Oh, the irony. The first PHAT Conference postponed due to the H1N1 virus.
At 10:58pm on Thursday, April 30, the Harvard School of Public Health sent the following notice:
Classes are cancelled Friday May 1 for HSPH and HMS students while public health authorities continue their investigation of student interactions on the Longwood Campus following the discovery of a possible case of H1N1 flu in a student at Harvard School of Dental Medicine where classes are also cancelled. Students are asked to minimize social contact on the campus until more is known.
The decision to postpone the conference did not come until 9am the morning of May 1. The delay was due to uncertainty as to whether events attended by non-HSPH people should also be cancelled. In the end, all events were also cancelled due to safety concerns.
We are grateful for the tremendous amount of interest in the conference and for the help of all our volunteers. We plan to reschedule the conference as soon as possible. I will post updates about the conference at www.hsph.harvard.edu/phat and on this blog.
Julio Frenk, former Mexican Minister of Health and HSPH Dean, submitted a NY Times op-ed on April 30 entitled Mexico’s Fast Diagnosis stating that approximately 10,000 Mexicans die each year due to the flu. There have now been 140 confirmed cases of swine flu in the US.
By the end of Friday, May 1, there were 2 confirmed cases among dental students and 7 probable cases. All are recovering well.