127.72 MHz

Advanced Member
I found this article in "STAT".

STAT is a media company focused on finding and telling compelling stories about health, medicine, and scientific discovery.

STAT is produced by Boston Globe Media.

In medical parlance, “stat” means important and urgent. "STAT" lab tests are to be resulted in an hour or less,...



I'll avoid any personal commentary but my hope is that citizens will become better informed to how public health policy is arrived at.

Best regards,
 
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Oldsarge

Moderator and Bon Vivant
It's a coronovirus. So is the common cold. Unless you are elderly and in seriously poor health, you really have nothing to worry about. It's all a "the sky is falling, we must go and tell the king" sort of panic-without-reason. Probably hundreds of thousands of people have already caught it and gotten over it without being aware that they had (gasp!) COVID-19! Wash your hands and quit hyperventilating.
 

Peak and Pine

Connoisseur
"Probably hundreds of thousands of people have already caught it and gotten over it without being aware that they had (gasp!) COVID-19! Wash your hands and quit hyperventilating."


Around 50,000 non-elderly, very healthy young Americans, my grandfather among them, lost their lives to the Spanish Flu In France in 1918, an amount about equal to all the combat deaths of the previous year and a half that we were involved in WWI. You're sounding an awful lot like You Know Who.
 
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Peak and Pine

Connoisseur
^.

UPDATE. The figures I gave above were from memory. I just now Googled for assurance. I was close: 53,000 American combat deaths, 45,000 to the flu. The reason I've bothered to update this arcane stuff is that on the Google trip I found out that the entire number of American deaths from the Spanish Flu, most here in the US which was one-third the size it is now, was 675,000. Gawd. Including my mother's two older sisters, the aunts I never knew. So wash your hands, and pray while doing so.
 

Big T

Senior Member
This thread has the potential to explode on a very enjoyable site to visit, turning political, with vitriol ready to infect one and all. Some will succumb to the siren call to express/argue their views, others, simply taking precautions to not let their emotions take over.

For me, I have a mild interest (otherwise I would not have responded!), but I shall wash my hands, cover my mouth and lay low, avoiding those known to be infected.
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
^^ Big T has shared with us what
sounds like a workable plan and one that I certainly intend to follow. Take reasonable precautions and respond without undue emotion, should we be touched by the bogeyman! Stay healthy, my friends. ;)
 

challer

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
It's a coronovirus. So is the common cold. Unless you are elderly and in seriously poor health, you really have nothing to worry about. It's all a "the sky is falling, we must go and tell the king" sort of panic-without-reason. Probably hundreds of thousands of people have already caught it and gotten over it without being aware that they had (gasp!) COVID-19! Wash your hands and quit hyperventilating.
This. If it wasn't reported, you'd never notice it. Very different than the Spanish flu which caused cytokine storms in the body. COVID19 is just the Corona Virus 209. It is also in the SARS class. The big outbreak in China is pollution-induced respiratory problems.
 

Dhaller

Advanced Member
COVID-19 is far more lethal than the common cold, or most flus. It's a mistake to panic, but it's also a mistake to be blasé about it.

The lethality figures in China are outsized (there are other complicating factors, like air quality and "China being China"), but even removing that data and reassessing, you're looking at an infection with lethality 10-50x that of the flu.

Also, it appears able to reinfect recovered patients, AND be carried by unaffected children, AND be carried by dogs and probably other animals, AND lie dormant in a transmitting carrier. That's a lot of "bonus powers" for one virus.

It's probably seasonal (meaning we can expect this every winter now, until either we develop enough immunity or there's a vaccine), but I imagine by summer it will be a memory. We shall see.

Upside might be that everyone is so terrified now that they'll practice what *should* be normal procedures; maybe we'll see drops in rates of regular flu and cold.

Right now, my biggest worry is allergies, but my wife and daughter plan on spending the whole summer abroad - at our second house in Japan, and traveling to Singapore - so we're "assessing". I'm the scientist in the house - my wife is NOT - so those plans are likely to be based on perceptions of risk rather than measures of risk (I think they should proceed; my wife is more circumspect... and we know which argument usually wins!)

Of course, now everyone on social media is an infectious diseases expert, so expect plenty of advice in the coming weeks!

DH

PS. Yes, some common colds are coronaviruses (about 20%; most are rhinoviruses). "Coronaviridae" is a categorical family of enveloped, single-strand RNA viruses (Group IV viruses). It's more generally accurate to say that the common cold is caused by Group IV viruses, but then, rabies and polio are also Group IV viruses. Trying to make coronavirus look "less serious" by comparing it to the common cold is a bit disingenuous, because it's cherry picking. We might more accurately look at the "whole basket" of COVID-19, rhinovirus, polio, rabies... oh, hepatitis A, rubella, dengue fever (which I have had, no fun), and hantavirus. Happy little family! As you can see, cross-viral comparisons aren't useful.
 
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Oldsarge

Moderator and Bon Vivant
Is this virus worse than the virus from The 1920's?
Circumstances are different. In the 1918 influenza, people didn't even know what a virus was or how to deal with them. Even so, the mortality rate was not a whole lot higher than 2%. The reason that it killed 50-80 million people is that it infected billions. Now? Wash your hands, don't smoke or vape and avoid being old and in poor health.
 

Dhaller

Advanced Member
Is this virus worse than the virus from The 1920's?
This is far, far more *directly* lethal than the 1918 "Spanish" influenza virus.

The 1918 flu was H1N1 ("swine fu"); COVID-19 is probably about 10x more lethal, just based on viral load alone.

The reason for the many deaths in 1918 was that 27% of the entire global population was infected; it was a serious pandemic affecting 500 million people. There were no vaccines. There were no antibiotics. There was poor hygiene in hospitals, and no logistics available to handle infection surges. Probably more people died of untreatable superinfection (the so called "death bed phenomenon") than of direct viral infection.

My great grandmother died during that pandemic.

Now, hopefully, we have better systems in place to handle pandemic surges and prevent complications. Still... we're seeing the advent of resistant bacterial strains and so on, so *eventually* we certainly have a "Spanish Flu 2.0"... but not today.

I don't think so, anyway?

DH
 

irish95

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Great job Dhaller. I wanted to chime in myself, but it appears unnecessary after your comments. I'm not sure facts will work though on a certain segment. It will continue to be called the same as the "common cold".
 

challer

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
COVID19 is far LESS lethal than the spanish flu. SF caused cytokine storms which killed most people regardless of health. COVID19 is a SARS virus. If you are old, immune challenged, or have cardiopulmonary problems, you almost certainly will not be in any trouble.
 

vonSuess

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Had breakfast at the senior center this morning and we were talking about all this. Of course, all of us lived through the polio epidemic - including a couple of us who had it hit our own households. So indeed we talked about the current virus, but we didn't talk about it much...
 

Mr. B. Scott Robinson

Advanced Member
My SWMBO is an infectious disease expert with 30 years experience in the us and overseas.

Here is what our family is doing....

Don’t panic, wash your hands, stay home if you feel ill, don’t send sick kids to school, if you are immune compromised stay at home, if you are elderly best to lay low for a while.

Rinse, repeat.

Cheers,

BSR
 

momsdoc

Connoisseur
My concern is a logistical one. As a primary care physician, I and all the other healthcare workers are on the front lines, and the most likely to be exposed.

But thanks to the hoarding by the masses we do not have protective gear. We were informed yesterday by our Mothership health system, that no offices will be receiving protective gowns, goggles or N95 masks. The little supply available is being diverted to the hospitals, and ERs.

Yet the policy is that we must evaluate patients before referring them to the ER, so as to not overload the facilities.

To do this, policy requires that patients not be allowed in the building without staff placing an N95 mask on them (while in protective gear), then hustle the patient into an isolation room in the office, evaluate and send to the ER if suspect, or treat as usual if not suspect.

Then and only then an we leave the isolation room and doff our protective gear, which of course we cannot get because of the shortage caused by civilian hoarding. A Catch 22.

N95 masks are of no use to those trying to protect themselves in the community, they need to be put on the sick individuals, not the healthy.

I fear the exposure of healthcare workers, and their subsequent quarentine will break the system and lead to excess loss of life.

Personally, my wife is on immunosuppressants due to her recent transplant. Out of an abundance of precaution, as I will surely be exposed at some point (if not already), I have self isolated in the other half of our Mother/Daughter house since the confirmed arrival of the virus in NJ.

I will hopefully be able to see her again in the summer if this virus acts like other Coronaviruses and goes dormant in the warm weather. Hopefully by next Fall we will have enough protective supplies so as not to repeat this cycle.
 
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