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posted by martyb on Wednesday February 26 2020, @12:45PM   Printer-friendly
from the International-whack-a-mole^W-virus? dept.

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

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.

[...] WHO has already declared a public health emergency of international concern – our highest level of alarm – when there were less than 100 cases outside China, and 8 cases of human-to-human transmission.

Our decision about whether to use the word "pandemic" to describe an epidemic is based on an ongoing assessment of the geographical spread of the virus, the severity of disease it causes and the impact it has on the whole of society.

For the moment, we are not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this virus, and we are not witnessing large-scale severe disease or death.

Does this virus have pandemic potential? Absolutely, it has. Are we there yet? From our assessment, not yet.

So how should we describe the current situation?

What we see are epidemics in different parts of the world, affecting countries in different ways and requiring a tailored response.

The sudden increase in new cases is certainly very concerning.

[...] We must focus on containment, while doing everything we can to prepare for a potential pandemic.

[...] there are at least three priorities.

First, all countries must prioritize protecting health workers.

Second, we must engage communities to protect people who are most at risk of severe disease, particularly the elderly and people with underlying health conditions.

And third, we must protect countries that are the most vulnerable, by doing our utmost to contain epidemics in countries with the capacity to do it.

Coronavirus Spread in US Not a Matter of If, but When, CDC Warns

Coronavirus spread in US not a matter of if, but when, CDC warns:

Americans should begin preparing for the possibility of a coronavirus outbreak in the US, according to a warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the immediate threat to the general public is still low, federal health officials said the coronavirus is likely to expand its footprint in the US.

"We expect we will see community spread in this country," said Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, during a press briefing Tuesday. "It's more of a question of exactly when this will happen."

The CDC also outlined steps that cities, business and schools may need to take if the virus becomes a pandemic.

"We are asking the American public to work with us to prepare for the expectation that this is going to be bad," said Messonnier. "Now is the time for businesses, hospitals, communities, schools and everyday people to begin preparing as well."

Italy Struggles With Virus 'That Doesn't Respect Borders'

Italy struggles with virus 'that doesn't respect borders':

Michele L did not know what to do when he heard that the coronavirus had hit Codogno in northern Italy, less than 10km from his hometown Casalpusterlengo.

[...] Codogno is now known as the "Wuhan of Italy" and is on lockdown. Trains do not stop there and the streets are empty.

Within 72 hours from the first outbreak, almost a dozen towns in the wealthy regions of Lombardy and Veneto, with a total population of about 50,000 people, were placed under quarantine.

Now desperately struggling to contain the virus, Italy has the largest number of cases outside Asia and the second-highest number of deaths outside China after Iran, where at least 15 people have died.

All the people who have died in Italy were elderly patients or already had serious preconditions.

The worst-hit European country, at least 11 people have died from coronavirus in Italy and there are more than 300 cases - most in the north.

"We're talking about a virus that doesn't respect borders," said Italy's Health Minister Roberto Speranza.

[...] In recent days, schools and museums were closed in major cities, sports and cultural events were cancelled and the Venice carnival was called off. Trade fairs in Milan were postponed. The bars that are still open must observe a curfew.

[...] Authorities still have little information about the identity of the "superspreader", or Patient 0. While they are still looking for the source, the high number of infected patients has shifted priorities.

According to reports, a hospital in the northern town of Codogno mismanaged the region's first case and fuelled the infection's spread.

[...] People from the isolated areas have criticised a lack of coordination, poor access to emergency hotlines, and a shortage of swabs for testing.

Police and military patrol have been deployed around the towns on lockdown, with officers in surgical masks.

The Coronavirus Seems Unstoppable. What Should the World Do Now?

The coronavirus seems unstoppable. What should the world do now?:

The global march of COVID-19 is beginning to look unstoppable. In just the past week, a countrywide outbreak surfaced in Iran, spawning additional cases in Iraq, Oman, and Bahrain. Italy put 10 towns in the north on lockdown after the virus rapidly spread there. An Italian physician carried the virus to the Spanish island of Tenerife, a popular holiday spot for northern Europeans, and Austria and Croatia reported their first cases. Meanwhile, South Korea's outbreak kept growing explosively and Japan reported additional cases in the wake of the botched quarantine of a cruise ship.

The virus may be spreading stealthily in many more places. A modeling group at Imperial College London has estimated that about two-thirds of the cases exported from China have yet to be detected.

The World Health Organization (WHO) still avoided using the word "pandemic" to describe the burgeoning crisis today, instead talking about "epidemics in different parts of the world." But many scientists say that regardless of what it's called, the window for containment is now almost certainly shut. "It looks to me like this virus really has escaped from China and is being transmitted quite widely," says Christopher Dye, an epidemiologist at the University of Oxford. "I'm now feeling much more pessimistic that it can be controlled." In the United States, "disruption to everyday life might be severe," Nancy Messonnier, who leads the coronavirus response for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned on 25 February. "We are asking the American public to work with us to prepare for the expectation that this is going to be bad."

Dye and others say it's time to rethink the public health response. So far, efforts have focused on containment: slowing the spread of the virus within China, keeping it from being exported to other countries, and, when patients do cross borders, aggressively tracing anyone they were in contact with and quarantining those people for 2 weeks. But if the virus, named SARS-CoV-2, has gone global, travel restrictions may become less effective than measures to limit outbreaks and reduce their impact, wherever they are—for instance, by closing schools, preparing hospitals, or even imposing the kind of draconian quarantine imposed on huge cities in China.

"Border measures will not be as effective or even feasible, and the focus will be on community mitigation measures until a vaccine becomes available in sufficient quantities," says Luciana Borio, a former biodefense preparedness expert at the U.S. National Security Council who is now vice president at In-Q-Tel, a not-for-profit venture capital firm. "The fight now is to mitigate, keep the health care system working, and don't panic," adds Alessandro Vespignani, an infectious disease modeler at Northeastern University. "This has a range of outcomes from the equivalent of a very bad flu season to something that is perhaps a little bit worse than that."

Public health experts disagree, however, about how quickly the travel restrictions that have marked the first phase of the epidemic should be loosened. Early this week, the total number of cases stood at more than 80,000 with 2705 deaths—with 97% of the total still in China. Some countries have gone so far as to ban all flights to and from China; the United States quarantines anyone who has been in hard-hit Hubei province and refuses entry to foreign nationals if they have been anywhere in China during the past 2 weeks. Several countries have also added restrictions against South Korea and Iran.

[...] To prepare for what's coming, hospitals can stockpile respiratory equipment and add beds. More intensive use of the vaccines against influenza and pneumococcal infections could help reduce the burden of those respiratory diseases on the health care system and make it easier to identify COVID-19 cases, which produce similar symptoms. Governments can issue messages about the importance of handwashing and staying home if you're ill.

Whatever the rest of the world does, it's essential that it take action soon, [WHO's Bruce] Aylward says, and he hopes other countries will learn from China. "The single biggest lesson is: Speed is everything," he says. "And you know what worries me most? Has the rest of the world learned the lesson of speed?"

Coronavirus in Pictures: Scenes From Around the World

Coronavirus in pictures: Scenes from around the world:

This story presents a sequence of 28 pictures. Each picture has a description and often links to supporting information.

Global Stock Markets Plunge on Coronavirus Fears

Global stock markets plunge on coronavirus fears:

Global financial markets saw some of the sharpest falls in years on Monday after a rise in coronavirus cases renewed fears about economic slowdown.

In the US, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 posted their sharpest daily declines since 2018, with the Dow falling 3.5% or more than 1,000 points.

The S&P 500 ended the day 3.3% lower, while the Nasdaq sank 3.7%.

The UK's FTSE 100 share index closed 3.3% lower, the sharpest drop since January 2016.

In Italy, which has seen Europe's worst outbreak of the virus, Milan's stock market plunged nearly 6%.

In contrast, the price of gold, which is considered less risky, hit its highest level in seven years at one point.

[...] "There has been so much complacency in recent weeks from investors, despite clear signs that China's economy is facing a large hit and that supply chains around the world were being disrupted," said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

"Markets initially wobbled in January, but had quickly bounced back, implying that investors didn't see the coronavirus as a serious threat to corporate earnings. They may now be reappraising the situation."

CDC Tells Americans to Brace for Coronavirus

CDC tells Americans to brace for coronavirus:

Fresh off a plane from China, epidemiologist Bruce Aylward sat before members of the press at the World Health Organization's headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on Tuesday and laid out key insights from the coronavirus front lines.

Aylward, a nearly 30-year veteran of outbreak and emergency responses with the WHO, had just led a joint mission through the COVID-19 trenches to appraise the outbreak and China's control efforts. His assessment was glowing: China had responded swiftly, on a mind-boggling large scale, and with differential outbreak responses tailored to curb disease spread in different settings—from the outbreak's blazing epicenter in a highly populated city to the spotty disease clusters in rural areas.

He pointed to humped graphs of cases over time—they are the shape of an epidemic that has been hobbled, he said. Disease spread has been in decline since the beginning of the month, and doctors in China are honing their ability to treat patients. "If I had COVID-19, I'd want to be treated in China," he said candidly.

Based on the data, China's massive efforts have been generally successful and indicate that the virus can be contained, Aylward reported. Yet Chinese officials remain vigilant, he added, in case this never-before-seen virus (which has plagued humanity for mere weeks) presents any surprises.

While Aylward was impressed with the Chinese government response, he noted early in the briefing that he was also taken by the response of Chinese citizens—their cooperation and individual sense of duty to try to help quash the outbreak. "We spoke to hundreds of people... and they all shared this sense of responsibility, accountability to be part of this," Aylward said, noting that there didn't appear to be any government pressure or presence forcing that sense of duty. People were adhering to quarantine protocols on their own, he noted, and medical staff were volunteering to go to the hardest hit areas in the Wuhan province.

Iran's Deputy Health Minister Contracts Coronavirus

Iran's deputy health minister: I have coronavirus

Iran's deputy health minister said he has contracted the coronavirus and placed himself in isolation, a day after appearing feverish at a press conference in which he downplayed its spread in the shrine city of Qom and said mass quarantines were unnecessary.

Also at BBC.

Corona spreads across Europe

As the rest of the world battles the Corona virus, unrest is growing in Europe as well.

Eleven people have now died from Covid-19 in Italy, while 10 villages remain isolated. Today, in a single day, the number of infected Italians has jumped 45 percent to 322. The virus has spread across Italy now: while the infections originally were limited to the North of the country (Lombardia, Veneto, where the Venice Carnival has been closed down), they now have spread to Emilio-Romagna, Lazio (the region around Rome), the Toscan region, Piemont, Trentino-Alto Adigo (Southern Tirol), and (today, Feb 25) Liguria (around Genoa) and Sicily.

The statistics in Italy suggest that for every 100 infected people, 5 are expected to die -- typically older, already weakened, people.

Questions remain about case zero, the original infectious patient in Italy: yesterday that person was still not identified.

US Health Officials: 'When, Not If' Coronavirus Reaches US

US health officials: 'When, not if' coronavirus reaches US:

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday alerted Americans to begin preparing for the spread of coronavirus in the United States after the flu-like virus surfaced in several more countries.

The announcement signals a change in tone for the US health agency, which had largely been focused on efforts to stop the virus from entering the country and quarantining individuals travelling from China.

"The data over the past week about the spread in other countries has raised our level of concern and expectation that we are going to have community spread here," Dr Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters on a conference call.

What is not known, she said, is when it will arrive and how severe a US outbreak might be. "Disruption to everyday life might be severe," she cautioned.

Businesses, schools and families should begin having discussions about the possibility that their lives may be disrupted if the virus begins spreading within US communities.

Separately, US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told a Senate subcommittee there will likely be more cases in the US, and he asked legislators to approve $2.5bn in funding to fight the outbreak after proposing cuts to the department's budget.

"While the immediate risk to individual members of the American public remains low, there is now community transmission in a number of countries, including outside of Asia, which is deeply concerning," Azar said, adding that recent outbreaks in Iran and Italy were particularly worrying.

Major US stock indexes fell again on Tuesday after a sharp selloff on Monday.

Azar said the US government was working closely with state, local, and private sector partners to prepare for mitigating the virus' potential spread in the US.

US Senator Chuck Schumer, however, said President Donald Trump and his administration had been caught "flat-footed" and lacked a comprehensive plan to deal with coronavirus. He called for at least $3.1bn in additional funding to fight it.

"The Trump administration has shown towering and dangerous incompetence when it comes to the coronavirus," said Schumer, the top Senate Democrat. "Mr President, you need to get your act together now. This is a crisis."


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @02:00PM (26 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @02:00PM (#962829)

    How can they possibly praise cracking down on their citizens, welding them inside their homes

    That's how quarantine works. And in case of China, it seems to be working. Number of daily cases inside China is now lower than outside. I wonder what you'll say in 6 months once US is counting 100k+ dead and China is disease free?

    arresting the doctors who tried alerting people

    The people responsible for that have been "removed".

    covering up the lack of smokers getting the virus

    Fake News?

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/coronavirus-dangerous-smokers/ [telegraph.co.uk]

    Seems that smokers are the ones getting hit much harder. Data from previous infections of these viruses proves counter to your fake news.

    The WHO is fucked up.

    WHO cares about disease control, not your "freedums" or dictator preferences or insel dreams. If you think WHO will start bullshitting about politics, then I think you are the one fucked up.

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  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @02:09PM (25 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @02:09PM (#962834)

    The fake news is that smokers are getting hit harder. All data for SARS and this virus indicates smokers are resistant, probably due to altered ACE2 expression:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/COVID19/comments/f9ajbg/another_paper_about_six_sars_patients_reports_100/ [reddit.com]

    How can you say quarantine works in China when the virus has spread worldwide and is the most lethal where there is the most quarantine? It didn't work at all.

    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @02:56PM (11 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @02:56PM (#962863)

      How can you say quarantine works in China when the virus has spread worldwide and is the most lethal where there is the most quarantine? It didn't work at all.

      1. China can't control out of China spread
      2. It's most lethal where it began - Wuhan province. That means that secondary and onward propagation is more efficient and less deadly, like most of these types of viruses.
      3. Number of daily cases in China are dropping - the most basic definition of working

      like I wrote, when China is virus free, then their quarantine worked. This didn't happen yet, but it may happen in next month or two. I do not expect Iran or even Italy to be able to contain their outbreaks which means it will become endemic. At very least from Iran.

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @03:11PM (10 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @03:11PM (#962877)

        If the quarantine worked it wouldn't have spread outside china at all...

        The number of new cases drops anyway once everyone got infected, plus I wouldn't blindly trust any of that data.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday February 26 2020, @04:20PM (9 children)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 26 2020, @04:20PM (#962933) Homepage Journal

          Your argument lacks - wellll, it lacks any argument.

          The disease is rather stealthy. It didn't arrive with flashing neon lights, a birth announcement, a prom night, or anything like that. The bug made a couple people sick. Then a couple more. Then a half dozen more. Then a score more. It just kind of sneaked along, until some hospitals and physicians noticed that they had a lot of sick people. Of course, that wasn't enough to institute a quarantine. Officials had to be notified, then those officials had to be convinced. And, all the while, more and more people are getting sick.

          The disease was already spread all over China, and a good portion of Asia BEFORE quarantines went into effect.

          Quarantines work. If there is zero contact with outside populations, you can't spread your disease to the outsiders, and they can't spread their diseases to you. It works.

          Of course, it only takes one person to sneak out, to spend a night with a special other to break the quarantine. His/her piece of ass might cost the lives of you and all of your family. But, when properly enforced, the quarantine will work.

          Listening to your complaints, you're probably the guy who would endanger the lives of everyone in your home town, just to get that piece of ass. Can't you just get by with a sheep for awhile?

          --
          Through a Glass, Darkly -George Patton
          • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @04:24PM (5 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @04:24PM (#962938)

            Quarantines work if done properly, Chinas quarantine was not done properly. This is obvious from how the virus has spread.

            It probably hurt more people than it helped. And if they were serious about protecting their people they wouldn't be trying to ignore the smoking thing. Instead they would find it why/how that works and use it for a treatment.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday February 26 2020, @04:31PM (4 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 26 2020, @04:31PM (#962944) Journal

              Quarantines work if done properly, Chinas quarantine was not done properly. This is obvious from how the virus has spread.

              Really? Then how should it spread under a quarantine? Keep in mind people need to eat and all.

              • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @04:52PM (3 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @04:52PM (#962959)

                A quarantine that works is one where the virus does not escape outside the quarantined population. End of story.

                In this case 5 million exposed people had already left before the quarantine, it was unnecessary and cruel.

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday February 26 2020, @06:48PM (1 child)

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 26 2020, @06:48PM (#963004) Journal
                  If 5 million people were exposed, then where's the cases? Currently, it's at 80k.

                  Second, why is a quarantine which is working more cruel than exposing a billion people to a lethal disease?
                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @06:53PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @06:53PM (#963006)

                    Most people seem to be asymptomatic, almost everyone under 30 for example.

                    The quarantine didn't work, it failed and the virus spread.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @11:56PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @11:56PM (#963225)

                  Wow, you're just splitting hairs and grasping at straws.

                  Anything before the quarantine, isn't a quarantine, so technically you can't say the quarantine didn't work. Yes, they should have "started" the quarantine before it left China, call that China's fault if you want. But technically the quarantine worked as far as we can tell as since new infection have decreased in that area.

                  We can't really tell whether all the other infections outside was caused by folks that were infected that left before the quarantine or actual folks that somehow slipped past during the quarantine - neither can you. So as far as anything can tell, it worked.

          • (Score: 4, Funny) by takyon on Wednesday February 26 2020, @04:35PM (2 children)

            by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday February 26 2020, @04:35PM (#962947) Journal

            South Korea is testing 200,000 members of a doomsday church linked to more than 60% of its coronavirus cases [businessinsider.com]

            A former member of the cult who acted as Lee's chief interpreter, identified by CNN by the name Kim, told the network it was no wonder the virus spread within the church.

            "They are packed together like sardines in one area," he said, describing group worship. "They are forced to sit line in line, and your knees will literally be touching the other person's knee."

            He added that members were barred from wearing face masks on the grounds that doing so was disrespectful to God. He said members could not miss church for medical appointments or illness.

            As Business Insider's Rhea Mahbubani reported on Monday, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a 61-year-old woman was a "super-spreader" in the church.

            More than half a million South Koreans have signed a petition calling for the cult to be disbanded, according to The Korea Herald.

            On Friday, South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said South Korea had failed to stop the virus from spreading across the country and officials had begun to focus on containment.

            The world had no chance.

            --
            [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @09:22PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @09:22PM (#963095)

              Hey, at least those churchmembers just might get what they've been praying for.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @11:59PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @11:59PM (#963228)

                Yea, as long as they don't go out spread their "religion" to innocent folks - you realize the kooks are now armed right?

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday February 26 2020, @03:35PM (12 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 26 2020, @03:35PM (#962893) Journal

      All data for SARS and this virus indicates smokers are resistant, probably due to altered ACE2 expression:

      What data? You link to a study on six non smokers. That's not data.

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @03:40PM (11 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @03:40PM (#962900)

        You'll have to read the comments to find the links to previous discussions, etc.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday February 26 2020, @04:35PM (10 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 26 2020, @04:35PM (#962946) Journal
          So you couldn't be bothered to link or quote the sources directly?
          • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @04:49PM (9 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @04:49PM (#962955)
            • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday February 26 2020, @06:34PM (4 children)

              by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday February 26 2020, @06:34PM (#962997) Journal

              Well I clicked the first one and it talks about 6 people who had SARS and happened to not be smokers as if that proves something.
              So I clicked the second and it's not even about SARS and says nothing about smoking whatsoever.

              Conclusion: You are full of shit and spreading dangerous misinformation.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @06:47PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @06:47PM (#963002)

                Huh? The second one is about the current virus, which is very similar to SARs (uses ACE2 as the receptor). It shows that only about 10% of the 1000 patients were smokers. We would expect 30%.

                That is the most idiotic "review" I have ever read. You clearly don't have the slightest clue what you are talking about.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @10:04PM (2 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @10:04PM (#963151)

                I think the Russians are testing the waters to see just how dumb and gullible people are.

                Even if smoking prevents some of the virus nastiness it is still very much not recommended for your health. Maybe its just a Big Tobacco shill trying to get a sales spike from people's hysteria? Crisis or shortage sales events seem to be a big thing the last few years.

                "Oh no we're gonna run out of bacon! Buy more bacon while you can!" and others that I can't recall.

                • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday February 26 2020, @10:15PM (1 child)

                  by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday February 26 2020, @10:15PM (#963165) Journal

                  I think they're just trying to derail the conversation before it comes around to the fact that Trump fired the US Pandemic Response Team [snopes.com] and he starts taking any blame.

                  • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @11:10PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 26 2020, @11:10PM (#963203)

                    So you don't comprehend that the first paper is about SARS and the second is about the similar novel coronavirus of 2019? And that the second one shows in a table only 12% of the patients were smokers?

                    Is it possible for you to understand that?

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday February 27 2020, @03:04AM (3 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday February 27 2020, @03:04AM (#963296) Journal

              If you were too lazy to read a Reddit comment I doubt you will click those links either, but whatever.

              And as it turns out, you were too lazy to determine if these links actually supported your claims or not. Let's go through them. In links 1,3,4, the studies were done on a very small number of patients (1-10 patients per study).

              The links to studies (2,7,8,9) that don't target the effects of smoking could have a variety of biases excluding smokers. I favor that scenario particularly in light of the quote from link 6 below.

              Link 5 has this caution:

              Alarmed at the increase in such rumors Hong Kong's Health Department moved Friday to squash the idea, releasing a tersely worded statement saying that rumors of smoking preventing atypical pneumonia were "totally unfounded."

              A health department spokesman said smoking not only weakens immunity, but increases the risk of SARS as a smoker repeatedly touches their nose and mouth, increasing the chance of transmission.

              He added that protection from the virus is further reduced as surgical facemasks, now commonly worn in Hong Kong, are removed while smoking.

              Only one study actually claimed to study the effects of smoking on a coronavirus (SARS), link 6. They had this to say (pp 145-146):

              The results in this study show that smoking does not protect patients from contracting SARS. In this cohort a greater proportion of non-smokers contracted SARS than smokers, which may appear to support the initial rumours. However, a far greater proportion of non-smoking, female, health care workers contacted SARS cases than smokers and were therefore placed at much greater risk. When adjustments are made for gender, health care occupation and contact history, then smoking is shown to provide no protection. Even if smoking does protect patients against SARS, caution is required because of the many other hazardous effects associated with chronic smoking.

              I find it telling that you dump nine links, only two of which were on topic, and both of those warn against the risks of smoking.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27 2020, @03:15PM (2 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 27 2020, @03:15PM (#963526)

                You need to look at the data, of course nothing gets published that claims smoking has a health benefit.

                That isn't a random dump of papers, it is exhaustive afaik. Find me one paper where smokers are not underrepresented in SARS or nCoV patients. It doesn't exist.

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday February 28 2020, @05:07AM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 28 2020, @05:07AM (#963961) Journal

                  You need to look at the data

                  And I did. The problem is that I'm looking for evidence not merely data.

                  That isn't a random dump of papers, it is exhaustive afaik.

                  So no evidence to support the claim that smoking somehow helps resist coronavirus?

                  Find me one paper where smokers are not underrepresented in SARS or nCoV patients.

                  So what? It doesn't mean what you claim it means.

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday February 28 2020, @12:48PM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 28 2020, @12:48PM (#964075) Journal
                  The point is that any new infectious disease will show similar effects because health workers would be inordinately affected in the early stages of the disease and they smoke well below average. Thus, your data doesn't distinguish between a new disease and a new disease that doesn't affect smokers very much.