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kraftiekortie
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30 May 2020, 8:36 pm

Vietnam was fortunate that they had relatively few cases to begin with.

Most New Yorkers, probably, would be considered “indirect” contacts. New York has 8.5 million people within its limits.



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30 May 2020, 9:01 pm

Vietnam had few cases because they didn't wait for anyone to tell them there was a problem.

By early January, temperature screening was already in place for passengers

On January 23, Vietnam confirmed its first two coronavirus cases.
The next day, Vietnam's aviation authorities canceled all flights to and from Wuhan.

On February 1, Vietnam declared a national epidemic -- with just six confirmed cases recorded across the country. All flights between Vietnam and China were halted, followed by the suspension of visas to Chinese citizens the next day.



Last edited by BTDT on 30 May 2020, 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kraftiekortie
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30 May 2020, 9:02 pm

I don’t disagree that Vietnam did an excellent job.

I want to visit there some day.



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30 May 2020, 10:54 pm

jimmy m wrote:
I was in a big box store yesterday and there was a pallet. It contain hundreds of boxes of face masks. As I recall each box contained about a hundred and they appeared to be surgical mask. And they were reasonably priced.

So it may be another sign that things may be winding down.


Yup.
And hand sanitisers are in plentiful supply, here.
Not to mention toilet paper. :lmao:
I am stocking up, slowly, if there is a round 2 lockdown, not that I think it will happen.
I suspect we will have to simply "Soldier Through", with better knowledge, if it does. 8)
I might even pick up some of those high falutin N95 type masks, not that I needed them the first time.

Is it time for me to start posting my "Doom and Gloom" posts, from others, now rather than the 1st anniversary of the pandemic?
Probably a little pre-mature.
Things could still get bad/worse with a second wave. 8O


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30 May 2020, 10:55 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
I don’t disagree that Vietnam did an excellent job.

I want to visit there some day.

But do they want *you*? :mrgreen:


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30 May 2020, 11:01 pm

Pepe wrote:
kraftiekortie wrote:
It was pretty mild the first time I had it, though it lasted about three weeks.


So you think you had it more than once???


OK,
The first time you had *the test*, not the virus.
I read it incorrectly. :wink:

Sometimes I don't get enough sleep,
And that affects my thinking process,
As Bernadett, told Sheldon. :mrgreen:


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02 Jun 2020, 8:06 am

Between the day the full genome was first decoded by a government lab on 2 January 2020 and the day WHO declared a global emergency on 30 January 2020, the outbreak spread by a factor of 100 to 200 times, according to retrospective infection data from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus has now infected over 6 million people worldwide and killed more than 375,000.

EARLY TIMELINE
The race to find the genetic map of the virus started in late December 2019, according to the story that unfolds in interviews, documents and the WHO recordings. That’s when doctors in Wuhan noticed mysterious clusters of patients with fevers and breathing problems who weren’t improving with standard flu treatment. Seeking answers, they sent test samples from patients to commercial labs.

By 27 December 2019, one lab, Vision Medicals, had pieced together most of the genome of a new coronavirus with striking similarities to SARS. Vision Medicals shared its data with Wuhan officials and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, as reported first by Chinese finance publication Caixin and independently confirmed by the AP.

On 30 December 2019, Wuhan health officials issued internal notices warning of the unusual pneumonia, which leaked on social media. That evening, Shi Zhengli, a coronavirus expert at the Wuhan Institute of Virology who is famous for having traced the SARS virus to a bat cave, was alerted to the new disease, according to an interview with Scientific American. Shi took the first train from a conference in Shanghai back to Wuhan.

The next day, 31 December 2019, Chinese CDC director Gao Fu dispatched a team of experts to Wuhan. WHO first learned about the cases from an open-source platform that scouts for intelligence on outbreaks, emergencies chief Ryan has said.

WHO officially requested more information on 1 January 2020. Under international law, members have 24 to 48 hours to respond, and China reported two days later that there were 44 cases and no deaths.

By 2 January 2020, Shi had decoded the entire genome of the virus, according to a notice later posted on her institute’s website.

Scientists agree that Chinese scientists detected and sequenced the then-unknown pathogen with astonishing speed, in a testimony to China’s vastly improved technical capabilities since SARS, during which a WHO-led group of scientists took months to identify the virus. This time, Chinese virologists proved within days that it was a never-before-seen coronavirus. Tedros would later say Beijing set “a new standard for outbreak response.”

But when it came to sharing the information with the world, things began to go awry.

On 3 January 2020, the National Health Commission issued a confidential notice ordering labs with the virus to either destroy their samples or send them to designated institutes for safekeeping. The notice, first reported by Caixin and seen by the AP, forbade labs from publishing about the virus without government authorization. The order barred Shi’s lab from publishing the genetic sequence or warning of the potential danger.

Chinese law states that research institutes cannot conduct experiments on potentially dangerous new viruses without approval from top health authorities. Although the law is intended to keep experiments safe, it gives top health officials wide-ranging powers over what lower-level labs can or cannot do.

“If the virologist community had operated with more autonomy….the public would have been informed of the lethal risk of the new virus much earlier,” said Edward Gu, a professor at Zhejiang University, and Li Lantian, a PhD student at Northwestern University, in a paper published in March analyzing the outbreak.

Commission officials later repeated that they were trying to ensure lab safety, and had tasked four separate government labs with identifying the genome at the same time to get accurate, consistent results.

By 3 January 2020, the Chinese CDC had independently sequenced the virus, according to internal data seen by the Associated Press. And by just after midnight on Jan. 5, a third designated government lab, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, had decoded the sequence and submitted a report — pulling all-nighters to get results in record time, according to a state media interview. Yet even with full sequences decoded by three state labs independently, Chinese health officials remained silent. The WHO reported on Twitter that investigations were under way into an unusual cluster of pneumonia cases with no deaths in Wuhan, and said it would share “more details as we have them.”

Meanwhile, at the Chinese CDC, gaps in coronavirus expertise proved a problem.

For nearly two weeks, Wuhan reported no new infections, as officials censored doctors who warned of suspicious cases. Meanwhile, researchers found the new coronavirus used a distinct spike protein to bind itself to human cells. The unusual protein and the lack of new cases lulled some Chinese CDC researchers into thinking the virus didn’t easily spread between humans — like the coronavirus that casues Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, according to an employee who declined to be identified out of fear of retribution.

Li, the coronavirus expert, said he immediately suspected the pathogen was infectious when he spotted a leaked copy of a sequencing report in a group chat on a SARS-like coronavirus. But the Chinese CDC team that sequenced the virus lacked specialists in the molecular structure of coronaviruses and failed to consult with outside scientists, Li said. Chinese health authorities rebuffed offers of assistance from foreign experts, including Hong Kong scientists barred from a fact-finding mission to Wuhan and an American professor at a university in China.

On 5 January 2020, the Shanghai Public Clinical Health Center, led by famed virologist Zhang Yongzhen, was the latest to sequence the virus. He submitted it to the GenBank database, where it sat awaiting review, and notified the National Health Commission. He warned them that the new virus was similar to SARS and likely infectious.

“It should be contagious through respiratory passages,” the center said in an internal notice seen by the AP. “We recommend taking preventative measures in public areas.”

On the same day, WHO said that based on preliminary information from China, there was no evidence of significant transmission between humans, and did not recommend any specific measures for travelers.

The next day, 6 January 2020, the Chinese CDC raised its emergency level to the second highest. Staffers proceeded to isolate the virus, draft lab testing guidelines, and design test kits. But the agency did not have the authority to issue public warnings, and the heightened emergency level was kept secret even from many of its own staff.

By 7 January 2020, another team at Wuhan University had sequenced the pathogen and found it matched Shi’s, making Shi certain they had identified a novel coronavirus. But Chinese CDC experts said they didn’t trust Shi’s findings and needed to verify her data before she could publish, according to three people familiar with the matter. Both the National Health Commission and the Ministry of Science and Technology, which oversees Shi’s lab, declined to make Shi available for an interview.

A major factor behind the gag order, some say, was that Chinese CDC researchers wanted to publish their papers first. “They wanted to take all the credit,” said Li Yize, a coronavirus researcher at the University of Pennsylvania.

Internally, the leadership of the Chinese CDC is plagued with fierce competition, six people familiar with the system explained. They said the agency has long promoted staff based on how many papers they can publish in prestigious journals, making scientists reluctant to share data.

As the days went by, even some of the Chinese CDC's own staff began to wonder why it was taking so long for authorities to identify the pathogen.

“We were getting suspicious, since within one or two days you would get a sequencing result,” a lab technician said, declining to be identified for fear of retribution.

On 8 January 2020, the Wall Street Journal reported that scientists had identified a new coronavirus in samples from pneumonia patients in Wuhan, pre-empting and embarrassing Chinese officials. The lab technician told the AP they first learned about the discovery of the virus from the Journal.

The article also embarrassed WHO officials. Dr. Tom Grein, chief of WHO's acute events management team, said the agency looked “doubly, incredibly stupid.” Van Kerkhove, the American expert, acknowledged WHO was “already late” in announcing the new virus and told colleagues that it was critical to push China.

Ryan, WHO’s chief of emergencies, was also upset at the dearth of information.

“The fact is, we’re two to three weeks into an event, we don’t have a laboratory diagnosis, we don’t have an age, sex or geographic distribution, we don’t have an epi curve,” he complained, referring to the standard graphic of outbreaks scientists use to show how an epidemic is progressing.

After the article, state media officially announced the discovery of the new coronavirus. But even then, Chinese health authorities did not release the genome, diagnostic tests, or detailed patient data that could hint at how infectious the disease was.

By that time, suspicious cases were already appearing across the region.

On 8 January 2020, Thai airport officers pulled aside a woman from Wuhan with a runny nose, sore throat, and high temperature. Chulalongkorn University professor Supaporn Wacharapluesadee’s team found the woman was infected with a new coronavirus, much like what Chinese officials had described. Supaporn partially figured out the genetic sequence by 9 January 2020, reported it to the Thai government and spent the next day searching for matching sequences.

But because Chinese authorities hadn’t published any sequences, she found nothing. She could not prove the Thai virus was the same pathogen sickening people in Wuhan.

“It was kind of wait and see, when China will release the data, then we can compare,” said Supaporn.

On 9 January 2020, a 61-year-old man with the virus passed away in Wuhan — the first known death. The death wasn’t made public until 11 January 2020.

WHO officials complained in internal meetings that they were making repeated requests for more data, especially to find out if the virus could spread efficiently between humans, but to no avail.

“We have informally and formally been requesting more epidemiological information,” WHO's China representative Galea said. “But when asked for specifics, we could get nothing.”

Emergencies chief Ryan grumbled that since China was providing the minimal information required by international law, there was little WHO could do. But he also noted that last September, WHO had issued an unusual public rebuke of Tanzania for not providing enough details about a worrisome Ebola outbreak.

“We have to be consistent,” Ryan said. “The danger now is that despite our good intent...especially if something does happen, there will be a lot of finger-pointing at WHO.”

Ryan noted that China could make a “huge contribution” to the world by sharing the genetic material immediately, because otherwise “other countries will have to reinvent the wheel over the coming days.”

On 11 January 2020, a team led by Zhang, from the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, finally published a sequence on virological.org, used by researchers to swap tips on pathogens. The move angered Chinese CDC officials, three people familiar with the matter said, and the next day, his laboratory was temporarily shuttered by health authorities.

Zhang referred a request for comment to the Chinese CDC. The National Health Commission, which oversees the Chinese CDC, declined multiple times to make its officials available for interviews and did not answer questions about Zhang.

Supaporn compared her sequence with Zhang’s and found it was a 100% match, confirming that the Thai patient was ill with the same virus detected in Wuhan. Another Thai lab got the same results. That day, Thailand informed the WHO, said Tanarak Plipat, deputy director-general of the Department of Disease Control at Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health.

After Zhang released the genome, the Chinese CDC, the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences raced to publish their sequences, working overnight to review them, gather patient data, and send them to the National Health Commission for approval, according to documentation obtained by the AP. On 12 January 2020, the three labs together finally published the sequences on GISAID, a platform for scientists to share genomic data.

By then, more than two weeks had passed since Vision Medicals decoded a partial sequence, and more than a week since the three government labs had all obtained full sequences. Around 600 people were infected in that week, a roughly three-fold increase.

Some scientists say the wait was not unreasonable considering the difficulties in sequencing unknown pathogens, given accuracy is as important as speed. They point to the SARS outbreak in 2003 when some Chinese scientists initially — and wrongly — believed the source of the epidemic was chlamydia.

“The pressure is intense in an outbreak to make sure you’re right,” said Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealthAlliance in New York. “It’s actually worse to go out to go to the public with a story that’s wrong because the public completely lose confidence in the public health response.”

Still, others quietly question what happened behind the scenes.

Infectious diseases expert John Mackenzie, who served on a WHO emergency committee during the outbreak, praised the speed of Chinese researchers in sequencing the virus. But he said once central authorities got involved, detailed data trickled to a crawl.

“There certainly was a kind of blank period,” Mackenzie said. “There had to be human to human transmission. You know, it’s staring at you in the face… I would have thought they would have been much more open at that stage.”

On 13 January 2020, WHO announced that Thailand had a confirmed case of the virus, jolting Chinese officials.

The next day, 14 January 2020, in a confidential teleconference, China’s top health official ordered the country to prepare for a pandemic, calling the outbreak the “most severe challenge since SARS in 2003”, as the AP previously reported. Chinese CDC staff across the country began screening, isolating, and testing for cases, turning up hundreds across the country.

Yet even as the Chinese CDC internally declared a level one emergency, the highest level possible, Chinese officials still said the chance of sustained transmission between humans was low.

WHO went back and forth. Van Kerkhove said in a press briefing that “it is certainly possible there is limited human-to-human transmission.” But hours later, WHO seemed to backtrack, and tweeted that “preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission” – a statement that later became fodder for critics.

A high-ranking official in WHO’s Asia office, Dr. Liu Yunguo, who attended medical school in Wuhan, flew to Beijing to make direct, informal contacts with Chinese officials, recordings show. Liu’s former classmate, a Wuhan doctor, had alerted him that pneumonia patients were flooding the city’s hospitals, and Liu pushed for more experts to visit Wuhan, according to a public health expert familiar with the matter.

On 20 January 2020, the leader of an expert team returning from Wuhan, renowned government infectious diseases doctor Zhong Nanshan, declared publicly for the first time that the new virus was spreading between people. Chinese President Xi Jinping called for the “timely publication of epidemic information and deepening of international cooperation.”

Despite that directive, WHO staff still struggled to obtain enough detailed patient data from China about the rapidly evolving outbreak. That same day, the U.N. health agency dispatched a small team to Wuhan for two days, including Galea, the WHO representative in China.

They were told about a worrying cluster of cases among more than a dozen doctors and nurses. But they did not have “transmission trees” detailing how the cases were connected, nor a full understanding of how widely the virus was spreading and who was at risk.

In an internal meeting, Galea said their Chinese counterparts were “talking openly and consistently” about human-to-human transmission, and that there was a debate about whether or not this was sustained. Galea reported to colleagues in Geneva and Manila that China’s key request to WHO was for help “in communicating this to the public, without causing panic.”

On 22 January 2020, WHO convened an independent committee to determine whether to declare a global health emergency. After two inconclusive meetings where experts were split, they decided against it — even as Chinese officials ordered Wuhan sealed in the biggest quarantine in history. The next day, WHO chief Tedros publicly described the spread of the new coronavirus in China as “limited.”

For days, China didn’t release much detailed data, even as its case count exploded. Beijing city officials were alarmed enough to consider locking down the capital, according to a medical expert with direct knowledge of the matter.

On 28 January 2020, Tedros and top experts, including Ryan, made an extraordinary trip to Beijing to meet President Xi and other senior Chinese officials. It is highly unusual for WHO’s director-general to directly intervene in the practicalities of outbreak investigations. Tedros’ staffers had prepared a list of requests for information.

“It could all happen and the floodgates open, or there's no communication,” Grein said in an internal meeting while his boss was in Beijing. “We’ll see.”

At the end of Tedros’ trip, WHO announced China had agreed to accept an international team of experts. In a press briefing on 29 January 2020, Tedros heaped praise on China, calling its level of commitment “incredible.”

The next day,30 January 2020, WHO finally declared an international health emergency. Once again, Tedros thanked China, saying nothing about the earlier lack of cooperation.

Source: China delayed releasing coronavirus info, frustrating WHO despite public praise


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03 Jun 2020, 8:12 am

I read an interesting analysis today that looked at how the virus contagion is spreading over time based on population density.

This plot shows the distribution of COVID-19 deaths by population density. New York State has the highest death rate as well as the densest population, primarily because of New York City. The western mountain states have the opposite. There is a clear relationship with population density that is statistically significant and consistent with the belief that there is higher virus transmission in more crowded situations.

Image

But the rest of the analysis looked at the spread in low population regions. Their findings were:

* Population density does not impact COVID-19 infectivity in the sparsely populated states but is associated with mortality in the denser states.

* Grouping states by population density remains valid over time and may provide a rationale for re-opening businesses and schools by region.

* If these temporal trends persist, the low-death states will tend to catch up with the higher death rate states, thus “flattening” the population density effect.

Source: COVID-19 In Space And Time

The weakness I see in the analysis is that it doesn't integrate the effect of climate (winter/spring/summer/fall).


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03 Jun 2020, 8:22 am

Why haven't I seen a single thing in the media coverage over the protests/riots about the dearth of mask wearing in the public? There was a great hubbub about people in southern states going to the beach without masks and how terrible that was, but no such hubbub with the protests/riots. I find that confusing.

I would have thought that there would be volunteers in protest/riot areas handing out masks to people in concern for their well being and the well being of their communities, but I haven't seen anything like that reported.


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03 Jun 2020, 8:24 am

Magna wrote:
Why haven't I seen a single thing in the media coverage over the protests/riots about the dearth of mask wearing in the public? ...
Simple.  The images speak for themselves.  Looters and arsonists without masks ... stupidity affect all aspects of behavior.


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03 Jun 2020, 8:31 am

EIDD-2801 Another Potential Cure

EIDD-2801, one of the most promising coronavirus antiviral drugs, just lept ahead of the pack. Merck has partnered with Ridgeback Biologics to develop the drug. EIDD-2801 seems to have everything going for it. It inhibits viral replication in cultured cells, operating by a well-known mechanism (RNA polymerase inhibition), which has worked for numerous antiviral drugs in multiple therapeutic areas. It can be taken orally (a pill), which means that it can be used at the first sign of infection. It is easy to synthesize. Merck didn't become Merck by making bad decisions.

In Josh Bloom's opinion: "I predict (and hope) that EIDD-2801 will be the first successful oral therapy for COVID and that it will be a game-changer. Clinical trials began in the UK in April. The drug seems to be well-tolerated. Stay tuned and keep your fingers and toes crossed."

So if you would like to read more especially from a chemist perspective, I think you would enjoy a quick read:

Merck Joins The COVID Drug Race With EIDD-2801. And A Chemistry Lesson From Hell.


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03 Jun 2020, 8:33 am

jimmy m wrote:
EIDD-2801 Another Potential Cure

EIDD-2801, one of the most promising coronavirus antiviral drugs, just lept ahead of the pack. Merck has partnered with Ridgeback Biologics to develop the drug. EIDD-2801 seems to have everything going for it. It inhibits viral replication in cultured cells, operating by a well-known mechanism (RNA polymerase inhibition), which has worked for numerous antiviral drugs in multiple therapeutic areas. It can be taken orally (a pill), which means that it can be used at the first sign of infection. It is easy to synthesize. Merck didn't become Merck by making bad decisions.

In Josh Bloom's opinion: "I predict (and hope) that EIDD-2801 will be the first successful oral therapy for COVID and that it will be a game-changer. Clinical trials began in the UK in April. The drug seems to be well-tolerated. Stay tuned and keep your fingers and toes crossed."

So if you would like to read more especially from a chemist perspective, I think you would enjoy a quick read:

Merck Joins The COVID Drug Race With EIDD-2801. And A Chemistry Lesson From Hell.


I'm crossing my fingers and my toes!


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03 Jun 2020, 11:30 am

China is using a new method of coronavirus testing called batch testing.

The rapid testing of so many people was made possible in part through batch testing, in which samples from up to five people are mixed together, Xinhua added. If the result is positive, then the people are individually tested. This allowed the Chinese to increase daily testing capacity from 300,000 to more than one million.

Source: Wuhan claims it has tested nearly entire city for coronavirus and only found 300 asymptomatic cases


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03 Jun 2020, 11:49 am

No change in the number of cases in my county for the past 4 days. 118 cases total. The county north of me still only has 1 case and the county north of that county still has zero cases.


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03 Jun 2020, 10:50 pm

Las Vegas opens up in 10 minutes.

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https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/neva ... 47145.html


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05 Jun 2020, 8:15 am

Last week, The Lancet presented a peer-reviewed paper on hydroxychloroquine, indicating in an observational study that the risk of cardiac arrhythmias outweighed its beneficial use.

This paper was derived from a new start-up company called Surgisphere. As of June 4th both the Lancet paper and an additional paper using the same databae published in the New England Journal of Medicine have been retracted because the co-authors were not allowed to see the data for review.

One of the significant differences between science and religion is that science stakes it claims on verifiable facts, not merely on belief and faith, which are important in their own right. There is increasing evidence that peer-review is not infallible; this “study” on hydroxychloroquine may well be another example.

Science is grounded on repeatability of results. This health study appears to be one where the data is simply analyzed, and there is no way to establish the underlying truth of the dataset itself.

Source: Controversy Follows The Lancet's Hydroxychloroquine Study


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