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Gordo

Just curious, anyone have a plan, or preps for global pandemic?

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Right now this China coronavirus doesn't seem all that threatening considering there are less than 100 confirmed deaths (2000 infections) and the regular seasonal flu kills 250,000 to 500,000 every single year... but I was just curious if anyone has made any special plans for a global pandemic type scenario, seeing as how this group seems to be all about staying alive 😉

confirmed%20cases.jpg?itok=livJObV-

World health organization is saying this thing is about as contagious as the Spanish Flu virus was.   Just in the last 3 days, it went from 20 million quarantined to 40 million, now 56 million.  So far it has about a 3% kill rate (so even if you get it, those odds are pretty good).  There are a lot of disturbing videos coming out of China the last couple days, you can see them on twitter, people collapsing on streets, huge volumes of people at the hospital, caretakers collapsing, bodies in hospitals.

Not really sure how practical it would be to prepare for a global pandemic in general.  I guess you could get a good ventilator/respirator, maybe stockpile a few months food or something.  Anyone actually do that stuff?  I do have a small survival corner of my basement, but probably not adequate, and it was mostly stocked about 15 to 20 years ago.  You know just your basics - guns, ammo,  bows, sealed Mormon food storage (I actually went to one of their prepper centers and picked/packed it myself, fun times,  they are nuts but didn't care that I was an outsider, they were very friendly), canned food, water purifiers, fire starters, one good respirator, dust masks, nitrile gloves.  I don't actually expect to ever use this stuff though.  And the food would only last a couple weeks.  

 

Edited by Gordo
Adding links to prepper locations

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Gordo, the regular flu has a kill rate of 0.1% https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza#Epidemiology versus a preliminary estimate of 3-4%, and of the 2000 odd infected people, many could still die from it.  It sounds like a very SARS-like death risk of 9%.  You would think they would do something about the horseshoe bats that are the source of these viruses via civets in the case of SARS and they think snakes from the Wuhan market for this latest virus.

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Interesting graphic from this Business Insider article comparing the Wuhan virus with other recent epidemics:

5e2b71d562fa8103f13d51a8.jpeg

As to your question Gordo, I haven't made any preparations, other than buying a box of masks back during the MERS outbreak, which I still have.

--Dean

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The most concerning thing that I've read is that it has a 10 to 14 day incubation period where there are no symptoms but you are actually contagious during this time.  I guess only time will tell, we will know how bad this thing is probably in a few more weeks but this at least has the potential to turn into something unlike anything we've seen in our lifetimes.  China is still a poor country, the millions of people in these quarantined cities are already reporting they are having a hard time getting food, I doubt most of them can work, if you are poor and have no savings and can't work, you pretty much have no choice but to sneak out of the quarantined zones just to survive.  If the spanish flu was able to spread around much of the world 100 years ago, I'd think it would be even easier in modern times with much higher population density and travel rates.

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Newscientist: New coronavirus may be much more contagious than initially thought

 

New coronavirus may be much more contagious than initially thought

 
HEALTH 27 January 2020

By Jessica Hamzelou

The new virus belongs to the coronavirus family
 
The new virus belongs to the coronavirus family

ALFRED PASIEKA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

A deadly new coronavirus has now reached at least 14 countries. As of Monday 27 January, there are 2,794 confirmed cases of the virus, while tens of thousands of people are being kept under medical supervision around the world. Eighty-one people have died with the virus, according to latest reports.

But more deaths are predicted to follow. The virus can spread before symptoms show, China’s health minister Ma Xiaowei said on Sunday, which means it will be more difficult to limit transmission between people.

There are confirmed cases of the virus across Asia, and in the US, Australia and Europe. So far, all cases outside of China seem to be in people who have travelled from Hubei province, where the outbreak began, or the surrounding area. But we are likely to find out if the virus will start spreading in these countries in the coming days and weeks.

 

 

Confirmed cases have been reported in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, the US, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, France, South Korea, Vietnam, Canada and Nepal. All of the recorded deaths have so far been in Hubei province.

Growing outbreak

The scale of the outbreak will depend on how quickly and easily the virus is passed between people. Using data collected up to 18 January, it appears that, on average, each person infected with the virus passes it to between 1.5 and 3.5 other people, according to an analysis by Natsuko Imai and her colleagues at Imperial College London.

Using similar estimates, Robin Thompson at the University of Oxford predicts there is a one-in-three chance that a person who brings the virus to the UK will pass it on to others in the country. That estimate is based on data collected from the beginning of the outbreak. Thompson hopes that, as countries step up measures to control the spread of the virus, the chances of this happening will become less likely.

But there is still much we don’t know about the virus, and some researchers suggest it could spread more quickly than estimated. One study, based on data collected between 10 and 21 January, estimates that each person with the virus can pass it to between 3 and 5 other people. The work, by Shi Zhao at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and colleagues suggest the virus is much more contagious than originally thought.

And Thompson’s estimate was calculated based on the assumption that the virus isn’t contagious until symptoms show – and this no longer appears to be the case. “If the virus is able to spread before symptoms show, that could certainly explain why the virus is spreading quicker that SARS,” says Thompson.

The US Centers for Disease Control cautions that, while only 5 cases have been reported in the US so far, person-to-person spread of the virus in the country is “likely to occur to some extent”.

Lessons from SARS

Comparisons have been drawn between the pneumonia caused by the new virus and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), which infected over 8,000 people during a global outbreak that began in 2003. The viruses are from the same family, and both can cause fever and pneumonia.

So far, the new virus appears to have a lower fatality rate. Based on the number of reported cases and deaths, the rate appears to be around 2.8 per cent, compared to a 9.6 per cent rate for SARS. But it is too soon to be sure just how dangerous the virus is. We are still in the early days of the outbreak, says Thompson.

The virus is spreading more quickly than SARS. “SARS took several months to cause a thousand cases,” says Thompson. “This has caused [almost] 3,000 cases in three weeks.”

The SARS outbreak was over by 2004 – there have been no reported cases since then. Health agencies brought the virus under control by isolating those with the virus, and screening air travel passengers. Such measures will be more difficult with a virus that can be spread before symptoms appear.

And there is always a chance that the virus could mutate to become more contagious or deadly. However, there is no evidence yet that the virus has mutated within people, and the World Health Organization told a press conference last week that the virus appears to be stable.

So, how worried should we be? The WHO is still holding off from declaring a public health emergency of international concern, although the organisation says the risk of the virus is “very high in China, high at the regional level and high at the global level”.

The US CDC describes the outbreak as a “very serious public health threat”. “I am pretty worried about the current situation,” says Thompson. He expects the WHO to officially declare a public health emergency if and when the virus begins to spread between people outside of China. “I’m definitely nervous about it,” he says.

Slowing the spread

In the meantime, health authorities in China have undertaken unprecedented measures in an attempt to control the spread of the virus. Wuhan, where the outbreak began, has been placed on lockdown – public transport has been shut down, the airport is closed, and the use of personal motor vehicles has been banned. Immigration services in the city have been suspended in Wuhan. Several other cities have also been placed in lockdown, affecting tens of millions of residents.

Chinese authorities have also prolonged the Lunar New Year holiday. The public holiday was due to end on 30 January, but has been postponed until 2 February, and schools and universities are remaining closed until further notice. A growing list of countries is screening air travellers from China. Mongolia has closed its borders with China, and the government of Malaysia has said it will not issue visas to people from affected regions.

The Chinese government has also temporarily banned the sale of wildlife in markets and restaurants. While the origins of the virus are still unclear, it is thought that the virus was passed from bats to people, possibly via snakes or minks. All of these animals were reportedly on sale at a seafood market in Huanan, where the first cases of the virus were reported.

The Wildlife Conservation Society has called for the ban to be made permanent. “Poorly regulated, live animal markets mixed with illegal wildlife trade offer a unique opportunity for viruses to spillover from wildlife hosts into the human population,” Christof Walzer of WCS said in a statement.

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It is reasonable to believe that the next few days are going to be critical. If the outbreak spreads outside China into America, Europe and other continents, then the situation is going to become pretty serious, at least in terms of economical or social disruption. Hospitals will be full, people will stay at home, society will come to an halt in the nearly-worst case scenario. To me, the worst-case scenario will probably be a mutation which makes the virus, already disseminated in western countries, more lethal, in such case social disruption is very likely to occur, with post-apocalyptic scenes of criminal gangs rampant in the streets and so on. But this is just fantasy unchained.

Right now I'm following closely the reports. Past a critical point, which is going to be an X number of confirmed cases in my country, I'm going to stock up on food and water, at least two weeks, may be more. And ammo of course, as Gordo pointed out, just in case the social disruption begins.

A useful discussion would be what kind of healthy food to stock up on. Legumes, grains, nuts, dried fruit, EVOO, are the ideal candidate, maybe planting some vegetables is going to provide fresh food. Canned or dried vegetables, apples... In the worst-case scenario electrical power will be off, so the frozen food would not be a viable possibility, unless we have the fuel to keep a generator constantly on.

 

Edited by mccoy

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The official death toll in China has now gone over 100 while the number of confirmed cases doubled overnight (but still officially only 4,474 cases). Cases have more than quadrupled from Friday.

image.thumb.png.b7207351961180308f8a24f504a259b1.png

21 hours ago, mccoy said:

A useful discussion would be what kind of healthy food to stock up on.

I checked my inventory this morning, I have 210 lbs of mostly grains and beans (winter wheat, oats, brown rice, black beans, pinto beans, etc) - I picked those because of the 30+ year shelf life.  Also have some misc. canned foods (including fruit like peaches).  When I was at the grocery store over the weekend I was looking for "what are the most calorie dense things I can buy?" - there are 33,000 calories in a gallon of peanut oil, I found a big jar of peanut butter with 6,000 calories. Big bags of rice have quite a lot of calories, whole grain pasta is also pretty calorie dense and has a long shelf life.

I edited the first post to add links to where I got my bulk supplies: I looked into Mormon food storage since its part of their religion, then I actually went to one of their prepper centers and picked/packed it myself, fun times, they are nuts but didn't care that I was an outsider, they were very friendly).  The labels on my boxes say I went there in 2011, so my supplies are now 9 years old, but they have been kept dry and sealed in airtight containers.  This was actually very inexpensive by the way, well worth the small price for "insurance" if you have a place to put it.

Edited by Gordo

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Nature article from February 2017
 

Quote

 

“A laboratory in Wuhan is on the cusp of being cleared to work with the world’s most dangerous pathogens. The move is part of a plan to build between five and seven biosafety level-4 (BSL-4) labs across the Chinese mainland by 2025, and has generated much excitement, as well as some concerns.

Some scientists outside China worry about pathogens escaping, and the addition of a biological dimension to geopolitical tensions between China and other nations. But Chinese microbiologists are celebrating their entrance to the elite cadre empowered to wrestle with the world’s greatest biological threats,” 


 

 

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My take is, Amazon will deliver on schedule even in time of plague....

Hoarding is likely to simply lead to a lot of wasted food and possibly short term shortages, if people in a given location panic.

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I think it's reasonable to put together some emergency rations when times are normal and you have done it properly so nothing will spoil for decades.  But I agree that if it gets to a point where there is a big panic or your own city is quarantined, its unethical to go empty grocery store shelves, too late at that point.  Even in Wuhan though, you can still go grocery shopping:

 

Interestingly, the latest number of this novel coronavirus cases just hit 6049, as a point of reference SARS infected 5,327 people in mainland China over nine months, this thing surpassed SARS in just a couple of weeks.  Still, it is possible that a panic or government actions could end up being more dangerous/disruptive than the actual virus. The Chinese seem to be handling it pretty well so far. Very hard to tell if it will all just fizzle out or continue on its parabolic trajectory.

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Dr. Victor Shih: Coronavirus MUCH Worse Than SARS

Quote

[...]  Shih gets to the critical point: the mortality rate of the coronovirus isn’t so high as to deter many who might have it from taking risks, like getting on planes or trains or seeing family and co-workers. SARS was so dangerous that anyone who thought they had it would very likely seek treatment pronto and try to stay away from others out of concern for their well being.

By David Llewellyn-Smith, founding publisher and former editor-in-chief of The Diplomat magazine, now the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics website. Originally published at MacroBusiness

Via our friends at GLJ Research LLC in the US, comes an exclusive interview with China expert Dr Victor Shih who, in my experience, knows what he's talking about.

Fireside Chat w/ China Economist, Victor Shih, Sheds Light on the True Extent of Coronavirus “Threat”. In short, after our conference call this morning with Harvard educated Chinese economist & former principal for the Carlyle Group in its hedge fund arm in New York City, Victor Shih, we believe the market is grossly underestimating the potential negative knock-on effects from the coronavirus outbreak in China.

By way of background, we remind our readers that over the Nov. 2002-to-Jun. 2003 timeframe which defined the China SARS outbreak and agreed-upon month the pandemic was under control, 8K people were infected & around 800 died (i.e., a ~10% mortality rate over the 8 months).

However, according to Mr. Shih, taking the confirmed number of coronavirus cases (i.e., 4.690K [as of 6:52pm EST] – Ex. 1) and adding in the ~6K suspected cases (of which Mr. Shih believes the lion’s share will convert into confirmed cases, given a near 1:1 conversion of suspected to confirmed SARS cases in 2003) the coronavirus pandemic is already larger, in just roughly one week’s time, than the SARS pandemic was over the entirety of its lifecycle.

Other takeaways, according to Mr. Shih, associated w/ the coronavirus center on:

(a) a lower mortality rate of 2-3% (vs. ~10% for SARS), which leads to it spreading faster as the fear of death is lower (which, due to the harsh quarantine regiment, also emboldens carriers to hide it to get through airport scanners by taking Tylenol to lower their fever levels),

(b) the virus being asymptomatic (meaning one can carry it without any noticeable symptoms),

(c) 5mn people who were allowed to leave Wuhan (link) before China quarantined the city to contain the coronavirus outbreak,

(d) Dr. Eric Daniels of Harvard, who believes the virus is mutating faster than SARS (link),

(e) 7 provinces w/ over 100 confirmed cases,

(f) the epidemiologists Mr. Shih has been briefed by both in the US and in China who say we are only in the early stages of the outbreak, &

(g) the coronavirus outbreak will likely be much worse than the SARS pandemic given SARS was contained to 3 provinces (Guangdoung, Hong Kong, & Beijing), while the coronavirus has already spread to 25 provinces [link]) – air travel within China is ~8x more today vs. where it was during the SARS outbreak.

In short, in Mr. Shih’s view, based on his work suggesting “hundreds of thousands” of potentially infected Wuhan residents left for Shanghai & Guangdong, the number of cases being reported in these economically important provinces (66 and 207, respectively) are likely “grossly” understated, suggesting the impact to growth, globally, will be much worse than currently implied by market valuations.

Now for those of us outside China, the selfish question is: and what might its disease path be outside China and Asia? As of this hour, British Airways has cancelled all flights to and from China, but the US is holding off from doing so. If the incubation period really is typically close to 14 days (this is one of those frustrating important unknowns), aggressive measures are warranted. Reducing the inflow of potentially infected people and putting in place measures to track them could dampen the propagation.

 

Edited by Sibiriak

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8 hours ago, Ron Put said:

My take is, Amazon will deliver on schedule even in time of plague....

Hoarding is likely to simply lead to a lot of wasted food and possibly short term shortages, if people in a given location panic.

Personally, I would favour a moderate hoarding, that is, food for 2-4 weeks, which can be consumed in 1-2 years after (IF) the emergenze has abated, such as whole grain pasta and cereals, tomato sauce, spices, legumes, cookies, flours, honey, nuts & seeds, EVOO, long-term soymilk and cow milk, powdered milk or eggs, canned fish and so on for those who are not vegan.

After watching the news and Sibiriak's informed update, it' s now reasonable to believe that the most likely scenario is going to be forced or voluntary domestic quarantine without excessive social disruption, given the modest mortality rate. If the outbreak expands outside the Chinese borders.

The above of course IF the virus doesn't mutate into a more lethal strain, which is not totally unlikely, given th enumber of people infected, hence the massive total bacterial load which multiplies the random chances of such a mutation. In such a case a longer quarantine will be likely and hoarding maybe necessary,  not to forget the vitamin supplements which will really be useful in lieu of fresh food ... For those who live outside towns and have a patch of land, seeds of edible vegetables are going to be a very good choice. Fertilizing products will also need to be stashed. And let's not forget dried food for our pets! My 3 female dogs eat so much it's almost like I own a pack of wolves!!!

Edited by mccoy

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Some good news - apparently they already have a vaccine although it will still be a while before animal testing, much less human testing, and possibly a year before it gets any serious distribution to humans.

In the meantime the death toll climbed to 170 today with 7,711 cases confirmed worldwide (26,632 people are still undergoing medical observation, and 4,334 cases are still being treated in hospitals)

The Lancet just today published "Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study"

which seems to indicate that at least for the people checking into hospitals, the mortality rate is close to 11% (vs. the official rate of 2%-3%).  Older men being more at risk.

There is a lot of skepticism about the numbers China is releasing, with at least some evidence emerging to support this skepticism:

https://twitter.com/WilliamYang120

https://www.theepochtimes.com/chinese-authorities-manipulate-tally-of-confirmed-coronavirus-cases-by-controlling-the-supply-of-diagnosis-kits_3217914.html

Edited by Gordo
linked to source of case numbers (china government)

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At this point we might as well infer that the real mortality of NCOV2019 is unknown.

It is reasonable to believe that the number of infected people is much higher than the confirmed one, but that's just the denominator. Some deaths may have occurred in people affected by respiratory syndrome who were not confirmed coronavirus patients so the numerator of the mortality ratio is undetermined as well.

But then, the most serious cases which hahve been hospitalized and resulted in death are more likely to have received the diagnostic kit.

Bottom line, it is maybe likely that the mortality ratio is lower than the one which the official figures show. Maybe.

Probably, most members of this forum, afflicted by orthorexia and longevity maniacs, with efficient or very efficient immune system would not feel at all the coronavirus or maybe would just react with minor symptoms.

My main concern presently is the potential occurrence of a more lethal mutation, rather than the spreading of the virus, whose worst effect is maybe panic.

Edited by mccoy

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https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30260-9/fulltext

Nowcasting and forecasting the potential domestic and international spread of the 2019-nCoV outbreak originating in Wuhan, China: a modelling study

This is a pretty good read.  "We estimated that 75 815 individuals (95% CrI 37 304–130 330) individuals had been infected in Greater Wuhan as of Jan 25, 2020." 

 

Summary

Background

Since Dec 31, 2019, the Chinese city of Wuhan has reported an outbreak of atypical pneumonia caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Cases have been exported to other Chinese cities, as well as internationally, threatening to trigger a global outbreak. Here, we provide an estimate of the size of the epidemic in Wuhan on the basis of the number of cases exported from Wuhan to cities outside mainland China and forecast the extent of the domestic and global public health risks of epidemics, accounting for social and non-pharmaceutical prevention interventions.

Methods

We used data from Dec 31, 2019, to Jan 28, 2020, on the number of cases exported from Wuhan internationally (known days of symptom onset from Dec 25, 2019, to Jan 19, 2020) to infer the number of infections in Wuhan from Dec 1, 2019, to Jan 25, 2020. Cases exported domestically were then estimated. We forecasted the national and global spread of 2019-nCoV, accounting for the effect of the metropolitan-wide quarantine of Wuhan and surrounding cities, which began Jan 23–24, 2020. We used data on monthly flight bookings from the Official Aviation Guide and data on human mobility across more than 300 prefecture-level cities in mainland China from the Tencent database. Data on confirmed cases were obtained from the reports published by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Serial interval estimates were based on previous studies of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). A susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered metapopulation model was used to simulate the epidemics across all major cities in China. The basic reproductive number was estimated using Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods and presented using the resulting posterior mean and 95% credibile interval (CrI).

Findings

In our baseline scenario, we estimated that the basic reproductive number for 2019-nCoV was 2·68 (95% CrI 2·47–2·86) and that 75 815 individuals (95% CrI 37 304–130 330) have been infected in Wuhan as of Jan 25, 2020. The epidemic doubling time was 6·4 days (95% CrI 5·8–7·1). We estimated that in the baseline scenario, Chongqing, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen had imported 461 (95% CrI 227–805), 113 (57–193), 98 (49–168), 111 (56–191), and 80 (40–139) infections from Wuhan, respectively. If the transmissibility of 2019-nCoV were similar everywhere domestically and over time, we inferred that epidemics are already growing exponentially in multiple major cities of China with a lag time behind the Wuhan outbreak of about 1–2 weeks.

Interpretation

Given that 2019-nCoV is no longer contained within Wuhan, other major Chinese cities are probably sustaining localised outbreaks. Large cities overseas with close transport links to China could also become outbreak epicentres, unless substantial public health interventions at both the population and personal levels are implemented immediately. Independent self-sustaining outbreaks in major cities globally could become inevitable because of substantial exportation of presymptomatic cases and in the absence of large-scale public health interventions. Preparedness plans and mitigation interventions should be readied for quick deployment globally.

 

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8 hours ago, Gordo said:

This is a pretty good read.

When I was a kid it was trendy to use the word bad when something was good.  Now that we are grown ups we can do the opposite.

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That table Dean posted pegs the mortality rate for the Wuhan virus at a relatively low 2.8% (compared to f.ex. the Nipah at 77.6%!). What I'm wondering is who is vulnerable - f.ex. is it an issue with the immune compromised, elderly and children etc. - but then again, sometimes it seems almost random as with the flu where recently there have been several cases of young women dying within a shockingly short time frame. 

This does make one wonder, since there is some controversy about whether CRONies are especially vulnerable to viral diseases. But if the fatality rate is lowish (and in fact the 2.8% number is confirmed) and it strikes mostly the immuno-suppressed, then I'm not sure if I'd make any special preparations for the "plague"... the return on such prepartions might be pretty low given the lowish overall risk. 

I have made no preparations, mostly due to inertia and lack of any sense of urgency. We've had a few cases here in the U.S., but I have not worked up any worry energy to become concerned. Of course if the virus mutates and the fatality rate soars, I might bestir myself to put on a mask, but otherwise I'm not sweating it (for now). YMMV. 

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It seems the median age of those hospitalized at least early on, was 55 years, and significantly more men than women. Yes, for younger, healthy people the risk is low.

FYI, none of my emergency food supplies will go to waste. I grow mushrooms, so after the bulk supplies hit 30 years, I’ll just feed them to the mushrooms- they aren’t very picky, haha. They can also be planted or sprouted. Supposedly they do remain viable for that long although I’ve never seen it put to the test.

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15 hours ago, TomBAvoider said:

That table Dean posted pegs the mortality rate for the Wuhan virus at a relatively low 2.8% (compared to f.ex. the Nipah at 77.6%!). What I'm wondering is who is vulnerable - f.ex. is it an issue with the immune compromised, elderly and children etc. - but then again, sometimes it seems almost random as with the flu where recently there have been several cases of young women dying within a shockingly short time frame. 

This does make one wonder, since there is some controversy about whether CRONies are especially vulnerable to viral diseases. But if the fatality rate is lowish (and in fact the 2.8% number is confirmed) and it strikes mostly the immuno-suppressed, then I'm not sure if I'd make any special preparations for the "plague"... the return on such prepartions might be pretty low given the lowish overall risk. 

I agree.

  --  Saul

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Still seems to be spreading fast, 14,380 confirmed cases, but it seems increasingly evident that they really have no idea how many are infected as the infected can’t even get to hospitals at this point. To get an idea of the psychology in Wuhan now:

Not directly related but it’s kind of nice to at least know the younger generation in China "knows what their government is" and isn’t brainwashed...

The news are reporting that the first death outside of China has occured, and the guy was only 44 years old.  Hmmmm.

Edited by Gordo

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1
6 hours ago, Gordo said:

Concern seems to be quickly fading outside of China, with the virus pretty well contained so far.

Yes, I was noticing that myself, in the Western world confirmed cases are really very few. So far.

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