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Coronavirus / COVID-19 : general fact-based reporting

Coronavirus / COVID-19 : general fact-based reporting

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Old Jan 23, 20, 12:36 am
  #61  
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But if you remember during SARS, there were indeed people with fevers who feared quarantine and so tried to hide their condition or the places they had recently been.
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Old Jan 23, 20, 12:45 am
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The health crisis has been expected and was warned of repeatedly by public health officials in North America, Japan, Hong Kong, and the EU for several years. It has been an annual topic of concern at the public health congresses, with warnings that we would see another SARS like event in the region. I appreciate that one must not give way to doom and gloom and must stay positive, but here's something to keep in mind;

1. Parts of Asia including mainland China are currently experiencing some of the worst air pollution in years. Much of Thailand has people choking for air and primary schools closed. Some parts of Vietnam are just as bad. Thailand has 100+ agricultural fires raging, Cambodia 900+ as the respective governments refuse to stop field burning. What this means is that a large portion of the region's population is already subject to respiratory distress. An infection which damages the lungs further will have a devastating impact.

2. Western health systems are short staffed or at full capacity as it is. An event no worse than the previous SARS event could cause some health systems to slowly meltdown. There is no way the UK NHS or Canada's hospital system could cope with a surge of 10%+ in the ERs.

3. As was pointed out, more people are traveling then ever before. Mainland Chinese are an important source of tourism for Cambodia and Thailand. Considering the past conduct of Thai and Cambodian officials, it is not unreasonable to expect that they will do their utmost to protect their tourist revenue and to keep the Chinese visitors coming. Bangkok is a major airline hub and IMO presents a risk. The use of temperature monitoring is not particularly effective due to the incubation period of the illness. If the scanners are anything like the magical bomb detectors the army purchased some years ago, then it's in large part for show, to reassure the public,

4. The world has more conflicts than ever before. Health care workers cannot even vaccinate against polio in rural Pakistan without being killed, so consider the implications if the illness spreads to vulnerable regions.

5. Don't assume that this illness will demonstrate the same type of mortality outcome as previous outbreaks. The MERS crisis illustrates this point. It was unexpected that MERS would have a 50% fatality outcome. It was also unexpected that Older males with diabetes would over present in the fatalities.

Originally Posted by JPDM View Post
Nobody knows much about it. Not quite an epidemic yet. How many deaths yet? 6 I think. Out of 1.4 billions.
In the US, 50,000 every year die from pneumonia. Your odds are good.
The odds are only good if decisive action is taken. We live in a world where profits and political goals can squash public health needs. The Chinese government has a history of concealing data and of not being transparent. The end result is that information from China is unreliable. Airlines will try and keep their routes open as long as possible although a curtailment of Chinese air traffic might be the salvation some airlines could use.

Originally Posted by anacapamalibu View Post
Its a tough call, in 02-03 when you have a viral outbreak a month or 2 before CNY do you impose travel restrictions? Now an outbreak smack in the middle of CNY. I think public awareness and voluntary compliance on reduction in travel will be a big factor in controlling the spread of the virus. Plan for the worst, Hope for the best.
Voluntary compliance and mainland China are not compatible. This was demonstrated by the measures the world had to force upon China during the SARS crisis. Human beings are selfish creatures. People will still try and circumvent the travel ban in place and bribery is a way of life in China.I expect that politically connected people or those who can pay will avoid the quarantine.

Originally Posted by PanAmWT View Post
That and some other very strict measures were the reason China ended the SARS crisis in May 2004, after initial fumbling that led to the firings of the Health Minister and Mayor of Beijing in April 2003. Hopefully it will work faster this time.
China had the strict measures imposed on it. The world was threatening to cut off trade and air travel unless China acted. It is an accepted fact that the Chinese government initially covered up SARS and was unco-operative. Today, the Chinese government has acted faster and allegations of dishonesty are not being made. However, there was a delay and a reluctance to provide complete data. Every foreign public official I have heard quoted so far, from the EU, to Japan to the USA has said in polite diplomatic words that they do not accept the Chinese government's estimate of patients. Governments are being discrete and measured in public statements in order to avoid the idiocy that accompanied the SARS outbreak. I recall the cases of ignorant fools refusing to patronize Asian owned business or overtly discriminating against Asians on the assumption that they were infected. The last thing we need is an accompanying outbreak of stupidity.

Another unpleasant part of the reality is that the Chinese government and its representatives are not held in high regard by other countries public health officials . This is due to ongoing allegations of spying and/or theft of intellectual assets. An illustration of this was the panicked revoking of access for two researchers with mainland Chinese origins and their mainland students to Canada's only Level 4 virology facility last July. It's not politically correct to raise the issue, but there are legitimate concerns. It's also a case of "we told you so, and you wouldn't listen".
Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
Well weren't chickens implicated in the bird flu?
But yes, SARS is associated with undomesticated animals. Yet they wanted them alive in a city market so that it's "fresh"?Even in the case of domesticated animals, there are city codes against for instance keeping cows, lamb, pigs, etc. in big cities.
When you go through airport screening, they specifically ask you whether you've been to farms recently IIRC. Not sure if they asked specifically about livestock though but of course these were measures taken with various livestock scares like Mad Cow disease, hoof and mouth, etc.
City codes? Seriously? The rules you reference either do not exist, and when they do, are not enforced unless an important person makes the complaint. As for people complying with rules, a quick read of expat forums (e.g. thaivisaforum) will provide a long list of examples of angry old men whinging about restrictions on agricultural products and how they circumvent the rules to bring in their sausage or cheese etc.

If I was a contingency planner at an airline, I would be pulling up the contingency plans now. The western airlines cannot compel their employees to work the Chinese routes if there is a legitimate concern for health safety. They are not there yet, but another week or two of increased cases and they will have to act. The Zika crisis disrupted leisure travel to LATAM and the Caribbean for a year, with some significant drops in traffic. Personally, I would be ok with a suspension of air traffic to China for a couple weeks. It might impress upon the mainland government that it needs to change its practices.
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Old Jan 23, 20, 12:49 am
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Originally Posted by 889 View Post
But if you remember during SARS, there were indeed people with fevers who feared quarantine and so tried to hide their condition or the places they had recently been.
​​​​​
During SARS, airport vendors had a huge run on aspirin/tylenol.

​​​​​​There were several reports of large bottles being passed around an aircraft during initial descent. AKA, "take one as a precaution just to make sure nobdy has a fever when passing thru the health department thermal scanners".
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Old Jan 23, 20, 1:02 am
  #64  
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Avoidance of public health measures shows popular distrust of Government to take care of them if they're quarantined.

Also shows everyone's But I'm Different mentality.
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Old Jan 23, 20, 1:05 am
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Besides needing to fire people for not immediately pouncing on this, a bunch of health department inspectors need to be fired for not doing their jobs. Look at this (from SCMP): https://multimedia.scmp.com/infograp...rus/index.html

That's absolutely disgusting, grotesquely unsanitary, and should have been shut down the first time the inspector walked by.



Let's see:
1. Food storage at unsafe temperatures
2. Failure to provide an adequate supply of hot and cold water to food preparation area
3. Food in contact with unsanitized surfaces
4. Thermometers?

And I'm not even a health inspector.
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Old Jan 23, 20, 1:26 am
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Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
Besides needing to fire people for not immediately pouncing on this, a bunch of health department inspectors need to be fired for not doing their jobs. Look at this (from SCMP): https://multimedia.scmp.com/infograp...rus/index.html

That's absolutely disgusting, grotesquely unsanitary, and should have been shut down the first time the inspector walked by.

Let's see:
1. Food storage at unsafe temperatures
2. Failure to provide an adequate supply of hot and cold water to food preparation area
3. Food in contact with unsanitized surfaces
4. Thermometers?

And I'm not even a health inspector.
You're also not in the Bay Area (i.e. the photo..). Wow: rest of the world not the same as the US!!

I know you love going to court over things...suggest a strongly worded letter, in Chinese (written by your wife) to the relevant authorities, and delivered in person when you next visit...

tb

PS I'm not saying that the practices are not unsavoury, they are...but heck, the majority of the world has a load of unsavoury practices...this is not surprising.
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Old Jan 23, 20, 1:35 am
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Originally Posted by 889 View Post
A disturbing but probably not atypical report in the HK Standard:

"Another netizen said he had left [Wuhan] with a friend. He said both of them were having fever. 'We’ve escaped the epidemic zone after taking some fever reducers. I’ll visit the doctor in Shanghai if my fever doesn’t go away a week later,' she wrote. She also wrote that they plan to visit the Disneyland before that."

https://www.thestandard.com.hk/break...uncontrollably
Originally Posted by helvetic View Post
Hoping it's a troll…
Originally Posted by 889 View Post
But if you remember during SARS, there were indeed people with fevers who feared quarantine and so tried to hide their condition or the places they had recently been.
There are definitely instances of people not trusting Wuhan city officials and its hospitals, and leaving Wuhan (or fleeing before quarantine lockdown) even with symptoms to go elsewhere for treatment.

Below is story from Taiwan (in Chinese) about person working in Wuhan having symptoms but returning to Taiwan for treatment. This person minimized transmission by wearing face mask for entire flight, avoided bathroom, and upon arrival in Taipei immediately informed airport screening personnel of possible Coronavirus and was later quarantined in hospital. She was criticized in social media as selfish to bring Coronavirus into Taiwan, but this is human nature self-preservation and fear.
https://udn.com/news/story/120940/43...0_pulldownmenu

Last edited by npei; Jan 23, 20 at 1:59 am
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Old Jan 23, 20, 2:20 am
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My student (current source of most up to date gossip in Chinese!!) tells me of second-person account (so reasonably reliable -- his friend works in a local BJ hospital) instances of several people from Wuhan coming to Beijing for diagnosis and treatment of their fevers...lots just got into a car and drove straight to BJ. There is apparently a sense that the healthcare system in Wuhan is overwhelmed (appears to be confirmed by CNN crew before they had to flee Wuhan in the middle of the night just prior to the lockdown), and also only a small number of the hospitals in Wuhan have the necessary infrastructure to perform the rapid (I presume real-time PCR-based) diagnostic test...so although all patients in Wuhan need to be screened, most hospitals/clinics can't do the screening. They may send samples to secondary/tertiary tier hospitals, but that will delay diagnosis. There is also the fear that attending hospital in Wuhan (i.e. where the likelihood of 2019-nCoV is currently highest) exposes those not actually infected to highest risk, whereas coming to BJ/SH, if one isn't infected, one then won't be by the other patients in the crowded waiting rooms!

tb
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Old Jan 23, 20, 4:00 am
  #69  
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Originally Posted by STS-134 View Post
Besides needing to fire people for not immediately pouncing on this, a bunch of health department inspectors need to be fired for not doing their jobs. Look at this (from SCMP): https://multimedia.scmp.com/infograp...rus/index.html

That's absolutely disgusting, grotesquely unsanitary, and should have been shut down the first time the inspector walked by.



Let's see:
1. Food storage at unsafe temperatures
2. Failure to provide an adequate supply of hot and cold water to food preparation area
3. Food in contact with unsanitized surfaces
4. Thermometers?

And I'm not even a health inspector.
Hahahaha the idea that a Chinese wet market has health inspectors…

You should travel outside of the bay area sometime and see the condition that 95% of the world lives in. The stuff in that picture is gross, but incredibly common.
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Old Jan 23, 20, 4:02 am
  #70  
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Originally Posted by npei View Post
There are definitely instances of people not trusting Wuhan city officials and its hospitals, and leaving Wuhan (or fleeing before quarantine lockdown) even with symptoms to go elsewhere for treatment.

Below is story from Taiwan (in Chinese) about person working in Wuhan having symptoms but returning to Taiwan for treatment. This person minimized transmission by wearing face mask for entire flight, avoided bathroom, and upon arrival in Taipei immediately informed airport screening personnel of possible Coronavirus and was later quarantined in hospital. She was criticized in social media as selfish to bring Coronavirus into Taiwan, but this is human nature self-preservation and fear.
https://udn.com/news/story/120940/43...0_pulldownmenu
I don't blame her, nor do I think I wouldn't do the same myself.

Self-preservation is key to being human, even when it's at the detriment of the group.

Stupidity, however, is not. The Disneyland troll has no justification.
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Old Jan 23, 20, 4:09 am
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Originally Posted by anacapamalibu View Post
I am sure there are codes regarding common farm animals in the big cities. From what I have read this distinct virus is related to bats and snakes. If in fact they were selling live camels , wolves , koala bears in the center of a huge metropolis...don't believe that's allowed.
They definitely don't sell Koalas. Pretty sure you cannot export them from Australia, especially not as food.

Cats, snakes, etc. I can believe they would sell them at the market. I've spent the past 18 months in Wuhan and it's really 3 big villages rather than a big city.
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Old Jan 23, 20, 5:12 am
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Originally Posted by helvetic View Post
Hahahaha the idea that a Chinese wet market has health inspectors…

You should travel outside of the bay area sometime and see the condition that 95% of the world lives in. The stuff in that picture is gross, but incredibly common.
We have cities where they piss and Sh,,on the side walk where they sleep, and the borders are open for even more to come in.

At least in China they drink hot water and their borders are secure,
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Old Jan 23, 20, 6:01 am
  #73  
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Huanggang and Ezhou are locked down too.
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Old Jan 23, 20, 6:12 am
  #74  
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Originally Posted by Jeff Kerr View Post
They definitely don't sell Koalas. Pretty sure you cannot export them from Australia, especially not as food.

Cats, snakes, etc. I can believe they would sell them at the market. I've spent the past 18 months in Wuhan and it's really 3 big villages rather than a big city.
Bamboo rats...marketed as koala.
Rats I understand..but can't grasp the concept of eating bats.


Last edited by anacapamalibu; Jan 23, 20 at 7:07 am
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Old Jan 23, 20, 6:30 am
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I think the official numbers of people infected is likely to be way, way off base. With 15 cases reported outside of China, one would expect 400-600++ in provinces outside Hubei, and the official number is much, much lower than that....

I think the cat is out of the bag now. On the plus side, that suggests the real case-fatality rate is probably <1% and maybe not much worse than severe influenza...which is bad, but not world-ending.

But still, very early days...next 10 days will be key imo.

tb
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