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posted by martyb on Tuesday January 28 2020, @11:38PM   Printer-friendly
from the clearing-the-air dept.

As the world knows, we face an emerging virus threat in the Wuhan coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak. The problem is, right now there are several important things that we don't know about the situation. The mortality rate, the ease of human-human transmission, the rate of mutation of the virus (and how many strains we might be dealing with – all of these need more clarity. Unfortunately, we've already gone past the MERS outbreak in severity (which until now was the most recent new coronavirus to make the jump into humans). If we're fortunate, though, we'll still have something that will be worrisome, but not as bad as (say) the usual flu numbers (many people don't realize that influenza kills tens of thousands of people in the US each year). The worst case, though, is something like 1918, and we really, really don't need that.

[Ed note: The linked story is by Derek Lowe who writes a "commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry". He is perhaps best known for his "Things I Won't Work With" blog entries which are as hilarious as they are... eye opening. I have found him to be a no-nonsense writer who "tells things as they are", holding no punches. The whole story is worth reading as he clearly explains what a coronavirus is, about the current one that reportedly originated in Wuhan, China, what could be done about it, how long that would likely take, and what can be done for those who have already been infected. --martyb]

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by VLM on Wednesday January 29 2020, @01:00PM

    by VLM (445) on Wednesday January 29 2020, @01:00PM (#950600)

    People are just not getting treated, dying, and not being counted.

    You could probably cross out the not getting treated part. The causes of death per wikipedia seem to be:

    pneumonia and kidney failure in severe cases

    The problem is: []

    Would seem to imply, because China is large, that the government approved low fake number is around 2.5M pneumonia cases per year is normal and 125K pneumonia deaths are normal. A western non-government approved number being thrown around was 21M cases per year mostly in kids.

    Statista claims there's 3.8 million doctors in China. Admittedly a podiatrist or psychiatrist isn't going to see many emergency room pneumonia cases, but its an upper bound, at least.

    So the fake "everything is awesome" government stats imply each doc in China sees one pneumonia case per year and realistic western data implies one pneumonia case per month. Obviously this is ER docs and as a smaller segment of the medical doctor profession the numbers seen are maybe 10 times higher. Figure the fake number for ER docs in china is a couple per week and the real world number is around one sometimes two per day.

    Suddenly, one day, three cases show up; should the ER doc immediately detect its an outbreak and raise alarms and all that?

    There's only been 6000 cases per wikipedia which may be false low stats; however; locally Wuhan has 11M people which is about one percent of China's population, so they should have somewhere around 1653 to 13888 pneumonia cases per month under normal circumstances depending on how fake the government figures usually are. Lets assume all 6000 wikipedia cases are in Wuhan, which they are not, as an extreme upper bound.

    This is the real risk of fake government numbers, because docs on the ground can't assess risk properly. So if the fake government figures are real, normally docs in Wuhan should see 1653 pneumonia cases per year and they have 6000 pneumonia-like coronavirus infections and holy shit thats three times normal and why aren't they in outbreak mode? Or, more realistically, if the western non-propaganda figures are real, they usually see 13888 pneumonia infections per month and an extra unexplained wintertime 6000 pneumonia-like infections is "just another day at the office" random statistical fluctuations that appears to mean nothing.

    This also makes me wonder about legacy media and attention whoring social media reporting megadeaths and hospitals in chaos. Outside "western civilization" hospitals are ALWAYS overcrowded in chaos with dead people, no outbreak needed. I'm sure those hospitals were really busy and crowded a couple months before the outbreak. So whats the real story?

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