Tweets of the Day: Expensive Words, Death Rate Comparison, Containment, Forward Guidance, and Trump Says
Latest Cornoanvirus News
The daily briefing from the Chinese National Health Commission reports 508 new confirmed cases and 71 deaths, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 77,658 and 2,663 total deaths. There are 2,824 additional suspected cases and 87,902 individuals are under medical observation.
South Korea Centers for Disease Control is reporting 977 confirmed cases and 10 deaths. Public health officials are actively planning to test 200,000 members of the Shincheonji Church in which most confirmed cases have been linked back to. There is an additional cluster of 186 cases linked to a hospital in Daegu.
A bulletin from the Italian Ministry of Health reports 283 infections and 7 deaths. The majority of cases are in the Lombardy region, however cases have been confirmed in 7 additional localities in Italy.
A total of 5 cases are now confirmed in Spain. Four cases have been confirmed on the Canary Island of Tenerife, which has a small outbreak resulting from an infected traveler from Italy.All infected individuals were staying at the same Tenerife hotel, and now more than 1,000 tourists at the hotel have been placed on lockdown (ie, quarantine). In addition, one case has been confirmed in a 36 year old Italian woman living in Barcelona. The woman reportedly visited the Bergamo and Milan areas of northern Italy between February 12 and 22.
There are 61 confirmed cases in Iran and 15 deaths. Notably, the Iranian deputy health minister has tested positive for COVID-19. Public gatherings have been banned in an effort to reduce transmission during the ongoing outbreak, the ban will be in place until the Persian New Year. The General Civil Aviation Authority United Arab Emirates has suspended all flights from Iran.
The above from Johns Hopkins email update. The lead chart is from Worldometers.
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Italy is the epicenter of the virus in Europe. A few years back I was surprised to find that Milan had a chinatown, and apparently so do some northern Italian cities. Could there be a connection? If outsourcing production of basic protection and testing gear, and importing disease by immigration does not kill globalism, then nothing will.
"Contained" is very aspirational word for a country that apparently doesn't have the means to test for the virus, no effective screening process, and has no visible prepared reactions.
I submitted this comment an hour or so ago and it was dumped, maybe due to a link to a wikipedia article on a book(?).
The CDC, WHO, etc. don't stand a chance at appearing timely and responsive due to "The Mythical Man Month" effect written about in Fred Brook's 1975 book by that name. Essentially, once you fall behind the curve on any major project, throwing more people and resources at it doesn't speed you up, it slows you down. People who were quite productive no longer are because they're constantly interrupted and distracted by training the newcomers. The problem here is obviously greatly compounded by the fact that any experienced experts are also learning this new beast's nature.
Went down to Lowe's a few weeks back, after reading Mish's first article on Wuhan, and putting on dry pants, bought p95 masks and clorox. Btw, check your latex gloves. If they've been sitting open for long, the top several pair are shot from exposure to the atmosphere.
Hope I'm throwing it all out in six months and feeling silly having over-reacted.
Why is the WHO reluctant to call it a "Pandemic"?
Well, apparently all you need to do is follow the money. The World Bank issued some $450 million or so of "Pandemic Bonds" a couple of years ago. One tranche paid around 6.5% interest, and a smaller one paid 11%. These bonds mature in June or July this year. If the WHO confirms a Pandemic (defined by 2,000 deaths in one country and 20 in a second country, as I understand it), prior to the bonds' maturity, the bonds go into default and the proceeds are distributed to "developing" countries. The bond-holders are wiped out. The smaller bond issue has a less-restrictive definition of Pandemic, or so I hear.
I wonder who the bond-holders are (these are privately issued bonds) and "who" has an incentive to delay calling it a Pandemic prior to the bonds maturing? In looking for culprits, I always look to the CCP.
Anybody know more on this?
I've probably read 100+ papers in medical and scientific journals over the past 5 weeks. IMO, here's the best synopsis to date, written by an MD in plain everyday language on why, in all probability, you're going to get it no matter what you do and why it's going to be around for years to come.
Seasonal flu death rate, 0.1%. Covid-19, using REPORTED data, is 3.4% and in an uptrend.
How many times will this idiotic nonsense be repeated? These numbers can't be compared like this. We have limited data on Covid-19. Most cases are probably not even registered. You can't take lab confirmed cases of one virus, most of them serious, and then compare them to a broad estimate of all cases of another virus.
The number of new cases in China is not growing exponentially as you would expect in an epidemic. That's encouraging. 500 new cases a day is not a lot.
Why is the fatality rate in Iran 15% instead of the 2 to 3% everywhere else?
Okay, Brazil might very well have the coronavirus too. Authorities tested a man who tested positive for the virus, they're conducting a second test before formally confirming the case. Now will the WHO declare a pandemic? We're into a sixth continent!
And while I'm bitching about no data, I'd like to add the following request to the list being worked by the CDC and Wuhan folks, since I'm sure they have nothing else going on:
Do you have thorough autopsies on the dead? If so, how do their gut microbiomes stack up against "normal" in the region? Any skew to prior antibiotic use? If so, how? We've been overdosing on antibiotics for 80 years now. A new dose coming down the throat must look like the bomb bay doors opening on the Enola Gay to the four pounds of bacteria, fungi and friendly viruses using us as their life support system. Have we driven them underground with 80 year's nuking? If not, why not?
I also note the continued, mysterious, but infrequent "bad cold seasons" Are these coronavirus invasions being beaten off by our microbiomes mounting successful defenses for us that we're oblivious to?
I note that there are precious few peer reviewed publications on fungi, one of the three key members of the gut microbiome that might possibly act as sentinels, since they're all over us, especially our mouths. You must have spent $3.95 on fungi since we've spent the $180 Billion on climate; Sorry.
And, yes, like Latkes, I'd like to see age at death on all the poor victims to date.
Here are the age at death statistics on the first 72,314 cases in China. This is from their CDC database.
It is hard to conclude anything from their data, and assuming the inputs are correct.
If we look at CFR by date of onset, it decreases the later the date used. This could be due to including milder cases, or it could be because the outcome is not closed for the more recent dates. They give an overall CFR of 2.3% using fatalities vs cases, which tells me they are not segregating unclosed cases - unless I missed a detail saying the whole study was closed cases. CFR of closed cases at worldometer is 9% for example. Also of note is that even using that aggragate of total cases, whether closed or not, CFR for all age groups except youngest starts at 0.2%, which is I think already high compared to flu.
So for me that dataset is a start, but not clear enough in total to be decisive. It is possibly misleading.
Antibiotics are not being used against viruses. If they are, it's because of incompetence/stupidity. There are two methods against viruses as far as I know.
trigger the immune system by proteins form dead virus, like in the case of flu.
use cocktail of modified DNA nucleotides, to interfere in assembling the viral DNA, like in HIV.
None is an antibiotic, and none is used what one might call proactively.
I understand, but if friendly bacteria in the gut microbiome are being annihilated routinely by over-prescribed antibiotics, as suggested below, not only are we growing drug resistant staph, but any ancient, (vital?) symbiotic relationship(s) between friendly bacteria, viruses and fungi in the gut microbiome are also being blithely blunderbussed in the process. There seems to be a lot of buzz around whether lupus, arthritis, etc. are symptoms of problems here.
It seems curious to me that five of the seven coronavirus strains now known to exist have suddenly popped up causing problems in the past 18 years, per Professor Gallaher's excellent white paper. Are we that much better at finding them or maybe...growing them?
They prescribe antibiotics with nCov when severe because it reduces the immune system and other infections then occur.
Any attempt to compute CFR has to be done separately for Wuhan than the rest of the world. It is apparent from the data that there are two CFRs. The first is the CFR in the case of optimal healthcare. That appears to be about 1% or slightly less, which is 10-20x higher than the flu. The second in the CFR when the medical system is overwhelmed (i.e. Wuhan) and care is sup-optimal. In that case, the CFR rises to about 5%.
Unfortunately, the numbers will always be larger from areas that are overwhelmed, for the simple reason that large numbers are what it takes to overwhelm a system. Based on the deaths we are seeing reported from Iran, their healthcare system may also be overwhelmed.
That poses the question, could the healthcare system in your community become overwhelmed? Absolutely. Nowhere in the world has the sort of excess capacity that would be required in the case of a massive outbreak. That's why control, and limiting the rate of spread, continues to be important.
I agree, however I question the raw data. Possibly there were few tests at start of outbreak, or figures were massaged to avoid panic, possibly mild cases were not added at the right time, possibly clinical confirmation was exaggerated, possibly cases were missed later, possibly the figures overlap for timing wrt closed vs registered, etc. etc. , so I refuse to draw any conclusions from those numbers except that for younger age groups (and without defining comorbidity) CFR is listed as 0.2% , and that even that is already high enough for anyone to be concerned. Add to this that the virus might become more lethal than whatever it is, and that it is highly contagious, and that we are not in a position to handle a serious pandemic, and the picture is not good.
Only 0.2% CFR healthy or young patients btw for anyone = 1 million casualties all ages but youngest in Europe and US at around 60% infection rate. That is not counting older people higher CFR. Add to that an immense disruption due to other cases.
So my reply to the official reactions everywhere so far is, and using a national population of 50 million :
You are going to put your country through this, watch a hundred thousand of all ages of your co-nationals perish, just so that a small minority of people can travel easily for a month or two more ?
Sorry, but our nations are spoilt and run by corrupt and/or inept authorities. The national border has been transferred to the local or individual border, and society has become so atomised because of this that it doesn't even think reaction is possible beyond trying to close the door of own house to it all.
A question that I can't answer from the data is to what extent the CFR goes up with age alone, and to what extent it goes up with age because co-morbidity rates go up. I admit that my interest is selfish because, while I am over 65, I am in perfect health with no co-morbid factors. Based on age alone, my guess for my personal CFR would be 3.6%, but if I am correct that those without co-morbid factors have only 1/8 the chance of death, my odds improve to .45%. Those aren't bad odds, but I'd still rather not have the virus, nor deal with any problems it might leave behind if I survive.
Trump really tweeted that the the Coronavirus is very much under control? Unfortunately, that can't possibly even be true. It may be true that for now the situation is under control, but for how long.
I have predicted that the Fall election will be decided by the Coronavirus, and that Trump will win if he acts like a leader who confronts it aggressively. Denying that a danger exists is about as bad a start as he could have. It looks especially bad when he sends that out on the very same day that CDC says they can't keep in under control for long.
Do y'all think maybe trump is LYING?
Unless "your prediction" was made say, on January 23rd when China locked down Wuhan or earlier, it wasn't very prescient. A bit like predicting Japan would surrender after Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Thanks, St. Funogas: China population >65 = 9%, Hubei Covid-19 deaths of all those over 65 = roughly 27%, a 3 to 1 skew, and a heavy skew to male, 63.8% of all deaths.
Anyone remember Jim Henson dying of walking pneumonia in 1990? I wonder if the typical Chinese guy has the same attitude: Brush it off and keep plugging? If so, when you get to intensive care in Hubei, Covid-19 kills you 49% of the time.
This is looking more like another "old man's friend" to me, assuming you are not already immune-compromised with heart, diabetes, cancer etc. problems AND you get care with symptom onset. Apparently, there are around 30 ways to get pneumonia. We may now have 31, permanently.
I don't think Trump and Kudlow and the rest of the dopes realize that while you can jawbone a market a virus really doesn't care what you have to say. This will be the sword upon which Trump impales himself.
And the little blip we've had in the market? A mere 5% down? That's nothing. If we face a prolonged slowdown the bankruptcies will be going off like strings of firecrackers.
@Stuki Excellent point. If I'm deemed serious until cardiac arrest, then moved to critical, the scorekeeper is going to post some fine nums for saving the serious.