the Apophis of pandemics. Now, Apophis has a 1 in 45,000 chance of hitting Earth in a few decades. Swine flu is probably several times more deadlier than a normal flu. Surely fascinating to someone that deals with the low probabilities all the time, but the end result is that it's nevertheless still low, and maybe some people are exaggerating for the sake of their profession.

    • Re:Spread the FUD (Score:5, Informative)

      by Tsu Dho Nimh ( 663417 ) <abacaxi@hot[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @04:11PM (#29370873)

      Isn't it just influenza?

      Yes, but it's a new strain, so few people have antibodies. It's hitting young adults harder than the usual victims (elderly and babies). See http://scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/2009/09/when_swine_flu_kills.php [scienceblogs.com] for a good discussion of why we should not take this lightly.

      http://crofsblogs.typepad.com/h5n1/ Great flu blog

      http://scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/ Another flu blog.

    • Re:Spread the FUD (Score:4, Interesting)

      by rve ( 4436 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @06:07PM (#29372509)

      Isn't it just influenza?

      Most people haven't had the flu in years. Most people also call any heavy cold a 'flu'. Now when experts describe the symptoms of swine flu as 'mild', most people think of a cold, meaning having the sniffles for a few days.

      People who have recently experienced the actual flu remember that 'oh yeah, that used up two years worth of my sick leave last year', or 'oh yeah, that's what put mom in intensive care last winter'.

      A mortality rate of 0.1% sounds like no risk at all, but if a third of the population gets it during an epidemic, that means 300000 people dead. The 99.9% survivors include people who needed intensive care, anti viral treatment, weeks on a respirator.

      Most people don't bother to get flu shots, because they (probably rightly) assume that the flu wouldn't kill them. They forget that while it might not kill them, they are likely to infect a dozen others, who each infect a dozen others, etc, some of which include someone's newborn baby, or someone's grandpa, or a pregnant woman, or a kid with asthma, all of whom run a much greater risk than 0.1%

  • Oh Noes (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:11PM (#29369921)

    Pox at Pax!

  • Wash your hands! (Score:5, Informative)

    by iocat ( 572367 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:12PM (#29369927) Homepage Journal
    Memo to the nerds: wash your hands, early and often. Easiest way to prevent spreading disease.
    • by Dmala ( 752610 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:14PM (#29369973)
      Great, next thing you know they'll want us to shower, too.
    • by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:26PM (#29370157) Journal

      Memo to the nerds: wash your hands, early and often. Easiest way to prevent spreading disease.

      Bah. The easiest way to avoid spreading disease is to not leave your basement.

      Plus there's the additional protection offered by a 2mm Cheetos-dust-and-hand-lotion crust on the hand(s).

      Let's just face the facts: If you venture out of the basement to attend a convention, then you're not sufficiently introverted.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Skuld-Chan ( 302449 )

        Let's just face the facts: If you venture out of the basement to attend a convention, then you're not sufficiently introverted.

        I went to the PAX convention, and oddly enough there were slobs there who didn't shower. Every now and then you'd walk down the hall and get a wiff of bad BO. Seriously (rant not aimed at the parent ;)) if any of you are reading this and you go to a public place without being clean what kind of slob are you?

        Same thing at Blizzcon - and it happened in the hotel nearby where there were plenty of showers placed conveniently in the room where you are staying.

  • by Puls4r ( 724907 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:12PM (#29369935)
    Why, exactly, would you run to the doctor just because you think you might have the swine flu?

    If your temperature is within reason, and you don't have other symptoms or are at high risk, why would we want to inundate our medical system with a bunch of people who 'just want to make sure'?

    I'm surprised one of the tagging words isn't 'ooohscaryscary'.
    • by Naturalis Philosopho ( 1160697 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:16PM (#29370009)
      ... and me without my mod points. So I'll chime in. Right now the CDC recommends NOT going to the doctor if you think you have the flu (why spread it at all? They can't give you anything for it.) Just stay at home, watch the fever, drink lots of fluids and rest. Call your doctor and get a remote diagnosis if you need it for work or school but otherwise just keep away from the healthy people!
      • by Zocalo ( 252965 )
        I was going to say pretty much the same thing. The recommendation and approved procedure for suspected cases of swine flu here in the UK is to *call* your doctor and go through the symptoms over the phone to avoid spreading the disease further. If the doc thinks you have a genuine cases, then a friend or relation can go and pick up a prescription for your TamiFlu and, big whoop, you get to cut about one day off your suffering. My local surgery even has a sign on the door to that effect.
      • by peipas ( 809350 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @05:23PM (#29371943)

        Here's what the CDC says [cdc.gov].

        They list warning signs that advise seeking medical care for adults on that page: Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen; sudden dizziness; confusion; severe or persistent vomiting; or flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Gerafix ( 1028986 )
      Exactly, they're more likely to die from the staph infection they have a high chance of receiving when they go to an American hospital.
    • Authorities should be alerted to outbreaks in each area and statistics should be available nation/worldwide. Seems reasonable to me to do this through general practitioners. It's better than telling people to go to the ER and report it.

      Now I'm not saying that H1N1 is bad enough to warrant this kind of attention, but once it's been officially recognized as a pandemic or whatever certain procedures have to be followed.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Alphanos ( 596595 )

      Not for your own benefit, but for others who may have been exposed and are more susceptible. The guys at Penny Arcade are making a list of flights which had passengers confirmed by testing to be contagious with swine flu. Having this information available could help others.

      Note: The list has grown substantially over the past few days as people get tested.

    • If you look at it, the mortality rate is right in line with other flus. Ok, well that means treat it like any other flu. So you usually go to the doctor for the flu? Then don't go for this one. If symptoms are serious, then yes go to the doctor, urgent care, or the hospital (depending on how serious). However do that for ANYTHING.

      The only reason this would need to be treated differently is if there was a higher mortality rate. If you were much more likely to die from it, then yes, maybe professional monitor

  • Screw swine flu. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:14PM (#29369977)

    Why do people care extra-special about swine flu? It's already everywhere. It also doesn't have a mortality rate much higher than the average flu. And with prompt medical attention should respiratory symptoms develop, there's a minimal risk of mortality. I'd be more worried about that guy weaving in the SUV next to you with a greasy burger in one hand and a cell phone covered in ketchup in the other. A lot more.

    • Because swine flu is a rarer type of virus in that it transfered from one species to another, something that bird flu hasn't (yet). Given that it can mutate that rapidly, we need to keep a close eye on it. Alot of people blame fleas and rats for "The Black Death" that plagued Europe and killed around half the population, but in hindsight alot of it was because of poor hygene practices and people thinking its just another disease, before it being fully developed in 2 months and killing the person.


      • More likely it was caused by a bacteria not fleas or rats, although it was most likely transported via those animals. That would be poor pest control then.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Because after the fall of the roman empire, people just seemed to stop bathing and threw their trash into the streets - And no one really knows why.

    • by pla ( 258480 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:54PM (#29370595) Journal
      It also doesn't have a mortality rate much higher than the average flu.

      One of my biggest peeves about the media FUD around swine flu - It has a LOWER mortality rate than your typical annual flu. Lower. Less than.

      As in, if you had to pick between a random flu-season strain or swine flu, you'd want to get swine flu!

      Now, some fearmong^H^H^Hexperts claim that it "could" mutate into a more lethal strain - Which if we seriously believe that, everyone should do their damnedest to catch it ASAP, thereby exposing their immune systems to a similar virus and reducing the symptoms from that hypothetical killer version.

      Nah... Let's just panic about it. Perhaps enough midly sick people driving like maniacs to their local hospital can raise the mortality rate to compete with a typical flu, via car accidents.
    • Why do people care extra-special about swine flu?

      1.) "cytokine storm" Instead of the sickest, it (seemed) to be the healthiest that had the highest mortality risk.

      2.) It's historically been very bad when diseases jump from one animal to another. It can be so very different than anything else we've seen that it does immense damage for years, until we catch-up (and all those with some genetic susceptibility trait die off). See: HIV

      3.) It's only now that there's a large enough population infected that we h

  • Alright (Score:5, Funny)

    by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:14PM (#29369979) Journal
    Who was the Tychoid Mary [wikipedia.org]?
  • How many die of 'regular' flu each year? 35K? 40K?M
    How many have died of swine flu? What, one? five?

    Settle down people. Settle down.
    • Mostly people under 40. Seasonal tends to get people over 65 and under 2.

      Once it gets into a youth popoulation it infects 25% of a population or so. This is because no one has had it before. So places like schools or sporting events tend to shut down for a while then.
    • But its a pandemic, like the Spanish Flu from 1918 and the Hong Kong Flu from 1968. The 1918 flu pandemic killed millions all around the world . Of course the Hong Kong flu killed only about 34,000 in the U.S. compared with a yearly average of about 36,000 in the U.S. from ordinary flu. But beware its a flu pandemic, it might kill millions. /s
  • Well I'm disappointed I clicked on the article hoping for a link to a corresponding comic. Sadly there isn't a swineflu comic.
  • They should have destroyed that little pervert a long time ago! Now he's spreading his fruit-fucking diseases around!
  • Funny, there was a news article no more than an hour ago about how virtually everybody who got the flu this last summer had swine flu. Thus, it is proved that naming a strain of a virus does not necessarily ensure that it will kill millions, contrary to popular belief.

  • by oldhack ( 1037484 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:24PM (#29370117)
    Eat bacon, ham, and pork ribs. Show'em who's the boss.
  • by timpdx ( 1473923 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:30PM (#29370243)
    In response to Swine Flu, MEX airport, they have deployed an thermal camera that takes your temperature via your face. This is done before you can check in to your flight. You step in front of a ordinary looking camera, and the security officer then allows you to pass, there is a screen where you can see your own face & temp. Pretty darn accurate. Strangely enough I am sort of sick today, sore throat, but that has been going around the office.
  • by The Archon V2.0 ( 782634 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:38PM (#29370357)
    ...mers! No, wait, that can't be right. Let me try that again. (Consults Big Book o' Plagues to Call Upon Heathens.) Okay, this is gonna take a while, I'll be back to damn all the perverts to Hell once I figure out some sort of tenuous and moon-logical connection. Don't start the flamewar without me, OK? Thanks!
  • by MRe_nl ( 306212 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:39PM (#29370371)

    Swine flu outbreak at PAX.

    That'll teach them.

  • Tycho's past history of getting amorous [penny-arcade.com] with animals that are known carriers of dangerous strains of influenza.
  • The PAX (Score:5, Funny)

    by Exiton ( 1244590 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @03:45PM (#29370439)
    The PAX was meant to calm the population and weed out aggression. The agent worked, but too well: 99.9% of the population became so lethargic that they stopped working, talking, and eventually eating and moving. They simply lay down and succumbed to death. The remaining 0.1% of the people had the opposite reaction to the Pax, becoming mindlessly violent and extremely aggressive. It was in the Air supply!!!
  • Its really the secret final level of the Omegathon: the contestent with the best immune system wins...

  • At least everyone who attends PAX is the type of person to check in with /. and other online places to get it found out quickly.

  • by Toonol ( 1057698 )
    I was at PAX. DON'T WORRY, I'M OK. The newspapers in Seattle were screaming about a Swine Flu outbreak at the local university (along with "COUGAR ATTACKS IN PARK"), so I figured it might pop up at PAX, along with some big rock concert event that was happening simultaneously.

    I'm completely unconcerned, of course. Swine Flu = Flu + Hysteria.
  • Is the virus airborne, or is everyone french-kissing at PAX?
  • Saw this on Google News today:

    Had the Flu? It Was Probably Swine Flu [go.com]

    96% of tested flu strains have been Swine Flu... stop the fud.

  • Someone at PAX flying Virgin airlines.
  • by Coder4Life ( 1396697 ) on Wednesday September 09, 2009 @05:10PM (#29371777)
    and one of my friends messages said "Sick with swine flu". I thought he was joking. I told him to get some oinkment. Then I said at least he didn't get avian flu. Then he would have needed tweetment.
  • Oh, cruel irony (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CleverNickName ( 129189 ) * <wil@wilw[ ]ton.net ['hea' in gap]> on Friday September 11, 2009 @03:30PM (#29392641) Homepage Journal

    I played the PAX Pandemic game, where the Enforcers handed out stickers to attendees that read [Carrier] [Infected] or [Immune] (There was also a [Patient Zero].

    I got the [Immune] sticker, and by the time I got home on Monday, it was clear that I had the flu. I've had a fever between 100 and 104 all week that finally broke last night, but I'm going to the doctor today because I think whatever I had settled into my lungs. I'll tell him about the H1N1 outbreak and get tested if he wants to run the test, but at this point I think it's safe to assume that I was [Immune] to the Pig Plague, but definitely [Infected] with the damn PAX pox.

    Even though it's been a week of misery, it was entirely worth it, and I don't regret going to PAX for a single second.

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin