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Current Events Outbreak of new SARS-like coronavirus (Covid-19)

Asante

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May 4, 2012
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I decided this week is perfect for beefing up my pantry, with this going round and rising exponentially is China. Yes, I prep for this, I find it a good investment to seize the moment now and buy a bunch of food I will end up eating anyway and throw down 15 bucks on a box of surgical masks and nitrile gloves and a bottle of fresh bleach to boot.

Guys, a corona virus in essence is a common cold variety, and this has the ease of infection of the common cold combined with some serious lethality. Infected 4474, cured 64, died 107, that does NOT look good. In Hubei province there are -today- as many confirmed cases as there were in the whole world -yesterday-. Exponential growth. This is an exceptionally lethal, pneumonia inducing common cold, with all that implies.
 

MJ420

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Jan 12, 2020
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154
I decided this week is perfect for beefing up my pantry, with this going round and rising exponentially is China. Yes, I prep for this, I find it a good investment to seize the moment now and buy a bunch of food I will end up eating anyway and throw down 15 bucks on a box of surgical masks and nitrile gloves and a bottle of fresh bleach to boot.

Guys, a corona virus in essence is a common cold variety, and this has the ease of infection of the common cold combined with some serious lethality. Infected 4474, cured 64, died 107, that does NOT look good. In Hubei province there are -today- as many confirmed cases as there were in the whole world -yesterday-. Exponential growth. This is an exceptionally lethal, pneumonia inducing common cold, with all that implies.
My husband was a soldier and after Afghanistan started stocking up on canned goods and water. I still do. I grew up in northern Canada so power could be gone for weeks.
I think the media and government are hiding more.
After Chinese new year and all the students coming back from China will make it worse
Always good to be prepared
 

Asante

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May 4, 2012
Messages
639
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Holland
Its a good habit to be in, MJ420. Our ancestors all kept winter stock, for the hard times. Its even in the bible: stockpile in the 7 rich years for the 7 poor years. Sage advice. The average citizen has like some bread, half a box of macaroni and an apple in his house. The supermarket they depend on, is the same. Stocked up right from the truck in the early morning light, out the door by nightfall. People underestimate the fragilility of the system where no one keeps reserves. If the supply chain breaks down, boom, in 1-2 days everybody downstream is without goods,.

I have family in the Beijing area. Needless to say, they are stocked to the ceiling and are not leaving the house unless they absolutely have to.

Its like being snowed in in Canada. Bad enough when you are stocked up but a big problem when you're not.

It saves money too, being well prepared!
 

checktest

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Jun 9, 2013
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The Aether
Well, in terms of lethality and hospitalizations, this coronavirus hasn't come too close to MERS or SARS, which killed close to 10% of people and something ludicrous like over 50% in people over 70. (Say 450 deaths from 4500 cases vs. ~100 in this one. 2.3% )

Which is relatively good, except for possibilities of insidious incubation or increased transmission due to people not being as directly sick and spreading it, to people who may be more vulnerable. Asymptomatic transmission is quite trickier to control (and thus SARS due to major effects was easier to contain in a way). And questions of delayed convalescence or other possibilities.

Still, the relative contagiousness is a major problem. Upped fron 1.4 to 2.6, 2.6 people per virus-infected individual. Where does the calculus lie with R0 * lethality.

2.5% of a larger amount of people can be quite worse than 10% of a smaller group.

Will see about some mutations though.



People isolated in my state (NH) and some health systems preparing.
 
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novaveritas

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Jun 8, 2018
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706
The virus was released on purpose by China in order to suppress the manifestations in Honk Kong, soon we will see the vaccine popping out, it has been done previously to the virus' release
yeah right, release a virus a long way from Hong Kong to control Hong Kong. Makes perfect sense. Unless you mean Honk Kong which is a small seaside district in central Hubei often confused with Hong Kong.
 

novaveritas

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Jun 8, 2018
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So far the case fatality rate is fairly low, It is a fair assumption that there are a lot of people out there with mild or no symptoms subsequent to infection, they don't go to hospital and they don't die. So the numbers are not really very helpful.
It hardly registers on the concernometer at the moment. That said It is worth watching to see which way the wind is blowing.
The biggest problem is that large numbers of people can overwhelm healthcare systems and cause deaths that otherwise would have been prevented.

silva:
This is very unlikely to be some kind of bioweapon accident or deliberate in any way. Contagous biological agents are highly undesirable from a weapons pespective. The CCP are quite happy for Carrie Lam and the HK govt to own the HK disruptions.
 

JGrimez

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Jan 23, 2018
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The virus was released on purpose by China in order to suppress the manifestations in Honk Kong, soon we will see the vaccine popping out, it has been done previously to the virus' release
Yes this will definitely prevent people from protesting as they're fearful of gathering together at all now.

There was also some serious unrest brewing among the Chinese population due to rising pork prices + shortages, due to African Swine Flu killing roughly 50% of all China's pigs. This is no longer a pressing issue since the virus panic (they also stated the virus was introduced through meat - although I'm doubtful that the virus originated in the animal market).

Could also be a way to cull some of the aging pensioner population.

The timing is a bit suss and the handling of the situation has been questionable.

I'm not panicking just yet as it doesn't seem worse than the ordinary flu but if any non-Chinese, young and healthy people drop from it then it's time to change ya undies.
 

cduggles

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The death toll and number of cases is climbing. Travel advisories are being issued and the WHO has declared a global health emergency.
The U.S. government told Americans not to travel to China and said those currently visiting or living in the Asian country should try to leave.

The new travel advisory came hours after the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global health emergency. The disease now has more global cases than were officially reported during the SARS epidemic, and the spread of the sometimes deadly pathogen shows no signs of abating.

The total death toll rose to 213 while confirmed cases in China jumped to 9,692, the National Health Commission reported Friday, up from about 7,700 a day earlier.

U.S. health officials also reported the first case of human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus, in a woman who traveled to China and then infected her husband. India documented its first case on Thursday, while Russia closed its land border with China to travelers.
U.S. Tells Americans Not to Travel to China: Virus Update
 

JessFR

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Oct 22, 2012
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I still don't get it. Why are people panicking. The world's not ending. This isn't particularly worse than a lot of other flus we've faced even in recent memory.

I don't want to see anyone die before there time of course, but there are so many other things in life that kill similar amounts of people that we don't seem to worry about at all.

Over a thousand people die in car accidents every year... In Australia. A country with a very small population. Many of them dying well before their time. And people say nothing.

But a few hundred die of a new virus and people lose their shit. I just don't get it.
 

JGrimez

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Jan 23, 2018
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This will have some substantial economic repercussions.

Then again governments are making big moves with regards to food distribution but that's not really being advertised or discussed.
 

JessFR

Sr. Moderator: AADD, H&R
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This will have some substantial economic repercussions.

Then again governments are making big moves with regards to food distribution but that's not really being advertised or discussed.
Except people don't seem to be acting like they fear economic repercussions. They're acting like they fear health repercussions.
 

cduggles

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For @JessFR
Why we panic about coronavirus, but not the flu
Illustration of a virus surrounded by hands with magnifying glasses


If you’re freaking out about coronavirus but you didn’t get a flu shot, you’ve got it backwards.

The big picture: A novel outbreak will always command more attention than a common illness, and the coronavirus is a serious health threat. But our newfound hyper-vigilance about infections might be more helpful if we could redirect some of it toward influenza — a significantly deadlier virus that strikes every year.

By the numbers: This new strain of coronavirus has killed 132 people so far, all of them in China. More than 6,000 total cases have been reported worldwide, although experts believe that total is underestimated.
  • By comparison, this year's flu season has killed 8,200 people, with at least 15 million cases — and that's just in the U.S.
Between the lines: James Lawler, an infectious disease physician at the University of Nebraska, said pandemic viruses like the coronavirus cause more anxiety because, unlike the flu, there are not any initial countermeasures like vaccines, antivirals, diagnostic testing and monitoring systems.
  • Those things exist for the flu, yet vaccination rates are low.
  • "The flu is just not as new and headline-grabbing because we see it every year," said Emily Martin, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan.
The bottom line: The coronavirus has upended the lives of many Chinese citizens, and it warrants a strong public-health response. It's just important to remember that if you're concerned about viruses, a lot of those deaths every year are preventable.
  • "When we think about the relative danger of this new coronavirus and influenza ... coronavirus will be a blip on the horizon in comparison," William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University, told Kaiser Health News.
Link: https://www.axios.com/coronavirus-i...tes-64311582-2031-40af-8ec3-9ff68341d4f3.html
 
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cduggles

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A man wearing a face mask prays at Erawan shrine in Bangkok, Thailand, Jan. 29, 2020. Thailand has five reported cases of coronavirus.

I really liked this article. It covers some fairly subtle points about outbreak data well, for a general public audience.

Is the coronavirus outbreak as bad as SARS or the 2009 influenza pandemic? A biologist explains the clues

As the new coronavirus continues to cross international borders, the two key questions on public health officials’ minds are: ‘How deadly is it?’ and ‘Can it be contained?’.

The two outbreaks in recent memory that give the most insight into these questions are the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak, which spread from China to 26 other countries but was contained after eight months, and the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, which originated in Mexico and spread globally despite all containment efforts.

The severity and mortality of a novel emerging virus, which we scientists in this case are calling 2019-nCoV, are very difficult to judge when new data are coming in on a daily basis. During the 2009 influenza pandemic, the earliest reports listed 59 deaths from approximately 850 suspected cases, which suggested an extremely high case fatality of 7%.

However, the initially reported information of 850 cases was a gross underestimate. This was simply due to a much larger number of mild cases that did not report to any health system and were not counted. After several months – when pandemic data had been collected from many countries experiencing an epidemic wave – the 2009 influenza turned out to be much milder than was thought in the initial weeks. Its case fatality was lower than 0.1% and in line with other known human influenza viruses.

The case fatality for SARS, during its eight months of circulation, was just under 10%.

Is the current epidemic more similar in severity and transmissibility to the SARS outbreak or the 2009 flu pandemic? I am a professor of biology who studies the evolution and epidemiology of infectious disease, and in my view, in late January 2020, we do not yet have enough solid evidence to answer this question. I am optimistic that the scientific community’s sharing ethos and rapid data analytics that we have seen over the past two weeks will soon generate the needed data.

Initial fatality numbers don’t tell true case fatality
As with the 2009 pandemic, initial reportsfrom Wuhan described small numbers of both deaths and cases. On January 20, there were six deaths out of 282 confirmed cases. By January 28, there were 106 deaths from about 4,500 confirmed cases.

These numbers taken alone suggest a case fatality rate of around 2%, very high for a respiratory virus. But the true number of infected individuals circulating in the population is not known and is likely to be much higher than 4,500. There may be 50,000 or 100,000 additional cases in Wuhan that have gone undetected, and, if this is the case, it would put the case fatality of 2019-nCoV infections in the range of 0.1% to 0.2%.

During these early stages of the outbreak investigation, it is difficult to estimate the lethality, or deadliness, of this new virus.

So, with all of this uncertainty, how much effort should public health officials put into containment, quarantine and isolation activities? Should all airports be implementing temperature screening for incoming passengers? There are no easy answers to these questions, as there are only a few historical examples to look back on. And, none of them is guaranteed to be a template for this year’s 2019-nCoV epidemic.

Students sanitize hands to avoid the contact of coronavirus before their morning class at a high school in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Jan. 28, 2020.

Is this virus silent or deadly?
Fortunately for human beings, a pathogen like 2019-nCoV cannot have its cake and eat it too. The virus cannot be both deadly and undetectable. To illustrate, we can consider the hypothetical examples of a severe and a non-severe respiratory virus.

With a more severe symptoms profile, a respiratory infection will have more sudden onset, earlier symptoms, a higher chance of severity and death, and it will probably cause patients to report to hospitals at an earlier stage of infection. An outbreak of a respiratory virus like this will typically be deadly but containable.

With a less severe symptoms profile, patients may stay in an asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic state for a long time, symptoms appearance may be more gradual than sudden, and progression to hospitalization and death would be rare. An infection like this is difficult to detect and thus difficult to control, but fortunately it is much less lethal.

A key characteristic to examine in these two disease profiles is whether symptoms appear before transmissibility – i.e. at a point when patients are not yet able to infect others – or the other way around. For SARS, symptoms usually appeared before transmissibility. This feature made SARS containable.

For the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, transmissibility appeared about one day before symptoms. This meant that even the best control measures missed 20% of transmitting patients, simply because they showed no symptoms.

Can international spread be contained?
For the 2019-nCoV epidemic, it appears that individuals can transmit the virus before being symptomatic. However, at this early stage, this is far from certain.

Can a pathogen like this have its international spread controlled? Will airport screening and isolation of febrile cases be effective at slowing down the initial outbreak or perhaps containing it entirely?


The Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where the author worked during the 2009 flu pandemic.

To answer this question, we can look at data from containment efforts during the 2009 pandemic. In 2009 I was working at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City, where containment efforts relied on a live synthesis of airline passenger data, symptoms data, isolation data, and diagnostics data that were coming in on a daily basis.

Data were assembled in Ho Chi Minh City for the first three months of the pandemic, covering a total of 760,000 airline passengers arriving from abroad. About 1,000 incoming travelers were suspected of being influenza-positive. That’s about one passenger for every three incoming flights. The majority of these virus-positive individuals were isolated at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases and treated.

During the early stages of the pandemic, about 80% of these patients’ “infectious days” were spent in isolation, effectively cutting the virus’s transmission rate by a factor of five.

On the one hand, a containment effort like this can be viewed as a success. The virus’s entry into the city was slowed down, and an epidemic that seemed imminent in mid-June was held off until late July.

On the other hand, with about 200 influenza-positive cases coming in during the three-month containment effort, there were likely dozens of cases that came in undetected in their “pre-symptomatic” stage. The influenza pandemic was not destined to be locally containable.

At this moment, 2019-nCoV looks to me like its severity and transmission profile is somewhere between SARS and the 2009 H1N1 influenza.

If this is accurate, airport screening, case isolation, contact tracing and social distancing efforts may be enough in some cities to delay or fend off the arriving stream of new cases. In the next month or two, we will see how easily newly introduced seed cases are able to establish local epidemics outside the Chinese mainland.

With a little luck some cities may be able to control their outbreaks. With open scientific collaboration we may learn which containment strategies work best, in preparation for our next pandemic later this decade.
 
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