Whether the Occupy Wall Street protesters have a common cause for their protest or not, one thing most protesters will have in common very soon is “Zuccotti Lung.” Little sleep in cold weather, sharing cigarettes, drinks, utensils, and not washing hands often is beginning to have ill effects on the protestors. Free flu shots have been turned down because the protesters think they are a ‘government conspiracy,” according to a news report.
Damp clothing and wet tents have provided a perfect breeding ground for mold. Leftover food and trash is abundantly strewn around the place, which definitely will attract the NY rodents out of their hiding very soon.
Dr. Philip M. Tierno Jr., the director of clinical microbiology and immunology at NYU Langone Medical Center, said the conditions in the park could leave protesters susceptible to respiratory viruses; norovirus, the so-called winter vomiting virus, that is known to cause vomiting and diarrhea. This could quickly overwhelm the scarce bathroom facilities in the area; and tuberculosis, which is more common in developing nations can spread by coughing.
The constant drumming could also cause hearing damage among nearby residents and protesters. Noise expert Alan Fierstein used a decibel reader and recorded an ear-splitting reading of more than 121 decibels — compared to only 79 before the drums started up. “It will reduce your threshold of hearing. In other words, it gives you temporary hearing loss. Continued long enough, it becomes permanent hearing loss,” Fierstein said.
- Report: Health Concerns Including ‘Zuccotti Lung’ Grow At Zuccotti Park (newyork.cbslocal.com)