With a little luck this will fizzle, but nevertheless there are already 56 deaths and cases have spread to 13 countries. There are 3 cases in France (all infected in Wuhan) but more are expected. France is the #1 European tourist destination of the Chinese, and already today's Year of the Pig parade in Paris has been cancelled. The really big parade is scheduled for next Sunday, but depending on the evolution of the situation, that could easily be cancelled as well.
I was in Asia during the SARS epidemic 17 years ago, and I must admit that it was a bit scary. Every time I walked past the thermal detectors in the airports, I felt a sudden burst of fever that would have me pulled aside, but they missed me for some reason. At the hotel in Hong Kong, they had installed hand purifiers next to the lifts so that you would not contaminate any buttons that you pushed. And of course, all of those masks… I confess that I never wore one.
On the midday news today, they were showing all of the passengers arriving on Chinese flights at CDG, nearly all wearing masks (distributed by the flight attendants), and also the French customs and security staff were wearing masks. It is not particularly reassuring.
2 days ago they were saying that you had to be sick for 2 days before you became infectious. Now the have found that you can have no symptoms for 2 weeks but be highly contagious during this time. This is an epidemiologist's nightmare. People who feel well and go about. not knowing they are walking time bombs of disease. I was in Dubai on my way to Iran during SARS. Women have to change into Muslim dress before landing in Tehran.I saw the ladies change room and all the clothing fluffing around so put my long clothes on in a nearby stairwell. I wore a mask and hejab in the towns,
Travel! Set out and head for pastures new[br] Life tastes the richer when you’ve road worn feet.[br]Ibn Battuta[br]
There are 800 French people in Wuhan, and the government is organizing some special flights to repatriate those who want to return. But they have been told already that they will be kept in quarantine for 14 days, and now some of them do not want to return. They want to sneak out of Wuhan some other way and return to Europe without saying where they were. Stupid!
Since the beginning of the epidemic, the price of oil has gone down 10% just because of the Chinese roads and airports being empty. Of course that means that when things get back to normal, everybody is going to be bitching about the rising prices.
I was in Toronto during the SARS epidemic in 2002. Went for a drink in Chinatown with a friend and it was deserted. On my way home to France, we all had our temperatures taken as we got off the place and had to fill in a form saying where we would be in the following 2 weeks.
From what I read so far, this virus is much less deadly than SARS, and those who have died had previous health issues. It seems more complicated because indeed people are contagious before they have symptoms. The other big thing is that millions of Chinese travel abroad, and within China, more than they used to, thus spreading the disease.
I was wondering whether the panic to remove the various foreigners from China on the off chance that they will catch this coronavirus flu won't spread the illness even more than if they remained where they are. It does seem like an overreaction because although the number of infected people increases, the death rate is quite low.
Our connected world spreads (mis)information so fast that people panic in a flash. From what I have seen, it is more the families of expats who are freaking out rather than the foreigners actually in China.
The possible real danger is of a mutation. I imagine that one of the first things epidemiologists learn in medical school is that the "Spanish" flu killed more people in Europe than died on the battlefields in WW1. The real question would be how much medical treatment has improved since then and whether health services would be up to the task. The reply to the second part is almost certainly "no" because most regions of China have already run out of drugs and the epidemic is nowhere near peaking yet.
In Europe, there has a been a lot of news over the last year about local pharmacies running out of essential drugs -- often imported from China and India. And sometimes that has been for mercantile reasons, since some countries are willing to pay far more for certain medicines than we are in Europe.
Post by cheerypeabrain on Jan 31, 2020 21:05:59 GMT
It doesn't seem to be as virulent as H1N1. We had to expand our ECMO unit to cope with the patients in respiratory failure because of H1N1. Lots of youngsters, pregnant women were particularly susceptible. Hopefully this virus won't have such severe consequences.
I'm a Rat. Does this mean things will be wonderful for me this year? Maybe not, since I feel like rat crap right now, possibly a side effect of my country going to hell & the dogs, plus I could be the first coronavirus victim here in Corona country. What are the symptoms?
Last Edit: Feb 1, 2020 19:49:27 GMT by bixaorellana: must learn to proofread
For those who subscribe to Netflix, there is a great documentary mini series available for viewing right now titled Pandemic. It is very interesting and the infectious disease chief from NYC is an incredible person, as are the devoted doctors they feature in India and elsewhere.