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posted by martyb on Monday January 27 2020, @08:56AM   Printer-friendly
from the stay-aware-and-wash-your-hands dept.

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:


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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by aiwarrior on Monday January 27 2020, @10:17AM (39 children)

    by aiwarrior (1812) on Monday January 27 2020, @10:17AM (#949248) Journal

    I trust health authorities but I would like some explanation on why is this such a severe problem. In 56 million people there are 2700 infected and 80 people dead. This is an infection rate of 0,0048214% and a death rate of 0,0001429%. These seem so low odds that i think there way more things that can kill.

    Can anyone explain me why this is so serious? The last time i remember something similar was H1N1 which my country spent fortunes on vaccines that ended up being expired and for nothing. The danger of people not believing health authorities is much bigger than 0,0001429% death rates, and leads to idiots like anti vaxers, so explaining to people why this is important would be much better than hand waiving.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by PiMuNu on Monday January 27 2020, @10:25AM (3 children)

    by PiMuNu (3823) on Monday January 27 2020, @10:25AM (#949249)

    A cynic might suggest that the serious problem that the Chinese authorities are dealing with is Hong Kong.

    https://variety.com/2020/biz/asia/hong-kong-declares-emergency-coronavirus-response-1203479971/ [variety.com]

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by MostCynical on Monday January 27 2020, @10:42AM (3 children)

    by MostCynical (2589) on Monday January 27 2020, @10:42AM (#949253) Journal

    up to 100,000 infected [theguardian.com] with confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission.

    No one knows how severe it is, yet.

    --
    "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
    • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Monday January 27 2020, @04:49PM (2 children)

      by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 27 2020, @04:49PM (#949391) Journal

      Actually, the claim of an upper limit is a bit forced. It's not that easy to detect, and there are indications that one is contagious before symptoms appear.

      OTOH, it may well be a high estimate, because so far it doesn't appear to be very contagious. Apparently close contact is required to transmit the disease.

      At this point I think ALL estimates of how dangerous it is should be doubted. It may be trivial. It may be horrendous. But apparently most people live through it without treatment and without permanent damage, so it's not critical...except, or course, on an individual level. Sort of like traffic accidents, only with a lot fewer people killed.

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      • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Monday January 27 2020, @06:27PM (1 child)

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday January 27 2020, @06:27PM (#949452) Journal

        That's kind of the point, though, the uncertainty IS the risk.

        We know it's dangerous, but not how dangerous.
        We know it's contagious, but not how contagious.
        And we know it's a pandemic* already, but not how serious of one.

        With that many unknowns, extreme caution is advised.

        *pandemic just means it has spread to multiple continents.

  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @11:12AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @11:12AM (#949257)

    you should be comparing number of infected people versus number of exposed people, not total number of people.
    if there are 3000 infected people out of 4000 exposed people, that is a very big deal.

    but the numbers are off anyway, see reply quoting the guardian above.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by FatPhil on Monday January 27 2020, @11:14AM (1 child)

    by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Monday January 27 2020, @11:14AM (#949258) Homepage
    Which bit of "if R_0>>1, then even one non-isolated case is too many to be complacent about"? You've given it about 10 days before jumping to a conclusion, and it's been nothing but exponential in reported growth that time. The fact that you're claiming there's a huge population that's not infected is *part of the danger*, there's nothing there to restrict the continuation of the exponential growth.
    --
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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @12:47PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @12:47PM (#949278)

      Exactly. The R0 estimates have gone from 3.5 to 2.5 to 3.3 to 5.47 and mortality is around 5% (76 dead from 1423 confirmed Hubei cases). An R0 of ~5.5, asymptomatic patients being infectious and people collapsing in the street isn't enough to convince some people.

  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Monday January 27 2020, @11:39AM (13 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 27 2020, @11:39AM (#949260) Journal

    The jury seems to still be out.

    I hope they're overreacting. But, it could be they are under reacting. It has a toe-hold right now. It could sweep the globe in the next ten days, and decimate the human population, or worse. More likely, it's going to kill a few hundred to a few thousand more, then recede into mankind's nightmares.

    How many scares have we had in the past decade? Nothing to get worked up about at this point, really. Sit back, relax, and let the medical professionals deal with it. It sucks when politicians and click-bait news agencies get involved in this stuff.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @12:19PM (11 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @12:19PM (#949265)

      Side note: the original meaning of "decimate" was "one in 10 is killed" (original i.e. 2000 years ago). It has over the years become "9 in 10 are killed, or more".
      As far as I can tell if every human on Earth is infected it's possible to reach a death-rate of around 1 in 100, which is technically less bad than "decimate" in any of the two meanings. It would be a horrible situation and I really hope it doesn't come to this. 1 in 1000 would still mean 70 million people (about the population of the UK). It's a number I can write and I can speak, but I doubt I understand the actual consequences. What is scary is the infection rate, and the fact that it's contagious before symptoms become apparent. Even with 1 in 10000 dead, it's a big number if everybody on Earth is infected.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Muad'Dave on Monday January 27 2020, @12:25PM (7 children)

        by Muad'Dave (1413) on Monday January 27 2020, @12:25PM (#949268)

        The 1918 "Spanish" Flu Epidemic [history.com] killed up to 50 million people worldwide. That's about 1 in 3.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by ikanreed on Monday January 27 2020, @02:01PM (6 children)

          by ikanreed (3164) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 27 2020, @02:01PM (#949304) Journal

          What's always worth noting about the spanish flu is that it was dead in the middle of WW1 where it broke out, and there were basically no doctors around in the areas most badly hit. It was called the spanish flu because spain wasn't involved in the war and actually tracked, treated, and reported on the disease.

          It's not a glimpse at how dangerous a strain can be, it's a glimpse at what a total lack of public health infrastructure can allow.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @02:19PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @02:19PM (#949313)

            They were plenty of people who got treated with toxic doses of aspirin. Many others were malnourished.

          • (Score: 2) by Muad'Dave on Monday January 27 2020, @02:21PM (4 children)

            by Muad'Dave (1413) on Monday January 27 2020, @02:21PM (#949315)

            While true, it was a particularly nasty strain that 'preferentially' killed healthy adults. It wasn't the flu bug per se that killed you, it was your body's (over-)response to it. People with strong immune systems died in disproportionate numbers.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @02:25PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @02:25PM (#949321)

              Who said they had strong immune systems? They were on war rations before most vitamins were easily available or even identified.

            • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Monday January 27 2020, @02:35PM

              by ikanreed (3164) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 27 2020, @02:35PM (#949327) Journal

              Yeah, but we've had h1n1 outbreaks many times since then, and the world's more connected, not less. The magic formula is bombed out cities with widespread malnutrition, miserable soldiers packed in muddy holes with weakened immune systems, no one tracking and containing the spread, and nowhere near enough doctors.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @03:04PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @03:04PM (#949342)

              Also it was secondary bacterial infections that did a lot of the heavy killing after infecting a host already infected by influenza. Antibiotics were no where near as effective nor widely used at the time to have an impact on the death toll. Same thing today, most people who die of influenza either die from secondary bacterial infections or have bad bacterial pneumonia first then further get infected by influenza.

              • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Monday January 27 2020, @04:53PM

                by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 27 2020, @04:53PM (#949393) Journal

                Of course, antibiotics are no longer as effective as they were...

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      • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @12:37PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @12:37PM (#949272)

        Are you paid to post this?

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by hendrikboom on Monday January 27 2020, @01:11PM (1 child)

        by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 27 2020, @01:11PM (#949292) Homepage Journal

        Death rate currently seems to be about 3%, not 1%.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Fluffeh on Monday January 27 2020, @11:47PM

          by Fluffeh (954) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 27 2020, @11:47PM (#949666) Journal

          That rate would be deaths/confirmed_cases - but the rate of deaths/actual_cases would be a much smaller ratio.

          There would be a LOT more sick right now that haven't been confirmed. These will either incubate into confirmed cases or the mortality rate is actually smaller by (probably) orders of magnitude.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @05:54PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @05:54PM (#949432)

      Nothing to get worked up about at this point, really.

      Exactly, This is only 2019-nCoV. You can get worked up when 2020-nCovfefe hits.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @04:00PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @04:00PM (#949369)

    Here you go [newscientist.com] and the paper referenced above [biorxiv.org]

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday January 27 2020, @04:16PM (4 children)

    by The Mighty Buzzard (18) Subscriber Badge <themightybuzzard@proton.me> on Monday January 27 2020, @04:16PM (#949375) Homepage Journal

    Simple: It's such a severe problem because fear generates ad revenue.

    --
    My rights don't end where your fear begins.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @04:35PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @04:35PM (#949386)

      Don't underestimate the fun level of a habbening.

    • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Tuesday January 28 2020, @03:15AM (2 children)

      by darkfeline (1030) on Tuesday January 28 2020, @03:15AM (#949805) Homepage

      Not in China. It's clearly pretty bad since the Chinese government is unable to censor how bad it is any more.

      if it wasn't serious, then the initial wave of silencings^]^Hcorrections would have been the last anyone heard of it.

      It's getting hard to find now, but if you look around, you can still find a few references to all the people getting censored for posting non-conforming narratives about the outbreak.

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      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @06:04AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @06:04AM (#949927)

        Considering that there were almost 7 million individuals who have gone to various hospitals all over the country in the last 10 days to check themselves as they had symptoms or suspected that they could be having symptoms and there were insufficient test kits or no test kits in most cases,the scenario seems frightening indeed and is a cause of concern to the international community.

        https://www.thailandmedical.news/news/reasons-for-china%E2%80%99s-unreliable-death-and-infected-statistics--finally-revealed-insufficient-test-kits,-also-cambodia-reports-first-case [thailandmedical.news]

        So finally we get some good numbers. There were 7 million people with symptoms, and 100 deaths. Assuming the number of deaths is correct, that gives a lower bound on mortality rate at .0015%. The upper bound is deaths/confirmed cases of 2.5%, right? I mean people who do not get confirmed are not going to be dying any faster than those sick enough to be tested.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @06:59PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @06:59PM (#950180)

          In Wuhan they were only counting cases that they had accepted into hospitals, and some of the more elderly possible infections were sent home to work it out on their own. This information came from messages between police officers, but everything can be faked these days. I lean more toward this being worse than what the CCP says, but by how much.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @05:02PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @05:02PM (#949398)

    Nobody gave the simple and correct answer. Linear vs exponential growth. Viruses grow exponentially, which means they never seem scary early on. For an example:

    Week 1: 10 infected
    Week 2: 20 infected
    Week 3: 40 infected

    Who cares?

    Week 13: 40,960 infected

    Still not such a big problem...

    Week 23: 42 million

    Okay well this is pretty terrifying but still that's only like 0.5% of the world's population.

    Week 33: 100% infection.

    ---

    This will probably just end up like the swine flu or bird flu (both of which I caught - I run good) and be a somewhat nastier flu that fades in a relatively short period of time. But at the same time things like this also need to be taken extremely seriously because the times when a virus like this mutates or when it can spread without visible symptoms (both of which are true in this instance) then you risk creating a global pandemic that could completely devastate the world.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @05:36PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @05:36PM (#949417)

      Multiple comments mentioned the R0 [healthline.com] estimates and this can be spread by asymptomatic carriers (which is why current estimates for R0 are 3-5). The WHO believe the virus to be stable (low mutation risk).

    • (Score: 2) by Osamabobama on Monday January 27 2020, @05:40PM (1 child)

      by Osamabobama (5842) on Monday January 27 2020, @05:40PM (#949421)

      On the other hand, the exponential growth slows as there are fewer people left to infect. This happens locally as entire towns are infected, which leaves the people who don't travel unable to infect others, slowing growth of the infected population.

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      • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Tuesday January 28 2020, @06:48AM

        by mhajicek (51) on Tuesday January 28 2020, @06:48AM (#949948)

        And you have to get it into Madagascar before they close the ports.

        --
        The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday January 27 2020, @07:06PM (1 child)

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Monday January 27 2020, @07:06PM (#949480) Journal

    20+ Apple Suppliers Located In City Affected By Coronavirus Shutdown [wccftech.com]

    Drop everything. This is OFFICIALLY serious.

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Tuesday January 28 2020, @06:51AM

      by mhajicek (51) on Tuesday January 28 2020, @06:51AM (#949949)

      I don't eat Chinese apples.

      --
      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
  • (Score: 2, Informative) by maggotbrain on Monday January 27 2020, @09:20PM (1 child)

    by maggotbrain (6063) on Monday January 27 2020, @09:20PM (#949577)
    Part of the concern, I think, is that the Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been given a CFR https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Case_fatality_rate [wikipedia.org] of around ~2.9. It was initially given a CFR of ~3.8 by one researcher and then quickly dialed down. For perspective, the Spanish Flu of 1918 has a CFR rating ~2.5 which infected ~500,000,000 and killed ~50 million+ globally.

    Since this is still a relatively new outbreak the exact numbers are still being debated and media panic is apparently confounding the issue. My 0.02. YMMV.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @10:22PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @10:22PM (#949611)

      Media panic? They haven't even figured out that it is an escaped bioweapon yet.