Apr

28

BREAKING: TC Student “Linked to Swine Flu” (UPDATED)

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The porcine pathogen may have arrived in Morningside: in an email to all Teachers College students, TC President Susan Fuhrman wrote, “late yesterday afternoon we received a response from a TC student to our communitywide email on swine flu. The student was diagnosed this past Sunday with Type A Influenza, which has been linked to swine flu.  We have been and will continue to be in touch with the student.”

As for locations, “the student informed us that he was here on campus Thursday, Friday and Saturday and that he used computer labs on the third floor of Macy and on the second floor of Horace Mann. He also mentioned that he was in the first floor of the library as well as Zankel Hall.” TC administrators have decided that, because of the limited amount of time that the virus can live outside the body, sanitizing these areas “would have extremely low health utility and would be unnecessarily disruptive to our students during this busy time of the year.”

That doesn’t mean it’s the particular subtype of swine flu that’s causing everyone to freak out on Twitter. According to Wikipedia, “the new strain of influenza involved in the 2009 swine flu outbreak is a reassortment of several strains of influenza A virus subtype H1N1 that are, separately, endemic in humans and in swine.”  Influenza A is the supertype of all the swine flu-like subtypes, as far as we can tell.

Commence mass hysteria, but only after reading why this whole epidemic may not actually be that serious. Full email after the jump.

UPDATE (5:29 p.m.): Great news! City Room reports that one of two possible new outbreaks of swine flu is at Ascension School, at 108th between Amsterdam and Broadway. City Room also ominously notes that city officials do not know how swine flu could have made it to the school.

– JCD & AB


Dear TC Students,

Late yesterday afternoon we received a response from a TC student to our communitywide email on swine flu. The student was diagnosed this past Sunday with Type A Influenza, which has been linked to swine flu. We have been and will continue to be in touch with the student. The student informed us that he was here on campus Thursday, Friday and Saturday and that he used computer labs on the third floor of Macy and on the second floor of Horace Mann. He also mentioned that he was in the first floor of the library as well as Zankel Hall. We promptly reported the incident to the Department of Health.

We have since checked with Columbia University medical personnel who have confirmed that the virus, in all likelihood, can only live outside the body, on surfaces such as tables and computer keyboards, for a matter of hours or, rarely, up to a couple of days. As we were notified 2 days after the student was on campus, sanitizing the facilities would have extremely low health utility and would be unnecessarily disruptive to our students during this busy time of the year.

We urge all members of the community to continue to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Health and any of the other Web sites we noted in yesterday’s email. We urge the entire community to take appropriate hygiene measures, including frequent hand-washing and the use of hand sanitizer.

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50 Comments

  1. dammit TC

    you and your crises

  2. AHHHH!!!!!  

    AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

  3. I wish  

    swine flu upon Coulter.

  4. ...  

    WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!!!!!111111111111

  5. GAME OVER MAN  

    *shoots self in face*

  6. Fuck  

    Just when I'd relaxed about it, too.

  7. thank god it wasnt JTS

    swine flu isn't kosher.

  8. dear god  

    maybe they'll cancel finals week because of swine flu?

  9. What?  

    She has swine flu but not the Mexican hybrid strain that is spreading? How did that happen? Was she spending time in close contact with pigs? Or is this just some really bizarre coincidence?

  10. whyyy  

    do they not send these types of emails to the whole campus, including grad schools? i feel like grad schools often get left in the dark with many campus issues.

    • you  

      do realize that teacher's college is a grad school, right?

      • yes  

        all i meant was that i feel like something like this should be sent to the ENTIRE campus. i feel like columbia doesn't do a very good job with this in general. grad schools, in particular, often get left out of information....they only send notices to undergrad (like the smoking ban that they wanted feedback on, for a recent example).

    • LOL  

      Read before you speak. They sent this e-mail to Teachers College (a GRAD SCHOOL) students and NOT to any undergraduate students. Yet you are complaining about the reverse?

      • OK...  

        all i meant was that i feel that columbia often does not send emails to the ENTIRE campus when they should. oftentimes, it is that they leave out grad schools. obviously they emailed the one grad school, b/c that's where the student was. i think they should have emailed everyone. my point is that columbia often doesn't email the whole community when everyone is interested. this whole flu is hopefully not going to be as terrible as it is hyped up to be, but i don't think it's comforting to hear that it is in our community from blogs instead of from columbia.

  11. Uh.  

    I literally cringed when a Latin American lady grazed me at Mortons today. Are you happy now, Bwog? You's made me racist.

  12. so is this  

    a hamdemic or an aporkalypse? i refuse to hear any more about this breakout until we decide.

  13. omg  

    if finals are cancelled...i will start to worship pigs

  14. stop panicking

    He wasn't diagnosed with swine flu. He was diagnosed with Type A flu, which, while linked to swine flu, is not swine flu.

    • Hello  

      Swine flu is a subtype of Type A Influenza. We have no idea what kind of flu the student has. He could have common human flu, also a subtype of Type A. Although I wonder why they would send out the e-mail if it wasn't. Part of the problem is that there isn't much clarity in terms of who has what exactly. From what I understand, the exact nature of the flu hitting Mexico City is still under debate.

  15. Baconlover  

    pig flu schmig flu

    I eat pigs. F*** them. I love bacon.

    They'll wont take me alive

  16. yup  

    I'll take swine flu over finals and papers.

  17. why is that  

    "great news," bwog?

    your sarcasm disgusts me.

  18. optimist  

    I know its a longshot, and i shouldnt even say it, but...

    any chance of finals getting canceled??

  19. yet another reason  

    to ban smoking on this campus.
    keep our immune systems up, people!!

  20. int'l  

    i come from a a formerly SARS-hit country and witnessed first hand how bad it can get. am frankly quite taken aback about how blase everyone is. not saying we should panic.. but given how people actually DIE FROM THIS, think its pretty damn tasteless to be rooting for an epidemic just to escape a few tests.

  21. ughh

    of course i live RIGHT NEXT TO the ascension school and go to TC. FML

  22. I agree  

    your life is fucked (1)

  23. remember  

    when circe turned all the men into swine? maybe this is our punishment for learning the core

  24. I suspect  

    that if the situation got dire enough that finals were canceled, travel outside of New York might be limited to ensure containment. So I'm going to hope that the situation has been blown out of proportion, that I struggle through finals, and get out of New York.

  25. Middle finger  

    Go to hell, you liberal nanny-state scum.

  26. Middle finger  

    Last post was a reply to #30

  27. Robert Langdon  

    Somehow, Pope Benedict is behind this.

  28. swine flu?  

    when the pigs try to get at you, park it like its hot

  29. and when the pigs  

    get an attitude
    drop em like they're hot

  30. Rolled  

    Never gonna give you up. Never gonna make you cry. Never gonna tell a lie...my swine flu.

  31. CU Admin, FAIL!  

    How does the administration respond to a confirmed case of Swine flu on the Upper West Side (108 & Amsterdam)??? By throwing a party, of course! That's right get the whole school together for free food. Wow! you guys are good.

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