Coronavirus 2019n-CoV: Are You Paying Attention?

 

I have been watching the chart below:

The Coronavirus has been raging in China since sometime in December 2019. We’re now over 30,000 cases and over 500 deaths. What seems to be established at this point is that persons without symptoms can be a source of contagion and the exposure to symptoms period is about 13 days. They are still trying to calculate the N factor, which is how many people will get sick in the future for each person who gets sick now. Estimates are a factor between 2 and 4; so basically, they don’t know.

I feel for the Chinese people, but what I have my eye on is where else it is going. Look at the next two screengrabs:

Did you see it? Japan has the most cases outside of mainland China. In the first chart, it shows 46, in the second grabbed a couple of hours later it shows 86! Earlier it was reported that 10 of the “Japanese” cases are actually amongst 3,700 cruise ship passengers quarantined and anchored off Yokahama on the Japanese coast. Oh, joy for those cruisers who will now be onboard and going nowhere for two weeks. Has there been a jump in the number of passengers testing positive for Coronavirus? Similarly, a cruise ship is also quarantined in Civitavecchia on the Italian coast with an ill Chinese couple amongst the 6,000 passengers.

On the first chart, the scale makes the yellow line (outside of mainland China) almost flat. But when will that line start to emulate the rate of growth of the mainland China line? The US has taken action to limit this by quarantining persons coming from China and denying entry to passengers from China who are not US citizens or permanent residents. But we are two or more weeks behind asymptomatic contagion before these restrictions were put in place. So this is something to keep your eye on as February goes on.

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  1. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    Spin (View Comment):

    All I want to know is if the zombies are coming. Because I’m woefully unprepared.

    Crossbow, man.

    • #31
  2. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    The Scarecrow (View Comment):

    Spin (View Comment):

    All I want to know is if the zombies are coming. Because I’m woefully unprepared.

    Crossbow, man.

    Or just ask them to compute pi to the last digit.

    Wait. Maybe that’s for robots….

    • #32
  3. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge
    DonG (skeptic)
    @DonG

    The Scarecrow (View Comment):

    Spin (View Comment):

    All I want to know is if the zombies are coming. Because I’m woefully unprepared.

    Crossbow, man.

    A longbow is much faster and speed is essential, when the hoard comes.  Of course having enough arrows is a problem, so I recommend a light sword like a Katana. 

    • #33
  4. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Yup. Just another version of the seasonal flu. Nothing to see here at all.

    Move along Comrades.

    China enacts lock downs and massive restrictions on people just because they might get a slight case of independent thinking. So far the disease is not spreading out uncontrollably from China. The average person in the US which includes you and me shouldn’t be dwelling inordinately on this. Now the CDC and related agencies should be on top of this monitoring the situation and doing their best to keep in contact with Chinese and other counterparts across the world. I just recall the hyperventilating people here had about Ebola. Was that necessary or justified? No. So yah move along, nothing to see here. The right people are aware of the situation their jobs aren’t made easier or more productive by having back seat drivers and armchair quarter backs reading “tea leaves” and concocting Tom Clancy style scenarios. 

    • #34
  5. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Yup. Just another version of the seasonal flu. Nothing to see here at all.

    Move along Comrades.

    China enacts lock downs and massive restrictions on people just because they might get a slight case of independent thinking. So far the disease is not spreading out uncontrollably from China. The average person in the US which includes you and me shouldn’t be dwelling inordinately on this. Now the CDC and related agencies should be on top of this monitoring the situation and doing their best to keep in contact with Chinese and other counterparts across the world. I just recall the hyperventilating people here had about Ebola. Was that necessary or justified? No. So yah move along, nothing to see here. The right people are aware of the situation their jobs aren’t made easier or more productive by having back seat drivers and armchair quarter backs reading “tea leaves” and concocting Tom Clancy style scenarios.

    While I agree that, from an epidemiological standpoint, the west likely has little to worry about from this particular virus, I do think that it has the potential to be very damaging economically. I’d be more comfortable if we were closer to the election, so that serious supply chain disruption didn’t have a chance to percolate through the U.S. economy and undermine President Trump’s prospects for re-election.

    And on a completely unrelated topic: perhaps it’s years of global warming kerfuffle and a lot of other nonsense from supposedly sensible people, but I confess that phrases like “the right people are aware of the situation” don’t leave me as sanguine as I imagine they’re supposed to.

    • #35
  6. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    The United Kingdom is facing a “major outbreak” of the deadly coronavirus, warns the scientist who co-discovered the Ebola virus in Africa.

    As the death toll for the coronavirus officially surpasses that of the SARS outbreak in 2003, the director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Peter Piot, said that he is “increasingly alarmed” by the rapidly spreading virus, saying that it is a “greater threat” than Ebola.

    “It’s a greater threat because of the mode of transmission. The potential for spread is much, much higher. If the number of people who get infected is huge, then that will also kill a number of people”, Piot told The Times.

    “In today’s world, no epidemic remains just a local affair. What happens thousands and thousands of miles from here in China has the potential of causing a major outbreak here”, warned the professor.

    Mr Piot said that he is concerned about the capability of Britain’s socialised medical system, the National Health Service (NHS), to cope with an outbreak of the virus.

    “You know how already overburdened the NHS is and if you’ve got a sudden major rise in cases of pneumonia or milder respiratory infections… The NHS can hardly cope with the normal situation,” he explained.

    • #36
  7. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I don’t understand the theory behind quarantining people. I guess part of the intent is that people will become symptomatic and either get over it and thereby have some immunity to it or die from it, all inside their own home without infecting others. (One wonders how they are getting food and medicine.) But whenever the quarantine is lifted, people who are carriers but not symptomatic will still be able to infect others. I wonder how long the government officials think that an asymptomatic infected person will be contagious. The quarantine can’t be kept in place indefinitely.

    It just doesn’t seem possible to me that the United States will not get hit hard by this, given the amount of travel and commerce that exists between the United States and mainland China.

    • #37
  8. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I don’t understand the theory behind quarantining people. I guess part of the intent is that people will become symptomatic and either get over it and thereby have some immunity to it or die from it, all inside their own home without infecting others. (One wonders how they are getting food and medicine.) But whenever the quarantine is lifted, people who are carriers but not symptomatic will still be able to infect others. I wonder how long the government officials an asymptomatic infected person will be contagious. The quarantine can’t be kept in place indefinitely.

    It just doesn’t possible to me that the United States will not get hit hard by this, given the amount of travel and commerce that exists between the United States and mainland China.

     

    Quarantines work very well, Marci. They limit exposure during the period of highest contagion, and that reduces the likelihood of runaway infection and pandemic. Unless there’s something very strange about this virus, the vast majority of those infected will stop being contagious within a relatively short time.

    When only a relative few are carrying the virus, it’s easier for public health people to isolate them and the people with whom they’ve been in contact. The whole problem is more manageable when facilities aren’t overwhelmed by large numbers of infected people, who have themselves been in contact with so many people that follow-up of all of them is effectively impossible.

     

    • #38
  9. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I don’t understand the theory behind quarantining people. I guess part of the intent is that people will become symptomatic and either get over it and thereby have some immunity to it or die from it, all inside their own home without infecting others. (One wonders how they are getting food and medicine.) But whenever the quarantine is lifted, people who are carriers but not symptomatic will still be able to infect others. I wonder how long the government officials an asymptomatic infected person will be contagious. The quarantine can’t be kept in place indefinitely.

    It just doesn’t possible to me that the United States will not get hit hard by this, given the amount of travel and commerce that exists between the United States and mainland China.

     

    The virus might evolve to something slightly less virulent by the time the quarantine is lifted. No guarantees, of course. It could even get worse. But maybe it’s more likely to become less virulent. (I don’t know if any of this is part of the actual reasoning behind it.)

    • #39
  10. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Intersectionality!

    Climate Change Activists Begin Licking Doorknobs To Contract Coronavirus And Reduce Human Population

     

    Babylon Bee, of course. Except for real life:

    “The basic premise of the book is that we’re in the age of the Anthropocene, humanity has caused mass problems and one of them is creating this hierarchal world where white, male, heterosexual and able-bodied people are succeeding, and people of different races, genders, sexualities and those with disabilities are struggling to get that.”

    “This is where the idea of dismantling identity politics comes in – they deserve rights not because of what they are, but because they are.

    “The book also argues that we need to dismantle religion, and other overriding powers like the church of capitalism or the cult of self, as it makes people act upon enforced rules rather than respond thoughtfully to the situations in front of them.”

    The central argument in The Ahuman Manifesto can be boiled down to this: mankind is already enslaved to the point of “zombiedom” by capitalism, and because of the damage this has caused, phasing out reproduction is the only way to repair the damage done to the world.

    Maybe it’s just a publicity stunt, but look at the aposematic getup. Danger! Don’t touch!

    • #40
  11. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    the vast majority of those infected will stop being contagious within a relatively short time.

    That’s what I’ve been wondering about. Okay, so the idea is that many quarantined people will develop an effective immune system response to it. When they are finally let out of the quarantine, they won’t be contagious. 

    Thank you. 

    • #41
  12. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    We don’t seem to know yet when it stops being contagious. What’s gelling is:

    • Variable incubation period averaging 5-6 days

    • Can be transmitted before symptoms appear

    • Can be transmitted by people (at least kids and younger people) who never get sick

    • Transmitted via stool, sputum, fomites (which stay virulent longer than with some viruses,) droplets and, in a newer finding, aerosols. Droplets are fairly short range, aerosols mean that contagion can happen at longer range, for example via a building’s HVAC system, or, probably, on a plane, train or other confined public space.

     

    • #42
  13. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):

    We don’t seem to know yet when it stops being contagious. What’s gelling is:

    • Variable incubation period averaging 5-6 days

    But can be as long as 3 weeks.

     

    Moar clarity. Or something:

    What is the new coronavirus’ estimated case-fatality rate?

    Case-fatality rates measure the number of deaths from a certain disease as a percentage of the total amount of patients.

    Based on available data, the Imperial scientists estimate the case-fatality rate in the province Hubei – of which Wuhan is capital – as 18%.

    They note the “credible interval” ranges from 11% up to 81%.

    Among “travellers outside mainland China”, the case-fatality rate is estimated at between 1.2% and 5.6%, with “substantial uncertainty”.

    Taking into account both asymptomatic and symptomatic incidences, the scientists calculated the likely overall case-fatality rate to be around 1%.

    This was based on the testing of passengers on “repatriation flights” between Japan and Germany early on in the epidemic or from cases reported outside mainland China.

    They note differences between countries comes down to “the sensitivity of surveillance systems”.

    The scientists stress “all estimates should be viewed cautiously” given the “deaths and cases in mainland China is unclear”.

    Scientists from the University of Hong Kong previously gauged more than 75,000 people could have battled coronavirus in Wuhan alone.

    Experts have warned patient data is based on hospital cases, which are by definition severe.

    There may well be milder cases in the community that never get spotted.

    The article goes on to say that as more people get the virus it will spread and more people will get it:

    “With larger numbers of people infected, there will be considerable circulation of the virus and potential to infect many more people.

    And finally:

    “This is reminiscent of the 2009-nH1N1 influenza strain [bird flu], where initial estimates were also much higher than the now more established less than 0.1% [fatality] rate overall,” said Professor Martin Hibberd from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

    So a case fatality rate of somewhere between 0.1% and 18%? The confidence interval goes as high as 81%?

    But maybe there is a firm conclusion to be drawn: the statistics coming out of China are still worthless.

    • #43
  14. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    But maybe there is a firm conclusion to be drawn: the statistics coming out of China are still worthless.

    Yes. Which is why I am trying to keep a focus on cases outside China:

    Wu Fan, vice-dean of Shanghai Fudan University Medical school, said there was hope the spread might soon reach a turning point.

    But WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said there had been “concerning instances” of transmission from people who had not been to China.

    “It could be the spark that becomes a bigger fire,” he told reporters in Geneva. “But for now it is only a spark. Our objective remains containment.

    So far, so good. But we should know better by the end of the month.

    • #44
  15. Roderic Reagan
    Roderic
    @rhfabian

    From what we know so far the coronavirus infection rate is about 2.7 and the case fatality rate is 2-3%.  This puts it in the category of the Spanish Flu of 1918-19 that killed 2-3% of the world’s population or about 50 million people (out of 1.5 billion total).  Scaled up to today the death toll could be around 234 million world wide.  An estimated 33% of people in the world caught the infection in 1918-19.

    It’s going to take aggressive public health measures to keep the death and infection rate down.   People have a natural tendency to want to flee affected areas, which makes that all the more difficult. 

    • #45
  16. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Roderic (View Comment):

    From what we know so far the coronavirus infection rate is about 2.7 and the case fatality rate is 2-3%. This puts it in the category of the Spanish Flu of 1918-19 that killed 2-3% of the world’s population or about 50 million people (out of 1.5 billion total). Scaled up to today the death toll could be around 234 million world wide. An estimated 33% of people in the world caught the infection in 1918-19.

    It’s going to take aggressive public health measures to keep the death and infection rate down. People have a natural tendency to want to flee affected areas, which makes that all the more difficult.

    There is chatter on 4Chan that the problem in China is greater than we know. Coronavirus Death Smog: Is China Burning Thousands of Infected Bodies? But I think the story is missing some data/context needed to figure out whether the observed phenomena is significant. We know that smog in China is bad (as referenced in comments above discussing whether this virus hits Chinese worse because of the damage to lungs from the bad air quality). So the thermal imaging in the story needs to show us information over time. The figure of ~13,000 cremations doesn’t give us a time reference. I tried some back of the envelope calculating about the expected number of deaths from all causes in a city of ~11 million and the figure I came up with (taking Asian annual death statistics divided by Asian population divided by days in the year times Wuhan population) was about 200 people a day. Maybe I am wrong, but I think most (if not all) Wuhan dead from whatever cause are cremated. So over a 60 day period that would be about 12,000 cremations normally. So there is additional data needed (e.g., comparative thermal imaging from China in other periods)  that I didn’t see in the story (other than the anecdotal reference to 100 body bags a day from one crematorium). 

    • #46
  17. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Roderic (View Comment):

    From what we know so far the coronavirus infection rate is about 2.7 and the case fatality rate is 2-3%. This puts it in the category of the Spanish Flu of 1918-19 that killed 2-3% of the world’s population or about 50 million people (out of 1.5 billion total). Scaled up to today the death toll could be around 234 million world wide. An estimated 33% of people in the world caught the infection in 1918-19.

    It’s going to take aggressive public health measures to keep the death and infection rate down. People have a natural tendency to want to flee affected areas, which makes that all the more difficult.

    There is chatter on 4Chan that the problem in China is greater than we know. Coronavirus Death Smog: Is China Burning Thousands of Infected Bodies? But I think the story is missing some data/context needed to figure out whether the observed phenomena is significant. We know that smog in China is bad (as referenced in comments above discussing whether this virus hits Chinese worse because of the damage to lungs from the bad air quality). So the thermal imaging in the story needs to show us information over time. The figure of ~13,000 cremations doesn’t give us a time reference. I tried some back of the envelope calculating about the expected number of deaths from all causes in a city of ~11 million and the figure I came up with (taking Asian annual death statistics divided by Asian population divided by days in the year times Wuhan population) was about 200 people a day. Maybe I am wrong, but I think most (if not all) Wuhan dead from whatever cause are cremated. So over a 60 day period that would be about 12,000 cremations normally. So there is additional data needed (e.g., comparative thermal imaging from China in other periods) that I didn’t see in the story (other than the anecdotal reference to 100 body bags a day from one crematorium).

    I don’t know enough to make an informed judgement but I wonder if part of the crematorium problem is “to each according to xer needs” central planning that keeps the number of retorts down to normal mortality rates plus, oops, too small a cushion.

    • #47
  18. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Roderic (View Comment):

    From what we know so far the coronavirus infection rate is about 2.7 and the case fatality rate is 2-3%. This puts it in the category of the Spanish Flu of 1918-19 that killed 2-3% of the world’s population or about 50 million people (out of 1.5 billion total). Scaled up to today the death toll could be around 234 million world wide. An estimated 33% of people in the world caught the infection in 1918-19.

    It’s going to take aggressive public health measures to keep the death and infection rate down. People have a natural tendency to want to flee affected areas, which makes that all the more difficult.

    I’d be careful drawing a mortality comparison between this virus and Spanish influenza. While the latter probably did indeed kill 2-3% of the global population, its rate of lethality was likely at least 10%, and perhaps higher. That puts it four or five times higher than the rate being reported in China — and at least 20 or 30 times higher than the rate being reported outside of China.

    It looks as if coronavirus can be contained with effective quarantining. Ironically, the authoritarian regime in China, which may have been largely responsible for letting this get out of control in the first place, probably provides the kind of police-state control required to quickly contain the virus — once they stop covering it up and start locking people down.

    It’s a bad time to be Chinese, and I feel sorry for these people. But I suspect the rest of us are reasonably safe.

    • #48
  19. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Uh oh. Today the Japanese case count has jumped to 161 not counting the people on the cruise ship in Yokahama harbor. That count has jumped to 135. So there are now ~300 cases in the territory of Japan whereas there were 45 about 4 days ago.

    • #49
  20. Hugh Member
    Hugh
    @Hugh

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Uh oh. Today the Japanese case count has jumped to 161 not counting the people on the cruise ship in Yokahama harbor. That count has jumped to 135. So there are now ~300 cases in the territory of Japan whereas there were 45 about 4 days ago.

    I would say that a cruise ship is a pretty effective petri dish if you want to grow an infection.

    • #50
  21. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Hugh (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Uh oh. Today the Japanese case count has jumped to 161 not counting the people on the cruise ship in Yokahama harbor. That count has jumped to 135. So there are now ~300 cases in the territory of Japan whereas there were 45 about 4 days ago.

    I would say that a cruise ship is a pretty effective petri dish if you want to grow an infection.

    Now the website  is showing Japan with 26, again! Wonder what the next “update” will show? Good to know we are getting good data, not.

    • #51
  22. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret
    @CarolJoy

    Roderic (View Comment):

    From what we know so far the coronavirus infection rate is about 2.7 and the case fatality rate is 2-3%. This puts it in the category of the Spanish Flu of 1918-19 that killed 2-3% of the world’s population or about 50 million people (out of 1.5 billion total). Scaled up to today the death toll could be around 234 million world wide. An estimated 33% of people in the world caught the infection in 1918-19.

    It’s going to take aggressive public health measures to keep the death and infection rate down. People have a natural tendency to want to flee affected areas, which makes that all the more difficult.

    What is weird though is how  the WHO has predicted the virus will only surface in the UK, Australia, the US and Canada.

    • #52
  23. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):
    What is weird though is how the WHO has predicted the virus will only surface in the UK, Australia, the US and Canada.

    What other countries are worth moving to?

    • #53
  24. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Here is the current time sequence of growth of cases in the designated countries (plus the cruise ship moored in Yokohama). The cruise ship moored around 2/3 which explains the initially rapid growth in Japanese cases, but then the data was disaggregated to show the cruise ship by itself.

    • #54
  25. Hugh Member
    Hugh
    @Hugh

    (sighs deeply)

    I am off to Zambia in a couple of weeks for my annual migration to check on the farm. (corn should be about waist high).  The Chinese are all through the Zambian economy and own the international airport, the power company, numerous farms and businesses and a copper mine up north.  The copper mine is owned by a company based in Wuhan. The CBC published a story on Zambia coronavirus risk:

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/coronavirus-fears-in-africa-1.5457133

    As usual my timing is terrible.

    • #55
  26. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Hugh (View Comment):

    (sighs deeply)

    I am off to Zambia in a couple of weeks for my annual migration to check on the farm. (corn should be about waist high). The Chinese are all through the Zambian economy and own the international airport, the power company, numerous farms and businesses and a copper mine up north. The copper mine is owned by a company based in Wuhan. The CBC published a story on Zambia coronavirus risk:

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/coronavirus-fears-in-africa-1.5457133

    As usual my timing is terrible.

    Sadly you may have to budget some extra time on your return. 🙁

    • #56
  27. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret
    @CarolJoy

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Hugh (View Comment):

    (sighs deeply)

    I am off to Zambia in a couple of weeks for my annual migration to check on the farm. (corn should be about waist high). The Chinese are all through the Zambian economy and own the international airport, the power company, numerous farms and businesses and a copper mine up north. The copper mine is owned by a company based in Wuhan. The CBC published a story on Zambia coronavirus risk:

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/coronavirus-fears-in-africa-1.5457133

    As usual my timing is terrible.

    Sadly you may have to budget some extra time on your return. 🙁

    @hugh

    Of course, Hugh could consider arriving in Mexico City and then hitting the US via the southern border of California. I hear it is always open!

     

    • #57
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