ANSWERS: 5
  • Not sure where your data comes from. The World Health Organization has confirmed 4292 deaths as of the 11th of March, 2020. The CDC's published estimate of 20000 deaths due to "pneumonia and influenza" actually includes confirmed cases of flu, confirmed cases of this new coronavirus, SARS, MERS, adenovirus, rhinovirus, HIV, and other uncategorized viral diseases, as well as bacterial causes, like legionaries, staph, strep, etc., as well as fungal and other microbial causes, like toxoplasmosis, and environmental causes. Of all of those causes, it is true that the new virus is maybe only about 5%, which is ostensibly lower in proportion to the amount from flu. HOWEVER, being an entirely new disease, we have no herd immunity to it. "Flu" is a large class of viruses that have been observed and studied for over a hundred years. Coronaviruses have only been known for about fifty years, and only seriously studied for the past twenty. There is fuss over it for a number of reasons, but not because of any one particular reason. I mean, it's not like there is no fuss at all over the flu, either.
    • Linda Joy
      Typo, my bad. https://www.livescience.com/new-coronavirus-compare-with-flu.html
    • bostjan64
      Maybe the discrepancy points out one reason for potential concern, that the number you quoted, while accurate when the article was published, is already outdated, and has increased 43% in the past six days.
    • Linda Joy
      Its all about the money. They stir up panic so the taxpayers won't complain when they gouge them some more!
    • bostjan64
      WHO or the CDC? I think they are just providing the data that the media is demanding. The general population here is starting to verge on panic, and the government is starting to shut everything down. Meanwhile, though, life has to go on. People still need to eat food and drink water, and that can only happen if people can do their work, but if the economy shuts down completely, it could put more people in deeper danger than they would have been catching this virus.
    • Linda Joy
      My bad once more - its not just about the money THE GOVERNMENT WANTS TO TAKE FROM THE TAXPAYERS, its also about the power and control over people's lives - they dig that kind of thing. Now they're going to want to bail out everyone their stupid panic shut down. Kinda makes me wonder what's really going on they don't want us to see...
    • Berzyerk
      It's a week since you posted your answer, bostjan64, and the official number of deaths (March 18, 2020) is 8787. I'm sure people like Linda Joy will continue to be skeptical about precautions until the effects hit closer to home somehow, which is why infectious diseases spread so effectively in spite of our advanced medical technology.
    • Linda Joy
      You don't know me! I've been wearing a mask while around people since I was put on chemo back in Nov.
  • Don't be daft (though in your case,, dafter) Flu has vaccines and it's condition and symptoms can be mitigated to ensure most people live. COVID-19 has no vaccine or mitigation, it's not even known what it's long term effects are and nor is there much of a pathogen history of it. Potentially it could infect everyone and mutate into a deadly strain within a couple of months and make flu look like a cold. Also, unlike flu - COVID will leave you with lasting lung and respiratory problems, even if you just get it mildly, as it's closer to pneumonia in effect than influenza.
    • Linda Joy
      With my IQ I can't possibly be daft. Which only makes you the dumb one for saying such a thing. There is a vaccine, and people have developed antibodies by now. I can understand the suggestion for social distancing and quarantine when necessary, but the panic is uncalled for!
    • bostjan64
      Linda Joy, are you saying that there currently is a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 (17 March 2020)?
    • Linda Joy
      Show me where I EVER MENTIONED SARS-CoV-2!!! This question was about COVID19!! https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-clinical-trial-investigational-vaccine-covid-19-begins
    • bostjan64
      SARS-CoV-2 is the proper name for "Covid19." Read the exact article you posted if you disbelieve me. Actually, read the article either way. It's a phase 1 clinical trial of mRNA that tells human cells to make antibodies. It's a clever trick, but it's also a longshot at this point.
  • So, now that some statistics are getting clearer. Flu comes in lots of different varieties. Seasonal flu has a mortality rate between 0.007% (H1N1/2009) to as high as 3% (H1N1/1918). Excluding the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, the flu has a mortality rate right around 0.2%. The reproduction rate of different strains of flu vary as well, from 1.2 to 2.4 (meaning that the typical person will infect 1.2 to 2.4 other people, on average). All flu strains dominant over the past few decades have been 1.2 to 1.4. SARS-CoV-2 has a mortality rate of 3.9% and a reproduction rate of 2.7. Both numbers are quite a bit worse than any current strain of flu going around. Symptoms are very similar to common cold, but can develop into severe pneumonia without warning, which is why the fatality rate is so high. With a mortality rate 20 times higher and a reproduction rate two times higher, the disease is expected to kill 400 times as many people as flu before it's gone. That'd be 8 million people worldwide, if unchecked. Counter-measured to slow the spread will not only help the chances of developing natural herd immunity to curb that number slightly on the back end, but it will also 1. spread out treatment so that health care workers can utilize limited amounts of equipment more effectively, and 2. gives more time to develop treatment plans and possibly even a vaccine. The more time passes, the more we will know about the disease, and the more we know about the disease, the more people can be saved, so, by slowing the spread of the disease, more people will be saved, assuming that research and health care can keep up the pace of their work over the course of the counter-measure implementation.
    • Linda Joy
      "That'd be 8 million people worldwide" No way it'll even be half that!
    • bostjan64
      Based on what? The expected infection rate of the virus is between 20-70%, and mortality is 3-4%. There are 7.7 billion people. 7.7 billion times 20% times 3% is 46 million. It's also recently been proven that you can get the virus twice. A bunch of people in China already have, and one of the Diamond Princess passengers just tested positive again after returning home negative. On top of that, the virus has already mutated into two forms (possibly why it's resurging in China). None of that was factored into the Oxford models.
  • It's politics and economics, Linda. It's a big brewhaha over a whole lotta nothing. Sure, some people are gonna get sick from it and some are gonna die. People die every day for a myriad of reasons. 1676 people died in the US from drowning in the tub within a 5 year period. That's 335 a year. Yet there are no calls for bathtub bans or forcing anyone to close up their hot tub for the year.
    • bostjan64
      Drowning in your tub is generally preventable.
    • Archie Bunker
      Tell that to the people that drowned in their tubs.
  • Johns Hopkins University ( https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html ) is reporting over 21 000 dead as of 26 March. If you believe the reported numbers, then you must agree that the fuss is justified, I think.

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