Some perspective on the #Coronavirus #COVID19 from the CDC

Folks fretting about the coronavirus are forgetting there’s another virus already running rampant in the United States, one that’s killed nearly 20 times as many people in this country alone.

Influenza has already taken the lives of 10,000 Americans this season, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At least 19 million have caught the flu, and an estimated 180,000 became so ill they landed in the hospital.

“Influenza is easier to pick up and there are far, far more cases,” said Dr. Alan Taege, an infectious disease physician at the Cleveland Clinic. “It’s already much larger than coronavirus has been so far in the whole world, in our own country alone.”

The CDC predicts that at least 12,000 Americans will die from the flu in any given year. As many as 61,000 people died in the 2017-2018 flu season, and 45 million were infected.

SOURCES: Alan Taege, M.D., infectious disease physician, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio; Bernard Camins, M.D., medical director, infection prevention, Mount Sinai Health System, New York City

Full story here at HealthDay

From the CDC today:

There have been 2,462 associated deaths worldwide; no deaths have been reported in the United States. Fourteen cases have been diagnosed in the United States, and an additional 39 cases have occurred among repatriated persons from high-risk settings, for a current total of 53 cases within the United States.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about this year’s flu season.

See also their section on the Coronavirus

209 thoughts on “Some perspective on the #Coronavirus #COVID19 from the CDC

  1. With facts like this how can we destroy Trump? This is not helping the great and noble cause of overthrowing a duly elected President. /sarc

  2. “Influenza has already taken the lives of 10,000 Americans this season”
    BS. The numbers are from shitty models. In Germany the real numbers are 21-1121/a. Mostly under 200 annually. United States are 4 times as big as Germany.

      • because they dont TEST every patient just like swineflu supposed cases they tested a few then stopped and just toted it to that cause
        you have our Aussie flu up there right now
        Vic B and a H3n2 and H1N1 as a combo were what they found here
        after the dud vaccine and many died here they ADMITTED in was the pneumonia that was killing the people

        did some checking on the pnumonia vx one maker Merk
        their trials had adverse events of 10% -even those with placebo and only a small 100 or so in the trial many years ago as well
        the placebo was just the so called preservative, with saline
        which is??? .25% Phenol
        so yeah youd expect reactions and allergic responses, as an adjuvantXpreservative its nasty
        also explains why they only recommend a mx lifetime of 2 doses for mcos more would prob make adverse events soar madly
        and it ONLY covers13 or 23? ofONE strain ofbug whereas theres many options of pneumonia bugglies

        after looking at the trials and ingredients I think Id prefer taking antibiotic for the pneumonia as the less harmful option to my system( autoimmune sensitive already)
        the flu vax here was at best maybe 70% useful and for most closer to 40 or less.
        Ausgovt end of yr updates have NOT been posted as supposed to be by Jan 2020

        • ozspeaksup
          You said, “… I think Id prefer taking antibiotic for the pneumonia …” The problem is, there are different kinds of pneumonia. There is chemical pneumonia, fungal pneumonia, viral pneumonia, and bacterial pneumonia. Antibiotics only work with the bacterial form! From what I have read, the people are dying of the viral form.

          • I had never known about chemical pneumonia until my wife went on a 1-hour cleaning spree using Clorox in our bathroom with the door shut. Two days later she phoned me that she had pain in her chest and must be having a heart attack. So I rush home to take her to the hospital, noting that her fingernail beds were blue instead of the normal pink.

            The emergency room people quickly and correctly diagnosed it as pneumonia, and within a week she completely recovered.

    • Your statement is more than an order of magnitude low for Germany compared to data from for example the Robert Koch Institut. Therefore, your statement is incorrect for the U.S. also/

      • My numbers are the highly official Robert Koch-Institut numbers:

        2010 – 72 deaths
        2011 – 156 deaths
        2012 – 26 deaths
        2013 – 188 deaths
        2014 – 21 deaths
        2015 – 158 deaths
        2016 – 152 deaths
        2017 – 441 deaths
        2018 – 1121 deaths

        Before 2009 there were even less deaths – globalization and Merkel’s open borders politics took theirs toll even before coronavirus.

    • The numbers I have seen say that the flu takes about 30,000 lives each year in the USA. Mostly elderly and very young. Also, most die from things like pneumonia, rather than the flu itself. I had the flu once, and I felt like I WAS going to die. I have no reason to doubt the numbers.

      • Robert,
        That number is for flu like illnesses. When specimens are sent to CDC for tests only about 17% are positive for the influenza virus. Most of the deaths are from complications of pneumonia and not actually the flu.

        The numbers of deaths attributed to the flu is all over the map in the last 20 years. From a low of around 5K to a high of 80k. In the current season the rate looks like we’ll top out around 24K.

      • Listen up.

        Flu deaths are clearly not the same thing as this covid and shouldn’t be used to allay concern. Evidence?’s like this.
        China has flu every year too. China now has Covid-19.
        They don’t lock down and quarantine their cities for the flu.
        They do lock down and quarantine for Covid-19.
        That should let you know if it’s a serious problem or not.

        • The difference is that the flu is historically well known and documented …. COVID is a laboratory created virus and no one knows the longer term outcome!

          • There is no evidence that it is “laboratory created”. The one paper that claimed it was was withdrawn because of the many problems found with it.

      • Actually, it’s based on “numbers of people who present in a medical setting (ANY medical setting) with flu-like symptoms.” Which can also be caused by the common cold, allergies, COPD, or industrial or environmental irritants. Few of these people are actually diagnosed via culturing to detect an influenza virus.

        The majority who wind up in hospital or dead are elderly, laden with co-morbidities, and succumb to secondary pneumonia, heart failure, and the like due to their pre-existing burden of COPD, diabetes, suppressed immunities, etc. This year the flu is also affecting young children–but there’s no talk about hygiene in schools, staying home in outbreaks, or decreasing sugar consumption (which depresses the immune system) is there?

        Much BS and little light, as usual, coming from the CDC. I believe it this point the annual flu (and probably COVID-19) are seen in terms borrowed from the military; “necessary losses” worth absorbing to keep on with business as usual. We get lulled by what is thought of as “normal.”

        • Study published on Lancet report death rate for age over 50 years as 32/52. > 60%.
          And you are not immune because you are young, rate lower though.

          • The amount of sugar present in one regular Coca-Cola will knock your T-cell response down from a normal of around 15 to a 3 for six hours. I’d kind of like to avoid that if there are contagious diseases about; and all the rest of the time, too!

            Ref: The Case Against Sugar and Good Calories, Bad Calories, both by Gary Taubes.

    • Van Doren ist absolutely right.

      Here is the translation of a German text published last year by Germany’s main TV news web site:

      According to estimates by the Robert Koch Institute, the penultimate flu wave in Germany was the strongest in 30 years. It cost 25,000 lives.
      The strong flu wave in the 2017/2018 season has caused the highest number of deaths in Germany in the past 30 years. At the time, an estimated 25,100 people died from influenza, as the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin announced. Such a high number of deaths is therefore very rare, in other years there were only a few hundred cases.

      30.09.2019 14:23

      Thus it would be interesting to have the US numbers for some more years…

      J.-P. Dehottay

      • You can easily get the numbers for every year you wish to know about.
        “Why doesn’t CDC base its seasonal flu mortality estimates only on death certificates that specifically list influenza?
        Seasonal influenza may lead to death from other causes, such as pneumonia, congestive heart failure, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It has been recognized for many years that influenza is underreported on death certificates.”

    • Van Doren wrote in part, “BS.”

      “CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 29 million flu illnesses, 280,000 hospitalizations and 16,000 deaths from flu.”

      “The U.S. influenza surveillance system is a collaborative effort between CDC and its many partners in state, local, and territorial health departments, public health and clinical laboratories, vital statistics offices, healthcare providers, clinics, and emergency departments. Information in five categories is collected from eight data sources in order to:

      Find out when and where influenza activity is occurring;
      Determine what influenza viruses are circulating;
      Detect changes in influenza viruses; and
      Measure the impact influenza is having on outpatient illness, hospitalizations and deaths.”

      • If someone gets the flu and dies, not of massive viremia but because the flu made them too weak to resist some other condition, which would not have killed them but for the flu…did the flu kill them?
        If you are hit by a drunk driver who otherwise has driven millions of miles with zero mishaps…did drunk driving kill you?
        Is it an alcohol related death, or just a traffic accident?
        How about if someone crazed on drugs shoots someone?
        Is it random gun violence, or drug caused?

    • In France, they say influenza causes thousands of death every year.

      After a particularly bad influenza season, Libération reported an official count of 86.

      So it’s 86 or “thousands”.

  3. I read something interesting today. Glutathione, the workhorse antioxidant of the immune system, is up 1000 times more abundant in healthy lungs than in lungs of alcohol abusers. Supposedly, about 15% of Wuhan’s population abuses alcohol, or over 1.5 million people. Men there abuse alcohol much more than women do.

    So add this to the list of growing suspicious health factors in Wuhan that suggest a locus of endemic predisposition to this disease.

    • Oops, I stated that wrong. Healthy lungs have up to 1000 times more glutathione than other parts of the body. Glutathione in chronic alcohol abusers lungs is severely depleted compared to normal, healthy lungs, but not 1000x less.

      • About half of ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) patients die, their condition usually deteriorating until they end up on ventilators in intensive care [isn’t ARDS what coronavirus patients get?]. ARDS is deadly for anyone. But clinical studies at Emory and elsewhere have shown that, overall, the risk of developing and therefore dying of this severe form of lung injury is four times higher for alcoholics than non-alcoholics.

        In a clinical study involving the VAMC alcohol inpatient detoxification program, Guidot’s team evaluated otherwise healthy drinkers to examine the effects of alcohol on their lungs before trauma or illness occurred. Glutathione levels in the lungs of these adults were decreased by 80% to 90% compared with healthy nonalcoholics, …

        • So really, if China was doing honest epidemiology, they would list patient’s drinking history with each mortality. Also patient’s smoking history, considering the increased ACE2 gene expression in smokers’ lungs, that coronavirus specifically targets and attaches to. Just saying so many people died is meaningless in terms of determining the characteristics of viral virulence.

          • Good things to know that would be valuable. The value of life in China is only so high, however, and that leads to cruel things.

            I understand that in auto pedestrian accidents that sometimes they back up over the victim to make sure they are dead, so that they don’t have to pay for medical expenses.

          • That’s what they tell people involved in hunting accidents to do when they call 911.
            First thing the 911 operators says to do when you tell them you just killed your friend, is to make sure he is really dead!

          • Very interesting, and possibly of the utmost relevance. One question: What is the definition of alcohol abuse here? I have always found it rather movable feast with many amusing definitions.
            Is the reduction in Glutathione linear, quadratic, trigger level? Any idea?

          • I think in this context, alcohol abuse is whatever significantly depletes the body’s store of glutathione. I don’t know, but I suspect that glutathione’s depletion is linear. Glutathione is “consumed” as it detoxifies alcohol. As I (weakly) understand it, glutathione neutralizes free radicals, and vitamin C reduces it back to its active form.

          • Chemical reduction (redox), not quantity reduction. Glutathione is oxidized when it binds to free radicals, which are then carried off to organs that dispose of the toxins. The oxidized glutathione molecule is then chemically reduced back to its active form. Biochemists here can explain the process much better than I can.

          • Or anyone can look it up.
            But having a long technical explanation is meaningless to someone who cannot put it in context.
            Our bodies need lots of things.
            There is no one magic molecule that is the difference between healthy and not healthy.

          • This is why I studied interdisciplinary natural sciences.
            You can know all the chemistry in the world, and it will not by itself give you nutritional insight, or imbue a person with knowledge of virology.
            And within a knowledge of epidemiology, what good is it to know everything about how viruses reproduce?
            And within a thorough working knowledge of immunology, the other two are very hard to put in context.
            People separate out the world into myriad separate subjects, but the actual world does no such thing.

          • re: “This is why I studied interdisciplinary natural sciences.”

            In a previous incarnation, this was known as “system knowledge” or “systems engineering”. Can be thought of as the captain of a ship calling who can call on the various ‘disciplines’ on board a ship (e.g. navigation, propulsion, communications, CIC) and sometimes trading-off one discipline’s functional capabilities against another in the case where one is ‘down’ or for tactical situations (say raw speed vs defensive capability) …

          • “There is no one magic molecule that is the difference between healthy and not healthy.”

            I can think of several.

          • There are a lot more than several.
            Which is exactly what I am saying here…there is not 1.
            There are dozens of things you need to have in order to be healthy.
            Having extra of 10 of them will not make up for being short of one.

        • Icisil: Thank you, that’s what I thought you meant, but I wanted to be sure there wasn’t some point that I had missed.

    • I’ve been known to abuse alcohol.
      Predictably every January 1st at around 0900.
      Usually my abusive words are along the lines of – “never again, you vile beverages. You’ve made my head pound and my mouth dry and tasting like a diesel fuel filter”

      • Although I can understand your morning-after feelings, was it on a dare late on December 31st that you licked the diesel fuel filter?

        Good memory!–considering the necessary state of mind to do the tasting.

        • Len, I’m only familiar with the taste of diesel through using my mouth to suck a syphon hose from jerry cans to refill my tractor.
          Millenials will never have this immemorable experience.

          • Never had it either because the last time that I failed to plan ahead I was about 12. To say it left a bad taste in father’s mouth is an understatement.

          • Well, pfff; who hasn’t done THAT? But there goes my chance of having some fun next New Year’s Eve–‘Hey, I read about this on a scientific website last winter–it’s supposed to be really cool!’

            Wait!–we could still do it–one shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss a tide-pod-challenge generation from taking on a filter-licking contest. Even combining them has merits, if one gets the order right–in fact, it provides a justification for the tide-pod portion.

          • Starting a gas or diesel siphon by sucking on the hose is a classic way to start chemo-pneumonia. All liquid hydrocarbons can damage the lungs rapidly, even just the vapors. Damaged lungs don’t repair themselves very well.

    • Not to mention habitual smoking and really, really bad air pollution. I imagine there is also a fair bit of lead poisoning, the kind that is quicker than the slower kind. It also occurred to me that this might be an opportunity to also clean out some of the old folks homes, perhaps by those deemed undesirable that have no family to assist in looking after them and too old and sick to be of any use to the local Gov’t and the expense that might entail. With that kind of population density, a few thousand here and few thousand there, are rounding errors. The crematoriums are apparently working over time, but I don’t know for sure if some of the propaganda from the other side is truthful either. Old people are supposedly revered in Chinese culture, although who really knows what is going on with Red China and the CPC ruling elites. That is the fly in the ointment with China.

      • Where does the lead come from?

        I’ve spent a lot of time in Wuhan, not since 2017 though, thankfully. Anyway, the demographics of Wuhan are skewed to the younger side as is the case. It’s in the countryside of China where the demographics are skewed toward the aged.

        • As Chairman Mao used to say…Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun. There is no doubt that Emperor for Life, Xi Jinping, is a Maoist and not a Confucianist.

          China is the world’s most active death penalty country; according to Amnesty International, China executes more people than the rest of the world combined per annum. In Iran and Saudi Arabia, the numbers of executions are also very high.

          • Thanks, your bullet point was quicker than my comprehension.

            On positive notes, their legal system is very efficient with > 99% conviction rates, and they don’t waste the prisoners’ organs. They sell them or use them for the Party.

  4. “Influenza is easier to pick up and there are far, far more cases,” said Dr. Alan Taege

    I’m sure Dr. Taege has spent years studying this particular virus and has perfect knowledge of it’s spread in China. Offering perspective when you have limited knowledge is of very dubious value. Taking precautions for a worst case scenario is not un-wise.

      • So you think the chinese are mad enough to tank their economy and anger the general population over milder version of the flu when they usually allow rampant, barely abated pollution from industry?

        What’s your idea of a reasonable response, then?

        • Desperate, actually. I think their iron-fisted over-reaction was done out of fear of losing control of the populace and letting them know in no uncertain terms who’s in control. It is a totalitarian society, you know?

          • But WHY would they do this ? All the restrictions, the initial denial/delayed recognition, and then the back to work order angers the working population which acts to destabilizes the state. Your motive for the actions within China make no sense at all

    • Influenza has existed forever.
      This new virus just jumped into people a few months ago and has barely had any time to make it’s way around yet, so the comparison is just dumb.

  5. National Center for Health Statistics
    Deaths: Final Data for 2017
    In 2017, a total of 2,813,503 resident deaths were registered in the United States, yielding a crude death rate of 863.8 per 100,000 population.

    The 15 leading causes of death in 2017 were: 1. Diseases of heart (heart disease) 2. Malignant neoplasms (cancer) 3. Accidents (unintentional injuries) 4. Chronic lower respiratory diseases 5. Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke) 6. Alzheimer disease 7. Diabetes mellitus (diabetes) 8. Influenza and pneumonia 9. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis (kidney disease) 10. Intentional self-harm (suicide) 11. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis 12. Septicemia 13. Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease (hypertension) 14. Parkinson disease 15. Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids

  6. It is hard to say what the outcome of coronavirus will be in the USA. We don’t know if some of the anti viral drugs work or not. We also do not know the true mortality rate of this virus because it is early so there are unknowns in both number of deaths and numbers infected. One hope is that the vaccine developed by Monderna actually works but we won’t know until 12 months at earliest as it has to go through the trials.

    • Since healthy populations recover quicker than nutrient deprived populations, 1st world nations will see less problems than the rest of the world.
      Not saying the US will be unaffected, rather, those of us who would otherwise be minimally affected by the flu, should fully recover from an exposure to this virus.

    • I’ve been wondering about the vaccine, if we ever get one. Does it cure people who have Coronavirus, or does it prevent one from GETTING it in the first place? Also, where do they get the volunteers to try it out? Just wondering.

      • They ask for volunteers. Some companies will pay. The USDA most approve though of the vaccine being tested.

        • Safety trials (45 people) right now – at least another two months before those end. Then much larger efficacy trials, for several months. Note: in ethical medicine, these efficacy trials are NOT done by exposing volunteers to the virus; they get the vaccine and then are followed as a statistical group.

          No, a vaccine is never a cure – although a few can mitigate symptoms if administered soon after exposure (this causes the immune system to ramp up much faster, before the active virus starts major reproduction).

          Antivirals are a cure, although somewhat hit or miss. I missed the name of the exact one they are testing right now against CoVid19, but that is also just in trials.

          • The trials for the first phase of the coronavirus vaccine have not started yet. They will start in April. It will be well over a year, if the trials go well, before approval can even be applied for.
            These is no guarantee it will work.
            The company that makes it is so far batting zero.
            Most vaccines do not make it through clinical trials.
            Many that finish the clinical trials are found to not be particularly effective.
            They will not give the virus to people who have been given the vaccine…what they do is test the blood for antibodies.
            The first stages start with a small number of people to see if it is toxic. They give a tiny amount to one person first, then a little more, etc. Then to a few more.
            After a few months of this sort of testing, they do testing on a larger number of people to see how much of the drug is needed, and to test safety in a larger number of people. That is phase II clinical trials. In the third phase, they give it to many more people, hundreds to as many as a few thousand, to test for efficacy and also to test safety in a large number of people.
            It is estimated it will take about 15 months, which will be by far a new record.
            But there is no guarantee whatsoever the vaccine will work.
            There are no successful coronavirus vaccines in existence.
            Remdesivir is a direct acting antiviral.
            It was developed for Ebola and Marburg.
            Is does reduced fatality rates in Ebola victims, but not as much as a monoclonal antibody drug (two of the actually) that was also being tested.
            But since remdesivir is a nucleotide analogue, it was tested against many other viruses in animal models and in vitro testing, and has been found to have strong activity against SARS virus, MERS virus, and several others.
            Many antivirals have broad activity against a number of viruses, because many viruses are similar in how they reproduce.
            Again, there is no guarantee, and even if it does work, it may only work for some people.
            This would be a typical result for an antiviral.
            Very few drugs work in all cases for all people, even in the case of an identical illness.
            But remdesivir has the advantage of having already undergone several stages of clinal trials for Ebola, and it is known to be safe.
            So they can skip right to the stage where they give it to thousands of people who are sick and see how it works.
            The results should be known quickly.
            Perhaps any day now.
            In clinical trials such as this, in which half of patients randomly and blindly get either the real drug or a placebo…if it is clearly working and people getting it are surviving in clearly higher numbers than those getting placebo, the trial will be terminated and the people getting the placebo will get real drug.
            Another possibility is that people getting the drug will do significantly worse then the people getting placebo. In this case, the trial will be terminated.
            But this is unlikely with this sort of drug.
            It is not especially unlikely that results will be known soon however.
            In fact, some might take the sudden move higher in the past few days as an indication that there are people that know the drug is working.
            Anyone getting the drug that was about to die and suddenly gets better, will know it, and not be precluded by insider trading rules from buying the stock.

  7. Mortality rate outside Chine so far. From Feb 17th : (Deaths / (Deaths + Recovered))


    Then there is the ability to spread, UNDETECTED. New cases per day, same period:


    • And, if some of the reports are true that upwards of 5% of those infected end up requiring ventilators and if 50% or more of the US population gets the disease then do the math and you should be at least somewhat concerned. Two ifs there, the first one much bigger than the second, but still don’t think it’s irrational to be concerned.

      • The numbers are confirmed cases (I presume). The point is that since people can run around undetected, showing no symptoms, for two weeks or even four weeks (not known yet), the disease will spread easily.

        To my mind, when discovering this, I projected that we’ll mostly all get it eventually, like most flu. Unless everyone is tested constantly, we can’t contain it.

        My hope is that it won’t be more fatal than normal flu, or at least not much more. Apparently the best protection right now is to be fit and not have any other pulmonary problems.

        It’s certainly not a reason to panic, but we should prepare.

    • Death rate seems to be trending below 10%. However, the growth outside China exactly followed a 6.4 day doubling rate until Feb 21, when it seems to have accelerated to a 4 day doubling rate. Today we hear there is a case in Northern California with no known origin, and a Korean flight attendant flying between SK and LAX confirmed.

      Here’s my source for numbers:

    • Confirmed cases contracted in the US – 0% mortality. Confirmed cases contracted overseas (all in Asia), treated in US – between 1% and 2%. (Note: those who contracted it in Asia received a much higher rapid viral load. How much of a virus you are hit with, and how quickly you are hit with it, is a very big factor in how sick you are likely to get. It takes time for the body to ramp up defenses.)

      • Answer to Italy was on a claim mortality was about 2%. Wrong as of yesterday.

        USA so far has a mortality rate of 0%
        China so far has 8.28%, if you believe it.
        All countries except China so far : 15.47%

        With time there is a good probability the rate outside China will go down as fragile victims goes fast. Then the rate of severe and critical cases starts to be interesting. China has officially reported about 20% for 2 weeks, now starting to slow down. Outside China the rate so far is about 4% but expect it to raise. (Takes time for mild cases to get there).

        Maybe news about China under reporting is true but really don’t tell anything about mortality rate as that is depending on total number of cases recovered.

        So, prepare for the worst, it can only get better !

        But it is not true mortality of closed cases is anywhere under 5% or even going to be. Just hope I am wrong. Lancet’s report 32/52 over 50 years fatal. But few cases and the total sample was 710 but we don’t know how the other 658 ended. So possible to claim 52/710 with uncertainty, but that’s still over 7%. (In China by Chinese and maybe authorized).

        Time to stockpile !

  8. “Offering perspective when you have limited knowledge is of very dubious value.”

    This would silence about 95% of the great climate change debate.

  9. My understanding is that the CDC numbers are estimates based on very little actual testing for influenza viruses and that, in general, influenza per se is rarely the actual agent of mortality but more a complicating factor that leads to pneumonia and death. I think it is remarkable that we don’t have rapid and accurate testing for major diseases like ‘influenza’ but rely on poorly validated models to generate vague mortality numbers.

    Still, and if what I have just typed is true, the best way of looking at SARS-CoV-2 is as just another complicating factor in advanced respiratory distress disease. It will probably mostly help kill the same people that influenza and other respiratory disease-causing viruses are already sending to the ICU. The data is too sketchy at the moment to have a strong opinion, but there does seem to be more media-driven hysteria than is useful. I hope I’m not being a pollyanna here.

  10. Yeeaahh… let’s have this conversation after we have estimates of 45 million SARS-COV-2 cases in the US. With that said, data coming out of new outbreaks does seem to suggest a much lower overall mortality rate. We won’t really KNOW anything reliable for another month. Now that it’s in Italy and Germany, we’ll get a better read on the situation.

    Not discounting the danger of the flu, but not wanting to understate what this thing could do.

    It’s good to see China getting back to work. Could be an indication they know the CFR is lower than feared… or it could mean they are willing to take the losses on the chin.

    Thank you for opening another thread on this subject. Some of best comments about this can be found among the very smart group of people who frequent this site.

    • re: “let’s have this conversation after we have estimates of 45 million SARS-COV-2 cases in the US. ”

      Just curious … are you living in a town that has signs that can be seen when entering there that states: “Superior Water Supply” or similar verbiage?

    • “It’s good to see China getting back to work. Could be an indication they know the CFR is lower than feared… or it could mean they are willing to take the losses on the chin.”

      The CFR in hubei is much higher ~3%. rest of the country is ~1%
      Hubei was overwhelmed.

      either way, not the flu.

      • Or it could be they know that they cannot keep everyone locked up forever, and the disease is not gonna go away even if they do, so might as well just get back to work.
        One of the very real possibilities is, this is a disease which will now be added to the list of circulating illnesses and at one time or another, everyone is gonna get exposed.
        It may be more contagious than flu, and is surely more contagious than common cold viruses.
        If it is as contagious as measles, basically everyone will get it within a few years.
        Many will have mild to no symptoms, some will have a cold like illness, and some will get something like a bad flu.
        It might not spread in hot weather. Or might not spread out of doors (many viruses are easily killed by UV).
        Just thought of something:
        Maybe everyone can get a UV flashlight.
        I have one for travelling to look for contamination.
        Or it might be there is no point in worrying about it.
        Closing down the economy of the world is not gonna make it go away.

        • “Closing down the economy of the world is not gonna make it go away.”

          And like climate solutions would, does far, far more harm to the world than the disease does.

    • “Now that it’s in Italy and Germany, we’ll get a better read on the situation.”

      I doubt it. We still won’t have a good idea of the case rate among the general Population. So case fatality rates would be skewed to reported cases – the tip of the iceberg.

  11. “Influenza has already taken the lives of 10,000 Americans this season, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At least 19 million have caught the flu, and an estimated 180,000 became so ill they landed in the hospital.”

    This, for me, is not terribly comforting. It represents 1 death per 1,900 cases. Compare that to what has been reported so far in Italy – about 1 death per 100 cases:

    COVID appears to be much more lethal than the common strains of influenza. The question then is which is more contagious?

    • Maybe this will comfort you: on an average day in Hubei Province 1,200 people die of various causes. On the worst day of the “pandemic”, Feb 15th, 125 people died there from Covid19, allegedly. Since then mortalities/day from the virus have declined to less than half that, allegedly.

      So the disease has had a negligible effect on the average death rate. It isn’t the Black Plague where 1/3 of the population died. It’s a minor blip in the grand scheme. Nobody is wheeling carts around Wuhan calling, “bring out your dead.” It’s not like that. And remember, they have an impoverished health care system. Ours is much better.

      Mass paranoia is infectious in humans. It’s a meme epidemic. The world needs a chill pill.

      • @Mike

        I agree, the numbers coming out of China are not very scary. A relatively slow, linear rate of spread.

        Like many others, though, I don’t trust the China reports. We will learn a lot more by seeing what happens in places like Italy and S. Korea. Still very early.

      • “And remember, they have an impoverished health care system. Ours is much better.”

        thats funny.

        1. USA is not prepared to test.
        2. If this hits in the USA, the critical care facilities will be overwhelmed. Yes the care is
        better, but at some point you run out of beds.

        If you look at the numbers from a place that has great healthcare and transparent numbers
        (Korea). The risk should be clear to you.

        Psst. A korean stewardess who spent time running around Ktown in LA has tested positive.
        tick tock.

        • What the US has that China doesn’t is a capable primary healthcare network. Primary care in China is stigmatized and largely avoided for whatever reason(s) and every mother’s son wants to see a specialist in a hospital, rather than the family doctor, even for things like fever and cough due to cold. So the system gets overwhelmed even in normal times.

        • re: “Psst. A korean stewardess who spent time running around Ktown in LA has tested positive.”

          Has anybody asked what the “false alarm rate” is?

          Does anybody know what the “false alarm rate” is with these purported “test kits”?

          WHAT ELSE may trigger a ‘positive’ in these test kits?

      • “And remember, they have an impoverished health care system. Ours is much better.”
        Well, from the perspective of Australia, your healthcare system is the impoverished one, I would seriously suspect the Chinese system is far superior to the most expensive least effective system in the world.

        • its arrogance born of ignorance and anecdote

          USA health care? ya caught a superbug in the hospital once.
          took months to kill the little beast

        • sth aus is testing EVERY cold/flu case for corona as well
          250 a day and can ramp up to 1000 they reckon
          Scomo bypassed the lagging WHO and has started the early bootup stage for expected cases here
          good move on his part
          I saw this report yesterday
          if anyone can prove/disprove then do so
          The World Bank launched a $425 million 2017 catastrophe bond issue supporting its Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF). There are two tranches of PEF bonds outstanding, expected to mature in July, and this means investors of the bonds will collect massive profits if the bonds aren’t triggered or will lose everything if the Covid-19 outbreak continues to escalate.

          It’s becoming increasingly apparent why the World Health Organization (WHO) has had a difficult time calling Covid-19 outbreak a “pandemic,” this is because it would cause both bonds to trigger, effectively wiping out bondholders.

          The World Bank issued two tranches of PEF bonds worth $425 million in 2017. Bondholders have seen two years of above-average returns with no concern of virus outbreaks around the world that would trigger even the slightest hint both bonds would go into default, until now.

          The Covid-19 outbreak in China, spreading across 38 countries and infecting more than 80,000 people, resulting in 2,700 deaths, could leave investors of the bonds with absolutely nothing.]

        • SD, neither of your claims is true. Not that you care.
          Regardless, the faults the US system does have are closely related to it’s most socialized aspects.

    • “COVID appears to be much more lethal than the common strains of influenza. The question then is which is more contagious?

      COVID by far

      • Good grief!
        A comment on the paper you referenced;
        If you use this data and formula, you get over half a million deaths per day within 90 days.

        You get over 10 million deaths per day after 120 days.

        You get a number in the billions by Thanksgiving.

        So much for a seasonal flu. This is a weaponized killer of billions of people.

        Now I wonder if there is a 100% correlation between the believers of AGW and the extreme panickers of Corvid-19?
        I am so depressed I just want it all to end.

        • jeez.
          you don’t extrapolate a non linear function and PANIC.
          you extrapolate and PLAN and PREPARE

          a pure extrapolation assumes that you do nothing.

          if you plan and prepare you prevent the worse case.

          it is a warning: dont do nothing. uncertainty is not your friend.

  12. Numerators and denominators are important. Death rate from flu this year =10,000/19,000,000= 0.05% while death rate from corona varies from 1-4% depending on the location and the honesty of the reporting agencies. So, yes, we should be concerned about the spread of the virus.

  13. That means somebody arrived here about 3-7 days ago with the virus, and passed it on. I don’t want to believe someone got out from quarantine and …. Probably will be more infected patients in coming days.

    Now we know one thing. It’s too late to stop all incoming flights, but doing it know will stop further new sources. Just do it !

    • Or maybe someone was in Wuhan in December, and came back before anyone knew anything about it, and it has been gradually spreading around until someone old caught it and got real sick from it.
      Young people are apparently not getting sick from it.
      But does that mean they are not getting infected?
      They are spreading it.
      That was how all those people in Korea had it and knew nothing about it until they decided to just start mass testing of people whether sick or not.
      There has been no such testing in most places.
      When they tested people from the cruise ship, they found many infected who were now at all sick.
      Nothing mysterious or unique about it and one of these details.
      But the combination of particulars seems to be unusual.

      • IMO the perceived infection rates are an artifact of the progressive epidemiological surveillance rollout. If a surveillance system had existed prior to the appearance of this contagion, then we could accurately monitor it’s spread. Now, as we progressively rollout surveillance to every corner of the world, we find cases. Is that the result of the virus’ sudden appearance, or the sudden appearance of surveillance that detects a contagion that was already there? I suspect the latter more so than the former.

        • When people show up in an emergency room with pneumonia in the US, they immediately determine what is causing it.
          If multiple people had at any time showed up in emergency rooms at or near the same time, what is known as a cluster, then there would be an immediate alert and a lot of attention to finding out what the causative agent is.
          Hospital emergency rooms are constantly on the lookout for disease clusters, and do not just look the other way when people are dying of pneumonia.
          So it is almost impossible that what you are wondering about is true.
          It could happen in 1 or 2 places for a short time, but not for long and not at all in most places.

          They need to know what is causing something deadly so they can treat the person, and so they can know how to keep other people, like the doctors and nurses themselves, from getting infected.

    • uncertainty is not your friend.
      prepare and plan.
      don’t panic, that’s the opposite of planning and preparing

  14. I’m seeing reports that AIDS drugs are being used to (successfully?) treat COVID 19. example

    IIRC, another WUWT commenter noted that AIDS patients housed in the same part of the hospital as SARS patients did not get SARS although the staff did. That may be a clue that AIDS drugs could be effective against coronavirus.

    • It is not at all unusual that being infected with one virus will make a person virtually immune to any new ones.
      The viral immune system of such people is switched on to maximum.

  15. I’m in Canada and have always wondered about these annual influenza figures. From what I understand, these numbers in the US and Canada are estimates only.

    In the US, it is mandatory to report paediatric deaths to the CDC – so far this 2019-20 season there have been 105 deaths.

    • yes and many vaccinated kids,
      as in Aus
      the vaccine is NOT doing as much as people think(wrongly) it is.
      I suspect they think theyre bulletproof and therefore dont avoid ill people so much as well.
      it IS nasty
      I spend 4 or 5 days with neuralgia tht had me crying and found it hard to get a decent fever started ,more chills headaches and sinus pain than anyone needs;-(

  16. This is Not the flu, so comparisons are really misleading.

    1. The R0 for Covid is much higher, This means the potential for spread is higher. cases doubling
    every 5 days.
    2. the percentage of cases that require ICU is much higher than the flue, this means the potential for overwhelming the health system is higher.
    3. The CFR is higher. This means if it spreads, the deaths will make the flu fatalities look puny.
    4. The USA doesnt even have functioning test kits. In Korea we have tested 21K, and will roll
    out a test of 200000, soon.

    Should you panic?
    Should you prepare?
    Yup, you should have been preparing for a couple weeks now

    In the case of the climate and in the case of covid you have the potential for a really bad outcome.

    Do the things you should be doing anyway. Wash your hands. don’t touch your face. cover your
    mouth when you cough. See a doctor at the first sign that something ain’t right, and get prepared.

      • I have Climate Change® brand hand sanitizer, and a whole supply of my patented laxative formulation called The Alarmist™.

        Here is a quiz question:
        Will having a real pandemic emergency tend to make people:
        1) More tolerant of climate change malarkey?
        2) Less tolerant of climate change malarkey?
        3) No effect on how intolerant of climate change malarkey people are, but substantially less climate change mafia members around to pester us?

        • I’d say 3).

          In addition to your hand sanitizer, it might be a good idea to get a tube of Preparation Climate Change. It’s like Preparation H only applied with a slippery middle finger.

    • ” … Don’t touch your face. Cover your mouth when you cough. … ”

      You’re in for a terrible education about double-pneumonias Mosh.

  17. Anthony,

    those USA flu numbers may be correct and if so then you are seriously barking up the wrong tree here.
    Coronavirus has the mortality rate approaching that of Ebola and it has a transmissibility rate that is astounding. Your flu number show a death rate of about 0.05% of infections. China jumped to about 4% in the last day or so.
    The ‘CruiseShipFromHell(tm)’ docked in Yokohama really illustrates that. My understanding is the vector(s) are still unknown and it seems it persists on surfaces for a week or so and is readily spread in the air and people are infectious for a week or so before symptoms appear.
    The fact the Italians (a first rate health system, first world country) are not coping should be ringing loud alarm bells now.
    Expect about 1 in 50 people you know to die from this in the next year.

    • Italy very badly mishandled the situation. One infected patient was not tested because he had not been to China, so for a couple of days he was visited by numerous family members and friends and attended to by medical workers without protective equipment.

      Then even when found to have the virus, he wasn’t immediately quarantined, reportedly.

      • It gets worse.

        Apparently, his doctors and nurses, who should have been self quarantined, were called back to work at the hospital.

    • air surface fecal and urine transmissible
      so someone poops doesnt drop the lid BEFORE flushing and aerosol debris coats surfaces
      public toilet at airport or on plane etc

      • No Problem

        Modelling the source given the destination, along with the travel data, is pretty frickin cool.

        Some of the contact tracing China does is pretty nifty. Same in Korea. I can see the places that all the victims visited on my phone– think collection of Phone GPS data or even cell tower

  18. Stuff I have read explains why it is something to be worried about…..
    1. It kills far more of the people it infects than the flu.
    2. At this point we don’t know enough about it to have any confidence about just how bad it will get. And you should treat something that potentially is a huge potential as a threat.

    In other words, dismissing it at this point is irresponsible. It may yet come to not much, but we don’t have the knowledge yet to have any real confidence.

    • In other words, dismissing it at this point is irresponsible. It may yet come to not much, but we don’t have the knowledge yet to have any real confidence.

      So we have no idea, but should cripple our economies just in case. Got ya.

      You are talking about Climate Change ™ yes?

      • Like objects GullibleWarming and ClimateChaChing!, WuFlu is just another instantiation of class GlobalMindPhuck.

        • re: “Like objects GullibleWarming and ClimateChaChing!, WuFlu is just another instantiation of class GlobalMindPhuck.”

          I like adding member functions like GoPhuckURself and Bool IDontBelieveU.

  19. BEST ANALYSIS Feb. 27:

    • There are now more new cases occurring every day outside of China than within.
    • Worldwide, the number of newly recovered patients has been greater than the number of newly infected every day since Feb. 19 (for the past week).
    • The number of serious and critical cases, as well as of new deaths, is declining worldwide.
    • However, with a declining trend in China and a sharp increase in cases outside of China (where the outbreak is still in its initial stages), it is critical to analyze the two trends separately.
    • The questions we must address now are:
    1) What factors determined the decline in China (and, most importantly, the limited spread of the virus outside of Hubei)?
    2) Are these same factors (which seem to include very firm and quick actions being implemented at an unprecedented scale) present outside of China? If not, the outcome might turn out to be quite different, unless another course of action is undertaken immediately.
    In depth analysis, reviewing the findings from WHO’s Bruce Aylward report after spending two weeks in China, to be published later today.

    • So far as new documents emerge from China with claims of heavily under reporting, we better not trust any numbers from that place. Reports telling of double documents, one official, one for ‘internal’ use. They mention 3 to 50 times !

      We can assume the draconian measures used in China had good reason and was working. Probably is that what we will have in our places within a month or two if we want to try to contain this. As Xi told Trump : ‘it is a monster’. He would not reference the flu that way, so expect something worse.

      Expect the worst and prepare for it. Be relieved and happy if it will not turn out that bad.

      Some numbers :

      China official mortality rate right now : 7,86%, 2747 Deaths, 32569 Recovered

      S. Korea 35,14%
      Diamond Princess 28,57%
      Japan 8,57%
      Iran 43,18% (Highest recorded)
      Singapore 0.00% (Best midical teams ? ) 62 recovererd but 7 in serious condition and 31 open cases.
      Hong Kong 10.00%
      Taiwan 16.67%
      USA 0.00%

      So it varies between 0-43% but sample to small and time too short. Only time will tell.

    • In depth analysis, reviewing the findings from WHO’s Bruce Aylward report after spending two weeks in China, to be published later today.

      I dunno. I think we should pay attention to someone with an arts degree like Mosher instead. I mean, it works with Climate Scientology, innit?


  20. I can’t help but wonder what will happen to all the stats when truth emerges from North Korea. Just their closing the border to China could cause thousands to starve. And what’s the chance there really are no COVID-19 cases in NK?

    They can’t hide this from satellites, but so far no one’s talking.

    • “Just their closing the border to China could cause thousands to starve”

      No solution is too extreme when it comes to saving lives. We have the solutions, we just need the will to do the right thing.

      • I sure hope no one took me seriously and recognized the oblique reference to climate solutions – “We have to destroy the economy in order to save it!”

  21. China is not as politically stable as many think. The people there (at least where I was) are quite assertive. Protests are very common.

    The powers-that-be have nightmares about losing control. They have to now demonstrate to the world and Chinese citizens that their extreme quarantine measures were successful. The Communist Party of China NEVER fails. Will we, or the people of China, be given the real stats should the outbreak spread throughout China? Pigs will fly.

    Unless the virus in China is losing potency there is no reason to believe that there will not be a genuine Chinese epidemic. China HAS to open her factories. A deep recession spells doom for the CPC too

    The way I’m see’n it


  22. Apparently, those who “recover” from the corona, do not get rid the virus. It remains dormant in the body.
    The second flash is then much heftier.

    The Japanese female patient , a resident of Osaka in western Japan, tested positive for a second time on Wednesday after developing a sore throat and chest pain, the prefectural government said in a statement, describing her as being in her 40s. She first tested positive in late January and was discharged from the hospital after recovering on Feb 1, according to the statement.

    The Japanese health ministry confirmed the case was the first in Japan where a patient tested positive for coronavirus for a second time after being discharged from hospital.

    In an urgent move, Health minister Katsunobu Kato said in Parliament that the central government would need to review patient lists and keep tabs on the condition of those previously discharged, as health experts analysed the implications of testing positive for the virus after an initial recovery.

  23. Sunny weather (high) helps in the fight against the virus in northern Italy. Temperature around 0 C and high humidity are conducive to the virus. Now it is snowing in western France.

  24. Don’t Panic!
    I live in a province (Northern Ireland) with a population of 1,880,000. China has a population of 1,440,000,000. – so there are about 750 Chinese (in China) for every person in N.I. There have been 2800 deaths in China from covid-19; that would correspond to 4 deaths in N.I. In the ‘flu season which is just winding down, we had 10 deaths from ‘flu, a bit less than average; the local media did not go ape or even mention it. After all, there are about 300 deaths from all causes per week in N.I., par for the course in the western world. Donald trump is right about this one.

    • You need to take account of the fact that with flu the NI population aged over 65 have a flu jab offered each year, same for folk with an underlying issue eg Asthma. Hence it’s reasonable to suggest that flu deaths would have been much higher without flu jab particularly as the major deaths are in those 2 groups.

    • Eat enough to keep your antibodies healthy.
      Take your vitamins.
      Shorten your supply lines.
      Don’t believe anything anyone wearing a mask says.

  25. When it comes to numbers. Deaths more or less in Wuhan and China from January 23rd


    Now, This is All China. An ordinary day before the outbreak in Wuhan only there was about 400 deaths every 24 hours. So there is not many deaths above normal. Why the draconian measures ? Maybe the numbers don’t add up ?

    • Some unconfirmed reports circulating they could be under counting CASES by an order of magnitude. If they under reporting CASES but not deaths, that points to a lower overall mortality than otherwise indicated.

      Good to hold in mind that the most dangerous thing in a situation like this is potential for panic and stampede of the herd.

  26. Have commented on this subject in detail three times here before.

    Comparing influenza to CoViD-19 is deceptively misleading for several reasons.

    1. This years US flu vaccine was about 59% effective according to CDC last week prelimary. Better on B, fairly big miss on the A strains. Result is a preliminary R0 of 1.2. There is no vaccine for CoViD-19, so the R0 is about 3 meaning much more infective comparatively.

    2. The routes of transmission is fundamentally different. Flu virions exist in exhaled aspirate, which in indoor dry winter air dries out and can remain inhalable for hours. That, plus the inevitable vaccine ‘miss’ is why there are tens of millions of US flu cases every year. CoViD-19 is spread by direct contact or exposure to cough microdroplets (near direct contact). That is why proper quarantine is reasonably effective for CoVid but NOT influenza.

    3. Flu mortality is on the order of 0.1%, usually the young, or old with comorbidities. It never overwhelms national ICU capacity. CoViD-19 is looking to be at least 3 percent. A report from a Wuhan doctor translated into English adds more substance to my previous comment. In his personal experience, about 19% of cases do not recover. They progress to serious (14%) (supplemental oxygen)or critical with ICU ventilator (5%). In his experience, about 20% of the serious and about 80% of the critical die despite aggressive hospital intervention—which in Wuhan is overwhelmed. That works out to about 6.8% mortality. Makes sense, because the ~3% reported must be low in a rising cases epidemic with a 2-3 week lag time (incubation ~5, symptoms to recovery ~10, deterioration maybe ~5). My previous estimate was 5ish because of the critical cases only. This would absolutely overwhelm US ICU capacity, which was the real CDC concern I experienced personally with swine flu in 2009. See first guest post for that back story.

    Pandemic? Now probable given Italy and Iran.
    US crisis? Cannot be excluded, but not likely. As SM and PDJT say, be prepared and take sensible hygiene precautions.

    • Rud Istvan

      Thanks for the good comment, which probably won’t be read by those who in fact need it the most, e.g.

      But to Italy and Iran, you should add… South Korea.

      Simply because while the former two have more deaths (20 / 26 vs. 13 on Feb 28), the latter shows by far more cases (1766 vs. 655/245).

      This seems to be a hint on Korea’s difficulty in installing procedures with the necessary authority.

      I think that it is dangerous to keep fixated on the death toll, which grew overquadratic 2 weeks ago but now moves below the quadratic estimate.

      The number of cases and the speed of their propagation, especially with transnational character from Italy to France and Spain, is a little worrying.

      J.-P. Dehottay

  27. Thank you Anthony, for providing perspective using a comparison to the Influenza virus. It’s the first sensible article I’ve seen.

  28. Well, I would like to bring up a slightly different perspective.

    Since this is being compared to influenza, we should note that the world suffers variations of the flu every year. Is there any reason to believe this will be any different?

    It appears to be very contagious. There is some evidence that surviving it does not necessarily confer immunity to it in the future. The quarantining has slowed the spread of infection, but not stopped it. The most we can claim is that slowing the virus’s spread is giving the medical community a chance to properly treat all the victims. But is there any reason to believe that there won’t be hot zones popping up randomly throughout the world for years or decades? For how long will we be planning and preparing?

    We need vaccines to reduce the infection rate, and antivirals to cure people quickly, before they spread the virus. Then a decades long, massive program to track down and eliminate this like we did smallpox.

    Until that happens, I fear there will be random quaranting of cities, travel disruptions, business issues, increased death rates and higher medical costs worldwide.

    If you think a large percentage of the population has a natural immunity, or this virus will burn out and go away, please tell me your basis for that belief. I really would like a more optimistic outlook.

  29. R0 for common influenza is about 1.28. The R0 for Coronavirus is somewhere between 2-6. (possibly higher).
    That the R0 for Coronavirus is not determined at this point is an indication of how screwed up human response has been to this epidemic.

  30. Have we ever tested in the U.S. for coronavirus before? If not, why do we think we never had it before? And why is all that reported assumed to be from what stated in China? Maybe rare cases here are not uncommon.

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