WNS-related concerns for 2008 NCRC weeklong

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WNS-related concerns for 2008 NCRC weeklong

Postby ek » Apr 15, 2008 5:11 pm

I'm from New York, which is a "WNS pariah state." If I (and my fellow northeasterners) follow the WNS decontamination guidelines for gear, clothing, and boots, is that adequate for full participation in the 2008 NCRC weeklong?
Eliah Kagan
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Re: WNS-related concerns for 2008 NCRC weeklong

Postby shibumi » Apr 16, 2008 7:41 am

ek wrote:I'm from New York, which is a "WNS pariah state." If I (and my fellow northeasterners) follow the WNS decontamination guidelines for gear, clothing, and boots, is that adequate for full participation in the 2008 NCRC weeklong?


Do you remember the decon procedures from "The Andromeda Strain"?

Be afraid. Be very afraid. <evil cackle>
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Re: WNS-related concerns for 2008 NCRC weeklong

Postby Stridergdm » Apr 16, 2008 8:54 am

shibumi wrote:
ek wrote:I'm from New York, which is a "WNS pariah state." If I (and my fellow northeasterners) follow the WNS decontamination guidelines for gear, clothing, and boots, is that adequate for full participation in the 2008 NCRC weeklong?


Do you remember the decon procedures from "The Andromeda Strain"?

Be afraid. Be very afraid. <evil cackle>


I always thought the scene in the book was pretty cool myself. Well other than the flash-burning the top level of the skin.

Oh and I should add there's a new event this year, you have to ascend 6 levels of the facility in under 6 minutes or monkey darts with tranquilizers will be shot into your but. :bananabat:

Seriously, the word I have from Mr. Hudson was: "Most of our caves are owned by the SCCi. See their website for information. SCCI.org
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Re: WNS-related concerns for 2008 NCRC weeklong

Postby NZcaver » Apr 16, 2008 10:16 am

SCCi Advisory on White Nose Syndrome

In light of the emerging situation known as White Nose Syndrome affecting bats in a number of northeastern caves, the SCCi requests that all visitors to SCCi caves and preserves please thoroughly clean and inspect their clothing and caving equipment before and after visiting SCCi caves or preserves. While the causes, effects, and transmission mechanisms of the White Nose Syndrome are presently unknown, the estimated 95% mortality rate among affected bats mandates serious consideration and deep concern. Cavers should take all reasonable and necessary precautions to avoid carrying mud, water, or other substances from one cave to another.
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Re: WNS-related concerns for 2008 NCRC weeklong

Postby tncaver » Apr 16, 2008 8:49 pm

I find it interesting that cavers are being asked to super clean all their caving gear when entering any SCCi cave.
Currently only caves in the New York area and near by states are affected by WNS. SCCi owns caves in the deep
South that have no symptoms. :question:
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Re: WNS-related concerns for 2008 NCRC weeklong

Postby wyandottecaver » Apr 16, 2008 9:01 pm

might it be that a (possibly) contaminated caver from the NE decides to visit the deep south to tour a ssci cave? thus cleaning before the trip.

might it be that previously a (possibly) contaminated caver didn't clean gear before the trip and thus contaminated the cave? thus cleaning after the trip.

I agree that it is a lot of work to avoid what is probably a very remote risk, but there are other biologcal reasons besides WNS to clean gear between caves.

Considering the impact it seems to have once it arrives, an overabundance of caution is probably warranted
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
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Re: WNS-related concerns for 2008 NCRC weeklong

Postby tncaver » Apr 16, 2008 9:47 pm

wyandottecaver wrote:might it be that a (possibly) contaminated caver from the NE decides to visit the deep south to tour a ssci cave? thus cleaning before the trip.

might it be that previously a (possibly) contaminated caver didn't clean gear before the trip and thus contaminated the cave? thus cleaning after the trip.


Might it be that a caver from outer space has caused all this WNS in the NE?
And the alien must be the first one to visit a cave in the NE in thousands of
years since Earth cavers have been visiting for thousands of years and nothing
has happened until now?
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Re: WNS-related concerns for 2008 NCRC weeklong

Postby ek » Apr 17, 2008 1:27 am

Last year at the NCRC weeklong in Salem, VA, there wasn't exactly an opportunity for me to throw my clothes in the wash and soak my gear in bleach solution between rescue exercises in one cave and rescue exercises in another...

Are we to be expected to decontaminate between caves during the weeklong?

More importantly, am I going to be expected to discard all my clothing and gear and buy new before attending (not something that I'm prepared to do)? Or simply to decontaminate it first? The FWS seems to be indicating the former:
Because clothing, footwear and gear used in accessing a cave in New York, Vermont, Connecticut or Massachusetts within the past 2 years could pose a risk of spreading WNS, the Service advises that these items not be used when accessing caves anywhere and that these items not be transported until the cause of WNS is identified and the effectiveness of decontamination procedures can be evaluated.
http://www.fws.gov/northeast/whitenosemessage.html

If I have to actually buy all new clothing and PPE for caving to attend the national weeklong this May, I think I may save my money and wait for the Eastern Region weeklong in July.
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Re: WNS-related concerns for 2008 NCRC weeklong

Postby ArCaver » Apr 17, 2008 3:49 am

tncaver wrote:
wyandottecaver wrote:might it be that a (possibly) contaminated caver from the NE decides to visit the deep south to tour a ssci cave? thus cleaning before the trip.

might it be that previously a (possibly) contaminated caver didn't clean gear before the trip and thus contaminated the cave? thus cleaning after the trip.


Might it be that a caver from outer space has caused all this WNS in the NE?
And the alien must be the first one to visit a cave in the NE in thousands of
years since Earth cavers have been visiting for thousands of years and nothing
has happened until now?


:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
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Re: WNS-related concerns for 2008 NCRC weeklong

Postby ek » Apr 17, 2008 10:50 am

All this :off topic: tangential discussion and argument about how WNS has gotten started is entertaining and valuable, but I want to underscore that I started this thread because I need essential information that will determine whether or not it is practical for me, and possibly others, to attend the national weeklong early next month. I'm already pretty late in registering, which I imagine only causes more pain for the fine volunteers who are putting together and running the weeklong, and so I'd like to explicitly solicit serious replies...
Eliah Kagan
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Syracuse University Outing Club

Fund vital White Nose Syndrome research--donate to the NSS and select the WNS Rapid Response Fund.
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Re: WNS-related concerns for 2008 NCRC weeklong

Postby NZcaver » Apr 17, 2008 10:58 am

Eliah is right - this is getting off topic. I'm no expert, but here's my personal take (minus the alien invasion factor). :roll:

Most responsible cavers wash/clean their gear fairly regularly anyway. If you're coming from the northeast to the weeklong (or you've been caving in the northeast at all), I'd say just make a point of being a little more diligent with the cleaning than usual. Hose down your gear or take it to the DIY car wash, put your suit/clothes through the washing machine, then hang it out in the sun to dry. Scrub and use a little bleach, antibacterial wipes, or another appropriate fungicide on smooth surfaces like your helmet, boots, Swaygo style pack, etc. Personally I'm not using bleach etc on my ropes, harnesses, or other vertical software. And I will not be buying all new gear just for the sake of caving outside the northeast.

First appearances do make quite an impression. At the weeklong, arriving with clean and shiny-ish (not necessarily new) gear would be the smartest move I think. Arriving fresh from the infected northeast with dirty gear may invoke a negative reaction, from your instructors and/or your peers. Once the weeklong gets under way, I highly doubt your personal gear will be getting cleaned each day between visits to caves in the same local area. The time, effort and logistics of this would be staggering in the middle of an already-hectic schedule. But I could be wrong. Some inventive individuals might decide to be gatekeepers by each cave entrance, with bottles of chlorine dioxide to spray you with.

Again, this is just my take on things. I've been in several caves and mines with WNS bats in the last couple of months, assisting with surveys for the NY DEC. Some trips we've used Tyvec suits, masks, and other precautions, and others we have not (Tyvec suits shred fast when you're crawling and squeezing). My caving gear was thoroughly cleaned and dried and properly stored after each trip (clean bags and gear bins), and I've got to the stage where it only takes me about a hour of so of actual cleaning each time. I will not be attending the Alabama or Virginia weeklongs this year, but I am now in the process of moving outside the northeast with my caving gear. Balancing the potential risk of us spreading WNS with the unlikeliness of humans being a trafficking vector, I still think thorough gear cleaning is a prudent move.

Eliah - register now! If your gear is clean, I'd go out on a limb and say you're good to go.
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Re: WNS-related concerns for 2008 NCRC weeklong

Postby Tim White » Apr 17, 2008 11:32 am

ek wrote:All this :off topic: tangential discussion and argument about how WNS has gotten started is entertaining and valuable, but I want to underscore that I started this thread because I need essential information that will determine whether or not it is practical for me, and possibly others, to attend the national weeklong early next month. I'm already pretty late in registering, which I imagine only causes more pain for the fine volunteers who are putting together and running the weeklong, and so I'd like to explicitly solicit serious replies...


If you really want to know the what the OFFICIAL NCRC word is on this matter, then ask the proper party. An open forum may only get you opinions and not facts.
The contact info that you need is on the ncrc web page at:
2008 Cave Rescue Operations and Management Seminar
Registrar: Jane Morgan 2008registar@ncrc.info
Seminar Coordinator: Steve Hudson 2008seminar@ncrc.info

IMHO if you ask the correct person, you will get the correct answer.
Be safe,
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Re: WNS-related concerns for 2008 NCRC weeklong

Postby ek » Apr 17, 2008 11:39 am

Tim White wrote:If you really want to know the what the OFFICIAL NCRC word is on this matter, then ask the proper party. An open forum may only get you opinions and not facts.

Thanks--will do.
Eliah Kagan
NSS 57892
Syracuse University Outing Club

Fund vital White Nose Syndrome research--donate to the NSS and select the WNS Rapid Response Fund.
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Re: WNS-related concerns for 2008 NCRC weeklong

Postby NZcaver » Apr 17, 2008 11:42 am

Good point, Tim. Hopefully my previous post won't cause too much confusion and disinformation. :oops:

At the risk of going around in circles, Greg's earlier post did say:
Stridergdm wrote:Seriously, the word I have from Mr. Hudson was: "Most of our caves are owned by the SCCi. See their website for information. SCCI.org


And SCCi says:
In light of the emerging situation known as White Nose Syndrome affecting bats in a number of northeastern caves, the SCCi requests that all visitors to SCCi caves and preserves please thoroughly clean and inspect their clothing and caving equipment before and after visiting SCCi caves or preserves. While the causes, effects, and transmission mechanisms of the White Nose Syndrome are presently unknown, the estimated 95% mortality rate among affected bats mandates serious consideration and deep concern. Cavers should take all reasonable and necessary precautions to avoid carrying mud, water, or other substances from one cave to another.
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Re: WNS-related concerns for 2008 NCRC weeklong

Postby tncaver » Apr 17, 2008 2:54 pm

My apologies to Eliah Kagan. I was distracted by wyandottecaver's remark about WNS and answered with some humor
not related to this thread.

Fortunately Eliah did get a serious reply with some good information. Again, my apologies to Eliah. And btw Eliah, that
was an excellent question to ask about how WNS will affect the NCRC training in the Northeast. I hope it goes well.
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