Wuhan Coronavirus—WUWT Update

Guest post by Rud Istvan,

ctm posted my longish scientific commentary written last Sunday on Monday. The situation is still rapidly evolving. Much more is now known than last Sunday. This updates my previous commentary and the general knowledge about Wuhan, adding new factual information plus additional research. For those interested, the WSJ online (paywalled, but I am a subscriber) has added a new coronavirus section tracking Wuhan daily news because of the importance to China and global supply chains. I rely on it here using today’s WSJ noon update.

A special h/t to previous commenters Robert of Texas and Nicolas McGinley, who added much to my previous post with many erudite comments.

Origins and precedents

Wuhan is the third known transmission of a respiratory tract coronavirus infection from bats via an intermediary mammal to humans:

SARS 2003: The following information is derived from a special WHO report. 916 deaths from 8422 total infections, mortality 10.9%. Not transmissible prior to onset of symptoms (cough, fever); main transmission days 4 and 5 after symptom onset. Mode of transmission mainly contact, with an R0 about 3. Bat corona via live civet intermediate to humans in a Chinese wet market.

MERS 2012: 779 deaths from 2229 total infections, mortality 35.5%. Not transmissible prior to symptom onset. Bat corona via live camel intermediate to humans in a Saudi Arabian camel market.

Wuhan 2020: to today at noon (2/13/20), about 1300 deaths in about 59000 diagnosed cases, with about 5000 full recoveries. The implications are discussed below. Bat corona via live pangolin to humans in Wuhan’s Huanan wet market (since permanently closed) in December 2019.

Wuhan transmission and clinical progression

Many more case reports are now giving a clear clinical picture.

Transmission route is either contact or inhalation (of real concern, because more flu like than cold like—even with annual flu shots influenza R0 remains about 2 because of flu vaccine issues covered in the previous post). Based on SARS and influenza, this means the likely Wuhan R0 is 3ish, so very contagious. The significant inhalation route is now shown by both the Diamond Princess cruise ship experiment (more below) and by the fact that ordinary surgical masks proved ineffective in the Wuhan hospital setting (JAMA, previous post).

Incubation period is 7-10 days from initial infection. The good news is that the 14-day quarantine adopted pretty much universally last week should therefore be effective (with a margin of safety) at Wuhan containment. But in most of Southeast Asia outside China, Japan, and Singapore, or in Africa should Wuhan spread there, 14-day quarantine will be difficult or impossible to maintain so the possibility of a pandemic remains.

The bad news is that Wuhan IS transmissible during some later part of the symptomless incubation period. The definitive clinical proof (there was comment debate about the reliability of previous post evidence from Japan and Germany) is an age 50’s UK male who attended an about 100 person sales conference in Singapore 1/20-1/22 2020. A single individual from Wuhan also attended this conference and was–per Singapore Wuhan containment policies– symptomless on arrival (no fever, no cough). That either symptomless or very early symptomatic individual transmitted Wuhan to the UK citizen in Singapore. The UK individual then flew to France for a 4-day family ski vacation 1/24-1/28 at Le Contamines-Montjoie. During the 4-day vacation the UK male remained symptomless (entire incubation time Singapore plus France at most 8 days) but transmitted Wuhan to 11 other individuals, 5 later diagnosed in UK (family and friends), 5 later diagnosed in France, and 1 later diagnosed in Spain. Clearly this case is NOT family close proximity contact transmission. This case may be a “super spreader” outlier, BUT it means a symptomless R0 as high as 11 cannot be ruled out, with a symptomless transmission period of several days. By comparison, the R0 for measles (absent vaccination) is 12-18, so a horrific Wuhan symptomless R0 of 11 is within the realm of actual possibility.

This is VERY bad news, as the formal CDC guidance on URI’s is that transmission risk is highest with peak symptoms (equating to peak virion shedding)–as was the case with SARS. Not so with Wuhan, reinforcing the public health necessity of strict 14-day quarantine.

Disease progression is standard common cold symptoms for 7-10 days with one exception–used since yesterday for clinical diagnosis in Hubei Province, as both the Chinese and the experimental CDC US test kits are showing significant problems with a high rate of false negatives. Common colds from over 120 distinct serotypes from all three viral families (RNA naked Rhino, RNA enveloped Corona, and DNA enveloped Adeno) all evidence the same three symptoms: runny nose, sore throat, and cough. Influenza adds two: fever and muscle ache. Wuhan clinically shows four: runny nose, sore throat, cough, AND fever—but NOT muscle ache. As of today, Hubei switched to clinical diagnosis and today’s ‘new’ diagnosed Wuhan cases were 14840. Yesterday, using only test kits, it was 1638. This is not a leap in cases; it is a leap in diagnostics.

Unfortunately, this new fact means Wuhan has previously (as suspected but now proven) been severely under diagnosed and reported. And that unfortunately means the 1300 attributed deaths were also severely underreported. More on presently inferable mortality comes in a following section.

Wuhan then makes a now well-established clinical bifurcation. In 75-80% of cases, by symptom day 10 there is a normal ‘corona cold’ recovery lasting a few days. (In my own case last week, 3 recovery days in total, days 9-12 from symptom onset.)

In 20-25% of cases, by symptom day 10 Wuhan progresses to lower respiratory tract pneumonia, where death may occur with or without ICU intervention. The percentage of these deep pneumonias that are viral as opposed to a secondary bacteria infection is not known, but the NEJM clinical case report from Washington State discussed in the following paragraph strongly suggests viral (like SARS), not secondary bacterial treatable with antibiotics.

The new NEJM case report is so important it is summarized here because it leads to a hopeful culminating section below. The Seattle Wuhan case evidenced x-ray diagnosed lower respiratory tract pneumonia from days 9-11 from symptom onset. Supplemental oxygen was started day 9. IV antibiotics were started day 10 to no effect, so discontinued after one day. Importantly (more below), experimental antiviral remdesivir started day 11 by IV under a compassionate use exception, and the deep viral pneumonia fully resolved (per x-ray diagnosis) within 24 hours!

Diamond Princess ‘lab’ experiment

On Sunday, reported cases were 69 out of about 3700 total ship passengers and crew. Japan was removing people from the ship to hospital isolation as soon as symptoms (fever) showed, so the cruise ship became a somewhat artificial (close quarters) symptomless R0 experiment.

As of today, the ship’s website reports that 218 passengers have been positively diagnosed from 713 tested, all removed to hospital isolation. About 3500 passengers and crew remain on board as the ‘experiment’ continues. This suggests symptomless Wuhan R0 is greater than 2 (37 new cases per day for four days among a symptomless about 3500- 3600) and could be, like SARS, 3ish. Except SARS transmission was after symptom onset; this is before.

Per its website, ship offered today to begin removing symptomless passengers to shore quarantine at their expense, or to remain quarantined on the ship at Princess expense. In either event, full cruise refunds have been made.

Inferable Mortality

The news here is not good. We have mostly very poor data; both Hubei incidence and mortality were now provably severely under reported. But we do have one piece of usable comparable information. 1300 mortalities and 5000 recoveries amongst those who tested positive from the false negative test kits used until yesterday (the majority of cases have not yet resolved one way of the other). In the end, when the disease has run its course, there are only two outcomes: recovery or death. On the test kit basis, the mortality could be as high as 26%. That is horrible but not impossible since MERS was almost 36%.

My own ‘hunch’ is that Wuhan in the end will come in about 10% mortality; the mechanism is lower respiratory tract viral pneumonia just like 2003 SARS and the 1918 ‘Spanish flu’. There is no reason to think the mortality outcome would differ greatly from a very similar clinical mechanism.

Vaccine possibility

For sure, not any time soon.

The degree of difficulty is explained by the structural nature of Wuhan and its reproduction method. It is an enveloped non-segmented positive sense single strand RNA of about 30kb (the largest of any virus). The genome reads from the 5’ end. It first codes for (along about 20kb) the RNA protease ‘polyprotein’ that hijacks the host cell and causes replication. The remaining ~10kb code for 4 viral proteins separately needed to finally reassemble viable Wuhan virions: S, the pronounced spike from the envelope that gives the corona virus its generic name and enables further cell infection; N, the nucleocapsid (the capsid protein around the RNA core); M, the envelope membrane protein, and E, the envelope protein that protrudes from M but not nearly as far as S.

The obvious vaccine antibody targets are primarily S and secondarily E. That is no different than H and N in influenza. Unfortunately also like influenza, in SARS it has been shown that both S and E undergo RNA transcription error mutation, and at higher rates than one might suspect from the specifics of RNA coronavirus. Thus, like influenza, it may not be possible to develop a general Wuhan vaccine, only one of limited effectiveness against circulating virus that Wuhan will then mutate around.

Drug therapy

Here, the very new news is hopeful. Gilead Science developed remdesivir for enveloped non-segmented negative sense single strand Ebola virus. In emergency human clinical trials in Africa, it proved safe but not effective. It has shown good in vitro efficacy against SARS and MERS. And the single NEJM case report above has a definite positive proof of principle human outcome.

Based on this, China has announced a full-scale random double blind placebo controlled trial in 761 patients. As of this writing China reports successful synthesis of sufficient remdesivir active, so human testing begins today.

Of note for potential future Gilead/China intellectual property conflicts, China announced yesterday that it has applied for a patent to use remdesivir to treat human Wuhan. WUWT?

Updated WUWT conclusions

Is Wuhan a serious public health concern? Yes.

Is Wuhan a serious pandemic threat? Not yet.

If containment mainly to China via travel restrictions and 14-day quarantine can be enforced, it is probably not a pandemic threat ever to North America or Western Europe or Australia. Africa and Southeast Asia outside China, Japan, and Singapore need careful watching. And as with 2009 Swine flu, South America will be hit or miss.

Is 14-day quarantine effective? Yes.

Is a vaccine on the horizon? No.

Is a drug therapy on the horizon? Yes.

312 thoughts on “Wuhan Coronavirus—WUWT Update

  1. “… today’s ‘new’ diagnosed Wuhan cases were 14840. Yesterday, using only test kits, it was 1638.”

    I think there’s something wrong with these figures — either that, or I’m not understanding what’s being said.

    • You are not understanding, they changed the way the are diagnosing and found that the they were way under diagnosing the cases, the test kit method was not effective.

      • Application for Patent…DENIED…China shall not profit from potential pandemics caused by their preferred eating styles and shoddy methods of treating their people

        • I don’t know any details on this case, but in general patent claims are rarely allowed under 1st review and application processes themselves are long and drawn out affairs.

      • I’m not sure I actually believe that. It seems to me that the importance of this “crisis” increases with the number of cases, which means more money for the people ‘fighting’ the crisis.

    • Christopher Simpson: “I think there’s something wrong with these figures”

      WR: There has been an administrative change in the system of reporting the number of cases. Not all patients could/can be tested or showed if tested a false negative result which is possible even while showing clear signs of corona. The tests are not perfect. By including ‘clinically diagnosed but non proven corona patients’ which so far only changed in the province of Hubei (!) the local system can react better on potential patients.

      This administrative change caused a high surge in the number of officially reported cases. Later there were some explanations and corrections. See:

      “The total number of cases reported by China now includes “clinically diagnosed cases.” These are patients who demonstrate all the symptoms of Covid-19 but have either not been able to get a test or are believed to have falsely tested negative.

      Fisman said this was a positive move by the Chinese health authorities. “They should be applauded for that because they’re casting the net wider to try to do a better job of controlling spread from people who may not have a firm diagnosis yet,” he said.”
      Source: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/13/asia/china-numbers-novel-coronavirus-intl/index.html

      WR: The corrected numbers for Hubei Province for February 13 for confirmed NEW CASES and for new deaths are:

      Report from Hubei province for February 13:
      • 4,823 new cases (including 3,095 clinically diagnosed)
      • 116 new deaths (including 8 clinically diagnosed).
      • 51,986 cumulative total cases (including 15,384 clinically diagnosed)

      • 36,719 currently hospitalized, of which:
      – 27,081 (73.8%) in mild condition
      – 7,953 (21.7%) serious
      – 1,685 (4.6%) critical

      • 690 new hospital discharges (including 214 clinically diagnosed)

      • 166,818 close contacts have been tracked
      • 77,685 people are undergoing medical observation
      Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#feb-14

    • I understand it to mean that the Chinese doctors have reassessed previous “negative” diagnosed patients with a “positive” diagnosis for the infection based upon the new revised diagnostic assessment protocol.

    • “The new method of counting is with CT scans (computed tomography scans) of the chest.  These scans are used to diagnose standard traditional lung diseases, like pneumonia.  And pneumonia is called THE “coronavirus illness.”  Deaths from pneumonia in China, appear to be 300,000 per year / 3 million per decade & occurred in time periods before the purported emergence of the new coronavirus. Pneumonia has been around forever.  A test for ordinary pneumonia—CT Scan—now becomes a test that delivers a diagnosis of “new epidemic coronavirus.” 

      Ordinary pneumonia has many causes listed in medical literature—bacteria, fungi, various viruses. You can add in massively polluted air, which hangs over major Chinese cities, such as Wuhan. No “coronavirus” needed.  In the rush to diagnose as many people as possible, we have this fake method of counting cases.  More grist for the propaganda mill, for inducing fear, obedience to authorities, and more profits for drug and vaccine makers.  Remember, many patients diagnosed with SARS and Swine Flu didn’t have any trace of the virus either.”

      • But air quality is greatly improved during the Chinese New Year because factories shut down and power demand is greatly reduced.

        Further, the pneumonia is viral, not bacterial, not fungal. This corona virus is real.

        • Yes the Corona virus is real and in a certain number of cases proceeds to pneumonia. However not all pneumonia cases in China are Corona cases. So China will go from under reporting to over reporting.

      • So now a diagnosis of pneumonia without a test qualifies as coronavirus? That’s what they did in Africa for AIDS. Traditional diseases like pneumonia, tuberculosis, etc were diagnosed as AIDS without antibody or PCR tests for HIV being done. It was just assumed that those normal diseases were now AIDS. Why? Money. Increased AIDS cases created more funding from world public health organizations.

        So the prudent and intelligent question to ask now is, how many of these pneumonias fall outside of normal pneumonia occurrence? Lot’s of things cause pneumonia.

        On average Chinese have a vitamin D deficiency. Vit D moderates immune response, minimizing things like the lungs filling up with fluid when they are under oxidative stress. So what is the genius public health response? Quarantine everyone indoors where they will get no sunlight, and consequently, no Vitamin D from sunlight. People aren’t starving, but there is less access to food, and consequently less good nutrition available. Add to that, I think they’ve lost something like 25% of their pork supply due to the swine flu (or whatever it was). So those folks may not be getting the nutrition they need to maintain optimal health, especially vitamin D.

        You mentioned the massive air pollution. Folks really should image search “Wuhan air pollution” to get an idea of how much their respiratory health is compromised there. There’s nothing like it in the West. It has at times had the worst air quality in China.

        And then there’s the fact that 68% of Chinese men smoke cigarettes; another huge negative load on their respiratory systems. Has anyone seen a breakdown of cases/deaths according to gender (only 3% of women smoke)?

        And then there’s the 10,000 node 5G network in Wuhan that was completed in Dec 2019, just when the coronavirus thing began. Lots of health concerns there. How much are their immune systems being compromised by that? Honest question to ask.

        So with all of these anomalous environmental and nutritional stressors, I’m putting my money on this thing not going beyond the borders of China to any significant degree.

        • Excellent summary by – Rud Istvan

          The Director of the US Centers of Disease Control stated on CNN that he believes that the Wuhan Virus is no longer stoppable and it will develop into community based transmission.

          It is logical that the death rate from the Wuhan Virus would be lower in the US due to less smokers and less people with respirator damage due to pollution….

          … that does not stop, however stop the virus from spreading and reaching let say a country in Africa where it cannot be contained.

          The problem in the case of the Wuhan Virus is the number of cases (easy to spread), the delay in symptoms (a carry may not know they are a carrier), and the fact there are some people who have a mild cases (in Africa where there are no testing kits and getting fevers is common) that increases the chance of the virus becoming a community based disease ….

          ….. coupled with the amount of air travel between China the rest of world. For example there are six direct flights a day from China to Ethiopia from four different Chinese cities.

          From discussions concerning SARS it was stated when the number of cases reaches over a 100,000 it is not possible to completely stop the disease.


          Right now we’re in an aggressive containment mode,” CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield told CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta in an interview on Thursday.

          “We don’t know a lot about this virus,” he said. “This virus is probably with us beyond this season, beyond this year, and I think eventually the virus will find a foothold and we will get community-based transmission.”

          The other issue is that an RNA based virus will continue to mutate which means there will never be a perfect

          Unfortunately also like influenza, in SARS it has been shown that both S and E undergo RNA transcription error mutation, and at higher rates than one might suspect from the specifics of RNA coronavirus. Thus, like influenza, it may not be possible to develop a general Wuhan vaccine, only one of limited effectiveness against circulating virus that Wuhan will then mutate around.

          • Children are hardly affected by coronavirus. Mostly males between 50-65 are affected. Children haven’t been smoking for 30-45 years like 50-65 year old men who started smoking in their 20s have.

          • Also, the thymus shrinks with age, reducing T-cell production. T-cells are the immune system agents that destroy virii. So with age comes a potentially weakened immune system. There’s very little zinc in food, and zinc is essential for T-cell production. Build up the thymus with zinc supplementation so that there’s always enough T-cells on call to rip the little virus bastards to shreds when they show up, before they can cause too much damage.

          • The 1st 68% you mention is 68% of men smoke (32% of men don’t smoke.) The 2nd 68% you mention is 68% of early cases are men (32% of early cases are women) Purely coincidence, no causation or correlation can be implied from this data.

          • You do know that “virii” is not an actual word?
            Viri has been used humorously in the jocular sense WRT computer viruses in some circles.
            Virii might be the plural of the word virius if there was such a word.
            What are the plurals of campus, or bonus?
            Medical Latin generally sticks to correct grammatical Latin.
            Just sayin.

          • a1smith, yes, but those figures do signify 1) more men than women (to a very large degree) engage in behavior that is known to severely damage lung tissue and overall health, and 2) men are twice as likely to get pneumonia from the corona virus that apparently targets lung tissue.

            Yet both groups suffer lung tissue damage equally from severe long-term air pollution, excepting children, who haven’t lived long enough to incur the same cumulative damage. So we see twice as many men, the group with greater impaired health from smoking, getting pneumonia, compared to women. and children hardly getting sick at all.

          • icisil – You state:

            “Yet both groups suffer lung tissue damage equally from severe long-term air pollution, excepting children, who haven’t lived long enough to incur the same cumulative damage.”

            How do you know that men and women (of the same age) in that area have the same exposure to the air pollution? There multiple confounding factors – how much time they spend outside, what type of job they have, where they are outside, whether they lived there all of their life, etc.

        • RE: “blockquote>Folks really should image search “Wuhan air pollution” to get an idea of how much their respiratory health is compromised there. There’s nothing like it in the West.

          I think it’s every Chinese city. My daughter taught school in Xian, and had to wear a face mask even for her short subway rides with all the other be-masked morning and afternoon commuters. Then she taught in Beijing, where … well, same thing. As far as I know the paper masks were designed and work well for particulates characteristic of so many dusty jobs, not so much for smoke or fumes of any kind, and probably minimally effective against vapors.

          • “There’s nothing like it in the West “
            – Nowadays.

            Now, when I were a little chap in London, 1952, we had a smog like that.

            The beginning of the end of the Pea Soupers, thanks to the subsequent Clean Air Acts. (The first being pushed through by Cross Party Back Benchers, not the Government.)

          • Smog was just as bad mid 60’s in Birmingham UK, must have been even worse just up the road in the Black Country where the heavier industry was located.

          • They’re dystopian. There’s no way we can get a realistic determination of this corona virus’ virulence based on an affected populace that lives immersed in that kind of respiratory toxicity.

    • “MERS 2012: 779 deaths from 2229 total infections, mortality 35.5%. Not transmissible prior to symptom onset. Bat corona via live camel intermediate to humans in a Saudi Arabian camel market.”

      In some societies, MERS is an STD. They must quarantine the camels.

    • I found the article interesting, but you point out a major glaring mistaken assumption. Having dealt with Chinese officials over the past 20 years, I would not give any credence to their official figures of infections or death. Just look at what happened to the original Chinese officials – they’ve been deep-sixed. Most people are naive at how heavy handed the Communist Party’s political influence is when events like this occur. These officials will hide everything to put on a happy face to the rest of the world. I guess, this is a long winded way of stating these numbers are meaningless and so is this article.

    • ..and more thank yous Rud…..thank you for this update

      My fear….Mexico, Central America, Caribben…and even South America
      …they have no way to treat this effectively….quarantine
      and if it gets there….we have no way of stopping the millions of people that will try to come here

  2. “China announced yesterday that it has applied for a patent to use remdesivir to treat human Wuhan. WUWT?”

    Since remdesivir has already been used to treat Wuhan, and this has been described in the open literature, such a patent would be disallowed under the “existing knowledge” rule.

    • In the US there is a one year grace period. File before the year is up and you can get the patent, assuming all other requirements are met.

      • Used to be first to invent, now it’s first to file but public disclosure made before filing can invalidate later applications. All of this is addressed by the Patent Cooperation Treaty.

        • Public disclosure (by the inventors) in the US can invalidate later application – you have 1 year to file after public disclosure. In other countries, public disclosure ends ability to file.

          In ALL countries, public disclosure by someone else ALWAYS ends ability to file because it is prior art and was “invented” by someone else.

        • Actually it was the America Invents Act for that caused the US to move from a First Invent to a First to File system.

    • I think most nations also have provisions for ignoring patent restrictions when national security becomes an issue.

  3. Very intriguing remark :
    “Gilead Science developed remdesivir for enveloped non-segmented negative sense single strand Ebola virus.
    Wuhan is an enveloped non-segmented positive sense single strand RNA of about 30kb (the largest of any virus). The genome reads from the 5’ end. ”

    Please clarify – are we dealing with some kind of opposite chirality in both cases?

    • Good question;


      Doesn’t really matter though in terms of viral targets – e.g. the protease. The amino acid sequence is what it it is, however it gets to be a protease enzyme.

      I would write more, but it would only get confusing re coding sequences as you may know.

      I’m an industrial molecular biologist. Synthesizing “coding sequences” is my day job and that’s what we call them, even though they are the complement of what the tRNAs read.

      Sorry I broke the rule of don’t use Wikipedia as a reference.

        • Not even that. One page claimed that some bombs created an implosion by sucking up oxygen. A real negative explosion. LOL

          • There are something like 48,000,000 articles in Wikipedia.
            Some on the controversial topics are known to be written and edited by people with known biases.
            Others are regarding subjects that are not at all controversial, although this hardly means that nothing in any particular article is universally agreed upon.
            But to cite one detail of one article, by way of dismissing the value as reference material for 48,000,000 articles, without even quoting a sentence, makes it fairly clear to me why you are unable to comprehend something complicated and nuanced like immunology.
            Even if the criticism you make had merit, which it seems not to, that is not even a good reason to dismiss the rest of the one single “page” you mention.
            Anyone who knows how to interpret what they are reading knows one has to look at the sources off any information, especially one that is crowd sourced. Some passages in some article are not sourced, and are edited by numerous individuals hundreds of times a day.
            And of course, no one could find controversy on a subject like fuel air explosions…or anything else to do with warfare or munitions…is that the logic?
            Why not give your thoughts, NG, on the subject at hand: Do you have some criticism of the explanations presented regarding the question about chirality and sense vs antisense RNA?

          • An explosive reaction that causes an implosion by sucking up air?

            That’s ridiculous. Does not even pass the smell test.

            The fact you can’t see as ridiculous just shows how ignorant you are of chemical and physical science.

            Also, I’m not following your link. WP is a swamp and I’m not reading the page.

            CS pages also suck pretty badly.

          • As always, you utterly missed the point.

            Does the chain chemical reaction sucks up O2?

            Nope. Never. Preposterous.

          • That was not any part of what was being discussed until you brought it up as a non sequitur reason for believing that Wikipedia could not be trusted for reference even in the case of non controversial subjects.
            Of course this is the sort of reasoning you used to dismiss all of medical science.
            You make some claim which is made up in your own mind, dismiss it as wrong, then by extension dismiss anything having any relation to that subject.
            Just as I knew you were lying when you said you were done replying to my comments, I know it is impossible for you to learn anything, agree with anybody, or demonstrate any understanding of any subject whatsoever.
            Here you are, interjecting pointlessly, commenting nonsensically, going off on tangents obtusely, and dodging questions predictably.
            And here we all are, either ignoring you, or wondering if you will ever, even once, say one single thing, write one single sentence, that is either intelligent, interesting, or funny.
            One can make incorrect arguments intelligently, or spin tall tales of pure malarkey that are at least interesting, or make a fool of oneself in a humorous way.
            Just not you.

          • And incredibly, you now claim that a fuel air explosion does not consume oxygen.
            Your case for being elected Dumbest Jackass on the Planet is getting stronger every minute.

          • NG,

            How about looking at the sources cited by Wiki?




            I’m surprised that anyone alive today with the least interest in current events could have missed FAEs.

            Look up BLU-82B bomb, nicknamed “Daisy Cutter” in Vietnam, dropped by C-130.

            Its modern replacement is the MOAB:


          • “non sequitur reason for believing that Wikipedia could not be trusted for reference even in the case of non controversial subjects.”

            Just because you can’t follow a simplistic argument doesn’t make it wrong. It just makes you look silly.

            “Of course this is the sort of reasoning you used to dismiss all of medical science.”

            Nope. You lie. You made that up.

            “You make some claim which is made up in your own mind, dismiss it as wrong,”

            Nope. You lie. You made that up.

          • “How about looking at the sources cited by Wiki?”

            Thanks you for pointing out WP relies on a news article as scientific source…

          • NG,

            Do you really want to deny that FAEs consume oxygen?

            What part of “air” don’t you understand?

          • John, Nicholas: you are dismissed.

            I took the most simple and obvious example of a patent nonsense from WP and you sided with WP. You are incapable of following any science discussion and even of understanding English. Also you are arrogant, dismissive, silly, inept, insufferable.

            I give up on you.
            GO AWAY NOW

    • It is not a question of chirality.
      At least that term is not used in this context.
      Chiral molecules are identical except to the handedness of the assembly.
      Two DNA strand are complimentary, with opposite base pairs on the homologous strand section.
      The two strands of a DNA molecule are not mirror images of each other.
      Negative vs positive sense has to do with whether the viral RNA is in the form of a template for protein synthesis, or if it is the complementary strand. The opposite sense strand is used to make this translation- ready mRNA.
      mRNA that is the correct configuration for translating directly into amino acid sequences is used to define positive sense, by convention.

    • Here are a few pictures that illustrate the genetic code, transcription, and translation.
      Three base pairs define one codon, and certain codons correspond to specific amino acids.
      To make the mRNA which contains the codons for a protein being synthesized, the opposite sense strand must be used.
      In humans though, both strands of DNA have segments that are used for transcription, and sometimes a strand is read in both directions.

  4. And once again you are avoiding the fact the flu vaccine is considered one of the most inept and useless of all recommended vaccines. There is zero evidence it’s useful for any target group.

    • Maybe, maybe not. I get a flu shot every year (and currently get the high-potency shots, since I’m over 65). I don’t know if I’ve ever had the flu, since I never experience muscle aches, and don’t get a fever when I have a cold or flu-like illness. But I’m very susceptible to getting colds/coughs. I’m afraid if I contract the coronavirus, I’ll be history. BTW, I take every immunization offered to me, because I think it may make my immune system more effective.

      • You might have been protected by the vaccine.
        You might have had influenza without noticing it and you might have been contaminating others, possibly causing more dangers to others than if you never had a vaccine.
        Nobody knows.
        The vaccine may be beneficial for some and harmful for others.
        The vaccine may create “herd immunity” and or it may weaken it.

      • If flu vaccine reduces my chance to getting the flu by 30 percent, it’s worth it to me. I have asthma and do not want complications from flu. Does flu vaccine also reduce severity of flu?

        • What if the vaccine makes you sick for a week with a “flu”? (extremely common case and shameful event for MD who promote the vaccine)
          What if it makes you vulnerable for many months?
          What if it wrecks your immune system?
          What if it gives a lifelong debilitating illness?
          Why are you willing to take such risks for vague potential to decrease a risk from potential exposure?

          What other untested and objectively defective drugs are you willing to test?

          If you are willing to risk your life, why don’t you get paid for it?

          • There’s a small chance it could save someone’s life. For sure like the lottery, you won’t win if you don’t play.

          • The flu vaccine destroyed the lives of many children, so there is that.

            The children did not have a word on that. They never chose to “play”.

          • Guy,

            Please state which kids’ lives were ruined by flu vaccine?

            Had there been one in 1957, when I was six, my life would have been greatly improved.

          • The flu vaccine at the worst will give you a sore shoulder an a bit of a fever the next day.
            It protects you against the strains in the shot for many months. It doesn’t protect you against strains that aren’t in the shot.
            It boosts the immune system.
            It gives no illnesses.

            I don’t know where you go for your paranoia, but you really should try cutting back.

          • I have never understood comments like “wrecks your immune system”. It is simply not possible to wreck your immune system by challenging it to function in its usual fashion. In fact it has the opposite effect. You’re scaremongering and spreading false information.

          • He just makes stuff up.
            He is either a troll, or completely uneducated at a level that would allow one to make even a weakly supported opinion.
            So far dozens of comments and little but insults and plainly false assertions.
            Not one word that has moved any conversation forward or attempted to supply information, or to gather any.

            He must be a child.
            No one who has any sense of mortality, or has known anyone who ever died of an infectious disease, or who ever had their life saved from any medication whatsoever, could ever make the sort of idiotic and paranoid statements and just plain jackass questions we see here.

            I would like to know what sort of person enjoys making a fool of themselves in such a way, in such a place as this forum?
            My guess is there are few places in the world where one is less likely to successfully BS anyone.

          • “The flu vaccine at the worst will give you a sore shoulder an a bit of a fever the next day.”

            Not true. Why do you deny the victims of the “pandemic” flu vaccine?

            What are your sources? You evidence?

            You have none. You also have no qualification in that area.

            It’s common knowledge that many people fall sick for a week with “the flu” after vaccination. Even vaxxer accept that fact. You even deny officially recognized SE. My God.

            Please suppress the insulting messages. This thread is bad.

          • “It is simply not possible to wreck your immune system by challenging it to function in its usual fashion”

            There are hundreds of thousands of victims of the hep B vaccine who would disagree. That vaccine is said to have caused the health catastrophe of the century at least in France.

            There is nothing normal or natural in the formulation of these GMO like vaccines. There is nothing natural with injecting dead fetus parts. There is nothing natural with mercury compounds injections. No injection is natural. Fear of injection is natural. The skin is a natural barrier. You deny basic biology.

            Do you deny the explosion of MS?

          • You are gonna find no one gets suppressed here for expressing an opinion.
            You ought to know that…few hove been as completely fact free and insulting as you have been, not recently anyway.
            Literally every word you write is unsubstantiated, an outright lie, or just plain makes no sense.
            Most of the people who contribute to these threads will not say anything to you because they see that you are a miserable fool, and besides most can hardly figure out where to start with refuting the Gish Gallup of utter crap you spew.
            The only reason I do is to try to gain some insight into what makes someone like you get the way you are.
            I challenge you directly, to provide substantiation for even one of the statements you have made in this sub thread.
            Just one.
            Anyone who thought they were right would substantiate every word they have said…back it up and stand behind it.
            You do not even stick to one point of view for an entire day, or in one conversation thread.
            Prove me wrong.

          • “Had there been one in 1957, when I was six, my life would have been greatly improved.”

            Another evidence free statement from the serial evidence free claimer.

            What suggests that the vaccine is EVER beneficial?

          • “You ought to know that…few hove been as completely fact free and insulting as you have been, not recently anyway.”

            STOP LYING

            Vaxxers are always lying, insulting, making up stuff, denying the fact they rely on a researcher on the FBI MOST WANTED LIST. You are an FBI MOST WANTED enabler.

          • Yes I deny that any vaccine caused a pandemic.

            What you claim to be common knowledge is nothing of the sort.

            I get a vaccination every single year and once in awhile I have a sore shoulder, I’ve never had a fever from one. My wife and daughter sometimes get a light fever for half a day or so.

            Your paranoia can be treated by some basic knowledge, assuming you have to courage to seek it out.

          • Those hundreds of thousands of victims exist in your fevered imagination alone.
            And while there has been an a slight uptick in MS, it’s mostly from better screening.

          • This guy is either completely mentally unstable, or he’s a 10 year old who just enjoys pissing in the pool to see how others react.
            I’m done with him.

          • “And while there has been an a slight uptick in MS, it’s mostly from better screening.”

            Tripling of a debilitating illness, in France.

            What screening? What the hell are you babbling about? Why do you deny accepted facts?

            Actually the criteria has been changed at least twice to make it harder to declare MS. Also the MD on Twitter do not even agree what the criteria is and change their tune all the time, because they are in denial. The biggest in medical history.

          • John, no one expects YOU to produce ONE PIECE of relevant evidence. You are an unqualified brainwashed bigot.

            I’m done with you.

          • “This guy is either completely mentally unstable, or he’s a 10 year old who just enjoys pissing in the pool to see how others react.”

            PLEASE do something about that deranged ranting.

          • “John, I’m guessing that he’s going to claim that Autism is caused by vaccines.”

            What makes you believe it is not, unqualified bigot, enabler of FBI MOST WANTED felons?

        • My wife has asthma. Prior to the arrival of flu vaccine she regularly ended up in hospital once or twice a year with pneumonia and severe asthma-like flairs which more than once nearly killed her. Since the flu shots she has not had a single such bout.

    • Not a correct interpretation of the comment.
      He said that there is no vaccine that works against all flu strains. He didn’t say that the vaccine was totally ineffective.

    • Yes, look at the CDC stats. The problem arises from the H – N configuration of the flu virus such that there are 236 possible combinations – many of which are expressed as being infectious to humans. Mutations occur quite rapidly so that the vaccine developed last year might not be so effective this year. At present the annual seasonal flu vaccine in use in Western countries contains four strains of flu virus. The strains of the virus which circulate in the USA during the Northern Hemisphere winter are identified by CDC and these strains are adopted by the World Health Organisation as the recommended strains for vaccine production world wide. So in Australia we receive vaccines which MIGHT provide protection during the Southern Hemisphere winter six months after the US flu season. The effective protection by vaccines in the US is quite low and very very low in Australia. I am 73 years old and have had one bout of flu during my life. I never have a flu vaccine injection because the chances of the vaccine providing protection are so slight. I am fully aware that the vaccine contains a’killed’ virus and that it is not possible to be infected by the vaccine. But it is a dreadful waste of public money to vaccinate so many people each year. Worse, are the raised raise expectations amongst the population that the vaccine is effective. This encourages vaccinated persons to neglect the use of common sense precautions against flu infection – such as regular hand washing, staying away from school and the office when infection does strike, careful attention to hydration, good nutrition, bed rest etc etc

      • “At [present] the annual seasonal flu vaccine in use in Western countries contains four strains of flu virus. ”

        And yet the 2019-nCoV virus is the cause of pneumonia in China — correct me if I am wrong but are not 90 Bacterium responsible for Pneumonia, how many versions of fungi?
        Hoe many late-life heavy smokers get pneumonia?

  5. It is good to have such an effective medicine BEFORE the virus strikes.
    According to Science magazine, Wuhan was unleashed at least in November, may be even as early as October 1st. The wet market was certainly NOT the place of first contact.
    Where it came from?
    Chinese eat raw meat since ages.
    But the Wuhan biolab level 4 stays there since 2018 only and is lead by military.

      • Steven,

        I agree with your sentiment.

        A result of the collapse of American’s confidence in institutions – esp. the press (well-deserved collapse) – American’s have become prey to misinformation vendors. That has become a fast track to success on the Internet, from the Right (eg, Zerohedge) to the Left (eg, Naked Capitalism).**

        The scarier the story, the less accurate the stories. That’s true from Climate Change to Coronavirus. Institutions trying to keep us informed about these complex and poorly understood issues (eg, IPCC and NOAA) are attacked by both sides. People often express the most confidence in the most bogus sources.

        ** These are not equivalent. Naked Capitalism is like the Britannica compared to ZeroHedge.

    • I do wish people would stop with the Wuhan Lab nonsense. First, whether or not it came from the lab does not in any way change what it is doing and how we should respond. Second, those live animal markets are far better places to create such a virus than any lab because humans simply aren’t that good compared to Nature. Third and most important, we have the sequence, therefore we would know if it was a bioweapon. (Granted the governments might choose not to tell us but see my first comment.)

        • John, come on. Rather than picking fact nits based on obviously irrelevant internet virus queries, how about you contributing here to the epidemiology knowledge of this increasingly serious Wuhan killer, newly renamed by WHO CoViD-19. The renaming itself is an indicator of seriousness.
          Your troll like efforts to discredit my admittedly (previous post) only informed laymen’s effort to add value are exactly why my previous post was explicitly motivated by climate change analogies.

          • As for the relevance of genome size to this epidemic, perhaps you meant to say that CoVs have the largest genomes among RNA viruses.

            This paper on bat CoVs came out just as the Wuhan epidemic was taking off.


            Coronaviruses (CoVs) have the largest nonsegmented genomes among all RNA viruses, reaching up to 30 kb in length. The large genomes enhance plasticity, thereby allowing modification by mutations and recombination, which in turn leads to greater genetic diversity and high chances of cross-species transmission (1, 2). The major reason for this phenomenon may be the numerous subgenomic RNAs generated during viral replication, which increase the chance of homologous recombination among closely related genes from different lineages of CoVs or other viruses (3, 4). As a result, CoV taxonomy is constantly changing.

        • Rud,

          My point is that the Wuhan virus doesn’t have the largest genome of any human virus. It doesn’t. Not even close.

          IMO, that fact is hardly irrelevant.

          I appreciate the effort you’ve put into this project. How is correcting an error trolling?

          I also don’t think it’s a fact that the Spanish flu began at Fort Riley. That’s an hypothesis.

  6. Is it verified that the virus originated in a pangolin at a wet market in Wuhan and not from one of the Wuhan chemical/biological warfare labs. Is there scientific proof that the latter is not the case?

    • Yes. See my Sunday post. 99% match between pangolin corona and human Wuhan corona. And about half the early cases had the wet market contact.

      No way to disprove the Wuhan BL4 lab internet rumor vehemently denied by the lab director.

      • https://www.who.int/csr/don/16-january-2020-novel-coronavirus-japan-ex-china/en/


        Pangolin or another animal is a cover story, verified by the head of WIV (Wuhan Institute of Virology).

        Why have they stopped testing and confirm cases by x-ray?

        Why so many sick that were not at that market, or involved with anyone at that market, it was closed for renovations (sic) Jan 1/2020?

        Why is it not something else, pneumonia kills hundreds of thousands in polluted Chinese cities?

        Staphylococcus aureus: an opportunistic microbiota of all humans is famous under stressed bodily weakness as in a stressed immunity, not the culprit here. Under normal body conditions, its presence is a benefit for both organisms. But its immunomodulating in weaker immunities like the ones found in highly polluted Chinese cities. is all a cytokine storm from the inflammation that will flood the inner lining of the lungs and viral pneumonia is eventual. There is much to support this as Chinese are dying in the 100’s of thousands of pneumonia.

        Why is it not a case of Wuhan being an open sore, an open laboratory of the stressed lung subjects that are ideal for a study of this new wonder pro-drug, a new and improved pro-drug using nanotechnology, might this make it onto the world stage and make everyone forget how it gets there?

        Remdesivir was a failed Ebola drug looking for a disease?

        The placebo effect is highly possible and can easily be used as the out of China’s reason for those international illnesses.

        Why did the Washington case where the new drug was used not show a viral load in blood serum and kept coming up negative — and this is also the case in the German patients who were asymptomatic?

        Why did the new pro-drug work so dam quick in Washington? It was used on compassionate grounds they say, could it have been a test on a more healthy human, as compared to Wuhan victims? And why is it not being used in China, and why was it released to the press that tests on the drug in China were ongoing?

        Why did Shi Zhengli, from her dark hideaway in WIV say it was a “The novel 2019 corona-virus is nature punishing the human race for keeping uncivilized living habits.” Why did she verify an animal when she works with bats and verified she they had the most extensive bat virus database?

        That is an unusual thing to let slip?

        Why/what is the connection with the Harvard professor who was working for the WUT (Wuhan Institute of Technology) and the WIV — and was paid huge amounts of money — connected stolen vials purported to be cancer research?

        What was the connection to the PLA (People’s Liberation Army) officer on the same U.S. government docket? Was this PLA officer, Yanqing Ye a sheepdog of Dr. Charles Lieber and also doing some clandestine corporate tech pillaging while here?

        You said…

        “Scientists last week also traced the source. There are two clues. Wuhan is now known to be 96% genetically similar to an endemic Asian bat corona. Like SARS and ‘Spanish flu’, it jumped to humans via an intermediate mammal species. No bats were sold in the Huanan wet market in Wuhan. But pangolins were, and as of Friday, there is a 99% genetic match between pangolin corona and Wuhan human corona. Trade in wild pangolins is illegal, but the meat is considered a delicacy in China and Vietnam and pangolins WERE sold in the Wuhan wet market. This is is similar to SARS in 2003. A bat corona jumped to humans via live civets in another Chinese wet market. Xi’s ‘simple’ permanent SARS/Wuhan coronavirus solution is to ban Chinese wet markets.”

        …99% match? That is fairly finite and assured, but you are not even close.

        You said…There were two clues: It is [96% connected to bat virus] and since no bats were sold at the market, but pangolins were sold. Viola’! Then the pangolin is the suspect here. There is a similarity to the 2003 SARS outbreak, and that was a jump from a bat to a civet in another Chinese wet market? All these questions?

        So, therefore “these two things are not like the others, but quite the same…”, so is it the same thing in Wuhan. Besides producing some extravagantly priced coffee beans. Civets are not bat eaters. Is it because Pholidota shares the same family tree as Chiroptera or did the pangolin eat the fucking bat. Because pangolins are insect eaters. Because this is hypotheses, rather scientific fact. Your reaching here Rud…

        You are using one assumption to verify another assumption, but no physical evidence, no dead civet or dead pangolin seething putrid with coronavirus 2019-nCoV.

        “Indeed, to this day, I think if you blame everything on the government, you’re not just wrong, you’re being reckless. It’s as silly as blaming everything on the Freemasons, or the Illuminati, or insert-bad-guy-here. But I do believe that someone must ask the hard questions, especially of our elected officials as well as powerful men who become members of so-called secret societies. Remember: Governments don’t lie. People lie. And if you want the real story, you need to find out more about those people.”–Brad Meltzer

        And the above quote is more of an explanation that you realize. Too much fun stuff going on here: Professors, Chinese agents, stolen vials, a new wonder drug, fudged numbers and a whole lot more, But two innocents Scrotifera caught in a rice-bowl is not going to stick.

        There are more questions than answers Rud. I interested really and playing the tenth man here…my argument has substanc

      • there have been accidental escapes prior from bio4 labs in usa canada and the uk, sterilizing machinery faults material not burnt filters in hoods faulty etc
        I did read they ARE looking into the lab and tightening procedures up.
        all it takes is a leaky pipe.. a spill wiped up and a mop or paper towel incorrectly disposed of

        • Excuse me, I lived in Winnipeg from before the lab was constructed and I know of no incident where any virus escaped the Winnipeg lab. Therefore I simply don’t believe you when you say “there have been accidental escapes prior from bio4 labs in usa canada and the uk”

  7. The cultural propensity to misdirect does not instill any confidence in reported stats .
    Time will tell .

  8. GILD shot up from under $63 on Jan 31 to over $71 earlier this month, but is now trading around $68, with a P/E below 16.

    • The clinical trial in COVID19 patients is due to wrap up in April, but if other patients respond like the one in Washington, expect them to discontinue the study and give real drug to everyone.
      After all, if everyone getting the drug improves, but placebo patients do not, it is unethical to continue in the case of life threatening illness.
      Even if China gets a special use patent, or if they ignore IP rights, they will pay a royalty or face sanctions.
      GILD April or May call options is one way to play it.
      Of course, there are two other drugs/drug combos reported to be showing some efficacy. In the case of remdesivir, it was not reported to be completely useless, just that it was not the best drug for the purpose. IOW it showed no clear advantage over alternate treatments.
      But the data was sufficient to establish safety…meaning it is unlikely to kill someone who takes it.
      Safety means something different when a drug is treating a fatal illness.
      The multiple stages of clinical trials are for the purpose of establishing in stepwise fashion safety and efficacy in progressively larger numbers of people.
      But even then, it happens occasionally that safety issues only emerge once a drug is approved and far larger numbers of people take something under conditions that are not stringently monitored and controlled.

  9. “South America will be hit or miss.”

    Since that’s the case, how can we possibly avoid a pandemic in the USA, given our porous southern border? Maybe we need a vastly accelerated border wall completion schedule.

      • Sure, a wall of people and technology.
        No virus can penetrate that.
        Physical barriers are in addition to people and technology.
        No one thinks a wall by itself is all that is needed.
        Barriers slow people down, and prevent unfettered access.
        Which makes people and technology far more effective.

  10. I have a number of concerns with this article from the trivial to the more concerning.

    First: While there have been a number of names proposed for this new virus, “Wuhan” is not one of them. It has been officially given the name COVID-19 by the WHO.

    Second: The mortality of the infection has not been and cannot currently be determined, but using the ratio deaths/recovered is a completely misleading and inaccurate method. It is simply not the way mortality rates are calculated.

    I don’t know about the rest of the visitors to this site, but I prefer to get information from appropriate sources. Lay reports re-posted from business magazines are not the best sources for accurate medical information. Perhaps readers here might want to check out the following: https://smw.ch/article/doi/smw.2020.20203 for an informed understanding of the mortality rate situation.

  11. I’ve read that the current test kits can only test for upper respiratory infection and since COVID-19 is a lower respiratory illness on onset, many negative tests will occur until the virus migrates/spreads to other parts of the respiratory tract. Hence a perso initially tests negative then positive a few days later. This is why they switched protocols to include more lung scans in the diagnosis. Unfortunately for the City of Wuhan, the shear number of cases overwhelmed the ability to test more robustly so suspected infected were sent home in favor of those showing severe symptoms and testing positive.

    Officials decided to then go door to door and the numbers of infected and deaths are now ramping up. It will take time since infected persons were sent home to potentially infect others.
    We have family and friends in Wuhan including healthcare workers.

    • The early Lancet and NEJM articles suggested the primary area of preference for nCoV was indeed the Lower Respiratory Tract, leading to the idea that the virus is tailored for gaining cell entry via ACE2 receptors.

      So probably the reason for the tests being somewhat unreliable unless repeated, as is becoming more widely known and accepted.

  12. I just saw Willis’s list on the previous thread of actions to take, and, while it is a good list of preventative steps, it does not address the side of the equation related to strengthening one’s immune system. For those of us with an overall health and longevity focus, maximizing immune function is usually step number one so I will add a brief starter list here. As with everything I would encourage people to do their own research and expand on each of these accordingly. A quick list would be:
    1. Get plenty of high-quality sleep: Being sleep-deprived is one of the surest ways to suppress immunity.
    2. Avoid unnecessary stress: Stress is also a strong immune suppressor. For example, if there is a flu outbreak near you, that is not the time to embark on a new program at the gym that could lead to overtraining, or to add discretionary job stress.
    3. Correct potential nutrient deficiencies: Err on the high side for (at a minimum) Magnesium, Zinc and Vitamins C, A D and K2. A multi-vitamin is nowhere near enough and may not have quality forms of these. Additionally taking extra (as in multiple rams per day) Vitamin C, preferably liposomal Vitamin C may have benefit and is one of my mainstays when I feel something coming on. Getting brief mid-day sun exposure if you are where the sun is above an angle of 50 degrees is also likely to be helpful.
    4. Fasting: Fasting for several days has apparently been shown to have strong immune system benefits, as well as numerous other benefits. This is obviously something to work up to but it is worth investigating if you are serious about optimal health.
    5. Correct any signs of digestive disorders, especially SIBO: The gut ecosystem is an important component of the immune system and resolving any signs of SIBO, mid-section bloat or other digestive issues is critical for immune health. This is much easier said than done and is a much longer topic, but many people are not aware that it is even an issue.
    There are lots of other things that can be done as well but the important thing is to make maximizing your resistance to disease a priority. How much this will help against the coronavirus is unknown at this point, but it is unlikely to hurt. It is interesting that early on in the spread of the virus it was reported that (presumably Type II) diabetics were at higher risk, and while that could be due to many things, it is a reminder that one of the key tenets of overall health is to avoid chronically elevated insulin, so that is another variable to address.

    And most importantly, thanks to Rud for his summary!

    • This is important and especially important to me who has had whipple surgery. I didn’t know about fasting helping, although I do time restricted eating right now. Thank you.

  13. There might be some good news. The number of reported cases probably just reflects a minority of all infections. By consequence the ratio of the number of deaths might be much lower. It also means that much more people are getting antibodies which will stop the epidemic much earlier.

    Asha George, executive director of the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense:
    “George told lawmakers that students at public health schools are often taught to “multiply by seven or eight times what you’ve been told” to account for cases that they can’t see.
    “For every one case you see, there are seven or eight out there that you don’t,” she said.”
    Source: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/13/asia/china-numbers-novel-coronavirus-intl/index.html

    • “George told lawmakers that students at public health schools are often taught to “multiply by seven or eight times what you’ve been told” to account for cases that they can’t see.
      “For every one case you see, there are seven or eight out there that you don’t,” she said.”

      Someone needs to go back to primary school maths classes. If there are 7 or 8 hidden cases for every visible one, then you need to multiply by 8 or 9.

      That may seem trivial, but if there are 1 or 2 hidden cases for every visible one, you multiply by 2 or 3, not 1 or 2.

      • What if there are between 7.66+/- 2.5 and 8.45+/- 3.1 cases unseen for every one seen?
        This may seem trivial, but…how does one multiply by an uncertain range of values?
        Saying “7 or 8” implicitly says that one does not know how much one might need to adjust the known number.
        The admonition is not a math instruction, but a reminder to be cautious when interpreting or assessing what is predictably incomplete or incorrect data.
        Just sayin’.

  14. A Los Alamos research paper published yesterday, using known data and mathematical modelling, have estimated that Ro is between 4.7 and 6.6. Much higher than the 2.5 previous estimate. However, they pointed out that it may be 2.5 in China because of the extremely robust measures taken, because Ro is not an intrinsic property of a virus, but a composite of the virus and isolation measures taken together.

  15. Thanks for this. The NEJM case report was very interesting and informative. An example of the value of our ability today to disseminate information quickly and broadly.

  16. “…family ski vacation 1/24-1/28 at Le Contamines-Montjoie…” seems a rather inauspicious name.

    Wiki says, “The name of the village originates from ancient local dialect. The word “Contamines” once meant ploughable land on the squires estate.”

    • The Huanan Market is known as a seafood market but, media reports say these items are for sale:

      Badgers, Bats, Beavers, Camel, Chickens Civets, Crab, Crocodiles, Dogs, Donkeys, Emmental cheese, Fish, Foxes, Giant salamanders, Hedgehog, Herbs, Koalas, Marmots, Ostrich, Otters, Peacocks, Pheasants, Pig, Porcupines, Rabbit organs, Rats, Sheep, Shrimp, Spices, Spotted deer, Striped bass, Turtles, Vegetables, Venomous snakes (including Bungarus multicinctus), Wolf puppies.

      And yet a report was published (https://www.mdpi.com/1999-4915/12/2/135/htm) on January 20th, 2020 that no virus was found at the market.

    • “Could pangolins be a piece of the coronavirus puzzle?”
      “Chinese researchers say a virus found in the animal is a 99 percent genetic match to the one that has killed hundreds of people in China”

      Given the breadth of rare species sold in the Wuhan wet market, ruling out bats is not possible.
      Not that coronavirus found in bats is identical to the current infectious coronavirus.
      A 4% genetic difference is greater than the 2% difference between chimps and humans.

      Pangolins are not listed as meat for sale in Wuhan wet market, but were recently photographed as being up for sale in the Wuhan wet market… Before the wet market was closed.

      What would be interesting is an in depth analysis of the families, friends and acquaintances of the people who sold rare meats at the Wuhan wet market.
      I believe China is a little too busy dealing with the quarantines and sterilizations though.

    • A company whose stock traded at $200 in 2001 and is now trading a dollar higher in a week at $4.30, says they discovered a vaccine for novel corona virus. Skepticism is in order.

  17. A quarantine period of two weeks means that people’s immune systems can quash the virus’s main effects in that time, but does it also mean that the virus in those people is now “dead”?

    Is the virus’s residency on a doorknob also 14 days? Isn’t a home (or ship cabin) where someone has been quarantined an ideal place to catch the disease?

          • OK, Fanakan, thanks. For veterinary coronaviruses 28 days is mentioned in the study, for other human coronaviruses (not 2019-nCoV) just 9 days. Indeed a much better result:
            “Human coronaviruses can remain infectious on inanimate surfaces at room temperature for up to 9 days. At a temperature of 30°C or more the duration of persistence is shorter. Veterinary coronaviruses have been shown to persist even longer for 28 d.”

            The conclusion:
            Human coronaviruses can remain infectious on inanimate surfaces for up to 9 days. Surface disinfection with 0.1% sodium hypochlorite or 62-71% ethanol significantly reduces coronavirus infectivity on surfaces within 1 min exposure time. We expect a similar effect against the 2019-nCoV.

          • “Having said that, I got the impression that the study turned into a game to see how long they could extend viability, and so may be of little use in real world situations.”

            This is an important question, and everyone should be very interested in knowing what is true, not what can be asserted or speculated upon.
            The real question is about what actually happens, about what the actual risk is to a person in everyday situations.
            Obviously people get sick all the time, and while sick they are shedding enormous quantities of virus through breathe and fluids and excreta. These are settled onto surfaces by gravity, passed onto surfaces directly by hand contact or flying spittle droplets, and other readily identifiable processes.
            And yet everyone who comes into contact with people who are known to be shedding virus does not get sick. Even people living in close contact do not always get sick.
            One reason is that viruses start to die outside of their preferred environment, and they die quickly in certain conditions.
            Another has to do with dose levels of those exposed, and how it compares to the minimal infective dose.
            In other words…exactly how many virions enter an uninfected person body, what routes of entry allow for the virus to survive and make entry into cells or into the bloodstream (some viruses have to get into the respiratory tract, and some must get into the digestive tract, and some must get into the bloodstream), and over what period of time do the virions make such entry, and how many virions does it take to overcome the immune responses and mechanisms of the body?
            Particles caught in thick sticky mucous that is then swallowed will not cause infection if it is a virus that only infects respiratory cells and such.
            The airways have a system called the mucociliary escalator, which sweeps particles along to where they will be expelled, destroyed by stomach acids, surfactants, defensins, lysozyme, saliva, and/or mucus.
            Cells of the innate immune system engulf and destroy virions (or whatever) by phagocytosis, and attack infected cells and mark them for destruction, but the amount of them is limited, and can be either suppressed or enhanced for any number of reasons.
            Part of the innate immune system function is to rapidly ramp up the various processes that comprise the innate immune system, such as increasing mucus production, tears, saliva, blood flow, and signaling immune cells to travel to the site of any foreign organism or substance.
            If a dose of virions which is below the minimum infective dose threshold enters the body and these virions are targeted by macrophages and dendritic cells, the process of antigen presentation and antibody production will nonetheless commence.
            An understanding of such things makes it clear why people do not get sick whenever a virus capable of causing illness can be shown to be present, let alone possibly so.
            It also makes it clear that there is no part of our body that is merely a passive target for infectious organisms.
            We have numerous physical and chemical barriers on every bodily surface, inside and out, as well as many layers of active cellular defenses.
            The various things we do to avoid exposure and/or minimize danger of infection are an enhancement of the other defenses we have which we are barely aware of.

            It does not matter if someone is able to cause some virus to survive on some lab surface.
            What matters is how much virus is on actual surfaces in places where sick people have been, and how likely is it that there is enough to cause an infection in someone who contacts those surfaces.
            Being aware of a danger makes us safer if we know how to avoid it, but overestimation of danger can paralyze us needlessly.
            What would be helpful, in my view, would be to identify the specific reasons why one person infected many others at a ski resort, while dozens of other people apparently infected no one else even with sitting next to them on long plane rides and performing various transactions with them en route from Wuhan to the US and other countries…even though these people who infected no one else were similarly infected as the person at the ski lodge.

      • Experiment done by who, when?
        One exoeriment?
        How was the virus tested for viabiluty?
        On a person?
        Assuming this experiment was just completed, how long ago must it have begun?
        The most you can say is you read somewhere that someone said this.
        Repeating dubious info without qualification as if it is a fact is exactly how people fool themselves.
        The known timeline means that statement is not dubious, it is ridiculous.

      • What is known from other types of respiratory tract viruses, including corona viruses, and SARS in particular, is that active virus has not been found to persist on surfaces for more than a few hours to at most two days.
        Once on a surface, many viruses start to die right away, and only surfaces with a high concentration to begin with have detectable viral genetic material more than a an hour to a few hours.
        Drying and UV light destroys many viruses quickly.
        Some sorts of virus have not been found to have ever caused a known infection except by direct contact with a sick person or certain of their bodily fluids or objects directly contaminated with bodily fluids.
        Rhino viruses can survive for several days it is thought, but after about 25 hours on a nonporous surface that have lost the ability to cause infection.
        On some types of objects they are said to become inactive after a matter of minutes to an hour.
        I have not found one reference to any study that has found, or any infection thought to have been caused by, live virus for any respiratory infection surviving over periods of many days on surfaces.
        And this is an area which is studied extensively, for obvious epidemiological reasons, as well as reasons pertaining to the safety of medical workers and hospital personnel.
        IOW…this is something the people who study such things are very interested in knowing the truth about.
        It is one thing for people to speculate on things like this, but there are people who are responsible for knowing what can actually be demonstrated to be true.
        Certainly some infectious organisms can survive for long periods of time on surfaces or in any number of places.
        Just as clearly, many do not.

        A search of the CDC site search function turns up oodles of studies from single word queries, such as for the word “fomites” (fomites refers to infectious organisms on surfaces).
        Many are very interesting and many are surprising and counterintuitive, and many give information completely at odds with what commenters here and elsewhere have declared to be the case.
        Here is one passage from one article dealing with modes of transmission for influenza, rhinovirus, and RSV, respiratory syncytial virus, which is a very common virus that infects nearly all infants and small children:

        “A prodigious volume of work at the Common Cold Research Unit in Salisbury, England, following World War II established that colds could be produced by inoculating secretions into the nose or eye of volunteers (33). These rather crude experiments were replicated with nasal inoculation of small concentrations of rhinovirus once the specific viral agents that cause the common cold were elucidated (34). Presumably, therefore, persons might acquire rhinovirus by touching their nasal or ocular mucosa with contaminated fingers. A study by Hendley et al. at the University of Virginia demonstrated that health-care workers are not immune to practices that might promote self-inoculation (35). One third of grand-rounds attendees picked their nose, and one in 2.7 rubbed their eyes during a 1-hour lecture. Subsequent work demonstrated that it was difficult to transmit rhinovirus by kissing (36), and that exposure to cold did not increase the likelihood of “catching a cold” (37).
        These studies could not answer the central question of whether rhinovirus is transmitted primarily by direct contact, indirect contact, droplet contact, or droplet nuclei. Unfortunately, considerable additional investigation has not resolved the issue completely (38). Essentially, two experimental approaches, both highly contrived, have come to different conclusions. Work by Hendley and Gwaltney at the University of Virginia generally has supported transmission by hand contact and self-inoculation, while experiments by Dick at the University of Wisconsin have favored spread by large droplets, droplet nuclei, or both.
        The Virginia group demonstrated that adults with experimental rhinovirus colds readily contaminated their hands and that rhinovirus could be recovered from 43% of plastic tiles they touched with their contaminated fingers (39). Adults with natural rhinovirus colds contaminated their hands in 39% of cases, and virus was found on 6% of objects in their homes (35,40). Virus could survive from a few hours to as long as 4 days on nonporous surfaces, and for at least 2 hours on human skin (35). Volunteers who had contact with contaminated objects or with fingers of persons with rhinovirus colds had a high rate of infection when they intentionally touched their eyes or nose. Infection generally could be prevented by treating contaminated surfaces with disinfectant or applying iodine to fingers (39).
        In a labor-intensive, randomized clinical trial, the Virginia group found that treating mothers’ fingers with iodine reduced the rate of secondary infection (38). Specifically, as soon as a cold occurred in another member of the family, mothers were instructed to dip their fingers in iodine or placebo when they awoke in the morning, every 3 to 4 hours during the day, and after activities that might wash the iodine from the skin. The investigators counted on the well-established residual activity of iodine to kill virus on contact. Over the 4-year study period, the secondary attack rate for colds in the intervention group was 7%, versus 20% in the control group. In the iodine-treated group, no confirmed rhinovirus infection occurred in susceptible mothers who had been exposed to 11 index cases. In contrast, five infections occurred after 16 exposures in the placebo group, although this difference was not significant.
        These studies provide considerable evidence for indirect contact transmission by contaminated fomites and fingers. In other experiments, the Virginia investigators found little support for transmission via large respiratory droplets or droplet nuclei. Exposure of susceptible volunteers to highly symptomatic volunteers across a small table (droplet contact and droplet nucleus transmission) or a double-wire barrier (droplet nucleus spread) resulted in infections in 1 of 12 and zero of 10 subjects, respectively (39). These rates of transmission were far less than the 11 infections among 15 persons (73%) who self-inoculated their mucous membranes with contaminated fingers.”

        “Meanwhile, the Wisconsin group was developing models to study transmission of rhinovirus colds, building on observations showing high attack rates among men crowded together in a small hut in Antarctica (41). In one such model, symptomatic volunteers were housed with susceptible volunteers in a room approximately 12-by-6-by-3 m (42). The subjects played various board, card, and video games during the study period. Since viral titers in nasal secretions fall as symptoms diminish, volunteers were replaced with highly symptomatic persons as soon as they experienced reduced rhinorrhea or sneezing. The average length of exposure required for transmission was very high, 200 hours of exposure to achieve a 50% attack rate. Based on these results, Dick et al. suggest that exposure times in the Virginia studies were too short to exclude droplet and airborne transmission.
        In additional experiments, the Wisconsin group extended these studies by having volunteers play poker for 12 hours while sitting at round tables (43). Three experiments were performed involving 24 symptomatic “donors” and 36 susceptible “recipients.” Half of the recipients were fitted with restraints, either arm braces that allowed them to reach their cards but not touch their face, or a plastic shield that left their hands free but did not allow them to reach their eyes or nose. Despite these barriers, the attack rates were 56% and 67%, respectively, strongly favoring transmission by air since self-inoculation was impossible. Moreover, when 12 additional susceptible volunteers were brought to a separate room to play poker with chips and cards that were literally soaked with contaminated secretions from donors, no rhinovirus infections occurred. In addition, little virus was found on the chips and cards. The Wisconsin group suggested that the relatively high attack rates seen in the self-inoculation studies conducted by the Virginia group might be attributable to intensive exposure to fresh wet secretions (e.g., the volunteers literally blew their noses into their hands).”


    • The way such viruses are spread is poorly understood, even when studied carefully by committed researchers.
      Results are often contradictory and puzzling.
      But it does seem to be the case that in some situations, some people can spread disease very effectively, while other people are not shown to have infected anyone, even those in close contact and even intimate contact.

      A passage from one study:
      “As the outbreak developed, epidemiologic evidence suggested that SARS-CoV was transmitted by respiratory droplets or direct contact with infected patients and possibly by fomites (9–12). In certain circumstances, transmission of SARS-CoV was particularly efficient and resulted in individual patients infecting large numbers of people (referred to as “super-spreading events”), whereas in other situations, no secondary transmission was observed”

      • Nicholas McGinley,

        Thanks for these detailed summaries of experiments in virus transmission. I appreciate the down-to-earth writing.

        My daughter returns to her job teaching in Beijing in a few weeks. Prior to Beijing, she taught in Xian, now under lock-down.

        Affairs in China under the cloud of Corona virus are bizarre to say the least – what appear to be the largest mobilization for a disease in human history, with 60 million Chinese under quarantine. Regardless of how we in the West rate China’s and the WHO’s efforts – is it too much? too little? too late? ineffective? — the numbers of “confirmed cases” and dead do not begin to suggest a typical harvest of seasonal flu victims in the U.S. Most of us take such a threat in stride, and I confess I demurred last time I was instructed to get flu vaccine.

        I know the implications of this do not bode well for the good of the world order, but I accept the risk. 🙂

        Best regards.

        • You are welcome, and thank you Bill.
          This subject has brought out the worst in some people.
          What most amazes me, even though I should be used to it, is the people that do not bother to read what someone wrote and make sure they have the gist of it correct.
          But Brad Keyes showed us all that many times…some people do not read, they skim, and they decide what they think someone said without actually making sure of it.
          Anyway, I appreciate the kind words.
          It is for people like you that I take the time to write.

  18. Note that Cambodia reported one “case” well over a week ago… then no more

    North Korea isn’t reporting any cases, but with their military-enforced quarantines
    and tight control of the media, their silence speaks volumes.

    Indonesia is another non-reporting country.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) isn’t pressing these countries to report on
    what’s happening within their borders… and doesn’t seem interested in sending
    anyone in to investigate the lack of information.

    • Cambodia, still probably 50 years away from rectifying the socialising efforts of Pol Pot and his gang.

      North Korea, something that Dear Leader has no power over, squelch that.

      Indonesia, probably have good intentions, but the area and spread of the state will defy their capabilities.

      I doubt even the sham that is the WHO can make what is not possible, come to pass ?

      Interestingly, that cruise ship, the Westerdamm, that had been refused docking in was if 5 countries ? was allowed to dock in Cambodia and disgorge its passengers. Rather odd considering that Cambodia’s infrastructure for dealing with any cases must be close to non existant ?

      • Update on the Westerdamm, docked and passengers disembarked. One group flying to Malaysia immediately produced an older American lady infected with nCoV.

        Ohh, and the Prime Minister of Cambodia personally greeted the disembarking passengers with a hand shake. Wonder if he washed his hands afterwards. 🙂

  19. “Of note for potential future Gilead/China intellectual property conflicts, China announced yesterday that it has applied for a patent to use remdesivir to treat human Wuhan.”

    “During the 2019–20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, Shi and twelve other Institute scientists formed an expert group on the research of Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).[7][8] In February 2020, researchers led by Shi Zhengli published an article in Nature titled “A pneumonia outbreak associated with a new coronavirus of probable bat origin”,[9] and in a post on bioRxiv, said that the Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is in the same family as SARS and closest to one found in bats.[10][11] In February 2020, her team published a paper in Cell Research showing that [remdesivir], an experimental drug owned by Gilead Sciences, had a positive effect in inhibiting the virus in vitro, and applied for a patent for the drug in China on behalf of the WIV.”

    Actually the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV)… which claims to hold the largest database of bat viruses.
    Remdesivir is a prodrug…which uses nanoparticles in its makeup…

    Shi Zhengli was quoted in a couple of articles as stating…
    “I swear with my life, [the virus] has nothing to do with the lab [ The first BSL level 4 Lab in Wuhan Institute of Virology]”, and when asked by the SCMP to comment on the attacks, Shi responded: “My time must be spent on more important matters”.

    She has further stated…
    “The novel 2019 coronavirus is nature punishing the human race for keeping uncivilized living habits. I, Shi Zhengli, swear on my life that it has nothing to do with our laboratory”

    Strange…and then there is that that Harvard nanoparticles and biology Professor…… a lieutenant of the PLA working on skullduggery and corporate espionage — and a virologist who stole some 21 vials of mysterious substances from a Biosafety lab level 3 or 4 which house such things a coronaviruses and that research are all in this together somehow…

    The Liber group is financed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), DARPA, Office of Naval Research (ONR), Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

    ” […] Dr. Lieber who has served as the Principal Investigator of the Lieber Research Group at Harvard University, which specialized in the area of nanoscience, has received more than [$15,000,000 in grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Department of Defense (DOD).] ”

    “[Wuhan University of Technology] (WUT) in China and was a contractual participant in China’s Thousand Talents Plan from in or about 2012 to 2017. China’s Thousand Talents Plan is one of the most prominent Chinese Talent recruit plans that are designed to attract, recruit, and cultivate high-level scientific talent in furtherance of China’s scientific development, economic prosperity, and national security. These talent programs seek to lure Chinese overseas talent and foreign experts to bring their knowledge and experience to China and reward individuals for stealing proprietary information. [Under the terms of Lieber’s three-year Thousand Talents contract, WUT paid Lieber [$50,000 USD] per month, living expenses of up to 1,000,000 Chinese Yuan (approximately [$158,000]USD at the time) and awarded him more than $1.5 million to establish a research lab at WUT.]”

    “The Lieber group is focused broadly on science and technology at the nanoscale, harnessing the unique physical properties of novel nanomaterials to push scientific boundaries in biology and medicine.”…

    This whole thing stinks for some reason…Remdesivir is a failed Ebola prodrug, that has been breathed new life, with a patent owned now by Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) alone that would make huge money — Gilead has been controversial for its extravagant prices on drugs especially new tech drugs. In China, with a growth potential globally that is a wet dream for big pharma in these halcyon days of a new paradigm.

    Why do these SOB’s always sell-out to Chin

  20. Some updates.


    Apparently not updated past February 13th, yet:

    Some good news; for vampires and wannabe vampires:

    Plasma from recovered patients used in virus fight
    China National Biotec Group announced on Thursday evening that virus-neutralising antibodies had been detected in the plasma of patients who have recovered from Covid-19, and experiments have proven they can effectively kill the virus, according to a Beijing News report on Friday.

    The company said it had successfully prepared the plasma for clinical treatment after strict blood biological safety testing, virus inactivation and antiviral activity testing. The plasma had been used to treat 11 patients in critical condition, with significant results, it said.

    The first phase of the treatment was carried out on three critically ill patients in Wuhan on February 8 and the plasma is currently being used to treat more than 10 critically ill patients.

    Clinical tests showed that, after 12 to 24 hours of treatment, the main inflammatory indicators in the laboratory decreased significantly, the proportion of lymphocytes increased, key indicators such as blood oxygen saturation and viral load improved, and clinical signs and symptoms improved significantly.

    “The plasma product to treat the novel coronavirus is made from plasma loaded with antibodies donated by recovered patients. It went through virus inactivation and was tested against virus-neutralising antibodies and multiple pathogenic microorganisms,”

    the company said, according to the report.”

    Masks neither protect nor prevent contamination absolutely:

    Some bad news:

    Chinese medical staff paying ‘too high a price’ in battle to curb coronavirus
    Authorities confirm that 1,716 health care workers have been infected with Covid-19
    Numbers affected are greater than those recorded during the 2003 Sars outbreak; one specialist warns this increases the risk of cross-transmission in hospitals”

    • Wow, human guinea pigs…I guess also “The Thousand Talents Plan” of the Chinese government will be ramping up full steam, all those foreign students heading back…that why all the brain-drain in America, they are leaving for China and leaving us all, the flourishing of pinko zombie snowflakes.

    • Plasma derived antibodies are what is otherwise called immunoglobulins.
      These have been used for many decades against all sorts of illnesses.
      Two of the most useful ones are the rabies specific and the tetanus specific immunoglobulins.
      The drawbacks to them are that they are expensive to produce, and therefore generally available in limited quantity, and are helpful for a limited amount of time. The idea is to bridge the gap, at least partially, between showing up with a dire condition and the time it takes for a vaccine to elicit an immune response that results in sufficient titer of circulating antibody to be protective.

  21. https://harvardtothebighouse.com/2020/01/31/logistical-and-technical-analysis-of-the-origins-of-the-wuhan-coronavirus-2019-ncov/

    Two explanations on origins of 2019nCOV— 1) an improbable species jump OR

    2) “Chinese scientists failed to follow correct sanitation protocols possibly while in a rush during their boisterous holiday season, something that had been anticipated since the opening of the BSL-4 lab and has happened at least four times previously, and accidentally released this bio-engineered Wuhan Strain – likely created by scientists researching immunotherapy regimes against bat coronaviruses, who’ve already demonstrated the ability to perform every step necessary to bio-engineer the Wuhan Strain 2019-nCov – into their population, and now the world. As would be expected, this virus appears to have been bio-engineered at the spike-protein genes which was already done at UNC to make an extraordinarily virulent coronavirus. Chinese efforts to stop the full story about what’s going on are because they want the scales to be even since they’re now facing a severe pandemic and depopulation event. No facts point against this conclusion.”

    The article lays out a detailed summary of the virus structure that makes it appear to be bio-engineered; along with accounts of key personnel involved and their research areas.

    You decide

    • Worth remembering that the last outbreak of Foot and Mouth in the UK, something that may rate as the cloven hoof equivalent of nCoV, was as a result of a leak from a government lab.

      Whilst the lab leak speculation may still be in the realm of conspiracy, its not that difficult to imagine it becoming a fact.

        • From the article:
          “…nobody was sickened in the CDC accidents or in the historically low numbers of serious infections among lab workers generally, or that infections spreading into communities surrounding labs have been rarer still.”

          The gist of this article is about the opposite of the observation that “It’s not uncommon at all for dangerous agents and infected test animals to escape from bio-weapons lab.”

          For one thing, these are not “bio weapons labs”.
          And the opening blurb of the article, conflating safety violations and accidents with near misses, and making at open ended and unquantified statement about people being put at risk, may not be actual yellow journalism, but it is hardly a sober and balanced examination of facts.

          • You expect transparency and honesty in the biological/medical community?

            You must think the Dem “primaries” are 100% fine!

          • Nicholas, you wrote:
            “The gist of this article is about the opposite of the observation that “It’s not uncommon at all for dangerous agents and infected test animals to escape from bio-weapons lab.”’

            That’s a misreading of my post. Indeed, the USAT article, and others similar in content confirms that dangerous pathogens and biologic agents and test animals have escaped bio research and weapons labs. I never claimed that the public was harmed by these breaches… yet.

            Wuhan may be the first big exception. Some top notch virologists seem to think that’s a distinct possibility

          • Lots of things can be said to be “distinct possibilities”.
            That says nothing at all about probabilities, or what actually happened in this case.
            As for what “some top notch virologists” have for opinions, someone else could as readily point out that some top notch virologists discount that idea as paranoid and unfounded.

            Some “top notch” climate researchers think the world’s temperature is controlled by a small trace of CO2 in the air, and that we have a few years before tens of millions of climate refugees flood our shores, coastal communities are drowning, the human race and the whole Earth have “a distinct possibility” of extinction, and that we are even know having a climate emergency.

            It is actually impossible to disagree that something unknown is a possibility.
            The question could be reframed as several questions, such as did it happen, how does anyone know, are there other possibilities, and how likely are the respective chances of each?

            The USA Today article makes it sound like a few hundred incidents over several hundred labs and over many years is objectively an awful record.
            It makes statements that are unsupported, such as that one off events such as sending out the wrong vials of anthrax, rather than a terrible mistake by possibly one person under unexplained circumstances, implicates the entire community of researchers and that by definition they are suffering from “systemic safety problems”.
            I have no confidence in the sober judgement of someone who tells a reporter “”What the CDC incidents showed us … is that the very best labs are not perfectly safe…” .
            Large facilities that have large numbers of people doing all sorts of work every day under all sorts of conditions and pressures…are not perfectly safe?
            Let’s get rid of them, shall we, unless they are perfectly safe, seems to be the opinion of the writer of this article.
            Who are the writers?
            One is a style writer, the other an “investigative journalist”, whatever that is. Neither have any apparent scientific, medical, or biology credentials.
            And it shows.
            Would we be better off if there was no one studying these things?
            How does anyone know how the organisms behave?
            Maybe because people are studying them?
            Could the writers, or the critics they interview, do better…maybe provide some suggestions for how human beings working all over the country in hundreds of labs could from now on be “perfectly safe”?
            Is that a rational standard for actual human beings?
            I could give examples from my own personal experience of how far from perfect real people in the real world are, or how anyone who works in an area with known hazards which are intrinsic to the domain…such as people working on high voltage underwater electrical machinery, or biohazardous materials and infectious diseases, are supposed to know that they ought not trust that everyone else in the world is always even competent, let alone ever, EVER, perfectly safe.

            There are no situations where people are perfectly safe,
            People who do dangerous work that most people would not even consider doing, I can say with certainty, will never be perfectly safe.

            Think about what is written about the guy who was working in a level 2 biolab on a strain of a dangerous bacteria, who got sick and dizzy with a fever while out to dinner one night, and nevertheless went home and did not seek any medical help until he called a friend the next morning when he reached the point of being unable to move.
            Somehow, when the blame was being doled out, no mention was made of the fact that a scientist working with a dangerous bacteria got really sick one night after work and thought nothing of it.
            I did not see anything that was written that implicates the entirety of a biohazard research industry.
            If it is a revelation that such places exist, and that such work is dangerous, I can only think of how naïve anyone could be.
            Driving down the road or crossing the street is dangerous. 35,000-40,000 dead/year. almost 100 times that many are injured in over 5 million accidents/year. 2 million are permanently injured.
            Taking a shower is dangerous. 235,000 hospital visits/year.
            Walking on stairs is dangerous. 12,000 dead/year in the US alone
            Biohazard labs?
            This article conflates a lot of disparate sorts of labs and events, and approaches the issue from an alarmist point of view.
            I see no effort to educate or help anyone understand what is going on in such places, why they exist, how important are they, or what is the relative risk to anyone, compared with, for example, if no one was willing to do this sort of work or if no such research was ongoing.

            And again, I just want to point out again…I see nothing about any “bioweapons labs”.
            There were some mentions of labs working with things that were “potential bio terror agents”.
            There was one mention I saw of a defense department lab.
            What exactly do you mean by the phrase “bio weapons lab”?

            I do not want to misread your post…just read it.
            You said:
            “It’s not uncommon at all for dangerous agents and infected test animals to escape from bio-weapons lab.”
            Which is wholly unsupported and a mischaracterization, IMO.

          • Nicholas… pretty long-winded fulguration…

            When some of China’s leading virologists PUBLISHES concern that the COVID-19 was bioengineered and released from a bioweapons lab in Wuhan, I’m going to pay attention to him. Not you. When they publish in a major Chinese science journal (with implied government approval), I’m going to pay attention to them. Not you.

            At the moment the proposal that COVID-19 is a bio-engineered pathogen that was released from the BSL-4 lab in Wuhan is a more viable hypothesis than the proposal that the virus emerged naturally from a vastly improbable species-to-species jump to humans and was transmitted from a a Wuhan wet-market.

            Of course you discount the former as impossible and embrace the latter, well, because that’s what you heard on CNN. So it must be true.

            The basic facts surrounding the structure of this highly infectious COVID-19 virus are bizarre and unseen in nature… especially when sophisticated commentators observe that:

            ““Perhaps most notably, a genetic analysis of the spike-protein genes – the exact region that was bio-engineered by the UNC lab in 2015, where Zhengli Shi and Xing-Yi Ge previously isolated a batty coronavirus that targets the ACE2 receptor just like this 2019-nCoV strain of the coronavirus does – indicates an artificial and unnatural origins of the Wuhan Strain’s spike-protein genes when they are compared to the genomes of wild relatives. Instead of appearing similar and homologous to its wild relatives, an important section of the Wuhan Strain’s spike-protein region shares the most genetic similarity with a bio-engineered commercially available gene sequence that’s designed to help with immunotherapy research. It is mathematically possible for this to happen in nature – but only in a ten-thousand bats chained to ten-thousand Petri dishes and given until infinity sense.”

            Deadly pathogens escape from labs all the time. Usually we get lucky.


            Maybe in Wuhan, they didn’t.

          • Now who is misreading?
            I went out of my way to respond to the article and only the article you posted, plus what you said.
            You did not address what I asked, or speak to your justification for using the language you use.
            Instead, you did exactly what you told me not to do.
            I never once have said that it is impossible that the COVID 19 virus was escaped from a lab.
            I do not even consider it far fetched.
            What I am doing is sticking to what can be shown to be true, and what we know from past events.
            And now here you are, the Adam Schiff of WUWT…making up ridiculous crap and then putting those words you made up into my mouth.
            That is patently offensive, and it was not by mistake…you meant to do it because I asked you a question you had no answer for, or else you felt embarrassed for making statements or using language you could not defend or stand behind…so you make up crap about CNN.
            You are the one with the fake news and putting words in peoples mouths.
            You probably do not even read more than a few words of what someone else writes before deciding you know what they said…or you would never mistake me for someone who would get my information from the MSM, or ever watch CNN even if I was stuck in an airport.
            Typical warmista behavior…believe in something for which nothing like enough evidence to know one way or another, and then claim you are the one being scientific.

      • These are not theories, and have little to suggest conspiracy.
        It is storytelling and making crap up.
        I am embarrassed for the people here encompass along this drivel.
        The ones who spin together disparate threads of drivel are bordering on the paranoid delusional.

    • Does it matter? The result is the same. I still think this is Nature. I have a friend who was in the middle of the SARS virus and he and his family emigrated because he was horrified by the government response. SARS came out of those markets. For a short time the government cracked down on the illegal live markets but as soon as the crisis was over the local corrupt officials turned a blind eye when the markets started up again in spite of all warnings from their scientists. Maybe the lab was put in Wuhan so they would be ready to deal with the next inevitable outbreak of a new virus while those markets were open. Not all scientists in China are monsters. And again I ask (to quote one my my least favourite people), what difference does it make at this point? The virus is loose.

  22. Thank you for the update.

    As I have commented before, their are too many problems wrt the numbers coming out of China. Other nations, though, are dealing with much smaller numbers of infection. Is the aggregate number of non-China infections large enough to produce meaningful statistics? I would trust those numbers much more.

    The cruise ship ‘experiment’ is very troubling, though. Being in a retirement home (ok, ‘dependent living facility’), prison, mental illness facility, etc. would be very risky if the virus is introduced, and possibly a dearh sentence.

    • Mosher
      The extant pneumonia vaccines are only effective against bacterial pneumonias, not viral. Whistling in the dark!

      No symptoms? Reminds me of the joke about the drunk blowing a whistle to keep the pink elephants away.

      • In this case, the virus does not cause the pneumonia, it creates an enviroment suitable for the pneumonial agent to propogate/

        • That is true for some illnesses that lead to pneumonia, but it is not true in all cases.
          Notably, it is not true in the case of MERS, SARS, and now most likely COVID19.
          The tell is people dying of pneumonia while in intensive care hospital situation.
          This is the whole thing with the antivirals.

          • IOW, these and some other viral respiratory infections do cause pneumonia that is not caused by secondary infection of a bacteria, but by the virus itself.
            Even influenza virus causes some cases of pneumonia.
            About 1.3 of cases of pneumonia are in fact viral, not bacterial and not secondary infections.


      • Here is the CDC page on causes for pneumonia.

        Many common viruses and a few bacteria can cause pneumonia.
        It is one of the leading causes of death of the very young, the very old, and people who have other medical conditions.

        It is a long list, and includes at least 19 specific viruses and types of bacteria.
        Pneumonia is one reason why about 1 or 2 cases of measles winds up being fatal.
        Whooping cough, chicken pox, rhinovirus, chlamydia, adenoviruses, RSV, Legionnaires Disease, and of course, Corona viruses, including the run of the mill kind that cause about 1 in 3 common colds…all can cause pneumonia by themselves.
        Many of these viruses and bacteria have vaccines readily available.
        The most vulnerable to getting them are the very young, who have little to no immune system to speak of when born, and only gradually acquire the ability to fight off infections…and this is why they give vaccines to little babies. Doctors know that a lot of babies get sick and die from common ailments. They know that with so many vaccines now available, some of which take multiple doses to build up a sufficient amount of antibodies to be protective, many parents fail to keep up with the scheduled or recommended visits to get the shots. People are busy. They forget. They put it off.
        And so shots are made with multiple vaccines in one.
        They add adjuvants because it is well known that these reduce to amount of vaccine needed to produce a response. How do they know?
        Many many clinical trials and careful reviews of the numbers.
        Most people do not see fatal automobile accidents very often. But police see them every single day.
        Most people do not know anyone who has had a baby die of a common and easily preventable disease, but people in hospitals see them dying every single day.

        • Oops, one to three cases per 1000 of measles winds up being fatal.
          One in 1000 who gets measles gets encephalitis, a dangerous swelling of the brain that is one of the leading causes of deafness in the world, and a leading cause of mental disability
          One in five who are unvaccinated and gets measles are hospitalized.
          One on twenty gets pneumonia from the measles.
          Nearly 1 to 3 of every 1,000 children who become infected with measles will die from respiratory and neurologic complications.


          • Measles used to be considered a JOKE.

            Measles is almost always benign in 1st world countries for healthy children.

            Do you deny these well known facts?

            What else do you deny?

          • You are seriously mentally ill.
            And have no idea what you are talking about, at all.
            You obviously have no medical knowledge or ability to learn about history.
            Measles was one of many many diseases that were endemic.
            Still waiting for you to either say one thing that is not insanely stupid, or just shut the hell up…but I know you will do neither.
            Just know it…you are a very stupid and emotionally unstable person.

            “Early in the 20th century, measles was a universal childhood illness. The annual number of measles deaths in the United States fluctuated between 2000 and 10,000, and the death-to-case ratio (DCR; the number of reported deaths per 1000 reported cases) generally exceeded 10”


            “In 1962, immediately preceding the licensure of the first measles vaccines in the United States, when measles was a nearly universal disease, Alexander Langmuir described the medical importance of measles to the country and put forth the challenge of measles eradication [1]. Although most patients recovered without permanent sequelae, the high number of cases each year made measles a significant cause of serious morbidity and mortality Langmuir showed that >90% of Americans were infected with the measles virus by age 15 years [1]. This equated to roughly 1 birth cohort (4 million people) infected with measles each year. Not all cases were reported to the public health system; from 1956 to 1960, an average of 542,000 cases were reported annually.By the late 1950s, even before the introduction of measles vaccine, measles-related deaths and case fatality rates in the United States had decreased markedly, presumably as a result of improvement in health care and nutrition. From 1956 to 1960, an average of 450 measles-related deaths were reported each year (∼1 death/ 1000 reported cases), compared with an average of 5300 measles-related deaths during 1912–1916 (26 deaths/ 1000 reported cases) [2]. Nevertheless, in the late 1950s, serious complications due to measles remained frequent and costly. As a result of measles virus infections, an average of 150,000 patients had respiratory complications and 4000 patients had encephalitis each year;”


          • Before a vaccine was available, medical books described measles as almost always benign for healthy children in France.

            The French people and the Americans considered measles as a joke. It’s apparent in old American TV shows. Now the Hollywood-Big Pharma complex is trying to take these jokes back as a thing that never meant anything. Show me a show joking about polio. You can’t. You have NOTHING. I have humiliated you, as always.

            Also, you are an enabler of an FBI MOST WANTED felon. You are sucking up to criminals. (Like the Clinton enablers.)

            You are yet unable to cite real evidence of the usefulness of ANY vaccine.

  23. From China- devastating report from prestigious China science publication on 2019-nCOV being a bio-engineered virus that escaped from a Wuhan based lab.


    ‘a “smoking gun” report from a scientist at the prestigious South China University of Technology in Guangzhou China. A pre-print published by Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao, titled “The possible origins of 2019-nCoV coronavirus” which concludes…

    “somebody was entangled with the evolution of 2019-nCoV coronavirus. In addition to origins of natural recombination and intermediate host, the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan.”

    Commentators note the politics of publishing such a paper in China:

    “But what is far more interesting, and important, is that the paper was supported by China’s National Natural Science Foundation, which means that the paper would likely never see the light of day if someone in Beijing did not stand to gain politically by endorsing the contrarian theory that a Wuhan biolab was indeed the source of the infection.

    Which begs the question: is China’s political elite set to change the narrative it has been spinning since day one about the origins of the coronavirus, and in order to appease an increasingly angry population, points the finger to one or more scientists at the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention and/or Wuhan Institute of Virology. Perhaps even the same scientists we highlighted two weeks ago, and which led to our twitter ban?”

    • It could also be China is looking for a scapegoat to shoot rather than have corrupt officials who looked the other way while this market was open in spite of the warnings of the scientists.

      • The idea that a Wuhan wet market is the cause of the nCoV19 epidemic is pretty well debunked by now. It is far more incendiary if the virus was a) bio-engineered; and b) escaped the lab due to carelessness; and c) this fact has been completely hushed up

  24. I sense a degree of Western Superiority Complex at play here. A virus has no boundaries and this is not about hygiene or what we eat or how. We eat plenty of wild animals in the West too. They don’t need to be wild neither. China got unlucky.

    Our health facilities would cope better? I don’t buy it. Our health services run at near capacity. Add even 25% more demand and they will be swamped. Also, take into account the protection precautions health workers would need to take. That could cut efficiency by 30% Nurses could legitimately and legally refuse to attend the infected. Authorities’ ability to trace and contain is limited.

    The WHO has been very concerned over this outbreak. Why? Here is’ my take:

    – Viral infection of the respiratory system ( hard to treat, antibiotics wont work)
    – This virus is susceptible to mutation?
    – Here is an important test and learn exercise for the global community?
    – They are under pressure from Big Money who have a lot to lose?
    – Short of a gradual reduction in infectiousness, isolation will only slow the spread IMO ( Spanish Flu took 2
    years to fizzle out)

    This virus has one important difference to Spanish Flu. SF killed the young and healthy the theory being that their immune systems over-activated. To date covid-19 kills the already medically compromised (we hope as I see no real data on this).

    My conclusion is that it will behave and spread and kill along the lines of common flu (75% chance). Even then there will be a huge overreaction (?) by authorities which will disrupt economies – especially Western ones. We are the soft underbelly.

    A team I once worked with were discussing these threats some years ago. A guy from Kenya said, ” I was born in a swamp and grew up in a slum. It takes a lot to kill me”. 🙂

    PS: The viral weapon conspiracy is BS. Who would let loose a weapon that knows no boundaries?



    • “I sense a degree of Western Superiority Complex at play here.”
      …too funny Michael Carter.

      “We eat plenty of wild animals in the West too. They don’t need to be wild neither.”
      …Can’t blame people for in the woods for dogs and cats to eat.

      You forgot opportunistic human microbiota like Staphylococcus aureus is a normal bacterium found in all human microbiota. It is opportunistic in lowered and weaker immunity — as in extremely polluted Chinese cities, and is immunomodulating. And why was this important…Staphylococcus aureus causes viral pneumonia.

      The “Cytokine Storm” coming to a theatre near you…

      “PS: The viral weapon conspiracy is BS. Who would let loose a weapon that knows no boundaries?”

      …You do know that Mao Zedong killed 60 million of his own people?

      • A bacteria causes a viral illness?
        You need to stick to something you know a little about.

        Besides that, why are you so gung ho on speculative drivel?

        • The bacteria Staphylococcus aureus can cause fast pneumonia. Staphylococcus aureus is in human microbiota, normally it is commensal. But in immunocompromised individuals, MRSA ( methicillin-resistant S. aureus ) can take hold in hospitals and through a cytokine storm that causes very fast pneumonia. This pneumonia is highly air-polluted Chinese cities is happening by the hundreds of thousands, regardless, and without a coronavirus. You come late to conversation arsehole! I owe you nothing

          “…so gung ho on speculative drivel?”
          So full of piss and vinegar and without anything to add the conversation. You need to go rub your ducky slick…

          You come late to conversation arse hole

          • Mods,
            Some of these people are all the way over the top.
            There is no way to converse with people who make stuff and then start in with this sort of thing.
            Trying to neutralize the worst of the outright lies and obvious nonsense gets to be burdensome, but it has to be done or a thread like this will be unreadable to anyone serious minded, and too loaded up with anti-science to be useful for anyone trying to learn anything.
            I do not think anyone wants to have to read this sort of comment from Michael Burns.
            Not to mention, if someone is gonna use this sort of language, at least make it amusing.
            I was insulted more cleverly back in third grade.

          • “There is no way to converse with people who make stuff”

            Stuff like claim no explosion of MS in France?

            Or measles was considered very bad in the 70ties?

            Or polio was always a well defined disease?

            Or vaccine skepticism is related to only one person and that person recanted?

            All of these lies were perpetuated by you and your vaxxers buddies.

    • The claim is that it escaped, not that it was deliberately released.
      If you are going to shoot down conspiracy theories, at least check to be sure the conspiracy actually exists.

      • Do mean taking note of that old chestnut about not attributing conspiracy to that which can be caused by incompetence ? 🙂

    • Agreed. People tend to forget the Spanish Flu originated in the USA, migrating duck to pig to pig handlers to soldiers.

      • That is one hypothesis, but probably not the case. We might know soon whether the flu already existed in 1916 or not.

      • For every such assertion, are many that flatly contradict it.
        No one knows where it originated, or even exactly when it emerged.
        But there are lots of ideas.
        And many people who write books leave out anything that does not support the case they are trying to make.

      • Here’s an Oxford Academic-published paper from last year on the origin of the Spanish flu pandemic. The study examines the three main origin hypotheses, then offers a persuasive hypothesis as to why it killed healthy people around the age of 28. The H1N1 virus which caused the pandemic appears to have arisen before the cases cited in Kansas, France and China. The avian portion does however look North American in origin.

        Lead author Michael Worobey is a fearless, indomitable old virus hunter, who showed that HIV was circulating before infamous “Patient 0”:


        The origins of the great pandemic
        Michael Worobey, Jim Cox, Douglas Gill
        Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health, Volume 2019, Issue 1, 2019, Pages 18–25, https://doi.org/10.1093/emph/eoz001
        Published: 21 January 2019


        The timing and location of the first cases of the 1918 influenza pandemic are still controversial, a century after the pandemic became widely recognized. Here, we critically review competing hypotheses on the timing and geographical origin of this important outbreak and provide new historical insights into debates within military circles as to the nature of putative pre-1918 influenza activity. We also synthesize current knowledge about why the 1918 pandemic was so intense in young adults. Although it is still not clear precisely when and where the outbreak began and symptom-based reports are unlikely to reveal the answer, indirect methods including phylogenetics provide important clues, and we consider whether intense influenza activity as far back as 1915 in the USA may have been caused by viral strains closely related to the 1918 one.

    • Intriguing, if this Remdesivir does prove to be a magic bullet, and given the scale of the threat, I’m wondering if it will prove any sort of a massive windfall for Gilead ?

      Thinking back to Penicillin, I believe I’m correct in thinking that no major Pharma/Co made royalties from its manufacture and distribution. Companies such as Eli lilly merely being paid costs ?

      Then again Penicillin was discovered in 26 or 28, so maybe the patent was long out by 43 when it was finally decided it was a good thing.

      • Baron Florey was advised by Sir Henry Dale not to patent penicillin, as to do so would be unethical.

        Merck and Pfizer learned how to mass produce it during the war, when need was urgent.

        The best strain for mass production was found just in time in 1943 on a moldy cantaloupe in Peoria, IL.

        I lived in a brutalist modern building named for Baron Florey, an Oz Rhodes Scholar, owned by Queens College, for part of my time up at Oxford. I doubt that he’d have approved of the architecture.

    • Gilead has been working with Chinese health authorities for over a month on this.
      Gilead conferred with them to work out protocols for the two (at least) clinical trials now underway in which remdesivir is being given to several hundred each of moderately ill and gravely ill patients with COVID19.
      Gilead sent them sufficient drug to treat these patients, and did so free of charge.
      Gilead shut down at least one production line for another drug here in the US so they could manufacture a large supply of the drug, which is well underway. They also contracted out to an overseas manufacturer to rapidly make a large supply.

      Gilead has been doing this sort of thing for a long time, and they do it better than any other company in many cases.

      The came up with the first and safest single pill treatment for Hepatitis C, and then improved it to a pill which treated all known variants and is nearly 100% effective, even in patients coinfected with HIV, and even in patients with cirrhosis. They licensed out the manufacture to drug makers all over the world and more or less gave it away. Then they made another pill that treats anyone who has failed on prior treatments and has highly resistant strains of Hepatitis C virus.

      They came up with the best and safest HIV antivirals, and then came up with a single pill anti HIV antiviral that is nearly 100% effective.
      Then they made another that was even better.
      Then they made another one again, and again made it more effective still.
      And another, better and safer and more easily tolerated…again.
      They made a treatment for people who are at risk of being infected but are not, which is, as far as anyone can tell, 100% effective at preventing infection to begin with.

      They give away massive amounts of these drugs for free to people in need.
      They license them out to numerous manufacturers abroad, some for a token royalty, some for free.
      Virtually everyone in the world that needs one of these drugs can get them, regardless of resources or ability to pay.

      It is very hard to think of another company which has done so much to help so many who previously had no hope.
      Inventing and testing these sorts of drugs is incredibly difficult and incredibly expensive, and yet it seems the more they do, they more stunning the success they have had, the worse becomes the criticism, at least from some quarters.

      I really do not think the main thing they are worried about is patents, although of course they do what they can to maintain rights to their intellectual property and to get compensated for the work they have done and need to continue with.
      They tested remdesivir against corona viruses starting years ago, and applied for patents for this use…in the US and also IN CHINA!
      They developed it with treating Ebola and Marburg virus in mind, but since the way the drug works makes it far more broadly active that just these two viruses, they have subsequently tested it and found evidence of activity against “respiratory syncytial virus, Junin virus, Lassa fever virus, Nipah virus, Hendra virus, and coronaviruses (including MERS and SARS viruses)”
      Studies are ongoing for usage against three of the above viruses.

      It was/has been tested in multiple Ebola epidemics. Last Summer, the last of these were halted, and the reason was not exactly that it was ineffective, but that two other new treatments were proven to be more effective…specifically at least two different monoclonal antibodies against Ebola which have been developed. These MABs have reduced mortality in Ebola patients from somewhere around 70% to about half of that.
      It should be noted that th4e MABs are thought to be unlikely to be effective against at least three other strains of Ebola which have caused outbreaks in the past…so remdesivir may yet have at least some usage against Ebola.
      Also, since even the MABs found to be more effective only reduce the mortality by about half to between 29and 34%.
      It should be noted that people who received the MABs soon after becoming infected survived at a rate close to or above 90%.
      I am not sure why ZMAPP and remdesivir were discarded, having been found to reduce mortality to 49% and 53% respectively, rather than trying a multi drug therapy approach by combining the two drugs which have different modes of action. Or if they took the approach to gave ZMAPP or remdesivir to people who failed to improve enough to survive with the MABs alone?
      Seems like a no brainer to me, if people are still dying, throw the kitchen sink at the virus.

      • Just to be clear, the approach to Ebola that would seem to me to be the next step in treatment trials would be to combine one of the monoclonal antibody treatments with a direct acting antiviral like remdesivir.
        This multidrug approach, combination therapy, is what has led to such a high rate of success with other viral illnesses such as HCV and HIV, as well as, soon I hope, against Hepatitis B and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

    • “Alan says: Here in Hong Kong, we have around seven or eight thousand deaths of pneumonia every year. And everyone is freaking out over one or two deaths from this corona thingie. Of course they can “confirm” any number of coronovirus cases they want, simply by testing (or non-testing) sick people with faulty test criteria.”

  25. Based on SARS and influenza, this means the likely Wuhan R0 is 3ish, so very contagious.

    3ish in China. Different sanitary conditions (spitting etc.) elsewhere can change that.

    • More grist for the propaganda mill, for inducing fear, obedience to authorities, and more profits for drug and vaccine makers.

  26. It would be interesting to know the ethnicity of the infected people outside of China. There are a few in the USA but I have not seen any mention of ethnicity. If this is mainly dangerous to people of east Asian ancestry, that would be important data. It’s odd that there is never any mention of the ethnicity of the sick or of the deceased.

    • Not that odd at all: It is impermissible to think such thoughts, to protect you it is thus impermissible to publish information that might lead to such thoughts.

  27. The other human coronaviruses (flu, cold etc) mutate every year into slightly new forms. In the case of the flu, only one or two each year, but in the case of the cold (Rhinovirus), there are many new forms every year (that’s why there will never be a vaccine for the cold). So it is safe to assume that like the other human coronaviruses, this one will also mutate into new forms each year. Thus, the situation is FAR worse because there will be a new COVID-19 each and every year, just like the flu – except it will be 10 times deadlier.

    • Their capacity for rapid evolution, and the huge role that viruses have played in evolution of other domains of life, convinces me that they are alive. Their lack of metabolism and need to hijack cellular machinery in order to reproduce have often led biologists to consider them less than living organisms.

      I beg to differ. They satisfy an essential reqirement for life, ie the ability to evolve via genetic inheritance. Their life cycle involves the free-“living” virion stage and the parasitic cellular invasion stage. Where does it say that to count as alive, you need to meet all possible qualifications?

      Prions, not so much.

      • “Prions, not so much”

        Well, yes, in an abstractly philosophical framework one has to draw a line between living and non-living somewhere. Between viruses and prions seems a reasonable place.

        But that doesn’t mean that at a pragmatic level, Prions aren’t infectious and can’t kill you.

        • My mom’s cousin died from CJD.

          Prions are deadly, but I agree that between them and viruses is where to draw the line. A misfolded protein that can cause other proteins to fold incorrectly doesn’t seem to me alive.

      • There used to be a show called “My So-Called Life”, which I never saw but I understand was about a teenage girl suffering through the teen angst period of her so-called Hell.
        I think it is pretty clear that girls life was an actual life, not a “so-called” one.
        Maybe they can make a sequel about a virus who is having an identity crisis, and sits around fretting about the validity of it’s so-called life!

        What is alive and what is not is a question of semantics, or how one defines the word “alive”, if it is important to make some sort of a decision about it.
        I have had trouble discerning any practical implication for such a definition, either way.
        To me a far more important question is…where the hell did they come from?
        Did they evolve down from more complex entities, in a process that stripped away more and more and left a core from what had been a nucleus?
        Or maybe they were created by cells as part of the ongoing biochemical warfare of life against life that is waged at every level?
        Or a better question yet…Can we find or make phages, the viruses that infect bacteria, that can work for us to fight diseases?
        Let put them suckers to work…give them a job so they can do something useful with their half assed so-called lives!

    • ggm
      From what I have read, many diseases, such as syphilis, started out being much more deadly when first introduced into the population. However, dead people don’t spread a disease as effectively as live people do. Thus, there was selective environmental pressure to weed out the most virulent forms. Natural selection favored the less virulent mutations, thus sustaining the organism instead of it burning out. So, while ‘Wuhan’ may well survive and come back to haunt us, my money is on the proposition that it won’t be “10 times deadlier.”

      • That’s what happened with myxomatosis and rabbits, combined effect of the evolution of a less virulent form of the virus and developing resistance among the rabbits. Known as host-pathogen coevolution.

        • WR: As I understand a continuous 100% containment of the most virulent forms of a virus – in order to let those virulent forms die out – will make ‘the virus’ weaker: only the less virulent forms will survive.

          A 100% containment of forms that are visible (sick people) will make that only less virulent forms can spread.

          Those less virulent forms will create antibodies in infected people and will diminish the susceptibility of a whole population for the type of virus.

          Time will permit less virulent forms to spread spontaneously.

          I am not familiar with possibilities to create antibodies in main parts of populations in a safe way.

    • Ok, diary thing…neither flu or rhinovirus are coronaviruses.
      Try to start out with factual information.
      It makes speculation slightly less worthless.

  28. A pity the link to the NEJM article doesn’t work (page error 404). Can anyone give me a working link or a reference, so I can get it from the Library at the Royal College of Surgeons of England without having to run a literature search?

      • Thanks, John. I have now been able to read the paper, which is most interesting. One should stress, as the authors do, that one case report does NOT prove either the efficacy or safety of the novel antiviral employed. We do not yet know enough about the viral pneumonitis to say whether typical milder cases might develop similar lung changes and see them resolve again spontaneously over two or three days. Watch this space.

        • You’re welcome.

          Of course you’re right that the patient might have recovered just as soon and fully without the antiviral treatment, but IMO it’s still grounds for optimism.

    • Compliant Cats in China ? The Cats I have experience of would have that mask off in an instant 🙂

      As for the Leash, Hmmmmmm I heard they have odd things on the menu over there, so I doubt you can let your moggy run free.

  29. I’m getting this second or third hand so …

    People quite remote from the actual quarantine area report that they have to stay at home. I’m not sure if they have to stay at home because they’re afraid or because someone told them to stay home. It could be that quite a few more than 60 million people are under quarantine, or not.

    In an effort to cope with the boredom of being cooped up, folks are playing a lot more video games. link

  30. Deaths are deaths.
    Presumably there has not been a very large number of unattributed deaths. So if deaths stay the same but the number of infections jumps 10 fold the known mortality rate must go down 10 fold.
    This is good news.
    The fact that the death rate is still not known as it lags the infection rate by 14 days is not good though.
    The old 1000 in 40000 was 2 and 1/2 % with the potential for 2-3 doublings in the death rate I.e. 10-20%.

    “the mechanism is lower respiratory tract viral pneumonia just like 2003 SARS and the 1918 ‘Spanish flu’. There is no reason to think the mortality outcome would differ greatly from a very similar clinical mechanism.”

    One begs to differ.
    Smallpox and cowpox share the same clinical expression.
    Give me the second any day.
    The mortality outcome is a direct result of the severity of the viral pneumonia , not the mechanism itself.
    We do not know yet but it seems bad.

  31. I feel maybe it is best to get virus early in some countries before the hospitals fill up.

    In North Korea it will be really bad because people won’t seek medical help, as likely they will be put into some camp that has horrible conditions. They will hide their illness.

  32. Stupidity . . .
    Corona-viruses = exterminate bats = won’t happen = death = profit for some.
    Bushfires = remove gum-trees from your town = won’t happen = death = profit for some.

  33. Personally, for about 50 years I have been using “Osha root” ( Ligusticum porteri) for repiratory tract problems (in China there are species of Ligusticum). I always try to have some on hand; either as dried roots, homemade extracts or commercial tincture.

    Taken at on-set of flu/cold malaise, for me, Osha root stops things in their track. If I let symptoms get started it still notably quickly (helps) gets me better.

    As for Osha root’s deep respiratory tract relevance: I have given it to individuals with chronic bronchitis that seemed unresponsive to physician’s treatment. Resolution of the bronchitis seemed almost linearly prompt.

    Pneumonia is not something I’ve ever administered Osha root for. Although I would not recommend it as an “alternative” treatment for pneumonia, based on seeing respiratory tract responsiveness to it then probably it could be an adjunt at some point.

    This comment about an additional early immunological tactic. Osha root is not easy to find & in commercial preparations can be considered pricey.

    Maybe some readers would like to have something on hand as a 1st step for self defense if/when a pandemic threat arises in their area. I dose it by squirting a few drops of the tincture deep onto the back of my throat (instead if drinking it down), tastes fairly lousy.

  34. Thanks Rud. Are you fully recovered now from your bout with non-Wuhan viridae? If not, I hope you recover soon.

  35. “I sense a degree of Western Superiority Complex at play here”

    It appears that my above statement has rattled some cages.

    1: Should the virus be of contact transmission only then clearly hygiene has a major part to play. But this virus can infect through being airborne.

    2: Why should cats and dogs be more capable of carrying a virus transmittable to humans than pigs or chickens? The are all in part carnivores

    3: Does Western hygiene result in a smaller percentage of people catching flu each year than compared with developing countries?

    4: Are immune systems in developed countries more robust than the rest? I recall on 2 occasions when a staff member of mine in West Africa was sweating more than usual and looked a bit crook at work. On asking if they were OK they replied ” I’v got a bought of malaria”. One was the cook. They were told to go home.

    5: Western hygiene? I recall a study where someone tested finger food laid out at a party once the party was well swinging. Peanuts in particular were contaminated with human urine

    I’ll rest my case there


      • I have been restraining myself with great effort.
        These threads are what some might call a “target rich environment”.
        Why bother…I did not see anything personally insulting, although obviously there is much attempt at condescension.
        I suspect that this heretofore unrecognized mental affliction known as Western Superiority Complex is about as wide spread as the white nationalist white supremacist alt right “movement”.
        There is plenty of it going around perhaps…who knows?
        One thing I am pretty sure it…it mostly exists in the minds of people who are casting it as an aspersion on others.
        Diseases and how they spread and how deadly they are has nothing to do with hygiene?
        Nothing to do with nutrition?
        Or keeping wild animals of all description out of the butcher shop, and not have the butcher shops, slaughterhouses, exotic pets store, and the restaurant kitchens all under one roof?
        Nothing to do with it?
        Shooting a dear and eating is the same as eating wild rodents and bats?
        It is all dumb luck.
        Like it is all a coincidence that some places have most or all of the new drugs and cures invented, and some places have all the new and terrible diseases.
        Maybe over the next 50 years they will invent all the new stuff in the places where so many new diseases have been popping up, and instead of inventing stuff and coming up with cures, the next 187 LassaEbolaMarburgChikungunyaWestNileHantaRhabdo Eye Bleed Fevers will come from here instead of those other places.
        After all, it is just random.
        One of these days our incredible run of luck with staying healthy and living longer than ever is gonna come back and bite us in the ass, and then we’ll be sorry for the whole staying clean and eating wholesome foods BS.

  36. I estimate that China experiences 20-30 million pneumonia cases each year with over 300,000 deaths (hard to get real numbers). The Coronavirus is responsible for 1% of that. Of course, now that testing is not required for diagnosis and the government will pay all health care costs for those diagnosed with coronavirus based on clinical symptoms (pneumonia), look for Coronavirus to be diagnosed more often, especially among serious cases. This will keep mortality rate higher, since mild cases wont be diagnosed based on clinical symptoms (only tests and they are not reliable and in limited supply so only more serious cases get tested).

    So the fact is most people infected just get a bad cold and don’t get tested or counted. Those deaths are mainly in the over 60 population and those with other diseases. Almost 15% of Chinas population is over 60 and many cities have serious air pollution. Also China is a smoking nation, everyone (men) seems to smoke. And then you have high population density. All of these factors taken together mean easy spread, and more severe lung symptoms due to age and environmental factors.

    The financial and emotional stress of quarantine measures and food shortages, not to mention lack of access to healthcare services due to the focus on coronavirus (people have been turned away with pneumonia if they tested negative or required to pay for service (50% copay I believe with insurance, no socialized health care in China) will increase mortality in China. One way to solve overpopulation-especially among the older population. Come October there should be a nice Baby Boom due to quarantine.

  37. My understanding: Death rate growth factor (change from one day to the next) spiked up to 1.5 on Feb. 12. Down to 0.8 on Feb. 13. The spike on Feb. 12 is due to a spike in the number of deaths, “improved” reporting, relying on clinical symptoms more than blood test. Decrease on Feb. 13 presumably follows the new method. If growth factor stays below 1, this is a sign of decline, “with the quantity eventually becoming zero.” https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-death-toll/

    Until Feb. 12, there was a clear downward trend in the growth factor from Jan. 26. Deaths consistently under-reported, but could the trend not be real?

    True or false: viruses generally mutate in the direction of less virulence, even if greater infectiousness, over time. Everyone gets a cold, no one dies except Liz Taylor in The Last Time I Saw Paris. Viruses are a kind of pure parasite, so a survival strategy would be: in a population of wild birds, that may not come in close contact, high infectiousness, low virulence. Killing a host could mean the end of the party. Birds and other animals jammed together: a spike in deaths in a kind of post-Lenten feast, then settling back to high infectiousness, low virulence.

    2009 swine flu from Mexico: by the time we heard about it, the worst was over. There was a rush to make vaccine available, and suddenly people didn’t want it.

    • Only the kind of people “with higher education” that (allegedly) would never vote for Trump are fans of the flu vaccine, probably one of the one patently ridiculous and indefensible vaccination program in the US or in Europe.

  38. Just noticed an interesting fact about the current flu season scroll across a news feed. It gave the numbers, but the last bit was that more children have died this year than since the 2009/10 season. In other words, since the last solar minimum when it was in its final year. Which is exactly where we are at right now. The sun should spark up sometime between July to September, imo.

  39. Seems not possible to contain the virus. Is like trying to contain common cold. People use masks but touch surfaces with hands. Children especially touch their eyes, nose, mouth. For toddlers you can’t stop them. Hopefully the Gilead drug works. People also must work. The whole economy cannot shut down, that would be disaster as well. In poorer countries you have to work for food. We can’t lock down every city. I expect to get this virus maybe not this year but next or the year after.

    Also I read immunity to existing coronaviruses only lasts for a few years and then you can catch same one again.

    Also the virus has already mutated. Not by much but a little. More people that get it the more mutations we will see.

    One thing people can do is to get in good cardio vascular condition so the body is more efficient user of oxygen.

    • Staying healthy is never a bad idea.
      Reminds me of one evening at college, a bunch of people were planning to go out for a night at some downtown club, but at the last minute the person who was gonna get the tickets for us told us it would have to be a different night.
      This one guy gets all irritated, and blurts out “You mean I took a shower for nothing?”!

      Anywho…getting plenty of sleep may be the most important single thing a person can do to keep the immune system strong.
      Although making sure one does not have any vitamin or micronutrient deficiencies is hard to argue with as a first priority. I think someone already mentioned zinc, but all of the trace elements, like selenium, chromium, magnesium and manganese, calcium, iron, folate…hell all the B vitamins…there is not one necessary nutrient that it is a good idea to ever run low on.
      Masks are not meant to keep a person from getting something from someone else…they are meant to keep a person from spreading germs to others. A full face shield would probably help…but if someone becomes do widespread you need to try to keep peoples breath and droplets off your body, the disease has broken out and will become endemic if it is going to. Which means there may first be a pandemic.
      Or not.
      Many diseases are terrible afflictions in other countries, and then they turn up here, either the bug that acts as a vector, or someone actually comes down with it and there are fears it is here now…And then nothing happens. Over the past 20 years there has been one disease after another that did not spread once it got to the US.
      Zika, Ebola, Dengue, Chikungunya…the list is long.
      Avoid sick people.
      Be averse to the body fluids of all but…well almost everyone.
      Do not go out if you are sick…it is easier to get something worse while you are ailing.
      Do not walk in crap, or frequent pig sty’s, or get bird poop on you…
      You know…stuff we already do not do much of to begin with.
      Do not touch wild animals unless you know how to tell if one is sick.
      Better yet just don’t.
      I never do.
      If my cats bring something in that is alive…I never touch it with my hands…ever!
      Why would anyone?
      I was reading the other day about that girl in Wisconsin who got rabies and somehow lived.
      She had picked up a bat off the ground, and it bit her.
      She went home, her parents washed it out…they never even thought of worrying about it.
      First of all…what? Why?!
      Picked up a bat off the ground?
      What kind of bats are on the ground…in daylight?
      Sick ones!
      But even still…
      “Do you know where that things has been?”
      We say that to children and are astonished we have to.

      • “Reminds me of one evening at college, a bunch of people…”

        I doubt you went to college, maybe, “in the front door and out the back door”… but lets for argument’s sake say you did go to college McGinty.

        “[…] a bunch of people […]”
        A bunch of people, tell me Nicho, how many in a bunch of people — a bunch of bananas could be 3-20 tiers, if we are talking about a bunch of grapes, well we’re into a number of dozen.
        We could use the word group, or as in your case cluster, as in..Can we break even and say…” a considerable amount”.

        “I was reading the other day about that girl in Wisconsin who got rabies and somehow lived.”
        ” What kind of bats are on the ground…in daylight?
        Sick ones!”

        Nick me ole son your not the sharpest tool in shed in the shed are you?

        • Oh, wait…you are the guy who claims that bacteria cause viral illnesses, right?
          I can understand that it must be very embarrassing to be corrected when you spew nonsense in a discussion thread of a science website.
          But your emotional inability to deal with your embarrassment in some rational way, like just admitting you misspoke or did not know what the hell you are talking about is no reason to call attention to yourself by acting out like this.
          You are apparently as humorless as you are ignorant and poorly educated.
          Do not get me wrong…lack of education is nothing to be ashamed of per se.
          But lack of humor, now that is unforgivable.

          It is of course predictable that stories such as this one bring out a whole fresh crop of people with all manner of strange ideas.
          Like your mélange of made up crap in this comment, and repeating stuff you know full well has been debunked and in fact withdrawn by the author, is a collection of various flavors of bullshit:

          And again, nothing wrong with looking critically at what is going on in the world, but people like you, posting the same discredited nonsense many days after first posting it and having not one but several people point out that the whole thing was withdrawn with apology by the author well over two weeks ago, and yet you post it again and again and again.

          Why would you do this Michael?
          Do you take people for fools?
          Why do you take possession of bullshit written by others and make it your own and then swear to it?
          So I just want to ask again, why you have reposted the retracted study by Pradhan et al?
          It was thoroughly debunked.
          The author has withdrawn it, weeks ago, and links to all of this were posted in that last thread.
          You were not wrong to criticize Michael Carter, but then you went of on an entirely different tangent
          This is not the kind of place where you can get away with that sort of nonsense.

          You obviously do plenty of reading, but you mix up facts and bullshit way too much.
          Try just sticking to facts.

          It would not matter if I dropped out of school if I finished last in my class in Kindergarten.
          It does not take the brightest bulb on the tree to spot a bullshitter,
          So stop being one.

  40. Question the antecedents of the coronavirus outbreak or suggest there’s anything awry with the situation and the MSM believers scream ‘conspiracy theory’ and start the usual tide of personal abuse and targetting.

    But the Science is suggesting the virus at the centre of the recent infections is MAN MADE! At a guess, at the level 4 biolab in Wuhan. i.e. something they developed got away from them, either accidentally or on purpose.

    This paper suggests someone used sequences from HIV to enhance the coronavirus and make it more effective in attacking humans.

    Here’s the abstract:
    We are currently witnessing a major epidemic caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
    The evolution of 2019-nCoV remains elusive.

    We found 4 insertions in the spike glycoprotein (S) which are unique to the 2019-nCoV and are not present in other coronaviruses.

    Importantly, amino acid residues in all the 4 inserts have identity or similarity to those in the HIV1 gp120 or HIV-1 Gag.

    Interestingly, despite the inserts being discontinuous on the primary amino acid sequence, 3D-modelling of the 2019-nCoV suggests that they converge to constitute the receptor binding site.

    The finding of 4 unique inserts in the 2019-nCoV, all of which have identity /similarity to amino acid residues in key structural proteins of HIV-1 is unlikely to be fortuitous in nature.

    This work provides yet unknown insights on 2019-nCoV and sheds light on the evolution and pathogenicity of this virus with important implications for diagnosis of this virus. ”

    • Interesting. Thailand has claimed success using HIV drugs against the virus. Also the way China went after the doctor that first reported the spread is very suspicious to me.

    • This paper was retracted weeks ago.
      The who!e premise was false.
      Try to spread more up to date bullshit.

    • Mark, the problem is you’re raising questions coming out of the science community, especially top Chinese virologists. There is always some portion of the population that not only doesn’t understand the science, but attributes magical or conspiratorial thinking to those that do. They prefer to regurgitate what they heard on CNN as unimpeachable truth and get pretty agitated about their opinions.

      Right now there are a couple of theories about the origins and transmission of COVID-19… that this is a bio-engineered chimera virus that was accidentally released from the Wuhan BSL-14 is a viable hypothesis, in fact, the more likely explanation. Eventually we’ll know for sure.

    • Yep, and a long list of other natural things will kill the virus. Not to mention interior terrain is far more important than any virus. I’m not the least bit worried about this or any other virus. I’m worried about the idiot humans who lack awareness on how to prevent or defeat it. This absurd talk about a vaccine is pathetically stupid, too. Cures all around them and they cry for some fantasy man made miracle pill.

    • Give me a break.
      Who are you…Linus Pauling?
      Having deficiencies of any necessary nutrient makes a person less healthy.
      But no vitamins are curse for any diseases, except for a diseased caused by lack of that vitamin.
      Vitamin C cures scurvy, that is for sure.
      People who get plenty of all the vitamins will tend to be healthier than people who do not get proper nutrition.
      I have been taking vitamins, sometimes in megadoses, since the 1960s, when my mom was the original health food enthusiast. About since I was born.
      They are to maintain proper nutrient content of the body. You need them, all the time, to be healthy.
      But they will categorically not cure anything caused by infectious organisms.
      There have been more studies of this than anyone can shake a stick at.
      All came up empty.
      Some showed that people who take vitamins every day have more of certain ailments.
      But mostly it is just as one would suspect…people who take vitamins every day have less chance of getting sick from certain infectious diseases…notably colds. And they may not last as long if they do get one.
      But no study, properly administered, has ever been able to show that taking them will cure anything…not the cold, not flu…and it sure aint from lack of trying.
      If you have something bad enough that it is not going to go away on it’s own, you best not be thinking that vitamins cure it.
      What next…pot cures cancer people gonna show up?

  41. Nature may be about to add another tweak to this ongoing story. Over the last month or so much of China had temps above average, mostly along the coastal areas but also penetrating into the center at times. Well that just changed with surface winds pouring south from Mongolia, and cold surface winds moving east out of the Himalayas. The result is that temps in China just dropped to their lowest point for this winter, and this is in the middle of the day, … https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/overlay=temp/orthographic=127.30,34.89,1019/loc=94.312,32.534

  42. 4 segments of amino acids, found in lots of other viruses and organisms, but none of which are in any other corona virus member.
    Those 4 segments total 27 amino acids, coded by 81 DNA bases. The 4 segments match to HIV and specifically to two proteins involved in recognition and binding to a host cell.
    By random chance, the corona virus mutated 81times with the correct choice out of 4 bases, to correctly code these 27 amino acids (out of 20 possibilities) that match the specific portion of 2 proteins involved in finding and attaching to a cell to infect.

    But yeah, it came from bats in a meat market.

      • It’s impossible to publish nearly anything remotely critical of vaccines. There is a taboo in the so called science world, actually a religious world.

        Why would you rely on those buffoons?

        Do you deny the explosion of MS following hep B vaccination in France?

        • Paranoia is rampant in this one.
          There is no taboo on publishing papers critical of vaccinations.
          There is a taboo against publishing papers that have no basis in fact or science.

          Yes, I do deny this explosion of MS.

          • Your source on that?

            How many critical studies have been published? Under what conditions?

            A critical study needs to say the vaccine is beneficial to be published!

            What is your basis to deny the cases of MS after mass vaccination?

          • “If papers questioning the safety or efficacy of vaccines can’t get published, then upon what do you base your assertion of MS caused by vaccines?”

            They get published in less reputable journals and with the intro saying that the benefits of the hep B vaccine still hold, whereas:
            – these benefits are unproven
            – even if they existed, the fact the vaccine can cause MS overwhelms those benefits in almost all cases of prevention of an hypothetical risk.

            And that was more than a decade ago, vaxxism derangement syndrome got exponentially worse.

            Everything I wrote would be known by anyone remotely connected to what matters in the real world, of course. Ergo, you live in a cave.

          • NG sez: “Your source on that?
            How many critical studies have been published? Under what conditions?
            A critical study needs to say the vaccine is beneficial to be published!
            What is your basis to deny the cases of MS after mass vaccination?”

            But, he himself never once has provided a single source for HIS nutty paranoid delusions.
            He cites no studies but asks for other people to do HIS homework instead.
            In fact nothing has been more stringent than the US FDA approval process, and the standards and protocols used in the clinical trials process are the most rigorous that can be devised.
            He knows nothing of any of this, apparently.
            He is a textbook case of people who demand information while providing none, and then never even glances at it. He just moves on to the next lie in his Gish Gallop.
            Anyone can read all about how every single idea of the anti vaccination nutbags have been thoroughly investigated and disproven.
            Because unlike people who just make stuff up, the people responsible for safety and saving lives take concerns seriously and address them, no matter how lacking in merit they are.
            The anti-science crowd pay no attention to facts…their audience is not people who pay attention to actual data, but to people who reflexively believe anything dumb and illogical, and reject anything proven and factual…in fact never even considering anything like data and facts.

            Making up out of thin air nonexistent cause and effect but never actually looking at if there is any objective reason for believing it to be so, seems like something no serious person would do, and it is not.
            But it is what N.G. and his ilk do every day.
            Just look back at the totality of his commentary on this and any other thread he has commented on to see how he operates.

            In fact there was no anti vaccination movement until it was invented out of thin air in the 1990s by a guy who was a proven and admitted liar, whose claims have been thoroughly and repeatedly shown baseless, and has himself come clean about making it up from whole cloth.
            But the unfortunate fact of such ideas is, there is a mass market of credulous and gullible people ready to latch onto any such baseless idea and make it their own cause.
            Evidence and facts have nothing to do with it, because it is a psychological malady, reinforced by an emotional inability to ever examine their own believes in a critical way.
            Feel sorry for these people, and show they are wrong…but give them no heed.

          • NG:

            “Less reputable” was your phrase to describe journals publishing negative articles on vaccine effects.

            The NIH is a reputable publisher, so yet again, as always, you’re wrong.

          • “The NIH is a reputable publisher,”

            What’s that supposed to mean?

            Did I say that all articles creating doubt on a vaccines were published in totally crap fake journals?

            As usual you can’t read and can’t reason.

            And you don’t know the most important study on that subject!

  43. 1. I wish to thank Mr McGinley for his infinite patience in dealing with trolls here. These are the people who refused to do a minute of homework during biology class and instead disrupted it, because they resent those with a work ethic.
    2. Mods, it’s time to permaban “niceguy”, who is a troll. Let the self-proclaimed genius come back when he has developed, tested and distributed a 90% or better cure for this bug.

    • Mr Crooked Pharma Apologist, do you have any evidence that recommended vaccine is actually useful?

      Do you deny the horrible damages done by the polio vaccine in the US?
      Do you deny the change of concept of “polio” disease?

      Do you support research done by FBI MOST WANTED people?

  44. Mr. McGinley: you’ve too many posts to acknowledge them all, here and on the other threads. Would, though, like to say thanks for the information on the old Brit and American studies as to cold transmission. And for the practical explanation of virus life on surfaces. Useful information, even if this one turns out to be slightly out of bounds.
    I know they always say ‘don’t feed them’ but…. you’re a one-man-band on troll suppression too.

  45. @ Nicholas Ginley
    “People like me?”

    Like what Nick. You brand me a troll because I contest the consensus on this. That so easy. Never embarrassing to be corrected. But you don’t correct. You land in this conversation then expect people to be nice to you, how about you quite propagandizing the conversation, with you obvious bias.
    We get bombarded every day with the bullshit of the world and sift through it to find any nuggets of truth that move one to a more knowledgeable understanding of a subject.

    But here’s you arrogantly consuming the oxygen in the debate.
    Personally, I think out of the box nick — on my own.

    It seems you can be wrong yourself, but let me be the one to say there is no shame in not knowing what you are talking about Nick — granted in the beginning I was the first in responding to quickly and misusing the word viral pneumonia, in this matter and I did write it as a quick response to ongoing research I was entangled in quite deeply, it was in response to Mr. Carter.

    Common sense only suggests that to seek the visceral in one of the 6,016,075 English articles in some 49,634,015 on Wikipedia is a fool’s paradise for any kind of enlightenment on a subject. And although a serious gathering of some quality information of the sake of the trivial seeking laymen is there, its an overview and far from complete.

    “The clinical trial in COVID19 patients is due to wrap up in April, but if other patients respond like the one in Washington, expect them to discontinue the study and give [real] drug to everyone.”

    It is not a drug! it is a prodrug, a totally different beast, one of the world’s new medicines that aim to revolutionize the old paradigm of drug treatment. Something that5 has been seen before…and Gilead is not known for giving anything away. In fact, they charge outrageous amounts for drugs as a $1,000 a pill for what…?

    There is theoretically possible that with a healthy immunity this new prodrug, Remdesivir is a wonder as it works with gut microbiota I believe, I’m sure you will correct me. What if that backfires in unhealthy immunities like the type we find in Wuhan who are lung compromised and a usually benign bacteria works against the body instead.
    The first matter in this prodrug trial would be an absolute ‘placebo washout’…
    Was Remdesivir not reported as an overnight recovery?

    There is a lot more to this than people getting sick, the aspect of economy I know small in the minds of the fearful but the is a sizable loss of economy somewhere around a 17% loss. Suppliers are off, in my end till the 21st of February, this whole thing stinks.

    “Gilead has been doing this sort of thing for a long time, and they do it better than any other company in many cases.”

    You sound like a spokesman Nick, putting out fires, are you?
    What was the case for the retraction of Remdesivi as a failed ebola cure, a new prodrug with a lot of research behind it? Huge money invested in R&D. Now it is looking for a disease to cure? BTW who is ‘they’ Nick?

    “They give away massive amounts of these drugs for free to people in need.”

    Bless their hearts. The more I read this rant, of yours the more I realize you have a dog in this race, Nick.

    “They tested remdesivir against [corona viruses] starting years ago, and applied for patents for this use…in the US and also IN CHINA!”

    Your telling porky pies buddy and that smoke you are blowing. Gilead Sciences a drug company with a heart, pull my other leg, Nicholas.

    “[…] and the reason was not exactly [that] it was ineffective, but that two other new treatments were proven to be more effective […]”

    Nick!…you do have a dog in this race.

    “[…] so remdesivir may yet have at least some usage against Ebola.

    Remdesivir was pushed through and fell flat on it’s facing the Congo Health officials pushed hard for the use of mAb114 a monoclonal and REGN-EB3 in combination.
    What about those class-action suits over the tenofovir, Nick? And you claim they give massive amounts for free.
    After all this long-winded diatribe against the nice, and the diarist entry on your thoughts on the uselessness of my words we get to your conclusion on this…

    “Let put them suckers to work…give them a job so they can do something useful with their half-assed so-called lives!”

    “Shooting a [dear] and eating is the same as eating wild rodents and bats?”
    Hilarious, truly funny Nicholas… and you correct me?

    “One of these days our incredible run of luck with staying healthy and living longer than ever is gonna come back and bite us in the ass, and then we’ll be sorry for the whole staying clean and eating wholesome foods BS.”

    “Why do you take possession of bullshit written by others and make it your own and then swear to it?”
    I was going to ask you the same thing, Nick

    “Try just sticking to facts.”
    Like your kind of facts about Gilead Sciences? How much were they charging for Sofosbuvir? $1000 a pill, $84,000 for an 84-day course of treatment.
    Gilead needs to mea culpa a few thousand times for their sins champ, the restrictions they put on lucrative markets, VLA’s???
    Fanconi syndrome??? How about those side and permanent effects from what HIV medication Tenofovir and Didanosine — a double cluster between Gilead and Bristol Myers. They both made out like bandits.
    But hell that was back then, and Remdesivir is new ground to plough. I don’t trust you or the drug company, they couldn’t care less for dying people, they care and invest in the largest bottom line they can gain.

    “In fact, nothing has been more stringent than the US FDA approval process.”
    The FDA is famous for fast-tracking larger Big Pharma drugs through, ramming them through and allowing for their own lab’s (Big Pharma labs)  to run there own research on new drugs whither they are fit of the consumer or not… Don’t give me any of this horse pucky about their honesty. There are well over 70,000 deaths a year from prescription drugs pushed through.
    The FDA suggests ways to speed the process, of drug approval. They are definitely not working for the public of the United States of America.
    Give drugs away…nice try Nicholas. They will not stand for competition and violate the rule incessantly.

    “According to Marcia Angell, the former head of the New England Journal of Medicine, “The United States is the only advanced country that permits the pharmaceutical industry to charge exactly what the market will bear.”

    “The largest pharmaceutical companies and their two trade groups, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and Biotechnology Innovation Organization, [lobbied on at least 1,600 pieces of legislation between 1998 and 2004.] According to the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics, [pharmaceutical companies spent $900 million on lobbying between 1998 and 2005, more than any other industry.] During the same period, they donated $89.9 million to federal candidates and political parties, giving approximately three times as much to Republicans as to Democrats.[1] According to the Center for Public Integrity, from January 2005 through June 2006 alone, the pharmaceutical industry spent approximately $182 million on [Federal]lobbying.[2] The industry has 1,274 registered lobbyists in Washington D.C.”

    Let’s get this straight now…$900 million on lobbying… 1600 pieces of legislation 1998-2004… $89 million donated to federal candidates and parties…………………….. 1,274 registered lobbyists. What and you claim honesty?

    You’re the troll here, trolling for the drug company, here to put the fire and brand the heretics.
    Burn them… Burn them you say.
    I have done the research, I know the corruption, the above quote is an overview.
    Pull my other leg, Nick.
    I won’t be part of this Asch Conformity experiment.

    You think I am stupid and a troll, a bullshitter and a fool. You have no clue who I am Nicholas?
    let the stones fly!

  46. Might have chosen another word to use in my post, since it’s possible anyone who’s found themselves disagreeing with McGinley might suspect I was lumping all of them under the same heading. Should have been more specific, as in saying ‘niceguy’.

    That said… when a thread shows up devoted to Big Pharma and it’s sins, I suspect the people interested in it will be the only ones reading it.

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