Epidemics In #Occupy Will NOT Stay In #Occupy

by 1389 on November 11, 2011

in "Occupy" movement, 1389 (blog admin), medical, microbes

“It should go without saying that lots of people sleeping outside in a park as we head toward winter is not an ideal situation for anyone’s health.” Ya think?

We told you so.

The “Obamavilles” of the #Occupy movement are a health and safety hazard to all of us. Just for starters, they are breeding grounds for deadly diseases that can quickly spread outside the camps.

Protesters Coming Down With the “Zuccotti Lung”

With wintry weather poised to swoop into the cramped outdoor quarters of Occupy Wall Street protesters, it may not be long before more campers catch what’s being called “Zuccotti lung.”

That’s what demonstrators have dubbed the sickness that seems to be spreading among them at an unpleasantly high rate these days: “It’s a real thing,” Willie Carey, 28, told the New York Times.

Norovirus: You don't want it

With little sleep in cold conditions, cigarettes and drinks being passed from mouth to mouth, and few opportunities to wash hands, Zuccotti Park may now just be the best place to catch respiratory viruses, norovirus (also known as the winter vomiting virus) and tuberculosis, according to one doctor.

The damp clothing and cardboard signs wet with rain are also breeding grounds for mold. Some protesters are urinating in bottles and leaving food trash discarded throughout the campground, providing further opportunities for nastiness.

“Pretty much everything here is a good way to get sick,” Salvatore Cipolla, 23, from Long Island, told the Times. “It’ll definitely thin the herd.”

Some protesters have refused free flu shots, citing a “government conspiracy,” the Times said.

There is also the increased risk among the encampment of sexually transmitted diseases, said the doctor, Dr. Philip M. Tierno, Jr. of the NYU Langone Medical Center. And the site’s pounding circles could lead to hearing damage.

Tierno compared conditions at the park to the pilgrimage to Mecca, in which entire groups of people have come down with respiratory infections in short period of time, and the communal compounds of the 1960s where sanitation problems and STDs cropped up.

The health department has visited the site and is monitoring.

“It should go without saying that lots of people sleeping outside in a park as we head toward winter is not an ideal situation for anyone’s health,” the department said in a statement.

Photo and comments here.

It is also unsafe for protesters to be sleeping night after night in close quarters with homeless people whose health status is unknown. Homeless people are likely to carry active tuberculosis, often drug-resistant strains. Tuberculosis can be spread in various ways, such as by sharing air space with infected individuals for a prolonged period of time. Although an Occupy Atlanta organizer insists that tests show no tuberculosis infection among his group thus far, the abysmal sanitation practices that are rife among Occupiers make contagion all too likely.

‘Occupy Atlanta’ Shelter Tests Positive for Tuberculosis

A homeless shelter that has been housing more than 100 “Occupy Atlanta” protesters has tested positive for tuberculosis (TB), WGCL-TV reported Thursday.

At least two people at the Atlanta shelter have contracted the air-borne disease, a highly contagious bacterial infection that affects the lungs and other organs.

“One of these persons was confirmed to have a strain of TB that is resistant to a single, standard medication,”

Fulton County Services Director Matthew McKenna said in a written statement to WGCL-TV.

He said both infected people have begun treatment and are being monitored. It is unclear if the two cases were among the homeless population or the anti-Wall Street protesters.

The shelter has become one of the city’s largest bases for “Occupy” protesters since police shut down an encampment at a municipal park last month.

The Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless indicated that two cases have been made public knowledge to the protesters.

Click here to read more.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 anona November 12, 2011 at 8:52 am

Something everyone’s forgetting: infectious meningitis! A bunch of people crammed into small spaces with inadequate ventilation is like partytime for that disease.

2 1389 November 12, 2011 at 10:29 am

I hadn’t thought of that, but you’re right.

One other thing…some school teachers have been attending Occupy events. If they return to the classroom without first having been examined and tested for communicable diseases, then they may be passing diseases to the children. 👿

3 tom November 13, 2011 at 12:23 pm

modern medicine, for those who can afford it, is quite good at curing disease, especially since 99% of this is pure speculation of what MIGHT happen.

but the “contagion of ideas” is far more dangerous than a few germs, and is virtually certain to spread outside the squatter encampments.

4 Cao November 19, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Do you suppose, Tom, that the #Occupy protesters can afford to go to the doctor?

5 1389 November 19, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Probably a better question is whether #Occupy protesters care enough about their own health, and that of their neighbors, to take proper precautions.

Some of the #Occupy protesters can afford doctors, others cannot. The demographics of the Occupy Wall Street bunch are fairly upscale. A few of them actually are trust-fund babies and members of the 1%. Those #Occupy protesters who are members of public employee unions have good insurance coverage.

Then there are the counterculture types – the aging hippies and their younger counterparts, who don’t trust mainstream medicine and who attempt all sorts of alternative remedies. Don’t get me started on that…

Other denizens of the encampments are various low-income drifters, including fleeing felons, druggies, street bums, and the insane. Yes, there are some free clinics that will assist people who have little or no (reportable) income. But for that to be of any use, the patients must be willing and able to follow instructions, take medication as directed, and not lead the type of lifestyle that got them sick in the first place. Just for starters, sleeping outside in the cold and damp puts considerable physical stress on a healthy person; for someone who is already ailing, it’s out of the question. And people who start antibiotic treatments for infections, but don’t follow through until the infection is completely gone, become a breeding ground for drug-resistant microbial strains.

6 Cao November 20, 2011 at 9:36 am

There are thermal images of the tent encampment in London that show that few of the Occupy protesters are there are night; so the trust fund babies are just going ‘home’ when it gets dark. Like most communist propaganda, it appears as though the encampments themselves are a lie.

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