Africa’s a big place, folk

Duksung Women’s University, the host of the World Congress of Global Partnership for Young Women 2014, has rescinded its invitation to Nigerian participants due to the West African ebola outbreak, but some feel this apparently not enough:

However, it was not enough to cool down intensifying frustration from critics who demanded the entire congress to be called off. Some of the women’s university students and other opponents argue that other African participants from countries like Ghana or Rwanda may have come in contact with the disease.

The students yesterday initiated an online petition to cancel the event, garnering support from more than 15,000 people. Duksung’s official blog and website as well as a bulletin board on the Blue House’s website were bombarded with a flood of posts condemning the school’s hosting of the event.

The school said that it would try its best to prevent any potentially detrimental effects, reassuring the public that health officials would be on the lookout for anyone exhibiting Ebola symptoms, especially among the African participants. The school also said it would have participants stay in a separate building away from the school’s dormitory, reversing its initial plan to accommodate them in the dorms.

“It’s impossible to block the entrance of those from the non-affected countries,” said Heo In-seob, a public relations official with the university. “We are cooperating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. I think that worries are too exaggerated.”

It’s good to be cautious, of course, but one wonders what some of the same netizens might think if foreign netizens called for Korean participants to be banned from an international conference because of a disease outbreak… in Myanmar.

  • bumfromkorea

    Banning the Nigerians is fucked up, too. Unless the Duksung Women’s University was planning to host a urine-vomit-feces blood orgy, no one’s going to be infected with ebola even if every single Nigerian participants were infected (at which point, they would be a little bit more preoccupied with other things to fly thousands of miles to attend a 2014 “World Congress of Global Partnership for Young Women”).

    The silver lining here is… at least the students knew that Ghana, Rwanda, and Nigeria are on the same continent.

  • bballi bballi paradise

    After thoroughly researching this map ( one minute of googling) I can clearly see that Nigeria is in the middle of all documented ebola outbreaks since 1976. (sarcasm).
    It hasn’t actually had any outbreak, but is kinda in between the Congo and West Africa along with a few other countries….

  • Lliane

    Are they gonna ask to put Itaewon in quarantine ? Quite a few nigerians there

  • RElgin

    You know, it’s these foreigners with AIDS that want to teach here they should really look out for. That’s why they test them currently. Maybe they should also test them for ebola while they are at it.

  • RElgin

    . . . for the satire-impaired, the above is satire.

  • iwshim

    Can anybody tell me the exact story? The
    Korea Times said the Visas were canceled by the school http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2014/08/116_162223.html

    , the JoongAng Ilbo says the invitation was
    withdrawn http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=2992960&cloc=joongangdaily|home|top

    , and another article says http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2014/08/116_162257.html
    -> “Amid the rising infection fears, the government earlier rejected the
    entry of three Nigerian students who had planned to attend an international
    event at a university in Seoul. (Yonhap)”

    And the source of the info for the Korea Times
    was the Student President -> The student president is the organizer of this
    event?

    – now I see other people on the internet
    are saying the school banned them?

    Are we sure the school is 100% responsible
    for this mess? There seems to be contradictory stories in the news. It seems the government rejected the entry and
    it seems as if the school acted responsibly by taking down the website after
    they were notified there was a problem. -> Are my suspicions wrong?

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    Why say something so stupid? The facts remain that American doctors wearing all sorts of protective gear were somehow infected with Ebola, that persons exposed to Ebola have made it to Nigeria, and if the estimate of virulence is wrong, it’s possibly a 90% chance of death for the poor suckers who get infected. Very low likelihood of occurrence, but a catastrophic outcome.

  • bumfromkorea

    1. Ebola isn’t infectious until the patient is symptomatic – and in this case, “symptomatic” is a euphemism. Again, if someone was infected with ebola and she was symptomatic, my guess would be that she will go ahead and skip that plane trip across the world for a seminar or two.

    2. Ebola isn’t very infectious, period. “Somehow” isn’t a good explanation of how someone gets infected with the disease. Direct contact with urine, vomit, feces, blood, sweat, and semen would do it (which is why healthcare workers and families of the symptomatic patients are always the ones that gets sick) – hence the blood orgy comment. If it was very infectious, we would’ve been extinct decades ago.

    3. Ebola death rate is always inflated by the lack of healthcare infrastructure in the countries inflicted. It’s still a serious disease, but it has trouble staying alive in normal UV level and doesn’t do a good job of spreading itself in a society even half-conscious about public sanitation.

    It’s just fear. Understandable fear, yes. But unreasonable.

  • iwshim

    bumfromkorea – “Understandable fear, yes. But unreasonable.” By who? It seems as if the government – http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/ww
    -> “Amid the rising infection fears, the government earlier rejected the
    entry of three Nigerian students who had planned to attend an international event at a university in Seoul. (Yonhap)” Is the one who decided to not allow these students to enter the country.

  • bumfromkorea

    The sentence from the article already addresses your point, as it starts with “Amid the rising infection fears”.

  • redwhitedude

    Really bad way to deal with the problem. Now it sounds like discrimination against nigerians. If they wanted to do that cancel the event all together.

  • Aja Aja

    There seems to be much confusion about this disease and its chance and mode of spreading. I think it’s safer to be cautious now, until we know what’s happening, than to be sorry later. It’s better to deal with charges of racism now than having to deal with a public epidemic later. It may not be fair to ban all African countries, but most of Africa severely lacks proper medical infrastructure, like Myanmar, which could exasperate the spreading and thus they are more susceptible to spreading. So the example comparison of Myanmar and South Korea is not the point. It’s the medical establishment’s ability to deal with public health is. And most African nations are not able to deal with it, so it bears and justifies extreme caution when contacting that part of that world.

  • iwshim

    then you agree that the government is responsible for visa cancelation?

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Maybe these college kids should be required to take a basic geography course. Or just learn how to use a frickin map.

    And seriously… The university and the government need to balls up and tell netizens when they are being dumb as rocks. This bending over backwards to meet the demands of people with too much time and not enough facts is plain ridiculous.

    EDIT: It also contributes to and justifies their ignorance when the government follows through with their idiotic demands. Then they think they were right all along.

    When making decisions like this, universities should ask themselves, “What would Oxbridge / the Ivys do?” Would Harvard cancel visas for students from countries NOT affected by Ebola? No, because Harvard’s not paranoid and stupid.

  • redwhitedude

    Yea but not fumbling it in the way this particular university did.

  • iwshim

    It seems the school had the website removed. And it seems the government canceled the visas. MikeinGyeonggi – what has the school not done that you think would be prudent?

  • iwshim

    MikeinGyeonggi – + not sure if Duksung Women’s University can “balls up” they way you envision.

  • MikeinGyeonggi

    Yes, you’re right. The university itself doesn’t sound responsible for this. Though it would be wise to post a message on their homepage explaining that ebola has not been reported in either Rwanda or Ghana.

  • wangkon936

    Although Ebola is not contagious via airborne contact, Korea’s (particularly Seoul) population density makes rapid contagion a concern.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Everyone knows Africa is a country, Robert.

  • Sumo294

    More of the same wonderful and awesome and educated white liberals from America telling Koreans what to do. Perhaps–Koreans do not want to pay out millions upon millions of dollars for vaccines against Ebola all in the name of being nice and diverse. http://www.wnd.com/2014/08/ebola-madness-is-epidemic/

  • redwhitedude

    Everybody knows that Africa is a post colonial wasteland.

  • wangkon936

    Everything I know about Ebola I got from Tom Clancy’s “Executive Orders.” True story… 😉

    http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread1024797/pg1

  • Bob Bobbs

    I thought that was Korea.

  • wangkon936

    “… wonderful and awesome and educated white liberals from America telling KoreansEVERYONE what to do.”

    There, fixed for you.

    Honestly? I am really getting tired of their bull shit.

  • wangkon936

    When Korea’s GDP was the level of Ghana’s yes, but that was 50 years ago.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    Ebola Reston was airborne.

  • wangkon936

    ..

  • wangkon936

  • wangkon936

    ..

  • bumfromkorea

    Reston Ebola was also not pathogenic to humans.

  • bumfromkorea

    In so far as reacting to a strong public will? Yes.

  • iwshim

    Thanks!

  • redwhitedude

    Korea has been likened to Bangladesh. Not sure if that analogy fits in but it was pretty much written off. That is Korea back then.

  • redwhitedude

    Korea doesn’t have numerous and massive insurgencies going on.

  • iwshim

    http://edition.cnn.com/2014/08/04/health/west-africa-ebola-outbreak/index.html?hpt=hp_t2 -> Nigerian doctor has Ebola, officials say

    Africa’s a Big Place – indeed

  • redwhitedude

    Quarantine the whole continent!

  • iwshim

    “host a urine-vomit-feces blood orgy” – I think Korean Universities call it Spring Festival.

  • http://jushinjok.blogspot.com JinJoo

    “The treatment, known as ZMapp, had never been tested on humans before. But the doctors that treated patients Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol called the results “miraculous.” Brantly is now back in the United States, and Writebol is expected to arrive in Atlanta on Tuesday. Both are said to be doing “remarkably” better.”

    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/140804/ebola-virus-search-vaccine-cure

  • Aja Aja

    This is highly suspicious, the timing of the drug’s announcement. Was this one big scam to get money and profits for the Ebola drugs?

  • http://jushinjok.blogspot.com JinJoo

    When I read the article, that’s exactly what I thought.

  • Aja Aja

    African immigrants in Itaewon worried that this ebola outbreak will make their lives more difficult with more racism, as Koreans shun them.

    http://news.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2014/08/05/2014080500105.html?news_topR

    The irony of this article is that other foreigners in Itaewon are shunning them too, observed by one Chinese merchant who saw her profit plunge 50% after all her foreigner customers stay away from where she is (near all the African stores).

  • Bob Bobbs

    The term has many dimensions. I find it apt.

  • bumfromkorea

    We just call it “the weekend”.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    I am aware of that. I do not share your confidence that that it is impossible for the one known variant of Ebola which was known to be airborne to mutate to become pathogenic to humans, or for the variants known to be pathogenic to humans to mutate to become transmissible through the air.

  • Bob Bobbs

    Something happened in Korea on June 25th, 1950. You might want to look it up before declaring the situation all hunky-dory.

  • Sumo294

    America’s “do good for the saving of the glorious world for a better future” foundations are running out of money. The liberals are slowly beginning to understand that when the economy sucks–there is no more money. Look for new manufactured crisis after crisis to occur in order for new posters of suffering and pain to jump start new donation cycles. The Washington DC ladies are starting to understand how to profit from the synergy of crisis, response and then production paradigm. They now understand how to create revenue streams from all three areas and how to budget and maintain research centers in Switzerland (aka vacation homes) in order to better understand the social matrix of Ebola’s (cancer, AIDS take your pick) impact upon an urban environment.

  • Sumo294

    The doctor was not pricked with a needle–absolutely preposterous. For now–evidence indicates that this Ebola virus is highly contagious. Symptoms take up to 21 days to manifest–they have no current clue how many are infected with this virus.

  • Sumo294

    I agree we need to send more Peace Corp volunteers to help the poor Ebola victims and to prove that there is no danger to anyone. We should also coordinate volunteer helpers from PETA, Friends of the Environment, and former staffers of ACORN. Their wonderful and amazing attitudes will shield them from any possibility of being infected from the Ebola virus. What protects them from the Ebola virus is their amazing attitude and their belief that they are making a difference in the world.

  • bumfromkorea

    No one here is surprised.

  • bumfromkorea

    … What?

  • redwhitedude

    Sure but it doesn’t have a long running insurgency going on.

  • bumfromkorea

    It’s not impossible. But it is highly improbable that preventing the Nigerian women from coming to Korea did anything useful to the local public health other than reducing anxiety regarding the suddenly-mutated strand that will mutate out of the current strain presumably in the Nigerian guests. If it becomes airborne and infectious enough, the roster of the Duksung Women’s University seminar will be the least of our worries. That’s a 12 Monkey-The Stand-Outbreak-Contagion-28 Days Later situation.

  • Bob Bobbs

    You prefer a state of war?

  • Bob Bobbs

    Do I know you?

  • redwhitedude

    Nope. But Korea unlike Africa does not have insurgencies flaring up here and there.

  • Bob Bobbs

    For now.

  • redwhitedude

    I don’t really see anybody taking up arms in support of NK. And the last time there was a serious threat of the country being split off was the period between Silla and Goryo.

  • Bob Bobbs

    That “main enemy” stuff goes back and forth. Just wait until the Americans get a conservative white man back in the Oval Office. The Sorks will be back to fire-bombing US bases and stabbing US personnel on the streets very soon.

  • RElgin

    There have been five confirmed cases of Ebola in Nigeria and one death, as of this date.
    I believe the university has been exonerated but now I wonder how long this has been a problem; when this was known.

  • Jake

    A Korean university hosting a “Global Partnership for Young Women” event? Something tells me the African students won’t be missing much. 5 cases of ebola recently in Nigeria, 1 death, population of 166 million. Yup, the situation is critical from the netizen viewpoint. Time to don the foil hats, raise the alarm and circle the wagons. The sky is falling. There haven’t been any food or health scandals as of late, so the netizens need to create one. All this news about official corruption and graft among politicians and big business has worn the netizens out, so they need a change of pace; a foreign threat to unite against once again ala their ridiculous mad cow panic. As other posters have said, at least some of the netizens are vaguely aware that Africa is not a country, which shows some measure of progress.

    I wonder what they’d think if they knew there were 40,000 new cases of tuberculosis in Korea just last year and that over 1200 of them were multi-drug resistant strains, and that unlike ebola, TB can be transmitted through the air and via human spit. Where are the stroller moms? Where are the netizens?

  • piratariaazul

    Any follow up on how the ROK govt. is dealing with this? Given the recent developments, the early “knee jerk” reaction might end up looking prescient (even if unintentionally).

    It was clearly an error on the part of developing countries to watch the outbreak from afar, and letting Doctors Without Borders struggle to contain it without funding or material support.

    Maybe it’s karma.

  • wangkon936

    Hummm…. maybe the Koreans were on to something after all?

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-ebola-scare-la-county-20141008-story.html

  • wangkon936

    Just a little reminder…
    .