SANTA MONICA—The global conference DOMAINfest ended in crisis as roughly 200 of the attendees reported becoming ill once the conference was over on Thursday, February 3. Approximately 715 internet professionals attended workshops, presentations and gatherings at the four-day conference.
The conference was held at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. Other events that took place included the Women In Domaining Reception at the Malibu Bungalow, and the Third Annual Fundraising Party at the Playboy Mansion. It is not yet determined precisely where the outbreak occurred. Organizer of DOMAINfest and Vice President of Communications for oversee.com, Mason Cole, stated to Canyon News, “While it has been very widely reported that the illness was contracted at a fundraising event at the Playboy Mansion, and that the illness has been specifically identified, neither has been confirmed by health authorities.” Oversee is also contributing any form of assistance they can to the Health Department in order to aid their investigation in these illnesses.
In an attempt to gain more helpful information for this investigation, health officials have made surveys available to all attendees. According to a press release by the Los Angeles Department of Public Health made on February 15, “Public Health has not yet determined that exposure is limited to a specific source from that event. There is no information suggesting that there is a risk of ongoing infection or that this outbreak extends beyond those individuals associated with this conference.”
However, the illness is thought to be a form of respiratory infection, with symptoms including chills, cough, malaise and fever. Since there are many causes for respiratory infection it is difficult to determine exactly what may have been the cause of this outbreak or where it originated from until the Department of Public Health finishes the investigation.