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Corona virus general questions mega thread

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@MigL Given what the experts are saying, I suspect I’ll be happy if we make it 15 months without another outbreak 

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As far as I know, Covid-19 is still spread through direct contact with mucus membranes by bodily fluid droplets.
You could have it on your hands, and as long as you wash before touching mucus membranes, it will not result in an infection.

I have read that a big worry is when these virus mutate to become 'air borne', as someone across the room could then infect you, without any transfer of fluids. But I have also read that 'air borne' virus are much less dangerous because they infect the upper respiratory tract only, as opposed to the really dangerous lower tract infections.
I believe someone actually mutated the avian flu to be 'air borne', and a lot of people were upset by this development, but it turned out the 'air borne' strain was much less dangerous/infectious.

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Airborne transmission is closely related to droplet. Essentially if they survive the drying process and remain viable in evaporated residuals. Quite a few are nasty (tuberculosis, measles, pertussis etc).

In the studies mentioned, the mutations allowed ferret to ferret transmission, but the original was not lethal to them, either.

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On 3/29/2020 at 9:43 PM, CharonY said:

 

This time a lot of folks dropped the ball which resulted in a rather unprecedented situation. The question is whether the next one (which will come) will be contained better or not.

How do you see the ball being dropped?  Please recall, viral outbreaks are frequent and response has often exceeded the realized risk.  The classic was swine flu of Ford presidency where mass immunization was attempted after one death.  Even now - WHO was hesitant to call it a pandemic due to criticism for previous exaggerated announcements.

Hopefully ignoring the loud background of political gamesmanship and with the observation of questionable hindsight among folks here who are not expert in relevant epidemiology - what was dropped?

One clearly was CDC's failed test.  how else should folks - at that time and with that experience - have responded.

 

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To me it is preparedness after it became clear that there was widespread community spread. There was a weird lack of contact tracing, folks were (and as recent at two weeks ago) not asked where they came from, no test or even asking for symptoms (unlike e.g. during the ebola outbreak).

A number of countries initiated these measures and increased preparedness and among the community there was a sense that CDC and other agencies were starting just that. But then there was quite a bit puzzlement among my colleagues that have been travelling. And then it became clear that even countries who were producing the test kits were not stockpiling them. Manufacturers of PPE have reached out and asked whether they need to ramp up production but got no response (sure there are also financial interest there, but it shows that there was no concern as of yet). 

Structurally, it also showed that many lacked a decent pandemic response team. The US dismantled theirs, Germany assembled theirs end of February. 

And this goes to my general point, pandemic response needs to become a regular element of public health and an ad hoc assembly late in the game is likely not going to cut it. Regarding swine flu, there was a pandemic in 2009 resulting in 100-500k deaths. Any good response will look overprepared, because that is what they have to be.

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Me again... Is there a specific term for number of viral particles (viral load) one receives during exposure? I read that it might influence the severity of a viral disease - is this like a rule or holds only for some diseases? Or it just affect the delay in onset of symptoms, not the eventual severity?

(Well ok, if one gets rabies then the eventual severity is invariably the same. I am asking about diseases more like this corona stuff. )

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20 hours ago, CharonY said:

And this goes to my general point, pandemic response needs to become a regular element of public health and an ad hoc assembly late in the game is likely not going to cut it. Regarding swine flu, there was a pandemic in 2009 resulting in 100-500k deaths. Any good response will look overprepared, because that is what they have to be.

Indeed, we need to get past the idea that we can sanitise the world; with the idea that we can learn to live in a dirty world. 

For all my wealth, power and determination, I still have a rat and a cockroach for neighbour's.

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Are "novel coronavirus" and "Covid-19" two names for the virus, or is "novel coronavirus" the virus, and "Covid-19" the disease caused by the virus. I've seen a lot of articles that seem to be implying one is the virus while the other is the disease. I even saw one article that seemed to imply Covid-19 was the lower respiratory disease, and not the illness that might manifest itself in a mild case. Often times though they seem to be used interchangeably. I've tried to find a clear answer but have been unable to do so.

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3 minutes ago, zapatos said:

Are "novel coronavirus" and "Covid-19" two names for the virus, or is "novel coronavirus" the virus, and "Covid-19" the disease caused by the virus. I've seen a lot of articles that seem to be implying one is the virus while the other is the disease. I even saw one article that seemed to imply Covid-19 was the lower respiratory disease, and not the illness that might manifest itself in a mild case. Often times though they seem to be used interchangeably. I've tried to find a clear answer but have been unable to do so.

Hmm... Wikipedia says: "Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronavirus_disease_2019

That would mean that COVID-19 is the name of the illness (or disease, is this the same?), while SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the virus.

(bad names, if you ask me - I guess, intentionally bad names)

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11 minutes ago, zapatos said:

Are "novel coronavirus" and "Covid-19" two names for the virus, or is "novel coronavirus" the virus, and "Covid-19" the disease caused by the virus. I've seen a lot of articles that seem to be implying one is the virus while the other is the disease. I even saw one article that seemed to imply Covid-19 was the lower respiratory disease, and not the illness that might manifest itself in a mild case. Often times though they seem to be used interchangeably. I've tried to find a clear answer but have been unable to do so.

Covid-19 is the disease and sars-cov-2 is the virus.

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31 minutes ago, zapatos said:

Are "novel coronavirus" and "Covid-19" two names for the virus, or is "novel coronavirus" the virus, and "Covid-19" the disease caused by the virus. I've seen a lot of articles that seem to be implying one is the virus while the other is the disease. I even saw one article that seemed to imply Covid-19 was the lower respiratory disease, and not the illness that might manifest itself in a mild case. Often times though they seem to be used interchangeably. I've tried to find a clear answer but have been unable to do so.

Why does it matter?

We get sick and, hopefully, we learn to deal with it...

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17 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Why does it matter?

We get sick and, hopefully, we learn to deal with it...

This is a discussion forum. 

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Just now, StringJunky said:

This is a discussion forum. 

Indeed, so why does it matter?

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6 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Indeed, so why does it matter?

Because he wants to know. People ask stuff because they want to know.

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5 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Indeed, so why does it matter?

If I remember correctly, there were some concerns about the name. The WHO tried to avoid people calling it 'Chinese virus', so they gave it a name. But nobody calls it that way because... well, because nobody calls a pig 'sus scrofa' too.

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1 minute ago, StringJunky said:

Because he wants to know. People ask stuff because they want to know.

Does that knowledge help?

 

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16 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Does that knowledge help?

 

Of course it helps! Does it help you to understand what words mean when you read something?!?! Geez. Give me a fucking break.

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10 minutes ago, zapatos said:

Of course it helps! Does it help you to understand what words mean when you read something?!?! Geez. Give me a fucking break.

I'm guessing you've missed my point, given the negs...

My dog barks at a cat, even if the cat turns out to be another dog? 

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1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

Why does it matter?

We get sick and, hopefully, we learn to deal with it...

You'll be saying "it's only semantics" next.

Of course the meanings of words matter. If you don't care, then maybe just shrug and walk away and remain ignorant of the definitions of those terms. Why attack people for wanting to know what words mean? What next? Burning books? Sheesh.

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1 hour ago, Danijel Gorupec said:

If I remember correctly, there were some concerns about the name. The WHO tried to avoid people calling it 'Chinese virus', so they gave it a name. But nobody calls it that way because... well, because nobody calls a pig 'sus scrofa' too.

Well there are good reasons to call the virus and disease the way it is called. First the virus name is not provided by the WHO but by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV).

SARS-CoV-2 is short for "Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coranavirus 2". Based on their approach the ICTV found that the the new virus is not sufficiently (genetically) different from the previously identified virus named SARS-CoV, the causative agent for the SARS disease. Naming it Wuhan Virus or something like that would essentially go against all naming conventions. 

The disease itself is named simple Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

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2 hours ago, dimreepr said:

Does that knowledge help?

Patient: Doctor, what is it?

Doctor: Well, it's a very serious disease.

Patient: Can it be treated?

Doctor. Yes. But I'm afraid I couldn't be bothered to learn the name (too much cheap cider!) so I can't look it up and find the treatment.

Patient: ... ?

Doctor: Uhm, ... have you made a will?

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6 minutes ago, CharonY said:

...International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV).

 

I can only guess dimreeper is not a member?

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It is not 'cheap cider', Strange; It is 'scrumpy'.

See the value of learning the meaning of words, Dim ?

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When we look at Germany map of infected individuals and fatality rate map we can see very "strange"/"interesting" thing.

Basically old West Germany and East Germany (GDR) country border is also border between more and less influenced by COVID-19 regions:

1443996480_GermanyCOVID-19.thumb.jpeg.0a9aab35b1efef0e284270c515df42ad.jpeg

 

Germany.png.9562684d3c2e0844483aca8ce9e0b352.png

 

Where is coming from such regularity?

Some specialists suggested that it is result of different medical standards used in these two countries in the past history between 1945 until the reunification of countries in 1990.

e.g. what vaccines were obligatory given to their citizens.

 

The most promising "suspect" of differences is tuberculosis vaccine.

BCG World Atlas reveals which countries have obligatory tuberculosis vaccination now, which used to have in the past, and which never had it mandatory:

753295760_BCGWorldmap.thumb.png.c4984b710c12053afc173b7ef272c359.png

Green colored countries never had it obligatory for all.

Purple had it obligatory in some years in the past.

 

France started mass vaccination in 1950 and ended in 2007.

Spain started in 1965 and ended in 1981. Very short period of time (and COVID-19 fatality rate 9% for this moment).

Italy never had it obligatory (and COVID-19 fatality rate 12% for this moment).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BCG_vaccine

 

I would start from analysis of what kind of e.g. vaccines people from different countries received in the past looking at their medical records.

Anonymized big data should be public available so any volunteer programmer or company could write algorithm to analyse..

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Sensei said:

When we look at Germany map of infected individuals and fatality rate map we can see very "strange"/"interesting" thing.

Basically old West Germany and East Germany (GDR) country border is also border between more and less influenced by COVID-19 regions:

Where is coming from such regularity?

 

Could it be East Germans are more likely to snitch on their neighbours and so there's more paranoia there?? Your post reminded of this Reuters article I read today:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-germany-denunciati/germans-snitch-on-neighbours-flouting-virus-rules-in-echo-of-the-stasi-past-idUSKBN21K2PB

It's a WAG on my part but it seems plausible in a casual way.

 

Edited by StringJunky

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