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Passengers Cheat Flu Scan With Fever Reducers 299

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-two-aspirin-and-infect-me-in-the-morning dept.
Nguyen Van Chau, head of Ho Chi Minh City's Health Department, has revealed that many sick passengers who flew to Ho Chi Minh City used fever reducers to fool temperature scanners at the airport. The government has confirmed 26 people infected with H1N1 flu, 23 of whom came by air after traveling in the United States or Australia. State media reports that the discovery of these scanner cheaters led to the detection of several infected cases later.

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Passengers Cheat Flu Scan With Fever Reducers

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  • Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fataugie (89032) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @02:40PM (#28351363) Homepage

    How can you call a desired outcome of taking asprin (reducing a fever) with cheating?

    • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MadMatr07 (1278450) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @02:56PM (#28351653)
      Once swine flu or H1N1 is mentioned all logic and reason goes out the window. Didn't you know that?
      • Re:Wait... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by wagnerrp (1305589) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @03:50PM (#28352477)
        It's got nothing to do with swine flu. You're running a fever. You're sick with something. Are you going to be the jackass who sits in a small, cramped aluminum tube for the next 5-15 hours, and risks infecting 300 of your closest friends with whatever you happen to have?

        How about a more common scenario. One of your co-workers comes in coughing, sneezing, and lathers their arm in snot before leaning over your desk to see what you're looking at. Do you consider that acceptable behavior, or are you going to go to your boss to force them into taking a sick day and going home?
        • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by icebike (68054) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @04:42PM (#28353275)

          How are you going to develop any antibodies if you never are exposed to this stuff?

          We are breeding entire generations that can be knocked on their collective ass by the mildest of flu strains simply because they have been raised in a risk averse world.

          Are we any safer?

          • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Binestar (28861) * on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @05:02PM (#28353577) Homepage

            I agree with this wholeheartedly. Our first daughter we went out of our way to make sure she had social interaction and played in dirt, etc. Then my second daughter was born and we found out she had Kostman's Syndrome (Rare disorder where you can't make the white blood cells that fight off bacteria). We went from an attitude of letting our daughter play with anything she wanted and not caring to being one of those families that has hand sanitizer outside the door so visitors washed their hands before entering the house.

            I like to say that we reinstalled her immune system (Bone Marrow Transplant) and she is one of the few who has no side effects at all after a transplant, so we're back to letting them (both) play in as much dirt and sharing of waterbottles, etc.

            People work out to keep in shape, why not give your immune system a workout too?

          • Re:Wait... (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Chyeld (713439) <chyeld&gmail,com> on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @05:18PM (#28353809)

            NEWSFLASH: Scientists determine that repeatedly stabbing yourself with needles used by individuals infected HIV does not confer any immunity to the HIV virus.

            Not everything out there makes you stronger if it doesn't manage to kill you. Influenza is something that fits in that category. Not only that, but due to the way it mutates, any immunity you gain from exposure to this year's strain is mostly useless against next year's strain.

            Additionally, I'm not interested in becoming stronger by rolling the dice with a disease that has a chance of killing me even if I'm receiving intense medical assistance. Vaccines are one thing; full fledged infections are a whole different set of things.

            That doesn't mean we need to be going out and covering our homes with plastic wrap and duct tape, but it does mean that I have absolutely no respect for people who have the flu and willingly and knowingly go out among others while in an infectious state.

            This is ironic, because I'm normally the one troting out the story about how the polio epidemic began when people starting living in sanitary conditions and were thus not being exposed to the disease until after they lost the immunity provided to them by their mothers. But today, the flu is one of those diseases where exposure nothing but make you sick.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            Any illness will cause fatalities. Swine flu does kill people. Exposing all of us might "build character" and it might make us resistant to the next strain (but probably not). And it will kill people.

            So you can ask us to be less careful about contamination, but when your kid dies on a respirator, will it be any comfort that our immune systems are somehow stronger because of it?

            Look- Nothing has changed about us or about the flu in general since the early parts of the 20th century when flu epidemics killed h

      • Well... reducing fever has (AFAIK) no impact on whether it is communicable. And since stopping the spread of the disease is the goal, it would seem to me that the fever check is just to identify the most easily scannable symptom.

        That said, it's less clear whether these people even knew that they had H1N1 - if not, it's hardly reasonable to demonize them as "cheaters".

    • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by interkin3tic (1469267) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @03:01PM (#28351745)

      H1N1 is a bit miffed about it.

      Also the statements by the government quoted in TFA makes it sound a little like the passengers did it intentionally because they knew they were sick and would be detained for 7 days.

      Sounds to me more like justification for making examples out of people who were feeling unwell. Punishing "cheaters" to send a message goes over much better than punishing "people who took asprin because they didn't feel well, not realizing they had swine flu"

      • Re:Wait... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Fluffeh (1273756) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @07:40PM (#28355417)
        I just spent six weeks traveling through Europe. Yes, I currently have a bit of a cough. I came in and it seems that my temperature was well within the limits as there were no issues with me coming into Australia.

        The culmination of my trip was a wedding in Northern Ireland. During the wedding, there was a Caylie (Spelling?) band and the reception hall was soon filled with loads of couples spinning and dancing away merrily. Now, as I was wearing a morning suit at the time, I got bloody hot bloody quickly. Ducking outside (Cold Irish night time) cooled me off quick smart. After a few moments, I went back inside. Rinse and repeat a couple of times. Result? Runny nose and cough in the morning, and a tickle in my throat since then.

        While I haven't bothered to take anything for it (I have just had a cough for about a week now, nothing else), the article seems to point that if I took some aspirin for what I thought was a cold, and somehow managed to sneak a case of swine flu into the country on my returning flight, I would be some kind of cheater monster evildoer. People take remedies when they feel bad. Get used to it. I dare say that there isn't a single person that doesn't catch swine flu that doesn't start off thinking that it's a normal cold or a nasty one.

        If the only measure for tracking sick people entering a country relies on them NOT taking common medication for COMMON SYMPTOMS then the bloody tracking should be the point of the article, not the few people that did what everyone does when they get sick and then "smuggled" themselves into a country.

        *Cranky mode off*
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by dotgain (630123)
          How dare you distract everyone with your logic and reasoning while we're trying to handing a fucking pandemic here!?! huh!?
    • by gubers33 (1302099)
      I mean I'm sure a lot of these people weren't trying to intentionally cheat the scanners. No one is considerate enough to think I am sick I should get checked out to make sure I am not bringing something into the country. It should be expected people are just going to take meds to feel better and try to get home.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Xtravar (725372)

      Also, are passengers on stimulants causing false positives?

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      Well because if you know you are suffering flu like symptoms you are supposed to tell them when you get off the plane.
      By taking the "fever reducers" you are knowingly masking the symptoms.
      Yea I think it is bit of a non story but I can see how it is cheating as well.
      Isn't Vietnam still a China style communist country? I admit that I don't keep up with their level of freedom and human right's laws.

  • So . . . (Score:3, Interesting)

    by arizwebfoot (1228544) * on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @02:40PM (#28351367)
    If they avoided detection by the offending scanner, then how were they detected to be scanner cheaters?
    • by SuperBanana (662181) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @03:15PM (#28351943)

      If they avoided detection by the offending scanner, then how were they detected to be scanner cheaters?

      Well, given that they infected other people, and eventually epidemiologists tracked them down via the people they infected...

      To all those defending those who traveled while sick: I'm sorry, but if there is a travel ban because of a well publicized disease that is killing people, and you don't feel well, sit your selfish ass down in bed where it belongs. My parents raised me to stay home if I was sick, because it's beyond rude to make those around you sick. The regular flu kills kids and the elderly all the time. This one is much nastier.

      Let me put it this way: if people had laptops that were infected, were booted off the network because of security software, and then defeated that security software to get online (and infected machines around them, destroying some of them)...what would you say then?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Farmer Tim (530755)

        Let me put it this way: if people had laptops that were infected, were booted off the network because of security software, and then defeated that security software to get online (and infected machines around them, destroying some of them)...what would you say then?

        Nothing. That's what LARTs are for.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by anegg (1390659)

        H1N1 Type A is "much nastier" than what?

        Most of the reports that I have seen in the US are pretty clear that H1N1 Type A is no more virulent than the seasonal flu, and no more likely to cause death in the US cases. This was clear from all public reports in the US very early on. There was some difficulty in analysis because the Mexican cases appeared to indicate a much more virulent disease; I suspect that the post-game analysis will show other factors were at work including nutritional status of patient

        • by Red Flayer (890720) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @03:43PM (#28352367) Journal
          It's very important to note that the death statistics are misleading.

          Because of the enormous attention paid to this flu variant, the level of medical care has been much higher than normal. Furthermore, the season may reduce casualties due to reduced incidence of secondary infections, etc.

          Because the casualty level is in line with "normal" flue variants, but mitigating factors mentioned above are present, it's very likely that this strain *is* deadlier than the typical strains.

          Furthermore, for countries with lower standards of medical care, or other factors that increase severity (like poor nutrition and sanitary conditions, for example), this strain could have disastrous impact -- especially if it is spreading like wildfire come winter in the northern hemisphere.

          In short -- yes, the media has whipped up a frenzy. But, prevention of infection is still a worthy goal, and *some* extra attention is probably a good thing.
          • by plague3106 (71849)

            Wait, what about all the people in the designer baby story that said we shouldn't interfere with natural selection? Wouldn't this count as part of evolution / natural selection?

            • Wait, what about all the people in the designer baby story that said we shouldn't interfere with natural selection? Wouldn't this count as part of evolution / natural selection?

              Yes. All medicine is interfering with natural selection. But the ability to get the medicine may be due to genetic factors that are being selected against, so maybe it's natural selection after all.

              But, at any rate, I suspect you have an ulterior motive, plague3106 (71849). You're just trying to drum up support for not allowing

      • by dc29A (636871) * on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @03:44PM (#28352395)

        This one is much nastier.

        [Citation needed]

        On the other hand, it's not nastier at all than other flu cases. Just look up the number of infected vs number of dead. And don't forget, we humans never encountered this strain, and despite that the deaths are most of the time people with previous health issues (like normal flu).

        You can sleep quietly today. The Aporkalypse won't happen ... for now.

      • by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @03:51PM (#28352493) Journal

        To all those defending those who traveled while sick: I'm sorry, but if there is a travel ban because of a well publicized disease that is killing people, and you don't feel well, sit your selfish ass down in bed where it belongs. My parents raised me to stay home if I was sick, because it's beyond rude to make those around you sick. The regular flu kills kids and the elderly all the time. This one is much nastier.

        There are several very fundamental problems with your logic:

        • You are forgetting that most major airlines refuse to allow people to change economy flights on account of illness. The result is that people fly when their tickets say they have to fly. Blame the airlines for their ridiculous flight change policies. Until they change those policies, this entire discussion is moot.
        • Even if the airline were willing to change the flight date or the passenger had the money to buy a new ticket, you are still assuming that the passenger would be able to get another flight at a later date. Given how full most flights are, this is not a given.
        • You are assuming that people are deliberately trying to avoid getting caught. People who have fevers take cold medicine to make them feel better, not to evade thermal scans. Most people don't even know that they do such things at some airports.
        • You are assuming that sick people are always flying from their home to somewhere else. If you get sick while on vacation thousands of miles from home, staying home isn't an option. Your choices are: A. fly back or B. spend potentially several thousand dollars for a last-second hotel room so that you can avoid traveling while sick. Even if you choose to book additional nights at a hotel, you are still risking infecting the housekeeping staff who could spread it to other hotel guests, infecting the restaurant staff while getting meals, infecting the cab driver who has to take you to get medical care because you have no car or other means of transportation, etc.
        • You are assuming that the people were sick when they left on the first leg of their flight. This is also not always the case. Illness can come on quite suddenly.

        I've been there back in summer of 2005---sick in Italy on the last day of a two week trip---and let me tell you that it isn't fun. I started out the first leg (from Italy to Heathrow) not feeling great but not terrible. It felt like a cold. By the time I left Heathrow, I was feeling miserable. By the time I got to California, it was a good thing my parents were in town visiting and could pick me up where the bus dropped me off. I would not have been able to roll my luggage the three blocks from where the bus dropped me off back to my house. Staying behind, however, was clearly not an option. I was sick for almost two weeks after that, and would have ended up spending upwards of $4,000 to postpone my return that far, not to mention the problem of getting to medical care without anyone there to drive me, the problem of getting food, etc.

        While it's a nice idea (in theory) to avoid traveling while sick, in practice, it is a rather naive notion that doesn't take into account the practicality of doing so. One cannot "stay home" if one gets sick while already away from home.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by sjames (1099)

          For that matter, if someone exerts themselves on vacation (water skiing, hiking, etc) they may take aspirin for the aches and pains and assume they feel the way they do because they overdid it. They might realize they're sick only when they don't feel better in the next day or two.

        • by Omestes (471991)

          You are assuming that people are deliberately trying to avoid getting caught. People who have fevers take cold medicine to make them feel better, not to evade thermal scans. Most people don't even know that they do such things at some air

          This being the topic of TFA, is a given. And by doing so they were violating Vietnamese law. Pretty cut and dry now, eh?

        • While it's a nice idea (in theory) to avoid traveling while sick, in practice, it is a rather naive notion that doesn't take into account the practicality of doing so. One cannot "stay home" if one gets sick while already away from home.

          No, but you can and must stay at a hospital. It is quite simple. You are sick, the symptons looks like a contagious disease that is spreading. A disease that in some cases can kill. Even not buying on the panic, it is worth treating. Did I mention it is contagious??

          Looks it is like when you probably have a DST. So you look down, your penis is looking funny, and you can't be arsed to look for a doctor, instead you decide to put a cream on it that will hide the symptoms from the girl you are banging but can p

      • by StikyPad (445176)

        You're assuming these people *knew* they were sick, and then deliberately took measures to avoid detection. Maybe they just took some tylenol because they had a headache, or a general malaise, without being aware that they had the flu. And honestly, maybe a few particularly altruistic people would take steps to get a diagnosis in a foreign country that they don't trust, on the chance that they'd have to spend thousands of dollars to extend their trips, rebook their flights, and possibly lose their jobs...

      • by sjames (1099)

        How many of them do you suppose actually believed they had the dreaded H1N1 vs. those who believed were avoiding 7 days of needless confinement (under god knows what conditions) when they had "a cold". If you want people to comply with confinement, it needs to be under excellent conditions and you need to be credible enough that people will believe the reports on the conditions.

        Doubly so considering that according to Alpha [wolframalpha.com], we're at 36,000 cases worldwide serious enough to have been diagnosed and reported w

      • by zmollusc (763634)

        If I stayed home in bed every time I felt ill, I would have bedsores and no job and no money.

    • Because the government in Viet Nam doesn't want people to know that the scanners are a useless waste?

  • by oneirophrenos (1500619) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @02:41PM (#28351381)
    Fever can be caused by lots of things. H1N1 isn't the only possible fever-inducing pathogen, and you can even have fever without having an infection. Preventing people with fever from travelling seems kind of an overkill.
    • by causality (777677) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @02:47PM (#28351481)

      Fever can be caused by lots of things. H1N1 isn't the only possible fever-inducing pathogen, and you can even have fever without having an infection. Preventing people with fever from travelling seems kind of an overkill.

      What you said and the mentality that would refer to this as "cheating" rather than "we need to implement a better way to screen for this, preferably one that fully informs the airline passengers of our intentions" reminded me of a joke. TSA = Thugs Standing Around.

    • by megamerican (1073936) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @03:01PM (#28351751)

      While you are correct you missed the biggest point. You can carry H1N1 or any virus for days without showing any symptom including fever.

      That makes these scanners completely worthless. The goal of these must be to program people to get used to ridiculous measures for their "security."

      • by powerlord (28156)

        The goal of these must be to program people to get used to ridiculous measures for their "security."

        Not necessarily, the goal could also be to have something "concrete" to point to when the mobs fear of H1N1 demands that the government do SOMETHING to protect them.

        "See? We tried to screen at the airport to keep it from coming in, but people cheated to get around our screening. THOSE people are who you should be mad at, not US."

      • by Red Flayer (890720) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @03:20PM (#28352003) Journal

        The goal of these must be to program people to get used to ridiculous measures for their "security."

        Or, you know, to prevent a pandemic flu from becoming established inside your borders, thus saving potenitally thousands of lives and countless hours of productivity.

        Seriously. The fact that people can be incubating the virus while not presenting symptoms does not mean that identifying those who ARE symptomatic is useless. Identifying people who potentially have the disease, and quarantining them, is one of the most important and effective ways to prevent the spread of communicable disease.

        Especially since a vaccine is on the way, the goal right now for any country is to prevent penetration of H1N1 Mexican flu through their borders until the vaccine is widely available.

        You may think it's security theater... but then again, we can all be glad you're not the one making the decisions relating to national health concerns on this.

        And, FWIW, regarding carrying a virus asymptomatically... almost all viral diseases have predictable incubation times. This is what makes quarantine effective. For example, if you travel to China right now, and someone on your plane has flu-like symptoms, you get quarantined for seven days (several days longer than the incubation time of H1N Mexican flu). So by the end of quarantine, you're either symptomatic, or cleared as not infected.

        I'm rambling a bit here, but... the threat of pandemic is real, and fever scanners are a useful tool in helping prevent the spread of the disease. Sure, they're not 100% effective... but for an exponential expansion of victims, a small decrease in vector individuals can drastically reduce the number of people affected before a vaccine is readily available.

        • by ArsonSmith (13997)

          WTF are you talking about. If the system isn't perfect than it is completely useless.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by megamerican (1073936)

          The only way to truly stop a pandemic is to stop all travel into your borders unless you have a 100% fullproof system.

          It would be a miracle if this sytem caught 1%.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Red Flayer (890720)
            You miss the point. A vaccine is being developed.

            In the long run, yes it would be necessary to completely close the borders to prevent your population from being exposed.

            But we're not dealing with the long run. We're just dealing with the period of time until the vaccine is widely available (and, of course, proof of vaccination will be required for entry).

            It would be a miracle if this sytem caught 1%.

            Why? If your tolerance of false-positive is high, detection systems like this could be considerably mor

      • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @03:26PM (#28352085) Homepage Journal

        Correct. There is nothing mystical about H1N1. It's a strain of the extremely common influenza A virus. You know influenza A well, you've probably had at least several times in your life. It's the flu. This is just a new strain. It's not any worse (or better) than any other strain of influenza A. All this hand-waving about H1N1 is stupid and pointless. Anybody with half a brain could tell you that, yes, you can carry the flu for several days without showing any symptoms whatsoever.

        There were 45,000 cases of the of the swine flu in the U.S. and I think like 25 people died. That's a fatality rate of what? A half of a tenth of a percent? About the same fatality rate for any other strain of influenza A.

        • by ArsonSmith (13997)

          All this hand-waving about H1N1 is stupid and pointless.

          This is not the flu we'relooking for....Move along.

    • by Andr T. (1006215)
      Yeah, John Travolta would be locked forever [imdb.com].
    • My mother is cold. Literally cold.

      When she has a fever she peaks at 98F

      I doubt I'd be able to fool one of these sensors. My fevers usually hit 103-104F. Apparently I once hit 105F, and was totally tripping out, muttering stuff while I slept. Luckily someone cooled me down. ;)

    • I've got mixed feelings about this. If someone sitting next to me on a plane has a fever, I want to know about it! Either way I want to know about it. On the other hand, the very fact that I've left my home exposes me to the risk of germs.

      If you are sick, do not travel. If for some reason you must, wear a mask and ask the agent to give you a seat in the back.

  • Seems unlikely (Score:4, Insightful)

    by moderatorrater (1095745) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @02:42PM (#28351407)
    It seems unlikely that they took the fever reducers strictly as a means of fooling the scanners. Common flu signs include aches and pains, and most of the pain relievers also reduce fevers.
    • Re:Seems unlikely (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Red Flayer (890720) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @03:26PM (#28352081) Journal
      Anecdotal, of course... but a coworker of mine flew to China last week and took tylenol and cough medicine specifically to reduce the chance that he'd exhibit symptoms that could be mistaken for the flu. His travel agent suggested he do this, since if one person on the plane exhibited flu symptoms, all the passengers would have been quarantined for 7 days.

      Asian countries (like South Korea and China) are primed to respond quickly and strongly to pandemic threats, due to their recent experience with the avian flu.

      Another coworker of mine was supposed to fly to China to visit family this summer... her friends and family have told her that they won't see her if she goes, since there are confirmed cases of H1N1 Mexican flu in our area. So she's putting off the trip until the vaccine is available.
    • Re:Seems unlikely (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Red Flayer (890720) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @03:33PM (#28352205) Journal
      Sorry to post two responses, but I forgot another significant issue.

      A lot of countries require incoming travelers to answer some questions about their health, to help prevent the spread of disease. Not sure if the country in question is currently doing this, but I suspect they are.

      So you won't be allowed to board the plane unless you answer "no" when asked if you've had any symptoms of illness.

      So the fact that they took a fever-reducer means they knew they were ill; the fact that they answered no to the question means they knew they weren't supposed to travel while ill; so the the conclusion is that they took the antipyretic partly to avoid detection.

      Assuming, of course, that the country in question requires incoming travelers to answer the questions about illness.
      • by sjames (1099)

        So the fact that they took a fever-reducer means they knew they were ill; the fact that they answered no to the question means they knew they weren't supposed to travel while ill; so the the conclusion is that they took the antipyretic partly to avoid detection.

        On Sunday afternoon, I swept off my roof and mowed the lawn. I got a bit overheated in the process and so needed to rest inside. A little later, I felt a bit achy so I took ibuprofen (a fever reducer). So, I felt a bit dizzy, ached all over, was tired, and took a fever reducer. Had anyone asked me if I was ill, I would have said no. It would be possible that I had swine flu and just didn't know it due to having another reasonable explanation for my symptoms. For vacationers, instead of yard work, substitute

  • This was said before (Score:4, Informative)

    by Andr T. (1006215) <andretaff@gmailP ... minus physicist> on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @02:42PM (#28351411)
    Australian scientists had already pointed that [thestar.co.za].
  • Intent? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by causality (777677) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @02:42PM (#28351415)
    The article doesn't really explain whether this was deliberate cheating. Did any of these folks see a doctor who straight up told them "Yes, you have this dangerous flu virus, please avoid airline travel because we need to contain it?" Otherwise, it's not unusual for people to feel the onset of a cold or flu and take "medicine" (i.e. symptom blockers) so they can feel better and avoid missing work. Is it strange that people might do this to avoid missing a flight (and aren't airplane tickets often non-refundable?) with no intention of cheating anything? I mean, if you stopped random people in the street and asked them, I doubt most of them would even know that airliners have body-temperature scanners.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AliasTheRoot (171859)

      Never mind the fact that if you have a Cold or Flu the doctor will say stop wasting my time and infecting everyone else in the waiting room and take some over the counter pain killers, for instance Ibuprofen or Paracetemol.

  • Typical. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Aphoxema (1088507) * on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @02:44PM (#28351433) Homepage Journal

    Those bastards, trying to keep their proteins from denaturing! Hang them, hang them high!

  • And now... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Andr T. (1006215) <andretaff@gmailP ... minus physicist> on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @02:46PM (#28351463)

    ...can someone lend me that cool (but useless) thermal scanner so I can watch that hot girl that lives next door? That would be definitely useful.

    • by oneirophrenos (1500619) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @02:57PM (#28351671)

      ...can someone lend me that cool (but useless) thermal scanner so I can watch that hot girl that lives next door? That would be definitely useful.

      Why? So you can look at her delicious kind-of-reddish-coloured breast outlines and those sexy blueish-green thighs?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Flea of Pain (1577213)

        Why? So you can look at her delicious kind-of-reddish-coloured breast outlines and those sexy blueish-green thighs?

        Hey, Kirk seemed to like the green color in Star Trek...

      • by Andr T. (1006215)

        So you can look at her delicious kind-of-reddish-coloured breast outlines and those sexy blueish-green thighs?

        It's a shame I'm daltonic :-(

  • by syousef (465911) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @02:51PM (#28351547) Journal

    This is a misuse of technology and is very much security theatre. You're more likely to prevent the spread of flu by praying to the spaghetti monster. The thing is that people are panicked over this as it has been overhyped by the media. They're willing to put up with any inconvenience as long as they can trade it for a warm (but not too warm or you'll get scanned) safe feeling.

    • i prayed to the spaghetti monster, and i don't have the flu. ergo, it does work
    • While I certainly believe tat the media has over-hyped H1N1, you have to also remember where the Scientific community's concern is.

      The way it went with "the flu" that we keep hearing about in the '20s is that.

      1) There was suddenly a spring flu that was both out of season and relatively mild (what we have now, and H1N1 appears to also be related to that earlier strain)

      2) By the time of the Fall and the "usual" flu season, the strain from early spring had mutated dramatically making it extremely deadly (as th

      • by causality (777677)

        Now, #2 MIGHT still happen, and its what those in the Infectious Disease community are afraid of, but you're right, the current version of H1N1 is relatively benign and overhyped by the media ... so far.

        Before this there was SARS, hoof-and-mouth, mad cow, West Nile virus, and probably others I am forgetting that were supposed to be huge deadly threats. The problem is that after those, that community or at least what the media makes of them starts to look like the boy who cried "wolf" too many times. If t

  • wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rand200069 (851045) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @02:51PM (#28351551)
    I thought tylenol, ibuprofen, and the like were pretty commonly used when people get sick. How is this news, besides the fact that they decided to implement a ridiculous screening process that is easily bypassed?
  • by djdbass (1037730) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @02:52PM (#28351579)
    Those SOB's took asprin when they had a fever! Get 'em!!!
    • by steeljaw (65872)

      LOL, did you notice that one of the tags was "assholes", that seriously made my day :)

    • by Omestes (471991)

      If they took asprin to consciously break another countries laws; I agree. Get'em.

  • Just take them to an interrogatory room!

    - So, do you sneeze constantly?

    - Er... no.

    - I saw you sneeze before.

    - I didn't.

    - But supose you did. Why would you lie about sneezing?

    - Hm, maybe because I wouldn't want you to know that I have the swine flu and lock me up in here.

    - So, when did you get the flu then?

    - I didn't get the flu.

    - Oh, i see. We've got a smart-ass here!

    Or, another way of seeing it:

    1 - Come to the conclusion that a good swine flu detector would be useful.

    2 - ???

    3 - Build thousand

    • Or, another way of seeing it:

      1 - Come to the conclusion that a good swine flu detector would be useful.

      2 - ???

      3 - Build thousands of swine flu detectors and sell them.

      4 - Profit!

      #2 is easy. Convince someone with a lot of money and a lot of fear that a good swine flu detector would be useful.

  • Pointless (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Logical Zebra (1423045) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @02:55PM (#28351635)

    So this vaunted "flu-scanner" can be fooled simply by taking Tylenol? Are you serious? Shouldn't it be assumed that anyone who is running a fever will most likely be taking fever-reducing medications?

    Tell me again what the point of this scanner is?

  • by Starteck81 (917280) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @02:56PM (#28351661)
    In other news it was discovered that vampires are able to raise their body temperature high enough to fool heat cameras meant to detect the undead by drinking a gallon of hot coffee right before they pass the cameras.
  • Those people .. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SlashDev (627697) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @03:06PM (#28351817) Homepage
    .. who are taking 'fever reducers' are not cheating as they have no way of knowing whether or not they have the H1N1 virus. Furthermore I have the uneasy feeling that at some point, 'fever reducers' will be pulled off the shelves and H1N1 vaccination will be required. JMHO
  • by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @03:22PM (#28352029) Homepage
    OK, you people have to figure out how things work under a Communist government. The higher-ups want to protect the country from H1N1, all the other Asian countries are doing it. Heat scanners are installed in all airports, with a masked nurse seated nearby filing her fingernails and ignoring the device. We've secured the country! But wait it seems H1N1 cases got through anyway. The higher-ups are furious, they were assured that heat detectors were deployed. Solution? Those shifty foreigners cheated our indigenously made infrared devices. Therefore, no punishment will be meted out as blame has been shifted. Someone always has to take the fall for mistakes, even if they were otherwise fully qualified as health director, head scientist, etc. History is full of officials who got sent to the gulag because they couldn't dodge the blame for something that didn't turn out perfectly.
  • I wonder if these procedures aren't really helping spread the disease faster.

    In Argentina, at EZE, my whole flight was squeezed into a very small (and hot!) space and then they let us out one by one as we passed in front of the scanner and were checked by grumpy old doctors.

  • We have been trying to sell these dang temperature scanners for months, but now we have a new marketing strategy to move them like hot cakes. We will accuse sick people using medicine of trying fool health officials to diabolically spread pandemic viruses and get the public to panic. Then we will be sitting pretty on all the new orders. Profit!
  • I've done it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by OrangeTide (124937) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @05:18PM (#28353827) Homepage Journal

    Not for H1N1 but just for a milder flu, I took acetaminophen in mainland China(Guangdong) to get pass the checkpoint at the Hong Kong border. I had a flight leaving out of Hong Kong soon and wanted to get the hell out of China (I don't like it there).

    The scanned me with a simple temp probe, check my passport and let me pass. Being held for observation at some random security check point in a strange country(to me) would have really sucked, especially given that I was not feeling well at all.

    I likely spread my illness for 3 days before I even felt sick. So those checkpoints are not effective enough to matter, in my opinion.

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