Zoonotic Epidemics: H5N1 ('Bird Flu'), SARS, MERS & COVID-19

gordonrutter

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Some friends have been working in China, they have now returned and are in quarantine for 14 days and they have no idea what the future holds for their jobs out there.
 

Yithian

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Someone I know has a Chinese colleague and she told him that the figures are likely much worse than are being released; very possibly, but not that bad. It would put the death rate at 1/6 of those infected.
1/6 of those diagnosed as infected, which would give a notably lower figure for the total number.
 
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1/6 of those diagnosed as infected, which would give a notably lower figure for the total number.
Sorry, yes, though surely they can only measure the infected? Unless they have a way of approximately extrapolating undiagnosed totals? Which sounds like a stab in the dark to me.

Writing about "the infected" in this context makes me feel like I'm in 28 Days Later.
 

EnolaGaia

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Speaking of ambiguities in data about diagnosed cases ... It seems children don't seem to be as susceptible to, or affected by, the Wuhan coronavirus as adults. It's not clear whether kids are really less susceptible versus they're not being accurately represented in the case data to date.
Coronavirus Mystery: Children Seem Less Susceptible, And Scientists Don't Know Why

Scientists are still learning about the coronavirus outbreak that has killed nearly 500 people and infected more than 24,000 in China. One of the biggest mysteries is why so few children have gotten sick.

The outbreak was first reported on December 31, but no children younger than 15 years old had been diagnosed as of January 22. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine said at the time that "children might be less likely to become infected or, if infected, may show milder symptoms" than adults.

Since then, doctors have recorded a few one-off cases among children: a 9-month-old girl in Beijing, a child in Germany whose father was diagnosed with the virus first, and a child in Shenzhen, China, who was infected but displayed no symptoms.

On Wednesday, Chinese authorities confirmed that an infant in Wuhan, China, had tested positive for the virus 30 hours after being born; the baby's mother is a coronavirus patient.

But for the most part, kids do not seem very vulnerable to the virus.

"From everything that we've seen, and for reasons that are unclear to us, it does seem that this is primarily impacting adults," Richard Martinello, an associate professor of infectious disease at the Yale School of Medicine, told Business Insider. "Some of the reports that have come out so far from China have been from adult hospitals and not pediatric hospitals, so it could just be that we're not seeing that data yet.". ...
FULL STORY: https://www.sciencealert.com/expert...o-few-children-have-caught-coronavirus-so-far
 
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Yithian

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Sorry, yes, though surely they can only measure the infected? Unless they have a way of approximately extrapolating undiagnosed totals? Which sounds like a stab in the dark to me.

Writing about "the infected" in this context makes me feel like I'm in 28 Days Later.
There are a number of attempts to extrapolate total cases from the numbers reported, but they're based on assumptions made from other similar viruses when the burning questions all concern how typical or atypical this novel strain actually is. And, of course, the medical reporting so-far is very patchy.
 
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James_H

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Idiots bought up all of the toilet paper in Hong Kong yesterday, for reasons unspecified but obviously part of the general spirit of hysteria this virus has engendered.

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong...navirus-rice-toilet-paper-and-dried-goods-fly

We've also been told to take time off unpaid from work, or work through the summer holiday. I think it's time for a career change.
Reminiscent of, snow forecast: immediately purchase all the milk and bread in the nearest shop in the UK.
 

Cochise

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Krepostnoi

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Idiots bought up all of the toilet paper in Hong Kong yesterday, for reasons unspecified but obviously part of the general spirit of hysteria this virus has engendered.

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong...navirus-rice-toilet-paper-and-dried-goods-fly

We've also been told to take time off unpaid from work, or work through the summer holiday. I think it's time for a career change.
Panic buying of face masks here. And then the government's emergency text bulletin service has countermanded the instructions from a couple of days ago to wear masks whenever in public. Now the advice is only to do so if caring for a Coronavirus sufferer, visiting a hospital or clinic, riding on public transport, or visiting crowded places. Subjectively, the city centre was quieter than I expected today, but there were proportio ally fewer people wearing masks than I expected.

No hand sanitizer to be had for love or money.
 

CarlosTheDJ

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Coronavirus diagnosed in Brighton, Guardian reports
Posted On 06 Feb 2020 at 2:26 pm
By : Jo Wadsworth

A patient has been diagnosed with coronavirus in Brighton, the Guardian is reporting this afternoon.

England’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty confirmed a third UK case of the highly contagious virus had been diagnosed this lunchtime.

He said the person did not contract the virus in the UK.

The Guardian says the person was diagnosed in Brighton, and has now been transferred to a London hospital for treatment.

https://www.brightonandhovenews.org/2020/02/06/coronavirus-diagnosed-in-brighton-guardian-reports/
 

Comfortably Numb

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Update just posted online:

Chinese doctor who tried to warn others about coronavirus dies

The Chinese doctor who tried to warn other medics about the coronavirus has died after contracting the infection in Wuhan.

Source: The Guardian
Date: 6 February, 2020

According to local media, ophthalmologist Dr Li Wenliang died from the virus on Thursday.

Dr Li was summoned by police when he tried to warn others about the virus back in December.

He sent a message to fellow medics in a group chat on 30 December, and days later was summoned to the Public Security Bureau to sign a letter in which he was accused of making “false comments”.

Dr Li was one of eight people being investigated by police for “rumour-mongering”.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/feb/06/coronavirus-live-updates-in-china-wuhan-coronaviruses-outbreak-death-toll-latest-update-news
 

Comfortably Numb

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Wuhan is told to round up infected residents for mass quarantine camps

Source: nytimes.com
Date: 6 February, 2020

A senior Chinese official has ordered the authorities in the city of Wuhan to immediately round up all residents who have been infected with the coronavirus and place them in isolation, quarantine or designated hospitals.

Sun Chunlan, a vice premier tasked with leading the central government’s response to the outbreak, said city investigators should go to each home to check the temperatures of every resident and interview infected patients’ close contacts.

“Set up a 24-hour duty system. During these wartime conditions, there must be no deserters, or they will be nailed to the pillar of historical shame forever,” Ms. Sun said.

The city’s authorities have raced to meet these instructions by setting up makeshift mass quarantine shelters this week. But concerns are growing about whether the centers, which will house thousands of people in large spaces, will be able to provide even basic care to patients and protect against the risk of further infection.

https://www-nytimes-com.cdn.ampproj.../2020/02/06/world/asia/coronavirus-china.html
 

Yithian

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Panic buying of face masks here. And then the government's emergency text bulletin service has countermanded the instructions from a couple of days ago to wear masks whenever in public. Now the advice is only to do so if caring for a Coronavirus sufferer, visiting a hospital or clinic, riding on public transport, or visiting crowded places. Subjectively, the city centre was quieter than I expected today, but there were proportio ally fewer people wearing masks than I expected.

No hand sanitizer to be had for love or money.
Increased costs here, but just about the side of non-ridiculous.

And my wife, being my wife, already has cupboards full of both.

If Armageddon ever comes, we can all hang out at my place until whatever the half-life of Plutonium is because we've probably got enough supplies to cover it.

I have actually worn a mask to and from work for the past three days (first time ever); the Mrs says that it reassures customers that I'm taking it seriously.

Best comment from a thirteen-year-old I teach:

Me: You're the only student I've taught today that hasn't arrived in a mask.
Him: I don't need to worry as much as them.
Me: Why not?
Him *Big grin for the punchline*: I've already got it.
 

Yithian

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Update just posted online:

Chinese doctor who tried to warn others about coronavirus dies

The Chinese doctor who tried to warn other medics about the coronavirus has died after contracting the infection in Wuhan.

Source: The Guardian
Date: 6 February, 2020

According to local media, ophthalmologist Dr Li Wenliang died from the virus on Thursday.

Dr Li was summoned by police when he tried to warn others about the virus back in December.

He sent a message to fellow medics in a group chat on 30 December, and days later was summoned to the Public Security Bureau to sign a letter in which he was accused of making “false comments”.

Dr Li was one of eight people being investigated by police for “rumour-mongering”.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/feb/06/coronavirus-live-updates-in-china-wuhan-coronaviruses-outbreak-death-toll-latest-update-news
Lazarus.
 

Comfortably Numb

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Quite bizarre... this is the BBC's update:

Coronavirus kills Chinese whistleblower doctor

Source: BBC News
Date: 6 February, 2020

A Chinese doctor who tried to issue the first warnings about the deadly coronavirus outbreak has died, the hospital treating him has said.

Li Wenliang contracted the virus while working at Wuhan Central Hospital.

He had sent out a warning to fellow medics on 30 December but police told him to stop "making false comments".

There had been contradictory reports about his death, but the People's Daily now says he died at 02:58 on Friday (18:58 GMT Thursday).

[...]

How was the death reported?

Global Times, People's Daily and other Chinese media had reported Dr Li's death earlier on Thursday.

Dr Li, 34, was initially declared dead at 21:30 local time and the news triggered a huge wave of popular reaction on Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter.

The People's Daily sent out a tweet saying Dr Li's death had sparked "national grief".

However, Global Times then said he had been given a treatment known as ECMO (extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation) which keeps a person's heart pumping and keeps their blood oxygenated without it going through their lungs.

Global Times said he was in a critical condition.

Journalists and doctors at the scene, who do not want their names used, told the BBC and other media that government officials had intervened.

Official media outlets had been told to change their reports to say the doctor was still being treated.

The media outlets then later reported the new time of Dr Li's death:

Most of those killed by coronavirus have been over the age of 60 or have suffered from other medical conditions, according to China's health authorities. Dr Li's medical history is not known.

What is Li Wenliang's story?

Dr Li, an ophthalmologist, posted his story on Weibo from a hospital bed a month after sending out his initial warning.

He had noticed seven cases of a virus that he thought looked like Sars - the virus that led to a global epidemic in 2003.

On 30 December he sent a message to fellow doctors in a chat group warning them to wear protective clothing to avoid infection.

Four days later he was summoned to the Public Security Bureau where he was told to sign a letter. In the letter he was accused of "making false comments" that had "severely disturbed the social order".

He was one of eight people who police said were being investigated for "spreading rumours" Local authorities later apologised to Dr Li.

In his Weibo post he describes how on 10 January he started coughing, the next day he had a fever and two days later he was in hospital. He was diagnosed with the coronavirus on 30 January.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/world-asia-china-51403795?
 
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Comfortably Numb

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This is pretty illustrative of the wider problem, isn't it?
Where do you start...

I was thinking about the latest figures, relying on:

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

If there are 31481 confirmed cases and 638 deaths, that would equate to approximately 2%.

However, what I haven't seen reported elsewhere, is the mumber of patients designated as being in a critical condition.

It's unclear how this was ascertained and the accuracy.

If that number is near enough correct and assuming, say... 50% recover from critical, the death total would rise to 3050.

This would be a fatality rate of 9.6%, precisely the same as SARS.

Just myself astounded to see, for the first time, how many are purportly in a critical state?
 

EnolaGaia

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Researchers are still trying to establish the link(s) by which the Wuhan coronavirus transitioned from animals to humans. Newly announced research points to a new candidate vector-species - the pangolin.

However, there's resistance to concluding pangolins were vectors for the current outbreak.
The Pangolin Is Now a Potential Suspect in Spreading The Wuhan Coronavirus to Humans

Chinese researchers investigating the animal origin of the deadly coronavirus outbreak in China said Friday the endangered pangolin may be the "missing link" between bats and humans, but other scientists said the search may not be over.

An earlier study - since discredited - pointed to snakes, and there remain numerous candidate species in the Wuhan wildlife market thought to be ground zero of the epidemic. ...

Many animals are capable of transmitting viruses to other species, and nearly all strains of the coronavirus contagious to humans originated in wildlife.

Bats are known carriers of the latest strain of the disease, which has infected at least 31,000 people and killed more than 630 worldwide, mostly in China where the outbreak originate.

A recent genetic analysis showed that the strain of the virus currently spreading among humans was 96 percent identical to that found in bats.

But according to Arnaud Fontanet, from France's Pasteur Institute, the disease likely didn't jump straight from bats to humans.

"We think there's another animal that's an intermediary," he told AFP.

Several studies have shown that the bat-bourne virus lacks the necessary hardware to latch on to human cell receptors. But it's still not clear which animal is the missing link.

Fontanet believes the intermediary was "probably a mammal," possible belonging to the badger family.

After testing more than 1,000 samples from wild animals, scientists at the South China Agricultural University found the genome sequences of viruses in pangolins to be 99 percent identical to those on coronavirus patients, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

But other experts urged caution.

"This is not scientific evidence," said James Wood, head of the department of veterinary medicine at the University of Cambridge. "Investigations into animal reservoirs are extremely important, but results must be then be published for international scrutiny."

"Simply reporting detection of viral RNA with sequence similarity of 99+ percent is not sufficient," he added. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.sciencealert.com/the-pangolin-is-now-a-suspect-in-the-coronavirus-outbreak
 

kamalktk

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Researchers are still trying to establish the link(s) by which the Wuhan coronavirus transitioned from animals to humans. Newly announced research points to a new candidate vector-species - the pangolin.
That's good news if we will stop trying to eat them into extinction.
 
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