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Here's an easy way to keep tabs (no pun intended) on the progress of COVID-19.

Go to the World Health Organization home page.

Click on the main article, currently labeled "Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak."

Shortcut: Click on the "Situation Report" tabs on this page. Today's report is #34, yesterday's is #33, etc. Each report will open in a new tab on your screen, and once a bunch of them are open, you can easily click-thru the tabs and compare the daily statistics (they're all in the exact same place, so you don't even need to move your eyes).

It's troubling that in Hubei (the original location), there are now over 64,000 cases, and over 2,300 deaths.

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A very interesting article:

"Who Is Patient Zero in the Coronavirus Outbreak?" by Fernando Duarte on bbc.com

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Italy now has the highest number of confirmed cases outside of Asia with 76. I read elsewhere that Italy was saying 150 new cases and 3 confirmed deaths. We don't need to panic but we should be very concerned. The world risk assessment is very high.

But of course our fearless leader has cut the budget at the CDC and decimated our international response capability, including firing and not replacing the coordinator for emergency pandemic response. The position was created under the Obama administration in response to the Ebola outbreak {which Kay was incredibly involved coordinating the rotation of doctor in and out of various African countries} and thus deemed not in our national interest. The funny thing about diseases is they don't care who is in charge, they just spread until the outbreak runs its course. On a pandemic that course is worldwide involvement. The fatality rate of Covid-19 appears to be 2 to 3% {currently around 3%} with around 80k cases confirmed.

Richard Engle, investigative reporter with NBC is in Hong Kong and his researches have him reporting that Chinese doctors say there is vast under-reporting of both cases and deaths. The benign reason for this is that COVID-19 looks like the flu. So many flu cases and deaths have net been tested for COVID-19 and may very well be Covid-19.

In the US, we have a handful of hospitals with the CDC approved testing in place. I read 3 but more may have come online since that article. Decisions like how to fly exposed and sick Americans home from the cruise ship were made by **Censored** administration officials and not the CDC. In fact, the CDC was adamant that it not be done in the way it is being done. So far, it has not seemed to have resulted in a major increase in cases, but we do not know enough about transmission and how the disease progresses. 

I don't know about you, but I would rather that we had a robust response team in place. Even what Obama left was not enough, but no we have rendered it almost useless. That fact scares me more then COVID-19 does right now. COVID017 is only the altest possible Pandemic and they are coming at us more and more rapidly. The Influenza of the WWI era cause between 10 and 20 million deaths and that was before the rapid travel and high densities of so much more of the earth.

From singularityhub.com 

"1917: The US population broke 100 million, and the global population reached 1.9 billion. – Today: The US population is 320 million, and the global population broke 7.5 billion this year.Feb 15, 2017"

A pandemic of the scale of the Spanish Influenza would have 4 times the deaths world wide and 3 times in the USA.

Just remember,diseases don't give an eff about your politics or thoughts and prayers. Science is our only way to prepare, fight and mitigate these outbreaks. Science is being systematically eliminated from the federal government. 

As the radio ads say

"Just a thought, not a sermon"

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My Mom and I were hoping to go to Vietnam this Spring.  We have been on the fence about what to do, given the spread of this, our backup was previously Greece, but it is likely that they will have cases spread from Italy.  At this point we have been trying to figure out if we say f*** it, everywhere is about as likely to have it here soon and go, and try to do normal preventative measures- wash hands a lot, avoid cruises, big crowds if possible.  OR what our alternative would be- if we should postpone a trip, or go somewhere different and where.  I am one of those people who doesn't like to live my life based on fear, and recognizes the flu so far is more deadly with current statistics, but I am almost more worried about how countries will react, restrictions and bans that will be put in place, as getting sick.  

It is a murky subject.   

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3 hours ago, deangold said:

Richard Engle, investigative reporter with NBC is in Hong Kong and his researches have him reporting that Chinese doctors say there is vast under-reporting of both cases and deaths. The benign reason for this is that COVID-19 looks like the flu. So many flu cases and deaths have net been tested for COVID-19 and may very well be Covid-19.

A BBC Persian Service reporter, being interviewed on the BBC, said her contacts in Iran are saying the situation there is much worse than official figures suggest, and that large public religious events are continuing as normal.

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20 minutes ago, Count Bobulescu said:

A BBC Persian Service reporter, being interviewed on the BBC, said her contacts in Iran are saying the situation there is much worse than official figures suggest, and that large public religious events are continuing as normal.

One thing I'm keeping my eye on is "Number of New Cases" vis-a-vis "Number of New Deaths." (Today in China, for example, the New Deaths (150) are 36% of the New Cases (415).) There isn't enough information in these Situation Reports to determine how to interpret these figures - one thing that would be very useful is knowing "Number of Days between Diagnosis and Death." If it's a small number, that's a good thing; if it's a large number, that's a bad thing, but I've seen no information regarding that statistic.

One thing that worries me that it *might* be a large number is that China has had this disease the longest, and their "New Deaths to New Cases" percentage is much higher than countries who only recently acquired the virus (I'm not sure if this makes any sense to people, but it does to me).

Screenshot 2020-02-24 at 16.05.15.png

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I have a trip booked for Easter with the kids to Florence and Siena.  I did not purchase insurance but everything was paid with Chase Sapphire. 

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17 minutes ago, Ericandblueboy said:

I have a trip booked for Easter with the kids to Florence and Siena.  I did not purchase insurance but everything was paid with Chase Sapphire. 

Force Majeure (or not).

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According to a Forbes article:

Quote

Chase

The Chase Sapphire collection gets a lot of decent press for being one of the better cards for frequent travelers, but can Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders depend on Chase to cover them during a pandemic?

The Chase Sapphire cards come with access to great travel insurance packages that include trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage loss and delay insurance and primary rental car insurance. As long as travel purchases (such as tickets, hotels, rental cars, etc.) are made with the Chase credit card, insurance will automatically kick in to cover the travel period. 

Specifically, trip cancellation and interruption insurance can cover nonrefundable travel purchases up to $10,000 per person and up to $20,000 per trip if your plans are altered by severe weather, illness or other covered situations. However, your Chase insurance doesn’t necessarily kick in just because you are afraid of becoming ill; it simply covers the unavoidable effects of illness or your inability to travel because you’ve been quarantined. 

So, if you choose not to travel because of the possibility of being exposed to a viral illness, that’s on you. Chase insurance won’t cover your trip cancellation unless you are properly prevented from traveling. 

But, just as with American Express, if your physician notifies you that travel is not medically advisable and you notify your travel suppliers within 48 hours, your coverage should kick in. You’ll then need to start the claims process to get your refund.

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2 hours ago, Count Bobulescu said:

A BBC Persian Service reporter, being interviewed on the BBC, said her contacts in Iran are saying the situation there is much worse than official figures suggest, and that large public religious events are continuing as normal.

This seems to be the case in many places. 

2 hours ago, DonRocks said:

One thing I'm keeping my eye on is "Number of New Cases" vis-a-vis "Number of New Deaths." (Today in China, for example, the New Deaths (150) are 36% of the New Cases (415).) There isn't enough information in these Situation Reports to determine how to interpret these figures - one thing that would be very useful is knowing "Number of Days between Diagnosis and Death." If it's a small number, that's a good thing; if it's a large number, that's a bad thing, but I've seen no information regarding that statistic.

One thing that worries me that it *might* be a large number is that China has had this disease the longest, and their "New Deaths to New Cases" percentage is much higher than countries who only recently acquired the virus (I'm not sure if this makes any sense to people, but it does to me).

Screenshot 2020-02-24 at 16.05.15.png

We just don't have good numbers on this. The unreported cases and the lack of knowledge of the pattern of the spread make this more worrying. We are just at the beginning of exposure in the USA and our emergency response teams have been decimated {worse, decimation is the Roman practice of killing 1 of 10 soldiers for punishment, we have fired half our upper level infrastructure.}

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Several boffins have expressed the view that the window for containment has already closed.
 
This is from an Axios newsletter........
Quote

Iran has reported 12 deaths but just 66 known cases, an improbable ratio given the virus' 1–2% fatality rate, suggesting a much larger outbreak.

  • A local representative in the holy city of Qom said 50 people had died there, though Tehran vehemently denied it.
  • Clerics have claimed that to close Qom's shrine to pilgrims would be to give in to "a U.S. plot to undermine the religious institution," per the FT.
  • Authorities blamed the virus for record-low turnout in Friday's parliamentary elections.
  • The first confirmed cases in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Bahrain were all linked back to Iran.

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If your workplace accommodates telework, make sure you prepare to use it.  Buy some staples, rice and pastas and condensed soup and sauces.  Avoid scheduling travel if at all possible.  If you depend on meds, beg your doctor to give you an extra refill and do it now. This is the basic stuff just to handle the supply chain disruptions.  

I had hoped that we could get some warning before getting into pandemic mode.  The speed and suddenness of the outbreaks in Iran, RoK, and Italy suggests otherwise.  

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Iran will report worse fatality numbers than most places, at least until we're in true pandemic mode like Wuhan.  About 10 to 20 percent become seriously ill and needs intensive care up to and including ventilators.  The US imposed sanctions  means Iran has extremely limited capacity for that level of care.

But the fact that it's already spreading outside of Iran means it'll get far worse.

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In case anyone wonders why these types of viruses are called "corona"viruses, it's because they look like a "crown" (corona) under a microscope.

covid.jpeg

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Without wishing to spiral down into a conspiracy rabbit hole.....
I've seen some "speculation" on a Euro forum concerning the apparent pauses in the spread, both in Hong Kong & Singapore, plus the low incidence in India. One theory advanced is that counter-intuitively, the relatively high temperatures and high humidity in all three places might have a positive impact. Perhaps wrong, but hardly crazy.
 
Here's an article from 2009 that supports that theory. Not good news for northern latitudes, and low humidity environments.
 
 
Quote

Generally, viruses with lipid envelopes will tend to survive longer at lower (20–30%) RHs. This applies to most respiratory viruses, which are lipid enveloped, including influenza, coronaviruses (including severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus), respiratory syncytial virus, parainfluenza viruses, as well as febrile rash infections caused by measles, rubella, varicella zoster virus (that causes chickenpox; Harper 1961Schaffer et al. 1976Ijaz et al. 1985).

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13 hours ago, Count Bobulescu said:
Several boffins have expressed the view that the window for containment has already closed.
 
This is from an Axios newsletter........

I am never convinced when I read something in Axios, but these stats are already out if date. The WHO has yet to call it a pandemic but it is at high risk to become one. Many scientists are using the term already. If it isn't, its close.

By the way, the few remaining scientists working in infectious disease that our fearless leader has not fired all agree that closing boarders will not provide containment. I can't wait for the sharpie altered charts showing how excluding Muslims will stop it. From Alabama. 

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10 hours ago, deangold said:

I am never convinced when I read something in Axios, but these stats are already out if date. The WHO has yet to call it a pandemic but it is at high risk to become one. Many scientists are using the term already. If it isn't, its close.

By the way, the few remaining scientists working in infectious disease that our fearless leader has not fired all agree that closing boarders will not provide containment. I can't wait for the sharpie altered charts showing how excluding Muslims will stop it. From Alabama. 

Save to say, don't shoot the messenger, I'll let your comment on Axios slide, its an unnecessary hostage to fortune. There's a reason politicians often say "never say never".

Rush Limbaugh has claimed the virus is a plot to dethrone POTUS.

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The WHO Situation Report is out for today, Tuesday.

I've included the past seven days so people can just click through them:

Screenshot 2020-02-25 at 16.18.09.pngScreenshot 2020-02-25 at 13.07.46.pngScreenshot 2020-02-25 at 13.07.27.pngScreenshot 2020-02-25 at 13.07.08.pngScreenshot 2020-02-25 at 13.06.45.pngScreenshot 2020-02-25 at 13.06.25.pngScreenshot 2020-02-25 at 13.05.58.png

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On 2/24/2020 at 4:14 PM, DonRocks said:

One thing I'm keeping my eye on is "Number of New Cases" vis-a-vis "Number of New Deaths."

...

(I'm not sure if this makes any sense to people, but it does to me).

Screenshot 2020-02-24 at 16.05.15.png

I feel like I completely get this ratio due to my extensive experience playing Plaque, Inc. on my iPad.

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19 hours ago, DonRocks said:

[To try and nip this in the bud...]

 
I just thought it funny that elements in Iran are blaming the US, and elements in the US are blaming.....
 
BBC showing video of Iran's deputy health minister apparently sweating profusely. He, and at least one parliamentarian later claimed to have tested positive, but cynics say it's a scam to lure the public into a false sense of security. They say the minister will disappear for a few days, then return saying no big deal. 

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18 hours ago, Count Bobulescu said:

Save to say, don't shoot the messenger, I'll let your comment on Axios slide, its an unnecessary hostage to fortune. There's a reason politicians often say "never say never".

Rush Limbaugh has claimed the virus is a plot to dethrone POTUS.

And POTUS is more worried about the virus affecting the  stock market and his re-election chances than the health of hundreds of millions of people. 

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1 hour ago, Mark Slater said:

And POTUS is more worried about the virus affecting the  stock market and his re-election chances than the health of hundreds of millions of people. 

And secretary of HHS touting the junta's line rather than backing up the CDC's warnings. This is winning?

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Italy and South Korea both report 10 deaths each. 

Outside China, there are now 2,790 cases in 37 countries, and 44 deaths," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said

The latest global tally includes dozens of new cases in South Korea, Italy and Iran. Each of those countries has confirmed at least 10 deaths so far from COVID-19, a mark that surpasses the death toll reported in many Chinese provinces.

Good thing we have this locked down virtually airtight. 

Screenshot 2020-02-26 at 13.26.17.png

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5 hours ago, Ericandblueboy said:

I'm more concerned about my stock portfolio than the lives of other people.  Some of us are just wired differently.

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With apologies to Dean, Axios again..... A clinic in Nebraska is also testing an existing drug on on someone evacuated from the Diamond Princess.

Quote

A lab in North Carolina is working to synthesize a sample of the coronavirus from its genetic code, according to MIT Technology Review.

Why it matters: Creating a pathogen from scratch would allow researchers to rapidly experiment on it without waiting for live samples from an outbreak zone.

  • But it also raises the risk that someone could eventually try to recreate a dangerous virus as a weapon.

Driving the news: Coronavirus expert Ralph Baric at the University of North Carolina took the genetic code of the pathogen, posted online last month by Chinese researchers, and ordered custom DNA.

  • He will be able to stitch the genes together into a virus indistinguishable from the one that has so far infected more than 81,000 people and killed more than 2,700, MIT Tech's Antonio Regalado writes.
  • "This is the future in terms of how the medical research community responds to a new threat,” Baric told Regalado.

Once they've synthesized the virus, researchers will be able to edit it as they might a document, adding and subtracting genes in an effort to understand how it spreads and sickens.

  • Past disease events like the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic and the 2014 Ebola outbreak often ran their course before new countermeasures could be developed and distributed.
  • Synthesizing the virus could help health officials move almost as fast as the pathogen itself.

The catch: If a virus can be synthesized from nothing more than its genetic code and mail-order DNA, it means a deadly pathogen can never really be eliminated.

  • The International Gene Synthesis Consortium, a group of DNA synthesis companies that screens gene orders, prohibits its members from synthesizing the gene sequences of dangerous viruses like smallpox. Only labs registered with the CDC to work with SARS — as Baric's is — will be able to order a complete synthetic copy of the new coronavirus.
  • But the consortium only represents 80% of the global DNA synthesis market.

 Synthesizing viruses from scratch still requires considerable resources and skill. But as that changes, synthetic biology will present a troubling dual-use dilemma — the same tools that could help counter an outbreak could be employed to create one.

Read more

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