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posted by martyb on Wednesday January 29 2020, @01:30AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the how-about-a-nice-game-of-chess? dept.

Plague Inc. maker: Don't use our game for coronavirus modeling:

Interest in the continued spread of the coronavirus has had an unintended side effect for UK-based Ndemic Creations, makers of Plague Inc. The eight-year-old game—which asks players to shepherd a worldwide pandemic so it can destroy all of humanity—has seen a spike in popularity in recent weeks, becoming the most-downloaded iPhone app in China on January 21 and in the United States on January 23, according to tracking firm App Annie.

The surge in interest has led Ndemic to issue a statement urging players not to rely on the app for information on staying safe from the coronavirus' current spread. "Please remember that Plague Inc. is a game, not a scientific model and that the currentcoronavirus outbreak is a very real situation which is impacting a huge number of people," the statement reads, in part. "We would always recommend that players get their information directly from local and global health authorities."

[...] Ndemic points players to the WHO for up-to-date information about the coronavirus. The disease now has more than 2,800 reported cases worldwide and has led to at least 80 deaths.

Interesting educational tool: CDC: Solve The Outbreak

Previously:
China Battles Coronavirus Outbreak: All the Latest Updates
Coronavirus: Millions Quarantined in Wuhan City
China Confirms Human-To-Human Transmission of New Coronavirus; CDC Confirms First US Case
China Reports 3rd Death, Nearly 140 New Cases of Coronavirus


Original Submission

Related Stories

China Reports 3rd Death, Nearly 140 New Cases of Coronavirus 5 comments

China reports 3rd death, nearly 140 new cases of coronavirus:

China reported on Monday its third death from a mysterious new virus and nearly 140 fresh cases as the disease spread to other parts of the country, including Beijing, raising concerns about more infections as millions begin trips for the Lunar New Year.

Medical experts are still struggling to understand the new strain of coronavirus but its connection with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome has caused alarm. SARS originated in southern China in 2002 before spreading to Hong Kong and elsewhere in the world infecting thousands and leaving more than 800 people dead.

Coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, such as the common cold, but can also affect the lower-respiratory tract, causing pneumonia or bronchitis.

[...] In Wuhan, the city in central China where the new strain first emerged, 136 new cases were found over the weekend the local health commission said, without giving details about the person who died.

[...] A total of 201 people have now been diagnosed with the virus in China. In Wuhan, 170 people are still being treated in hospital, including nine in critical condition, the city health commission said.

Wuhan is a city of 11 million inhabitants that serves as a major transport hub, including during the annual Lunar New Year holiday when hundreds of millions of Chinese people travel across the country to visit family.


Original Submission

China Confirms Human-To-Human Transmission of New Coronavirus; CDC Confirms First US Case 42 comments

China confirms human-to-human transmission of new coronavirus:

Human-to-human transmission of a new coronavirus strain has been confirmed in China, fueling fears of a major outbreak of the SARS-like virus as millions travel for the Lunar New Year holiday.

Zhong Nanshan, head of the National Health Commission, said on Monday patients may have contracted the new virus without having visited the central city of Wuhan where it was discovered before spreading across China and reaching three other Asian nations.

"Currently, it can be said it is affirmative that there is the phenomenon of human-to-human transmission," he said in an interview with China's CCTV state broadcaster.

Zhong said two people in Guangdong province in southern China caught the disease from family members who had visited Wuhan.

He added that 14 medical personnel helping with coronavirus patients have also been infected.

Human-to-human transmission could make the virus spread more quickly and widely.

CDC Confirms First US Case of New Coronavirus

Public health officials have confirmed the first U.S. case of a mysterious coronavirus that has already killed at least six people and sickened hundreds of others in China, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

A male traveler from China has been diagnosed in Snohomish County, Washington State with the Wuhan coronavirus, according to the CDC.

Officials said the sick male, in his 30s, is “very healthy.” He is currently being isolated at a medical center in the state “out of caution” and “poses little risk” to the public, they said. The CDC said the male reached out to local health authorities on Jan. 15 once he started experiencing pneumonia-like symptoms.

Previously:
China Reports 3rd Death, Nearly 140 New Cases of Coronavirus

Original Submission

Coronavirus: Millions Quarantined in Wuhan City 36 comments

Chinese Authorities Begin Quarantine Of Wuhan City As Coronavirus Cases Multiply:

Wuhan's public health authorities say they are in a "state of war" as they quarantine the Chinese city in an attempt to halt the spread of a never-before-seen strain of coronavirus. "Strictly implement emergency response requirements, enter into a state of war and implement wartime measures to resolutely curb the spread of this epidemic," urged a committee of Wuhan's top officials. "Homes must be segregated, neighbors must be watched."

Later Thursday, health officials from the World Health Organization decided not to declare the outbreak an international health emergency. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that after two days of meetings in Geneva with the organization's Emergency Committee, the group was divided. "Make no mistake. This is an emergency in China, but it has not yet become a global health emergency," Tedros said. "It may yet become one." The WHO is not recommending any international restrictions on trade or travel, but does recommend exit screenings at airports.

Beginning at 10 a.m. local time (9 p.m. Wednesday ET), authorities in Wuhan, about 500 miles west of Shanghai, started sealing off public transportation, including its metro system, airport, train station and long-haul bus hubs. Livestreamed videos from the city show soldiers wearing face masks barricading the entrances to the city's train station Thursday morning to prevent passengers from entering and leaving the city.

Wuhan, China, is scrambling to build a hospital in just 6 days to treat coronavirus patients as its health system gets overwhelmed:

China Battles Coronavirus Outbreak: All the Latest Updates 84 comments

China Battles Coronavirus Outbreak: All the Latest Updates:

The virus thought to have originated in a Wuhan food market continues to spread as China steps up containment efforts.

[...] China is extending the Lunar New Year holiday for three days and enforcing strict containment measures in an attempt to curb the spread of a new coronavirus that has killed 80 people and infected at more than 2,700, most of them in the central province of Hubei where the virus first emerged.

The holiday season was due to end on Friday but will now be extended until February 2.

More than 56 million people in almost 20 cities, including the Hubei capital of Wuhan, have been affected by travel restrictions, introduced amid fears the transmission rate will balloon as hundreds of millions of Chinese travel during the Lunar New Year celebrations.

[...] Health authorities around the world are taking action to prevent a pandemic as more countries report cases. Confirmed cases have so far been announced in several Asiancountries, Europe and North America.

[...] The World Health Organization (WHO) has acknowledged the respiratory illness, which has been traced to the city of Wuhan, is an emergency in China but the organisation said on Thursday it was too early to declare the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.

Previously:


Original Submission

2019-nCoV Coronavirus Story Roundup 75 comments

Multiple Soylentils have submitted stories regarding the 2019-nCoV coronavirus which is believed to have originated in the city of Wuhan, China in December 2019. Rather than have a smattering of stories appear on the site, they have been gathered here in one story. Read on if you are interested; otherwise another story will be along presently.

Coronavirus Declared a Global Health Emergency by World Health Organization 84 comments

Coronavirus declared global health emergency by WHO

The new coronavirus has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization, as the outbreak continues to spread outside China.

"The main reason for this declaration is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries," said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The concern is that it could spread to countries with weaker health systems.

1st Person-To-Person Spread Of Coronavirus Has Occurred In U.S., CDC Says

Coronavirus: US reports first person-to-person transmission

Chicago health officials have reported the first US case of human-to-human transmission of the deadly coronavirus.

The new patient is the spouse of a Chicago woman who carried the infection back from Wuhan, China, the US Centers for Disease Control said on Thursday.

The discovery marks the second report of the virus in Illinois and the sixth confirmed case in the US.

This paper provides early estimates of 2019-nCoV epidemiological parameters: Novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV: early estimation of epidemiological parameters and epidemic predictions (open, DOI: 10.1101/2020.01.23.20018549) (DX)

Used model does not offer much grounds for optimism.

Previously:


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2Original Submission #3

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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by takyon on Wednesday January 29 2020, @02:08AM (5 children)

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Wednesday January 29 2020, @02:08AM (#950404) Journal

    Is the real modeling software freely available? Slap some fancy graphics on it and you're good to go.

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @02:23AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @02:23AM (#950412)

      Who needs modelling software when you can run it for realz? [justice.gov]

      • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @03:25AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @03:25AM (#950437)

        Can the mod explain why they gave troll for the parent? I could see off-topic based on the news item linked.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @04:05AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @04:05AM (#950453)

          Inferred intentions - is it an off-topic with potential of inflaming the audience and getting it sidetracked? Then it's likely a troll [wikipedia.org].

    • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Wednesday January 29 2020, @05:04PM (1 child)

      by Immerman (3985) on Wednesday January 29 2020, @05:04PM (#950717)

      If real diseases worked the way Plague Inc. "models" them, we'd all be *so* fucked. Infect the whole world with a completely harmless, nigh undeteectable disease, that then simultaneously evolves lethal properties everywhere at once...

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @02:53AM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @02:53AM (#950419)

    there are over 5k cases "officially", probably closer to 40-90k unofficially. most just feel really really sick and then get better. they finally got around to testing and it's been around since at least late november... you've passed 2 incubation periods already. the ones that go to the hospital are either panic or the outliers (eg got pneumonia or flu on top, old, immunocompromised).

    the developers need not be so full of themselves.. with the virus in the news and tons of quarantined people why wouldn't you play the only virus game? whatever info/modeling anyone is doing here is a joke and they missed it.

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday January 29 2020, @04:08AM (4 children)

      by c0lo (156) on Wednesday January 29 2020, @04:08AM (#950456) Journal

      they finally got around to testing and it's been around since at least late november... you've passed 2 incubation periods already

      So, antibody sources galore?

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 2) by legont on Wednesday January 29 2020, @04:33AM (3 children)

        by legont (4179) on Wednesday January 29 2020, @04:33AM (#950483)

        From an unreliable one as of yesterday:
        Dead - 107
        Cured - 63
        Infected - 4474

        As I see it, reliability does not matter with the numbers like this.

        --
        "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
        • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @05:21AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @05:21AM (#950506)

          Here are some more unreliable numbers for you:

          Dead 1
          Cured 96
          Infected 8 million

          The reliability of these numbers do not matter.

          • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday January 29 2020, @06:41PM

            by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday January 29 2020, @06:41PM (#950771) Journal

            Yep, that's my strategy! Sneak in under the radar. Now you just need to start spending DNA to make it more deadly.

        • (Score: 2) by legont on Wednesday January 29 2020, @05:12PM

          by legont (4179) on Wednesday January 29 2020, @05:12PM (#950719)

          Perhaps I have to explain myself more clearly. When at early stages of an exponential infection, the number of infected, while important, does not say much about mortality rate as the infected folks are still sick and may die in unknown numbers. A better estimate is number of dead divided by number of dead plus number of cured (defined by people who are past crisis and so likely to survive).
          This estimate gives 63% mortality rate currently. I doubt Chinese government could be more pessimistic than that. They don't care about the numbers and they are right about it.
          On a related note, how long does it take for the US best medical system to test 9 (nine) suspected infections? Come on - be realistic about your expectations and give certain people some credit.

          --
          "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
    • (Score: 2) by zocalo on Wednesday January 29 2020, @07:39AM

      by zocalo (302) on Wednesday January 29 2020, @07:39AM (#950549)
      Frankly, I think people were probably re-playing the game out of a kind of morbid curiousity, NDemic noticed the usage spike, and some PR flack on their end decided to jump on the bandwagon and generate some additional revenue. Pretty smart move really, since Plague Inc. makes it very tempting to spend a few dollars to enhance your experience and add extra features to the the (perfectly playable) ad-supported version, and I doubt very much anyone is actually taking this modelling notion seriously apart from maybe a few naive tabloid and other gutter press level reporters who bought it hook, line, sinker, and copy of Angling Times. Marketing weasel's lie - it's essentially what they are paid to do - you'd think people would be aware of that by now.

      Besides, Corona Virus has been in the news for a few weeks now and there are *only* (maybe) 40-90K infections, a few hundred fatalities, and the WHO alerts are *already* going out? By the game's standards, that sucks donkey balls! For a patient zero in China you'd normally expect to be at least up into the tens of millions by now, still flying below the WHO radar, and just hoping that boats with plague carriers on will dock in Greenland and Madagascar before they lock down the ports. (Wait, was that something about someone having a sneeze in Antananarivo? DAMNIT!).
      --
      UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
  • (Score: 2) by Pav on Wednesday January 29 2020, @06:54AM

    by Pav (114) on Wednesday January 29 2020, @06:54AM (#950537)

    ...perhaps you should do your "modelling" on the web (in Pandemic II [pandemic2.org]) instead. ;)

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @07:34AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @07:34AM (#950545)

    Latest Ebola figures:

    "As of 21 January, a total of 3416 Ebola cases were reported, including 3297 confirmed and 119 probable cases, of which 2238 cases died (overall case fatality ratio 66%)"
    WHO figures from their website today (29 Jan), and relating to Democratic Republic of Congo. There are other places with Ebola.

    There is also Lassa fever, Dengue, Marberg, MERS, SARS, Plague, Yellow Fever, Zika, and a variety of other, very deadly diseases on the rampage.
    All of these are far more deadly, and in areas where the governments are no more, and probably a lot less, credible than China.

    If you want to panic, there is plenty of material that you can justify panicking. Corona Virus in not in the top 5 unless you live in China.
    In particular, plague is in America, and the present American government is certainly no more credible than China.

    --
    Vote for Stupid - everyone else does!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @10:25AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @10:25AM (#950569)

      And guess what? No one has ever measured serum and WBC vitamin C levels in a single one of these critically ill patients, despite that it is reported depleted in every illness (and moreso if the illness is more severe). Why not measure it, then give them whatever does is required to get at least back to normal (~50 uM in the serum)? Then we can see how the patients do.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @11:02AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @11:02AM (#950571)

    It can't be worse than the climate models, and people take those seriously.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @11:17AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 29 2020, @11:17AM (#950576)

    Has anyone talked about using the game for that? They are looking for free publicity.

    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday January 29 2020, @03:57PM (1 child)

      by Freeman (732) on Wednesday January 29 2020, @03:57PM (#950679) Journal

      Perhaps, but a statement to cover all their bases, isn't a bad thing. They certainly don't want to be seen as claiming to be a scientific resource. An educational resource that gives someone a general idea of how things might progress is one thing. Serious research is a different matter.

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
      • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Wednesday January 29 2020, @05:10PM

        by Immerman (3985) on Wednesday January 29 2020, @05:10PM (#950718)

        Have they ever made any claim that could even vaguely be construed as claiming to be a scientific resource? It's a game. Anyone with a year of high-school biology should be able to spot several fundamental ways in which it diverges from reality. If actual diseases behaved the way they do in-game, complex life would have been exterminated before it ever crawled onto the land.

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