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PANDEMIC ALERT LEVEL
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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic; Coronavirus Pandemic Discussion Forum.

Going to Defcon 6 & Declaring Pandemic

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote roni3470 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2020 at 12:20pm
great article and puts things into great perspective!
NOW is the Season to Know

that Everything you Do

is Sacred
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiwiMum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2020 at 12:23pm
Last night I well and truly scared myself looking at twitter. I had to go to bed with a funny book! lol.

It may all be lies but this is what I was looking at:

In particular the video of all the bodies on the pavement, and then the man talking to the camera about incinerators. Too scary for me.
You can't fix stupid.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2020 at 12:24pm
Here is the article Chuck gives the link for:

You’re Likely to Get the Coronavirus

Most cases are not life-threatening, which is also what makes the virus a historic challenge to contain.
James Hamblin
10:39 AM ET

In May 1997, a 3-year-old boy developed what at first seemed like the common cold. When his symptoms—sore throat, fever, and cough—persisted for six days, he was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong. There his cough worsened, and he began gasping for air. Despite intensive care, the boy died.

Puzzled by his rapid deterioration, doctors sent a sample of the boy’s sputum to China’s Department of Health. But the standard testing protocol couldn’t fully identify the virus that had caused the disease. The chief virologist decided to ship some of the sample to colleagues in other countries.

At the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, the boy’s sputum sat for a month, waiting for its turn in a slow process of antibody-matching analysis. The results eventually confirmed that this was a variant of influenza, the virus that has killed more people than any in history. But this type had never before been seen in humans. It was H5N1, or “avian flu,” discovered two decades prior, but known only to infect birds.

By then, it was August. Scientists sent distress signals around the world. The Chinese government swiftly killed 1.5 million chickens (over the protests of chicken farmers). Further cases were closely monitored and isolated. By the end of the year there were 18 known cases in humans. Six people died.

This was seen as a successful global response, and the virus was not seen again for years. In part, containment was possible because the disease was so severe: Those who got it became manifestly, extremely ill. H5N1 has a fatality rate of around 60 percent—if you get it, you’re likely to die. Yet since 2003, the virus has killed only 455 people. The much “milder” flu viruses, by contrast, kill fewer than 0.1 percent of people they infect, on average, but are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths every year.

Severe illness caused by viruses such as H5N1 also means that infected people can be identified and isolated, or that they died quickly. They do not walk around feeling just a little under the weather, seeding the virus. The new coronavirus (known technically as SARS-CoV-2) that has been spreading around the world can cause a respiratory illness that can be severe. The disease (known as COVID-19) seems to have a fatality rate of less than 2 percent—exponentially lower than most outbreaks that make global news. The virus has raised alarm not despite that low fatality rate, but because of it.

Coronaviruses are similar to influenza viruses in that they are both single strands of RNA. Four coronaviruses commonly infect humans, causing colds. These are believed to have evolved in humans to maximize their own spread—which means sickening, but not killing, people. By contrast, the two prior novel coronavirus outbreaks—SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome, named for where the first outbreak occurred)—were picked up from animals, as was H5N1. These diseases were highly fatal to humans. If there were mild or asymptomatic cases, they were extremely few. Had there been more of them, the disease would have spread widely. Ultimately, SARS and MERS each killed fewer than 1,000 people.

COVID-19 is already reported to have killed more than twice that number. With its potent mix of characteristics, this virus is unlike most that capture popular attention: It is deadly, but not too deadly. It makes people sick, but not in predictable, uniquely identifiable ways. Last week, 14 Americans tested positive on a cruise ship in Japan despite feeling fine—the new virus may be most dangerous because, it seems, it may sometimes cause no symptoms at all.

The world has responded with unprecedented speed and mobilization of resources. The new virus was identified extremely quickly. Its genome was sequenced by Chinese scientists and shared around the world within weeks. The global scientific community has shared genomic and clinical data at unprecedented rates. Work on a vaccine is well under way. The Chinese government enacted dramatic containment measures, and the World Health Organization declared an emergency of international concern. All of this happened in a fraction of the time it took to even identify H5N1 in 1997. And yet the outbreak continues to spread.

The Harvard epidemiology professor Marc Lipsitch is exacting in his diction, even for an epidemiologist. Twice in our conversation he started to say something, then paused and said, “Actually, let me start again.” So it’s striking when one of the points he wanted to get exactly right was this: “I think the likely outcome is that it will ultimately not be containable.”

Containment is the first step in responding to any outbreak. In the case of COVID-19, the possibility (however implausible) of preventing a pandemic seemed to play out in a matter of days. Starting in January, China began cordoning off progressively larger areas, radiating outward from Wuhan City and eventually encapsulating some 100 million people. People were barred from leaving home, and lectured by drones if they were caught outside. Nonetheless, the virus has now been found in 24 countries.

Despite the apparent ineffectiveness of such measures—relative to their inordinate social and economic cost, at least—the crackdown continues to escalate. Under political pressure to “stop” the virus, last Thursday the Chinese government announced that officials in the Hubei province would be going door to door, testing people for fevers and looking for signs of illness, then sending all potential cases to quarantine camps. But even with the ideal containment, the virus’s spread may have been inevitable. Testing people who are already extremely sick is an imperfect strategy if people can spread the virus without even feeling bad enough to stay home from work.

Lipsitch predicts that, within the coming year, some 40 to 70 percent of people around the world will be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. But, he clarifies emphatically, this does not mean that all will have severe illnesses. “It’s likely that many will have mild disease, or may be asymptomatic,” he said. As with influenza, which is often life-threatening to people with chronic health conditions and of older age, most cases pass without medical care. (Overall, around 14 percent of people with influenza have no symptoms.)

Lipsitch is far from alone in his belief that this virus will continue to spread widely. The emerging consensus among epidemiologists is that the most likely outcome of this outbreak is a new seasonal disease—a fifth “endemic” coronavirus. With the other four, people are not known to develop long-lasting immunity. If this one follows suit, and if the disease continues to be as severe as it is now, “cold and flu season” could become “cold and flu and COVID-19 season.”

At this point, it is not even known how many people are infected. As of Sunday, there have been 35 confirmed cases in the U.S., according to the World Health Organization. But Lipsitch’s “very, very rough” estimate when we spoke a week ago (banking on “multiple assumptions piled on top of each other,” he said) was that 100 or 200 people in the U.S. were infected. That’s all it would take to seed the disease widely. The rate of spread would depend on how contagious the disease is in milder cases. On Friday, Chinese scientists reported in the medical journal JAMA an apparent case of asymptomatic spread of the virus, from a patient with a normal chest CT scan. The researchers concluded with stolid understatement that if this finding is not a bizarre abnormality, “the prevention of COVID-19 infection would prove challenging.”

Even if Lipsitch’s estimates were off by orders of magnitude, they wouldn’t likely change the overall prognosis. “Two hundred cases of a flu-like illness during flu season—when you’re not testing for it—is very hard to detect,” Lipsitch said. “But it would be really good to know sooner rather than later whether that’s correct, or whether we’ve miscalculated something. The only way to do that is by testing.”

Originally, doctors in the U.S. were advised not to test people unless they had been to China or had contact with someone who had been diagnosed with the disease. Within the past two weeks, the CDC said it would start screening people in five U.S. cities, in an effort to give some idea of how many cases are actually out there. But tests are still not widely available. As of Friday, the Association of Public Health Laboratories said that only California, Nebraska, and Illinois had the capacity to test people for the virus.

With so little data, prognosis is difficult. But the concern that this virus is beyond containment—that it will be with us indefinitely—is nowhere more apparent than in the global race to find a vaccine, one of the clearest strategies for saving lives in the years to come.

Over the past month, stock prices of a small pharmaceutical company named Inovio more than doubled. In mid-January, it reportedly discovered a vaccine for the new coronavirus. This claim has been repeated in many news reports, even though it is technically inaccurate. Like other drugs, vaccines require a long testing process to see if they indeed protect people from disease, and do so safely. What this company—and others—has done is copy a bit of the virus’s RNA that one day could prove to work as a vaccine. It’s a promising first step, but to call it a discovery is like announcing a new surgery after sharpening a scalpel.

Though genetic sequencing is now extremely fast, making vaccines is as much art as science. It involves finding a viral sequence that will reliably cause a protective immune-system memory but not trigger an acute inflammatory response that would itself cause symptoms. (While the influenza vaccine cannot cause the flu, CDC warns that it can cause “flu-like symptoms.”) Hitting this sweet spot requires testing, first in lab models and animals, and eventually in people. One does not simply ship a billion viral gene fragments around the world to be injected into everyone at the moment of discovery.

Inovio is far from the only small biotech company venturing to create a sequence that strikes that balance. Others include Moderna, CureVac, and Novavax. Academic researchers are also on the case, at Imperial College London and other universities, as are federal scientists in several countries, including at the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Anthony Fauci, head of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, wrote in JAMA in January that the agency was working at historic speed to find a vaccine. During the SARS outbreak in 2003, researchers moved from obtaining the genomic sequence of the virus and into a phase 1 clinical trial of a vaccine in 20 months. Fauci wrote that his team has since compressed that timeline to just over three months for other viruses, and for the new coronavirus, “they hope to move even faster.”

New models have sprung up in recent years, too, that promise to speed up vaccine development. One is the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI), which was launched in Norway in 2017 to finance and coordinate the development of new vaccines. Its founders include the governments of Norway and India, the Wellcome Trust, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The group’s money is now flowing to Inovio and other small biotech start-ups, encouraging them to get into the risky business of vaccine development. The group’s CEO, Richard Hatchett, shares Fauci’s basic timeline vision—a COVID-19 vaccine ready for early phases of safety testing in April. If all goes well, by late summer testing could begin to see if the vaccine actually prevents disease.

Overall, if all pieces fell into place, Hatchett guesses it would be 12 to 18 months before an initial product could be deemed safe and effective. That timeline represents “a vast acceleration compared with the history of vaccine development,” he told me. But it’s also unprecedentedly ambitious. “Even to propose such a timeline at this point must be regarded as hugely aspirational,” he added.

Even if that idyllic year-long projection were realized, the novel product would still require manufacturing and distribution. “An important consideration is whether the underlying approach can then be scaled to produce millions or even billions of doses in coming years,” Hatchett said. Especially in an ongoing emergency, if borders closed and supply chains broke, distribution and production could prove difficult purely as a matter of logistics.

Fauci’s initial optimism seemed to wane, too. Last week he said that the process of vaccine development was proving “very difficult and very frustrating.” For all the advances in basic science, the process cannot proceed to an actual vaccine without extensive clinical testing, which requires manufacturing many vaccines and meticulously monitoring outcomes in people. The process could ultimately cost hundreds of millions of dollars—money that the NIH, start-ups, and universities don’t have. Nor do they have the production facilities and technology to mass-manufacture and distribute a vaccine.

Production of vaccines has long been contingent on investment from one of the handful of giant global pharmaceutical companies. At the Aspen Institute last week, Fauci lamented that none had yet to “step up” and commit to making the vaccine. “Companies that have the skill to be able to do it are not going to just sit around and have a warm facility, ready to go for when you need it,” he said. Even if they did, taking on a new product like this could mean massive losses, especially if the demand faded or if people, for complex reasons, chose not to use the product.

Making vaccines is so difficult, cost intensive, and high risk that in the 1980s, when drug companies began to incur legal costs over alleged harms caused by vaccines, many opted to simply quit making them. To incentivize the pharmaceutical industry to keep producing these vital products, the U.S. government offered to indemnify anyone claiming to have been harmed by a vaccine. The arrangement continues to this day. Even still, drug companies have generally found it more profitable to invest in the daily-use drugs for chronic conditions. And coronaviruses could present a particular challenge in that at their core they are, like influenza viruses, a single strand of RNA. This viral class is likely to mutate, and vaccines may need to be in constant development, as with the flu.

“If we’re putting all our hopes in a vaccine as being the answer, we’re in trouble,” Jason Schwartz, an assistant professor at Yale School of Public Health who studies vaccine policy, told me. The best-case scenario, as Schwartz sees it, is the one in which this vaccine development happens far too late to make a difference for the current outbreak. The real problem is that preparedness for this outbreak should have been happening for the past decade, ever since SARS. “Had we not set the SARS-vaccine-research program aside, we would have had a lot more of this foundational work that we could apply to this new, closely related virus, ” he said. But, as with Ebola, government funding and pharmaceutical-industry development evaporated once the sense of emergency lifted. “Some very early research ended up sitting on a shelf because that outbreak ended before a vaccine needed to be aggressively developed.”

On Saturday, Politico reported that the White House is preparing to ask Congress for $1 billion in emergency funding for a coronavirus response. This request, if it materialized, would come in the same month in which President Donald Trump released a new budget proposal that would cut key elements of pandemic preparedness—funding for the CDC, the NIH, and foreign aid.

These long-term government investments matter because creating vaccines, antiviral medications, and other vital tools requires decades of serious investment, even when demand is low. Market-based economies often struggle to develop a product for which there is no immediate demand and to distribute products to the places they’re needed. CEPI has been touted as a promising model to incentivize vaccine development before an emergency begins, but the group also has skeptics. Last year, Doctors Without Borders wrote a scathing open letter, saying the model didn’t ensure equitable distribution or affordability. CEPI subsequently updated its policies to forefront equitable access, and Manuel Martin, a medical innovation and access adviser with Doctors Without Borders, told me last week that he’s now cautiously optimistic. “CEPI is absolutely promising, and we really hope that it will be successful in producing a novel vaccine,” he said. But he and his colleagues are “waiting to see how CEPI’s commitments play out in practice.”

These considerations matter not simply as humanitarian benevolence, but also as effective policy. Getting vaccines and other resources to the places where they will be most helpful is essential to stop disease from spreading widely. During the 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak, for example, Mexico was hit hard. In Australia, which was not, the government prevented exports by its pharmaceutical industry until it filled the Australian government’s order for vaccines. The more the world enters lockdown and self-preservation mode, the more difficult it could be to soberly assess risk and effectively distribute tools, from vaccines and respirator masks to food and hand soap.

Italy, Iran, and South Korea are now among the countries reporting quickly growing numbers of detected COVID-19 infections. Many countries have responded with containment attempts, despite the dubious efficacy and inherent harms of China’s historically unprecedented crackdown. Certain containment measures will be appropriate, but widely banning travel, closing down cities, and hoarding resources are not realistic solutions for an outbreak that lasts years. All of these measures come with risks of their own. Ultimately some pandemic responses will require opening borders, not closing them. At some point the expectation that any area will escape effects of COVID-19 must be abandoned: The disease must be seen as everyone’s problem.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2020 at 1:17pm
It's obvious that the CFR is higher than the Chinese have admitted,

3.5+

The way the Italians shut down 100,000 people ,

Shows this is nothing to sneeze(sorry,lol.....)about.....

Granddaughter was sneezing all over me yesterday.........Wink

So no matter what preps you got  ........

Watch this space..😂lolCry

LMAO

Is windy here could have been allergies.......🤧

12 Monkeys...............
1995 ‧ Science fiction film/Thriller ‧ 2h 11m a must for AFT
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2020 at 1:27pm
Originally posted by Technophobe Technophobe wrote:

Here is the article Chuck gives the link for:

You’re Likely to Get the Coronavirus

Most cases are not life-threatening, which is also what makes the virus a historic challenge to contain.
James Hamblin
10:39 AM ET

Thank you, dear!  

As an epidemiologist/virologist, this is what I'm looking for: 

a) increase in severity of infection - thus far, this is a "mild" coronavirus compared to SARS and MERS

b) increase in mortality in younger people - so far, it is largely restricted to older, primarily male, victims

c)  decrease in new case reporting as awareness spreads worldwide - remember, we beat back SARS, which was a much deadlier disease. 

d)  political instability fomented by the outbreak - I am watching N. Korea and Iran primarily, India/Pakistan are always a tinderbox.  

Not that this won't be bad for some populations, particularly in poorer/developing countries, but then, they don't tend to have the community risk-factors we in the West have = crowded commuting, mass transit, international travel etc.   Some of the large cities in Africa are at high risk.  

Hang in there, I'm watching this closely.  Albert knows I'll squawk if something comes up to really be alarmed about.   I'd avoid international travel if possible, cruises for sure....always keep one foot inside your house & one foot on the exit pathway.  

Don't buy masks, but save your cash...you'll likely need it.  Be safe, Chuck p.s. I do this type of thing at the request of the government.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheMothership Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2020 at 3:14pm
Oh my- this is so British. Just like that here now! Oblivious - so down played by the media. People seem disconnected because it is not on their doorstep. 
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Think this is the one you talk about. He is great- he states that his main concern is the number of people needing oxygen treatment and the lack of resources. He has slated the NHS for claiming that they are ready.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2020 at 3:48pm
You are definitely on our wavelength there Mothership. We love Campbell.

Welcome aboard.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2020 at 4:14pm
Have been following Dr. Campbell for awhile. He seems to be on it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiwiMum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2020 at 4:37pm
Originally posted by Albert Albert wrote:

Have been following Dr. Campbell for awhile. He seems to be on it.


Yes he does. What's interesting is that you can see he's becoming more and more worried about this. He obviously thinks it's a major threat.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2020 at 7:29am
The WHO keeps stating this is not a pandemic yet, and they actually began with that campaign the day after we declared one, although I think we're too small-time for them to watch us here. Of course the next business day after we declared it, the stock market tanked 3.5%. Again, probably just a coincidence with that one as well. We've been around forever and all over the internet, but still doubtful we're followed that closely.   

Anyway, here is my analogy for declaring a pandemic and why the WHO should consider it: You're driving in an old car, and the engine is smoking and the car barely runs, and so you take it to a mechanic and the mechanic says, the engine is blown. So you keep driving the car, and even though the engine is blown, the car will still run for a little while longer, but's it's 100% inevitable that it will soon breakdown for good and stop running. To me, this situation is the same. The pandemic has begun. Although it's not full blown and not in all countries yet, I personally believe it is inevitable at this stage. Confused yet? lol       

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2020 at 7:47am
Exactly.

But I think most current strategies are: "Buy time at all costs."

Slow or stop the spread                        "Buy time at all costs."

Prevent panic                                       "Buy time at all costs."

Stockpile essentials                               "Buy time at all costs."


Etc........................................                            
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Touchoftheblues Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2020 at 9:22am
The mechanic told me a pandemic is coming so at least now I keep some emergency supplies in my trunk?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2020 at 9:24am
Originally posted by Touchoftheblues Touchoftheblues wrote:

The mechanic told me a pandemic is coming so at least now I keep some emergency supplies in my trunk?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2020 at 10:02am
Originally posted by Albert Albert wrote:

The WHO keeps stating this is not a pandemic yet, and they actually began with that campaign the day after we declared one, although I think we're too small-time for them to watch us here. Of course the next business day after we declared it, the stock market tanked 3.5%. Again, probably just a coincidence with that one as well. We've been around forever and all over the internet, but still doubtful we're followed that closely.   

Anyway, here is my analogy for declaring a pandemic and why the WHO should consider it: You're driving in an old car, and the engine is smoking and the car barely runs, and so you take it to a mechanic and the mechanic says, the engine is blown. So you keep driving the car, and even though the engine is blown, the car will still run for a little while longer, but's it's 100% inevitable that it will soon breakdown for good and stop running. To me, this situation is the same. The pandemic has begun. Although it's not full blown and not in all countries yet, I personally believe it is inevitable at this stage. Confused yet? lol       


LOL Thanks, Boss, good one!!  

Infectious disease outbreaks are ALWAYS very political - especially pandemics.  There is always a lot of finger-pointing (I do that with justification), folks fighting for resources/funding/power etc.   

WHO had to keep politics in mind when naming the virus, because China didn't want a name that would point back at them.  Please see this article: 

The coronavirus now has a name – and it’s already causing trouble. It turns out naming viruses is a surprisingly tricky process because if the wrong one sticks, it could cause a diplomatic crisis.


Keep all that in mind.  WHO are avoiding using the term "pandemic" because powers that be know that some out there will go ape-sh*t crazy, even though this illness is not as bad as SARS was.  I'm watching developments very carefully.  Be safe, Chuck 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Newbie1A Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2020 at 10:40am
Originally posted by CRS, DrPH CRS, DrPH wrote:

WHO are avoiding using the term "pandemic" because powers that be know that some out there will go ape-sh*t crazy, even though this illness is not as bad as SARS was.  I'm watching developments very carefully.  Be safe, Chuck 


Can you do me a favour (all of us on here I think feel the same), as you are so highly trained and in a position to be 'in the know' and to date feel this is minor - if anything changes that you see it's time to hunker down, go into full SIP etc - PLEASE post and let us know!!!

And yes, the reason for going into SIP may not be the virus itself... it could be that you know they are going to announce (a heads up 'today is a really great time to grab anything you still need'!!!) or it's been announced and you're seeing reports of bat $#it crazy stuff starting...

And THANKS in advance if you are able/willing to do this (without committing career suicide of course)!
If it's to be - it's up to me!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2020 at 10:51am
Originally posted by CRS, DrPH CRS, DrPH wrote:

Originally posted by Albert Albert wrote:

The WHO keeps stating this is not a pandemic yet, and they actually began with that campaign the day after we declared one, although I think we're too small-time for them to watch us here. Of course the next business day after we declared it, the stock market tanked 3.5%. Again, probably just a coincidence with that one as well. We've been around forever and all over the internet, but still doubtful we're followed that closely.   

Anyway, here is my analogy for declaring a pandemic and why the WHO should consider it: You're driving in an old car, and the engine is smoking and the car barely runs, and so you take it to a mechanic and the mechanic says, the engine is blown. So you keep driving the car, and even though the engine is blown, the car will still run for a little while longer, but's it's 100% inevitable that it will soon breakdown for good and stop running. To me, this situation is the same. The pandemic has begun. Although it's not full blown and not in all countries yet, I personally believe it is inevitable at this stage. Confused yet? lol       



LOL Thanks, Boss, good one!!  

Infectious disease outbreaks are ALWAYS very political - especially pandemics.  There is always a lot of finger-pointing (I do that with justification), folks fighting for resources/funding/power etc.   

WHO had to keep politics in mind when naming the virus, because China didn't want a name that would point back at them.  Please see this article: 

<h2 ="simple-er simple-er--serif simple-er--medium" style="-sizing: border-; font-family: ReithSerif; font-stretch: normal; line-height: 28px; margin: 0px;"><font size="3" color="#cccccc">The coronavirus now has a name – and it’s already causing trouble. It turns out naming viruses is a surprisingly tricky process because if the wrong one sticks, it could cause a diplomatic crisis.</h2>

Keep all that in mind.  WHO are avoiding using the term "pandemic" because powers that be know that some out there will go ape-sh*t crazy, even though this illness is not as bad as SARS was.  I'm watching developments very carefully.  Be safe, Chuck 




Hi Chuck, exactly correct in a all cases and I agree. The WHO caters to China bigtime, which is why they picked the crazy name of COVID-19 lol. And the WHO's job is not to pick the name, but they did it anyway for China. When the official name of SARS-CoV-2 was released, China got real upset about it and raised a stink, and yes the WHO is also fighting against the new name for China. Researchers determined that this coronavirus is a part of the SARS family and determined that it's a cousin or variant of the original SARS, so they named it SARS-CoV-2 (dubbed SARS2). And yes, China is upset about. Why the WHO caters to China like this, I will never know. China won't even let the WHO into Hubei, and the WHO still praises China.




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https://news.yahoo.com/experts-visit-chinese-virus-epicentre-060150624.html

Experts from the World Health Organization have visited the locked-down central Chinese city at the epicentre of the deadly global coronavirus outbreak, Chinese authorities said Monday.

The trip over the weekend is the first reported visit to Wuhan by the WHO since the virus emerged from the city of 11 million people late last year.

COVID-19, which is suspected to have crossed from animals to humans at a market in Wuhan, has killed more than 2,500 people across China and spread around the world.

The international group of experts led by the WHO inspected two hospitals during their visit, including a makeshift one at a sports centre, the National Health Commission said on Monday.

They also met with Ma Xiaowei, the director of China's national health commission, and top officials at the centre for disease control for Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital.

China has quarantined Wuhan and other cities in Hubei, blocking tens of millions of residents from travelling, since late January, to try and contain the virus.

Most of the deaths have been in Wuhan.

Multiple provinces have reported zero new infections for several days in a row, even as the situation continues to worsen in parts of Hubei and outside of China.

Wuhan on Monday accounted for 348 of the 409 new virus cases reported in China, while five cities and the Shennongjia Forestry District in Hubei reported no new cases.

The WHO team arrived in China more than a week ago to observe research and testing efforts, so they could then help with recommendations for fighting the epidemic, the National Health Council said previously.

The WHO has praised Beijing for its handling of the epidemic.

But China has been criticised at home for silencing early warnings from a whistleblower doctor who later died from the virus.

The United States has also called for more transparency.

China's numbers of daily new infections have been on a downward trend, but health authorities have sowed confusion about the data by repeatedly changing counting methods.

There have been more than 77,000 confirmed infections in China.

https://news.yahoo.com/experts-visit-chinese-virus-epicentre-060150624.html
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2020 at 10:56am
Originally posted by Newbie1A Newbie1A wrote:

Originally posted by CRS, DrPH CRS, DrPH wrote:

WHO are avoiding using the term "pandemic" because powers that be know that some out there will go ape-sh*t crazy, even though this illness is not as bad as SARS was.  I'm watching developments very carefully.  Be safe, Chuck 


Can you do me a favour (all of us on here I think feel the same), as you are so highly trained and in a position to be 'in the know' and to date feel this is minor - if anything changes that you see it's time to hunker down, go into full SIP etc - PLEASE post and let us know!!!

And yes, the reason for going into SIP may not be the virus itself... it could be that you know they are going to announce (a heads up 'today is a really great time to grab anything you still need'!!!) or it's been announced and you're seeing reports of bat $#it crazy stuff starting...

And THANKS in advance if you are able/willing to do this (without committing career suicide of course)!

Bless your heart!  Our Fearless Leader, Albert, and I have a handshake agreement on letting him know if and when the balloon goes up.    

I'm not nearly as bothered by this Corona virus as I was by the SARS virus....that was a much more lethal variety, which helped with its rapid identification and isolation of cases.  It was remarkable how well the global public health community was able to stamp that out.  Read the case studies on response in Toronto, Canada if you want to see how we dodged a big bullet. 

Regarding COVID-19, the fact that this is mostly a MILD viral infection means that many cases are not diagnosed, so we will have community spread eventually.  Yes, this means "pandemic," but pandemics do NOT mean people dropping dead in the streets etc.  That is a Hollywood construct, very very few agents have that potential.  

People should always prepare for a range of natural and manmade disasters....depending upon where you live, you might face floods, earthquakes, extreme weather events etc.  Flooding is the number one killer of people from natural causes.  For this one, make sure you have lots of hand soap, some nutrient-dense emergency food (peanut butter is great), and enough water to get through a service interruption.

I'm not flippant about this virus, people will still catch this, and some will die.  However, in perspective, please realize that, between Oct. 1 and Feb 15, at least 16,000 people died from the flu in the US.  


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All news is now saying prepare for a pandemic.    
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FluMom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2020 at 6:37pm
Well you called it Albert, congratulations are in order. But we have a long row to hoe and if we can help people prep we stand ready!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2020 at 6:38pm
Originally posted by FluMom FluMom wrote:

Well you called it Albert, congratulations are in order. But we have a long row to hoe and if we can help people prep we stand ready!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiminNM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2020 at 6:39pm
Originally posted by Albert Albert wrote:

All news is now saying prepare for a pandemic.    


Anyone else in a bit of shock that it's actually coming to this?

It's really weird how my mind is quite happy preparing for things that might never happen, but when they start to happen it tries to go into denial.

I almost said to my dad this morning "I'm as surprised as you that I turned out to be right" lol
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Albert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2020 at 6:40pm
Originally posted by CRS, DrPH CRS, DrPH wrote:

 However, in perspective, please realize that, between Oct. 1 and Feb 15, at least 16,000 people died from the flu in the US.  



Hi Chuck, we may have to revisit the comparison with the numbers of the flu and this bug in another 60 - 90 days.
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LOL, I know that feeling KiminNM we may be right after all these years! I think I prepped for a bunch of people when I see what I have in my basement!!! I hope I live though this to see it used...LOL!
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Originally posted by Albert Albert wrote:

Originally posted by CRS, DrPH CRS, DrPH wrote:

 However, in perspective, please realize that, between Oct. 1 and Feb 15, at least 16,000 people died from the flu in the US.  



Hi Chuck, we may have to revisit the comparison with the numbers of the flu and this bug in another 60 - 90 days.


I know the flu's a killer but we've all been exposed to it in some form or other. This Covid 19 is completely new, none of us, anywhere on Earth, have seen it before. I don't think the two can be compared.
You can't fix stupid.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2020 at 8:57pm
Originally posted by Albert Albert wrote:

Originally posted by CRS, DrPH CRS, DrPH wrote:

 However, in perspective, please realize that, between Oct. 1 and Feb 15, at least 16,000 people died from the flu in the US.  



Hi Chuck, we may have to revisit the comparison with the numbers of the flu and this bug in another 60 - 90 days.

Nah.  You have to understand how a zoonotic viral infection works.  

The WORST cases are the first ones, right out of the monkey/bat/camel/chicken's butt.  That is why H5N1 threw everyone off....people who caught it really inhaled a lung-flu of virus from working with live poultry, and had a severe disease/mortality rate.  I'm not convinced that H5N1 EVER had human-to-human transmission, rather, it was occupational disease from families working in the same filthy conditions.  

Look at MERS....it has a much higher mortality rate than COVID-19, but that is because folks were drinking raw camel milk etc.  MERS never really took off like SARS did.  

SARS was deadly and stayed deadly, but man, those first cases that wiped out Dr. Carlo Urbani and his team were really bad mojo!!  Poor guy, he stayed at his station to the very end. 

Please understand....I read virology papers that few on AFT would even understand.  I look for genetic clues, viral clades, surface protein features etc.  (I'm a virus geek).  I read stuff like this for fun:

http://virological.org/t/the-proximal-origin-of-sars-cov-2/398

The receptor binding domain (RBD) in the spike protein of SARS-CoV and SARS-related coronaviruses is the most variable part of the virus genome. Six residues in the RBD appear to be critical for binding to the human ACE2 receptor and determining host range1. Using coordinates based on the Urbani strain of SARS-CoV, they are Y442, L472, N479, D480, T487, and Y4911. The corresponding residues in SARS-CoV-2 are L455, F486, Q493, S494, N501, and Y505. Five of these six residues are mutated in SARS-CoV-2 compared to its most closely related virus, RaTG13 sampled from a  Rhinolophus affinisbat, to which it is ~96% identical2 (Figure 1a). Based on modeling1 and biochemical experiments3,4, SARS-CoV-2 seems to have an RBD that may bind with high affinity to ACE2 from human, non-human primate, ferret, pig, and cat, as well as other species with high receptor homology1. In contrast, SARS-CoV-2 may bind less efficiently to ACE2 in other species associated with SARS-like viruses, including rodents and civets1.
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WHAT!    Like I could even start to care what that said since it makes no since to me...LOL.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2020 at 9:20pm
Originally posted by FluMom FluMom wrote:

WHAT!    Like I could even start to care what that said since it makes no since to me...LOL.

Wink  As I've been saying, Flu Mom, I'm an expert in this stuff.  That is what I read...for recreation. 

You should see the stuff I'm serious about. 

COVID-19 will kill a bunch of people, but in the end, we'll survive just fine.  It is the next one that I'm waiting for. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote FluMom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2020 at 9:38pm
Easy for you to say you are not 70 like me and had pneumonia two times and breast cancer on top of that. I am in good health on a daily estrogen reduction pill but have a good heart but I am 70!!! LOL I may not make it to the next one!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Dutch Josh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2020 at 9:42pm
CRS, DrPH-reminds me of Henry L Niman recombinomics, he is still on twitter https://twitter.com/hniman was very good in his explanations...(Recombinomics now a different sort of website-less accessable)
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 26 2020 at 3:42am
I had to look up RBD (receptor binding domain) but I understood it. I also love peer reviewed publications on diseases - mostly I like the eppidemiological side of things - but that was not too hard.

I confess, I do not know the specific protein epitopes referred to alphanumerically, but that was a paragraph on the ease with which the virus has changed its 'coat' (that is its protein spikes which bind to receptors in the host) which have undergone 5 mutations from the bat virus to a human one. Simples!

I would also like to point out that changing this 'coat' is how to avoid 'trained' paratopes.
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I don't find niman as useful as I did 15 years ago. He seems to just be chasing clusters like the old days, which seems a little useless with community spread.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 26 2020 at 10:41am
Originally posted by FluMom FluMom wrote:

Easy for you to say you are not 70 like me and had pneumonia two times and breast cancer on top of that. I am in good health on a daily estrogen reduction pill but have a good heart but I am 70!!! LOL I may not make it to the next one!!!

I'm nearly 65, with a bunch of pre-existing conditions, so I am at high risk as well.  You are too tough to die on us, FluMom! 

Speaking of tough....can you believe MedClinician, typing with ONE THUMB after his stroke??   Amazing!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 26 2020 at 10:48am
Originally posted by Dutch Josh Dutch Josh wrote:

CRS, DrPH-reminds me of Henry L Niman recombinomics, he is still on twitter https://twitter.com/hniman was very good in his explanations...(Recombinomics now a different sort of website-less accessable)

Thanks, DJ! 

I studied infectious disease epidemiology at the feet of giants at University of Illinois!!   My university training was incomparable, and I don't take any BS.  

Pandemics happen, and that doesn't mean that everyone, everywhere is vulnerable or likely to die.  The word "pandemic" has taken on an overly large meaning in the minds of many people.   

Genetic analysis of SARS-CoV2 shows that this is a novel coronavirus with a bat-origin with some genetic similarities to SARS in 2003, so our experience fighting SARS is valuable. 

As Albert points out, this isn't influenza - there is no anti-viral drug available for SARS-CoV2 (no tamiflu), the human population likely has no immunity to this one (although coronas are common & past corona infections may be protective), and we have much to learn.  The experience of widespread outbreaks in China do not necessarily apply to the rest of us for complicated reasons. 

Hang tight, I'm watching this closely.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 26 2020 at 11:28am
Good article, highly recommended:

Covid-19: Why won't the WHO officially declare a coronavirus pandemic?

HEALTH | ANALYSIS 26 February 2020
By Debora MacKenzie


Prepare for a pandemic, says the World Health Organization, as the global spread of covid-19 soars by the hour. It’s not a matter of if, but when, say US health officials.

Yet so far the WHO refuses to actually call covid-19 a pandemic. Why?

The answer may lie with what kicks into gear when we deploy the P-word. Countries have pandemic plans that are launched when one is declared, but these plans may not be appropriate for combating covid-19 – and the WHO doesn’t want countries to lurch in the wrong direction.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the covid-19 virus already meets two of its three criteria for a pandemic: it spreads between people, and it kills.

The third is that it has to spread worldwide. The virus is now in 38 countries – and counting – on nearly all continents, and those are just the ones we know about. How much more worldwide does it need to be?

Epidemic experts say there are no global criteria. There used to be for flu pandemics, but the WHO abandoned them when it was criticised after declaring a flu pandemic in 2009 that triggered expensive countermeasures in some countries, which some deemed unnecessary.

That bruising could be one reason the WHO seems anxious to avoid the P-word now. But there is a more important one.

There are two kinds of response to a growing pandemic. The first is containment: as cases appear, you can isolate each person then trace and quarantine their contacts. That worked for SARS and the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak.

The second is mitigation. If containment only slows the virus, eventually you get “community spread”: people are infected without knowing how they were exposed, so you can’t quarantine all contacts. All you can do is slow the epidemic so it won’t peak massively and quickly, overloading health facilities. You close schools, cancel mass gatherings – or as China did, and Italy is now doing, shut down whole cities when they have community spread.

Flu skips between people so quickly that containment is a non-starter. Pandemic plans are mostly designed for flu, including those of the UK and the US, and they go straight to mitigation. The UK plan suggests containment only if a new pandemic flu hasn’t learned yet to spread as fast as normal flu.

In this light, statements from WHO start to make sense. “It’s not either/or,” said WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus this week. “We must focus on containment while doing everything we can to prepare for a potential pandemic.” David Heymann, who led the WHO’s fight against SARS, says “you need both containment and mitigation”.

Bruce Aylward of the WHO, just back from heading an international mission to China, reports that it used full-on mitigation – stopping travel, keeping people inside, shutting down the huge city of Wuhan – in Hubei province, which had community spread before control efforts even began. As a result the epidemic stopped climbing and new cases are falling steeply, says Aylward.

Everywhere else, China stopped community spread from developing by contact tracing and quarantine – and reminding everyone to wash their hands and monitor their temperature. Some places also used mitigation measures such as cancelling public gatherings, school and work as well. The key, says Aylward, was tailoring the approach to local circumstances.

That seems to be the WHO’s concern: call this a pandemic, and countries will apply blanket measures designed for flu. “People think it’s like SARS so you do things that way, or it’s a pandemic so you run and mitigate,” Aylward said during a press conference in Beijing. “If we only approach it with a binary SARS-influenza mentality, we are not going to have the agility of approach that we’ve seen in China that is going to be fundamental to beating this on a global scale.”

Yet thinking seems to be binary. Nancy Messonnier, head of the CDC’s centre for respiratory diseases, says the US will use containment until it gets signs of community spread – then the strategy will change.

Meanwhile the WHO seems to have a third problem with the P-word. “Using the word pandemic now does not fit the facts but it may certainly cause fear,” said Tedros. Asked about the WHO’s reluctance to call a pandemic, WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic said “it is important to focus on actions and not on words.”

True – but words matter. Reluctance to tell the public the truth for fear of causing panic has plagued responses to other disease emergencies, notably BSE in Britain. Risk communication experts warn that not telling the public that containment will not prevent a pandemic – but might still slow it – risks greater shock over what comes next.

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Many bad implications involved for declaring a pandemic. But, in terms of saving lives, it could be the only route to go. It's a judgment call; They have to weigh economic impact vs. saving lives. Even if the mortality rate is higher with the elderly, those are still lives. Economics vs. human life is a no-brainer to me. The WHO will always feel differently and with Economics first.

The stock market is always a good indicator of what's to come. Stock traders know.

We declared a pandemic, all news says it's imminent, and so the blow for the WHO to declare has been significantly softened. I've studied the WHO's response with / and for pandemics for nearly 20 years.           
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 26 2020 at 12:01pm
^Yeah, it is so much bureaucratic BS in my opinion.   In terms of fact, COVID-19 is acting like a pandemic, may as well declare it. 

There is no magic in the word "pandemic," as an epidemiologist, I understand this.  I've been studying pandemics since 1979 (Univ of IL), we will always have them.  Usually they are influenza and milder pandemics than 1918, but some like HIV AIDS kill millions.  We barely hear about HIV AIDS these days. 

Of MUCH more concern is widespread community transmission in the USA or countries where AFT folks live (Oz, NZ etc.).  Once this thing settles into our virus ecosystem, it will always be there, killing old folks.  It won't be seasonal, corona viruses don't work that way.  

Also, I'm convinced that fecal/oral route is at least as important for transmission as respiratory.  Take your masks and put them on your hands. 
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Hi- I'm a newbie - Irish - living in the UK. 

People here in the UK are just treating this as 'something that is not happening' here. Parents have spoken out about school closures being ridiculous.  If anything governments need to do more than get schools to put up posters about hand washing and sneezing. People are not taking it serious enough to take basic measures to prepare. 
Regardless of the lack of backbone - more needs to be happening to combat the nonchalant approach that is being taken.

Slowing down the spread is good but if people are oblivious then its much more widespread prior to action being taken. 

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