Today, February 14, 2020, we count 64,460 confirmed coronavirus infections and 1,384 death (source). From the confirmed cases in China, there are 10,584 serious cases, and a big part of those people are likely to die. Those numbers coming from the Chinese authorities. True or false, the coronavirus (COVID-19) manages to bring a country with about 1.4 billion people to its knees and continue doing so for the time being.
The problem we are having is that the virus isn’t contained. Slowly (relatively, it’s an issue of days now, sometimes hours), the infections are spreading itself to other countries. There are at this moment 29 countries with cases of coronavirus infections. The only country, where the coronavirus seems out of control is in China.
- Everywhere where there are a few cases, many other none-detected cases are likely ‘running around’. We will see if this is true the coming days to come.
- Predictive, at the 13th of March 2020, we will reach the millionth infected person and a week later two million, a couple of days later we have then the three till four million infected people with hundreds of thousands of death and it continues like this for a while.
When you compare the situation with the H1N1 flu, which started in the United States in 2009, it infected more than 1.6 million and took some 284,500 lives across 214 countries, with a mortality rate of 17.4%. The coronavirus mortality rate is 2.1%, according the Chinese authorities. Again, true or not.
The mortality rate for SARS was 9.6%, MERS 34%, Swine Flu 0.02%.
But what makes the coronavirus so special?
What’s so special about the coronavirus is the transmission rate (number of infections from one (infected) case) and the incubation period (the infected person get sick after the incubation period). For the coronavirus, the transmission rate is (in average) 3-4 infections per infected person and the incubation period is between the 2-14 days. There are cases with an incubation period longer then 14 days though!
To give you an idea, the H1N1 flu incubation period was an average of 2 days and transmission rate is 3-4 infections per infected person.
The problem is the incubation period. A person might or is likely not aware that he or she is a carrier of the coronavirus and continues to function in society as usual, and without knowing, infects multiple people (who in their turn, infect multiple people as well). They call this also the secondary spread (the first one was from people from China).
Take the case of a British businessman who got infected at a conference in Singapore in late January. He later traveled to the French Alps where he transmitted the virus to five family members on a ski trip. Later he flew home to Britain and spent some time in his local pub before realizing he was infected with the virus.
The danger, the real danger of this coronavirus is when the infections from this virus are out of control, as you can see in China. If that’s the case, those science fiction movies with their doom scenarios, can almost be called prophecies.
You think that I sound like an alarmist? Nope. It’s already start to happening in Vietnam, where they are considering the same measures as in China, and isolated 10,000 people.
If we’re hoping to keep the battle with the coronavirus inside China contained, think again. The virus is already spreading and now it’s waiting before the virus can expand without anything to control it or even try to contain it. When it’s out of control, that’s it. Everyone on earth will be ‘touched’ by the virus.
And who are likely to die from this virus? Those with a weak immune system, older people, children, ill people are the first to go. Only those who are fully healthy have a good change to survive … for now.
Containment, does it work?
Common sense please. Think logically. You know already that answer if containment will work or not.
But to answer the question, containment works … if the infected people and/or their communities are contained from the outside world from the beginning. For China it was too late, and the infections spread throughout the whole of China. Containment in this phase might slow down (postpone) the infections throughout the country, but that’s it.
And please, don’t be too harsh on China, because the world is doing the same as China is doing. In order to keep the infections within China contained, they suppose to contain the whole of China, and they didn’t. And it seems that it’s also too late for other countries.
And think again. Look what’s happening in China and how they handle the containment. The authorities dragging people from their houses or from the streets to … (unknown) camps, where everyone knows that if they were not infected, they will be infected for sure.
The current containments have two major purposes:
- Let the coronavirus do its thing on the contained people until it’s finished.
And if the coronavirus will hit western countries, the exact same will happen there too. At least in the big cities. But does it work in the western countries? No of course not, the coronavirus will explode everywhere in the general populations totally out of control. The shortage or existence of masks and medicine will be the same as in China, probably worse.
Edit February 16, 2020
Falsification of their (the Chinese) statistics
The Chinese have several sheets, they updated with the latest numbers of the coronavirus disaster in their country. Looking at that yesterday, I took a copy on my computer to make some calculations. I checked the list out today again, and I noticed some dramatic changes. The (the Chinese) made changes in the historical data. Here is a chart to give you an idea what those changes actually mean:
|Date||Infected (projected)||Infected (altered)|