from the sick-and-tired-of-being-sick-and-tired dept.
Many nations have begun to take special measures to address the problem of the spread of the COVID-19 virus over every continent. It would be pointless to report the details of all such measures; they are limited to each specific country and liable to frequent change as the situation develops. The USA FDA (Food and Drug Administration) have carried out what they describe as a "Supply Change Update", see the link below, but for others we suggest using a bit of web-search-fu to discover a site more appropriate to your own area of interest.
Worldwide, newspapers and other media need to maintain sales and subscriptions — many tend, therefore, to sensationalize their reporting. This has two undesirable effects: firstly it can result in data being quoted out of context to support the report they are making and, secondly, it tends to stress the possible effects of the COVID pandemic, should it be declared as such. In a comment elsewhere, I reported 2 tables which contain the most accurate figures we can find from a reputable source. They indicate the vulnerability of people to the virus by age, and any links to comorbidity (as far as they are known). There is no doubt that the virus poses a serious threat but it is not the same for all ages and many deaths are attributed to a combination of COVID-19 infection and other pre-existing conditions. For the latter it has not be proven that the virus was the sole cause of death; it is possible that the person would have died anyway. As postmortems have not been carried out in the vast majority of cases, the figures are open to misinterpretation. The WHO (World Health Organization) stresses that they will be unable to clarify these findings for a long time to come.
As it stands, for a person below the age of 70 with no other medical conditions, the chances of dying from a COVID-19 infection is less than 1%. That is still a large number of people at risk and the implications for every nation are significant. It is, however, much lower than some of the figures that have been quoted in the press. The figures for people over 70 and with other conditions cause the rate to rise quite sharply, and I would suggest that we all keep an watchful eye on the elderly or infirm members of our family and friends.
The majority of people will only suffer mild flu-like symptoms and will make a full recovery. - janrinok
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Supply Chain Update
As I have previously communicated, the FDA has been closely monitoring the supply chain with the expectation that the COVID-19 outbreak would likely impact the medical product supply chain, including potential disruptions to supply or shortages of critical medical products in the U.S.
A manufacturer has alerted us to a shortage of a human drug that was recently added to the drug shortages list. The manufacturer just notified us that this shortage is related to a site affected by coronavirus. The shortage is due to an issue with manufacturing of an active pharmaceutical ingredient used in the drug. It is important to note that there are other alternatives that can be used by patients. We are working with the manufacturer as well as other manufacturers to mitigate the shortage. We will do everything possible to mitigate the shortage.
Additional Information on Human Drugs
Since January 24, the FDA has been in touch with more than 180 manufacturers of human drugs, not only to remind them of applicable legal requirements for notifying the FDA of any anticipated supply disruptions, but also asking them to evaluate their entire supply chain, including active pharmaceutical ingredients (the main ingredient in the drug and part that produces the intended effects, e.g., acetaminophen) and other components manufactured in China.
Also, as part of our efforts, the FDA has identified about 20 other drugs, which solely source their active pharmaceutical ingredients or finished drug products from China. We have been in contact with those firms to assess whether they face any drug shortage risks due to the outbreak. None of these firms have reported any shortage to date. Also, these drugs are considered non-critical drugs.
We will remain in contact with manufacturers so that we can continue to assist them with any potential issues in the fastest way.
The report continues for several pages and covers a variety of issues relevant to the USA.
Coronavirus lessons from the 1918-1919 Spanish flu
As the threat of additional community spreading of the coronavirus in the US grows, at least some people are recommending large-scale quarantines in American cities. There is precedent for this with the 1918-1919 Spanish flu and evidence that it was effective at curbing fatalities. Cities like St. Louis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, and San Francisco implemented strict quarantines early during the spread of infections and experienced lower fatality rates than cities that waited to impose quarantines. The quarantine in St. Louis was particularly notable because it was one of the top ten largest cities in the US at that time. On October 5, 1918, St. Louis ordered a wide range of measures being proposed currently for mitigating the coronavirus such as closing schools and other public places and many businesses.
Coronavirus Outbreak: All the Latest Updates
Hopes that the coronavirus would be contained to China have vanished as the first case in sub-Saharan Africa was announced in Nigeria, while number of infections continue to grow in Europe pounding stock markets amid fears of a global recession.
On Friday, the US State Department raised its alert level for Italy, warning Americans to reconsider travel due to the outbreak. "Many cases of COVID-19 have been associated with travel to or from mainland China or close contact with a travel-related case, but sustained community spread has been reported in Italy," the department added. Italy has reported 650 coronavirus cases and 17 deaths - the most in Europe from the epidemic that originated in China, which is by far the most affected country.
The US on Friday warned against non-essential travel to Italy, a top destination for US tourists, over the growing coronavirus epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "recommends that travellers avoid all nonessential travel to Italy. There is limited access to adequate medical care in affected areas," it said in a statement.
In China - the epicentre of the deadly disease - the National Health Commission reported on Saturday at least 47 new coronavirus deaths, bringing to 2,835 the number of fatalities nationwide. >There were also 427 new infections, up from 327 the previous day, pushing the confirmed cases in mainland China so far to 79,251, and more than 83,000 worldwide. Of the total number of deaths, at least 45 were from Hubei, the epicentre of the outbreak. Of the 45 deaths in Hubei, 37 were from the city of Wuhan.
The US state of California has confirmed a second case of coronavirus. "Now we have a case who did not recently travel or come in contact with anyone known to be ill," Sara Cody, the director of public health for Santa Clara County, near San Francisco, told reporters. She said the second patient is an adult woman who is being treated at a hospital.
Two South Africans on board the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a state-run medical institute. "We confirm that these citizens are currently being treated in Japan and are in good care," said a statement by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.
Three Confirmed Cases of Corona Virus in Washington State
Washington State Department of Health reports there are now three confirmed cases of Coronavirus inside the state: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus with 1 case in King County and 2 cases in Snohomish County. Seattle is inside King County and Snohomish is just north of King.
ABC reports that the infections are of unknown origin and that more potential cases exist in the bordering state of Oregon.
A second case of COVID-19 with an unknown origin was identified in Santa Clara county, California on Friday, and two other potential cases of unknown origin were identified in Oregon and Washington state.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC, has reported the first case in the United States of a new and deadly coronavirus. A resident of Washington state in the Seattle area is infected. The man had traveled to central China to the city of Wuhan, where the virus was first discovered. It has killed at least 17 people, and scientists now say humans can transmit the virus to one another. And as Will Stone from member station KNKX in Seattle reports, officials in Washington state are trying to prevent the spread of the virus, and also projecting calm.
My own analysis indicates that the symptom profile has changed as well from flu like symptoms to mild flu like symptoms or mild cold like symptoms and more specifically that fever is not mandatory any longer but I am not able to find sources reliable enough to include in a submission.
Three More People Test Positive in England
Three more people from England have tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of UK cases to 23.
Two of the patients had recently returned from Italy, while the other had come back from Asia, chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty said.
The cases are from Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire and Berkshire.
It comes as health officials try to discover how a man from Surrey caught the virus, after he became the first person to be infected within the UK.
The man, who is being treated at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital in central London, had not been abroad recently - unlike the other cases in the UK.
[...] Ten more cases of the virus in the UK in just over two days might raise eyebrows, but health officials say all but one can be easily explained because the patients have travelled from the most affected countries, including Northern Italy and Iran.
Since the first UK cases were confirmed in York - two Chinese nationals - positive tests have been recorded in the south of England, Derbyshire, south Wales and Northern Ireland.
Government's Mixed Messages On Coronavirus Are Dangerous: Experts
Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:
“It’s really important for the U.S. government to be speaking with one common voice about these issues right now,” Tom Inglesby, an infectious diseases physician and director of the Center for Health Security of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, tells STAT.
That’s not happening. On Tuesday (January 25), a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) official announced that COVID-19 could start spreading at the community level in the US shortly and that if the outbreak did hit the states, there could be “severe” disruptions to daily life. The next day, President Donald Trump held an evening press conference in which he said he didn’t think an outbreak in the US is inevitable. “I don’t think it’s inevitable because we’re doing a really good job in terms of maintaining borders and turning—in terms of letting people in, in terms of checking people,” he told reporters. He did not mention a new disease case reported the same day in California that couldn’t be accounted for by foreign travel or contact with someone known to be infected.
In the same press conference, Trump contradicted his own health officials. He predicted that there might be just one or two more people who report being infected in the next short period of time, yet, minutes later, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar and CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat both said that they expected the number of infections to grow. There are currently 60 reported cases of COVID-19 in the US.
Earlier in February, Trump also said the spread of the virus could dissipate by April when the weather warms. While some viruses, such as the flu, don’t spread as easily in higher temperatures, it is not clear SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, is one of them. Government officials saying that the coronavirus outbreak is just like the flu isn’t entirely accurate, notes Ronald Klain, who oversaw the Ebola response in President Barack Obama’s administration. He responded to comments Tuesday by Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, in testimony before Congress. “The responsible answer [to whether the outbreak is like the flu] is ‘we don’t know yet,’” Klain said.
“Americans need facts and science—not reassurance that all will be well. The presidential press conference on the coronavirus pandemic was, sadly, a disappointment,” Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at NYU Langone Health, says in a statement emailed to The Scientist.
Disagreement between the State Department and CDC about the decision to fly home 14 Americans infected with SARS-CoV-2 also led to questions about who was leading the effort to contain the disease in the US. The CDC recommended that the patients not be flown home from Tokyo after leaving quarantine on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, but the State Department overruled the recommendation, according to The Washington Post.
Government messaging may become more consistent, as President Trump announced Wednesday (January 26) that Vice President Mike Pence would be coordinating the response to the disease threat going forward. Now, government health officials and scientists are required to coordinate any statements and public appearances with Pence’s office, officials tell The New York Times reports. That includes Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
There have been several significant developments in the battle against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, and the resulting illness COVID-19. This story gathers a selection of stories from across the web.
WHO Director-General's Opening Remarks at the Media Briefing on COVID-19 - 24 February 2020
We're encouraged by the continued decline in cases in China.
Earlier today the WHO-China joint mission concluded its visit and delivered its report.
[...] The team has made a range of findings about the transmissibility of the virus, the severity of disease and the impact of the measures taken.
They found that the epidemic peaked and plateaued between the 23rd of January and the 2nd of February, and has been declining steadily since then.
They have found that there has been no significant change in the DNA of the virus.
They found that the fatality rate is between 2% and 4% in Wuhan, and 0.7% outside Wuhan.
They found that for people with mild disease, recovery time is about two weeks, while people with severe or critical disease recover within three to six weeks.
The team also estimate that the measures taken in China have averted a significant number of cases.
The report contains a wealth of other information, highlights questions for which we still don't have answers, and includes 22 recommendations.
[...] But the key message that should give all countries hope, courage and confidence is that this virus can be contained.
[...] The sudden increases of cases in Italy, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Korea are deeply concerning.
There's a lot of speculation about whether these increases mean that this epidemic has now become a pandemic.
Even though it has only been a short while since our last round-up there are 22 separate stories merged into this round-up. Many report duplicate news but, nevertheless, we have tried to distill the important elements of each submission.
Firstly, there is some confusion regarding the actual names that are reported for the virus, the disease that it causes, and names frequently seen in media reporting. From https://www.nature.com/articles/s41564-020-0695-z:
The present outbreak of a coronavirus-associated acute respiratory disease called coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is the third documented spillover of an animal coronavirus to humans in only two decades that has resulted in a major epidemic. The Coronaviridae Study Group (CSG) of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, which is responsible for developing the classification of viruses and taxon nomenclature of the family Coronaviridae, has assessed the placement of the human pathogen, tentatively named 2019-nCoV, within the Coronaviridae. Based on phylogeny, taxonomy and established practice, the CSG recognizes this virus as forming a sister clade to the prototype human and bat severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses (SARS-CoVs) of the species Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus, and designates it as SARS-CoV-2.
In order to facilitate communication, the CSG proposes to use the following naming convention for individual isolates: SARS-CoV-2/host/location/isolate/date. While the full spectrum of clinical manifestations associated with SARS-CoV-2 infections in humans remains to be determined, the independent zoonotic transmission of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 highlights the need for studying viruses at the species level to complement research focused on individual pathogenic viruses of immediate significance. This will improve our understanding of virus–host interactions in an ever-changing environment and enhance our preparedness for future outbreaks.
There is much more information at the link provided.
Secondly, as this is a fusion of stories received over the last week or so take all quoted figures of casualties as possibly out-of-date. At the time of merging these stories (12 Mar 20) there have been 127,863 confirmed cases world-wide resulting in 4,717 deaths. 68,309 people have already recovered with the remainder either in self-imposed or advisory isolation, in basic hospital care and a relatively small number in critical care. The pandemic has affected 116 countries/regions. Source: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6 - a graphical display produced by Johns Hopkins University (JHU).
Many countries have taken emergency measures to restrict travel or large gatherings of people. As this is a very fluid situation we suggest you refer to the media of any specific country in which you have an interest. President Trump has banned transatlantic air travel from countries in mainland Europe to the USA from Friday 2020-03-13 at 23:59 (no timezone stated) for a period initially of 30 days, and air travel within Europe is also significantly disrupted.
This story is a merge of 30 story submissions. Given that it was well over 17,000 words of original source material (excluding HTML markup!), a great deal of pruning was performed to get it to a manageable size. I strongly encourage folks to read the linked articles for more information.
For latest statistics, and finer granularity, see https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/.
As of 20200330_151936 UTC, it reported these world-wide totals:
- Coronavirus Cases: 743,081
- Deaths: 35,347
- Recovered: 157,046
- Active Cases:
- 550,688 (Currently Infected Patients)
- 522,206 (95%) in Mild Condition
- 28,482 (5%) Serious or Critical
- Closed Cases:
- 192,393 Cases which had an outcome
- 157,046 (82%) Recovered / Discharged
- 35,347 (18%) Deaths
Stories appear below the fold.
World-wide data as of: 20200615_140637 UTC:
This story presents a roundup of a selection of our COVID-19, SARS-Cov-2, coronavirus story submissions. Some stories have been omitted because they were a duplicate, outdated, superseded, and sometimes just as a matter of keeping the size of these roundups managable. etc. (Before thinning, this story contained over 16,500 words (excluding HTML markup) and that excluded what is contained in this introduction.
If you are not interested in this coverage, then please ignore this story; another story will appear presently. Otherwise, please see the rest of the story below the fold:
A lot has already happened this year. SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) which can cause COVID-19 (COronaVIrus Disease 2019) has been making headlines shortly after it was first reported. The first cases were reported to WHO (World Health Organization) on 2019-12-31. The virus spread. It began as an epidemic in China . The world watched apprehensively. Reports surfaced of cases in other countries and the the apprehension grew. For many folk, it turned to fear when it was upgraded to a pandemic: WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 11 March 2020: "We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic."
We have seen increasing efforts to stem the spread of the disease. Efforts have run the gamut. Closing of borders. Cancellation of sporting events. Conferences cancelled. Churches and other places of worship also closed. Schools closed. Panic buying of household goods and supplies. Supply chain disruptions affecting manufacturers. Restaurant, bars, and other such establishments closed. Work-from-home policies established and enacted.
The changes have been many, widespread, and continuing.
Reading about all the ways that "other people" have been affected is one thing. It seems different, somehow, when it hits closer to home and affects us directly. With many of our usual social activities curtailed or cancelled, it is easy to begin isolating and lose perspective. SoylentNews arose from a troubled period (the SlashCott) and a community has formed from that challenging period.
How have you been affected? Have you been infected? Had a family member or friend who was? Helped neighbors who are struggling? Hunkering down and isolating? (In a basement is optional.) Are you suddenly working from home and finding it challenging to manage your time? Still working on site, but now have a faster commute due to all the other people staying home? Catching up on watching TV shows? Reading more SoylentNews? How has your life changed?
From a somewhat different perspective, how have others helped you to cope... and how have you been able to help others? One of the potential impacts of social distancing is isolation and depression. I count myself fortunate, indeed, to have served this site for over 6 years and for all the people I have gotten to know, here. For those who may not be aware, SoylentNews has its own IRC (Internet Relay Chat) server. Feel free to drop in to #Soylent and just say "Hi!"
Social distancing is permanent when you're dead. So, practice good hygiene and stay safe.
Previously (oldest first):
China Battles Coronavirus Outbreak: All the Latest Updates
2019-nCoV Coronavirus Story Roundup
Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Roundup
Coronavirus Roundup (Feb. 17)
Roundup of Stories about the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus and COVID-19 Disease
COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2 - CoronaVirus) Roundup
CoronaVirus (SARS-CoV-2) Roundup 2020-03-12
Working from Home: Lessons Learned Over 20 Years