back to article Techies floored by 'virus' after Playboy mansion party

LA Public Health Officials are investigating The Playboy Mansion after 100 techies became horribly ill in the wake of a party there. According to local reports, Hef's mansion was the venue for a fundraiser and end-of-show party for the DomainFest conference earlier this month. The show itself was at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel …


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  1. philbo

    Aiding charities like..

    "Jenny McCarthy's Generation Rescue"???

    An organization set up to champion disproven research by a fraudulent investigator, that continues to ignore the torrents evidence that has proven beyond any doubt whatsoever that McCarthy is completely and utterly wrong.. maintaining a stance that is positively harmful to health (especially children's health) worldwide.

    Pfft.. if they knew which charity they were paying for their stay at the Playboy mansion, they deserve *everything* they got, and more.

    1. David Pollard

      The roots of the vaccination-autism myth

      The myth has remained strong for good reason. There really is a connection between vaccination and symptoms of autism. But it's correlation not causation.

      Research by Laura Curran et al. in 2007 confirmed something that had been observed for many years: fever can temporarily reduce autistic spectrum symptoms. If a child's symptoms had been reduced as a result of vaccination induced fever, then symptoms of autism might well have appeared to worsen quite quickly as the fever abated. In some situations it may look very much as though the vaccination caused this worsening.

      To tell a parent in such a situation that there is no connection whatsoever is tantamount to calling them liars, for it contradicts the evidence of their own eyes. It's hardly surprising that there are some strongly held views here.

      The myth that vaccinations cause autism will not disappear until this aspect of the condition is better understood and more widely known.

      1. heng


        Perhaps you'd be so good as to point to the evidence that autism and vaccinations are correlated. I mean, beyond the trivial correlation that they both happen around the same time.

        1. David Pollard

          a) Jabs can cause fever b) fever modulates austistic symptoms

          "Fever is a frequent systemic adverse event following immunization, especially in infants and young children."

          and from Albert Einstein College:

          "The new theory stems from decades of anecdotal observations that some autistic children seem to improve when they have a fever, only to regress when the fever ebbs."

          Vaccination and immunization may induce fever, which is usually fairly mild. There is much anecdotal evidence, confirmed by recent research, that fever can temporarily reduce autistic spectrum symptoms. Hence a parent who noticed autistic symptoms worsening as a vaccination-induced fever abated might not unreasonably blame this worsening on the vaccination/immunization. In such a situation there is indeed a correlation, though epidemiological studies of the MMR jab have shown that it does not cause autism.

          Given big pharma's track record, it's hardly surprising that some will dig their heels in and call 'liar' when told that there is absolutely no connection at all. Some parents will have seen their child develop a fever following the jab; and seen the sutistic symptoms worsen as the fever diminished.

          The myth that MMR causes autism will disapear only when it is widely realised that jabs sometimes cause a fever and that fever can modulate autistic spectrum symptoms.

          1. philbo
            Thumb Up


            >The myth that MMR causes autism will disapear

            >only when it is widely realised that jabs sometimes

            >cause a fever and that fever can modulate autistic

            >spectrum symptoms.

            ..and/or people realize that the incidence of autism in the unvaccinated population is no lower than in those who have been vaccinated, as has been shown in study after study..

            It's a sad commentary on "science" journalism that one person's anecdote seems to weigh heavier with the press than a systemic study covering millions. Similarly depressing that people like Jenny McCarthy who have such a high profile are so very unwilling to rethink their positions when presented with (what is now utterly overwhelming) evidence that they're wrong.

            Thanks for those pubmed/Einstein college links

  2. Raggs

    Definitely deserve what they get.

    Are you aware of Jenny McCarthys views on autism and how it is caught? She believes it's all down to those evil corporations and their vaccines.

    That money will likely go towards convincing people that it's far safer for your child to catch all sorts of interesting, almost eradicated illnesses, and potentially reignite epidemics of diseases, than towards any sort of care for autistic sufferers.

    1. davenewman

      Jenny McCarthy backs away from vaccines

      as reported at

      However, Generation Rescue still sticks to its anti-vaccine stories (but toned down a little).

      1. Petrea Mitchell

        Hard to tell

        Their current thoughts on vaccines:

        "One of the reasons this organization and website exists is because we don’t want the same thing to happen to you and your child."

        If that's toned down, I wonder what it used to say!

    2. LaeMing

      It's a good thing

      they weren't vaccinated! They'd have all got autism instead of headaches!

  3. Richard Pennington 1

    Legionnaires' Disease and Pontiac fever

    If it is either Legionnaires' Disease or Pontiac fever, then it is spread by aerosols coming from an infected (warm) water supply. So check for infections in the water system.

    On the other hand, I'm sure the ladies would appreciate someone who knows how to handle a stethoscope ...

    1. Petrea Mitchell

      Not necessarily the water pipes

      Legionella can live anywhere reasonably damp-- in the case of the American Legion Convention that gave it its name, it was spreading through a humid ventilation system, if memory serves.

  4. MinionZero

    @"Playboy organisation denied that "anyone caught anything at the Playboy mansion" "

    Well that's a first!

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Trying to thin the herd...

    That's one way to do it.

  6. Christopher P. Martin

    "headaches, nausea AND violent headaches"

    Wow, I wouldn't want a headache as well as a _violent_ headache. Sounds painful.

    1. Adam T

      headaches vs violent headaches

      Well, one is genuine and the other is what you say when you pull a sickie :)

      My wife often has headaches which /make/ her violent...perhaps this is what the author meant?

      1. Astarte

        Headache, stomach ache

        One day when one of my daughters was two or three years old she looked glum. 'What's wrong dear?' my wife asked. 'My tummy's got a headache' she said.

  7. edwardbr
    Paris Hilton

    Lucky that it was not the clap

    From alternative nibbles

  8. wub

    Might want to avoid fog machines, too.

    Sunday's LA TImes mentioned in their coverage of this incident, that attention was being focused on a fog machine used inside the mansion. That sounds like a spectacular place for legionnella-like bacteria - damp, warm and I'll bet those things aren't carefully dried prior to storage, except in very rare instances.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Drying may not help

      Legionella can happily live in the residue left after all the water has been evaporated. One way to catch it is from construction workers cutting up old water tanks.

      First check the hotel cooling towers, then any hot tubs, then swimming pools, then showers, then the fog machine and small air-con units. Oh, and check the airport as well.

      Pontiac fever's a bugger, because it's so rarely diagnosed - as it's so like flu. Legionnaires tends to get noticed, due to the 20% mortality rate.

      A good cleaning with bleach for the affected areas should do the trick. I guess the Playboy mansion is well supplied with scrubbers...

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  10. Les Matthew

    Playboy Mansion

    So all the techies were in Silicone Valley?

    1. Marvin the Martian


      I misread it in the article as "pet-a-geek".

  11. Eden
    Paris Hilton

    @ Christopher P.Martin

    Well ...I could comment on which one in which head but that would be lowering the tone :)

    Paris, because she gives me a *cough* headache...and also a headache...

  12. FozzyBear Silver badge


    Here I thought they just got a severe case of blue balls

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