5. Nationally China reported 394 #COVID19 cases on Feb. 19 and 114 deaths.
The outbreak totals there are 74,576 confirmed cases & 2118 deaths. pic.twitter.com/T7WlXsBIkP
— Helen Branswell (@HelenBranswell) February 20, 2020
From my (limited and extremely amateur) perspective, it seems like COVID-19 coverage is becoming ‘normal’, at least in the United States. Of course it’s still a serious issue — like global climate change or financial market fluctuations — but it’s trending away from the OMG WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE OF CORONA-PLAGUE coverage. Maybe I’m just an optimist!
I’m also seeing much circulation of two ‘hopeful’ rumors. First, that there will be ‘a vaccine’ within a year (rebuttal: there will probably be experimental vaccines for exposed individuals, but *not* something tested as safe for a more general population). Second, that chloroquine phosphate, a widely available antimalarial, has ‘been approved as a treatment’; this sounds like a throw-everything-at-it tactic, one step above approving aspirin as a valid treatment mechanism — and the drug is well known for its unpleasant side effects, so it’s not something people want to be dosing themselves with ‘just in case’. (As always, please do let me know if I’m wrong about this.)
With 620 passengers now confirmed + from Diamond Princess Cruise – 2 have now died – both in their 80's. Lets hope no additional deaths nor reported cases. If no additional deaths, then among this well monitored group mortality would be 0.3% or less.https://t.co/8RNKbPkjwk
— Michael Mina (@michaelmina_lab) February 20, 2020
Further evidence of asymptomatic infection, but this one didn't address transmission. Virus was detected both by PCR and viral culture. https://t.co/xZYMAWStH0
— Dr. Tara C. Smith (@aetiology) February 19, 2020
The way China counts confirmed cases of the virus changed for the second time in a week, muddling the data, confusing scientists and resulting in a drop in new infections.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 20, 2020
It’s not just generic drug supply that could be impacted by ongoing challenges in China. Many new drug trials are also affected, potentially delaying novel drug programs. @AEI we screened for all trials underway in China on https://t.co/aEwbusm0Ty. A snapshot of some results: pic.twitter.com/k3kH0YNHFm
— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) February 19, 2020
In total, 16,560 active drug trials have recruitment sites listed China. 5,903 of the trials are listed as “recruiting” or “active, not recruiting” and 1,911 different conditions are represented by the total. 1,543 trials are funded by industry, 215 are for CAR-T therapies.
— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) February 19, 2020
ICYMI: Coronavirus may get expensive very fast for US taxpayers, officials say https://t.co/0U58ZrSCRF #COVID19 #coronavirus #NIH
— Donna Young (@DonnaYoungDC) February 20, 2020
Experts say Singapore’s coronavirus-fighting playbook cannot be easily copied in other countries. Here's why: https://t.co/l3Rizi1G9m by @geddiejdk @RDchatters Follow our live blog for #coronavirus updates: https://t.co/lCLjjICHbL pic.twitter.com/kSXOhXBZGk
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 20, 2020
Tit-for-tat: China tossed @WSJ reporters out of the country over "biased" #COVID19 coverage. And the @nytimes is coming under fire.
On this side of the Pacific, @SecPompeo has named 4 Chinese media as "operatives of the Communist State".
None of this helps the epidemic fight.
— Laurie Garrett (@Laurie_Garrett) February 20, 2020
WATCH: Sen. Brian Schatz on whether we can trust Trump to handle coronavirus. https://t.co/DtsXYEa3aI #inners
— All In with Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) February 20, 2020
After thriving in cruise ships and business conferences, the coronavirus outbreak is spreading via a different form of gathering: religious sects https://t.co/IuCO2WYa6l
— Financial Times (@FinancialTimes) February 20, 2020
London would be ready to host the 2020 Olympics if the outbreak of the coronavirus forced the Games to be moved from Tokyo: mayor candidate https://t.co/XVKJfav9G7 by @juminism #Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/FRQsmKfBZR
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 20, 2020
I guess the redevelopment plan never took off, or else it did and everyone bugged out back to the EU rather than be pelted with rocks by Tories.
Lost in the coverage is Dolt 45’s proposed budget cutting the U.S. contribution to WHO by 50%.
@NotMax: Republicans in general don’t support regulations and organizations that promote the common good. That just hurts the pull yourself up by your bootstrap mantra. Until a pandemic reaches their town, they’ll ignore it.
The best as I can make it from Chinese media reports, the reasons for changing the definition for confirmation are two fold: first is the availability of test kits is no longer a bottle neck and there no longer a significant delay between clinical diagnosis and test kit confirmation, and the looser clinical diagnosis has a small minority of false positives (for COVID-19) from CT scans. For the latter issue, I have seen figures of up to 15%. For the unfortunate people with other types of pneumonia, but were diagnosed and confirmed as COVID-19, getting thrown into crowded wards with COVID-19 patients simply increase the chance for cross-infection.
It does create some strange data yesterday, where Hubei province added 349 new confirmed cases, but Wuhan added 615. It seems the adjustment due to reclassification was simply made to yesterday’s new case statistic. Not sure why it is done that way, could have made the adjustment in the cumulative tally, without unduly affecting the most recent daily count. My advise is to treat it as a one time blip, just like the 15K jump a week ago, and ignore them as outliers. Data from China ex-Hubei is not affected, since they never adopted the clinical diagnosis definition, as test kit availability has not been a bottle neck. Data from China ex-Hubei continue to be very encouraging, with 13 provinces + Macau reporting no new cases, and the resting in low to mid single digits. Total stock of suspect cases continue to trend down, but mortality rate in China ex-Hubei continue to slowly tick up.
China may also be classifying people with no symptoms but positive test results as suspect, rather than confirmed cases. This is not aligned with practices elsewhere. I don’t actually believe this is an effort by the government to suppress the numbers. Research papers out of China suggests 5% of cases that test positive may be asymptomatic. At this point, the regime will be judged domestically and international by whether it can contain and eradicate (for the time being) the epidemic, 5% difference in confirmed case one way or the other doesn’t really matter.
This just highlights the difficulty of keep track of the epidemic. Relying on test kit results along are also problematic. On the one hand, test kit results have both false positives and false negatives, due to a variety of factors. Some people who develop clear symptoms, with CT scan showing infection in the lungs, yet may not produce positive results until days later. Apparently the virus can cause infections in upper and lower respiratory tracts, as well as alveolitis deep in the lungs. Depending on where the infection starts, the symptoms and CT scans along could be difficult to distinguish from flu or other “normal” pneumonia. And the nasal and throat swabs may not be sensitive enough. Then there is matter of asymptomatic carriers. I’ve read that the of the most recent batch of 88 confirmed cases from the Diamond Princess, 65 are asymptomatic. This is frightening! If there is really such a high percentage of asymptomatic carriers walking around, there is no containing the spread of the epidemic. However, if that is really the case, then we should have seen an explosion of new cases around China ex-Hubei, as 100 million migrants traveled back to work since 2/10. 100% screening of the population is not viable anywhere, beyond dozens or hundreds of people.
Perhaps the asymptomatic positives are false positives. Or their viral loadings are low, so not very contagious. Or they are simply very early in the course of the disease, and will develop symptoms and become more contagious at a later date. I have seen reports on Chinese media of cases that are asymptomatic, test negative, but CT scans show the beginnings lung infection, and to test positive later. We will have to see.
I think Japan is crazy to allow the Japanese citizens, who tested negative, off the ship to take public transportation home by themselves, and not impose mandatory quarantine on them. Just such a risk to take, with the cautionary tale that Wuhan has already offered to the world…
@NotMax: And then the US accuses the WHO of being bribed into repeatedly praising China’s response, due to the country being one of the largest financial contributors to the organization. It’s like the Trump administration is eagerly taking up every caricature that people and regimes who are opposed to, or are skeptical of, the US could ever dream up in their wildest fantasies.
@YY_Sima Qian: Thank you for your reports.
@YY_Sima Qian: I’m going to repeat what Baud said and thank you. Your information has been so informative.
20 years now, I’ve have been adding to my 401k.
At some point, 5-8 years ago, I changed where the deposits went. Stopped adding to the EURO fund, and switched to index funds, looking for lower fees.
I’ve been skeptical about the stock market for the last two years now.
I checked the balance the other day….. It has been doing quite well. Felt like I had too many chips on the table…..
I pulled half of it down.
Moved it to money markets fund, and bonds.
Who knows, I’m not an economist.
But this virus has me freaked out.
Even in the best case scenario, where governments lock it down, and it doesn’t effect wypipo, we in the US are still vulnerable to Chinese manufacturing.
With the stock market, sometimes small things tip the domino.
The Obama/housing/crash/expansion/stock market bubble, can not go on forever.
I think it’s played out, and I pulled my chips.
OMG WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!!1!11! is never helpful but anyone who thinks the globe is out of the woods with this has not been paying attention to what the epidemiologists are saying.
Here are the things that concern me:
South Korea. Iran.
The contagion rate on the Diamond Princess in a population that is among the richest and best-fed/best cared for in the world (though tending towards the elderly).
And most of all: the fact that we have the highest number of cases in the south Asian countries where I would expect (and maybe I am wrong) the best healthcare and the best public health systems, like Japan and Singapore, and nothing from Indonesia, which has a lot of contact with China. I fear the number of cases we know about reflects more better detection and less reality on the ground.
@Princess: Those are good points. South Korea just reported a jump in new cases from the church group. Japan has excellent heath care system, but the bureaucratic inertia and paralysis from the government is deeply concerning to me, and slightly reminiscent (to me) of Wuhan in Dec. and Jan. I am sure there is tremendous pressure not to make waves that might impact the run up to the Olympics, just like the Wuhan and Hubei governments did not want to make waves during the Party congresses and leading up to Chinese New Year.
As for Iran, may be they mistook MERS cases for COVID-19? How could there be two deaths and no other confirmed or suspect cases?
@YY_Sima Qian: And now I think there are three more cases in Qom in Iran and, last I looked, they have no idea about the chain of transmission.
Iran is the big news from yesterday and it’s very bad. 2 deaths with no China travel implies hundreds of infected, and Qom, as a center for Shia Muslim instruction, hasn’t much contact with China, implying there’s an even worse outbreak somewhere else. Finally, there’s been some hope that the virus will spread poorly outside of East Asian communities because certain alleles that favor its spread are much less common in other groups; but this is looking like a pretty ferocious outbreak in a genetically distant population.
My top concern last night and today is what might be happening in Iran. We really don’t know and I don’t think they want it known. There is cover and confusion in translation and it is being obscured all over released texts from Iran. The numbers in all categories are muddled including the death count. Between the lines, death from coronary disease may be the ultimate outcome. The heart stopped. Preceded by 2 weeks of corona virus. Uncounted, untold, perhaps already spread and spreading widely.
The Iran posts in this context. And Japan is in trouble too. https://afludiary.blogspot.com