Featured in the Wall Street Journal · ABC News · BBC News · Forbes ·  Newsweek · USA Today · New York Times · CNN/Money · Investor's Business Daily



August 27, 2012

Domain Sales

About Us

YTD Sales Charts

E-Mail Us

The Lowdown

News Headlines




Letters to Editor

The Lowdown Subscribe to our RSS Feed
Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

CDC & L.A. County Dept. of Public Health Now Investigating Illness That Felled Dozens of Domainers - N.Y. Post Looking Into It Too - Known Sick List Nearing 100 

I was hoping this story would be over by now and that everyone who fell ill shortly after returning from last week's DOMAINest Global conference would have recovered and gotten back to work. The good news is, a lot of people have gotten much better today (including my wife Diana) after getting antibiotics from their doctors. The bad news is that others are still having a very rough time. The sickest victim we are currently aware of - and the only one diagnosed with full blown pneumonia - Markus Schnermann - left a note on Nico Zeifang's

Post-Conference Sick List at Facebook today saying, "I still struggle with my pneumonia, waves of fever and very painful coughing. Besides I lost 15 pounds this week. I learned about Legionellosis today and told my doc - I will see a result of tests on Monday but she changed my medication already to cover this bacteria as well."

Our post Thursday about lab tests at a Swedish hospital confirming that a conference attendee had contracted 

Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

legionellosis caught the attention of the New York Post who began looking into the story today. This evening I also had a long talk with a Center for Disease Control doctor based in Los Angeles who has also started an investigation in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. They want to identify  the attendees, determine how many fell ill and make sure they have received necessary treatment and are recovering. If you were a DOMAINfest, expect to receive a survey questionnaire from the CDC soon - fill it out and return it to them as quickly as possible so they can get a handle on the current situation.

As of today I have compiled a list of 93 individuals who reported falling ill with respiratory problems, high fever and other acute flu-like symptoms soon after the show. Those people notified me directly or left their names on the sick list Nico started on his Facebook page, or in the comments section of a Sunday post at DomainShane.com (where Shane Cultra, one of those who fell ill,  published the first public post I saw about the problem).

We have only heard from people within the domain business who know about our publications or Facebook pages. Many other sectors were represented at DOMAINfest who likely are not even aware of this conversation or that so many others are sick, so I suspect the number that fell ill is at least twice the number we know about. Elliot Silver (who was also sick) told me he was especially worried about the many young women who were bused to the Playboy Mansion to serve as hostesses for the closing night party Thursday, Feb 3. If the infection occurred 

there as some suspect - how many of those volunteers fell ill and how many of them know they might have a bacterial infection rather than flu? Fortunately the CDC/LA Dept. of Health will try to find them and check on their status.

In another development, some who fell ill and were given antibiotics were called back to their doctors today for blood tests, in light of the report of a Legionellosis diagnosis. So far I haven't heard of any test results back from U.S. doctors but we should hear of some soon. 

Some said they initially had a hard time getting their doctors to take the possibility of Legionellosis seriously. With government health officials now involved, I'm hopeful that will no longer be an issue for patients - if you talk to your doctor, let them know the circumstances.

Adam Strong

Thursday evening I got a note from Adam Strong of DomainNameNews.com (also one of those who fell ill), reinforcing this point and asking me to advise people to not let their doctors brush this off as a common cold or flu. Adam had just seen his doctor and said, "I've had pneumonia and I can remember the feeling in my lungs. The first day I was sick I thought I had it already. I described the situation to the doctor and she had chest x-rays done. I'd suggest if your doc isn't doing this that you get it done. Mine came back with signs of an infection . . . first stages of pneumonia and I feel pretty good today. They're running a urine test to see if it's indeed legionellosis and they put me on a double dose of the azithromycin for 10 days).  They don't need to know it's Legionnaires to know that I've got the start of a lung infection and that's something you don't want. Everyone should be going in and demanding the treatment that fits this."

Here is an update just in. Oversee.net unit DomainSponsor, who staged the DOMAINfest Global conference, has released an official statement from Mason Cole, the company's VP of Communications about this outbreak. That statement is printed in its entirety below:

DomainSponsor, the organizer of the DOMAINfest Global conference, and its parent company, Oversee.net, have been made aware that several people in attendance at DOMAINfest and various evening events during the week became ill during the conference or after it concluded.  

There has been significant speculation about this situation, but as of now, not many actual facts are known.  Only medical authorities are qualified to identify this illness and investigate its ultimate source, so toward the improvement and protection of everyone’s health, it’s important not to speculate or make unfounded assumptions.  Of course, should you have a concern about your health, please seek the advice of a doctor.  

The health and safety of DOMAINfest attendees is our first priority, and thankfully, most attendees and staff did not become ill, and those that did appear now to be feeling better.  Even so, in order to accurately identify the health concern and prevent its further possible communication, we have consulted with Los Angeles County health authorities and at their request have provided them a comprehensive list of places we know gatherings were held (either organized by DOMAINfest or by others) during each day and night.  We also have notified our vendors and service providers of the situation, and have encouraged them to cooperate with authorities and take any steps they believe necessary.  

Medical authorities have further requested, and Oversee has provided, a list of all attendees and their e-mail addresses.  You may already have received a link to a survey asking for more information.  It is important that ALL attendees complete the survey, whether you were ill or not.  This will help authorities narrow down the range of possible causes and sources.  Only health authorities will have access to this data—neither Oversee nor any other party will be able to see it, so please do your part to help.  

Oversee will continue to work with health authorities, though at this stage, work is best left in their hands.  If there’s more we’re in a position to share about the situation, we will do so.  

DOMAINfest was a great event—our best ever with more than 700 attendees—and it’s regrettable that this has cast a shadow over an otherwise good week.  We’re very encouraged that most everyone is in improving health (including those on our staff), and look forward to seeing many of you in Barcelona in June.

In closing today, I  want to thank everyone who has shared their experiences in this situation. The quick spread of information has helped a lot of others get treatment they might not otherwise have sought out. It certainly has proven how useful social media can be in a case like this. Less that 3-4 years ago many of those who fell ill might not have realized the true nature of their illness or that many others had fallen ill at the same time. We again wish a speedy and complete recovery to everyone who has been ill his week.

(Posted Feb. 11, 2011)  

For all current Lowdown posts - Go Here

We need your help to keep giving domainers The Lowdown, so please email editor@dnjournal.com with any interesting information you might have. If possible, include the source of your information so we can check it out (for example a URL if you read it in a forum or on a site elsewhere). 

 Home  Domain Sales  YTD Sales Charts   Latest News  The Lowdown  Articles  
Legal Matters
  Dear Domey  Letters to Editor  Resources  Classified Ads  Archive  About Us

Hit Counter

Latest news of the domain name industry


Copyright 2010 DNJournal.com - an Internet Edge, Inc. company. 
No material may be copied from this site without expressed written consent.