TIME Mag: 20 UC Davis students at Kyoudai quarantined after J tutors diagnosed with Swine Flu. Despite NJ showing no symptoms.


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Hi Blog. Here’s a rum punch. From Debito.org Reader JT. Debito


Hello Mr. Debito

I found an article on TIME Magazine’s website this morning reporting the quarantine of some college exchange students in Kyoto. The text is below:

U.S. Students Quarantined in Japan
By AP TIME Magazine, July 8, 2009

(DAVIS, Calif.) — A group of 20 students studying in Japan through the University of California Davis have been quarantined after two of their Japanese tutors were diagnosed with swine flu.

UC Davis summer abroad coordinator Kathy Cunningham said Wednesday the students arrived in Kyoto, Japan, on June 27 and were quarantined to a dormitory on July 3.

She says Japanese health officials are monitoring the group for symptoms and that no students have shown any sign of the disease so far. She also says the quarantine is set to end Friday.


[That’s the entire article.] I find it somewhat disturbing that the students had no symptoms, yet were still quarantined, as well as no mention about the treatment of the tutors who were diagnosed. Does anyone know the full story? I haven’t heard anything from the Asahi, Yomiuri, or Japan Times english pages yet. Thanks. JT.

7 comments on “TIME Mag: 20 UC Davis students at Kyoudai quarantined after J tutors diagnosed with Swine Flu. Despite NJ showing no symptoms.

  • Tornadoes28 says:

    So? What’s wrong with that. Two of the people in the group, the tutors, have come down with swine flu. So the rest of the group has been confined until it is clear they are not infected.

    — I don’t think that happened to neighboring passengers in planes (within a two-meter radius, was the reported contagion field) when passengers were confirmed with that flu.

    Besides, I thought the panic period of quarantining flu victims was past? Or is that just because the media lost the hype?

  • The regulations regarding the swine flu are still in place – the Health Ministry stopped announcing new cases a couple of weeks ago (from memory) – but the “alert” is still in place. The cases are still appearing (my own daughters pre-school as an example, school automatically closed for a week).

  • The article doesn’t really seem to make it clear if the tutors were with the group or not. The first time I read it I assumed the tutors were people who the students first met after coming to Japan. Anybody know for sure which it was?

  • The airplane passengers should have been quarantined as well. The fact that they weren’t doesn’t mean that the students should not have been quarantined, it means that the airport contagion response team were derelict in their duty.

    If the students were within transmission range of the infected during the infectious stage, then they should have been quarantined per protocol — full stop. One can be infected and infectious yet display no outwards signs of illness, especially with influenza.

  • The way the article is written it’s not clear if the UC Davis 20 were the only people quarantined in relation to this outbreak. Given the source and its audience it seems quite plausible to me that they just chose to focus on the American angle. Until more info becomes available I think it’s hard to judge whether anything improper occurred.

  • Were the foreign students quarantined because they were thought to be the source, or that they were possibly infected by the tutors? Were any other people quarantined?

    If this is a case of Japanese officials jumping to conclusions about foreigners being disease carriers, it would not be the first time. Back in 1987, when the first Japanese woman died of AIDS, the Japanese government and media instantly started accusing a foreign boyfriend. This despite the fact that the woman was a prostitute who had had sex with at least a hundred Japanese men–at a time when sex tours overseas were a big thing.


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