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

maximus otter

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To put this into perspective, SARS (774) and Wuhan (1), in “just 17 years”, have killed 1.03 X 10⁻⁶% of the world’s population.

I think we’re doing just fine.

maximus otter
 
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Definitely Doomed.

A senior Chinese health official said Monday the new coronavirus strain that has left hundreds sick and at least three people dead can be transmitted by human-to-human contact, prompting concerns that it could spread far more quickly as hundreds of millions of people in China prepare to travel this week for Lunar New Year.

Zhong Nanshan, who is well-known in China for his work fighting Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, in 2003, told China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency that two people had been infected with the coronavirus from family members. Chinese officials had said that at least 217 cases of the new virus had been reported as of Monday evening, predominantly in the city of Wuhan, where the first case was traced to a seafood market.


https://www.huffpost.com/entry/coro...e2664d6c5b674e44b9cc41f?ncid=newsltushpmgnews
 

hunck

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I read that China has started using thermal gizmos at some airports to detect if travellers are feverish [hot]. Speculation by an 'expert' on R4 yesterday that the same may be done in the UK.
 
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I read that China has started using thermal gizmos at some airports to detect if travellers are feverish [hot]. Speculation by an 'expert' on R4 yesterday that the same may be done in the UK.
Saw that on the BBC News Channel today, it showed people's temperature.
 
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And so it spreads ...

The first U.S. case of a new coronavirus strain that has killed at least nine people in China has been reported in Washington state, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

The deadly virus, which Chinese health officials have said can spread by human-to-human contact, has sickened hundreds of people, according to the mayor of China’s central city of Wuhan, where an outbreak is underway. Exported cases of the illness also have been confirmed in Thailand, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/firs...e2741f7c5b63211761a92dc?ncid=newsltushpmgnews
 

EnolaGaia

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The Wutan coronavirus disease has been hypothesized to have crossed to humans from bats. New research suggests it didn't originate with bats, but rather with snakes.
Snakes Are The Likely Source of China's Deadly Coronavirus. Here's Why

Snakes – the Chinese krait and the Chinese cobra – may be the original source of the newly discovered coronavirus that has triggered an outbreak of a deadly infectious respiratory illness in China this winter.

The illness was first reported in late December 2019 in Wuhan, a major city in central China, and has been rapidly spreading. Since then, sick travelers from Wuhan have infected people in China and other countries, including the United States.

Using samples of the virus isolated from patients, scientists in China have determined the genetic code of the virus and used microscopes to photograph it. The pathogen responsible for this pandemic is a new coronavirus.

It's in the same family of viruses as the well-known severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which have killed hundreds of people in the past 17 years. The World Health Organization (WHO) has named the new coronavirus 2019-nCoV. ...

Both SARS and MERS are classified as zoonotic viral diseases, meaning the first patients who were infected acquired these viruses directly from animals. This was possible because while in the animal host, the virus had acquired a series of genetic mutations that allowed it to infect and multiply inside humans.

Now these viruses can be transmitted from person to person. Field studies have revealed that the original source of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV is the bat, and that the masked palm civets (a mammal native to Asia and Africa) and camels, respectively, served as intermediate hosts between bats and humans.

In the case of this 2019 coronavirus outbreak, reports state that most of the first group of patients hospitalized were workers or customers at a local seafood wholesale market which also sold processed meats and live consumable animals including poultry, donkeys, sheep, pigs, camels, foxes, badgers, bamboo rats, hedgehogs and reptiles. ...

The hypothesis that the 2019-nCoV jumped from an animal at the market is strongly supported by a new publication in the Journal of Medical Virology. The scientists conducted an analysis and compared the genetic sequences of 2019-nCoV and all other known coronaviruses.

The study of the genetic code of 2019-nCoV reveals that the new virus is most closely related to two bat SARS-like coronavirus samples from China, initially suggesting that, like SARS and MERS, the bat might also be the origin of 2019-nCoV.

The authors further found that the DNA coding sequence of 2019-nCoV spike protein, which forms the "crown" of the virus particle that recognizes the receptor on a host cell, indicates that the bat virus might have mutated before infecting people.

But when the researchers performed a more detailed bioinformatics analysis of the sequence of 2019-nCoV, it suggests that this coronavirus might come from snakes. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.sciencealert.com/snakes-are-the-likely-source-of-china-s-deadly-coronavirus-here-s-why
 

Lord Lucan

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The entire situation is looking potentially disastrous, with millions on the move worldwide for the Lunar New Year celebrations. How this thing can be contained is beyond me. The news tonight (Australia) has stated that the virus was first reported as transmittable on Dec 31, 2019, yet just this week, 3 flights from Wuhan have landed in the country.
 
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Interesting report on BBC News Channel. A Spanish El Pais corespondent is in Wuhan and he suggests that people are cooperating with the authorities regarding the quarantine/travel ban.
Here's a report from El Pais, auto-translate.

Unfortunately the government is still cracking down on rumours.

On the outskirts of the airport, where there were no exceptional security measures, the driver Zheng Wang complained: "I've been standing in line for five hours, no passengers come, so we don't move." His 13-year-old son has not been to school since January 10 because classes have been suspended. Asked about the credibility he grants to the official figures of those affected, he replies: "That is better not to talk about." The Government has threatened to punish anyone who contributes to spread rumors and local or regional administrations that make up reality.

https://elpais.com/sociedad/2020/01/23/actualidad/1579752483_950317.html
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Guardian article suggesting that revolting food preparation methods and negligible animal welfare could be major factors.

https://www.theguardian.com/environ...drives-risk-of-disease-in-hong-kong-and-china

I would have thought totalitarian regimes are quite adept at issuing national edicts. So why no glorious 12 month plan to phase out the ghastly "wet markets" and encourage Chinese citizens towards a vegetarian diet?
 

Yithian

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I read that China has started using thermal gizmos at some airports to detect if travellers are feverish [hot]. Speculation by an 'expert' on R4 yesterday that the same may be done in the UK.
They've had these set up for a number of years at Incheon Airport South Korea.

The cameras are usually sited in the first corridor between the docking area and border control. Everybody leaving a plane is 'bottle-necked' between two desks with a camera and screen set-up on each. The gap between them is enough for four or more people abreast, so you don't even really need to slow down as you pass through.

I've stopped and taken a look back at the screens in the past, and although I'm no expert, I'd say they're very sensitive. There's a lot of gradiation of colour across the body from hot to cool.

The Korean authorities, incidentally, are still treating a single case detected four days ago. The patient is in a stable condition and all those tested as possible infections through this individual have proved negative.

There has generally been a lot of planning with regard to novel and zoonotic disease. The swine flu and MERS outbreaks were handled about as well as you could hope given the inherent difficulties of controlling movement.
 

GNC

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Yes, the reason past flu outbreaks haven't turned into epidemics is because they've been well-contained. But there's always the spectre of Spanish flu to remind us this isn't always the case.
 

Mythopoeika

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blessmycottonsocks

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Heading into Reading station on Monday or Tuesday I did see an oriental looking woman wearing a face mask.

She got a few strange looks.

The medical advice is that face masks offer negligible protection against viral infection though.

Far more important is proper hygiene and responsible food preparation.
 
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Well I have more than a passing interest in this, my partner who works at Glasgow University and deals with Chinese students daily, took ill on Monday and is currently extremely unwell with "flu".
Both Glasgow and Edinburgh Uni's have large student programs with China - and I myself work at Strathclyde Uni which also has a fair number of Chinese nationals as staff and students.
To the best of my knowledge there have been no directions or advice to any of those institutions staff other than a vague "follow Gov advice if travelling to the affected area".
Also, Scottish airports appear to have no measures in place at all (not even the crappy leaflet that Heathrow gets and certainly no "heat" cameras) - while there are currently no direct flights from China there are several connecting ones with Air France and Emirates arriving regularly. I believe Manchester also has flights that connect through to China on a very regular basis and I've heard nothing of any precautions being taken there.
I'm not particularly surprised though, during the 2003 outbreak I was then working at the old Glasgow college of Nautical studies - which had onsite a large student hostel and large numbers of overseas students - there were zero precautions or guidance recieved back then either.
I suspect, in reality their is probably little authorities can really do so it's all an attempt to keep everyone calm and manage the news.
Interesting article on the practicality of trying to "lockdown" a city here - https://www.wired.com/story/would-the-coronavirus-quarantine-of-wuhan-even-work/
I am struck by the fatality rate quoted in that article - they have it as higher than in was 1918 (3% vs 2.5% ) - but I see no source and that certainly doesn't seem like a high percentage given how bad 1918 was (though it's still a heck of alot of people).
 

Frideswide

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Well I have more than a passing interest in this, my partner who works at Glasgow University and deals with Chinese students daily, took ill on Monday and is currently extremely unwell with "flu".
sending good wishes @Lobeydosser .

We are in a similar situation for the same reasons.
 

Mythopoeika

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Well I have more than a passing interest in this, my partner who works at Glasgow University and deals with Chinese students daily, took ill on Monday and is currently extremely unwell with "flu".
I hope it's just flu - hope your partner is well again soon.
 
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Well I have more than a passing interest in this, my partner who works at Glasgow University and deals with Chinese students daily, took ill on Monday and is currently extremely unwell with "flu".
Both Glasgow and Edinburgh Uni's have large student programs with China - and I myself work at Strathclyde Uni which also has a fair number of Chinese nationals as staff and students.
To the best of my knowledge there have been no directions or advice to any of those institutions staff other than a vague "follow Gov advice if travelling to the affected area".
Also, Scottish airports appear to have no measures in place at all (not even the crappy leaflet that Heathrow gets and certainly no "heat" cameras) - while there are currently no direct flights from China there are several connecting ones with Air France and Emirates arriving regularly. I believe Manchester also has flights that connect through to China on a very regular basis and I've heard nothing of any precautions being taken there.
I'm not particularly surprised though, during the 2003 outbreak I was then working at the old Glasgow college of Nautical studies - which had onsite a large student hostel and large numbers of overseas students - there were zero precautions or guidance recieved back then either.
I suspect, in reality their is probably little authorities can really do so it's all an attempt to keep everyone calm and manage the news.
Interesting article on the practicality of trying to "lockdown" a city here - https://www.wired.com/story/would-the-coronavirus-quarantine-of-wuhan-even-work/
I am struck by the fatality rate quoted in that article - they have it as higher than in was 1918 (3% vs 2.5% ) - but I see no source and that certainly doesn't seem like a high percentage given how bad 1918 was (though it's still a heck of alot of people).

Oh dear, hope your partner is better soon.
 

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They've had these set up for a number of years at Incheon Airport South Korea.

The cameras are usually sited in the first corridor between the docking area and border control. Everybody leaving a plane is 'bottle-necked' between two desks with a camera and screen set-up on each. The gap between them is enough for four or more people abreast, so you don't even really need to slow down as you pass through.

I've stopped and taken a look back at the screens in the past, and although I'm no expert, I'd say they're very sensitive. There's a lot of gradiation of colour across the body from hot to cool.

The Korean authorities, incidentally, are still treating a single case detected four days ago. The patient is in a stable condition and all those tested as possible infections through this individual have proved negative.

There has generally been a lot of planning with regard to novel and zoonotic disease. The swine flu and MERS outbreaks were handled about as well as you could hope given the inherent difficulties of controlling movement.
Second case in Korea and although not explicitly stated it sounds as if the patient (Chinese) was detected at Incheon airport.

https://m-en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20200124001300320?
 

maximus otter

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The medical advice is that face masks offer negligible protection against viral infection though.
The pores in a surgical mask are huge compared to the size of a virus.

Masks are more to protect other people from the wearer than vice versa.

"A surgical mask, also known as a procedure mask, is intended to be worn by health professionals during surgery and during nursing to catch the bacteria shed in liquid droplets and aerosols from the wearer's mouth and nose. They are not designed to protect the wearer from inhaling airborne bacteria or virus particles..."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surgical_mask

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