Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

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Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby toucana on January 21st, 2020, 7:30 am 

As China prepares to celebrate Chun Yun (春運) and the arrival of the Chinese New Year of the Rat on Saturday 25 January, there are fears that the mass migration of millions of people attending family reunions will exacerbate the spread of a dangerous new CoronaVirus.

https://metro.co.uk/2020/01/21/fears-chinese-new-year-2020-intensify-spread-coronavirus-12093507/

The 2019-nCV virus was first identified by Chinese scientists among a cluster of infections reported amongst stallholders at the Hunan Seafood Market (華南海鮮市場) in the city of Wuhan (武漢) which is the inland capital of Hubei province in central China. It has a population of 11 million.

The outbreak was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019. Chinese scientists say that the new CoronaVirus is about 70% similar in gene sequence to the older SARS-CoV virus dating from 2003, but is significantly weaker. It causes a form of pneumonia with fever and respiratory distress.

To date it has killed at least 9 people, but more ominously Chinese scientists have confirmed as of yesterday 20 January 2020 that human-to-human transmission is occurring. A number of health workers are reported to have been infected. A PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test is available to confirm the presence of 2019-nCV.

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/3047022/wuhan-coronavirus-20-other-cities-china-affected

Around 200 cases have been reported so far by the China National Health Committee, but other epidemiologists using statistical modelling have estimated that at least 1700 people may have been infected to date. Monitoring of international airline passengers shows reports of suspected cases in Thailand, Japan, South Korea and most recently in Australia.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-21/coronavirus-brisbane-person-released-from-isolation-tested/11886164
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby Mossling on January 27th, 2020, 10:21 am 

It is killing old people apparently - just like pneumonia and influenza does and has been doing for a very long time.

So far Chinese death toll is at 81. Is that something to be so worried about?
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby toucana on January 27th, 2020, 3:32 pm 

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus who is the director general of the World Heath Organisation (WHO) flew into China today (Monday) for emergency talks with the Chinese authorities over the escalating novel CoronaVirus crisis.

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/society/article/3047757/who-chief-arrives-china-talks-coronavirus-crisis-death-toll

So far, 5 million people, which is half of the entire population of 11 million people, have already fled the city of Wuhan before it was sealed off, and Chinese sources say that another 10 cities in adjoining provinces have been locked down as well - right in the middle of the Chinese New Year festival which is normally the heaviest period of travel all year in China.

The Hubei Xinhua hospital in Wuhan has already confirmed that a number of the people who have died from the novel CoronaVirus were doctors and medical staff who were treating the earliest victims of the outbreak. It is emphatically *not* correct to suggest the virus is only killing elderly people who might well have died anyway of seasonal pneumonia.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/jan/25/coronavirus-outbreak-doctor-in-wuhan-hospital-dies-as-army-medics-flown-in

The Chinese authorities are seriously worried that this virus is mutating rapidly, and that the rate of human-to-human transmission is swiftly increasing. They are also concerned that the infectious phase of the illness seems to occur quite early during its incubation period while potential carriers are still apparently asymptomatic.

This makes it much harder to carry out effective medical screening of air passengers arriving on flights from affected areas.
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby TheVat on January 27th, 2020, 3:58 pm 

I had the same question as Moss when this story broke. It does appear to be more virulent than standard seasonal flu. How much more so, and how much it could mutate rtbs. The human population of Earth grows in both number and mobility, trends that don't help us wrt viruses.
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby Mossling on January 27th, 2020, 11:00 pm 

toucana » January 28th, 2020, 4:32 am wrote: It is emphatically *not* correct to suggest the virus is only killing elderly people who might well have died anyway of seasonal pneumonia.

I heard that one of the doctors who died was in his 60s. The latest and first case of a death in Beijing was a 9 month-old baby.

The least vulnerable age I've heard reported is a CEO in his fifties. Who knows if he was a smoker, drinker, etc.

Why are the only demographics we are hearing only of more vulnerable individuals?

Does anyone have data on the age range 20s-40s?
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby Mossling on January 27th, 2020, 11:46 pm 

Wuhan virus killing mostly the elderly, those with previous health problems
South China Morning Post, 23rd Jan 2020
Almost half of the 17 people killed by the Wuhan coronavirus
so far were aged 80 or over and most of them had pre-existing health problems, according to China’s health authorities. Children have been infected, but are not highly susceptible to the virus, they said.

Details of the fatalities released on Thursday showed the youngest person was 48 and the oldest 89.

All of those who died – 13 men and four women – were from the central province of Hubei, and treated in hospitals in its capital, Wuhan, where the outbreak began in December.

At least nine of those who died had pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, coronary artery disease and Parkinson’s disease. Eight were in their eighties, two in their seventies, five in their sixties and one man was in his fifties. The youngest woman was 48 and had a pre-existing condition.


So this is 5 days old, but still... I'd be interested to see the demographics of the current 106 dead....
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby TheVat on January 28th, 2020, 11:26 am 

Didn't China take some flack for their handling of SARS? To some extent, this may be driven by their political and economic concerns about the nation's image.
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby toucana on January 28th, 2020, 2:17 pm 

Super-spreaders were suspected multiple times by different experts and media. A widely believed super-spreader patient was reported to have infected 14 different members of medical staff. On 25 January, Gao Fu, the head of China's CDC denied such claims and "dismissed a media report" claiming this, according to an announcement made to the official Xinhua News Agency.[113] Earlier the same day, however, China Newsweek (operated by another official news agency, China News Service), citing an expert from Peking University, claimed that the aforementioned patient could be considered a super-spreader already, and criticised the hospitals involved for not having properly protected the staff who came in contact with the patient. China Newsweek also criticised the government's censorship, saying all doctors and nurses, except those in the fever clinic, have "basically nothing but a mask" to protect themselves.

[url]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019–20_Wuhan_coronavirus_outbreak[/url]

Image
Semi-log plot of confirmed cases and deaths indicates the epidemic is in an exponential phase.
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby Mossling on January 29th, 2020, 12:30 am 

I've seen photos of medical workers with hazmat, goggles, and mask.

A prominent doctor said it can easily get into eyes, so it seems appropriate barriers have been put in place for medics since. I am guessing that the medics themselves would demand it, anyway.

General guidelines on incubation is a week to 2 weeks max - so it seems that this is how they intend to beat the virus at present - by imposing quarantine measures in high risk zones until people are deemed safe for movement and interaction in public once again.
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby toucana on January 29th, 2020, 11:23 am 

This article by Bloomberg published six days ago offers a partial breakdown of known Coronavirus victims by age and sex, (and whether or not they were suffering from any pre-existing medical conditions).

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-23/several-china-coronavirus-victims-didn-t-even-have-a-fever

The data Bloomberg relied on apparently came from the China National Health Commission (CNHC). Bloomberg's own story mentions that at least one 10 year old child, as well as a man aged 36 were among the early victims.

I would be inclined to treat the CNHC figures with some caution. In the first place social scientists have long had difficulty in obtaining reliable information about the real age structure of China's population in general because it is a politically sensitive topic. For a generation or more the Chinese authorities have applied strong social pressure on families to have only one child, leading to a hypothetical preponderance of so-say '4-2-1' family structures. Data that contradicts this prescriptive political narrative tends not to find its way into print.

It has also become clear that CNHC are being criticised even by some Chinese scientists over their handling of the latest Coronavirus outbreak, amid suspicions that CNHC are more concerned with managing the PR perceptions of what is going on, than in dealing with the epidemiological realities of it.
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby Mossling on January 29th, 2020, 12:14 pm 

Thanks for that Toucana.

Yeah, as suspected - it seems to be only knocking out the older and weaker - until we receive alternative data.

I'm also interested in how long the virus can last outside of the human body when deposited on dry room temperature surfaces - it seems it is as yet unknown.

From a quick google search, I found SARS could survive max 6 days outside of the human body (I assume that includes the best conditions - 4 days in feces was quoted), but generally less than 24 hours in dry average room temp environments.
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby toucana on January 31st, 2020, 4:52 am 

We now have a large Hazmat emergency response team deployed just up the road from where I live in UK, after a student was reportedly taken ill with flu-like symptoms.

https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/coronavirus-uk-bristol-university-student-3796411?fbclid=IwAR1hZLAHT3G22kkJNt2hR7krW2H99CtZ9AjkQCLJXEcv7BqwcEwL8Jrm_PE

The university accomodation blocks at Wills Hall house significant numbers of asian students, including quite a few mandarin speakers from mainland China.

I deduce that the panic buttons got pushed because it may have been a Chinese student who had travelled back from a Lunar New Year family reunion in China that was taken ill.
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby Mossling on February 1st, 2020, 9:13 pm 

Outlier’ victim profiles raise questions over the impact of coronavirus
The Guardian/Observer, 1 Feb 2020
Most people who died from the new coronavirus appear to have been old, and many had pre-existing health problems, but Chinese government records list at least five victims under 60, with no prior medical issues detailed.

These potential “outliers” – aged 36, 50, 53, 55 and 58 – are a reminder that scientists are still racing to understand the nature and impact of the new disease as it spreads in China and around the world.

[...]

Cases recorded so far suggest most infections are not serious. “It appears that the majority of infected persons have mild symptoms, though a small proportion do develop breathing difficulties, including pneumonia,” said Ho, a specialist in respiratory epidemics. The question for experts is who might be susceptible to getting more seriously sick – and with many cases only recently recorded, how long it takes to identify cases that need more medical help.

[...]

many victims already suffered from illnesses including diabetes, heart problems, chronic bronchitis and other conditions. However there’s no explanation for the apparent “outlier” cases of relatively young victims, and no details as to why these cases have been made public.

But they do raise questions about whether some healthy people in middle age could be vulnerable to the disease. The youngest victim, aged 36, was of particular concern, experts said, because it was unclear what made him susceptible, and if it was something that could affect others.

“This 36-year-old is an enigma,” David Heymann, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told Time magazine. “We know that the majority of people who have died to date have co-morbidity and are elderly.”

Adding to the concerns is data showing that the disease spreads more easily than Sars, with some of those infected able to pass it on before they show symptoms.

A cluster of four cases in Germany appears to have originated with a single traveller who didn’t show any signs of illness until after she had left the country, a group of scientists warned in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine this week.
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby toucana on February 4th, 2020, 8:23 am 

CNN have posted an article about Dr Li Wenliang, a 34 y/o opthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital who was one of the first Chinese doctors in Wuhan to raise the alarm over the new Coronavirus back on 30th December. This doctor was one of eight medical workers subsequently arrested and interrogated by the police for ‘spreading false rumours’ online, and who was then hospitalised in an ITU on 12th January after he was found to be suffering from the virus himself.

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/03/asia/coronavirus-doctor-whistle-blower-intl-hnk/index.html

Chinese scientists identified the pathogen as a new Coronavirus on 7th January 2020, but a lock-down on the public reporting of new cases was imposed, and Chinese health authorities in Wuhan continued to assert for over another week that there was “no obvious evidence for human-to-human infection. In reality the authorities already knew that human-to-human transmission was occurring, and that the reinfection coefficent might be as high as 3.8.

The central government took over the handling of the crisis on the 20th January when President Xi Jinping addressed the matter for the first time in public, and later that evening another government expert on respiratory diseases called Zhong Nanshan who was involved in the SARS epidemic in 2003 went on state TV to confirm that human-to-human infection was occuring.

With 20,438 confirmed cases of infection, and a death toll standing at 425 in China alone, there is now great public anger in China over the mishandling of the early stages of this epidemic and the fact that the early medical whistleblowers were arrested and interrogated by the police instead of being listened to.

Two other people are now reported to have died outside of China from Coronavirus. One in the Philippines, and another most recently in the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong where a 39 y/o man who had recently returned from Wuhan has died.

There is considerable ongoing scientific discussion about the source of this new CoronaVirus. The favoured theories seem to be that it evolved from a combination of pathogens found in bats and reptiles. The ‘seafood’ market in Wuhan identified as the source of the outbreak was in fact an illegal black market that sold all manner of strange ‘bush-meats’ including bats and snakes for human consumption (Wuhan is nowhere near the sea coast of China).
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby toucana on February 4th, 2020, 1:21 pm 

An interesting article about zoonotic infections, and why populations of bats in particular seem to be so adept at harbouring them.

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/29/health/bats-viruses-coronavirus-scn/index.html
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby TheVat on February 4th, 2020, 1:56 pm 

Fascinating article about bats (the whole thread, too, thank you) - I hadn't really thought about the way bats, unlike some species that are driven away by humans (often deeper into the boonies, or to extinction), tend to adapt and get more intimate with us when they are displaced, settling in attics, crawlspaces, belfries (giving rise to the common metaphor for insanity), warehouse rafters, and so on. Also, the possible relation between the ability to fly and enhanced immune system, is another interesting surprise. The possibility of bat urine in tree sap, however, is one I will studiously ignore as long as I can, while I continue to enjoy pancakes with maple syrup.

Hopefully, no one will be playing the overture to Die Fledermaus while I'm enjoying Sunday breakfast.
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby toucana on February 4th, 2020, 7:23 pm 

♫ ♫ "Watch out where those fruit-bats poop, Don't you eat that yellow gloop " ♫ ♫
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby toucana on February 6th, 2020, 12:02 pm 

Dr Li Wenliang the 34 y/o opthalmologist from Wuhan Central Hospital mentioned earlier in this thread sadly died today in hospital from the effects of the Coronavirus according to CNN.

https://edition.cnn.com/asia/live-news/coronavirus-outbreak-02-06-20-intl-hnk/index.html
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby toucana on February 6th, 2020, 4:45 pm 

New reports by Chinese state media agencies now say that Dr Li Wenliang is still alive, but is critically ill, and being kept alive on a form of life-support known as Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO).

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-51403795

The ECMO technique is used to provide respiratory support to a critically ill patient whose heart and lungs are no longer capable of supporting an amount of gas-exchange or perfusion adequate to support life.

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

The technique has been used before in cases of acute respiratory distress syndrome, and offers upward of about a 55% chance of survival.
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby toucana on February 6th, 2020, 6:52 pm 

According to the BBC, the Peoples Daily (人民日報, RenMin RiBao) news agency in China is now conceding that Dr. Li Wenliang has died from the Coronavirus.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-51403795

Local journalists have told the BBC that government officials intervened when Dr Li's death was first reported, and that officlal media outlets were initially told to change their stories to say he was still being treated.
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby TheVat on February 9th, 2020, 12:57 pm 

https://www.sciencealert.com/the-pangol ... s-outbreak

As the article notes, the pangolins link is far from settled science, but there does seem to be a close genetic match between the current strain of hcv and that found in pangolins.

"watch out where pangolins poop... "
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby toucana on February 10th, 2020, 10:01 am 

A similar article in Business Insider gives more detail about some aspects of this possible link

https://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-a-pangolin-animal-spread-coronavirus-to-humans-2020-2?r=US&IR=T

Scientists at the South China Agricultural University (SCAU - 华南农业大学/華南農業大學) in Guangdong province are credited with the genome findings mentioned.

There are eight species of pangolin which are all regarded as endangered species, but the animals are heavily and illegally trafficked in asia in particular, because their meat is regarded as a delicacy in China and Vietnam, and their keratin scales are highly prized in traditional Chinese medicine as a cure for rheumatism. More than 100,000 pangolins are poached every year, according to WildAid, a nonprofit that works on illegal animal trade.

Pangolins are the world’s only scaly mammal and they are nocturnal. If bats drop faeces or saliva onto food that's consumed by a pangolin, the animal can become a carrier of the coronavirus. Humans can then be exposed by consuming pangolins, allowing the virus to then be transmitted from person to person.

The outbreak may have emerged from an illegal market selling seafood and meat in Wuhan. Researchers theorize that someone bought contaminated meat at the market, ate it, got sick and infected others, creating a ripple effect around the world.

However, research in the British medical journal The Lancet suggests the outbreak started earlier than December and casts doubt on the market connection. Another Lancet article below deals with game consumption in China and its possible connection to the 2019 novel Cornoavirus outbreak

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30063-3/fulltext
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby TheVat on February 11th, 2020, 10:49 am 

Virus storytellers challenge China’s official narrative

https://apnews.com/8455474af114e6b298cec8cd5da65b65
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby toucana on February 12th, 2020, 7:22 pm 

Image

The citizen journalist Chen Qiushi featured in that article is pictured standing in front of the Wuhan International Convention and Exhibition Centre which has very recently been taken over and converted into a large temporary hospital facility to cope with the enormous numbers of Coronavirus patients in Wuhan.

This Trade centre (the largest in Wuhan) has ten trade halls that can normally cater for up to 8970 delegates at a time. It is still listed online on some sites as hosting the following:-

Frid. 5 March - Game and Amusement Fair
Mon. 23 March - China International Artificial Intelligence & New Retail Industries Fair
Wed. 8 April - China Refrigeration Expo 2020

Something tells me that schedule is about to take a beating.

https://10times.com/venues/wuhan-international-expo-center
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COVID-19

Postby Event Horizon on February 17th, 2020, 12:19 am 

[covid-19 threads merged by moderator]



Hello friends.
This viral variant is making waves.
I thought it worth posing some questions, and fielding thoughts and suggestions and look at the science.
Sorry I've been away again, war studies keep me busy.
> We know this virus well, it caused SARS and MERS, pneumonia and other symptoms.
>It is spread in droplet form, but has also been found in saliva, blood and stools.
>It is infectious up to 2 weeks before any symptoms show.
>The mortality rate in the general population due to COVID-19 is about 2%, but in infected hospitalised patients this figure rises to 20—22%.
>A vaccine is being tested on animals, but a human vaccine is an estimated 18 months distant.
>The Chinese have made all motor transport illegal around the epicentre.
>Containment is slowing the spread, but is not airtight by any means. Personal responsibility is becoming a feature of this outbreak.
I've been charting its progress for some weeks, I will still be charting it an a few weeks yet, if not more. I thought to come back from my studies and talk science with my friends. Scientese is afterall my mother tongue!
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Re: COVID-19

Postby Event Horizon on February 17th, 2020, 12:31 am 

https://www.pharmaceutical-technology.c ... k-evolved/
Evolution of the COVID-19'S Timeline
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Re: COVID-19

Postby Mossling on February 18th, 2020, 10:44 pm 

Event Horizon » February 17th, 2020, 1:19 pm wrote:>The mortality rate in the general population due to COVID-19 is about 2%, but in infected hospitalised patients this figure rises to 20—22%.

Where did you get these figures from?

From what I've been seeing, the death rate is 2% of identified cases.
80% of deaths over 60 yrs.
75% of deaths due to pre-existing health issues.

From WHO:
“More than 80% of patients have mild disease and will recover, 14% have severe disease including pneumonia and shortness of breath, 5% have critical disease including respiratory failure, septic shock and multi-organ failure, and 2% of cases are fatal,” Tedros said in Geneva. “The risk of death increases the older you are.”
He said children were not suffering from Covid-19 in the same way as adults, and more research was needed to find out why. There were still gaps in understanding

So in other words, the younger the person, the milder the symptoms and the threat level.
People have been known to suffer what they thought was 'just a cold', then 'recover' from it, but go on to spread COVID-19 to others.
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby toucana on February 19th, 2020, 8:37 am 

The clinical director of Wuchang Hospital in Wuhan at the epicentre of the epidemic died earlier today according to Chinese authorities.

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/17/asia/coronavirus-covid-19-update-intl-hnk/index.html

Liu Zhiming was a leading 51 y/o neurosurgeon. ""Unfortunately he became infected and passed away at 10:54 Tuesday morning after all-out efforts to save him failed,” the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said.

https://eu.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/02/18/wuhan-china-coronavirus-hospital-director-dies-covid/4792597002/

The death came the same day Chinese officials released data indicating the new virus could be 20 times more lethal than the flu.

The global death toll from the virus is at 2,009 as of Tuesday evening. All but a handful of global virus-related deaths have been in mainland China.

Total infections rose Tuesday to more than 75,000, all but a few hundred in mainland China.

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention put the overall death rate for the virus at 2.3%. The season's flu death rate in the U.S. thus far is about 0.1%, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The coronavirus death rate is far below that of severe acute respiratory syndrome – SARS – a coronavirus that swept across China almost two decades ago. The SARS death rate was almost 10%, although fewer than 10,000 SARS cases were ever confirmed.
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby Mossling on February 20th, 2020, 1:36 am 

toucana » February 19th, 2020, 9:37 pm wrote:The coronavirus death rate is far below that of severe acute respiratory syndrome – SARS – a coronavirus that swept across China almost two decades ago. The SARS death rate was almost 10%, although fewer than 10,000 SARS cases were ever confirmed.

Yes, SARS wasn't as stealthy as COVID-19 is.
Plenty of young people reporting a recovery from a mere cold are spreading the virus to the elderly without knowing it.
With SARS the symptoms were pretty clear and infected people could more easily be identified and quarantined.

Passengers from the cruise ship that was allowed to dock in Cambodia were only given fever temperature checks and allowed to leave if they had no body temperature issues. They have now since scattered across the globe.

This virus is very different from SARS. It has mild effects on the young, but fatal effects on 2% of the elderly.
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Re: Year of the Rat fears over new Corona Virus

Postby toucana on February 20th, 2020, 5:35 am 

The problem is that Coronaviruses like COVID-19 are capable of mutating quite rapidly as they proliferate, and this strain could conceivably mutate into something much more akin to SARS than it is at present. (It could also mutate into a more benign variant and simply peter out and vanish).

Back around 2003 when the SARS epidemic was at its height I recall watching a news segment on BBC TV news where a reporter interviewed a pulmonary specialist in asia who was treating a patient stricken with SARS. The doctor showed two chest X-Rays of that patient taken just a few days apart, and they made terrifying viewing. The specialist likened the visible effects of SARS in that radiograph to "instant lung cancer" in terms of the devastation it inflicted on the victim's respiratory system.
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