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  #641  
Old 01-27-2020, 09:11 AM
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I will likely transfer some of the scientific stuff from the other thread over here later, once we have a good idea which were correct. I've seen a lot of bad info out there so far.
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  #642  
Old 02-01-2020, 11:56 AM
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this is about infectious disease spread in general, not just Wuhan coronavirus

https://www.wired.com/story/wuhan-co...-be-wildcards/

Quote:
Wuhan Coronavirus 'Super-Spreaders' Could Be Wildcards
Tracking the spread of disease requires precision and math. But super-spreaders, who transmit germs faster and further than other patients, can confound the model.


Spoiler:
Stopping the spread of a rapidly emerging disease takes masterful medical detective work, including tracing the people who have been infected and figuring out their web of contacts, steps that are vital to understanding how it’s being transmitted. US public health officials are following those trails to quickly detect new cases of the Wuhan coronavirus, including the report on Thursday of a sixth US infection—the husband of a woman who became ill after traveling from China back home to Chicago—which was followed by a seventh, in California, on Friday.

Yet there’s a potential wildcard, a deviation that throws off the most careful calculations. For reasons that are still unclear, some people, known as super-spreaders, transmit disease much more readily than others, and to many more people. Like an infectious grenade, they can set off a sudden cluster of illnesses. “These super-spreader events are very unique and fall out of the world of averages,” says Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. Yet super-spreading can shape the trajectory of an outbreak in unexpected ways, making it more difficult to control. Instead of infecting just a few people who are close to them, a super-spreader may inadvertently infect dozens—who go on to spread the disease elsewhere.

There isn’t a particular transmission rate that qualifies a person as a super-spreader; it depends on the average for each disease. During the SARS epidemic, a collaborative study between US and Chinese health officials set it at anyone who infected at least eight people. When the MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) coronavirus broke out in South Korea in 2015, experts there set the limit at anyone who had infected six or more.

So far, only a hint of super-spreading has surfaced amid the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China: a Chinese respiratory disease expert gave an early report that 14 hospital workers became ill from a single patient. But given the history of other novel coronaviruses and the rapid rise in the number of cases in China, some clusters of infection are likely there.

The outbreak in China could include people who infected many others—as well as those who spread the disease to no one. But the patterns are hard to detect, says Larry Anderson, an infectious disease expert at Emory University in Atlanta. “Super-spreading events may well be happening, but we don’t know about them,” says Anderson, who was previously with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he led the US response to the 2003 outbreak of SARS.

Super-spreading plays a role in many diseases, from Ebola to tuberculosis. Decades ago, a team of epidemiologists at the University of Oxford analyzed patterns in the spread of malaria, HIV, and other diseases, and found that 20 percent of infected people spread 80 percent of infections, an estimation that became known as the 20-80 rule. (That ratio can vary, because the transmission of some diseases is shaped more by super-spreading than others, but the general concept holds.)

Super-spreading events were particularly fateful in the spread of SARS, a genetic cousin of the Wuhan virus, the World Health Organization later concluded. Like the Wuhan virus, SARS is a coronavirus that appears to have originated in bats and spread to humans via some other infected animal at a market. On January 31, 2003, before SARS even had its name, a patient with an unusual form of pneumonia was transferred among three hospitals in Guangzhou, China, in the process infecting 82 people, including an ambulance driver. A few weeks later, a physician who had himself become sick from treating patients with atypical pneumonia stayed at the Metropole Hotel in Hong Kong. He infected 12 people there—travelers who took the disease to Singapore, Vietnam, Canada, Ireland, and the United States. Those super-spreading events weren’t detected right away—but they later were seen as critical to the early development of the outbreak.

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Years later, researchers still don’t know why some patients spread SARS widely and others didn’t. Overall, SARS had a transmission rate (known as R-naught or R0) of two to five, meaning that on average each infected person was expected to spread it to two to five people. The transmission rate of the Wuhan virus is thought to be about 2.6, based on the work of Neil Ferguson, an expert at Imperial College London on the mathematical modeling of infectious disease spread.

“We can’t point to one genetic signature of a coronavirus that allows it to super-spread,” says Mark Denison, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University who studies coronaviruses. It may be something unique in how the virus replicates in certain people, or it may depend on the severity of the person’s symptoms, he says. “People will be on alert for super-spreading as a risk for this virus,” he says.

To determine the average transmission rate of the novel virus, epidemiologists use mathematical modeling—looking at the speed and path of the outbreak. In the current outbreak, the first patients were hospitalized in Wuhan in mid-December; they had all been to a market that sold meat, seafood, and live animals. By this Thursday, about seven weeks later, all provinces in mainland China had confirmed cases. Globally, by Friday, 9,925 cases had been reported in 24 countries. (Counting cases is difficult, particularly if there are many people with mild symptoms who aren’t tested, and the actual total may be several orders of magnitude higher.) By contrast, SARS sickened 8,098 people in about eight months, between November 2002 and the end of the outbreak the following July.

Werner Bischoff, an infectious disease expert at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has studied the dynamics of flu using air samplers to capture viral particles emitted from patients, in an effort to better understand how respiratory illness spreads. It wasn’t easy. Out of 61 patients with influenza who were tested during the 2010–11 flu season, only 26 gave off detectable quantities of the virus. But five of those patients (or 19 percent) were super-emitters who released as many as 32 times more airborne viral particles than the others. “We tried to find some risk factors that indicated that someone is a super-emitter. We couldn’t find anything,” says Bischoff, who notes that with so few super-emitters, such differences would be hard to detect among the study’s subjects.

Targeting super-spreaders would clearly help reduce infections, if they could be identified—although the control measures wouldn’t be as draconian as they were with the most famous super-spreader in history. Typhoid Mary, an Irish cook who worked in New York in the early 1900s, directly infected dozens of people and triggered outbreaks, even though she had no symptoms. She spent 26 years in quarantine on an island.

Today, 195 airline passengers returning from Wuhan are being quarantined for 14 days on an Air Force base in California. The Americans with confirmed cases are being treated in hospital isolation rooms, which are designed to prevent spread. Infectious disease docs say that if you have a cough and fever and you haven’t been around anyone who recently traveled to China, you almost certainly don’t have the novel coronavirus. But they still want you to follow basic advice, which applies to everyone, including less-than-super spreaders: cover your cough, wash your hands, and stay home if you get sick.


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  #643  
Old 02-01-2020, 12:12 PM
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I was pleased to see that the US is planning to quarantine evacuated people for 14 days, not the 3 days they originally said.
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  #644  
Old 02-21-2020, 05:28 PM
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MEASLES
VACCINATION RATES

https://github.com/WSJ/measles-data

Quote:
U.S. Measles Vaccination Data
This repository contains immunization rate data for schools across the U.S., as compiled by The Wall Street Journal. The dataset includes the overall and MMR-specific vaccination rates for 46,412 schools in 32 states. As used in “What’s the Measles Vaccination Rate at Your Child’s School?“.

Vaccination rates are for the 2017-18 school year for Colorado, Connecticut, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah and Washington. Rates for other states are 2018-19.

It is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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  #645  
Old 03-03-2020, 03:55 PM
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https://www.sacbee.com/news/californ...240714036.html

Quote:
Long before coronavirus, bubonic plague panicked California. A cover-up toppled the governor

Spoiler:
A deadly medieval scourge, never before seen in North America, had arrived in San Francisco — and California was in denial.
After bubonic plague killed its first victim in San Francisco in 1900, the city’s business elite, in partnership with the governor, engineered a brazen but unsuccessful cover-up. Hundreds died before the disease was vanquished.
The outbreak panicked the nation, worsened anti-Asian sentiments in Chinatown, where the disease first surfaced, and eventually toppled the governor who abetted the cover-up. The scientist who led the effort to contain the plague is considered the father of the federal government’s preeminent medical research agency, the National Institutes of Health.

Now another dreaded disease is afoot, stoking fears and sparking debate about how best to minimize its spread. As state and federal officials wrestle with the spread of coronavirus through Northern California — a patient at UC Davis Medical Center is the first confirmed U.S. case of unknown origin — San Francisco’s bubonic plague pandemic of the early 1900s could provide a cautionary tale.

When the plague came to San Francisco, business and government leaders were afraid of undermining the city’s shipping trade with Asia. Gov. Henry Tifft Gage repeatedly tried to discredit the federal government scientist who was trying to curtail the pandemic — even accusing him of starting the crisis by planting plague bacteria on cadavers. At the same time, Gage helped suppress an independent medical report confirming that bubonic plague was present in San Francisco.
“It was pretty crazy. There was a widespread cover-up,” said Marilyn Chase, a UC Berkeley lecturer and author of “The Barbary Plague: The Black Death in Victorian San Francisco.”
In its official history of the case, the National Institutes of Health called it “one of the most infamous chapters in U.S. public health history.”

More than a century later, the spread of the coronavirus has sent political leaders scrambling, in the United States and overseas. In China, where the virus originated, President Xi Jinping has been roundly criticized for trying to suppress information about the dangerous virus and the disease it causes, COVID-19.

Political opponents and some medical experts have blasted President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus problem, saying he has repeatedly tried to downplay the potential danger. Even as Trump announced Wednesday the government was stepping up its response, the president contradicted federal medical experts about the inevitability of the virus’ spread and said, “This will end.”
California officials have complained that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had been slow to put proper testing protocols into place for the coronavirus. The patient admitted to UC Davis Medical Center languished in the hospital for several days before the CDC agreed to test her for the coronavirus.
“Testing protocols have been a point of frustration for many of us,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.
For historians, it’s not surprising that political leaders struggle to come to grips with the enormity of a global public health problem. They don’t want to shut down commerce. They have a legitimate interest in not causing unnecessary panic. The balancing act can be difficult.
“These are all classic issues that arise any time there’s an international outbreak,” Chase said.

But she added that attempting to silence the story will always fail.
“History tells us that politically motivated and economically motivated cover-ups ... at the expense of people tend to backfire,” she said.
Dr. David Morens, a senior scientific advisor at the National Institutes of Health and co-author of the NIH history of the San Francisco case, said: “One lesson is about the importance of transparency and being upfront, and letting the science speak .... It’s important not to muzzle the scientists.”
Morens said he believes the public is getting the correct facts about the coronavirus. “Up til now, the true information has gotten out,” he said.
Plague arrives in San Francisco
Joseph Kinyoun was the son of a Confederate soldier from Missouri. He became a microbiologist and was working in New York for the Marine-Health Service, a federal agency that tended to the medical needs of sailors. Kinyoun was founder of the Hygienic Laboratory, a one-room operation used for diagnosing cholera, smallpox and other diseases. The laboratory is considered the forerunner of the National Institutes of Health.

Joseph Kinyoun led the federal government’s fight to contain the bubonic plague outbreak in San Francisco National Institutes of Health
In 1899, Kinyoun got on the wrong side of his boss, Surgeon General Walter Wyman, and was exiled to a remote outpost on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay. His job was to run a quarantine station that checked ships docking in San Francisco for the plague and other infectious diseases.
Not long after he arrived, two sailors from a Japanese merchant ship were found dead in the Bay. The city’s board of health believed it was bubonic plague but Kinyoun didn’t believe it. He was right, but in making his point he alienated much of the local medical establishment, a development that would haunt him later, according to an account by David K. Randall, author of the book “Black Death at the Golden Gate.”
Ironically, 1900 was the Year of the Rat in Chinese culture. Bubonic plague, carried by fleas that feed on infected rats, was on scientists’ minds everywhere. The plague had killed millions in Europe, Asia and Africa in the 14th century and one-fifth of London’s population in the 1600s — and was making its way through Asia again as the 19th century drew to a close.
Within months of dispensing of the case of the two sailors, Kinyoun realized the plague was coming to San Francisco, for real. Bulletins from Hawaii reported that the plague was spreading through Honolulu. Given San Francisco’s prominence as a port, it was only a matter of time before it would appear in California.
The first confirmed case, a Chinese immigrant named Wong Chut King, died in March 1900. Kinyoun began quarantining boats arriving from Hawaii, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan. City officials quarantined Chinatown itself, a decision affecting thousands of residents.

“People in Chinatown were scapegoated to a terrible degree,” Chase said. “Racism and a very racialized quarantine were very much a part of it.” It didn’t help that Kinyoun had a lousy bedside manner who treated patients more like specimens than people.
“People in Chinatown called him the wolf doctor,” Chase said.
As panic spread and more people died — including white people not living in Chinatown — state officials tried put a lid on the story. State officials refused to publicize an independent commission’s report that confirmed Kinyoun’s findings that bubonic plague was present.
“Governor Gage and California politicians suppressed the report,” according to the historical account by the National Institutes of Health.
Gage denied the existence of the plague in a report to the Legislature in January 1901. The governor spoke of “the false and exaggerated reports concerning the alleged existing of bubonic plague in San Francisco,” according to the current state librarian, Greg Lucas.
San Francisco’s newspapers were in on the cover-up, publishing stories that downplayed the threat. “Danger of Plague has Passed and Vigilance will Insure Complete Safety to the City,” the now-defunct San Francisco Call proclaimed on June 1, 1900.
A governor driven from office
Eventually, though, news of the plague got out via a medical journal and, according to Morens, reporting by The Sacramento Bee. State officials allowed the federal government to take charge of controlling the plague on one condition — that Kinyoun be removed from his job. The scientist left the city in July 1901 for Asia, where he continued investigating epidemics.

Henry T. Gage was California’s governor when bubonic plague reached San Francisco in 1900.
“He was a good guy who was thrown under the bus,” Morens said.
Over the next few years, the plague gradually eased off in San Francisco, only to resurface a year after the 1906 earthquake. Chase said a total of 280 cases were recorded between 1900 and 1910, with 172 people dying. The disease continued spreading, killing as many as 40 people during an outbreak in Los Angeles in 1924.
That was the same year Henry Gage died. By that time he was living in Los Angeles and was long removed from the governor’s office.
His mishandling of San Francisco’s plague doomed his political career. Lucas said the Southern Pacific railroad barons who had backed Gage had become embarrassed by the governor’s repeated attempts to squelch reports of the plague.
“It got to a point where everybody knew he was lying,” Lucas said. The railroad executives “were losing the PR battle.” At the 1902 state Republican convention, they pulled their support for Gage, ending his time as governor after a single term. The railroad executives backed George Pardee.
Pardee served one term as governor and then returned to his old job. He was a doctor.

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  #646  
Old 03-03-2020, 03:57 PM
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In case people end up here looking for COVID-19 info, go here:
http://www.actuarialoutpost.com/actu...d.php?t=346237
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