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5/9/2008
01:29 PM
Charles Babcock
Charles Babcock
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Flu Strikes JavaOne Attendees, Health Department Says

A flu virus was picked up by at least a few attendees to the JavaOne Conference at the Moscone Center, the San Francisco Health Department has warned. It didn't say how many of the 15,000 attendees were affected, but as I read this in the San Francisco Chronicle, I'm feeling poorly [look at his pallor] myself.

A flu virus was picked up by at least a few attendees to the JavaOne Conference at the Moscone Center, the San Francisco Health Department has warned. It didn't say how many of the 15,000 attendees were affected, but as I read this in the San Francisco Chronicle, I'm feeling poorly [look at his pallor] myself.Sun Microsystems held its annual JavaOne user group meeting at the Moscone Center May 5-9, and the bad luck of the appearance of flu at its 13th event is just coincidence.

The Health Department told the Chronicle that "several people" who either worked at the conference or were attendees "appear to have caught a highly contagious norovirus, commonly and misleadingly known as the stomach flu." The virus causes violent outbreaks of diarrhea and vomiting and lasts 24 to 48 hours, the Health Department warned.

The norovirus classification means the flu involved falls under the heading of the second most common illness experienced in the United States after the common cold. Most people recover quickly after severe discomfort.

The virus is usually spread by an infected person preparing food or sharing utensils or other personal items. Lunch was served each day to JavaOne attendees in a large hall close to the keynote hall. There were numerous evening events, serving food and drinks both at the Moscone Center or in nearby facilities. No particular cause of the flu has been tracked down.

I spent three days at the show, speaking directly with Rich Green, Sun Microsystems senior VP for software; CEO Jonathan Schwartz; JavaFX specialists Ken Wallich and Param Singh; Aisling MacRunnels, senior VP of software marketing; and virtualization spokesmen Vijay Sarathy and Steve Wilson. They all looked extraordinarily healthy.

So far, the InformationWeek staffers who attended the show are also feeling healthy. This is one news item for which I hope there will be no further bulletins or updates.

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