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Old 17th January 2020, 12:48 PM   #1
The Atheist
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2019-nCoV / Corona virus

This is the newly-discovered coronavirus that has caused a minor outbreak in China.

At first centred on a fish market, the virus is now known to have spread via human-human contact, just like MERS and SARS before it, both of which are also coronaviruses.

USA is the latest country to start screening incoming flights from China, which seems at least a slightly sensible move, given the human-human infection being so fast on the heels of the original outbreak, and the fact that many coronaviruses are highly contagious among human populations.

Luckily, New Zealand has hardly any visitors from China, so we aren't bothering with any extra measures at this stage.

https://www.axios.com/us-airport-scr...ef7aef961.html
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Old 17th January 2020, 02:51 PM   #2
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Of course it will take time to develop a vaccine, but vaccines for similar viruses already exist and I haven't heard of any obvious obstacle to creating one for the new strain. Heck, my wife just got a vaccination that's supposed to immunize against 23 different pneumonia-causing strains. (Obviously, not including the new one.)

So, even though a post like the OP is precisely the way one of my favorite life-as-we-know-it-ending nightmare scenarios begins, I don't think it's likely to happen this time.
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Old 17th January 2020, 03:30 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Of course it will take time to develop a vaccine, but vaccines for similar viruses already exist...
Not quite right: coronaviruses have proven difficult to create vaccines against, and while a SARS vaccine exists, it's still 99% unknown as to efficacy as there hasn't been another outbreak. I'm fairly sure it's the only vaccine for any coronavirus.

We still don't have a vaccine for the common cold, which is also a coronavirus.

A vaccine is likely to be at least years away.

Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
So, even though a post like the OP is precisely the way one of my favorite life-as-we-know-it-ending nightmare scenarios begins, I don't think it's likely to happen this time.
No, it isn't spreading fast enough to be too scary, but humans are highly susceptible to coronaviruses. It seems fairly simple maths to me that if the chances of a full-blown human pandemic are 1:n.

Whatever number n is, it's getting divided each time an outbreak like this comes along. With a human population approaching 8 billion and more and more people being squeezed into ever-decreasing spaces, often at the same time as animals that host zoonotic disease, the chances of it happening are clearly increasing.
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Old 17th January 2020, 03:35 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Not quite right: coronaviruses have proven difficult to create vaccines against, and while a SARS vaccine exists, it's still 99% unknown as to efficacy as there hasn't been another outbreak. I'm fairly sure it's the only vaccine for any coronavirus.

We still don't have a vaccine for the common cold, which is also a coronavirus.....
The common cold is caused by about 200 different microorganisms.

Some are corona viruses, but many are rhinoviruses and a whole slew of others.


So far this needs cautious observation. There are lots of pneumonia cases, but the fatality rate is very low.

There's a more dangerous corona virus (MERS Co-V) that has been simmering in the Middle East for years. Camels and camel milk are one source. If this one becomes very contagious from person to person it will be worse.
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Old 17th January 2020, 09:37 PM   #5
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Update, there have been 2 deaths now apparently.
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Old 17th January 2020, 10:01 PM   #6
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My girlfriend took a group of about 30 people to India, from China, a few weeks ago. On arrival they all started getting flu like symptoms and according to her 90% of the group came down with it. It also spread through the local Indian community. My guess is it originated with someone on their flight.

Not sure if it's the same thing, but I was a little worried. They've all recovered though.
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Old 17th January 2020, 10:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
My girlfriend took a group of about 30 people to India, from China, a few weeks ago. On arrival they all started getting flu like symptoms and according to her 90% of the group came down with it. It also spread through the local Indian community. My guess is it originated with someone on their flight.

Not sure if it's the same thing, but I was a little worried. They've all recovered though.
It's not the same thing.
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Old 17th January 2020, 11:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
It's not the same thing.
Thanks.
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Old 18th January 2020, 12:09 AM   #9
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And in a surprise to absolutely nobody Chinese authorities may have underestimated the number of cases exponentially. They say 45, Imperial College London says probably 1700.

Quote:
"I am substantially more concerned than I was a week ago," disease outbreak scientist, Prof Neil Ferguson, said.
https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51148303

I can't say I'm sorry it's school holidays for another fortnight yet, given that my boy attends a school with 40% Chinese kids, many of whom travel to & from China frequently.
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Old 18th January 2020, 01:13 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
And in a surprise to absolutely nobody Chinese authorities may have underestimated the number of cases exponentially. They say 45, Imperial College London says probably 1700.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51148303

I can't say I'm sorry it's school holidays for another fortnight yet, given that my boy attends a school with 40% Chinese kids, many of whom travel to & from China frequently.
This might ally some of your fears:

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (07): CHINA (HUBEI), THAILAND ex CHINA, JAPAN ex CHINA, WHO
Quote:
In this update:
[1] Thailand ex China, 2nd case - Thai MOPH
[2] Japan ex China, more details, WHO DON 17 Jan 2020
[3] Japan ex China WHO 16 Jan 2020
[4] Wuhan City, 4 new cases
[5] USA/CDC will begin screening - media report
ex China (or any other country) means they were diagnosed in one country but contracted it in China (or which other country the source was).

It's really nothing like the SARS scare. Don't get me started on why.


BTW, I'm not surprised China is under reporting either. With SARS it was the local officials that wanted to save face and not have a problem out of their control. Eventually Beijing cracked down.
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Old 20th January 2020, 11:38 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
It's really nothing like the SARS scare. Don't get me started on why.
Yet, with the virus this one's most closely related to being SARS and with numbers increasing exponentially, it might be a lot like SARS.

Looks to me like this one is well and truly out of the bag.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-51171035
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Old 20th January 2020, 12:46 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Yet, with the virus this one's most closely related to being SARS and with numbers increasing exponentially, it might be a lot like SARS.

Looks to me like this one is well and truly out of the bag.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-51171035
Oh for pity's sake. There have been 3 deaths now.

The first word about SARS started as a rumor that hundreds of health care workers were dying of pneumonia spreading from patients in a hospital in Guangdong Province in China. The rumors continued for about a month before official word got out to international public health authorities.

Nine people that used an elevator in Hong Kong spread the virus around the world. Not only did an emergency worker in Canada die, so did his mother whom he exposed.

One hospital in Hong Kong was sealed off, quarantining staff and patients alike.


Now tell me how some new coronavirus is the same.


Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)

BTW, Since September 2012, WHO has been notified of 2494 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with MERS-CoV and 858 MERS-CoV associated deaths have occurred.

That's a lot more than 3 deaths.
https://www.who.int/emergencies/mers-cov/en/
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Old 20th January 2020, 02:07 PM   #13
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Even DW news is exaggerating this threat.
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Old 20th January 2020, 07:02 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Now tell me how some new coronavirus is the same.
Is there any need to be dishonest?

You quoted my phrase "it might be a lot like SARS" and then shift the goalpost from "a lot like" to "the same".

Given the fact that this is far earlier in the picture than the outbreaks of either SARS or MERS, I think it's too early to say what it's going to end up like with any certainty at all.

Although I note the doctors who sequenced the genome made the comment that its closest relation is the SARS virus. That, with similar but supposedly milder symptoms, makes it a lot like SARS already.

Maybe take a breath or two next time.
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Old 20th January 2020, 07:10 PM   #15
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Corona Virus

A new and deadly virus called the corona virus has appeared in China. It looks like China has understated the seriousness of it and it is highly infectious. I don't think it will be going all 12 Monkeys on us, though.
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Old 20th January 2020, 07:19 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
A new and deadly virus called the corona virus has appeared in China. It looks like China has understated the seriousness of it and it is highly infectious. I don't think it will be going all 12 Monkeys on us, though.
That's how it starts...
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Old 20th January 2020, 07:26 PM   #17
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It's not related to the beer of the same name, is it?
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Old 20th January 2020, 08:06 PM   #18
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Duplicate thread unless you want this one to be about the reliability of information coming out of China.

I have some great stories about how China and India fumbled the SARS pandemic information too.
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Old 20th January 2020, 08:09 PM   #19
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One of my favorite movies is Contagion.

Because every bit of it is believable.
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Old 20th January 2020, 08:14 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Is there any need to be dishonest?

You quoted my phrase "it might be a lot like SARS" and then shift the goalpost from "a lot like" to "the same".

Given the fact that this is far earlier in the picture than the outbreaks of either SARS or MERS, I think it's too early to say what it's going to end up like with any certainty at all.

Although I note the doctors who sequenced the genome made the comment that its closest relation is the SARS virus. That, with similar but supposedly milder symptoms, makes it a lot like SARS already.

Maybe take a breath or two next time.
I'm not being dishonest. Unless you simply mean it's from the corona virus family, it is not like SARS for a dozen reasons.

I've seen this story reported by the scare-mongering media all day long. Be afraid, be very afraid! China is covering up a deadly epidemic! Run!

This is a skeptics forum. We should be more reasonable about these kind of stories.

Influenza is thousands of time more deadly and more easily spread.


Now, can we discuss this reasonably without the hype?

It's not far earlier in the picture. SARS was a mysterious pneumonia killing health care workers before the news media even caught wind of it. I'll see if I can dig up some of those initial warnings.
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Old 20th January 2020, 08:16 PM   #21
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Brisbane man being tested for coronavirus

Quote:
A man is in isolation in his Brisbane home as Queensland Health authorities run tests on whether he is carrying a new strain for coronavirus.

The man was showing symptoms of the SARS-like illness and had recently returned from Wuhan in China, where the outbreak began.

Authorities said there was no cause for alarm.

Queensland's Chief Medical Officer Dr Jeanette Young said "we've got one gentleman that we're following at the moment who has travelled to Wuhan and has developed a respiratory illness".

"He is recovering at home.

"We've done some tests on him and are awaiting test results."
Unlike New Zealand, we do have a lot of people travelling to and from China. Especially here in Canberra, where we have two world-class universities with large international student populations. I catch buses with them every day.
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Old 20th January 2020, 08:21 PM   #22
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It's one of many coronaviruses (-virii, whatever), not THE coronavirus. They can cause everything from a bad cold to SARS & MERS. This one is new to science, though, and appears to have come from bats, which are eaten in the area where it first occurred. It's happily settled in to humans though, and is now human-transmissible.

Eating wild animals has introduced a lot of interesting diseases to humans.
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Old 20th January 2020, 08:31 PM   #23
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Try this for scary:

Pneumonia - China (Guangdong): RFI RFI means request for information.
Quote:
Date: 10 Feb 2003
From: Stephen O. Cunnion, MD, PhD, MPH <cunnion@erols.com>

This morning I received this e-mail and then searched your archives
and found nothing that pertained to it. Does anyone know anything
about this problem?
"Have you heard of an epidemic in Guangzhou? An acquaintance of mine
from a teacher's chat room lives there and reports that the
hospitals there have been closed and people are dying."

--
That was an understatement.

We get notices of unexplained death clusters all the time. I had never seen a notice that hospitals had closed.
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Old 20th January 2020, 08:54 PM   #24
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http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=341650
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Old 20th January 2020, 08:56 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Influenza is thousands of time more deadly and more easily spread.
Complete nonsense.

With 170 confirmed cases and 3 deaths, the fatality rate is almost 3%.

Let's be generous on the side of infections and go with the quoted 1700. My maths says that's just under 0.3%.

The fatality rate for influenza and pneumonia is 0.01%.

I repeat - you're being dishonest. "Thousands of time more deadly"?

It's utterly clear that statement is false. If anything, it's at least twenty times more deadly than influenza. I don't know why you want to continue posting dishonestly on this subject but maybe you could stop doing it.

I'm not scare-mongering, but I am stating facts and using mathematics.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Now, can we discuss this reasonably without the hype?
Hype doesn't fuss me, but I'd like to think we could deal with it honestly.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
It's not far earlier in the picture. SARS was a mysterious pneumonia killing health care workers before the news media even caught wind of it. I'll see if I can dig up some of those initial warnings.
Where you clearly contradict yourself!

The Chinese covered that up and it wasn't until the death total became too big to hide that it became news.

This time, the Chinese government is being very fast in advising the state of affairs. The only reason it's news is because the CCP allowed it to be.

Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
Unlike New Zealand, we do have a lot of people travelling to and from China.
Sorry, I was being facetious. You might have missed where I noted the 40% Chinese kids at my boy's school. That's not an over-estimate.

There is a huge Chinese diaspora in NZ, and most of them live in this area. We also have the bonus of enormous Chinese tourism as well as the "locals", who travel to & from extensively.

If you have it in Aussie, you can bet it's already here.
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Old 20th January 2020, 09:16 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
It's not related to the beer of the same name, is it?
It is. Drinking it is the cure. I think I'd rather die.
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Old 20th January 2020, 09:23 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Complete nonsense.
With 170 confirmed cases and 3 deaths, the fatality rate is almost 3%.
Let's be generous on the side of infections and go with the quoted 1700. My maths says that's just under 0.3%.
The fatality rate for influenza and pneumonia is 0.01%.
I repeat - you're being dishonest. "Thousands of time more deadly"?
It's utterly clear that statement is false. If anything, it's at least twenty times more deadly than influenza. I don't know why you want to continue posting dishonestly on this subject but maybe you could stop doing it.
I'm not scare-mongering, but I am stating facts and using mathematics.
Hype doesn't fuss me, but I'd like to think we could deal with it honestly.
Where you clearly contradict yourself!
I'm pretty sure I didn't contradict myself. And your definition of dishonestly leaves a bit to be desired.

Moving on, why is flu more deadly:

Right now you cannot compare fatalities vs known cases because we have no idea what the denominator actually is. Until an antibody test is developed and becomes available, we have no idea what the actual number of cases is. You can't calculate the fatality rate without a proper denominator. There could be thousands of asymptomatic cases.

In addition, there are so many strains of influenza, one has to look at each strain if one wanted to compare this new virus to influenza.

But compared to the current flu season, we have 3 fatalities (could be higher by now) compared to CDC estimates of the current season: 6,600 – 17,000 flu deaths

So total deaths, the flu is more dangerous. Of course, flu is too ordinary. People are freaking out over this new virus because it's new and it is a coronavirus and the news media like sensation, it sells the news.


Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
The Chinese covered that up and it wasn't until the death total became too big to hide that it became news.
No, that is not what happened.

You have to distinguish between inadequate infrastructure, local face saving and the actual Chinese government. They all played different parts at different times in the SARS pandemic. It's probably similar now.
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Old 20th January 2020, 09:44 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Sorry, I was being facetious. You might have missed where I noted the 40% Chinese kids at my boy's school. That's not an over-estimate.

There is a huge Chinese diaspora in NZ, and most of them live in this area. We also have the bonus of enormous Chinese tourism as well as the "locals", who travel to & from extensively.

If you have it in Aussie, you can bet it's already here.
Yeah, fair enough. The case in Brisbane is not yet confirmed, as far as I'm aware.
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Old 20th January 2020, 10:17 PM   #29
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When news of SARS was at its peak I remember reading about two peculiar facts

It could be spread by sharing the same toilet.

there was a study I read a few years later about possible transmission in one hotel in China through aerosols from a toilet plume. They never proved that was the mode by which the other neighbors caught it, but it's intriguing.

I suppose there's no word yet on how people not in the markets are getting this new coronavirus? I guess SARS is the working model for now.
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Old 20th January 2020, 10:43 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
When news of SARS was at its peak I remember reading about two peculiar facts

It could be spread by sharing the same toilet.

there was a study I read a few years later about possible transmission in one hotel in China through aerosols from a toilet plume. They never proved that was the mode by which the other neighbors caught it, but it's intriguing.

I suppose there's no word yet on how people not in the markets are getting this new coronavirus? I guess SARS is the working model for now.
There was an issue with sewage drainage at one apartment building so that would include toilets. That might be what you are thinking of. Hong Kong seals apartment building to contain SARS
Quote:
WHO officials said they still believe the disease spreads mainly by close contact, but reported that epidemiologists were considering the possibility that systems in the building somehow spread infectious bodily secretions.
There were also the nine international travelers that had been in the same elevator that all got infected on their way out of the country.

It turned out there were super-spreaders:
Quote:
Gerberding also said some SARS patients seem to be "extremely efficient transmitters" of the disease. In Hanoi, for example, one patient transmitted the illness to 56% of the healthcare workers who came in contact with him or her, she said.
One reason we were able to contain the SARS pandemic is there were few or no asymptomatic cases. If you can identify all cases you can isolate them and their contacts. As an example:
Quote:
WHO officials said in statement. "Because of his early identification of the disease, global surveillance was heightened and many new cases have been identified and isolated before they infected hospital staff. In Hanoi, SARS appears to be coming under control."

The current new virus is spreading person to person so that's likely to be respiratory secretions.
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Old 21st January 2020, 01:08 AM   #31
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Meanwhile, WHO is taking it seriously enough that they're holding a meeting tomorrow to decide if they need to declare an international emergency.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/1...na-coronavirus
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Old 21st January 2020, 01:12 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Duplicate thread unless you want this one to be about the reliability of information coming out of China.

I have some great stories about how China and India fumbled the SARS pandemic information too.

It would help if people gave their new topics clear and non cryptic titles
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Old 21st January 2020, 01:27 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by deadrose View Post
It's one of many coronaviruses (-virii, whatever), not THE coronavirus. They can cause everything from a bad cold to SARS & MERS. This one is new to science, though, and appears to have come from bats, which are eaten in the area where it first occurred. It's happily settled in to humans though, and is now human-transmissible.

Eating wild animals has introduced a lot of interesting diseases to humans.
Bats are particularly bad. They harbour bad diseases that don't kill them but kill us. Apparently they have a super immune system that is always turned up to 11. In Australia they have spread a disease via horses to vets who go to treat the sick horse. The Hendra virus has a 100% fatality rate. Fortunately it can't be spread between humans.



https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/20...perty/10248080
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Old 21st January 2020, 01:27 AM   #34
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Does Rumsfeld need cash again?
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Old 21st January 2020, 01:34 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
It would help if people gave their new topics clear and non cryptic titles
Something I actually agree with you on.

Though both are pretty vague.
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Old 21st January 2020, 05:32 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Yet, with the virus this one's most closely related to being SARS and with numbers increasing exponentially, it might be a lot like SARS.
That is, a vast amount of hype? There were less than ten thousand SARS infections and under eight hundred deaths. Measles killed six thousand in the Congo.
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Old 21st January 2020, 06:43 AM   #37
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First case hits the Philippines
Child from China tests positive for coronavirus in Cebu City
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Old 21st January 2020, 07:13 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
That is, a vast amount of hype? There were less than ten thousand SARS infections and under eight hundred deaths. Measles killed six thousand in the Congo.
But SARS could potentially have been much worse if it's spread hadn't been controlled. It seems to me that people were right to be alarmed enough to take action. The fact that they were successful doesn't suggest that they weren't right.
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Old 21st January 2020, 09:47 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
There were less than ten thousand SARS infections and under eight hundred deaths. Measles killed six thousand in the Congo.
1 - the death total is already six, and that's a whole week after the story broke. It does appear to be a less deadly coronavirus than MERS or SARS, but it's still far too early to say with any certainty where this will end up.

2 - pretty sure there's a good vaccine for measles.
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Old 21st January 2020, 09:52 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
Though both are pretty vague.
I was going to go with a humorous title, as I did with the famous "MERS Attacks" thread, but used the scientific name of the virus instead, which seems appropriate in the science & medicine section.

How the hell is that vague?
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