Category Archives: Safety

9 UW-Madison fraternities, sororities ordered to quarantine to stop spread of COVID-19


-Bascom Hall, UW Madsion

-by Matthew Cash

MADISON (WKOW) — Members of nine fraternities and sororities at UW-Madison have been ordered to quarantine at their off-campus live-in chapter houses following confirmed cases of COVID-19 among their members.

Out of about 420 members in the 9 chapters, 38 tested positive as of Sept. 2, according to a UW-Madison press release. As a precaution, all other members will be required to be tested on Sept. 8 at a university testing site.

Members who have previously tested positive within the last 90 days through a verified lab result and are not currently in isolation do not need to test or quarantine. Proof of a previous positive must be submitted to UHS at him@uhs.wisc.edu for verification.

“Our goal is to stop any further spread of the virus among our students and the broader community,” says Jake Baggott, executive director of University Health Services. “We’re working closely with county health officials, student leaders, chapter advisors, and the housing corporations that own the chapter houses to address this quickly and thoroughly.”

A violation of isolation or quarantine order may result in a fine of up to $10,000 or a court order to comply. Failure to comply also will result in university sanctions against students who violate a quarantine directive.

Out of a total of about 5,000 students who are in Greek life, about 1,500 live in off-campus greek houses.

“Given the sheer size of some of these fraternity and sorority chapter houses, some having over 50 household members, we felt that Public Health orders were important to ensure compliance and contain the spread of COVID-19,” in a statement provided to 27 News by PHMDC.

College to use tracking device that notifies officials if students leave school’s ‘COVID-bubble’- violators may be temporarily suspended

https://www.theblaze.com/news/college-tracking-device-students-covid-bubble

Michigan’s Albion College is requiring that students download a phone application that tracks at all times their physical locations as well as their private health data in order to battle the spread of the coronavirus, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

Albion — a private college — is aiming to create a “COVID-bubble” on campus for the entire semester, the Free Beacon said. And if a student breaks the 4.5-mile perimeter, the app notifies the administration, and the student could be temporarily suspended, the paper added.

But as you might imagine, this plan has students and parents complaining about privacy invasion.

“The school wants my daughter to sign a form consenting to specimen collection and lab testing,” one father told the Free Beacon on the condition of anonymity. “I have a ton of concern with that. … Why is the state of Michigan’s contact tracing not enough?”

The paper added that while students are required to remain on campus, professors and administrators are not. And Albion — when asked about this disparity and potential “COVID-bubble” loophole — declined to comment, the Free Beacon said.

“I feel like I am being treated like a five-year-old that cannot be trusted to follow rules,” rising senior Andrew Arszulowicz told the paper. “If the school believes masks work … why are we not allowed to leave if they work? It does not make sense to me.”

What else?

More from the Free Beacon:

“Albion is planning to offer in-person learning only, and students who refuse to comply with the contact-tracing program will be forced to defer for a semester or a full school year.

Coronavirus testing will be required upon arrival to campus. It’s unclear how many follow-up tests the university will mandate throughout the 14-week semester, but the results be stored on Albion’s tracking app.

Returning students must also sign a form authorizing the disclosure of their test results to the county, state, or “any other governmental entity as may be required by law” — though the school told the Free Beacon that state and county officials are not collecting information from the app.”

In addition to downloading the app, students must undergo a mandatory three-day quarantine after they move back to campus. They will be given a list of “approved businesses” to frequent, and must fill out an online form five days in advance if they plan to leave for “approved” activities, such as medical appointments, religious obligations, and “significant family obligations.””

In addition to the possibility of receiving suspensions, students who don’t comply with the guidelines will be locked out of their dorms and other on-campus buildings, the paper said, citing emails from the university it obtained.

Teen girls on birth control pills report crying more, sleeping too much and eating issues, study says

Teenage girls who use birth control pills are more likely to cry, sleep too much and experience eating issues than their peers who don’t use oral contraceptives, according to a recent study published in the medical journal JAMA Psychiatry.

Research has shown that adolescents who use birth control pills are more prone to be at risk for depression in adulthood — regardless of whether they continue taking the pills when they get older.

But investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, University Medical Center Groningen and Leiden University Medical Center sought to examine something more subtle — depressive symptoms, which include increased crying, sleeping too much, feelings of worthlessness and suicidal thoughts.

“Depressive symptoms are more prevalent than clinical depression and can have a profound impact on quality of life,” co-author Hadine Joffe, vice chair for psychiatry research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said in a news release.

“Ours is the first study of this scale to dive deep into the more subtle mood symptoms that occur much more commonly than a depression episode but impact quality of life and are worrying to girls, women and their families.”

For this study, researchers looked at 1,010 girls and women over a period of nine years using data from an ongoing survey in the Netherlands called TRAILS, Tracking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey. They assessed birth control pill usage at ages 16, 19, 22 and 25.

“One of the most common concerns women have when starting the pill, and teens and their parents have when an adolescent is considering taking the pill, is about immediate depressive risks,” said lead author Anouk de Wit, a psychiatry trainee at University Medical Center Groningen.

Researchers found that 16-year-old girls on birth control pills reported more crying, more sleeping and more eating problems than girls who weren’t on the pill, although the symptoms diminish once they enter adulthood.

High schoolers misusing prescription drugs have more than one way to get them

Researchers warn that this could lead to substance abuse issues

By Kristen Dalli

07/18/2019 | ConsumerAffairs | Health News

“A new study from Michigan State University shows that high schoolers have many different sources they can turn to when it comes to obtaining prescription drugs.

While the misuse and abuse of these drugs raises concerns on its own, the team says the findings are also worrisome because the misuse of prescription drugs is often associated with other mental health concerns or substance abuse issues.

“These adolescents are most in need of intervention to address their substance use and any other medical and mental health issues,” said researcher Ty Schepis.

Knowing the numbers
The researchers completed two studies to gain a better understanding of young people’s misuse of prescription drugs.

In the first study, the researchers analyzed over 18,500 high school students to gain insight into their attitudes about drugs and their behaviors around them. The students were specifically asked about stimulants, opioids, and tranquilizers.

Of the students involved in this study, 11 percent reported misusing prescription drugs, with 44 percent of those same students reporting that they had more than one way to get their hands on the drugs when they wanted them. While some opted to take leftover drugs they found in their medicine cabinets, others bought them off of their peers at school.

The second study focused on nearly 104,000 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17, and the researchers aimed to discover how these young people were securing prescription drugs.

The most common source for drugs in this study was getting them for free from friends or relatives, as this accounted for roughly 33 percent of the participants’ misuse of drugs. Getting an opioid painkiller prescription from a doctor was the second highest source, with 24 percent of participants obtaining drugs this way. Buying drugs from others rounded out the list.

These findings are certainly cause for concern, as having multiple avenues to secure prescription drugs for the wrong reasons has been proven to lead to substance use disorder in over 70 percent of young people.

“The implications from these two studies could not be clearer,” said researcher Sean Esteban McCabe. “Parents, public health experts, and clinicians must rally to address this problem. There is a critical need for clinical workforce training to support clinical and school-based education, screening, prevention, and early intervention.””

Abusing painkillers as a teen could lead to heroin use later in life

Researchers are unsure why this pattern exists

By Kristen Dalli

07/09/2019 | ConsumerAffairs | Health News

In a new study, researchers have discovered that teens are more likely to turn to heroin when they use prescription painkillers to get high.

“Prescription opioids and heroin activate the brain’s pleasure circuit in similar ways,” said researcher Adam Leventhal. “Teens who enjoy the ‘high’ from prescription opioids could be more inclined to seek out other drugs that produce euphoria, including heroin.”

Tracking drug use

The researchers’ primary focus with the study was to see how prescription painkiller use during teenage years impacted potential drug use in later years. To get a gauge of teens’ drug habits over time, the researchers had nearly 3,300 high school freshman complete surveys, which were retaken twice a year through their senior years.

The biggest takeaway from the study was that students who were currently using, or had previously used, prescription painkillers were more likely to turn to heroin by the time they graduated high school.

“Adolescents are sometimes overlooked in the opioid epidemic discussion,” said researcher Lorraine Kelley-Quinn. “The association between nonmedical opioid use and later heroin use in youth is concerning and warrants further research and health policy interventions.”

Prescription painkillers were popular in nearly 600 of the students surveyed throughout their high school experience, and this led to a large portion of students later turning to harder drugs.

Nearly 11 percent of students who reported formerly using prescription opioids and over 17 percent who were currently using the drugs were found to use heroin by the end of high school.

“While we can’t definitively conclude that there is a cause-and-effect relation, there may be something unique about opioid drugs that makes youths vulnerable to trying heroin,” said Leventhal. “The results do not appear to be driven by the tendency of some teens to act out, rebel, or experiment with many types of drugs.”

Protecting young people
A recent study revealed that parents are choosing opioids for their kids when it comes to pain relief, despite knowing other options exist.

Now knowing how prescription opioids can affect teens into early adulthood, these findings shed new light on how future treatment options could be affected.

Moreover, researchers have discovered that today’s children and teens are three times more likely to experience opioid poisoning than they were two decades ago.

Teen crashes in Bird Box challenge


Police say a teenager participating in the latest viral challenge is responsible for a crash on a parkway and will face reckless driving charges.

Friday, January 11, 2019 03:15PM

LAYTON, Utah — Police say a teenager participating in the latest viral challenge is responsible for a crash on Layton Parkway and will face reckless driving charges.

Layton Police tweeted two photos of the crash, which they said occurred Monday. No injuries were reported.

“Bird Box Challenge while driving… predictable result,” the department stated. “This happened on Monday as a result of the driver covering her eyes while driving on Layton Parkway.”

Police said they didn’t learn about the story behind Monday’s crash until Friday. The “Bird Box Challenge” takes its name from a recent Netflix movie in which the characters must remain blindfolded.

Lt. Travis Lyman, Layton Police, said the 17-year-old girl driving the pickup truck was with a 16-year-old boy when she decided to attempt the “Bird Box Challenge” and used a beanie as an impromptu blindfold.

The driver veered into oncoming traffic and struck a passenger car.

“Honestly I’m almost embarrassed to have to say ‘Don’t drive with your eyes covered’ but you know apparently we do have to say that,” Lyman said. “…The stakes are just so high and it’s just such a potentially dangerous thing as it is: to try and do it in that way is inexcusable. It really puts everybody at risk.”

Police are recommending reckless driving charges in the case but it will be up to the County Attorney’s Office to determine what charges, if any, are filed.

Vaping

14-year-old in serious condition after vaping alcohol
2:52 pm
October 23, 2018

PATCH GROVE, WI — A 14-year-old is in serious condition after vaping alcohol.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office and West Grant EMS responded to River Ridge High School Tuesday morning. The investigation showed the male possibly inhaled alcohol through a vaping device and it caused him to suffer symptoms associated with alcohol poisoning.

The teenager was transported to Crossing Rivers Medical Center and then airlifted to University Hospital in Madison. He’s in serious condition.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating.

700 reasons not to eat a Tide laundry pod!!!!! The social media fad may be even more dangerous than first believed. Age of reason???

https://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/seven-hundred-reasons-not-to-eat-a-tide-laundry-pod-020218.html

“Tide laundry detergent developed a handy way to wash your clothes. Instead of measuring detergent, you simply toss in a prepackaged detergent pod.

For some reason, some person decided to video themselves eating one of these soap pods and put it on social media, daring others to “accept the challenge.” What happened next was predictable. Eating Tide laundry pods became “a thing,” causing doctors and poison control officials to warn of the dangers.

Now the Consumer Wellness Center has put some research behind those warnings. Commissioned by Science.News, the Center conducted a laboratory analysis of a Tide laundry pod and identified 700 unique and potentially dangerous chemicals.

You can find the lengthy list on the Science.News website.

Promoting awareness

Mike Adams, who is lab science director at the Consumer Wellness Center and author of the popular science book “Food Forensics,” says the public — parents especially — need to be aware of what’s in the laundry pods.

“Many of these chemicals pose very real risks to human health as well as aquatic ecosystems,” Adams said.

Tide’s warning label on the product advises consumers to “call your local Poison Control Center or doctor immediately” if the product is swallowed.

“Concentrated detergent pacs can burst if children put them in their mouths or play with them,” the warning label reads. “The liquid inside is harmful if put in mouth, swallowed or in eyes. KEEP PACS OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.”

Absent from the label

But Adams says the label does not name specific chemicals on the packaging, leading him to believe consumers could be unaware of the potential dangers.

“Given the toxicity of this product when ingested, many consumers are now wondering whether it’s safe to wear those same chemicals on their skin,” said Adams. “An even bigger question is what happens downstream when these chemicals are rinsed out of clothing and flushed away.”

As we reported in 2013, a seven month-old child died after eating a laundry pod, the first known fatality.

Proctor and Gamble CEO David Taylor, whose company makes Tide, says he can’t understand why people are eating his product and he’s not sure what to do about it.

“Ensuring the safety of the people who use our products is fundamental to everything we do at P&G,” Taylor said in a January 22 blog post. “However, even the most stringent standards and protocols, labels, and warnings can’t prevent intentional abuse fueled by poor judgment and the desire for popularity.”