Coronavirus outbreak

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(HealthDay)—Coronavirus is most infectious when patients are at the peak of their illness, health officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.


"Based on what we know now, we believe this virus spreads mainly from person to person among close contacts, which is defined as about six feet, through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes," Nancy Messonnier, M.D., director of the CDC National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said during a media briefing on Friday. "People are thought to be the most contagious when they are most symptomatic; that is when they are the sickest."


"Some spread may happen by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the eyes, nose and mouth," Messonnier said. "But remember, we believe this virus does not last long on surfaces. Some spread may happen before people show symptoms. There have been a few reports of this with the new coronavirus, and it is compatible with what we know about other respiratory viruses, including seasonal flu. But right now, we don't believe these last two forms of transmission are the main driver of spread."

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16 hours ago, smokes said:

It isn't just about the numbers. It's about people and thier hard work. There are so many stories of sacrifice and hardship but most outlets only talk about numbers.


In China's coronavirus epicenter, volunteers keep stricken city moving

By Huizhong Wu

BEIJING (Reuters) - A day after the city government of Wuhan locked down all of its public transportation to keep the coronavirus outbreak that began in the city from spreading further, three nurses found themselves stranded outside Hankou train station.

They had returned early from the Lunar New Year holiday to go back to work at Tongji hospital, just five kilometers away, but laden with luggage and food from concerned relatives, they had no way to reach there.

Seeing their request for help online, 53-year-old Wuhan resident Chen Hui donned a face mask and went to pick them up at the station, which is just down the street from the seafood market believed to be where the coronavirus emerged.

Wuhan, where 11 million people live, has been paralyzed by containment efforts by health authorities. With public transit shut down and taxis and ride-hailing operations also suspended, ordinary citizens are risking their health to ferry medical staff to and from work and getting key supplies such as food and masks to people needed to keep the city running.

"Through the experience of this epidemic, I really feel that we people of Wuhan are so united. Everyone in our group has such a strong sense of mission," said Chen, who runs an ad hoc ride service through a messaging group on China's ubiquitous WeChat app, to find volunteer drivers for people working in vital roles, like doctors and health workers.

Long days are common for the volunteers, some of whom are lending a hand from outside Wuhan. Shen Honghua, a volunteer who lives in eastern Zhejiang province, sits with two phones and her computer every day to find hotel rooms for some of the thousands of medical workers arriving in Wuhan.

"I wouldn't sleep until 3 a.m. or 4 a.m.," she said.

While no-one has tallied the number of rides given or donations sent, one informal alliance of hoteliers who volunteered their rooms estimated that in the first week of the shutdown, hotels in Wuhan sheltered over 6,000 medical workers.

The work is not without risk or consequence. Many volunteers in the city use pseudonyms and keep their work hidden from their families who may otherwise try to stop them. Some have also fallen ill after being exposed to the virus during their work. Officials in Wuhan and Hubei province have repeatedly warned of shortages in medical equipment to guard against infection including masks, even as Beijing exhorts manufacturers to boost production.

One 50-year-old volunteer, who has not told his family what he is doing and declined to give his real name, said he wore a mask purchased from a grocery store when he started ferrying doctors and nurses to and from work.

"After they got in the car, they said what you're wearing is completely below standard," he recalled from one of his first rides. He now delivers donations of food, medical supplies and protective gear to other volunteers as well as people whose family members have fallen ill from the new virus.

Chen's family found out about her volunteer work when her daughter called one day during a delivery run. Hearing the noise in the background, her daughter suspected that she was outside and pressed for the truth, asking for a video call. Chen said she had no choice but to tell the truth.

"She said to me, 'I'm asking, are you going out tomorrow? If you go out tomorrow, then I'm not going to wear a face mask. I'm going to stand outside the gate to my building and let myself get infected.'"

"If you get infected, then how can I live?"



By Huizhong Wu
ReutersFebruary 14, 2020

they are united.  It's a touching story. reminds me of a story in Japan in 2011, after the earth quake of how taxi drivers were giving free rides hotels giving out free rooms etc.

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5 minutes ago, MoneypuckOverlord said:

they are united.  It's a touching story. reminds me of a story in Japan in 2011, after the earth quake of how taxi drivers were giving free rides hotels giving out free rooms etc.

Also thousands of old Japanese citizens showed up to clean up the area around Fukishima, rather than risking young folks lives.

  • Hydration 1

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Update - China reports total coronavirus cases has reached 68,500

Sun 16 Feb 2020 21:14:56 GMT


China's National Health Commission update for end of February 15.

  • Death toll now 1,665

The progression:

  • Jan 17: 41
  • Jan 19: 62
  • Jan 20: 201
  • Jan 21: 291 
  • Jan 22: 440
  • Jan 24: 830
  • Jan 25: 1,287
  • Jan 26: 1,975
  • Jan 27: 2,744
  • Jan 28: 5,974 
  • Jan 29: 7,711
  • Jan 30: 9,692
  • Jan 31: 11,791
  • Feb 1: 14,380 (death toll 304)
  • Feb 2: 17,205 (death toll 361)
  • Feb 3: 20,438 (death toll 425)
  • Feb 4: 24,324 (death toll 490)
  • Feb 5: 28,018 (death toll 563)
  • Feb 6: 31,161 (death toll 636)
  • Feb 7: 34,564 (death toll 722)
  • Feb 8: 37,198 (death toll 811)
  • Feb 9: 40,171 (death toll 908)
  • Feb 10: 42,638 (death toll 1,016)
  • Feb 11: 44,653 (death toll 1,113)
  • Feb 12: 59,805 (death toll 1,367)
  • Feb 13: 63,851 total cases. Death toll now 1,380.  6,723 discharged from hospital.
  • Feb 14: NHC reports total cases at 66,492. Deaths on Feb 14 across China were 143, takes the total at 1,523.
  • Feb 15: 68,500, 1,665 dead.

Other updated:

  • Taiwan has reported its first death from the infection
  • Hubei province (Wuhan is Hubei's capital city and is the epicentre of the outbreak) has enacted tougher vehicle movement restrictions. Has instructed firms not to reopen without government approval.



The number of new cases seem to be slowing. Hopefully the containment efforts are proving successful.

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Never forget to tell the people you love that you love them.


Virus Kills Chinese Film Director and Family in Wuhan

A Chinese film director and his entire family have died from the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.

Chang Kai, a film director and an external communications officer at a Hubei Film Studio subsidiary, died in hospital on Feb. 14 from the virus now called COVID-19, according to a statement from the studio. He was 55.

But Chang’s death was not the first in his family—the Chinese media reported that Chang’s father and mother were infected and died one after the other. Chang and his sister, who looked after their parents at home, were both infected with the virus as a result. His sister died just hours later. Chang’s wife is also infected, still alive, and is still battling the virus in an intensive care unit.


A note written by Chang, said to be his last words, has gone viral on the Chinese Internet. Chang wrote that his father succumbed to the illness on the first day of the Lunar New Year (January 25). “My father had a fever, cough and trouble breathing. [We] tried to send him to the hospital but none of the hospitals we visited took him, because they had no more beds,” he wrote.


Instead, Chang brought his father home where ha died a few days later, having passed on the virus to the other family members. Chang’s note said that he and his wife were denied the opportunity to be treated early. Wuhan built a new hospital in six days, but capacity to handle the virus remains strained. Chang bade farewell to his family, friends and his son, who is reportedly studying in the U.K.

Chang enrolled in Wuhan University’s journalism school to study photography in 1989, and joined Hubei Film Studio upon graduation. The studio praised Chang for his contribution to the studio’s development, saying that he was a well-respected colleague and his death was a painful loss.

As of Feb. 17, the virus has infected 71,330 —70,548 in mainland China—and claimed 1,775 lives (1,770 in mainland China), surpassing the death toll of SARS in 2003.


  • Hydration 3

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There is cautious optimism about a breakthrough though so that is good.


China asks recovered patients to donate plasma for virus treatment

Beijing (AFP) - Chinese health officials Monday urged patients who have recovered from the coronavirus to donate blood so that plasma can be extracted to treat others who are critically ill.

Drugmakers are racing to develop a vaccine and treatment for the epidemic, which has killed 1,770 people and infected over 70,500 people across China.

Plasma from patients who have recovered from a spell of pneumonia triggered by COVID-19 contains antibodies that can help reduce the virus load in critically ill patients, an official from China's National Health Commission told a press briefing Monday.

"I would like to make a call to all cured patients to donate their plasma so that they can bring hope to critically ill patients," said Guo Yanhong, who heads the NHC's medical administration department.


Eleven patients at a hospital in Wuhan -- the epicentre of the disease -- received plasma infusions last week, said Sun Yanrong, of the Biological Center at the Ministry of Science and Technology.

"One patient (among them) has already been discharged, one is able to get off the bed and walk and the others are all recovering," she said.

The call comes days after China's state-owned medical products maker reported successful results from its trial at Wuhan First People's Hospital.

China National Biotec Group Co. said in a post on its official WeChat account that severely ill patients receiving plasma infusions "improved within 24 hours".

The World Health Organization said exploring the use of plasma as a treatment for the novel coronavirus was "important", but cautioned it needed to be done "with safety".

"It is a very important area of discovery," head of WHO's emergencies programme Michael Ryan told reporters in Geneva, pointing out that plasma had proven effective in saving lives when combatting a range of different diseases.

"It is a very valid way to explore therapeutics, especially when we don't have vaccines and we don't have specific anti-virals," he said.

His colleague Sylvie Briand, who heads WHO's Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness division, meanwhile cautioned that plasma-based treatments could be difficult to scale up to reach large numbers of patients, and stressed the need to carefully follow safety protocols.

"With blood products you can also transmit other diseases, so the protocol ... is very important," she told reporters.

Sun stressed that "clinical studies have shown that infusing plasma (from recovered patients) is safe and effective."

Blood donors will undergo a test to ensure that they are not carrying the virus, said Wang Guiqiang, chief physician at Peking University First Hospital.

"Only plasma is taken, not all the blood," he said.

"Other components of the blood including red blood cells and platelets will be infused back into the donors."


  • Hydration 2
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