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posted by takyon on Thursday January 30 2020, @10:52PM   Printer-friendly
from the last-week dept.

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.


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

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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by RamiK on Friday January 31 2020, @03:00AM (5 children)

    by RamiK (1813) on Friday January 31 2020, @03:00AM (#951601)

    According to the country's National Health Commission, 9,692 cases have tested positive.

    Remember this is a disease which emerged only last month and yet there are already 7,736 confirmed cases in China and 12,167 suspected ones.

    At least 213 people have died from the virus in China.

    ( [] )

    Meh. Seasonal flues still spread faster and hit harder.

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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 31 2020, @03:33AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 31 2020, @03:33AM (#951621)
    And most of the people who have died are elderly and/or have other conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart disease that leave them more vulnerable. The original SARS of 2002-04 had a 10% death rate, and MERS was deadlier still at 40% even with proper medical care. However, it's not just about deaths. This looks like the sort of disease that might usually give you a really rough time for a week or two, where you'll need hospital care. That's still pretty bad. I don't think there are enough medical resources to care for all the sick people in Wuhan, and if someone doesn't get proper medical care their chances of dying go up quite a bit. A major outbreak is still something that can really ruin your week even if it doesn't kill you.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 31 2020, @04:01AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 31 2020, @04:01AM (#951639)

    Influenza kills a larger percentage of people who require hospitalization. We don't know what the overall mortality rate is, but almost certainly less because it's still very likely that most infected people recover without treatment. And it seems that transmission is not very easy either, requiring close contact. When travelers have been found to be infected, they only test the people in adjacent seats, and none have been infected. The flu probably would have infected half the people on the airplane that didn't have immunity.

    While this is a new disease and everyone gets excited about new diseases, seasonal flu still kills tens of thousands of people each year, and people have so little concern for it that many people don't even bother with a free vaccination. This has yet to kill anyone outside China and is likely much less dangerous than the flu overall.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 31 2020, @07:36AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 31 2020, @07:36AM (#951688)

    Talk to us when the novel coronavirus has been around as long as flu, and has mutated into as many strains as flu. That's assuming you're still around to talk. Of course it's useless to panic; but it's not useless for a country to massively mobilize to prevent a global pandemic. I hope we're doing everything we can to help them. Remember, it's not where you are. It's where you're going. We don't know what this thing would be doing if China hadn't massively mobilized to fight it. I bet it wouldn't be a pretty picture.

    • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Friday January 31 2020, @01:38PM

      by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 31 2020, @01:38PM (#951752) Journal

      In this case it probably is useless. It spreads before symptoms appear, it has a incubation period of a couple of weeks, and there's no easy test that's reasonably specific.

      The only way to contain it would appear to be extensive quarantines. And China is a large country with permeable borders in many places. Also, the virus has already spread to numerous countries, including, e.g., the US and Canada. Detected cases have been isolated, but there are no reasonable grounds to believe that all the cases have been detected.

      Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 31 2020, @03:09PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 31 2020, @03:09PM (#951787)

      With the current Stable Genius in charge, as long as they agree to all the US trade deal terms, they'll get all the help that they need.