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Thread: Disease and pandemics thread (because it's science)

  1. #931
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Which is a strong argument for increased testing. Two strong arguments.

    If it can be shown that the mortality rate is about the same as the seasonal flu instead of 10-30X, maybe people will stop panic buying, etc.
    Well an average seasonal flu sits at about 0.1%, so the fatality rate of COVID-19 is still about ten times higher. And the proportion who become ill enough to require hospital care is also considerably higher than for seasonal flu. So people really do need to be motivated to help limit transmission during the coming few months.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    A couple of cases have now been confirmed in Ohio, and I note that very quickly (over the last 24 hours) lots of events are getting canceled, including shows, concerts, public programs at the library, museums, or in the parks, etc. Many of the cities and counties around here have declared states of emergency - they are quick to point out that this is mostly so that rules like getting bids for purchases are suspended, but still. Any restaurant that I have any kind of email or other social media contact with has sent out statements about all the measures they are taking about the virus.
    The state (of Ohio) has announced that all schools will close for 3 weeks starting Monday (extended spring break).
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  3. #933
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    So people really do need to be motivated to help limit transmission during the coming few months.
    That is going to be soooo hard, as no one is at all used to that. I've been watching myself. I touch my face about 100x a day, don't shake hands much, and am around people in office who cough and sneeze openly, because allergies.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  4. #934
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    That is going to be soooo hard, as no one is at all used to that. I've been watching myself. I touch my face about 100x a day, don't shake hands much, and am around people in office who cough and sneeze openly, because allergies.
    It's not actually that hard. People just need to take on board that if they contract and then transmit this disease, then even though they may themselves have a very low risk of death, they are almost certainly contributing to someone's death, farther down the chain of transmission. Concentrates the mind wonderfully.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    It's not actually that hard. People just need to take on board that if they contract and then transmit this disease, then even though they may themselves have a very low risk of death, they are almost certainly contributing to someone's death, farther down the chain of transmission. Concentrates the mind wonderfully.
    Maybe older people, not so much younger ones. Had an interesting conversation with my sister today, who is having trouble getting her children (20s-30s) to beware of spreading the virus. They (and my children, 2 of the 3, and my other nieces and nephews) are very blasé about it. "I might get sick, so what."
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

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    3/12/2020
    WHO SITUATION IN NUMBERS: total and new cases in last 24 hours

    Globally: 125,048 confirmed (6,729 new), 4,613 deaths (321 new)

    China: 80,981 confirmed (26 new), 3,173 deaths (11 new)

    Outside of China: 44,067 confirmed (6,703 new), 1,440 deaths (310 new)

    NOTES: 35% of all cases are now outside of China. 31% of all deaths are now outside of China.

    Fatality rate in Hubei Province, China: 0.045 (CFR 4.5%)
    Fatality rate in Italy: 0.06636 (CFR 6.64%)
    Fatality rate in France: 0.021
    Fatality rate in Spain: 0.022
    Fatality rate in South Korea: 0.008387 (CFR 0.84%)
    Fatality rate in Iran: 0.0393 (CFR 3.93%)
    Fatality rate in the USA: 0.0294 (CFR 2.94%)

    THOUGHTS: I assume the great differences in the extent of testing have much to do with these numbers, but am not sure.

    LATER: Could any conditions such as air pollution, prior diseases, or the like have some effect on these numbers?
    Last edited by Roger E. Moore; 2020-Mar-12 at 10:32 PM.
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  7. #937
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Maybe older people, not so much younger ones. Had an interesting conversation with my sister today, who is having trouble getting her children (20s-30s) to beware of spreading the virus. They (and my children, 2 of the 3, and my other nieces and nephews) are very blasé about it. "I might get sick, so what."
    Well, I'm sure they'd be just a little disappointed if they infected you, wouldn't they? It doesn't take much imagination for younger people to understand the risk they'd be creating for their parents and grandparents.
    Anyway, that message is now actively going out in the UK--that we need the low-risk to consider the effect of their actions on the high-risk.

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2020-Mar-12 at 10:36 PM.

  8. #938
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    Essay on the difference between Italy and South Korea in virus response and results.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKBN20Z27P
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

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    Long comic on saving yourself from the coronavirus. It is quite funny.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsan...s-how-did-i-do
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Things were stable for a while, but now there has been an uptick.

    46 3.0%
    47 3.1%
    48 2.8%
    49 6.2%

    The sudden jump yesterday was mostly from Italy, where there were 132 deaths in the last day.
    And it's still rising.

    50 5.3%
    51 7.0%
    52 7.5%

    It is clear from what's happening though that there are definite differences in how it spreads depending on the policies and local situation. Korea and Italy were in the same situation a while back, but the spread has been fairly well contained in Korea while in Italy is has really spiraled out of control.
    As above, so below

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    The man who stopped sports in the USA dead in its tracks, by goofing around with microphones at a Utah Jazz sports event. MLB delayed, NCAA men's and women's cancelled, XFL and NHL and NBA cancelled...

    https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/r...s-coronavirus/
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/sport...rus-utah-jazz/
    Last edited by Roger E. Moore; 2020-Mar-13 at 02:17 AM.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  12. #942
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    What's the point in a travel ban that does not take effect immediately? Is it safe to fly until Friday midnite, or is this baloney? Questions might be rhetorical or sarcastic in part, but not entirely.
    Responding seriously, I think that it's difficult to do it right away, because you have people who may be already traveling toward a connecting flight, and the airlines need to think about logistics, like where they will park the planes that are not being used because of the ban and stuff like that. And the immigration inspectors need to be prepared. So there would be a lot of confusion is you start something like that immediately. According to what I've read, even in the White House people were taken by surprise by the announcement and had to scramble to clarify things.

    He has also said he is considering a travel ban to California and Washington, but not to New York, even though New York has more cases than California.
    As above, so below

  13. #943
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    The man who stopped sports in the USA dead in its tracks, by goofing around with microphones at a Utah Jazz sports event. MLB delayed, NCAA men's and women's cancelled, XFL and NHL and NBA cancelled...

    https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/r...s-coronavirus/
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/sport...rus-utah-jazz/
    I’m torn between thinking him a fool for his actions, while considering that he might have helped by getting them to self-isolate a bit earlier than they otherwise would have. Hopefully not many picked up the virus from him.

    Meanwhile, stock futures are down again, but last I looked, not as bad as yesterday. The financial aspect is also going to be a major issue for this disease, though there probably will be a big bounce when it starts fading.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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    The % ratio of global Recovered/Confirmed infections since the beginning of the month reveals why a pandemic was called.

    March, 1 - 46.2
    March, 2 - 50.6
    March, 3 - 52.7
    March, 4 - 54.4
    March, 5 - 55.8
    March, 6 - 56.3
    March, 7 - 56.0
    March, 8 - 55.1
    March, 9 - 56.3
    March, 10 - 55.9
    March, 11 - 55.2
    March, 12 - 54.1
    March, 13 - 53.2

  15. #945
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    The European Union travel ban is ... interesting. Travel from the UK and other countries with significant viral presence continues.
    It's a travel ban to places that have said mean things about Trump. Don't look for any rhyme or reason from that quarter.
    And evidence from China seems to be that, once you already have a pool of virus in a region, a travel ban into that region from other infected areas simply delays the epidemic peak by a few days--it's the local measures to contain and delay transmission that determine the eventual number of people infected and the height of the peak. Which makes sense--infections from the local pool can make up any difference caused by a travel ban, on a time scale determined by the transmission rate.
    Yes, it's a bit like a person avoiding contact with other sick people after they are already sick. What they actually need is internal treatment. Fortunately, a lot of local authorities and private parties are taking the effective actions of producing social distancing, and many schools are going to online classes. What China seems to have found is that if you can completely shut off interpersonal connections, you can limit the sick to those already infected. It's probably a bit brutal for the infected, but the Chinese approach has long been to place the needs of the society above those of the individual. It will be interesting to see if different strategies can work in places which place more stress on individual liberties.

    Some numbers coming out of WHO is that for those who are sick enough to report to health care facilities, 40% have "mild" disease (which just means no pneumonia or lung damage), 40% have more serious disease but not in danger of dying (this group is pretty miserable for a few weeks and might have long-term damage, but don't need oxygen), and 20% who will basically die without oxygen. With a functioning healthcare system, more than half of that last 20% still survive, but if the system is overwhelmed, that will be the death rate. So a big part of not having an awful death rate is to not have so many cases that the healthcare system is overwhelmed. Thus keeping the case load lower will save lives both by having fewer sick people, and also by having a lower fraction of them die. The key thing to avoid is a kind of wartime triage, where you actually unhook people who need respirators because other people need them even more. That is what is happening in Italy, it must be horrendous to have to write people off like that, just like on a battlefield during a major offensive.
    Last edited by Ken G; 2020-Mar-13 at 06:31 AM.

  16. #946
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    The other logic to the "delay" phase, at least in the northern hemisphere, is that as well as lowering the peak it pushes it well into the spring. Even if transmissibility for this virus doesn't decrease with warmer weather, we know that seasonal flu will have waned by then, which always frees up some high dependency and intensive care resources.
    We've had an interesting turn of events in Scotland, with the introduction of a ban on large assemblies of people (>500). The interesting bit is that the Scottish government has been up-front about the logic for this, which is not that it will have a significant effect on coronavirus transmission (the effect there is small) but that such gatherings always put additional pressure on emergency services--cancelling them will leave greater flexibility in the system.
    One concern, however, is that by playing major sporting events in empty stadiums, we'll drive more people into pubs screening the TV coverage, where the risk of transmission is higher than it is in an open stadium with seating. So there's serious discussion about requiring cable TV companies to transmit the big events free of charge, so people can watch from home without a subscription.
    It's a good example of the level of thought that needs to go into public health interventions.

    Grant Hutchison

  17. #947
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    Speaking of things not to do during a pandemic unless you want a mob to chase you down...

    https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/j...rnd/index.html

    Hope we find out who this was.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  18. #948
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken G View Post
    It's a travel ban to places that have said mean things about Trump. Don't look for any rhyme or reason from that quarter.
    Yes, it's a bit like a person avoiding contact with other sick people after they are already sick. What they actually need is internal treatment. Fortunately, a lot of local authorities and private parties are taking the effective actions of producing social distancing, and many schools are going to online classes. What China seems to have found is that if you can completely shut off interpersonal connections, you can limit the sick to those already infected. It's probably a bit brutal for the infected, but the Chinese approach has long been to place the needs of the society above those of the individual. It will be interesting to see if different strategies can work in places which place more stress on individual liberties.
    All

    Political comments as they relate to the virus are questionable at best on CQ; the comments in the first and last sentences of this paragraph are well beyond that.

    Do not use this thread for political comments. There will be no further warnings.
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  19. #949
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    Mt Everest is closed on Chinese and Nepalese sides. Climbers have enough trouble breathing at base camp w/o a virus.
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  20. #950
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    One concern, however, is that by playing major sporting events in empty stadiums, we'll drive more people into pubs screening the TV coverage, where the risk of transmission is higher than it is in an open stadium with seating. So there's serious discussion about requiring cable TV companies to transmit the big events free of charge, so people can watch from home without a subscription.
    It's a good example of the level of thought that needs to go into public health interventions.
    In the US, many sports are being suspended altogether, but the college basketball is pressing on in empty arenas. This could easily lead to the problem you are describing, because "March Madness" is an institution here, and people will want to watch the games whereever they can. The sports that have been suspended (professional basketball and hockey, for example) also send an important societal message that this is not to be trifled with. I worry that playing in front of empty stadiums doesn't have quite the same urgency, and might even build a sense that these are the only kinds of precautions we need. There just aren't the voices saying "we need to do many of the things China did or we'll be the next Italy," it's more like the feeling is "if we wash our hands a lot and avoid large rooms packed with people, that should be enough to make this all go away."

  21. #951
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    The US college basketball tournament commonly known as "March Madness" has been canceled.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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    Iran is digging mass graves in Qom, likely for for coronavirus victims, shown in satellite photos.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...***-graves-qom
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

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    Here in the UK it's being made clear that the disease and disruption are going to get a lot worse before they get better, and that we're in it for the long haul, but that there is a staged approach, introducing more draconian measures at the point in the disease prevalence curve where they'll do most good. Good surveillance is key to this, though--what went wrong in China and then Italy is that there was massive community transmission going on before anyone realized--with the result that 200 patients with acute breathing difficulties suddenly pitched up at one Italian hospital in the space of 24 hours.

    Another interesting and frank point made by the UK's Chief Scientific Adviser is that we don't actually want, at this point, to shut the disease down entirely in the UK, even if we could. There's such a developing pool of infection elsewhere in the world that it would inevitably come back into the country again, and a cycle of futile clamp-downs and disease resurgences would develop. So what we now "want" (for certain reluctant values of "want") is actually for a large number of low-risk people to catch the disease and recover, in slow progression over the next few months, so that herd immunity develops to protect the high-risk people, with as few high-risk people as possible exposed during that period.

    So the UK's population has been getting some interesting lectures on epidemiology of late, framed in a "Here's what we need you to do, and here's why we need you to do it" presentation format.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    The US college basketball tournament commonly known as "March Madness" has been canceled.
    Ah, I hadn't heard, that really is a shame for those young athletes but I think it does send the right message.

  25. #955
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    Well, no politics here, I am stuck for the moment in Montréal airport having cut short a multicity trip to the USA ,leaving because of the rush to get Europeans out , in effect, and we will self quaranteen in UK, fortunately no hardship there. Remembering my early comment about stair falls, I notice people, myself included, avoiding hand rails, so an increase in falls can be predicted!
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    ... we will self quaranteen in UK, fortunately no hardship there.
    I am so jelly right now.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

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    Check news 3 pm ET, possible US national emergency to be declared by WH.
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Good surveillance is key to this, though--what went wrong in China and then Italy is that there was massive community transmission going on before anyone realized--with the result that 200 patients with acute breathing difficulties suddenly pitched up at one Italian hospital in the space of 24 hours.
    Saw an article in the Italian news saying that they think there were unidentified cases back in January, so there was quite a long period before action was taken.

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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Remembering my early comment about stair falls, I notice people, myself included, avoiding hand rails, so an increase in falls can be predicted!
    Maybe an increase in cases of contact dermatitis from all the handwashing, as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Saw an article in the Italian news saying that they think there were unidentified cases back in January, so there was quite a long period before action was taken.
    I think there are some unidentified cases in the US, the testing problem is flabbergasting. However with more testing in the US, I think the death rate will drop dramatically over the next couple weeks in the US. Perhaps as low as one percent.
    The moment an instant lasted forever, we were destined for the leading edge of eternity.

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