Coronavirus

Stereodude

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Is anyone else following this situation closely?

I don't think we can trust anything the Chinese are saying. The actions they claim to be taking seem out of proportion with the severity of the situation they're describing in their official numbers.

In the US the CDC basically admits they have no idea how deadly it is or isn't.

CDC said:
Illness Severity

Both MERS and SARS have been known to cause severe illness in people. The complete clinical picture with regard to 2019-nCoV is still not fully clear. Reported illnesses have ranged from infected people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying. Learn more about the symptoms associated with 2019-nCoV.

There are ongoing investigations to learn more. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.
But they're letting people from China flow into the country who can reportedly be contagious for perhaps up to 2 weeks without showing any symptoms while they "screen" people at 5 airports [Atlanta (ATL), Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles, (LAX) New York city (JFK), and San Francisco (SFO)]. How you effectively screen contagious people with no symptoms isn't quite clear to me. :unsure:

I guess that's how they're up to 5 confirmed cases in the US.
 

jtr1962

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I started following it a few days ago. Until we have a handle on incubation period, mortality rates, and how fast it spreads we really have no idea what we're dealing with. I don't think China is acting out of proportion. Better to err on the side of caution and take a minor hit to the economy than do the opposite and fail to contain what later becomes a pandemic.

On a related note, I just watched Contagion. This gives us a good idea of what could potentially happen if this becomes really bad.
 

Chewy509

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My wife and I have been following it, since due to her complex medical conditions, can pick up cold/flu's easily and working out a plan on how best to avoid high risk groups without affecting our lives too much.

As to how deadly it is, I'm no expert, but 80+ confirmed deaths and just over 2700+ confirmed cases since it was first identified on the 31-Dec-2019, seems it's pretty virulent and nasty virus... That's currently a 3% fatality rate, but offering some contrast according to Australian figures, the common flu had fatality rate of 3.9% for 2017 in Australia (also note the US CDC also notes higher fatality rates for influenza in the last few years as well).

So is it that deadly, or are they worried that the fatality rate may actually be in the 10%+ range?

Source: https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by Subject/3303.0~2017~Main Features~Deaths due to influenza~5
 

Stereodude

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...I don't think China is acting out of proportion. Better to err on the side of caution and take a minor hit to the economy than do the opposite and fail to contain what later becomes a pandemic...
Because that's totally how communist regimes operate. See Chernobyl. :ROFLMAO:

If it was something on par with the regular flu it wouldn't likely have gotten onto anyone's radar, especially not so quickly.

As to how deadly it is, I'm no expert, but 80+ confirmed deaths and just over 2700+ confirmed cases since it was first identified on the 31-Dec-2019, seems it's pretty virulent and nasty virus... That's currently a 3% fatality rate, but offering some contrast according to Australian figures, the common flu had fatality rate of 3.9% for 2017 in Australia (also note the US CDC also notes higher fatality rates for influenza in the last few years as well).

So is it that deadly, or are they worried that the fatality rate may actually be in the 10%+ range?
There's no way the common flu has a 3.9% fatality rate. It's that the vast majority of the cases aren't reported. The average person gets the flu and basically no one knows about it. Maybe they stay home a day or two sick from work, but they don't seek medical treatment and thus true number of flu cases is never reported. It may however have a 3.9% fatality rate in people who become seriously ill enough to seek medical treatment.

You can't trust what the Chinese are reporting. Their actions seem to be telling a different story from something on par with the flu. As there are now cases in other countries with a more realistic chance of being open about it we may get a better handle on how bad it is or isn't.
 

Chewy509

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There's no way the common flu has a 3.9% fatality rate.
US CDC numbers: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html

Most years indicate 2-3% fatality rate (recent years are up) for those that seek medical assistance. Of all infections, it's estimated at ~0.1%. (Which is what I initially expected, the Australian numbers for 2017 really surprised me).

Re-examing the Australian numbers, it would appear that the actual fatality rate is lower, (251K confirmed cases via lab, assume only 5% of infections are confirmed via lab, 1,255, fatalities, would put the number at 0.25% fatality rate).

This adjusted figures make this one look really bad, not to mention the rate of spread...
 

DrunkenBastard

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So far it seems to "just" be susceptible people dying, the elderly and other vulnerable groups. A mask for immuno compromised people would be prudent

That said there's potentially for very large numbers of infected if the comments from the Chinese are accurate.

I think SARS had a fatality rate of over 30%, healthy people dying all over the place there.

What concerns me is statements from the Chinese authorities that people could transmit it up to 2 weeks before showing symptoms, and that it was improving its person to person transmittance rate. CDC has said this isn't the case but theres just a handful of patients in the US. Oh and that 5 million people left the cordoned off areas before the movement limitations were put into place.
 

sedrosken

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I should probably be more careful myself considering I regularly serve people who travel all across the country if not the continent at large.
 

jtr1962

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It looks like this is causing a run on hand sanitizer. I had bought three gallons total from Amazon last month and this month just because it was a good price. All the versions from the brand I bought are currently unavailable:


Anyway, I'm glad I stocked up.
 

DrunkenBastard

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And I suspect that's why certain authorities are really worried... Is it a case that people in typically what's considered a low risk group are also dying as well? It's just not people in the typical high-risk groups (very young, elderly, immuno compromised, etc).
"Official data suggested that most of the previous victims were between the ages of 65 and 80. Previously a 48-year-old woman with diabetes was the youngest reported fatality. The oldest were two 88-year-old men.
Beyond the age of the patient, this latest case remains of concerns to experts. In many of the other 25 virus deaths, health officials reported pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and pulmonary infection. The patient in this case, however, did not have any comorbidity.
“This 36-year old is an enigma,” said David Heymann, a professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene. “We know that the majority of people who seem to have died to date have co-morbidity and they are elderly.”


Apparently the young can have a genetic predisposition to be affected.
 

Stereodude

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It looks like this is causing a run on hand sanitizer. I had bought three gallons total from Amazon last month and this month just because it was a good price. All the versions from the brand I bought are currently unavailable:


Anyway, I'm glad I stocked up.
Who knows about that... http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2019/09/hand-sanitizer-shown-less-effective-hand-washing-against-flu

Do you have N95 masks?
 

jtr1962

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I rinse off hand sanitizer because I don't like the sticky residue some of them leave, and I'm allergic to fragrances. Looks like that's a good idea regardless.

Do you have N95 masks?
No, I'll look into it. Good thing is I only need to go out to the store, so that limits my exposure. I also have long had a habit of washing cans and bottles before putting them away.
 

Handruin

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Because that's totally how communist regimes operate. See Chernobyl. :ROFLMAO:

If it was something on par with the regular flu it wouldn't likely have gotten onto anyone's radar, especially not so quickly.


There's no way the common flu has a 3.9% fatality rate. It's that the vast majority of the cases aren't reported. The average person gets the flu and basically no one knows about it. Maybe they stay home a day or two sick from work, but they don't seek medical treatment and thus true number of flu cases is never reported. It may however have a 3.9% fatality rate in people who become seriously ill enough to seek medical treatment.

You can't trust what the Chinese are reporting. Their actions seem to be telling a different story from something on par with the flu. As there are now cases in other countries with a more realistic chance of being open about it we may get a better handle on how bad it is or isn't.
To your point, I'm pretty sure I had the flu last week and was out of work for 4 days and I still don't feel 100% after 10 days. I never went to the doctor for it, I just stayed home and rested and took OTC meds. If it wasn't the flu, I at least had all the symptoms of the flu.
 

jtr1962

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To your point, I'm pretty sure I had the flu last week and was out of work for 4 days and I still don't feel 100% after 10 days. I never went to the doctor for it, I just stayed home and rested and took OTC meds. If it wasn't the flu, I at least had all the symptoms of the flu.
I most likely had the flu early last fall. For about 2 weeks I couldn't stand up for more than 30 seconds at a time. I passed out once in the bathroom and hit my head on the tub (I still have the scar). When I finally started getting better I couldn't walk more than 100 feet without stopping to lean on things. I also got muscle cramps. It took another month to feel almost normal. Only recently have I felt like my old self. Anyway, in your case it may take a lot longer to feel 100%.

Needless to say, I didn't go to the doctor, either. I just took aspirin and rested. Without medical insurance going to a doctor is pretty much a non-starter.
 

Handruin

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I wasn't as bad-off as you were, but I definitely was fatigued quite a bit. Now it's just a residual cough and runny nose. Last time I was genuinely sick like this was like 16 months ago. I had a pretty long run of decent health.
 

jtr1962

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I wasn't as bad-off as you were, but I definitely was fatigued quite a bit. Now it's just a residual cough and runny nose. Last time I was genuinely sick like this was like 16 months ago. I had a pretty long run of decent health.
Same here. Typically, I usually get a cold which is gone 24 hours later. What I had this fall was probably the worst illness I ever had. Last time I was almost that sick was about 15 years ago during the summer. I suspect it was the West Nile virus because I had a few mosquito bites but no way to be sure without having seen a doctor. Full recovery back then took over a month.

Incidentally, my 81-year old mother has a great immune system. When she's under the weather, she usually pops back 24 hours later. Her 90-year sister seems the same. She's been bedridden after having a stroke when she was 86. She got pneumonia a few times after that, but recovered.
 

Stereodude

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And we have person to person transfer of it in the US now. The husband of the first case in the US (Chicago area) now has it.

Meanwhile, the planes from China are still landing... :mad:
 

jtr1962

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Meanwhile, the planes from China are still landing... :mad:
Yeah, I don't get that. Once we realized this was something bad and unknown, all flights to and from China should have been suspended by all countries. If not for air travel, this may never have made outside China.
 

Stereodude

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Yeah, I don't get that. Once we realized this was something bad and unknown, all flights to and from China should have been suspended by all countries. If not for air travel, this may never have made outside China.
That's okay, the US is only doing a voluntary 3 day quarantine for the US folks evacuated from Wuhan at the air base in CA. The virus has a 14 day incubation period. Makes sense right? :unsure:
 
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DrunkenBastard

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That's okay, the US is only doing a voluntary 3 day quarantine for the US folks evacuated from Wuhan at the air base in CA. The virus has a 14 day incubation period. Makes sense right? :unsure:
Well the one guy that tried to leave the "voluntary" quarantine has had his visit "extended":

(CNN)An American who flew out of China on a chartered flight tried to leave a Southern California military base where authorities have been monitoring nearly 200 people for coronavirus symptoms, health officials said.
The person, who was not identified, has been ordered to stay in quarantine at the March Air Reserve Base near Riverside, California, until the "entire incubation period or until otherwise cleared," Riverside County Public Health said in a statement Thursday. The incubation period will be 14 days.
"This action was taken as a result of the unknown risk to the public should someone leave MARB early without undergoing a full health evaluation," the agency said.
 

Stereodude

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I guess it's voluntary, but if you try to leave they'll make you stay.

Works for me. Now if only we could stop the flights from China.
 

DrunkenBastard

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Wuhan coronavirus can be spread even without symptoms, top US infectious disease doctor says
From CNN Health’s Elizabeth Cohen and John Bonifield

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci speaks during a press conference at the Department of Health and Human Services on the coordinated public health response to the coronavirus on January 28 in Washington, DC.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci speaks during a press conference at the Department of Health and Human Services on the coordinated public health response to the coronavirus on January 28 in Washington, DC. Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The nation’s top infectious disease doctor says a study published Thursday night shows people can spread the Wuhan coronavirus before symptoms set in.
There’s no doubt after reading this paper that asymptomatic transmission is occurring,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “This study lays the question to rest.”

In the study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, German researchers described four business associates who became infected through asymptomatic transmission.
 

Stereodude

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Baby steps... Foreigner who have been to China in the past 14 days will not be allowed into the US.


Citizens and immediate family apparently are less contagious...
 

time

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Closing borders works with something like SARS, which has a short incubation, is not contagious until symptoms appear, and is over within about 6 days (17% mortality rate in Canada).

This virus is nothing like SARS. The guesstimate is only about 2% mortality, BUT it seems to have a longer incubation, it's contagious during that phase, and the payload of viral pneumonia appears to take longer to get over (if you get that, and if you survive it). You could conceivably compare it to 1918 'Spanish' flu; the mortality was several times higher, but medical support was a heck of a lot less sophisticated than it is today and many people were malnourished, etc. One third of the world's people were infected by that disease.

2% makes this coronavirus about 50 times more deadly than swine flu. If one third of the Chinese population become infected, you could ultimately be looking at 10 million deaths in China. If mortality turns out to be only 1%, the same assumptions point to one million deaths in the USA. The real catastrophe is going to be in the second and third world countries, where healthcare is very thin.

The viruses that make up this disease might mutate into something more benign. Or, they might go the other way. I don't see how a vaccine will be any use for months.

There's huge confusion in the media over the purpose of masks. Masks help stop infected people spreading the virus, just as surgeons wear them to prevent infection of a patient. Even N95 masks don't do much to stop you catching the infection; they generally don't seal well enough and are way too coarse to stop aerosolized viruses. Consider the fact that they do not stop smells at all. You also have to realise that any droplets that do get stopped are stuck in the mask material. You need to avoid touching the outside of the mask and definitely not re-use it. Finally, they don't protect your eyes, which are ready made highways for infection. Check out what medical professionals actually wear when they are dealing with a dangerously contagious patient.
 

jtr1962

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So far the only deaths are in third world countries (China and the Philippines). It seems if you go to the hospital as soon as you realize this is something worse than seasonal flu, and the hospital has good support facilities, the mortality rate is much lower. Of course, the danger even in countries like the US is people not going to the hospital and trying to deal with it at home. This is potentially a bigger problem in the US than in Europe given the relatively large numbers of people with no health insurance.

The long incubation period is the real problem here. That's probably why it's spread as much as it has.
 

Stereodude

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Closing borders works with something like SARS, which has a short incubation, is not contagious until symptoms appear, and is over within about 6 days (17% mortality rate in Canada).
That's exactly backward. You want to close the border for something like the Coronavirus because you can't realistically screen for it due to the long incubation period and the fact that is is contagious while no systems appear. Something like SARS you can screen for at the border and wouldn't need to necessarily close the border.
 

time

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Borders are too porous, according to most of the published experts. They're basing that on historical experience, which is pretty easily confirmed: SARS was stopped but Swine Flu and the common cold were definitely not.

Are they really saying that humans can't cooperate enough to make a blockade work? Probably. A completely closed border would stop all freight and associated air crew as well, and Money says that won't happen. They're already giving exemptions to aircrew if they use hand sanitizer and wear a mask. And of course there's other ways than airports.

It occurred to me that there is regular hand waving about the fact that we wouldn't be able to do anything about a significant asteroid annihilating life on Earth (humans anyway). Yet there seems to be no credible concern that the entire race could be nearly wiped out with a random virus or bacterium mutation (not this one obviously). Human history points to the latter being a real possibility, especially with the rise of 'superbugs'.
 
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jtr1962

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Yet there seems to be no credible concern that the entire race could be nearly wiped out with a random virus or bacterium mutation (not this one obviously). Human history points to the latter being a real possibility, especially with the rise of 'superbugs'.
It may be a possibility, but I think it's highly unlikely for two reasons. One, anything with a very high mortality rate will likely kill its host before the host has a chance to spread it. You would need something with a long asymptomatic incubation period where the person could still transmit the disease, and a near 100% mortality rate. For some reason those two things seem to be a rare combination. Most diseases with high mortality rates kill their victims fairly rapidly. Two, thanks to ever more interbreeding between races and regions, the human genome is more varied than ever. That means no matter what bacteria or virus mutations occur, at least some people will have an immunity to it. That will eventually mean a cure. The only key will be to slow or stop the spread of the new disease long enough for the cure or vaccine to be developed.

Here's a good article on this:


What I fear more is some novel disease we might pick up from another planet. Our immune system might not have a clue how to deal with it. And who knows, something from outer space might be able to kill us within minutes, even seconds. We might not even recognize it as a disease until it was too late.
 

Stereodude

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Borders are too porous, according to most of the published experts. They're basing that on historical experience, which is pretty easily confirmed: SARS was stopped but Swine Flu and the common cold were definitely not.

Are they really saying that humans can't cooperate enough to make a blockade work? Probably. A completely closed border would stop all freight and associated air crew as well, and Money says that won't happen. They're already giving exemptions to aircrew if they use hand sanitizer and wear a mask. And of course there's other ways than airports.
Ah, the old time honored empty and flawed argument of if you can't guarantee 100% effectiveness you should do nothing. Because only having 1 person trying to beat you isn't any better than having 20 people trying to beat you. A few virus spreaders is just as bad as a few hundred or even thousands. Oh sure, that make perfect sense. :ROFLMAO:

Lets just let them all in! In fact, lets charter planes and bring them here so that we can all be exposed for the sake of global equality and fairness.
 

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A few virus spreaders is just as bad as a few hundred or even thousands. Oh sure, that make perfect sense. :ROFLMAO:
Actually, it is when the virus is this contagious, thanks to geometric progression. If you start with 5 (a few), after one week there will be 100, and after two weeks there will be 2000 (based on each person infecting 2 - 2.5 others, or so I've read ...).

I'm not remotely interested in "global equality and fairness"! I'm suggesting that you are only briefly delaying the inevitable. BUT, that's an academic position, I personally would rather we either blockaded or quarantined for now. Home isolation seems more sensible than sticking everyone together in a camp where they might all become infected.
 

Stereodude

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Actually, it is when the virus is this contagious, thanks to geometric progression. If you start with 5 (a few), after one week there will be 100, and after two weeks there will be 2000 (based on each person infecting 2 - 2.5 others, or so I've read ...).
Except that hasn't happened outside of China so far. The more infected people you allow in, the more likely it is.
 

DrunkenBastard

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Some disturbing reports about how the local Wuhan authorities snuffed out initial talk about the outbreak and basically covered up for weeks till higher authorities finally opened up about it.

 
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