The 2019-nCoV virus shows that we’ve built a better world

By Larry Kummer, Editor / 25 January 2020

Summary: The hysterics have already begun to spread misinformation about the latest epidemic. The actual story is that so far we know little about it. The amazing news is the rapid and powerful response of our public health systems. This is evidence that we have built a better world, but it gets less attention than the number of characters allowed in a tweet. I will be posting updates in the comments.


You can read a dozen articles in the major news media and learn less than from reading the CDIC’s summary page about the latest epidemic. For busy people, here is an excerpt with the high points.

About the disease.

“CDC is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (termed “2019-nCoV”) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and which continues to expand. Chinese health officials have reported hundreds of infections with 2019-nCoV in China, including outside of Hubei Province. Infections with 2019-nCoV also are being reported in a growing number of countries internationally, including the United States, where the first 2019-nCoV infection was detected in a traveler returning from Wuhan on January 21, 2020. …

“Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, some causing illness in people and others that circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people such as has been seen with MERS and SARS. …Both MERS and SARS have been known to cause severe illness in people. The situation with regard to 2019-nCoV is still unclear. While severe illness, including illness resulting in a number of deaths has been reported in China, other patients have had milder illness and been discharged.”

Risk Assessment.

“Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so. It’s not clear yet how easily 2019-nCoV spreads from person-to-person. It’s important to know this in order to better assess the risk posed by this virus. While CDC considers this is a very serious public health threat, based on current information, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV to the general American public is considered low at this time. Nevertheless, CDC is taking proactive preparedness precautions.”

Timeline of an epidemic

In the 21st century, epidemics are a race between the disease’s ability to spread and scientists’ efforts to identify and combat it. Modern transportation allows diseases to quickly spread globally. But modern communications and effective government agencies can react even faster, once alerted. This radically changes the nature of epidemics. This fantastic speed plus modern tech makes our response far more effective than in the early 1950s polio epidemic – and beyond anything imaginable during the 1918 influenza pandemic.

See the Wikipedia Timeline page for updates.

8 December 2019 – First case detected, although doctors did not know what it was.

30 December – An “urgent notice on the treatment of pneumonia of unknown cause” was issued by the Medical Administration and Medical Administration of Wuhan Municipal Health Committee. Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan tighten their inbound screening.

2 January – The WHO activated its incident management system at all three levels: national, regional, and headquarters.

3 January – Thailand and Singapore began screening inbound passengers.

5 January – Researchers ruled out seasonal flu, SARS, MERS, and bird flu as the cause. The number of suspected cases reached 59 with seven in a critical condition. All were quarantined and 163 contacts commenced monitoring. As yet, there were no reported cases of human-to-human transmission or presentations in healthcare workers.

6 January – The US CDC issued a travel watch at Level 1 (“Practice usual precautions”) for China.

7 January – CDC established a 2019-nCoV Incident Management group.

8 January – The CDC began alerting clinicians to watch for patients with respiratory symptoms and a history of travel to Wuhan.

9 January – Chinese investigators isolated a novel coronavirus from an infected patient. The first death occurred, a 61-year-old man with severe preexisting health problems.

10 January – Four groups of Chinese researchers post genetic sequences of the virus.

13 January – First reported case outside China, a 61 year-old-woman who arrived in Bangkok on January 8.

14 January – First reported case of probable human-to-human transmission of the virus.

15 January – Second death: a 69-year-old man in China.

16 January – Second case outside China: 30-year-old male Chinese national in Japan.

17 January – The CDC issued an updated interim Health Alert Notice (HAN) Advisory to inform state and local health departments and health care providers about this outbreak. It began screening of passengers on flights from Wuhan to five major US airports.

19 January – First two confirmed cases in China outside Wuhan: one in Guangdong province and two in Beijing. Third fatality. The number of laboratory-confirmed cases in China is 201.

20 January – First confirmed cases in South Korea and Shanghai. China’s National Health Commission confirmed that the coronavirus can be transmitted between humans. CDC releases a specific diagnostic test for the virus that uses a real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR). US researchers are growing the virus in cell cultures for further study.

21 January – Taiwan and the US (Washington) report their first cases. The US patient was quickly identified as a possible risk, isolated, and tested (details here). The CDC activates its Emergency Response System to support its response to 2019-nCoV, and deploys a team to Washington.

22 January – The World Health Organization holds an emergency meeting to determine if the virus is a “public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC)“. See the result below. The total number of laboratory-confirmed cases in China is 571, with a death toll of 17. China imposes a quarantine on Wuhan, although it is only slowly enforced.

23 January – CDC raises its travel alerts for China.

24 January – Provinces and municipalities and China begin declaring a level 1 public health emergency. More areas in China are quarantined. The first case reported in Europe (in France). A second case was reported in the US. To date, the CDC has investigated 63 people in 22 states: 2 have tested positive and 11 negative. They believe the virus’ incubation period is roughly two weeks. Dr. Nancy Messonnier said it is “premature to conclude that we know whether it is more or less infectious than SARS and more or less severe than SARS.”

The World Health Organization’s verdict, so far

For details about the epidemic see the WHO’s January 23 report.

“Twenty five percent of confirmed cases reported by China have been classified by Chinese health authorities as seriously ill (from Wubei Province: 16% severely ill, 5% critically ill, and 4% having died).”

Their bottom line: “WHO assesses the risk of this event to be very high in China, high at the regional level and moderate at the global level.” The WHO developed a large package of protocols for surveillance, diagnosis, control, and treatment of cases. These embed the world’s accumulated knowledge, so that each nation need not prepare by themselves. They also coordinate the exchange of information.

The International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee met on January 23-24. Here is the press release.

“Research gives a preliminary R0 estimate of 1.4-2.5. …Of confirmed cases, 25% are reported to be severe. The source is still unknown (most likely an animal reservoir) and the extent of human-to-human transmission is still not clear.”

The R0 (a measure of contagiousness) number gets attention but is probably of little use for laypeople. Wikipedia gives a good introduction to it. The CDC often cites a paper saying that it is “easily misrepresented, misinterpreted, and misapplied.”

The Committee concluded that it is too early to declare a “public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).” They will meet again in ten days, or earlier if warranted by events.

As usual, extreme views get more attention

While agencies (eg, WHO, CDC) make careful statements about the coronavirus, too many experts talk like it’s the Black Death. Wild speculation about worst-case scenarios. For example, see this. This gets them their 15 minutes, but feeds public hysteria. This has begun happening with every epidemic. We could get a “boy who cried wolf” effect, hampering the response to a major pandemic.

As an example, it takes just one paper to get people excited. Such as “Novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV: early estimation of epidemiological parameters and epidemic predictions” by Jonathan Reed et al., a non-peer-reviewed paper posted at medRxiv. Although speculative and contrary to information from the world’s public health agencies, some take it as gospel and have extreme reactions. This is what America’s liberals see today at Naked Capitalism.

Tweet by Feigl Ding about coronavirus


Extreme libertarians tell us that governments can’t do anything right, and that we should “starve the beast.” Conservatives also hate the UN. Here we see an example of strong government agencies – national and international – providing a vital service. These are underfunded, as a horrific pandemic would reveal.

For More Information

Ideas! For some shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon. Also, see a story about our future: Ultra Violence: Tales from Venus.

Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Also see these posts …

  1. See the ugly cost of the next big flu pandemic. We can do more to prepare.
  2. Stratfor: The superbugs are coming. We have time to prepare.
  3. Posts debunking the hysteria about the 2009 swine flu in America.
  4. Posts debunking the hysteria about the 2015 ebola epidemic in America.
A great film about epidemics in the 21st century
Contagion (2011).

This shows the progress of a pandemic from patient Zero, through global devastation, to eventual victory by the world’s scientists. From the studio …

“When Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns to Minnesota from a Hong Kong business trip, she attributes the malaise she feels to jet lag. However, two days later, Beth is dead, and doctors tell her shocked husband (Matt Damon) that they have no idea what killed her. Soon, many others start to exhibit the same symptoms, and a global pandemic explodes. Doctors try to contain the lethal microbe, but society begins to collapse as a blogger (Jude Law) fans the flames of paranoia.

Contagion (2011)Available at Amazon.

Updates from comments of original article.

Update from the WHO on Jan 25

Situation update:

A total of 1,320 confirmed cases have been reported for novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) globally.

Of the 1,320 cases reported, 1,297 cases were reported from China, including Hong Kong, Macau, and Taipei. A total of 1,965 suspected cases have been reported from 20 Chinese provinces, regions and cities (excluding Hong Kong, Macau, and Taipei).

23 confirmed cases have been reported outside of China in nine countries. Of these 23 confirmed cases, 21 had travel history to Wuhan City, China; one case in Australia had direct contact with a confirmed case from Wuhan while in China; and one confirmed case in Viet Nam had no travel history to any part of China (it is transmission within a family).

Of the 1,287 confirmed cases (excluding Hong Kong, Macau, and Taipei), 237 cases have been reported as severely ill.

41 deaths have been reported to date (39 deaths in Hubei province, one death in Hebei province and one in Heilongjiang province).

On 25 January, the number of reported confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV has increased by 474 cases since the last situation report published on 24 January.

WHO’s assessment of the risk of this event has not changed since the last update (22 Jan): very high in China, high at the regional level and moderate at the global level.

Update from the CDC

Five confirmed cases in four States of the US (AZ, CA, IL, WA). All were travelers from Wuhan. Summary:

“While CDC considers this is a very serious public health threat, based on current information, the immediate health risk from 2019-nCoV to the general American public is considered low at this time. Nevertheless, CDC is taking proactive preparedness precautions.”

157 thoughts on “The 2019-nCoV virus shows that we’ve built a better world

  1. As I understand it, the virus originated or mutated from a food market area in close proximity to markets of fresh butchered meat/chickens in Wuhan City, with a lot of live animals such as chickens/fowl being sold alive in the same markets next to the ‘fresh’ meat that had already been processed but sitting in the open air. This doesn’t sound like a healthy mix, and we don’t have that practise here in the West so much. China might have to re-consider how its food markets work and keep live fowl/pigs away from the populace to buy a live chicken or pig at the market and take it home and butcher it. We have fridges and freezers now. Thank goodness for electricity and proper food handling. Some rules and regulations are for our own good.

    • There is a world class virology research center located in Wuhan. They have been studying coronaviruses like this one for years. There’s meat markets all over China. Why Wuhan? I think this one broke out of the lab and the market is the scapegoat to keep the people from rioting.

        • Reading up of the illegal shipment of virus from the Winnipeg BSL 4 lab to Wuhan might be a starting point.
          Oh, and the fact that several of the involved Chinese scientists/spies that were just fired might give a serious observer pause for consideration.

          • Other points:
            1. Making a virus infective for a long period before symptoms show is one of the first things you do to weaponize a virus.
            2. The Chinese govt. have reacted very strongly, but they were relatively laid back about SARS. Why would they damage their economy like this for a nothing?
            3. Viruses mutate rapidly. If the current virus is as relatively harmless as we are being told (like SARS) perhaps they have seen mutations in the lab that are extremely dangerous.
            I am not usually a conspiracy theorist, quite the reverse, but there are serious points to ponder.

          • yeah read that and the article did have decent backup material to support it.
            and the fod market is supposed to have been “sterilized” but looking at the pic of hosp stafff sterilising areas lord help em. the standards are low to useless, a bucket of bleachwater thrown around ;-(
            were now up to 5 confirmed n aus as of this evening
            and theyre tracking plane passengers
            seeing as planes do NOT get cleaned properly/fully between flights any more the risk is going to be high there too.
            breathing recycled air for X hrs as well a surfaces and filters etc.

          • A “proper” Malthusian depopulation virus would need to infect a large (enough) percentage of the population before it showed any significant (superficially measurable) symptoms. It would need to be highly communicable without significant symptoms. There aren’t many real pathogens like that.
            Of course, it would also need to kill at least a fair percentage of the infected people, to have any effect, assuming actual depopulation was the goal. If it were a weapon, it would also need to be controllable, i.e. there’d need to be a vaccine. It would also ideally not mutate in un-expected ways. Again, not many pathogens fit this set of requirements.

            This new virus doesn’t seem like that very much at all, but I could be wrong.

          • All vaccines are much less effective than almost everybody believes. Protection of 90% makes a great vaccine. And that number is theoretical and based on positive reaction to the vaccine, not being really protected (which obviously is never measured).

            And then there is the issue of mutation and recombination which can occur several years after the “weapon” is launched, and render the vaccine even less effective.

            So I call BS on the weapon idea, not even most provaxxer people are that dumb. (Although many are the absolute dumbest of mankind.)

        • Its a fair hypothesis. One that allows experts to narrow their investigations. Something that is highly coincidental should be something not passed over casually.
          Not all theories are conspiracies David and people who run around calling them daft tend to be pots calling out kettles. It is certainly worth a close look with a skeptical eye trained toward cover-up rather than your flippant pooh-poohing.

          • As Mike Reagan, the adopted son of Ronald Reagan noted about his experience with the government, when something goes wrong, everyone tries to make sure they can’t be blamed, even when they can’t be blamed. CYA is the first order of the day.

          • I agree that theory that it may have been an escaped bio weapon should not be disregarded. Even if it does sound like a wild conspiracy there are facts that make it plausible. But even if it wasn’t this is like a bomb joke on a plane. It must be taken seriously because of the graveness of the consequences. The world has wasted billions of dollars on some nonsense climate emergency. In 2019 the real enemy of humanity has revealed itself. Virus can and have decimated human populations in the past. This thing can end us.

      • Really…I think it is a limited hangout to hide the case that Wuhan is a very polluted place. And climate change being such a sore spot these days. so rather than tell the truth of the matter.

        The Wuhan is lucky if they can get its smog under the 150 mark on the pollution scale.
        That as a daily wakeup is terribly unhealthy. The young and the weak and old; especially those with breathing issues are prone to this opportunistic virus (sic).

        Check out the time stamp you will find that it is 2014. Wuhan has had a long-standing pollution problem and high pollution causes a suppressed immunity in prolonged situations.
        Therefore any opportunistic coronavirus will take hold and cause more death than is usually normal.

    • It is also proposed that an infected person who works at the market (a vendor?) was infected, present and contaminated some food. This line of thinking proposes a remote infection (from an animal) and a human-to-human or human-food contact-human infection route st the market.

      I expect to read they found an animal host but it is not certain it will be at the market. A human carrier source is now more believable as that route has been proven viable by the Vietnamese case.

      Spreading while not showing symptoms is definitely sending shudders. The number of follow-ups increases dramatically once a case manifests. They are tracking down everyone who sat within 2 metres of the guy who arrived by air in Toronto. That approach is the result of studying who got infected travelling in planes during the SARS outbreak.

      Ontario is much better prepared this time.

      • But the infectiousness of this outbreak appears to be much higher than SARS. This cat is already out of it’s bag. I personally don’t believe it will be possible to slow it down much. Highly contagious days before symptoms show. Just have to hope that the death rate doesn’t get much worse but it probably will and secondly that we can get a vaccine within a year. Even then we’re probably looking at millions of deaths in the next year. IMO.

        • John,
          How sure are you about millions of deaths in the next 12 months? Willing to make a bet on it? If not, then stop trying to scare people; it’s not helping anything.

        • Get a grip, John. if you get sick they,ll load you up with antibiotics and steroids and you’ll get over it. If, that is, you’re not ready to go for some other reason.

      • But it’s not a conspiracy theory, it’s an incompetence theory. Conspiracy theories are almost always wrong, incompetence theories are often right.

        • “Never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence or stupidity.” and “there are only two things that are infinite, the universe and human stupidity and I’m not sure about the universe.” That last quote was from Einstein but I don’t know who originated the first. Both we should keep in mind.

        • Can you quote the relevant part?
          Because that would be breaking news as so far nobody has found a cause. Though food poisoning does sound reasonable.

    • they sold live bats and snakes..and it appears both those signatures showed in examining the virus
      and the mega green fools think WE should all devlop a taste for eating bugs?
      ok theyre going to be vatbred but I personally dont think eating the food the chickens eat is a smart move for humans
      our systems arent designed to handle the bacteria n viruses an animals gut can..and even they get crook sometimes.

    • The official investigation’s conclusion is that the Wuhan virus was created by a wildlife market that was next to a meat market, which is the same way that the SARS virus has created. Genetic material from different virus are mixed creating a new and more dangerous virus.

      This may be different than SARs, as it appears the Wuhan virus is easier to spread.

      A worst case scenario is the Wuhan virus becomes a serious yearly problem. If that were to be true, then we would have a new virus that causes serious lung infection in roughly 25% of the cases, that spreads like the flu, that mutilates, so there is now a yearly serious, problem.

      The Chinese have allocated $8 billion dollars US to fight the Wuhan virus this year. The Premier of China is taking charge of the efforts to fight the virus.

      “Hong Kong University virologist Guan Yi, who was part of the team that discovered the SARS virus, tells the Washington Post that the epidemic is so out of control now that “a bigger outbreak is certain.” He said that even with a conservative estimate, the outbreak could be 10 times bigger than the SARS epidemic — with a reach of more than 80,000 cases.” it will take to stop the Wuhan coronavirus

      “Thirty-three of the 585 environmental samples collected from the Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market were found to contain the nucleic acid of the coronavirus, according to state-run news agency Xinhua.

      Of those samples, 31 came from the section of the market dedicated to the sale of wild animals, the CDC said.

      Chinese authorities announced Sunday that the trading of wild animals would be suspended nationwide, as experts lobbied for the government to put in permanent restrictions or even a ban.”

    • The spread of the virus was caused by someone eating wild bats in Wuhan. This virus does not cause much harm to bats. The virus is mainly parasitic in cells. The heart of a bat can reach 1,000 times a minute when flying beat The body temperature also rises to 40 ° when it is active, but when it stops, the heart can quickly fall to a very slow rhythm, and a body that can lower the body temperature to 8 ° will cause the life of the cells to be very short. But the opposite bat’s cell regeneration ability is very powerful, the virus parasitizes in the cells and replicates the cells that have not been saturated before being killed and regenerating new cells. So this virus will reach a state of harmony and symbiosis in bats,
      But some people eat these wild bats and cause the virus to invade the human body. Since the virus itself is parasitic on the bat, it does not adapt to the human body. Then the body ’s immune system sends them to the surface of the lungs in order to kill the virus-infected cells, and it will increase the blood flow rate to enter a large number of white blood cells like the lungs to kill these virus-infected cells. Later, through CT photos, the lungs will turn white. The fever is only because your body’s immune system is fighting these viruses. But if you do n’t survive, you may be burned to death, but if you survive, Alright, and your body also has antibodies to the virus and won’t get infected again. Most of the deaths were elderly people who were physically weak, and there were more young people in the cured group because they were more resistant and could survive. I can’t speak English. This is a translator, so there may be some problems with the grammar.
      As for the fresh meat that you said will cause mutations, this does not exist. Why do Chinese people feel that fresh meat is healthier? Because you know that the food you eat is disease-free. Frozen food is not much different in nutrition, but you do n’t know how it died. It may be frozen for several years after being infected with the flu and sold out, or it may have been eaten by poisonous plants after death. They are sold out. In short, you ca n’t confirm whether the meat you purchased died normally, so Chinese people like to eat fresh meat.

  2. Interesting article.
    I have not seen the film ‘Contagion’ but I have seen Elia Kazan’s great 1950 film ‘ Panic in the Streets’.
    It concerned a race to catch a killer sick with pneumonic plague,a bacterial infection, before he infected a city.
    Coronavirus as the name suggests is a serious viral infection.
    WHO rates its danger internationally as ‘moderate’ though serious in China.
    Which pandemic is more dangerous, pneumonic plague or coronavirus?
    Is there a doctor in the house?

  3. A neglected treatment for viral infections is high-dose vitamin C. Even better given IV.
    Dr. Andrew Saul posted an article on this in the Orthomolecular News Service.
    Severe infections deplete vitamin C, sometimes causing death by acute scurvy.
    You can count on medical authorities to deny such a benefit for a nutrient.
    Drugs or nothing!

      • David, Vitamin C treatment protocol is not rubbish and plenty of research in various stages is underway. Myself, my husband and in-laws likely avoided Influenza B that was rampant in our household because we loaded up on Vitamin C supplements immediately when our daughters fell ill.

        Treatment for sepsis:

        Treatment for viruses:

        • I avoided getting the flu the last time it went through our household by making sure I washed my hands regularly.

          For one person not to get the flu is proof of nothing. Perhaps you and your wife had already been infected with that strain?

        • There is a theory that large doses of vitamin C leads to a slight reduction in the pH (dare I say “acidification”?) of the mucus in the respiratory system, which makes it a less comfortable environment for viruses.

          I read about this theory years ago, I just don’t remember where. It’s probably too simple a concept to get traction with mainstream science.

          The traditional use of lemon juice as a folk remedy for colds/flu may be another expression of this putative effect.

          Linus Pauling was the first to propose mega-doses of vitamin C to promote general good health. He took 18,000 milligrams daily and lived to be 93. He also got part way to the structure of DNA – just from looking at its chemistry, without the benefit of X-ray diffraction; James Watson’s book about his and Crick’s research tells how they felt they were in a race with Pauling. They had the Cambridge XRD lab of course, which gave them the answers they needed.

          If Pauling said it, that’s good enough for me.

          • without the benefit of X-ray diffraction; James Watson’s book about his and Crick’s research tells how they felt they were in a race with Pauling. They had the Cambridge XRD lab of course, which gave them the answers they needed.

            It was not the Cambridge Lab but Rosalind Franklin’s lab at King’s College London that gave the X-ray images Crick used. Unfortunately for Pauling he was not allowed to have a passport so was unable to visit the UK as he had planned, had he done so and seen Rosalind’s photo he would likely have recognized the structure.

        • Injectable Vitamin C is the key. First fills in the deficits, neutralizes toxic crap, and then has a metal catalyzed reaction with pathogens’ iron and copper sites.

          If a virus has iron or copper in its protein coat, it is doomed by Fenton reaction after high concentration vitamin C. We live in a tropical jungle area with all kinds of nasty stuff – mossies with arboviruses, venomous insects, carrier bats, etc. IV vitamin C is handy for us. Others just go to the hospital for a few days or weeks, or the morgue.

          see these books
          Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C by Thomas E Levy MD

          Injectable Vitamin C and the Treatments of Viral and Other Diseases
          by Robert McCracken, PhD

      • David.
        An insult means nothing. Why bother?
        I have several years of accumulated articles on this.

        • I’ve read several negative replies to my post about acute scurvy.
          I wonder about a claim that people dying from the 1918 flu actually were poisoned by the very high doses of aspirin, a new super-drug them. Such high doses, along with the effects of flu, caused such complete depletion of vitamin C that the result was acute scurvy.
          Opinions here are worthless. This is an honest question. Does anyone really know?

          • I wouldn’t say opinions here are worthless. Most everything written here is an opinion of some sort, given that science is never settled. When future generations studying history read these comments in 100-200 years, some peoples opinions will be more verified and factual than we know now. The reason why I visit WUWT so often, is that I am very interested in everyone else’s opinion, since it help shapes mine. Personally, I believe larger doses of Vitamin C is helpful, and as a specialist urologist Dr just explained to me, taking a lot of Vitamin C really assists in reducing urinary tract infections. I forgot the reason why, but he told me get as much Vitamin C as possible, preferably from natural sources. Including Cranberry extract…

          • Earthling2 is right. I was wrong. Opinions are usually all we have. I still prefer informed opinions.

  4. They say in Australia some people have now tested positive.
    I am surprised that they already have a test here that can specifically identify 2019-nCoV.
    Maybe they are reporting anyone testing positive to any old corona virus travelling from Wuhan as positive.
    The media are desperate to stoke the hysteria.
    I an willing to bet there won’t be any deaths here in Australia.

    • They’re probably just testing for antibodies which gives so many false positives they might as well roll a dice.

        • Just wondering, whats the timeframe and workload involved in testing for this or any particular virus ?

          I’m guessing its more than just dipping a strip in fluid ? If thats the case, and considering the scale of new cases in Wuhan, I’d be prepared to wager that any tests currently being performed there will be random at best ?

          • I remember doing gel electrophoresis in my High School Biology class. Not sure how they do RNA identification today, but with the genome mapped I don’t think we’re taking a shotgun guess at the type of agent present when testing.

            No, it’s not as simple as testing for strep. Yes, it requires a certified lab to perform and confirm (thus, screening done at airports must be unnecessarily overly broad to do any good at all). No, the Aussies aren’t ALL dumbasses (just the forestry guys). My guess is they have this sorted based on the available data within an acceptable margin of error.

          • The technique used is RT-PCR which is extremely specific and sensitive. I have developed experiments using PCR and taught labs to students involving the technique. One person can conduct the test for as many as 100 samples simultaneously in an apparatus about the size of a Keurig coffee machine, usually takes a couple of hours.

    • Since it appears to have been spread to other countries via air travel, could it be an Eco-terrorism attempt to eliminate air travel in the name of CO2 reductions

      • “Never attribute to malice that which is easily explained by incompetence.” – N. Bonaparte

        Air travel is merely the fastest way people move about now.
        Transporter technology is nice in that it can screen out pathogens, but we are still working on it and it won’t be ready for some time yet. It will however, probably still require a lot of energy to operate.

    • The Chinese researchers had submitted the RNA sequence of the virus to international databases in the middle of January. CDC have already developed their diagnostic Test from that and I don’t for one minute presume that Australian public health authorities have been sitting on their hands waiting. A diagnostic test is straightforward once the genome is sequenced.

      The speed with which the Chinese published their sequence is the biggest question mark over the source, in my mind. Isolating an RNA virus in sufficient quantity for sequencing is not trivial – unless they knew what they were working on already.

  5. My wife is from Wuhan and has family and many friends there. The medical facilities are overwhelmed with patients which slows the process of identification and reporting. The virus also has a rather long incubation period of up to two weeks and those infected yet without symptoms can spread the virus making airport screening techniques inadequate.

    The numbers reported in the news are likely far below actual and many early deaths went unreported and undiagnosed so early estimates are just that. China has put in travel bans as far away as Beijing which leads one to conclude the serious nature of this epidemic. The cat is out of the bag because of so many travelers coming out of a city of 11 million along with the Lunar New Year celebration. Our daughter had a flight scheduled for Wuhan and fortunately we convinced her to cancel and fly home to the States.

    Many of the early healthcare workers contracted the virus even though they had gloves and masks. They now wear goggles or other eyewear. I know of one family that lost both parents from a sudden illness in early Jan which went untested because the information wasn’t out yet.

    • If you lock down a city of 11 million, how long until the food runs out? If you resupply, it’s not really locked down since the suppliers will be exposed.

    • Another thing there John is that despite over 49,000 Hospital beds apparently available in Hubei Province with “only” less than 3,000 affected people the Chinese Gov’t is building two new Hospitals over the next ten day’s or so. Why the need for two new Hospitals if the numbers of infected people are way below the apparent capacity of the existing bed count’s ?
      Around 50 million people are locked down, yet we are told that less than 3,000 people are infected ?

      The numbers are just not adding up, Here in Aus we were told today that there is still no direct evidence of Human to Human transmission while people are Asymptomatic, which is just pure Adult Male Bovine Excrement according to numerous reputable reports from other sources.

      Why is this not being treated with the same urgency as SARS or MERS ?

  6. The total has now jumped to 2900+ infected and 80+ dead. The R0 is much higher and the mortality rate is higher than reported in this now out-of-date essay.

    • yeah the rising confirmed and death rate is on par with Ebola already in a shorter time frame, but the cdc/who still arent actng?
      damn sight less died and H1N1 pandemic was declared
      it was useful to be able to push the crappy Tamiflu though
      the supposition they can have a vaccine in 6mths too?
      they stil dont have anythig for SARs or MERS and theyve had years to do so

      • “They” (who are we talking about?) don’t have much impetus to come up with a vaccine for a virus that got eliminated in a few months.

        Note that even if there was a vaccine for SARS, there’s no guarantee it would work for MERS or the Wuhan virus.

  7. “Nothing spreads like fear” is the apt subtitle on the film poster: so far 60 people died from the virus in China.
    In 2018 256,180 people died in traffic in China.

    • Eminent … Oh wait he does like the limelight from whistleblower to media spin doctoring. He has already been condemned and labelled as an alarmist by many (some of those on the very links you gave).

      Yeah I prefer my news from reputable sources who aren’t on a narcissist binge with the media.

      • 56 million people now quarantined by the Chinese government is fact, not speculation.
        There are actually several pictures online showing the berms hastily put up across roadways to prevent crossing.
        These are 3 foot high earthen walls stretching shoulder to shoulder.

        2,900 hundred infected as of this posting, but broad skepticism is being cast on these numbers.
        Both Bejing and now Shanghai are restricting vehicular movement and extending school closings.

        Will be mighty interesting to see what the coming weeks bring.

        • Social media in China has several reports of people “escaping” quarantine and the fever checkers by taking anti-fever medication and using alcohol wipes to cool their faces.

          Also, at least one highway shutdown came with an 8 hour lead time. A lot of people got out….

          The only skepticism I’ve seen from knowledgeable sources is that 2,900 is way too low.

    • Nick,

      Of course you love the wild speculation and take it seriously.

      “You can also see it featured on The American Conservative or Zerohedge.”

      The American Conservative article cited sources highly critical of his tweets. Zerohedge features daily nonsense about the doom of the day. Unless read carefully (distinguishing news from fantasy), it makes readers stupid.

      But of course you consider it a useful souce. Not a surprise in the least.

    • Stokes sez:
      Dr Ding is an eminent Harvard epidemiologist

      I have serious doubts anyone truly “eminent” (other than touted by the press) has come out of Harvard in a very long time. Harvard has long been a nest of marxist vipers.

  8. H1N1’s oink is proving to be far worse than its bite

    Toronto is gripped in a frenzy of worry about the dreaded “second wave” of H1N1 now scheduled for this fall. A severe “second wave” of H1N1 is possible, in the same sense that it’s possible the Blue Jays will win the World Series this year. Science and public policy need to look beyond possibilities and also consider probabilities. Our appreciation of probabilities should be based on evidence, not speculation
    The evidence strongly suggests that a severe “second wave” of H1N1 is very unlikely. It will almost certainly be merely the latest instalment in a growing list of pandemic false alarms.
    Let’s begin by putting this warning in some context. This is the fourth pandemic alarm in the past six years. The first three have been wrong.

    WHO’s credibility questioned as pandemic fears fade

    But as fears of a catastrophic pandemic wane, some medical experts are questioning the apocalyptic statements that have occasionally emerged from WHO’s otherwise subdued press conferences.

    “Sometimes some of us think WHO stands for the ‘World Hysteria Organization,'” said Dr. Richard Schabas, who was Ontario’s chief medical officer of health from 1987 to 1997. “There seems to be a culture at WHO where they’ve convinced themselves that a pandemic is such an imminent danger that they overreact.”

    Perhaps the most sensational statement by WHO came on April 29, the day the UN agency raised its six-point pandemic alert to phase five, meaning it believes a global pandemic is “imminent.” Calling on all countries to “immediately activate their pandemic preparedness plans,” WHO director-general Margaret Chan reminded the world: “it really is all of humanity that is under threat during a pandemic.”

    Ms. Chan qualified her remarks by noting the world is better prepared than ever before to fight a pandemic, and the agency was still gathering data to determine the potential severity of a swine-flu pandemic.

    Nevertheless, her “threat-to-humanity” quote hit the 24-hour news cycle with all the subtlety of a neutron bomb — triggering ominous headlines in newspapers and newscasts around the world.

    This week, WHO officials appeared to tone down their rhetoric in the face of mounting evidence the outbreak might be milder than originally thought. As of Friday, 44 deaths had been confirmed in Mexico, less than one-third the number of deaths suspected last week. Most cases elsewhere in the world have caused symptoms consistent with the seasonal flu.

    Ms. Chan has defended her statements, saying it’s her job to cautious.

    “I’m not predicting the pandemic will blow up, but if I miss it and we don’t prepare, I fail. I’d rather over-prepare than not prepare,” she told the Financial Times.

    • A note on Dr Margaret Chan: before being shoehorned into the WHO job she was responsible for grossly mis-managing the handling the SARS epidemic in Hong Kong.

      • I suppose a previous failure may prompt extra caution; however it does seem a strange qualification for elevation to a more important job

    • this winters flus in Aus were h1n1 and a B strain unnamed and it was savage and almost everyone got pnumonia as well from it
      I copped it and was seriously unwell
      second yr running too
      the vaccines were as good as useless as many ill were yearly vaccine takers.
      after 500+ died here they admitted the pnumonia following was the real problem for most

  9. Naked Capitalism? A left-wing scheme to construct and exploit monopolies and practices, established and normalized by single/central/minority/authoritarian ideologies. Divergent, probably. Monotonic, maybe. Is there a basis for a diversity (i.e. colored) or inferred characterization? Sociopolitically, yes. In principle, no. Well, it depends on the principles.

  10. This will turn out to be another nothing burger with freedoms sacrificed yet again. It is not particularly deadly at this stage. I dare say there will be billions to be made from the vaccination which will be hastily mandated with minimal safety checks.

    Thus, I will label it as scamdemic.

  11. Prognosis in viral exposure is usually worse for elderly & those with Type 2 diabetes. These people are more likely to have mitochondria hanging on in their cells that are not replaced/recycled in timely fashion.

    Diabetics (Type 2), for example, are prone to reduced auto-phagy (programmed cell component recycling). As such, the normal “house cleaning” is lax & impaired mitochondria are generating extra levels of reactive oxygen forms (ROS).

    Elevated ROS are a factor that increases the permeability of the membrane surrounding a mitochondria. And mitochondrial ROS contributes to viral pathogenesis factors getting from the cell’s general interior (cytosol) to right next to that cell’s nucleus.

    Corona-viruses’ cleaved viral RNA particles act inside human cells to create what is called an inflammasome; which, when gets to a mitochondria in a cell activates an inflammasome for what we get as acute symptoms due to pro-inflammatory cytokine formation/secretion.

    Corona-viruses cause our cellular store of calcium in the endoplasmic reticulum/golgi to be liberated. The virus also creates calcium permeable ion channels (viro-porins) which are attached to a mitochondrial membrane.

    Then, permeable to un-physiological amounts of calcium inside, the mitochondrial membrane potential falls. Those individuals with reduced auto-phagy of mitochondria let in more/faster calcium.

    Once a mitochondria transitions to being porous under elevated calcium influx mitochondrial DNA gets released into the cells general interior (cytosol). That mitochondrial DNA is a co-ordinator (2nd messenger) getting the enzyme active (capsase 1) which gets going the kind of cascade of pro-inflammatory cytokines creating the corona-viruses symptoms.

    Like Type 2 diabetics, the elderly are also commonly living with cells that when younger would naturally be cleared/recycled (auto-phagy); or at least cell components, like mitochondria, would be. Their upper respiratory tract are also relatively more susceptible
    to over load from pro-inflammatory cytokines with reduced clearance.

    Depending on the number of mitochondria made porous & the amount of mitochondrial DNA set loose inside the cell will influence the subsequent downstream pro-inflammatory cytokine production rate (while viral action liberating stored calcium & forming the inflammasome are upstream events of mitochondrial factors). My impression is the Wuhan corona-virus has a relatively slow onset of physical symptoms because it’s RNA cleaving is occurring slowly inside host cells & until those viral derived particles are set loose no inflammasome is created to start the pro-inflammatory cytokine formation cascade.

    • Thank you gringojay, your post had me up for a couple of hours as I researched the progression you described. I think it’s time for me to fast for a few days to hasten auto-phagy; human spring cleaning.

    • Cyclosporin A has lots of published research on it’s inhibition/suppression of corona-viruses. I won’t cite links, several free full texts are available on-line.

      One feature of cyclosporin A is that it acts on the mitochondria. Specifically, it shuts down the transition of pore forming through the mitochondrial membrane.

      The way corona-virus uses our mitochondria is insidious because our cells are target rich with 100 or many more mitochondria in each cell. One estimate is human adults have 40 trillion cells & in those cells a quadrillion mitochondria – they are really tiny enough that 1 billion mitochondria would be the size of a grain of sand.

      And then by letting into the cell interior (cytosol) quantities of loose mitochondrial DNA to factor in further processes the corona-virus is taking advantage of the fact that each mitochondria has 5-10 copies of it’s genes (in contrast to the cell’s nucleus mere 2 copies of DNA genes).

      While on the subject: mitochondria are shuttling energy (electrical “+” & ” charges) across it’s membrane using several staging areas (complex). The most leakage of free radicals (reactive oxygen) occurs at Complex 1; there is a cluster of Fe-S & interior Complex1 angstrom (1 angstrom is +/- the diameter of 1 atom) distances are large enough to permit electrons fluxing through the staging area’s configuration tunnel to go along another path,

      The reactive oxygen species (ROS) created is an oxygen molecule with a single unpaired electron; this is called super-oxide (O2*-) & is a cell signaling agent. It can form at that staging station Complex 1’s Fe-S cluster where Fe3+ gets an electron & creates Fe2+; Fe2+ is then capable of reacting with oxygen to generate the super-oxide reactive oxygen form.

      Back to the relevance of corona-virus, which as previously explained requires mitochondrial glitches to produce symptoms.

      Decreased flux of electrons through the actual mitochondrial membrane staging areas (complexes) leads to more super-oxide reactive oxygen leaks, that in turn lower the mitochondrial membrane electrical potential (ideally 150-200 milli-volts) & then a transition to membrane pore formation can occur. A side effect is reduction of protons being pumped across the membrane, which impacts the electrical charge gradient & that mitochondrial output of ATP energy goes way down.

      So again, who is most vulnerable to progress of the corona-virus: it is those with more vulnerable mitochondrial membranes.

      To those originally mentioned I will add people with extensive inactivity & confined to bed. They use less ATP, which upstream creates a rise in the mitochondrial membrane electrical potential, thus they can’t pump protons as easily & electrons pile up in staging areas (complexes); then the level of reactive oxygen formed builds up (fostering a transition to a porous membrane).

      By the way: I am skeptical mega-doses of anti-oxidant pills is a good way to ward off corona-viruses & potentially contra-indicated. This is because anti-oxidants also block signaling by reactive oxygen (ROS), including super-oxide.

      Mitochondria sense super-oxide status (levels) & when it is elevated transcription goes up of the enzyme (topo-isomer-ase 1) that is the integrative controller of proteins access to a mitochondria’s DNA. In particular, it is the oxidation of cysteine that is integral to increasing the production (bio-genesis) of fresh new mitochondria.

  12. Bottom line. China is unlikely to have put the brakes on its entire economy were they not seriously concerned.

    We’ll know by the end of this week if its going to be a pandemic, and being prepared, not that it takes much, will put one streets ahead of 90% of ones fellow burghers.

  13. There is good news and bad new with this particular virus.
    Firstly the bad
    100% of the population is susceptible
    Its now an upper respiratory virus with high transmission rate and asymptomatic spread. The original virus has most likely undergone genetic recombination with a human Coronavirus.
    Mortality rate is high if it spreads to the lower respiratory tract and causes pneumonia.
    Currently more hospitalised cases have died than recovered.

    Now the good
    Its a once off, If you get infected then you die or become immune. And infection doesn’t last long
    Its a membrane coated virus so disinfection with alcohol is effective. It doesn’t last long in the environment (5 days at ideal temp/humidity for sars)
    Its mostly kills old people 60+ like sars, so potentially less economic disruption than loosing working age population

    This virus is bad, but it should burn out quickly if you can lock people down for a couple of weeks.
    But we are a long way from stopping transmission.

  14. Extreme libertarians tell us that governments can’t do anything right, and that we should “starve the beast.” Conservatives also hate the UN. Here we see an example of strong government agencies – national and international – providing a vital service. These are underfunded, as a horrific pandemic would reveal.

    The question is always, how much is enough? Bureaucrats can always find a good reason to spend more money and to pile on regulations.

    In this case, education may be the greatest weapon. As Crispin noted above, our health system’s preparation for, and response to, this virus is much better than was its response to SARS.

    We need some bureaucracy to coordinate efforts. Otherwise, our defense capabilities should be local. Every hospital, doctor, and nurse, should be properly prepared and ready to deploy.

    • in spite of notices TO docs in Aus a confirmed patient here who did the right thing called ahead double masked himself was dismissed by a gp
      luckily he was smartenough to go to one of the bigger hospitals and got admitted.
      so unless the gps DO read warnings and act(they probably will now) cases can be missed.

  15. Anyone blame it on CAGW yet? An academic paper making even the most spurious of connections would be guaranteed lavish funding!

    • I’m elderly. Remind me to poke you in the nose if we ever meet. 🙂

      IIRC, one of the things that made SARS special was that it affected health care workers. As you point out, influenza carries away many elderly people every year. Nobody gets very upset. Something that affects the young and, especially, health care workers is treated like a national calamity.

      • I understand your personal anger.
        But sorry. You must die and clear place for next generations. The earlier you do that, the better for the human race.
        A healthy human race must have a high reproductive rate and reasonably short lifetime of individuals.
        The present mean lifetime of 80 years is a way too long. It must be reduced by at least 20 years.

    • Alex,
      Hate and indifference are corrosive, son. If you continue down that road, you will die alone and bitter.

      • This is neither hate nor indifference.
        A healthy race must have a high infant mortality and limited lifetime.
        The evolution demands for that.
        The civilization broke that rule and mutilated the human race.

        • You sound like you are channeling Nitze, (Or Hitler who tried to put Nitze’s philosophy into practice)

        • Alex,
          Nonsense. The reason we have the Internet, computers, cell phones, and all the other modern marvels is because we have more people than ever before. More people means more chances for geniuses to emerge, and more people to put the product of those geniuses to work. I wonder how many geniuses we have lost to infant mortality and other preventable diseases over the course of human history. It’s hard to believe that today someone can be so ignorant that they believe high infant mortality and short lifetimes are a good thing. I suppose as long as it’s someone else’s child or loved one that dies young, it’s serving evolution, otherwise it’s a tragedy that must be prevented, eh?

  16. It is interesting how much attention MERS, SARS and now the Wuhan Coronavirus get relative to the annual flu outbreaks.

    I think the reason is that they are much more deadly. The death rate from the flu is just a fraction of 1%. While the data is incomplete, it looks like the Wuhan Coronavirus is tracking to 3% or so.

    I think the experience with the Spanish flu is still fresh enough to make people very wary of new contagious viruses. When you see simulation work by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Johns Hopkins point to the potential of 65 million deaths from a corona virus outbreak it does make you wonder just how bad it might get. Also, the poor job the Chinese government did with the SARS outbreak doesn’t inspire confidence that they moved quickly enough to stop the spread from Wuhan.

    Given what we know so far it looks like the virus will burn through all the major Chinese cities. The fact that exposed people can be contagious for a week or more before symptoms appear makes it difficult to screen for.

    I am surprised that there haven’t been any reports out of Africa of the virus. This is where my fear lies in terms of human costs of the virus.

    It should also be noted that the Spanish flu was particularly bad for healthy young men as the virus set off cytokine storms that attacked healthy organs and tissues. While most of the time weakened immune systems are the problem, sometimes a strong immune system can be a liability.

    As an aside, I have followed Zerohedge since it started. There are a lot of very detailed and interesting posts by extremely knowledgeable people in the world of Finance. There is also a lot of junk that is just fear mongering and speculation. You have to pick and chose.

    I think by the end of the week we will have a much better handle of just how bad this outbreak will be. I think its way too early to judge the severity.

    • I am surprised that there haven’t been any reports out of Africa of the virus. This is where my fear lies in terms of human costs of the virus.

      From a 2013 URL I’ve posted elsewhere here:

      Myth #4: Poor or failed states pose a bigger infectious disease threat to the international community than stronger developing countries.

      Not necessarily. In his thought-provoking book, Weak Links, my colleague and a leading global governance expert, Stewart Patrick, argues that stronger developing countries such as China and Indonesia “may actually pose a bigger infectious disease threat to the United States and the global community than weaker states.” In these countries, the rapid economic development and land use change has significantly increased the chances of human exposure to natural hosts who are carrying novel and lethal viruses of zoonotic origin. Coronaviruses that were implicated in the SARS outbreak, for example, have been detected in multiple species of bats. As described in the movie Contagion, the eating habits in some countries make it more likely for a virus to jump from one species to another. Indeed, in Guangzhou in southern China, 20,000 wild birds are estimated to end up in the human stomach every day. The integration of these countries into the global economy means that a lethal virus can travel at jet speed to other parts of the world. It is no coincidence that SARS was first discovered in Guangdong, a highly developed province with a robust export sector, and arrived in Toronto before it first appeared in Beijing. It also came as no surprise that Cambodia and Myanmar, two of the least developed countries in Asia, were spared by SARS in 2003.

      • In 2003, Myanmar was very isolated. Cambodia had very little Chinese presence in 2003. In contrast, China has a huge presence in Africa today. My fear is based on crowded conditions in major African cities, the large Chinese contingent in Africa and lack of health care facilities. I hope I am wrong.

      • Thailand is getting some press as a hot spot for this Wuhan coronavirus spreading. It’s a major destination of Wuhan visitors & international air hub.

  17. I read an online article yesterday that indicated that when it was first realized how infectious the virus might be, local authorities hesitated to report it, fearfully waiting to learn how top governmental officials would react to the news. This is not surprising in a Communist country.

  18. – but society begins to collapse as a blogger (Jude Law) fans the flames of paranoia. -movie blurb. I have frequently thought Jude Law had that weaselly look appropriate for reporting panic attack stuff on the electronic media. But that’s just me.

    What I’ve pulled out of the media’s reporting locally is thus:
    – It can be spread by proximity, not necessarily actual contact, and the infected person does not have to be showing symptoms to spread it. This is called ‘being a carrier’ – no visible symptoms, but has the disease.
    – Once it starts to spread, it does so rapidly, but doesn’t show until people are actually showing symptoms.
    – It can infect other MAMMALS, not just Hoomans, which means leave the strays alone or call animal control to pick them up.
    – The media couldn’t get us interested enough in watching a puppet show so this will feed their need to spread bad information and get people into panicking.

    How many pandemic movies/books have we seen?
    – Andromeda Strain – outer space bug hitches a ride on a rocket and falls to Earth, dehydrating and quickly killing off its hosts, then goes back to space.
    – That silly movie about something like ebola fetching up in one small town, which Dustin Hoffman decides to bomb.
    – The Stand – superflu bug escapes the lab in the Rocky Mountains and is transmitted by the lab worker who ran like hell, not knowing he was carrying it, to other people, where it mutates quickly and wipes out almost all Hoomans on the planet. Kills off dogs, too, although some are immune. Oddly, no rats or other rodents seem to be immune, but there are Hoomans who are immune to it.
    – Survivors – A British TV series about a superbug that was supposed to be a one-size-fits-all vaccine for influenza, but was just the opposite, spread quickly and killed off people very quickly. Some people were immune, but most were not. Then it mutated and went into birds, including chickens (food!) and restarted itself.

    Not counting the “Aliens” series of movies, because that was about giant drooling ants created by an egocentric species to destroy Hoomans, which they are alleged to have created out of whole cloth, but the giant, drooling ants attacked them instead.

    There are probably more such stories, but the media love hyping the panicky stuff as much as they can. They must think they’re immune to whatever the “bug” may be. Disastrous epics are frequently their metier. They will milk this one to death. Count on it.

  19. That’s one interpretation. But consider:
    The ebola virus outbreak has a typical death rate of from 50% to 100%. Then there’s the the Hong Kong flu of 1968 with a death rate of about 0.5%.

    Thus, there have been many, many trial runs in the last 50 (fifty) years to teaching and train even the third world governments and their public health organizations how to handle contagious diseases so the reaction of the public health organizations should be considered as nothing more than “the norm”.

    The media has been in training all this time as well, honing their hysteria on the daily (it seems) hysteria of human caused global warming.

    And then there’s the Chinese government that has been honing their skills at controlling their population and in all likelihood using the Wu virus to primarily clamp down on the spread of dissent. Even the media has noticed and is calling it the “pause due to the Wu virus.”

    So, not much has really changed since powerful forces in governments and private enterprise taking advantage of the latest round of hysteria created by the cultures of fear.

  20. I’ve posted several thing on my FB timeline. Here’s a couple:

    These blokes are well placed to post real information from doctors in Wuhan. It’s 71 minutes long, but I watched the whole thing (you can skip the comments on the podcast commenters).

    What little faith I have in news from China is virtually destroyed. They really have no idea what the toll is, and they’re underreporting what they know.

    After that, I fully agree with this from 2013: especially:

    Myth #3: Government cover-up is no longer a major concern in the post-SARS era.

    Not true. The SARS crisis has forced the Chinese leaders to take steps to be more open and transparent in disease reporting and information sharing. Yet as shown in the 2008 hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) outbreak, local government officials found it difficult to adjust their existing behavioral patterns for crisis management, which still value secrecy and inaction. Similar communication problems also bedeviled the government’s response to the 2009 H1N1 outbreak. China’s SARS crusader Zhong Nanshan publicly expressed his distrust in government data on H1N1 fatalities. Political expediency continues to be put before epidemiological reality in sharing disease-related information with the public. The health authorities stopped updating the spread of H1N1 cases between September 30 and October 9, apparently fearing that reporting H1N1 deaths would ruin the celebrations planned for October 1, the National Day that marked the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.

  21. None of the deaths have been confirmed. The people lying on the floors of the hospital were tired from waiting to be “treated” – they were there all day. Simple questions like ““How do researchers actually isolate a new virus and identify it?” and, ***“What are the correct standards for proving a particular germ causes a particular disease?” were never answered. A vaccine miraculously appeared, just like with the Swine Flu. Remember the Swine Flu? I see just another fake flag, another psyops. This is about vaccines, not viruses.

    • So the Chinese government is causing billions of dollars in damage to their GDP, spending hundreds of millions constructing new health facilities, upset the lives of over fifty million citizens, and are killing people, to sell vaccines (which the rest of the world will not buy without extensive research and verification)?

      Hope you got a good sale when you bought your tin foil hat.

  22. My background as a scientist included statistical analysis of spread of infection. I have a friend who is a relatively new immigrant from China who had a biomedical background during the SARS epidemic he was involved. He was offered positions higher up in the bureaucracy but declined because he had decided (due to what he saw) that he was getting out of China and as a higher up in their system he would not be able to leave. He has several friends and extended family members in and from Wuhan. His personal assessment is this is a novel virus but it was also a horse long out of the barn and already widespread in the population and probably internationally. One women was sick in hospital for a month with this thing before it was identified and no precautions were being taken. An entire month is a lot of time to spread. Like regular flu and colds, it has a high mortality rate among those who require hospitalization for a secondary pneumonia. That is where the 4% mortality figure comes from. (This also fits the statements from the Canadian government officials which was 10% mortality among those hospitalized with secondary complications such as pneumonia.) Meanwhile the vast majority of individuals get what they think is a nasty cold and get over it. We’ve had a particularly bad cold/flu season here in my home province with more than 25% of students in school out with some really nasty bug that goes right into the chest. We are even speculating this may be the new coronavirus already long gone from China but undetected because it is just a nasty bug that most people get over without being hospitalized. As for the reaction in China, people are terrified. Most of the people packing the hospitals are not really sick, they are frightened out of their minds. They don’t trust the government because of the mess the government made with SARS. The government was hugely embarrassed internationally and their Chinese sense of honour took a really major hit. Their credibility at home also took a huge hit. So this time they are going to make damn sure they get it right. Hence the massive reaction which is likely an overreaction to a bug already out in the population. One other note of interest is the Chinese government had long ago declared the open air wildlife markets illegal but officials in Wuhan are corrupt and turned a blind eye to the markets. He predicts that this time, those markets will be shut down and permanently, cultural pressure and corruption not withstanding. He estimates the mortality rate to be about 0.2%. However he and I both agreed this is a new virus, it can mutate, it is too soon to know anything for certain. Preparing is therefore warranted. Stocking up on surgical masks with eye protection and gloves is a good idea and being prepped to handle being quarantined or self quarantining is also a good idea. This means a minimum of 14 days food, water and medical supplies in your house so you can close your doors and not go outside for any reason at all. Three months is better just in case it gets really bad. Prepping like this is just common sense not alarmism. Meantime, assume the bug is everywhere, wash your hands, no unnecessary travel and stay away from large crowds and places like hospitals and doctor’s offices unless you simply must go until we know better. If you have a preexisting health problem make that double avoidance. In other words, react sensibly just like this is yet another bad flu season.

  23. I love the way liberals think.
    WHO worked well this time. Therefore government and the UN are proven to be good things.

  24. Again, the MSM is blowing this coronavirus story wayyyyyyy out of proportion..

    To put things into perspective, 80,000 Americans died from influenza last year and 56,000 the year before that, while only about 100 Chinese have died from this coronavirus strain…

    The current coronavirus strain can only be transmitted by direct contact, and is not airborne.

    While its mortality rate is high at around 3%, there other Influenza strains with higher mortality rates and are more easily transmitted.

    BTW, the recent surge of flu deaths in the US is contributed to the 1,000,000+ illegal aliens who crossed our Souther border….build the damn wall—-of course the CDC nor the MSM will report this fact as it doesn’t fit with their agenda of open borders..

    • Did you know that 88,000, Chinese peopke die from the flu each year? No cities quarantined; no travel shut down; schools stay open; no new medical facilities built; business as usual.

      It’s not the MSM that is alarming (try as they might). It’s the extreme response of the Chinese government, despite their horrendous record for the health of their people, that is disturbing. They are clearly scared of this.


    For Jon Rappoport’s latest articles on the China virus, go to: They are worth reading.

    I am a ‘survivor’ of the Toronto SARS epidemic. Toronto was declared a no-go zone for tourists. Toronto doctors fled the city (brave souls), leaving sick and dying patients to fend for themselves. When a scientist wandered off the reservation and declared to the media that no one had actually been diagnosed with SARS (oops!) the hoax was revealed. Sounds pretty coordinated to me…

  26. This virus will not be “contained”. With an incubation period of up to 14 days and during some unknown part of that the patient is contagious, most of the infected people out there have not been discovered. Most will not even realize they have the disease and will recover naturally. U.S. borders are so porous (including airports) that it would require a miracle to keep this virus out.

    I have seen numbers (with no idea if they are correct numbers) that about 2% die from an infection. I doubt this is correct – I suspect its 2% of the identified hospital cases and most cases are never identified…so call it 2% of those hospitalized – likely somewhere near .02% (probably less) of those catching the disease. This would make it similar to a bad version of a Flu virus (if even that).

    The problem isn’t the virus in it’s current form, the problem is that it will mutate. Most likely it will mutate into a less severe form of the virus and just disappear into “no one notices it much”. There is always a chance it becomes more severe (like the Spanish Flu) and THAT is what keeps scientists up at night. Since it is likely not to be contained, we just have to deal with it. Until a vaccine comes out, the population is vulnerable to a deadly mutation.

    So what is the risk? The chances are very high this will be less severe overall than a pandemic Flu season. The chances are not zero but very low this could turn ugly. Other than basic hygiene and common sense (do not travel to infected areas, stay home if you are sick, wash hands a lot) there is nothing the average person can do about it. Worrying about a low risk you cannot control is pointless (like worrying about the next asteroid strike).

    There are (likely) thousands of other potentially dangerous viruses floating around out there we do not even know about. We find out about them when people get sick – so this will be a reoccurring theme. It’s like living with tornadoes in Texas – people new to our state will panic when a tornado warning is issued; people familiar with Texas weather get out the popcorn and watch the show, occasionally taking action when required. There is always risk, and you just learn to live with it.

    It doesn’t matter at this stage HOW the virus started (from a chicken, a snake, or a secret laboratory, probably Dexter’s) – it’s already spreading. We have time to figure out the genesis but slowing down the spread is more important at the moment. Summer weather will likely slow this virus down and possibly squash it entirely. Most airborne viruses do not like humidity, so cooler/dryer weather is preferred. And yes, I am guessing it will be spreading and making headlines until then.

  27. 2019-nCoV is more a case of pollution than the start of some pandemic, fear is always the thing with the fake media, that and the conspiratorial thinking of the losers of the world.

    Check out photo number #7…

    The influence of urban planning factors on PM2.5 pollution exposure and implications: A case study in China based on remote sensing, LBS, and GIS data

    “This study uses satellite remote sensing and location service data to measure PM2.5 pollution exposure in Wuhan metropolitan area and explores the effects of urban spatial structure, land use, spatial form, transportation, and green space on pollution exposure.”

    And then of course…more studies…

    Optical Properties of Aerosols and Chemical Composition Apportionment under Different Pollution Levels in Wuhan during January 2018

    The short-term effects of air pollutants on respiratory disease mortality in Wuhan, China: comparison of time-series and case-crossover analyses

    …there is more saying that the Wuhan, Hubei situation is pollution driven. Rather than an epidemic. Compromised immunity in highly oppressed people.

  28. The great thing about this novelCorona virus outbreak is that, for anyone who has the stomach to pay attention, it shows the utter helplessness of the public health community to control such a virus.

    I spent several hours yesterday and today listening to public health bigwigs from Ontario, Canada brag about how wonderfully prepared they are. But then a doctor from a suburban Toronto hospital mentioned that his hospital has been waiting for days for such simple supplies as masks and gloves.

    A few days ago, a specialist was crowing about having a positive 24 hour test for the virus available the next day. But it took 4 days for the national lab in Winnipeg to confirm the first suspected case in Canada. More concerning yet is the fact that the one confirmed infected person in Canada walked through all the thermometer gauntlets in China, was not flagged by the airline crew on the long flight from Guangzhou to Toronto, and was again passed through on arrival in Canada.

    Meanwhile, Canadian “experts” have lightly dismissed the Chinese report that this infection (unlike SARS) can be contagious during the incubation period of one to 14 days, a feat of incredible arrogance, given that the Chinese have thousands of confirmed cases to study, while the Canadians have barely one.

    With several thousand cases to investigate, the original source of the virus still hasn’t been identified. Does anyone really believe that all, or even most, of the Chinese cases are primary infections? Yet this is the only weak argument Canadian “experts” offer the public as reassurance that they’re not at risk.

    If we take all of the above factors together, there is nothing to stop the disease from spreading as explosively everywhere else in the world, especially since it’s happening during the regular flu season. If anything, the Chinese have a better chance of stopping it than the Western democracies. Lock down measures like those being used in China now are simply impossible to implement in North America or Europe.

    If we’re lucky enough to survive this situation, the first order of business has to be to remove the “what me worry?” medical bureaucrats that currently infest public health and civil defense agencies. I hoped the Fukushima and the fenugeek E.Coli contamination of 2011 would be a wake up call in this respect. But evidently not. I wonder how many more chances we’ll get.

    • Canada had a significant number of SARS deaths but the US had not a one for about the same number of case per capita. Draw your own conclusions about the effectiveness of single payer vs the imperfect US mixed system.

    • Lock down is impossible “because democracy” you say.

      Yet people (notably the pretend “conservative people” here) don’t object to mandatory STD vaccination for a child or baby.

      Or mandatory measles vaccination (measles is almost never deadly is advanced countries).

      So, lol. Huge lol.

        • Officially it works very well in France, the country known in the world for having the higher rate of vaccine skepticism and having almost as little respect for the laws as Italy (which is reasonable given the ineptness of “laws” and their ambiguities).

          Since it’s mandatory, you can’t know if people are vaccinated, because then they might (reasonably) lie to you. Hence you can claim success.

          But it might lead to a health catastrophe want parents who did not vaccinate their children don’t bring them to a doctor when they are ill, for (reasonable) fear of the vaccinestapo. The new generation of doctor is terrifying: people whose ancestors probably wrote letters to some germans and who also want to write letters. The culture of denunciation is still alive in France, and widely encouraged by the gov and its Trotskyist agencies.

          How many people have to die because of fear of doctors?

    • “If we’re lucky enough to survive this situation, […]”

      lol, so I take you you think we are goners…it a matter of pollution of one of the most polluted places on the planet rather than purported.
      Nearly all the cases of death are in the elderly, and elderly breathing in Wuhan smog on a day to day basis makes for a perfect opportunity for any virus.
      BTW, E coli? Many of its strains are harmless, in fact, a majority is and lives right now in your lower intestine.

      I think you meant Fenegreek…its a herb and used as a sprout and microgreen. Very nutritious and good for you…

      Fenugreek is a good thing for you, preferably as a living sprout or microgreen in your baloney sandwich. Much more nutrition than the baloney and the bread.

      “In a 100 g amount, fenugreek seeds provide 1,350 kilojoules (323 kcal) of food energy and contain 9% water, 58% carbohydrates, 23% protein and 6% fat, with calcium at 40% of the Daily Value (DV, table). Fenugreek seeds (per 100 g) are a rich source of protein (46% DV), dietary fiber, B vitamins, and dietary minerals, particularly manganese (59% DV) and iron (262% DV) (table).” -Wiki

  29. Sounds to me like its basically just a bad cold. But jumping hard on it early could slow it down enuf to prevent it from ever becoming a lot worse.

    Panic is counter-productive. Storing water, and storing foods you do eat are cheap insurance policies. Also have plenty of vitamin C–AND vitamin D. My fave vit D is Carlson’s brand lemon-flavored cod liver oil, which makes a great salad oil. I get a bottle every winter to reduce my susceptibility to whatever is “going around.” Gets me to eat my salads, too.

    • The latest mortality rate figure I’ve seen for novelCorona Virus (last night) is 3%, that’s a much higher death rate than the flu, never mind a cold.

  30. Seems we are focusing on the percentage of deaths. I seems so far that a large majority survive the infection and it is also possible that an even larger percentage have been infected and did not even realize it because symptoms were mild or non-existent.

    • That is the classic profile of most viral respiratory infections. Most people just go about their business and get over it especially in third world countries like the PRC. People don’t go to doctors unless they are deathly ill. After the last pandemic panic of a decade or so ago –remember the “deadly” bird flu scare?– virologists went back and reexamined the evidence from the 1919 pandemic. There conclusion was that the death rate was vastly overstated because the number of cases was understated. Virtually the entire population came down with flu. My father anecdotally confirmed this many years ago when I asked him how his family got through it all. He told me they all got sick but went to work and school because it wasn’t very bad for them. This virus will be pretty much like any respiratory virus. Only those with a compromised immune system will be a serious risk. Large numbers of people die in their homes in short order when a disease is truly deadly. I wouldn’t worry until you see that happening.

  31. Another myth recklessly propagated by Canadian public health authorities has been debunked by reports from Germany and Japan of cofirmed human to human transmission. The Japanese patient is a tourist bus driver who carried Chinese passengers from Wuhan.

    Another interesting about face is that today the Canadian Broadcast Network is reporting that there are 170 Canadians in the quaranteened Wuhan region (yesterday they reported only 68), and that they are “desperate to leave”.

    Yesterday the CBC reported that one Canadian was getting a lift out with American evacuees from the area, and that “no other Canadians have expressed any interest” in being evacuated.

    One has to wonder whether the CBC is allowing the Chinese government to edit its broadcasts prior to airing.

    The change in numbers can easily be explained by the Chinese government’s refusal to recognize dual citizenship for ANYONE. Thus, in its view, Chinese nationals who are naturalized Canadians are simply Chinese.

    What’s interesting in this case is the reversal of priority compared to the previous situation with the downed Ukrainian airliner in Iran. There, the CBC immediately reported that 63 Canadians had died, later reducing the number to 57, IIRC. Tehran reported only 7 Canadians on board, since they also fail to recognize dual citizenship.

    It appears that when Beijing says “jump”, the Government of Canada and its public new service say “how high”?

  32. What to do?
    Avoid crowds!
    Maintain six feet distance from anyone coughing/sneezing
    Standard surgical mask, some help
    N95 respirator, no beard, 95%, goggles,
    Wash hands, face
    Nasal spray, neti pot, saltwater solution
    Rest, fluids

    The Science?
    Vaccine recommended 6 mo. and up
    Three months away…end of April
    Antigenic drift may occur
    Frey, et al, 2010…6% got flu; 9% unvaxed got it
    Less effective for elderly
    Zinc…lozenges, tablets, syrup may help
    Vitamin C…small improvement
    Echinacea…not proven

    Antiviral meds…decrease time/symptoms
    zanamivir (Relenza)
    oseltamivir (Tamiflu)
    peramivir (Rapivab)
    baloxavir marboxil (Xofluza)

    Alternatives, on your own
    Oregano oil, Oreganol
    Silver hydrosol

  33. Yesterday’s French news services reported that 5 million people left Wuhan at the beginning of January (“au debut”) , probably a third to half of the work force. Particularly remarkable is the timing, given that government only allows a 7 day work absence for New Year, and that for the period Jan.24-30. Unless this is fake news, several million Chinese took a week or two of unauthorized absence from work without pay just before the quarantine was declared.

  34. The spread of the virus was caused by someone eating wild bats in Wuhan. This virus does not cause much harm to bats. The virus is mainly parasitic in cells. The heart of a bat can reach 1,000 times a minute when flying beat The body temperature also rises to 40 ° when it is active, but when it stops, the heart can quickly fall to a very slow rhythm, and a body that can lower the body temperature to 8 ° will cause the life of the cells to be very short. But the opposite bat’s cell regeneration ability is very powerful, the virus parasitizes in the cells and replicates the cells that have not been saturated before being killed and regenerating new cells. So this virus will reach a state of harmony and symbiosis in bats,
    But some people eat these wild bats and cause the virus to invade the human body. Since the virus itself is parasitic on the bat, it does not adapt to the human body. Then the body ’s immune system sends them to the surface of the lungs in order to kill the virus-infected cells, and it will increase the blood flow rate to enter a large number of white blood cells like the lungs to kill these virus-infected cells. Later, through CT photos, the lungs will turn white. The fever is only because your body’s immune system is fighting these viruses. But if you do n’t survive, you may be burned to death, but if you survive, Alright, and your body also has antibodies to the virus and won’t get infected again. Most of the deaths were elderly people who were physically weak, and there were more young people in the cured group because they were more resistant and could survive. I can’t speak English. This is a translator, so there may be some problems with the grammar.

    • Thanks for this update. The translation seems surprisingly coherent. Except for the words “consumed by someone”. I assume you meant consumed by “several people”.

      However, I don’t find your news reassuring. If the effect of the virus is as you seem to suggest, ie. illness and death is caused by the infected person’s immune system, as was the case with the Spanish Flu and is still the case with Hantavirus, then we should expect persons with strong immune systems to have the greatest mortality rate, in other words, primarly young, healthy adults. That would be the most devastating outcome.

      The fact that the Chinese reports available to date show that several patients died without ever having a fever, suggests that detection of the disease is a serious problem. The infection rate could be several times higher that shown by the proven cases, and stopping the spread may be impossible.

      Today’s report of one person infecting 15 others in Jiangxi Province is ominous.

  35. “Nearly all the cases of death are in the elderly”.

    Naturally – the elderly tend to have pre-existing illnesses, lower immunity, etc. so it makes sense that they will die ealier. Also that their illness will be detected earlier.

    Have just searched on ages of the dead, and it appears the Chinese authorities have throttled the flow of information in the last week or so, as the number of proven infections and deaths have increased dramatically.

    The only up to date site on this subject I’ve found is:

    which also provides links for news and medical reports on this aspect of the epidemic.

    One thing that strikes me is the number of official and news posts that emphasize the difference in this early death rate for novelCorona by using totally inappropriate comparisons (apples and oranges), particularly the “worldwide” or non-Chinese death rate for it compared to the worldwide death rate for SARS or MERS.

    The falseness of this comparison is quickly seen by comparing the death rate in Wuhan City (5.6%), to that elsewhere in China. Obviously, death rates in developed countries with highly developed health care facilities, and much lower population densities and much fewer cases to deal with can be expected to have lower death rates.

    The early death age statistics released by China are also deceptive, the youngest being 48, the oldest 89, and the median 75. Given the possibility that these early deaths were caused by consumption of the animal vector (more likely with older patients), that alone could explain the disproportionately elderly death range.

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