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Coronavirus information with context

coronavirus sars bird flu swine flu west nile virus

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#1 Mind

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 08:00 PM


Another deadly plague is forecast to sweep the world and kill nearly everyone....for the umpteenth time...in my life alone.

 

Does anyone have any legit information about the virus? All I can find online is typical CNN, AP, mainstream outlet fear-mongering.

 

Dr. Brownstein is the only person I have found trying to bring context to the situation. 

 

If it is true that 800-ish people have been confirmed infected and only 25 have died, that is a 3% mortality rate.

 

Some virologists are predicting "10 times worse!!!!" than the SARS epidemic, which killed 700. If that is the case, then the coronavirus will kill less people than died of the flu in a single country last year (the U.S.). 


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#2 Dorian Grey

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 03:58 AM

Aesop's fable of the boy who cried wolf comes to mind.  Everyone knows there will be a repeat pandemic like the Spanish flu of 100 years ago some day, but the modern plague panics are developing far too easily and earlier than justified.  

 

What's truly alarming to me about the response to these scares is they illustrate all to well we really have no effective way to contain them.  As Eric Toner of Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security stated, "the cat's already out of the bag", this despite aggressive quarantine and surveillance measures implemented fairly early in the process.  Modern air travel means any pandemic virus will easily seed the globe before we even know what's happening.  Resistance is futile!  

 

In the mean time, it's probably best not to get too excited when these bugs pop up.  Too many false alarms and we'll become numb to the process.  When the real bugbear comes along, there probably won't be much we can do to effectively contain it.  Eat, drink & be merry, for tomorrow...  



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#3 Dorian Grey

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 07:58 AM

"On Sunday, Zhou Xianwang, the Mayor of Wuhan, said that 5 million people had left the city before travel restrictions were imposed ahead of the Chinese New Year"

 

"A nurse in Wuhan who insists in a shocking online video that close to 90,000 people in China have the disease, far more than the 1,975 reported by officials"

 

Wonder where they all went?  



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#4 Mind

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 04:49 PM

This morning, the latest headline from mainstream media outlets was "The virus can be spread before an infected person shows symptoms". 

 

What is new here?

 

It is the same with every flu and cold virus. Nothing new here. It is a respiratory virus.

 

I am still looking for Coronavirus expert to chime in and explain the hysteria.


Edited by Mind, 29 January 2020 - 04:43 PM.


#5 jroseland

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 08:56 AM

Apparently The Lancet recently estimated it's mortality rate at 15%, with a 83% transmissivity, that's concerning and "big, if true!" The Spanish flu had a 10%-20% mortality rate in comparison. If it really kills at 15%, it threatens our fragile civilization. 

 

The good news is it's just flu, if your immune system can fend off the flu, it can keep you safe from coronavirus.



#6 adamh

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 04:13 PM

The numbers out of china are all lies and should not be taken seriously. Unofficial sources say hundreds of thousands in china are sick and possibly into the millions. Deaths too are high, I'm thinking 15% could be correct, assuming no treatment. Is there any effective treatment besides drink plenty of liquids and rest? and maybe chicken soup lol. I'm pretty old so I would likely be one of the 15% if it gets here. I already ordered face masks since they will be out of stock shortly.

 

But humanity will get by, we were told ebola would kill everyone, before that we heard aids would take out a billion, sars, etc etc. All turned out to be relatively minor problems and manageable. Minor if you weren't one of the unlucky ones. While I despise the major media, they are liars and propagandists, like a stopped clock they are occasionally correct. The speed that this one is spreading is alarming. Be prepared to see people wearing masks in public and public gatherings becoming unpopular.

 

Word is that china was working on it in a lab close to the epicenter in wohan. Rumor says they got it from canada, perhaps illicitly so they could study the genome which is now known. Sloppy chinese practices allowed it to escape, never trust china with anything. Was this created in a lab as a bioweapon perhaps? Will any anti virals work against it or even slow it down. I don't think the world is ending but millions dead within a year seems very likely, perhaps hundreds of millions?  


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#7 Mind

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 06:10 PM

The problem with hysteria and conspiracy theories is that it can lead to bad policy decisions, like this:

 

Potentially using a vaccine that is not properly tested. Yikes!



#8 Mind

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Posted 28 January 2020 - 06:13 PM

According to the CDC, Coronaviruses were discovered in the 1960s have been detected word-wide and cause mild to moderate flu-like respiratory symptoms.


Edited by Mind, 28 January 2020 - 06:13 PM.


#9 Mind

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 04:47 PM

I have seen "15% mortality rate", popping up in the news. Does anyone know if this is the estimated mortality rate of everyone infected (seems unlikely). People who are or were infected and did not have severe symptoms and did not check into the hospital, are probably not in the stats. If it is only 15% mortality rate of people who were sick enough to go to the hospital, then the overall mortality rate is probably much lower.



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#10 Hip

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 06:00 PM

Does anyone have any legit information about the virus? All I can find online is typical CNN, AP, mainstream outlet fear-mongering.

 

I don't think the media are fear mongering. There's a real possibility this virus might spread uncontrollably to the global population, and at the current 3% death rate, that would equate to 200 million dying worldwide (assuming the virus spread to most of the world's population). 
 
In the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, up to around 50 million died worldwide. So it's not unheard of to have such a high death toll. 
 
The Wuhan coronavirus would certainly spread to the rest of the world if there were not major efforts to control it. The basic reproduction number of the Wuhan coronavirus is around 3 (ref: here). This means that on average, every infected person will infect 3 further people. So clearly there would be an exponentially explosive epidemic if aggressive control measures are not put in place. Hopefully these control measures will prevent the explosive spread; but if these measures fail, then we might expect millions of deaths worldwide.
 
Furthermore, bear in mind that coronavirus is an RNA virus, not DNA virus (its genome consists of RNA, not DNA). RNA viruses have a much faster genetic mutation rate than DNA viruses, and so can mutate into nastier and more virulent forms once an epidemic starts. Or the opposite: they can also mutate into a more benign form.
 
 

 

 

 

This morning, the latest headline from mainstream media outlets was "The virus can be spread before an infected person shows symptoms". 

 

What is new here?

 

It is the same with every flu and cold virus. Nothing new here. It is a respiratory virus.

 

Many viruses only become contagious once the first symptoms appear. For example, with Ebola, people are not contagious until they develop the first symptoms. 

 

It's more easy to control viral spread if this is the case, because you can be assured if someone has no symptoms, they are not transmitting the virus to others. But with this Wuhan coronavirus, people can transmit the infection even before any symptoms appear. Which means that perfectly healthy-looking people who do not know they are infected can transmit the Wuhan virus.

 

The time between catching a virus and the appearance of its first symptoms is called the incubation period. Incubation periods can be as short as 12 hours, or as long as several months (or even years for some pathogens). 

 

The incubation period of the Wuhan coronavirus is around 10 to 14 days. So if you catch this virus, you will not notice symptoms until around 2 weeks later; but during that first two weeks of no symptoms you can still transmit the virus to others.

 

 

 

 

I have seen "15% mortality rate", popping up in the news. Does anyone know if this is the estimated mortality rate of everyone infected (seems unlikely). People who are or were infected and did not have severe symptoms and did not check into the hospital, are probably not in the stats. If it is only 15% mortality rate of people who were sick enough to go to the hospital, then the overall mortality rate is probably much lower.

 

I think your figure of 15% refers to the mortality rate of the 2003 SARS coronavirus outbreak, which is related to the Wuhan coronavirus.

 

At present the Wuhan coronavirus has an observed mortality rate of 3%. That means out of all the people who got sick and were proven by blood tests to have this virus, 3% have died. This is not an estimated figure, but an empirical one. However, it's quite possible that many more people have caught this Wuhan virus than have been detected (because it's possible that you may be able to catch this virus and only have very mild symptoms, so you would not think to go to a doctor, and so would not be tested and included in the figures for the number of people infected). In which case, if there are many more with the Wuhan virus who did not go to the doctor, the mortality rate may be substantially lower than 3%. 

 

So at the moment, it is not known whether the number of people proven to have Wuhan coronavirus represents all the people infected, or just a small fraction of the people infected.

 


Edited by Hip, 29 January 2020 - 06:03 PM.

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#11 adamh

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 07:03 PM

I agree the 15% mortality rate was likely pulled out of a hat. However even if we accept the 3% rate, it is still a very dangerous virus. And the 3% rate seems to be based on official govt figures (china) and we know government and china in particular lies a lot and people there have gotten word out that hospitals and officials are told to lower the numbers to prevent panic.

 

They knew about this reportedly in late december back when containment may have been possible. At this point containment is an impossible dream, its all over the world now. With the incubation time and people being infectious before showing symptoms, the danger is multiplied. I have to agree with Hip on that. This is almost unprecedented.

 

Good point, Mind, about its ability to mutate which makes a vaccine almost unworkable. The time it takes to test and approve a vaccine means that in a year which is about minimum, it will be almost useless against the current form. So what will likely happen is new barely tested vaccines will be put out perhaps on the black market and may cause more problems than they solve. People will start to panic even without media fanning the flames. Order your face masks now while they are still available.

 

The economic fallout will be devastating as well. No one wants to travel to any known infected zone. Business will slow to a crawl, hitting china hardest. Many retail businesses as well as factories in china have shut down. People will not want to order because who knows if someone sneezed on the goods. Then if major outbreaks hit other countries equally as hard as china, you can connect the dots. Who will go to work thinking they may be exposed by a coworker or someone on the street? 

 

If there really is no effective treatment besides palliative care then we simply have to wait it out, get infected and hope not to be one of the unlucky ones. I'd say this is the biggest thing to hit us in perhaps 100 years based on what we know now. I hope to be proven wrong, maybe some class of antivirals will show effectiveness, who knows.



#12 Hip

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 08:09 PM

It should also be pointed out that the Wuhan coronavirus seems to kill mainly just older people (those over 60) and the immunocompromised. Whereas the SARS coronavirus was worse, killing all age ranges including young and healthy people. So in that respect, the Wuhan virus is not as bad as SARS. 

 

However, it was observed that many who survived SARS went on to develop a post-viral fatigue syndrome similar to chronic fatigue syndrome. About 17% of those who caught SARS and survived developed post-viral fatigue severe enough to prevent them from going to work. 

 

It's thus quite possible the same will happen with Wuhan coronavirus survivors: you may survive the virus, but then be left with the life-changing illness of chronic fatigue syndrome. 

 

 


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#13 rodentman

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 03:39 AM

It should also be pointed out that the Wuhan coronavirus seems to kill mainly just older people (those over 60) and the immunocompromised. Whereas the SARS coronavirus was worse, killing all age ranges including young and healthy people. So in that respect, the Wuhan virus is not as bad as SARS. 

 

However, it was observed that many who survived SARS went on to develop a post-viral fatigue syndrome similar to chronic fatigue syndrome. About 17% of those who caught SARS and survived developed post-viral fatigue severe enough to prevent them from going to work. 

 

It's thus quite possible the same will happen with Wuhan coronavirus survivors: you may survive the virus, but then be left with the life-changing illness of chronic fatigue syndrome. 

That's a very good point.  And I wouldn't be surprised if the 17% is underestimated, as post-infection, or post-infection-treatment CFS is often under-reported. 


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#14 Mind

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 05:49 PM

It should also be pointed out that the Wuhan coronavirus seems to kill mainly just older people (those over 60) and the immunocompromised. Whereas the SARS coronavirus was worse, killing all age ranges including young and healthy people. So in that respect, the Wuhan virus is not as bad as SARS. 

 

However, it was observed that many who survived SARS went on to develop a post-viral fatigue syndrome similar to chronic fatigue syndrome. About 17% of those who caught SARS and survived developed post-viral fatigue severe enough to prevent them from going to work. 

 

It's thus quite possible the same will happen with Wuhan coronavirus survivors: you may survive the virus, but then be left with the life-changing illness of chronic fatigue syndrome. 

 

I would like to see a source for the "mainly older and immunocompromised people" statement.

 

That is what I would expect, because that is what happens with most cold and flu-type viruses.

 

Remember the swine flu "pandemic". Same thing. It was a strain of flu that created more significant symptoms, even for healthy people. It swept the world and society survived - even though the media at the time hyped it as the worst flu ever.

 

People forget that in a typical yer, 40,000 people die in the U.S. alone due to the flu. Last year it was 80,000. In comparison, the swine flu killed 18,500 (low estimate) to nearly 600.000 (high estimate for the entire world), just like the "regular" flu does every year.


Edited by Mind, 30 January 2020 - 09:13 PM.


#15 Mind

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 05:52 PM

 

 

They knew about this reportedly in late december back when containment may have been possible. At this point containment is an impossible dream, its all over the world now. With the incubation time and people being infectious before showing symptoms, the danger is multiplied. I have to agree with Hip on that. This is almost unprecedented.

 

Shutting down travel and devastating the world economy, when it is obvious that containment is impossible, is just adding insult to injury. Maybe the health authorities can just give everyone 40 lashes while they are at it too.


Edited by Mind, 30 January 2020 - 09:13 PM.


#16 Hip

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 06:35 PM

Shutting down travel and devastating the world economy, when it is obvious that containment is impossible, is just adding insult to injury. 

 

I don't think anyone is saying containment is impossible. It's still touch-and-go at this point in time.

 

Containment of the Wuhan virus is possible, because containment was achieved with the two previous similar coronavirus outbreaks, the 2003 SARS coronavirus outbreak in China, and the 2012 MERS outbreak in Saudi Arabia. 
 
These viruses had death rates of 15% and 35% respectively, so if they had not been contained, tens of millions would have died globally. The same is true for the Wuhan virus, whose death rate it 3%. Successful efforts at containment will save millions of lives.
 
By comparison the death rate for swine flu was just 0.026%, which is 100 times less than the Wuhan virus. Globally swine flu "only" led to half a million deaths.

Edited by Hip, 30 January 2020 - 06:40 PM.

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#17 Mind

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 09:20 PM

 

I don't think anyone is saying containment is impossible. It's still touch-and-go at this point in time.

 

Containment of the Wuhan virus is possible, because containment was achieved with the two previous similar coronavirus outbreaks, the 2003 SARS coronavirus outbreak in China, and the 2012 MERS outbreak in Saudi Arabia. 
 
These viruses had death rates of 15% and 35% respectively, so if they had not been contained, tens of millions would have died globally. The same is true for the Wuhan virus, whose death rate it 3%. Successful efforts at containment will save millions of lives.
 
By comparison the death rate for swine flu was just 0.026%, which is 100 times less than the Wuhan virus. Globally swine flu "only" led to half a million deaths.

 

 

I am not trying to minimize deaths. It is tragic. The point I am trying to make is that it is estimated that 500,000 people die from the flu every year (world-wide). That is a number to put other outbreaks into context.

 

No one is certain that the Wuhan coronavirus mortality rate is 3%, or 15%, or less, or more. Not many people trust the Chinese government to report openly. What is the death rate outside of China. So far, I think it is zero.



#18 adamh

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 02:54 AM

Shutting down travel and devastating the world economy, when it is obvious that containment is impossible, is just adding insult to injury. Maybe the health authorities can just give everyone 40 lashes while they are at it too.

You quoted me and said this but I did not not suggest containment is possible now, in fact I said the opposite. It can't be done now the cat is out of the bag but back in december it may have been possible.

 

You compare this to regular flu, it would be nice if it turns out to be so mild. But I think that is unlikely at this point. WHO just declared it a major health issue. The flu does not kill so fast

 

"cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html

While the impact of flu varies, it places a substantial burden on the health of people in the United States each year. CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in between 9 million - 45 million illnesses, between 140,000 - 810,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 - 61,000 deaths annually since 2010."
 
Thats just regular flu, if hospitalizations become millions or tens of millions it will break down the health care system.

 

Why is shutting down travel to china a bad idea as you seem to say? While its too late to stop it from getting here, no reason to actively promote the spread which allowing free travel to the epicenter would do or encourage. And how would shutting down travel to china devastate the world economy? I merely pointed out that the world economy will be devastated by this. I did not say its a good thing. 40 lashes for everyone? ok now you are having fun, nothing wrong with that. 

 

I hope the wishful thinkers are correct and it turns out to be no worse than the flu. The difference this time is the longer incubation period plus the ease of transmission. Not only the elderly and immunocompromised are at risk but also the young, historically. If we lose 3% of the world population that would make it the most deadly virus in a long long time and we don't really know the true death rate yet

 

It may be that with proper care more than 97% will survive but if much of the population is hit with it then providing any care will be difficult to impossible. The third world where medical care is scarce already will be hit very hard.


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#19 Mind

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 05:57 PM

Here is an MIT article claiming that the mortality rate in China is 2% with the deaths mainly confined to elderly persons (such is the case with every run-of-the-mill flu that goes around).

 

Another day passes and the death rate outside of China is 0%, with well over 100 cases reported. Makes me somewhat suspicious of the 15% death rate being claimed in China. 



#20 Hip

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 06:03 PM

Makes me somewhat suspicious of the 15% death rate being claimed in China. 

 

China is NOT reporting a 15% death rate for the Wuhan virus. As mentioned above, I think you are confusing the Wuhan virus with the SARS virus (which did have 15% mortality). 



#21 Mind

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 08:21 PM

China is NOT reporting a 15% death rate for the Wuhan virus. As mentioned above, I think you are confusing the Wuhan virus with the SARS virus (which did have 15% mortality). 

 

Many different percentages are flying around the Internet, including 15% (or more). This is typical for these types of situations. I have seen it many times in my life.



#22 Hip

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 08:46 PM

Many different percentages are flying around the Internet, including 15% (or more). This is typical for these types of situations. I have seen it many times in my life.

 

I don't think you will find reliable news sources quoting such exaggerated figures. I am watching the BBC, Sky News, CNN, France 24, and reading quality newspapers, and I have not seen such exaggerated figures. They are pointing out the apparent death rate is 2% or 3%, and may in fact be much smaller (due to unreported mild cases not being included in the figures). 

 

Of course if you go on Facebook, then you may find all sorts of fake news.


Edited by Hip, 31 January 2020 - 09:20 PM.


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#23 Dorian Grey

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 12:39 AM

Saw an interesting twist to this issue last night.  James Lyons-Weiler PhD is claiming the genome released by China for the virus is showing evidence of a genetic insertion inconsistent with wild mutation.  He's thinking this bug is man made, either as part of an attempted corona vaccine or perhaps even weaponization.  Look Here (starting at minute 21): 

 

https://youtu.be/hPdGfibyOZ0?t=1285

 

The interview lasts till minute 48, but largely falls apart after minute 35.  

 

Both these guys are anti-vax (for what it's worth), but it will be interesting to see if anyone else picks up on what he's describing.  

 

Interestingly, it's starting to look like this bug is particularly fatal to the elderly, while younger folks typically do pretty well at surviving.  I trust we all know China is facing a major problem with a top-heavy elderly population in the coming years, due to their 35 year "one child policy" attempt at population control.  I'm not big on conspiracy theories, but the thought did pop into my head as I listened to Dr Weiler talking about the unique contagion characteristics.  

 

A highly contagious but very common virus with a man-made genetic insertion that appears to make it particularly fatal to the elderly, while sparing most of the more youthful population; originating in a country facing a geriatric crisis?  

 

We Live in Interesting Times!  


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#24 Hip

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 12:46 AM

Saw an interesting twist to this issue last night.  James Lyons-Weiler PhD is claiming the genome released by China for the virus is showing evidence of a genetic insertion inconsistent with wild mutation.  He's thinking this bug is man made, either as part of an attempted corona vaccine or perhaps even weaponization.  Look Here (starting at minute 21): 
 

 

 

Just checked out James Lyons-Weiler on various skeptic websites, and he's uniformly viewed as a crank. See:

 

https://www.skeptica...s-lyons-weiler/

https://respectfulin...-vs-manookian/ 

https://falseprophet...not-qualified/ 


Edited by Hip, 01 February 2020 - 12:47 AM.


#25 Dorian Grey

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 01:18 AM

The anti-vax crowd get put-downs from all sides, so I'd expect his reputation might be tarnished.  

 

The host of the show says the genome & graphics are available through his facebook site.  I'm not on facebook so I haven't seen these.  

 

I imagine the rest of the scientific community would see this before too much longer if it is in fact true.  If it was a vaccine development error, would they even admit this?  



#26 Hip

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 01:28 AM

Man made viruses do escape from research labs sometimes, and infect people. See the case of Becky McClain, who was infected with an HIV-like virus that was being worked on in her lab.

 

In the case of the Wuhan virus, there is a research lab in Wuhan which was investigating the SARS coronavirus — see here. There has already been speculation that the Wuhan virus might have come from this lab; or that sloppy lab practice allowed the SARS virus to escape into the local animal population, where it then evolved into the very similar Wuhan coronavirus. But so far this is just speculation.

 

 


Edited by Hip, 01 February 2020 - 01:29 AM.


#27 Dorian Grey

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 04:36 AM

Why Coronavirus Seems to Be Striking More Adults Than Kids

 

https://time.com/577...ronavirus-kids/

 

"A paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday analyzed characteristics of 425 of the first people in Wuhan infected by the virus known as 2019-nCoV and found that none were younger than 15. The median age of patients was 59, and, at least as of mid-January, the youngest person to die from the disease was 36."

 

"SARS was “dramatically less common” among children than adults during the outbreak that began in China around 2003, and Denison says kids younger than 13 reported much less severe symptoms than older patients."

 

"It’s possible that, due to some quirk of biology, children are simply less susceptible than adults to 2019-nCoV infection; their cells may be less hospitable to the virus, making it more difficult for 2019-nCoV to replicate and jump to other people, Denison says. The NEJM authors write that kids may be getting the virus but showing milder symptoms than adults, making them less likely to seek medical care and thus excluding them from research and case counts."



#28 Dorian Grey

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 05:06 AM

China's aging population becoming more of a problem

 

https://www.forbes.c...e-of-a-problem/

 

"According to the United Nations, China is ageing more rapidly than almost any country in recent history. China’s dependency ratio for retirees could rise as high as 44% by 2050"

 

"China's aging population is as big a worry as its debt bomb, if not more so, because China can make its debt disappear at the stroke of a pen, but the government cannot make millions of elderly and retirees disappear."


Edited by Dorian Grey, 01 February 2020 - 05:10 AM.


#29 Hip

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 01:25 PM

Oh no! I can see another conspiracy theory starting to circulate on the Internet! This is how conspiracy theories start.


Edited by Hip, 01 February 2020 - 01:25 PM.

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#30 adamh

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 01:57 PM

It  seems unlikely the chinese would have done this to reduce their own population. Also no one seems to be talking about the effects on young children who along with the elderly are usually the hardest hit. Old folks might seem superfluous but without children to replace them it does not seem like winning proposition

 

Here is a more believable conspiracy theory. They may have tinkered with the virus to make it more deadly. This link talks about the possibility that some components of the hiv virus may have been inserted into the corona genome https://twitter.com/...CoV6VHL4bfxXaRY

 







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