The coronavirus is not the same type of virus as causes influenza and so their is very little herd immunity - meaning that few people within the population will have enough immunity to break the chain of spread (as in cutting down trees in a forest to reduce or stop the spreading of the fire), as does happen with influenza, especially in a vaccinated population. So, in the initial stages, no one knows how fast it will spread. China, being an authoritarian State is, of course, able to take quick action to reduce the spread. Also, no-one knows initially, with a new disease, how easily it spreads from person-to-person (how contagious it is) or how it affects individuals (especially the serious illness and death rates).
Then there is the possibility of mutation - changes in the outer coat of the virus which make it more dangerous and possibly more able to overcome any existing immunity within the population. This could take place due to the coronavirus recombining its RNA (like DNA but a little different) with another virus within a host - that could be a human it infected or another species. The new virus could be far more lethal. It may even behave like the influenza virus, which changes it outer coat by antigenic drift and so makes existing antibodies (a major basis of immunity) less effective.
So, I think in view of the fact that we do not know the potential course of this virus, extreme caution is required. And even though we know the influenza virus extremely well, any change to the type could make it a major world killer. So whatever it is now - affecting mostly the young and elderly, not spreading like wildfire, killing a low percentage of infected persons - it may not stay that way
Think of it like meeting a new type of wild animal - would you rush up to it or treat it with caution until you know it better.
Those who take this viral outbreak seriously will be treated as weak fools if it turns out to be not that serious - but those who ignore it and end up allowing vast numbers of people to die (also wrecking the world economy) will be despised.
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Apparently from the local chiz-mis grapevine: - Manhattan Suites next to Robinsons Mall, has had all it's staff isolated/quarantined. The Sea Dreams Resort owner is now helping local DOH & government. Additionally, the woman is currently in an isolation ward in San Lazaro Hospital, Manila. Our beloved Governor, wants to withold this info, for fear of mass panic. Too late the hero I fear, as this & her travel itinary, has already been reported widely on the internet, national TV, local radio etc etc.
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Because the virus has reached Dumaguete, I have done some more research and my findings are shown below:
One possible piece of goods news, not seen reported, is the actual % increase in new cases. The figures are reported (I have seen figures for 2 day periods) but not the % increase.
20th and 22nd +53%
22nd and 24th +94%
24th and 26th +133%
26th and 28th +125%
28th and 30th +70%
Although these figures show the cases and not the number of infected persons (as some will show no sign of disease or may fail to report it/seek help) it seems encouraging that there is a decline. We wait to see if this is maintained or it starts to rise again.
Below are reports I have read, with added comments from myself in :
SARS [another coronavirus] caused an outbreak of severe pneumonia in China in 2002/3 and spread to other countries. It infected more than 8,000 people and killed nearly 800 until it was controlled by some of the same public health measures being used in the current outbreak. It took nine months to infect less than 10,000 people. In contrast, the number of 2019-nCoV infections are close to 10,000 in just a month. [But it is known that faster spreading viruses tend to be less fatal].
The new virus is 75 percent to 80 percent identical to SARS. Its true mortality rate isn't known, because many infections may be going undetected in people who have mild or no symptoms.
Based on the first 425 cases analyzed, each infected person spread the virus to 2.2 others on average. That's a bit more than ordinary flu but far less than some other respiratory diseases such as whooping cough and tuberculosis. The rate for SARS was estimated to be 3.
Scientists have said the new virus seems similar genetically to some bat viruses, but it's not known if that is the source in nature or if another animal may be involved. [The danger here is that the virus infects other non-human animals and re-emerges as a more deadly disease].
Unlike SARS, the new virus looks like it doesn’t transmit through the air very easily and probably transmits through close contact. [Good news!].
And while it's too soon to be sure, the new virus appears most dangerous to older adults who have other health problems. [Unfortunate for that group but good news for the population at large].
The average incubation period — from infection until symptoms show up — is about five days. However, symptoms have turned up much later, supporting the wisdom of a two-week observation time.
All viruses are small enough [they can be seen only through an electron microscope and not using a normal light microscope] to get through a typical strap-on medical mask, but the germs don't generally spread through the air one at a time. Instead, viruses ride from person to person on droplets from a sneeze or cough. Those droplets land on hands and other surfaces, where they are touched by others, who then touch their own eyes, noses or mouths. Masks can block large droplets from a sneeze or cough. That means they have some value. Also, someone in a mask can't touch their own nose and mouth. That can prevent the wearer from picking up germs left on surfaces by someone who is sick. [In a serious high-risk situation, also wearing goggles would be advisable - or perhaps just large sunglasses].
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As a member of the global population your chances of developing this virus are 0.0000017482%. Dying from it 0.0000001137%. Statistically you have more chance of being crushed by a meteor or having your testicles chewed off by a rat whilst sleeping.
So put the kettle on. You ain't gonna dies just yet
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Figures for deaths in China show (and these are not statistically sound as the numbers are still low and they reflect mostly those who, probably, had direct contact with infected wild animals in the Wuhan market):
Rate of deaths: About 3% of infected persons.
Age range: 48 to 85 (with 15 of the 17, about 88% age 60+).
Gender: 13 men, 4 women.
On the point of not attending discos but instead going to Church, if those who are regular church-goers strongly believe they are protected by God then perhaps they will be the major sector of the population who will not use masks!
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