Five students from the University of Tampa (UT) have tested positive for the Chinese COVID-19 coronavirus, the university has announced.
These students were traveling alongside other UT students to party for spring break shortly before they were diagnosed with coronavirus.
“We sincerely wish our students, and any others who may be affected, a full and rapid recovery,” UT wrote in a Twitter post on Saturday night.
Throughout spring break, images of college kids on the beach partying and ignoring the coronavirus epidemic enraged the public.
WFLA News posted images of a packed Clearwater beach just last week:
— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) March 16, 2020
A shocking video from South Florida was produced by the CBS Evening News, showing interviews with young people dedicated to partying as scheduled throughout the pandemic.
"I'm not gonna let it stop me from partying": Some spring break visitors in South Florida lamented the restricted access to beaches and entertainment as public health and government officials race against the clock to curtail the spreading coronavirus. https://t.co/8gBUuhcskw pic.twitter.com/LQKBQO5SwG
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) March 18, 2020
Experts are concerned that the young people who traveled and engaged in spring break partying may become super-spreaders after returning home.
“What is happening in Florida with spring break partying-on by students oblivious to the epidemiological implications of their actions is nothing short of tragic,” wrote Gregg Gonsalves, a professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, in an email to Politico.
“While many of us have been hunkering down to try to break the chains of infection in our communities, these young people have decided the pleasures of the moment are worth bringing back the coronavirus to their friends and family,” he added.
“Younger people have more social interactions. There’s more transmission among them. Most people are infectious before they are symptomatic,” said Hansel Tookes, a public-health physician at University of Miami’s medical school.
“The students who are going and partying at spring break potentially are feeding into a world where they are stuck in their houses for weeks on end later on,” said Justin Lessler, a professor of epidemiology for Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. “So I think they should keep that in mind.”
“There’s the strong possibility that we could start to see cases popping up after the incubation period. And if it’s not the spring breakers, their parents and grandparents are at high risk as well,” said Florida oncologist Nitesh Paryani.
“Everybody is treating coronavirus, whether we want to or not. All physicians are being pulled into this fight. It’s an all hands on deck situation,” he added.
If hysteria surrounding the coronavirus turns out to be warranted, these college students may go down as some of the most dangerous fools in American history.
China Administered Anal Swab COVID Tests to US Diplomats, Says They Were Done “In Error” After State Department Complaint
The State Department says it never agreed to have US diplomats undergo anal swab testing.
After subjecting US diplomats to anal swab COVID-19 tests, the Chinese government has said the tests were “in error” and that they would stop administering them.
A State Department spokesperson told VICE News that the department “never agreed to this kind of testing and protested directly to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when we learned that some staff were subject to it.”
The Chinese government responded by claiming that the anal swab tests were given “in error.” Although they are required for incoming travelers in certain parts of China, diplomats are supposed to be exempt.
China also said “we have instructed staff to decline this test if it is asked of them, as was done in the past.” If true, the diplomats either willingly took the anal swab test or simply forgot that they had the option to decline. But it is also possible that they were never told they could decline, or that the authorities forced them rather than “asked” them.
Some Chinese authorities maintain that anal swab testing is more effective than traditional testing procedures like throat and nose swabs, though there is disagreement on that matter:
Officials in Beijing are using anal swabs to test for COVID-19 in children as young as nine years old, arguing that this manner of testing is more effective than traditional measures.
Li Tongzeng, who works as deputy director in charge of infectious disease for Beijing You’an Hospital, is claiming that COVID-19 lasts longer in the anus. This is the public health reason being used to violate children in China.
Yang Zhanqiu, who works as deputy director for the pathogen biology department at Wuhan University, believes that anal swabs are not adequate for testing. He argues that nasal and throat swabs are more effective because the virus is typically contracted through the upper respiratory tract.
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