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Discussion thread IV - COVID-19 (new coronavirus)

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  • Discussion thread IV - COVID-19 (new coronavirus) Super interesting!

    The first results of the deCODE Genetics voluntary screening indicate that about 1% of all Icelanders have the novel coronavirus, V?sir reports. Chief epidemiologist for the Directorate of Health ??r?lfur Gu?nason told reporters that this is good news, as it shows that the measures which the government has taken have yielded good results.

    As reported, deCODE Genetics CEO K?ri Stef?nsson has been wanting to offer screening to the entire Icelandic population and received the green light to do so earlier this week. Registration for that screening launched last Friday.

    While Icelandic authorities have been screening people considered especially at risk, namely those Icelanders returning to the country from high-risk areas, deCODE has sought to screen everyone else. deCODE took samples from 510 people on Friday, with 1,049 coming in yesterday and it is predicted that another thousand will go in for screening today. Of those samples which have thus far been taken, 700 have been tested. K?ri says that about half of those who tested positive have shown no symptoms, and the other half show symptoms have having a regular cold.

    ??r?lfur told reporters earlier today that if the results of the deCODE screening indicated that incidents of novel coronavirus in the general population were low, that authorities would likely continue with the operations which have already been initiated. “If infection in the general society is very low then it’s an indication that we have been doing good things and achieving good results in keeping this infection contained,” he said.

    As reported, amongst the operations that Icelandic government has initiated is a public gatherings ban of numbers greater than 100, and the closures of universities and secondary schools, beginning at midnight tonight. The country remains open to visitors, and the gatherings ban does not apply to the international airport in Keflav?k.
    ?The only security we have is our ability to adapt."

  • #2
    deCODE has now screened 1.800 tests of 3.087 taken, 19 have been positive for COVID19. Expect to screen 1.000 samples before midnight. Everything indicates that less than 1% (0.7% last night news) of the population is infected but spread seems to be picking up a bit. Roughly 14.000 persons have booked a time for a test for screening till 27.03.19

    3 positive test have been screened further, an S-type from east coast of USA and 2 L-types, both originating from Europe. Expecting 100 more tests done tomorrow.

    Their FB page but google does a lousy job of translating from Icelandic - you might get the gist of things.


    • JJackson
      JJackson commented
      Editing a comment
      What I have not seen is what test they are running. Is it RT PCR or some other type of test kit, if so I would be very interested in any details.
      Last edited by JJackson; March 16, 2020, 04:38 PM. Reason: I deleted a paragraph because the wording in the original PHE doc is ambiguous.

  • #3
    I'm sorry JJackson, I don't know, they haven't said but I'd guess so as they do a project for UK Biobank as Wellcome Sanger


    • #4
      US - Food: "The US is the world’s largest producer of maize (corn), the third-largest producer of wheat, fifth-largest producer of potatoes, tenth-largest producer of sugarcane and twelfth-largest producer of rice."
      Who Produces The World's Food
      We look at the top producers of the world's food basket.


      Toilet paper manufacturer in Alabama says they won’t run out

      Updated Mar 13, 2020; Posted Mar 13, 2020


      As nervous shoppers strip grocery and variety store shelves of tissue, Georgia-Pacific’s Naheola mill is working to churn it out. The Naheola mill currently employs more than 900 people. It produces retail bath tissue and paper towels, and also makes bleached paperboard used to make Georgia-Pacific’s Dixie plates, cups and bowls.


      At the same time, Georgia-Pacific also manufactures hand sanitizer products for businesses and the medical industry. Abercrombie said demand for hand sanitizer is currently ten times the normal amount.

      Another reason the company is able to meet the demand is that the Naheola mill last year saw a $120 million investment that specifically targeted its toilet paper capability. Georgia-Pacific has pumped more than $500 million into the mill over the past six years, and about $1.6 billion into its Alabama operations.



      • #5
        Previous discussion thread here:


        • #6

          France -

          J?r?me Salomon, Director of Health:

          Young people are also affected

          According to J?r?me Salomon, "we often have young people, half of the people in ICU are under 65. Just over 10% of deaths are under the age of 65. But there are few cases among minors. From the age of 25, 30 year old, there are increasingly severe forms and no underlying pathology."

          Same situation in Belgium?

          Hattip: yielddude

          Belgian doctor says young coronavirus patients also getting ‘severely ill’

          An emergency doctor treating patients of the coronavirus epidemic said several young people who had been hospitalised were getting “severely ill” despite having no underlying conditions.

          Doctor Ignace Demeyer, who works at a hospital in Aalst said that that lung scans from young people admitted into the emergency ward were “nothing short of terrifying.”

          "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
          -Nelson Mandela


          • kiwibird
            kiwibird commented
            Editing a comment
            Also 20% of patients in ICU in Portugal are in their twenties.

        • #7

          A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data
          By John P.A. Ioannidis
          March 17, 2020

          The current coronavirus disease, Covid-19, has been called a once-in-a-century pandemic. But it may also be a once-in-a-century evidence fiasco.

          At a time when everyone needs better information, from disease modelers and governments to people quarantined or just social distancing, we lack reliable evidence on how many people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 or who continue to become infected. Better information is needed to guide decisions and actions of monumental significance and to monitor their impact.

          Draconian countermeasures have been adopted in many countries. If the pandemic dissipates — either on its own or because of these measures — short-term extreme social distancing and lockdowns may be bearable. How long, though, should measures like these be continued if the pandemic churns across the globe unabated? How can policymakers tell if they are doing more good than harm?

          Vaccines or affordable treatments take many months (or even years) to develop and test properly. Given such timelines, the consequences of long-term lockdowns are entirely unknown...

          Read more:


          • GardenSpider
            GardenSpider commented
            Editing a comment
            There appears to be success in halting the spread in a town in Northern Italy. They did it through massive testing of the local inhabitants where the asymptomatic cases were discovered and isolated. It turns out there are a fairly large number of asymptotic carries that contribute significantly to the spread of the disease.

        • #8
          they had also tested the entire population of Vo,Italy (>3000) twice. 3% positive -->isolated, 10days later 0.3% positive

          Last edited by gsgs; March 19, 2020, 09:06 AM. Reason: link
          I'm interested in expert panflu damage estimates
          my current links: ILI-charts:


          • Emily
            Emily commented
            Editing a comment
            How could that happen so fast?

        • #9
          Email from Walmart

          Walmart pickup & delivery service in response to COVID-19

          As the coronavirus situation continues to evolve, we know it’s top-of-mind for you. We see it in the items you’re buying and hear it in the conversations we’re having in our stores. Please be assured we’re working as hard as we can to take care of you and your family.

          As the situation continues to change, we’re taking action to better serve you.

          Associate support
          Your health and our associates’ health is our top priority. We’ve asked any associate who feels unwell to stay home, and we’ve set a new policy to support any associate who may be affected by the virus—including paid leave for any associate who needs to self-quarantine.

          Store hours & sanitation
          We’re taking extra measures to ensure a clean and healthy environment in our stores. We’re dedicating associates in every store to sanitize high-traffic, high-touch areas, like registers and shopping carts.

          To better support our associates and serve you, we’ve adjusted our operating hours. As of Sunday, March 15, Walmart stores and Neighborhood Markets have reduced hours to help ensure associates are able to stock the products our customers are looking for and to sanitize the stores. As such, pickup & delivery hours for all stores will be shortened as well. Check the store finder on our site or app to verify your local store’s pickup & delivery hours.

          No-contact pickup & delivery
          To help protect you and our associates during pickup, you may ask the associate to sign for the order on your behalf. This means you do not have to touch the associate’s keypad to accept your order.

          For delivery orders, drivers will practice social distancing when picking up your order at the store. The driver will stay in the car while the pickup associate loads the order into the driver’s vehicle.

          In addition, no-contact delivery to your home will be available next week. Through this option, you can authorize the driver to leave the order at your door, and you won’t need to sign on the driver’s phone to accept your order.

          Available inventory
          We’ve seen a significant increase in demand for products such as paper goods and cleaning supplies. As we work to replenish these items as fast as possible, we’ll limit the quantity that can be ordered to ensure as many customers as possible have access to these items.

          When we see items run out at the store, we’ll temporarily remove them from the website to ensure we’re accurately reflecting what is available.

          Ordering ahead
          To help ensure we can get you the items you ordered, we’ve shortened the time frame you can order ahead to two days (i.e., today and tomorrow). If your nearby Walmart does not have available times to place an order, please continue to check back with us—new time slots open up every morning.

          Order delays & cancellations
          Due to high demand, our pickup & delivery service may experience order delays, cancellations, or higher wait times during pickup. We’ll stay in contact with you over email, text message, website, and mobile app to alert you of any potential delays or increased wait times at your store.

          We ask that you provide your phone number during checkout to ensure that you receive important updates about your order. In addition, we recommend that you use the mobile app to check-in on your way to the store and enter your parking spot number once you arrive. This will help reduce wait times for everyone.

          Lastly, please be assured we are actively monitoring the situation with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and our Chief Medical Officer, and we will adjust our policies as conditions change. You may learn more about our efforts here.

          Please be well and stay safe.

          Thank you,
          "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
          -Nelson Mandela


          • #10
            Also worrying to read that Switzerland believe they are 10 days away from being overwhelmed.
            ?The only security we have is our ability to adapt."


            • kiwibird
              kiwibird commented
              Editing a comment
              Researchers in China looked at blood group patterns of more than 2,000 people who had been diagnosed with the new coronavirus as part of a preliminary study.

              They found that those with blood type A were more vulnerable to infection and tended to develop more severe symptoms while those with blood type O had a “significantly lower risk” of getting the disease.

              Although the study is yet to be peer-reviewed by other academics, the team are urging medics and governments to consider blood type differences when treating patients with the virus and helping prevent the spread of the disease.

              The researchers, led by Wang Xinghuan of the Zhongnan Hospital at Wuhan University, looked at the blood of 2,173 people who had been diagnosed with the coronavirus from three hospitals in the Hubei province.

              They found that while blood type O (34%) is more common in the general population in China than type A (32%), around 41% of Covid-19 patients had blood type A, whereas people with type O accounted for just 25%.


          • #11
            Second wave of coronavirus cases hits Asia

            Rise of imported cases prompts officials to tighten restrictions on new arrivals

            The number of coronavirus cases has spiked across Asia, crushing hopes that the region had contained the outbreak. Officials in South Korea, Taiwan and parts of China and south-east Asia are rushing through new measures after a second wave of new infections following weeks of declines.

            Experts say the sudden increase in cases has revealed the limits of both China’s sweeping lockdown of citizens and of the massive public testing and social distancing campaigns rolled out across Asia. But it also highlights growing anxieties about new cases coming from abroad.

            The number of so-called imported infections has risen sharply as people flee the escalating coronavirus outbreak in Europe. “What many people hadn’t recognised is that it is only a temporary success, it is not a permanent success,” said Ben Cowling, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Hong Kong.

            News, analysis and comment from the Financial Times, the worldʼs leading global business publication
            ?Addressing chronic disease is an issue of human rights ? that must be our call to arms"
            Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief The Lancet

            ~~~~ Twitter:@GertvanderHoek ~~~ ~~~


            • Emily
              Emily commented
              Editing a comment
              I think gsgs calculated that they had not achieved herd immunity levels during the first wave.

          • #12



            Again today there is so much news that I can't tweet it all. I

            t will be more of the same...more cases...more deaths...

            The most important thing is that you protect yourself.

            Self isolate as best as you can.

            Clean surfaces and hands non-stop.





            IMPORTANT -

            "Our results indicate that aerosol and fomite transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is plausible,

            since the virus can remain viable and infectious in aerosols for hours

            and on surfaces up to days (depending on the inoculum shed)."

  … #COVID19

            Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1 | NEJM
            Correspondence from The New England Journal of Medicine — Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1


            It appears some people think the authors' conclusion above is misleading.
            Gee - since the authors are experts from UCLA, NIH, NIAID, CDC, Princeton
            who is misleading who?



            We do not back down and we will present various experts opinions even if
            this makes some people uncomfortable.


            • cartski
              cartski commented
              Editing a comment
              I’m not sure if it is misleading, or just ill defined terms, or not sufficiently detailed messaging. Or the common problem of passing the original message through many ears.

              Dr. Greger pointed out in his reports and presentations the tendency of public health officials to set standards or guidelines that seek better adherence to ado[tion (like 30 minutes of daily exercise) when the research states much higher levels for optimum health (90 minutes, limited only be lack of subjects).

              So in this case, the NEJM article titles with “hours” but the pre-print version (if I recall correctly - a bit IF) talks about half life, nuclei particles, and expectorant distance (thus the 2 meter distancing value). And the final conclusion in the NEJM piece lacks the precision of the findings.

              Similarly, anything with “air” as a prefix is confusing, IMO. Air is gas. But we’re still talking droplets, even in aerosol, I believe. So we’re left wondering, based on the conclusion, if we should be afraid of stepping outside into the wind.

              I believe I’ve seen this before in the progression of articles from submitted papers to final publication, to public health summaries, to press release statements and finally to press articles.

            • JJackson
              JJackson commented
              Editing a comment
              Cartski I think the exercise time is a compromise between what they know to be optimum and what they think people will attempt. Tell them 90 mins and they will watch the TV news, tell them thirty and you have a fighting chance they will actually do something. I thought the same thing while reading the Imperial letter. If I had shown almost anyone a pandemic model predicting 8 to 30 patients competing for each ICU bed last year they would have assumed I had no idea what I was talking about and have ignored what I was saying. For each step there is a 'teachable moment' and it is for the risk communication experts to identify it and use it to the full. If the shut down measures were introduced too early I suspect they would have been resented and flouted which may have made matters worse.

          • #13
            So question on the definition of Aerosol. In the WHO call I believe on Monday this came up. The way it was explained or how I understood was that where you have to worry about aerosol spread is with healthcare workers when a patient is intubated and then when the tube is removed. This is due to the use of air that then can aerosolize the virus. Is that not correct? I have noticed many people have started to use this data in reference to coughing and sneezing. WHO indicated that when a person coughs or sneezes the droplets are bigger and therefore would not stay airborne as long as when they are aerosolized. Any input would be great. Just trying to clarify this in my head is all.


            • #14
              From Wikipedia -
              Diseases can also spread by means of small droplets in the breath, also called aerosols (or sometimes bioaerosols).[3]
              I read a quote that if you can smell what someone had for lunch you were breathing in their droplets. I am personally working on the basis that it is the case.

              ?The only security we have is our ability to adapt."


              • littlebird
                littlebird commented
                Editing a comment
                As a Respiratory Therapist, when I think of aerosols, I'm thinking all of what you said plus Albuterol aerosol treatments given routinely in the E.R. to anyone and everyone coming in with Respiratory distress or wheezing. These therapies are given via mask or mouthpiece and are created to produce the perfect micron of particle size to carry a drug (or a virus) into the distal airways.... the problem is, the aerosol also is exhaled into the room and can carry the suspended virus all over the Emergency room. This happened in Toronto with SARS along with the use of high flow oxygen masks which also served to catapult the virus for yards around. That's how one patient ended up infecting so many others in the same triage area. E.R.s will need to rethink the way they have always treated these patients. That's just my take on it.

            • #15
              I heard the spokesman for Life Care (Kirkland, WA nursing home with so many deaths), say they believe their use of nebulizers was creating fine aerosols and spreading the disease.

              Ask Congress to Investigate COVID Origins and Government Response to Pandemic H.R. 834

              i love myself. the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever. ---- nayyirah waheed
              Governments don't have or own souls.

              (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)
              Never forget Excalibur.