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COVID-19: let's try to understand it better

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  • #346028
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Reader:

    What follows, including quotes, is taken from  www. worldometers. If you click there on “death” the following information will be available fto you (in a different form and order, and hopefully my presentation of it is accurate enough for the purpose here):

    Case Fatality Rate (CFR) aka death rate aka mortality rate of a viral disease is the number of people who die because of he virus divided by the number of people who were infected by the virus. In other words: the total number of cases of death divided by the total number of cases of infection  (multiplied by 100 so to arrive to a percentage).

    For a comparison, here are the mortality rates of the following viral diseases: the seasonal flu- way less than 1%, swine flu- 0.02%, the 2002-03 SARS- 10%, MER- 34%. (The flu is caused by a variety of Influenza viruses while Coronaviruses are behind SARS, past and current, as well as MERS).

    The mortality rate as discussed by the National Health Commission (NHC) of China on Feb 4 in Wuhan, China (the origin of the current pandemic) was 4.9%, but nationwide- 2.1%. In some provinces at that time, the mortality rate was 0.16%.

    In Jan 29 and again in Feb 10 press conferences, the WHO “had mentioned 2% as a mortality rate estimate”, and later, “In his opening remarks at the March 3 media briefing on Covid-19, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated: ‘Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died. By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1% of those infected.’”

    Because currently there are many infected individuals who were not yet tested, their numbers were not added to the total cases of infection that are published, and therefore, the actual mortality rate is different than what was calculated so far, and will keep changing as more individuals get tested. Also, “Fatality rate can also change as a virus can mutate, according to epidemiologists”.

    I looked at the numbers this very morning, total global cases 697,609 and total death cases 33,116. I divided the two and multiplied by 100, and came to a global mortality rate of 4.7%.

    I performed the same calculation for the numbers today in regard to the following countries and arrived at the following mortality rates for these countries: China 4%, Italy 11%, Spain 8.3%, Iran 6.8%, UK 6.2%, USA 1.7%, India 2.6%.

    I will post more on the content of this post later today or tomorrow.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by anita.
    #346032
    anita
    Participant

    * My note regarding the calculations I made in the latter part of the post above: these numbers are very different from what the mortality rates actually are (and from the number that will be arrived at after the which will be determined to be after the pandemic is over). These numbers are very far from being accurate. The actual rates are much lower than the 11%, 8.3% etc., and are closer to the global 3.4% mortality rate estimate suggested by WHO in March 3.

    More  tomorrow.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by anita.
    #346196
    pete
    Participant

    I like to follow Dr.John Campbell on his youtube channel for updates. Some of his sources are skeptical at best (when he adds updates from people emailing him), but he seems to get the right info out. He posts happenings every day.

    #346214
    anita
    Participant

    Thanks  Pete aka blkhwkdwn1. Good to know  someone is looking at my thread. How are you?

    anita

    #346262
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Reader:

    Covid-19 is a viral airborne disease. Viral, means it’s caused by a virus, and airborne means that  the virus is transmitted through the air, via breathing, talking, coughing;  any activity which generate aerosols. (An aerosol is a fine solid particle or a liquid droplet suspended in air).

    A few other viral airborne diseases are:

    Chickenpox– there is a vaccine for it, the varicella vaccine. Some countries require the varicella vaccination before entering elementary school, and it is the routine immunization schedule in the US. A second dose is recommended five years after the initial immunization, but not all countries provide the vaccine. It is possible to measure a person’s antibodies levels, and if a person’s levels of antibodies are low (low titer), reimmunization may be done. Treatment for the disease consists mainly of easing the symptoms.

    Measles– extremely contagious, nine out of ten people who are not immune and share living space with an infected person will be infected. Most people don’t get the disease more than once. There is a vaccine for it, the measles vaccine. It is effective at preventing the disease and it is exceptionally safe. It is often delivered in combination with other vaccines. Vaccination resulted in an 80% decrease in deaths from measles between 2000 and 2017. Once a person has become infected,  like in the case of the Chickenpox, no specific treatment is available, and treatment is about easing the symptoms, aka supportive care (oral rehydration solution, healthy food, and medications to control the fever). Antibiotics are prescribed if secondary bacterial infections such as ear infections or pneumonia occur following the viral infection. Measles affects about 20 million people a year, primarily in the developing areas of Africa and Asia. While often regarded as a childhood illness, it can affect people of any age. It is one of the leading vaccine-preventable disease causes of death. In 1980, 2.6 million people died of it, but  by 2014, global vaccination programs had reduced the number of deaths from measles to 73,000. Despite these trends, rates of disease and deaths increased from 2017 to 2019 due to a decrease in immunization.

    Mumpsused to be quite common in the US, but no longer because of vaccination. Mumps is preventable by two doses of the mump vaccine. Most of the developed world includes it in their immunization programs, often in combination with measles, rubella and varicella vaccine. No specific treatment is known. Efforts involve controlling symptoms with pain medication. About one in 10,000 people who are infected die.

    Influenza – to be continued tomorrow.

    Note: viral diseases don’t really have a cure. Bacterial diseases are curable by antibiotics (except when the bacteria becomes resistant to antibiotics), but viral diseases do not respond to antibiotics. The treatment is about controlling and easing the symptoms. This is why prevention is crucial: prevention by practicing hygiene, washing hands, disinfecting surfaces, etc. And getting VACCINATED. Vaccinations for viral diseases already saved millions of lives all over the world, so vaccinate yourself!

    anita

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by anita.
    #346272
    pete
    Participant

    Coughing quite a bit lately but other then that I am alright. How you doing? Thinking of looking into DIY masks that would be effective to wear and reuse.

    #346296
    anita
    Participant

    Dear blkhwdwn1 (pete):

    Coughing quite a bit- you should get tested, for crying (not coughing) out loud! I hope you are okay!!! Please let me know soon how you are doing, will you?

    I just watched Dr. John Campbell Youtube on how to wash one’s hands properly. I now know that I have never washed my hands properly. I think everyone should watch his video on hand washing. He starts by saying that he  just came back from the supermarket, a guy in front of him coughed and he is afraid that he has bacteria, viruses and fungal spores on his hands (the three types of pathogens that travel in the air. causing the many airborne diseases: the common cold, the flu,  Covid-19, and others- the topic of my earlier post today, on this thread).

    Thank you for the recommendation. I will be watching more of his videos!

    I don’t know about DIY masks- are you wearing a  mask at work, I wonder. I am fine, just came back from a walk in the rain and warming by a fire. I am quite scared today though. I hope to read from you soon, about how you are.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by anita.
    #346342
    pete
    Participant

    Not there yet for a test but I will let you know. Hope you’re doing well yourself, sorry you’re scared it’s not a great time right now but it’ll get better. 😉 If you want to watch some nice videos for a change look up “SomeGoodNews” youtube channel.

    #346364
    anita
    Participant

    Dear blkhwkdwn1 (pete):

    Thank you for another recommendation (will check it out later). I definitely like the first one and will be watching more of his videos. I was scared yesterday, but not in the evening or night and not this morning. I usually feel best in the mornings. I sure hope “it’ll get better” before it gets worse. I can’t wait! But I have to wait, we all have to wait. Post here (or there) again anytime.

    May your cough subsides, rest, drink a lot of water, stay hydrated… but you know all these things, I’m sure.

    anita

    #346426
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Reader:

    My earlier post to you was based on Wikipedia information on a variety of topics. The current is based on the same as well as sources that I will mention.

    Let’s look at Covid-19 vs. the seasonal influenza aka the flu:  both are infectious, viral (both caused by RNA viruses), airborne, as well as being transferred directly by touching an infected surface and then touching one’s face, or shaking someone else’s hand. Both can be mild or severe, there are common symptoms to the two, like fever, coughing and fatigue, both can result in pneumonia, and both can be spread by people before showing symptoms.

    In Wikipedia’s entry on Influenza it reads: “Frequent hand washing reduces the risk of viral spread, as does wearing a surgical mask.. Reasonably effective ways to reduce transmission on influenza include good personal health and hygiene habits such as: not touching the eyes, nose or mouth, frequent hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes; avoiding close contact with sick people; and staying home when sick.. face masks might help prevent transmission when caring for the sick.. surface sanitizing may help prevent some infections. Alcohol is an effective sanitizer against influenza viruses.. Social distancing strategies.. such as closing schools, churches and theaters, slowed the spread of the virus”- all this is true for influenza and Covid-19.

    But the two are not the same. According to www. hopkinsmedicine. org/ health/ conditions and diseases/ coronavirus/ coronavirus- disease- 2019- vs- the- flu (no spaces), there is a list of differences between the two:

    (* what’s in parentheses in what follows are my comments)

    1. Covid-19 is caused by one virus, SARS-CoV-2 while the flu is caused by any of several different types and strains of influenza viruses.

    2. It is possible that Covid-19 is spread more easily than the flu, that the droplets from a Covid-19 infected person’s breath/ cough/sneeze remains in the air longer than do the droplets from a flu infected person. (Each Covi-19 sufferer infects between 2 to 3 others,Ro=2.2, which is a reproduction rate up to twice as high as seasonal flu, which typically infects 1.3 new people for each patient, Ro=1.28).

    3. In the case of the flu there are antiviral medications that can address symptoms and sometimes shorten the duration of the illness. No such medications for Covid-19 exist at this time.

    4. There are vaccines for the flu (and have been for a long, long time, although previous vaccines become ineffective because the influenza viruses mutate a lot, so the vaccines have to be updated regularly). Existing vaccines are effective in preventing some of the most dangerous flu types/ reducing the severity of the flu.  There is no vaccine for Covid-19 at this time (or for any of the known coronaviruses).

    5. There is an estimated 1 billion cases of the flu worldwide, and (close to a million) cases of Covid-19 (in roughly 4 months of the outbreak turned pandemic)

    6. There are 291,000- 646,000 worldwide flu deaths, and close to 40,000 worldwide Covid-19 deaths (in roughly 4 months of this outbreak turned pandemic), “the mortality rate of Covid-19 .. is thought to be higher than that of most strains of the flu”. (The CFR, Case Mortality Rate, of the seasonal flu is 0.1%, the CFR of Covid-19 was estimated by WHO on March 3 to be 3.4%).

    7<span style=”display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: #ffffff; color: #333333; cursor: text; font-family: Georgia,’Times New Roman’,’Bitstream Charter’,Times,serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;”>. Lots of people carry antibodies for the flu because of being previously infected by the it (although antibodies for a previous flu may not work for a new case of the flu because of the high rate of mutation of the influenza viruses), and therefore have immunity for it, but because Covid-19 is new, people do not have antibodies for it/ have no immunity to it. </span>

    8. According to healthline. com/ heath/ coronavirus- vs- flu # differences (no spaces), Covid-19 symptoms are mild in the beginning and develop gradually while the flu symptoms develop rapidly, Covid-19 takes 2-14 days to incubate, while the flu takes 1-4 days, the most common symptoms observed in Covid-19 are: fever, cough, fatigue and shortness of breath. Shortness of breath is not in the list of common symptoms of the flu.

    “Data to date suggests that about 20 percent of people with Covid-19 experience severe or critical illness, requiring hospitalization and often the administration of oxygen or mechanical ventilation. Although there are millions of flu cases each year in the United States, a smaller percentage of flu cases are estimated to result in hospitalization”

    — More tomorrow.

    anita

     

     

     

    #346436
    anita
    Participant

    * This is the post above, reposted without the mess:

    Dear Reader:

    My earlier post to you was based on Wikipedia information on a variety of topics. The current is based on the same as well as sources that I will mention.

    Let’s look at Covid-19 vs. the seasonal influenza aka the flu:  both are infectious, viral (both caused by RNA viruses), airborne, as well as being transferred directly by touching an infected surface and then touching one’s face, or shaking someone else’s hand. Both can be mild or severe, there are common symptoms to the two, like fever, coughing and fatigue, both can result in pneumonia, and both can be spread by people before showing symptoms.

    In Wikipedia’s entry on Influenza it reads: “Frequent hand washing reduces the risk of viral spread, as does wearing a surgical mask.. Reasonably effective ways to reduce transmission on influenza include good personal health and hygiene habits such as: not touching the eyes, nose or mouth, frequent hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes; avoiding close contact with sick people; and staying home when sick.. face masks might help prevent transmission when caring for the sick.. surface sanitizing may help prevent some infections. Alcohol is an effective sanitizer against influenza viruses.. Social distancing strategies.. such as closing schools, churches and theaters, slowed the spread of the virus”- all this is true for influenza and Covid-19.

    But the two are not the same. According to www. hopkinsmedicine. org/ health/ conditions and diseases/ coronavirus/ coronavirus- disease- 2019- vs- the- flu (no spaces), there is a list of differences between the two:

    (* what’s in parentheses in what follows are my comments)

    1. Covid-19 is caused by one virus, SARS-CoV-2 while the flu is caused by any of several different types and strains of influenza viruses.

    2. It is possible that Covid-19 is spread more easily than the flu, that the droplets from a Covid-19 infected person’s breath/ cough/sneeze remains in the air longer than do the droplets from a flu infected person. (Each Covi-19 sufferer infects between 2 to 3 others,Ro=2.2, which is a reproduction rate up to twice as high as seasonal flu, which typically infects 1.3 new people for each patient, Ro=1.28).

    3. In the case of the flu there are antiviral medications that can address symptoms and sometimes shorten the duration of the illness. No such medications for Covid-19 exist at this time.

    4. There are vaccines for the flu (and have been for a long, long time, although previous vaccines become ineffective because the influenza viruses mutate a lot, so the vaccines have to be updated regularly). Existing vaccines are effective in preventing some of the most dangerous flu types/ reducing the severity of the flu.  There is no vaccine for Covid-19 at this time (or for any of the known coronaviruses).

    5. There is an estimated 1 billion cases of the flu worldwide, and (close to a million) cases of Covid-19 (in roughly 4 months of the outbreak turned pandemic)

    6. There are 291,000- 646,000 worldwide flu deaths, and close to 40,000 worldwide Covid-19 deaths (in roughly 4 months of this outbreak turned pandemic), “the mortality rate of Covid-19 .. is thought to be higher than that of most strains of the flu”. (The CFR, Case Mortality Rate, of the seasonal flu is 0.1%, the CFR of Covid-19 was estimated by WHO on March 3 to be 3.4%).

    7. Lots of people carry antibodies for the flu because of being previously infected by the it (although antibodies for a previous flu may not work for a new case of the flu because of the high rate of mutation of the influenza viruses), and therefore have immunity for it, but because Covid-19 is new, people do not have antibodies for it/ have no immunity to it.

    8. According to healthline. com/ heath/ coronavirus- vs- flu # differences (no spaces), Covid-19 symptoms are mild in the beginning and develop gradually while the flu symptoms develop rapidly, Covid-19 takes 2-14 days to incubate, while the flu takes 1-4 days, the most common symptoms observed in Covid-19 are: fever, cough, fatigue and shortness of breath. Shortness of breath is not in the list of common symptoms of the flu.

    “Data to date suggests that about 20 percent of people with Covid-19 experience severe or critical illness, requiring hospitalization and often the administration of oxygen or mechanical ventilation. Although there are millions of flu cases each year in the United States, a smaller percentage of flu cases are estimated to result in hospitalization”

    — More tomorrow.

    #346710
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Reader:

    Case Fatality Rate (CFR) number= what percentage of infected people die from the infection, or said in other words, it is the number of fatalities divided by the number of confirmed infections (times 100). For the following diseases, the CFR’s are- seasonal flu: 0.1%,  the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-1920: 2%-3%, or 4%, or 10%, SARS (caused by a coronavirus, SARS-Cov) of 2002-2003: 10%, MERS (caused by a coronaviurs, MERS-Cov) of 2012- present: 34%, current SARS, estimate by WHO in March: 3.4%.

    www. virology. ws is a website with hundreds of blogs “about viruses and viral disease”. In this website,  Dr. Vincent R. Racaniello, a Higgins Professor in the Dept of Microbiology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, one of four virologists who recently authored Principles of Virology, a textbook used by many teaching virology to medical students, wrote on his March 5 blog (www. virology. ws/ 2020/ 03/ 05/ sars- cov- 2- coronavirus- case- fatality- ratio):

    “the CFR is not a one-size-fits all…this ‘crude’ global CFR for COVID-19 .. which is 3.4%… this number is not a one-size-fits all, and is influenced by many factors. Please do not look at 3.4% as an indicator of your risk of dying from COVID-19!… data from the COVID-19 outbreak in China we know that age has a substantial impact on CFR. Based on a summary of 44,672 cases earlier in the outbreak (published by China CDC Weekly), no child between 0-9 years of age died of infection; and in individuals less than 50 years of age, the CFR is less than 1%. Only in older individuals does the CFR increase. The CFR also varies by country, likely due to differences in the standard of care. ..South Korea.. CFR of 0.4%!.. in Italy and in Iran the CFR so far is 3.1%. These differences are not due to circulation of different viruses in these countries, but a combination of the quality of health care available and the age of the patients… I do think that we are missing many infections, not just in China but in other countries, and therefore the CFR may be even lower. There are likely many individuals with mild respiratory symptoms (typical in the winter) who are infected but never diagnosed. Only well after this outbreak is over, when serological studies are done to determine the extent of infection, will we have an accurate CFR. I am not attempting to minimize the seriousness of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: there will certainly be many infections in the US and there will be deaths due to the infection. However, please understand that a CFR of 3.4% does not apply to everyone; what happens to you if infected depends on your age, health status, and where you live.”

    Wikipedia in its very long, updated and very impressive (includes colorful graphs and visuals) entry on “Coronavirus disease 2019”, states: “in those younger than 50 years, the risk of death is less than 0.5%, while in those older than 70 it is more than 8%”, and it includes a graph with the title “Covoid-19 fatality rate by age” it details the following CFR’s by age groups:

    14.8% for 80 and over,     8% for 70-79,      3.6% for 60-69,     1.3% for 50-59,      0.4% 40-49,    0.2% 10-29.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by anita.
    #346720
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Reader:

    About flattening the curve, Wikipedia in its entry on “Coronavirus disease 2019”, under “Prevention” reads under a illustrated visual of a curve being flattened: “An illustration of the effect of spreading out infections over a long period of time, known as flattening the curve; decreasing peaks allows healthcare services to better manage the same volume of patients”-

    – it means that through enforcing and practicing social distancing and hygiene, less new cases of infection occur per day, (the rate of new infections goes down). When the curve is not flattened, a great number of new patients need hospitalization in a day, more than hospitals can handle (the health care system gets overwhelmed and unable to treat the massive influx of new patients).

    When the curve is flattened,  fewer new patients need hospitalization per day, and hospitals are able to  handle the lesser influx of new patients.

    Here is an example of a pandemic in which the health care at the time was severely inadequate and not able to handle the great influx of new patients, (Wikipedia on the Spanish flu pandemic of a hundred years ago, from January 1918 to December 1920. It infected 500 million people—about a quarter of the world’s population at the time. The death toll is estimated to have been anywhere from 17 to 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million.

    “A 2007 analysis of medical journals from the period of the pandemic found that the viral infection was no more aggressive than previous influenza strains. Instead, malnourishment, overcrowded medical camps and hospitals, and poor hygiene promoted bacterial superinfection (a second infection that happens after the first). This superinfection killed most of the victims”-

    – the great death toll of the Spanish flu pandemic was not because the virus was more aggressive than its predecessors, but because patients were not adequately fed, adequate hygiene was not practiced, no spacing was practiced (hospitals were overcrowded), and these conditions made it possible for a secondary infection to spread and kill.

    Back to now: without the availability of a vaccine, or an effective antiviral treatment for the current virus (neither one currently exists), the only ways to flatten the curve and in doing so, to not overwhelm the health care system (which will result in much increased fatality rate), is for all of us to practice social distancing and hygiene now, today and every day until further notice.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 3 weeks ago by anita.
    #346718
    brittany
    Participant

    Hello Anita,

     

    I have been reading everything you have been putting on this website aka your replies, anyway I want to know what the hell am I supposed to honestly due in my own situation. I’m not at school, and I am leasing an apartment. My lease ends in May but I have absolutely no idea where I would live. Im only 19 and decided to take my gap year. Now that my lease is ending and COVID 19 is taking an effect on all work, schools, universities; etc. It feels like I have no idea what to do. No one knows what to do besides stay in quarantine and sit it out. I feel unproductive and like my time is very limited. Everything is limited and I have no idea what to do. No ones talking to me or messaging me via text or online; I truly just feel alone. Its worst not having a relying friend, besides myself.

    #346770
    Brandy
    Participant

    Hi anita,

    Wanted to let you know that I’m still reading this thread and finding it very useful. I’ve done my own research on all the topics you’re discussing here and it feels good to read it back from someone in her own words who did her own research using her own sources. I think you and I are on the same page.

    My grandparents were very young adults during the Spanish flu pandemic and I find myself wishing I had asked them about it before they passed. I remember the concerned looks on my grandmother’s face whenever anyone in my family would get a common head cold. She seemed so overly concerned to me. Makes more sense to me now.

    B

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