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January 12, 2012 - 7:48am

Today's Poll: Should officials share the cause of tics among girls in Le Roy?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
Jason Crater
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If the kids and their families want to speak out, good on them, but it's not a public issue.

You shouldn't have to publicly disclose if it burns when you pee, right?

We all have a right to medical privacy.

Judith Kinsley ...
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They don't know the cause is the entire point. They can't speak out about what they don't know. The lack of investigation of the cause is the real issue.

Lori Silvernail
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I can see both sides to this, so I don't really know which side of the fence I fall on. These girls and their families have their right to medical issue privacy. But if they are suggesting that these "bath salts" and "incense" things are at the root of it, parents could have a serious sit-down with their teens and maybe prevent this from happening to their child. If these tics are going to be lifelong as the result of using these legal things, maybe some kids could be saved a similar fate. Kids are pretty invincible, but after seeing their classmates suffer they may change their minds about trying something like that.

I hope that if these girls ingested something that caused this to happen, that they will stand up and say so. They have the opportunity to save their friends from this heartache.

Judith Kinsley ...
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Illicit drug use has been ruled out and was never the issue. Please don't suggest it was or you would be persecuting the victims which has already been done. May I state again that there has been no determination of the cause.

Randy Smart
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There are certain instances when it is legally permissible to share certain 'protected' health information, such as if a person is a danger to themselves or a danger to others, or in a medical emergency or if the person signs a consent allowing that information to be shared with others. Nobody has to name the specific people involved, but if they were willing to sign concsent forms, then at least the health officials could release their findings (as to the causes of the tics) to the general public and possibly alleviate some parental fears and concerns.

Lori Silvernail
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I'm not trying to do that Judith, and I apologize if it is coming across that way. Remove the "bath salts" and "incense" from my sentence and fill in the blanks with whatever it is that IS known. Seems from what I read (and that's all any of us can do, is to speculate from what is written) that there is something not being said. Why hold these meetings and say absolutely nothing that might help another child down the road? The stories of these "bath salts" and "incense" just happened to come around the same time as the "findings" (or lack thereof) about what is going on at the LeRoy school.

I find it odd to read that some parents have not recieved a diagnosis, yet due to HIPAA regulations they can't discuss the medical findings. So which is it, they KNOW the cause or NOT? All I DO know is that if my child went to that school, I would want answers, period

Howard B. Owens
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Lori, the story on synthetic drugs came along first because a volunteer firefighter contacted me about the issue, second because there was this persistent rumor that came up about a tie to Le Roy. Other than rumor and speculation, there is no known connection. And from what we've been able to learn and report, there is no real connection.

Lori Silvernail
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Thanks Howard. I'm just an outsider to this story and am trying to make sense of it.

Chris Charvella
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People have a right to privacy. If whatever it is isn't contagious or a threat to public health in any way the busybodies are just going to have to live the rest of their lives without knowing.

One thing though, I sort of got the gist from the article that some of the parents of the kids with tics weren't being told the cause. Did I read that correctly? Because that's a problem.

Beth Kinsley
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Correct Chris. If there is a diagnosis, many of the families have not been told. If I had a child in that school, I would be worried. When it comes right down to it they don't know what is causing this so I'm not really sure how they can say that it's not a threat to public health.

Lori Silvernail
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True, there may be a few busybodies out there, but there are probably far more people who are interested in order to protect their children.

I believe that the families of all 12 of these children wish they had known what was going on before it happened to their child, so speaking out to save another child and the parents from the same nightmare seems to be the right thing to do.

Jason Crater
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If 10 kids in Leroy school contracted Herpes from a single person...do other students' parents have a right to know who has herpes and how they got it?

It's only to protect their own kids, right?

(Hypothetical scenario)

Beth Kinsley
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No one's asking that they name names Jason. Just that they let the community know what the diagnosis is (if they truly have one). When there is a meningitis outbreak in a school, they let you know that there is a meningitis outbreak. They don't name names.

Chris Charvella
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That would be an interesting debate, Jason. I can tell you that the Air Force has a public health office on every base that does something along those lines, but you give up certain privacy rights when you're in the military.

This also depends on whether or not the kids in question are minors. Parents have a right to know whether their kids are sick or not.

Bob Harker
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The cause IS known:

"Young, from the NYS Department of Health, said the cause (or causes) isn't related to the environment; it isn't anything a person "catches"; it doesn't come from exposure to something, or from anything ingested. Nor does the cause stem from prescribed drugs or illicit drugs."

As this has affected 11 girls, it is reasonable to assume it could affect more. That alone is reason to divulge the information.

Also note the last 2 words: ILLICIT drugs. The popular "incense" and "bath salts" are legal and therefore not illicit. Can it not be reasonably inferred that their use may be the cause?

Judith Kinsley ...
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Seems to me that if the cause IS known, the parents of those children affected would know:

James Dupont Jr. spoke passionately about the need for officials to be more forthcoming about what physicians have found. Dupont complained that although Young said the cause has been diagnosed, nobody's told him what caused his daughter to develop tics

Howard B. Owens
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Illicit was probably the wrong word for me to use. He specifically mentioned it's not from use of K2 or spice or any "designer drugs." Long article, trying to use as few words as possible to explain it's not from drug use of any kind, according to Young.

Chris Charvella
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So this guy basically ruled out every environmental or genetic cause for these tics. Has anyone considered the possibility of a LeRoy voodoo cult?

Bob Harker
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Howard! You made The Drudge Report! Awesome!

Mark Potwora
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I was just reading that this could be a side effect of Gardasil....The government recommends this to be given to all young girls...Could this be the cause...

Chris Charvella
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Tics aren't listed as a side effect of Gardasil, even by the people who hate the stuff.

Bea McManis
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Could this go back to the days of Salem, and mass hysteria?

Kyle Couchman
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Oh boy we gonna burn some witches? LOL can we throw some ceo's of semi public corporations that love to collect bonuses on the barbeque with the witches, just so they dont get lonely or feel singled out. :)

( Now where did I put that pitchfork and torch )

John Woodworth JR
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So, when does this issue become a real threat? Eleven as of now; do we wait till there is a couple dozen, maybe till there is over a hundred cases or until there is an outbreak across Genesee County? MR. Young is either full of hot air (meaning they have no clue) or they are trying to avoid public panic. If, it is not a true threat, then there should be no issue to inform the community what it is. People who tend to dance around issues usually have sometime to hide.

Gabor Deutsch
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@Jason, Your two examples are easily hidden conditions. Tics are very hard to hide.

Chris Charvella
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@John Woodworth, your logic is a bit off. If there's no threat to the community, there's no reason for the community to have any further details

Kyle Couchman
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Question.....how long did the NYS Health Dept insist there was no problems at The Love Canal toxic site? Just Sayin is all....

kevin kretschmer
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John, I think you have every right to be overly concerned since you have a daughter about that age still in the building. I'm certainly glad ours has graduated - don't miss their nonsense at all.

Frank Bartholomew
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Kyle, they usually wait until there are enough dead bodies to do the math. That is exactly why I think someone is trying to pull wool.
I think there was a lack of information, or a beating around a bush response from the health professionals.

Beth Kinsley
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I know that this is no Love Canal but those people were told there was no reason to be concerned for years.

lucie griffis
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I know that they ruled out that the HPV vaccine was not it. Really? What do girls of those ages have in common other than that? I was talking to another teenage girl who had done research of her own after the "outbreak". She came to the conclusion that she thought that was it. It does make sense. Not sure if they all got the shots. I mentioned this on another forum and someone said my step daughter got them and no side effects. Not everyone experiences side effects. I know that my neighbor around me is a senior and she developed it . That is sad because she is one of the more serious cases. Right now with things so vague I am glad I have boys. Not all are seeing the same dr either. If it was a shot the girls received do you think they would acknowledge it? By the way I asked my teens if these were girls who were they thought could have done drugs to cause it? They stated they did not believe that was the cause. Interesting is all I can say. Yes we have a mass problem with drugs in our youth here but I think if it was that the numbers would be way higher if it was the bath salts, incense, and K2. I think it would be effecting boys too then. I know my boys have mentioned that they think some of the girls playing up some symptoms have upset them because they have friends who are truly effected.

lucie griffis
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I think John is right on. They do not want to tell and cause hysteria. Holding out to push that panic button hoping it just goes away. Probably have no clue. I wonder how many of the parents have looked into second opinions? If the doctors and workfit medicine can not help it is time to look elsewhere.

lucie griffis
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Young said there are only two other things that cause such symptoms:
Genetics and reaction to certain medications, mainly stimulants such as those used to treat ADHD, along with antihistamines and street drugs.

Stress and anxiety, he said, exacerbates symptoms but is not a cause.

Jamie Lindsley
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Newsflash: teenage boys receive Gardasil too.

Bob Price
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The building is built on a wetland IIRC.I say bring in the mold experts.

Howard B. Owens
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The checked for mold. Negative results.

The swamp was also brought up and Young said there is no evidence that anything could possibly have been in the swamp would cause this.

lucie griffis
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It is available to them. It is available for both sexes. My boys have never had the shot. And it is not mandatory for all to receive. Basically how many of those girls received one or more of the shots? Just to consider. Research guardasil a little. I have ready articles where they speak of the bad side effect in girls. Again the FDA approves a lot of things too fast sometimes.

Judith Kinsley ...
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Howard, how do you know that? Did you do a FOIA request or did someone tell you that?

Howard B. Owens
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That's what Young said last night.

Chris Charvella
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Here's the thing folks, 11 or12 different people in a population of less than a thousand all displaying the same side effect at the same time from a vaccine (a side effect that doesn't exist even according to the vaccines detractors) is a statistical impossibility. You'd be more likely to win the lottery while being struck by lighting on the planet Jupiter.

Jamie Lindsley
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You hit the nail on the head, Chris. I doubt the articles referenced about Gardasil were published in a peer-reviewed scientific source such as the New England Journal of Medicine or the Journal of the American Medical Association. More likely scenario: the article was on some foil-hat-society member's facebook page. If someone chooses not to have their child(ren) an optional vaccine, fine, but make that choice based on fact rather than conjecture.

Howard B. Owens
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Why is it a statistical impossibility?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_swan_theory

Also, for more on probability theory:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fooled_by_Randomness

An understanding of random probability is especially applicable in this situation.

(though, again, HPV was looked at and eliminated as a probable cause)

Judith Kinsley ...
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Before the last year, I have never met anyone in my life with Tourette's or "Tourette-like" symptoms. The fact that there are 3 girls in my daughters class of 100 alone is not only improbable but outrageous. Howard, are you playing devils advocate or do you really believe all that Young said after he blatantly lied about these girls knowing the cause of their diagnosis?

Howard B. Owens
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I don't have a problem believing what Young said. I have a problem with what he didn't say. I don't think he's hiding anything so much as he's not being ethically transparent. I don't much go in for conspiracy theories, so if they say they looked into it, in the absence of clear evidence otherwise, I'll take them at their word. That's the most logical course to follow. I don't believe in engaging in speculation, and so unless there is clear evidence for an alternative explanation, it's just speculation. There's no excuse for not providing full disclosure on what officials believe the cause, and to me that's the issue. Engaging in speculation without evidence doesn't help anybody.

John Woodworth JR
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Hope you are being sarcastic?! If not, you are telling me that when we have been told in the past that "There is no threat to the community!", that it is "ALWAY" true?

Chris Charvella
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Right, Howard, because the first conclusion we jump to should absolutely be the one in a trillion random chain of events.

Howard B. Owens
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Chris, nice way to miss the point.

Chris Charvella
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Howard, I didn't miss your point, I'm just pointing out that invoking the Black Swan theory prior to proving that a Black Swan has occurred runs counter to the Black Swan theory itself.

Tim Howe
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"Little ol" western ny made the bigtime news again.

http://foxnewsinsider.com/2012/01/13/what%e2%80%99s-the-mystery-illness-...

Howard B. Owens
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I'm not saying a black swan occurred. I'm saying your comment about statistic probability isn't persuasive if you actually know something about statistical probability. Whenever somebody says, "it's not statistically possible," my response always is, "yes it is." Anything is statistically possible, even the most unlikely of events.

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