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.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Christopher Simpson
February 14, 2020 6:12 am

“… 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.

Bob boder
Reply to  Christopher Simpson
February 14, 2020 6:50 am

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.

Bryan A
Reply to  Bob boder
February 14, 2020 10:07 am

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

Reply to  Bryan A
February 14, 2020 10:17 am

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.

Christopher R Pastel
Reply to  Bryan A
February 14, 2020 8:37 pm

I would also like to know just WHERE they filed for a patent.

K. Hunter
Reply to  Bob boder
February 15, 2020 2:30 pm

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.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Christopher Simpson
February 14, 2020 7:15 am

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

Reply to  Christopher Simpson
February 14, 2020 7:17 am

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.

Reply to  Christopher Simpson
February 14, 2020 10:04 am

“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.”

Reply to  marlene
February 14, 2020 10:22 am

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.

Reply to  Scissor
February 14, 2020 1:24 pm

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.

Reply to  marlene
February 14, 2020 11:15 am

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.

William Astley
Reply to  icisil
February 14, 2020 1:02 pm

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.

Reply to  icisil
February 14, 2020 1:57 pm

Oh check this out. 68% of Chinese men smoke. In one study, guess what percentage men comprised early cases of coronavirus (i.e., pneumonia) in Wuhan? 68%

Men could be more vulnerable to coronavirus infection as research finds they made up 68% of early cases in outbreak epicenter of Wuhan


Reply to  icisil
February 14, 2020 2:37 pm

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.

Reply to  icisil
February 14, 2020 3:03 pm

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.

Reply to  icisil
February 15, 2020 6:03 am

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.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  icisil
February 15, 2020 6:42 am

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.

Reply to  icisil
February 15, 2020 11:11 am

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.

Reply to  icisil
February 15, 2020 2:22 pm

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.

Bill Parsons
Reply to  icisil
February 14, 2020 6:52 pm

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.

Fred Streeter
Reply to  Bill Parsons
February 15, 2020 6:21 am

“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.)

muppets are us
Reply to  Bill Parsons
February 16, 2020 3:42 am

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.

Holly T
Reply to  icisil
February 14, 2020 9:42 pm

Those pollution images are frightening.

Reply to  Holly T
February 15, 2020 6:08 am

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.

Reply to  Christopher Simpson
February 14, 2020 11:17 am

“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.

Reply to  Christopher Simpson
February 16, 2020 9:09 am

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.

February 14, 2020 6:16 am

Thank you Rud Istvan

Reply to  chaamjamal
February 14, 2020 8:02 am

..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

Mark Kaulius
Reply to  Latitude
February 15, 2020 4:02 am

Actually we do. We just don’t have the will to use it….yet.

February 14, 2020 6:23 am

“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.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  tty
February 14, 2020 10:05 am

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.

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
February 14, 2020 10:29 am

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.

Reply to  Scissor
February 15, 2020 2:29 pm

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.

Reply to  Scissor
February 24, 2020 10:19 am

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

michael hart
Reply to  tty
February 14, 2020 1:33 pm

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

February 14, 2020 6:29 am

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?

Reply to  bonbon
February 14, 2020 8:22 am

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.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  philincalifornia
February 14, 2020 8:38 am

Wikipedia is fine for non controversial subject material.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 14, 2020 10:47 am

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

Reply to  niceguy
February 14, 2020 4:37 pm

Fuel Air Bombs have been known to suck the air out of buildings.

Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 5:28 am

A chemical reaction that explosively sucks up O2?

For real?

John Tillman
Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 6:25 am



Same thing happens in grain elevator explosions, when fine wheat chaff dust ignites to create an accidental FAE.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 7:15 am

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?

Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 7:38 am

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.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 8:04 am

I have not seen anyone but you use the word implosion.
Not that this has anything to do with what was being discussed.

Fuel air explosion:

House does not explode, it collapses in on itself, mostly.
Same with this mannikin:

Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 9:53 am

As always, you utterly missed the point.

Does the chain chemical reaction sucks up O2?

Nope. Never. Preposterous.

Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 10:36 am

Do FAE consume available oxygen?


Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 11:24 am

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.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 11:32 am

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.

John Tillman
Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 12:38 pm


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:


Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 3:06 pm

“Do FAE consume available oxygen?”

Does a coal locomotive?

Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 3:08 pm

“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.

Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 3:10 pm

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

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

John Tillman
Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 3:18 pm


Do you really want to deny that FAEs consume oxygen?

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

John Tillman
Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 4:03 pm

On your home planet, is seeing believing?

John Tillman
Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 4:14 pm

John Tillman
Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 4:15 pm


Clearly you’ve never been to a war thrown since 1970.

Reply to  niceguy
February 16, 2020 4:05 am

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.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  bonbon
February 14, 2020 8:29 am

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.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  bonbon
February 14, 2020 8:57 am

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.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 14, 2020 10:58 am


Reply to  marlene
February 14, 2020 3:34 pm

LMAO with C₆H₁₂O₆ on it!

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  marlene
February 15, 2020 5:13 am

What…I amuse you?

February 14, 2020 6:49 am

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.

Reply to  niceguy
February 14, 2020 7:06 am

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.

Reply to  littlepeaks
February 14, 2020 8:22 am

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.

Clair Kiernan
Reply to  littlepeaks
February 14, 2020 9:52 am

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?

Reply to  Clair Kiernan
February 14, 2020 10:09 am

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?

Reply to  niceguy
February 14, 2020 10:34 am

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.

Reply to  niceguy
February 14, 2020 10:45 am

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”.

John Tillman
Reply to  niceguy
February 14, 2020 3:08 pm


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.

Reply to  niceguy
February 14, 2020 4:41 pm

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.

Reply to  niceguy
February 14, 2020 8:38 pm

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

Justin Burch
Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 7:00 am

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.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 7:28 am

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.

Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 7:30 am

“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.

Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 7:33 am

“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?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 7:47 am

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.

Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 9:56 am

“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?

Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 9:59 am

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


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.

Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 10:39 am

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.

Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 10:40 am

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.

Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 10:43 am

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.

John Tillman
Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 2:30 pm


Please see the numerous studies cited here showing the effectiveness of flu vaccines:


Not that I expect any actual evidence to penetrate your fact-free prejudices.

Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 2:59 pm

“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.

Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 3:02 pm

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

I’m done with you.

Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 3:03 pm

“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.

Reply to  niceguy
February 15, 2020 3:05 pm

“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?

Justin Burch
Reply to  Clair Kiernan
February 15, 2020 6:57 am

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.

Reply to  Justin Burch
February 15, 2020 9:57 am

Good for her, note that many people have as good testimony for homeopathy.

John Tillman
Reply to  Justin Burch
February 15, 2020 2:31 pm

Millions of people every year find benefit in homeopathy?

Reply to  Justin Burch
February 15, 2020 3:00 pm

More than just “millions” buy homeopathy and claim they get a very visible positive effect, for them, their children, their cows…

Reply to  littlepeaks
February 15, 2020 2:33 pm

I agree with your logic, but good luck persuading the illogical.

Reply to  niceguy
February 14, 2020 8:31 am

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.

Jim of Wollombi
Reply to  niceguy
February 14, 2020 3:36 pm

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

Reply to  Jim of Wollombi
February 16, 2020 3:19 pm

Mutation, or different selection?

Reply to  Jim of Wollombi
February 16, 2020 7:36 pm

“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?

February 14, 2020 6:56 am

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 Mosher
Reply to  Alex
February 14, 2020 8:50 am


Reply to  Steven Mosher
February 14, 2020 10:36 am

You’re welcome.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
February 14, 2020 12:24 pm


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.

Justin Burch
Reply to  Alex
February 15, 2020 7:04 am

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 Tillman
February 14, 2020 7:03 am

Giant viruses and maybe some other types have genomes ten to 100 times larger than Wuhan’s:


Rud Istvan
Reply to  John Tillman
February 14, 2020 9:08 am

True. I meant human viruses and should have been clearer.

John Tillman
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 14, 2020 10:30 am

The giant Mimivirus causes pneumonia in humans. Its genome is 1.2 million bp long. It’s a DNA virus, but even a single strand is 20 times the size of Wuhan’s RNA. Megavirus (1.3 Mbp) also infects people:


Rud Istvan
Reply to  John Tillman
February 14, 2020 3:45 pm

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.

John Tillman
Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 15, 2020 3:21 pm

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.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
February 15, 2020 3:05 pm


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.

February 14, 2020 7:03 am

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?

Rud Istvan
Reply to  DHR
February 14, 2020 9:11 am

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.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 14, 2020 2:02 pm



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

Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 15, 2020 3:23 am

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

Justin Burch
Reply to  ozspeaksup
February 15, 2020 7:07 am

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”

Reply to  Justin Burch
February 16, 2020 7:38 pm

I agree, there have not been accidental escapes!.

Sweet Old Bob
February 14, 2020 7:08 am

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

John Tillman
February 14, 2020 7:10 am

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.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  John Tillman
February 14, 2020 10:25 pm

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.

Tom Johnson
February 14, 2020 7:12 am

“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.

Toby Nixon
Reply to  Tom Johnson
February 14, 2020 10:20 am

It would have to be a “wall” of people and technology, not steel beams or concrete.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Toby Nixon
February 14, 2020 10:31 pm

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.

Chris Clark
February 14, 2020 7:17 am

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.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Chris Clark
February 14, 2020 7:38 am

“How to calculate the mortality rate during an outbreak”

Chris Clark
Reply to  Wim Röst
February 14, 2020 8:10 am

Yes, Wim, it is from that site that I got the one I mentioned in my post.

Reply to  Wim Röst
February 14, 2020 12:16 pm

Thank you Wim, very informative.

Reply to  Chris Clark
February 14, 2020 9:13 am

I agree with Chris. Journalists with little or no medical knowledge listen to briefings, then write articles, read by people with little or no medical knowledge – producing the current chaotic stew of misinformation.

For an easy and clear daily update, I recommend the WHO website. Most of what’s discussed here and in the general news comes from the WHO briefings. They are clear, designed for journalists and the general public.

For example, they gave a clear example of why China changed their reporting system. Amateur alarmists went hysterical about this. Readers of WUWT would, I hope, be skeptical of their rants. Begins on the bottom of page 9:

There is the daily situation report:

The daily press briefings have more information. An audio goes up quickly afterwards. A transcript is posted the next day.

The Director-General of WHO has given frequent briefings, which are imo quite insightful:

Reply to  Chris Clark
February 14, 2020 9:25 am

I agree with Chris.

Dr Michael J Ryan at the Feb 13 WHO press briefing:

“We need a vaccine against misinformation {and} a communications vaccine. We need to be able to communicate in a much more effective way.”

Sad but true since the US public prefers exciting misinformation. Climate science isn’t an exception, it’s typical.


Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Larry
February 14, 2020 10:55 pm

Just because some people might want that, is no excuse for responsible news organizations to give it to them.
Unfortunately, the days of prudent and responsible reporting by the msm seems like a happy memory at best.
If it bleeds, it leads has always been a news editors mantra, but there were some organizations that did not let that dictate how ALL news was covered.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Chris Clark
February 14, 2020 10:11 am

Also if COVID-19 is like SARSCoV, then it encodes 4 additional non-structural proteins in the 3’ end of the genome.
Deletion of each of those SARS unique accessory proteins had no effect on cell culture growth of the virus. So the only way to test the theory they involve intact immune system suppression would be an experimental animal. The function of those accessory proteins where never determined but likely involved intact host immune system suppression since they were conserved in the human SARSCoV isolates. Unfortunately only the cynomolgus macaques monkeys were found to replicate most of the SARSCoV human symptoms of severe respiratory involvement. To my knowledge those live animal experiments were never carried out as they involved very significant expense and risk to lab personnel. After SARS was successfully eradicated from human circulation, most lab work on fully virulent SARS isolates was shutdown outside all but CDC BSL4 facilities.

What is really scary now is the likely epidemic of CVID-19 in North Korea. They porous smuggling between between China and North Koreas borders means it is certainly in the North Korean population. That closed society does not have the medical resources to contain the spread by identification and isolation. How that turns out remains to be seen. COVID-19 potentially could bring an end to the North Korean regime and many of its people.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
February 14, 2020 10:31 am

Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) is a BSL4 constructed in 2015.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Michael Burns
February 14, 2020 11:37 am

Who in the West can really be sure of what was going on at that Wuhan Lab with Chinese military personnel working there.
My reference was to the US research.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
February 14, 2020 10:44 am

Joel O’Bryan: What is really scary now is the likely epidemic of CVID-19 in North Korea.””

There was a message on Twitter about sickness cases in North Korea some days ago: https://twitter.com/The_Daily_NK/status/1225737983497822208?s=20

Joe Campbell
February 14, 2020 7:24 am

Thank you Rud Istvan!

John Burdick
February 14, 2020 7:26 am

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.

Reply to  John Burdick
February 14, 2020 9:29 am

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.

February 14, 2020 7:29 am
Reply to  Bindidon
February 14, 2020 10:20 am

This looks interesting…thank you

February 14, 2020 7:29 am

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!

Reply to  Superchunk
February 14, 2020 12:22 pm

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.

Wim Röst
February 14, 2020 7:30 am

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

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Wim Röst
February 14, 2020 1:45 pm

“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.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
February 14, 2020 11:14 pm

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’.

David Everingham
February 14, 2020 7:32 am

“Monday” link [to first article 4 days ago] in first line broken. The word “scientific” is missing. Correct link is as follows.


February 14, 2020 7:34 am

Rud Istvan

Thanks, very informative.

J.-P. D.

Vincent Causey
February 14, 2020 7:35 am

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.

Bill Parsons
Reply to  Vincent Causey
February 14, 2020 8:12 am

Assuming mortality statistics have not also been amended, THAT number goes down — the “good news”.

Bill Parsons
Reply to  Bill Parsons
February 14, 2020 8:13 am

referring to “rate” or ratio.

Murphy Slaw
February 14, 2020 7:41 am

Thank you WUWT!

February 14, 2020 8:02 am

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.

Bill Parsons
February 14, 2020 8:07 am

“…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.”

Reply to  Bill Parsons
February 14, 2020 9:09 am

Another French “false friend.”

February 14, 2020 8:12 am


Interestingly, bat was not on the menu at the Wuhan live market.

Reply to  shrnfr
February 14, 2020 8:51 am

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.

Reply to  Michael Burns
February 14, 2020 9:14 am

Mmmm, bungarusssss multicinctussssssssss!

Reply to  Michael Burns
February 14, 2020 10:43 am

Apparently, the kangaroo is a little too hoppy for that market.

Bryan A
Reply to  Scissor
February 14, 2020 12:13 pm

Hoppyness belongs in Beer

Reply to  Bryan A
February 14, 2020 4:22 pm
Reply to  shrnfr
February 14, 2020 9:05 am

“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.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
February 14, 2020 10:51 am

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.

Bill Parsons
February 14, 2020 8:25 am

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?

Reply to  Bill Parsons
February 14, 2020 12:03 pm

Indeed. Experiments have shown that 2019nCov can still be viable after 28 days on a surface.

Wim Röst
Reply to  Old.George
February 14, 2020 12:04 pm


Reply to  Wim Röst
February 15, 2020 11:07 am

There was a paper from a few years ago that used an attenuated Corona virus that reached the 28 day conclusion.

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.


Gives a much better picture. 🙂

Wim Röst
Reply to  Fanakapan
February 15, 2020 11:48 am

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.

Bill Parsons
Reply to  Fanakapan
February 15, 2020 2:32 pm

Thanks for this.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Fanakapan
February 16, 2020 4:36 am

“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.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Old.George
February 14, 2020 11:25 pm

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.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Old.George
February 15, 2020 6:12 am

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).”


Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Bill Parsons
February 15, 2020 6:18 am

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
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 15, 2020 6:19 am

Mods, I seem to have one or more comments in moderation.

Bill Parsons
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 15, 2020 2:24 pm

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.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Bill Parsons
February 27, 2020 7:42 pm

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.

R.S. Brown
February 14, 2020 8:38 am

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.

Reply to  R.S. Brown
February 14, 2020 9:45 am

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 ?

Reply to  Fanakapan
February 15, 2020 11:18 am

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. 🙂

Reply to  R.S. Brown
February 14, 2020 10:10 am

North Korean official breaks quarantine…immediately shot


February 14, 2020 8:44 am

“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

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Michael Burns
February 14, 2020 10:18 am

I’m waiting for the claim the Climate Change has made this COV outbreak worse.

That it occurred during the Chinese New Years celebration where many Chinese travel home long distances to family certainly had a role in it early spread.

michael hart
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
February 14, 2020 2:34 pm

The BBC are on the case, Joel.
The article mentions climate change at least three times. I don’t think they go so far as to actually state it caused the current problem, but their intention is clearly to draw that link in the reader’s mind. They have no shame.

Kone Wone
Reply to  michael hart
February 14, 2020 6:43 pm

They also have no credibility.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
February 14, 2020 4:43 pm

Yeah they have been usually quiet…

February 14, 2020 8:45 am

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”

Reply to  ATheoK
February 14, 2020 10:50 am

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.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  ATheoK
February 15, 2020 11:46 am

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.

February 14, 2020 8:51 am


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

Reply to  posa
February 14, 2020 9:50 am

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.

Reply to  Fanakapan
February 14, 2020 3:39 pm

Correct. It’s not uncommon at all for dangerous agents and infected test animals to escape from bio-weapons lab.


Nonetheless, a certain class of dullards will ignore the facts and insist it’s all a conspiracy theory

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  posa
February 15, 2020 6:27 am

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.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 15, 2020 4:09 pm

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

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

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 15, 2020 5:04 pm

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

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 16, 2020 6:36 am

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.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 16, 2020 9:30 am

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.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 17, 2020 5:03 am

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.

Smart Rock
Reply to  posa
February 14, 2020 2:54 pm

As a community, WUWT is reasonably free from conspiracy theories. Let’s try and keep it that way.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Smart Rock
February 14, 2020 11:36 pm

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.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 14, 2020 11:38 pm

…who pass along this drivel…

Damn autocorrect. Kindle and iPads are the worst.

Justin Burch
Reply to  posa
February 15, 2020 7:21 am

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.

February 14, 2020 8:54 am

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.

Reply to  jtom
February 14, 2020 8:55 am

their=there. Fingers working faster than the mind,

Steven Mosher
February 14, 2020 8:55 am

Day 21.
Got a vitamin D Shot.
Pneumonia vaccine.
No symptoms.

Stay safe folks

Reply to  Steven Mosher
February 14, 2020 9:24 am

You, too, Mosh. Wash hands, wear gloves. Be well.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Steven Mosher
February 14, 2020 9:54 am

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.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
February 14, 2020 4:53 pm

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

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  MarkW
February 14, 2020 11:43 pm

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.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 15, 2020 11:56 am

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.


Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
February 15, 2020 12:17 pm

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.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 15, 2020 12:27 pm

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.


Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 15, 2020 2:56 pm

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?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 16, 2020 9:16 am

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;”


Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 16, 2020 2:02 pm

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.

February 14, 2020 8:55 am

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?”

Justin Burch
Reply to  posa
February 15, 2020 7:26 am

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.

Reply to  Justin Burch
February 15, 2020 5:07 pm

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

Michael Carter
February 14, 2020 9:07 am

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?



Reply to  Michael Carter
February 14, 2020 10:57 am

Hygiene should play some role.

Reply to  Michael Carter
February 14, 2020 11:06 am

“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?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Michael Burns
February 14, 2020 11:50 pm

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?

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 15, 2020 10:15 pm

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

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Michael Burns
February 16, 2020 2:15 am

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.

Reply to  Michael Burns
February 16, 2020 9:11 pm

“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.

Reply to  Michael Carter
February 14, 2020 4:55 pm

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.

Reply to  MarkW
February 15, 2020 11:28 am

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

Justin Burch
Reply to  Michael Carter
February 15, 2020 7:28 am

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

John Tillman
Reply to  Justin Burch
February 15, 2020 8:23 am

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

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Justin Burch
February 15, 2020 8:38 am

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.

John Tillman
Reply to  Justin Burch
February 19, 2020 8:37 am

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.

Wim Röst
February 14, 2020 9:15 am

Chinese firm copies Gilead’s remdesivir, the most promising drug against the new coronavirus

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Wim Röst
February 14, 2020 9:56 am
Reply to  Wim Röst
February 14, 2020 9:59 am

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.

John Tillman
Reply to  Fanakapan
February 14, 2020 12:48 pm

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.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Wim Röst
February 15, 2020 1:47 pm

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.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
February 15, 2020 1:54 pm

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).

Roger Knights
February 14, 2020 9:50 am

Just posted on JoNova’s site:
“Coronavirus — early rates of severe cases in Hong kong and Singapore are over 10%”

Reply to  Roger Knights
February 14, 2020 10:22 am

“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.”

February 14, 2020 9:59 am

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.

February 14, 2020 10:07 am

The Wuhan virus is the reductio ad absurdum of globalism.

Reply to  jorgekafkazar
February 14, 2020 10:19 am

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

February 14, 2020 10:28 am

COVID-19 : COrona Virus Infectious Disease -19, first identified in 2019

February 14, 2020 11:20 am

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.

Reply to  Peter
February 14, 2020 10:54 pm

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.

February 14, 2020 11:25 am

ACE2 Expression in Kidney and Testis May Cause Kidney and Testis Damage After 2019-nCoV Infection
Caibin Fan1, Kai Li1, Yanhong Ding1, Wei Lu2, Jianqing Wang1*


February 14, 2020 11:44 am

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.

John Tillman
Reply to  ggm
February 14, 2020 11:55 am

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.

Don K
Reply to  John Tillman
February 15, 2020 6:53 am

“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.

John Tillman
Reply to  Don K
February 15, 2020 8:46 am

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.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  John Tillman
February 15, 2020 2:20 pm

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!

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  ggm
February 14, 2020 2:07 pm

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.”