Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change
Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

Occupy Wall Street: Contagion Edition

The encampment in the financial district of New York City is now in its second month.
Photo: Timothy A Clark | AFP | Getty Images

Matt Flegenheimer of the New York Times is reporting that Occupy Wall Street's Zuccoti Park is a potential health hazard.

The chorus began quietly at a recent strategy session inside Zuccotti Park, with a single cough from a security team member, a muffled hack between puffs on his cigarette. Then a colleague followed. Then another.

Soon the discussion had devolved into a fit of wheezing, with one protester blowing his nose into the mulch between clusters of tents.

“It’s called Zuccotti lung,” said Willie Carey, 28, a demonstrator from Chapel Hill, N.C. “It’s a real thing.”

As regular NetNet readers know, I spent several days down at Zuccoti Park for a few weeks in October. My colleagues Cadie Thompson and Kayla Tausche were also more or less embedded in the the park. All of us got sick from the experience. I had an absolutely horrible cough.

At one point I was nearly bed-ridden.

The good news is that someone has gone to the park and given out flu shots, which should help prevent a major flu outbreak there. The bad news is that there are fears of tuberculosis spreading through the park, which would be truly horrific.

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