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Old 01-23-2020, 07:42 AM
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Is anyone else concerned with this new virus in China that is becoming a bigger problem every day?


The world news sites are reporting there is a new virus in China that keeps on mutating and spreading every day.

There seems to be considerable concern because some people are dying while many more are getting sick.

The concerns is how fast this thing is spreading.

How much do you know about this virus? Do you feel that you know enough so that you know there is not much need for concern?

Or are you taking any steps to keep yourself healthy?
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Old 01-23-2020, 08:24 AM
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We've just returned from vacationing in the Caribbean. I spiked a fever and had severe diarrhea for a few days after getting home, now my gf has a fever and cough. I'm sure we both just aquired viruses while sitting on a broken plane (shoutout to American Airlines).

I'm not worried. Hell, I've lived this long.
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Old 01-23-2020, 08:28 AM
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I'm supposed to accompany my husband on a business trip to Beijing in April, and I don't particularly want to go. This virus thing is not helping.
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Old 01-23-2020, 08:39 AM
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How much do you know about this virus? Do you feel that you know enough so that you know there is not much need for concern?
I know as much as anyone who's not intensively researching it. And anyone who thinks they know enough to know there's not much need for concern is an idiot.

It's a new variant of a virus. It is deadly in at least some cases. Hard to know how deadly since it's not been known for long and since China is not exactly a reliable reporter. But they are not shutting down holiday travel for millions of people based on nothing.

It doesn't look like the start of a new Spanish flu though, so I'm not stockpiling food.

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Or are you taking any steps to keep yourself healthy?
Not any more than everyday. What do you think people who realize this is a potential pandemic should be doing? I think they should merely pay attention to the news and if at all possible avoid travel to places with known cases.
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:11 AM
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How much do you know about this virus? Do you feel that you know enough so that you know there is not much need for concern?
It's tragic for the individuals who have died from it, dire for those who are confirmed infected, and worrisome for those who live in Wuhan. But for the general mass of humanity around the globe, this is an isolated thing - and disease prevention organizations are swinging into action to prevent it from becoming a widespread pandemic. If it spreads, I fully expect that these organizations will increase their efforts.
At present, I'm not worried for the safety of anyone I personally know.

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Or are you taking any steps to keep yourself healthy?
No more than I've done in any other year. I wash my hands before eating, including at restaurants. On an upcoming flight, as soon as I sit down I will sanitize my armrests, tray table, and seat belt with a disinfecting wipe, just as I've been doing for several years; and I'll open the overhead vent to shower my face with fresh, HEPA-filtered air, helping to keep unfiltered air from disease-ridden fellow passengers away from my face.
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:28 AM
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I'm supposed to accompany my husband on a business trip to Beijing in April, and I don't particularly want to go. This virus thing is not helping.
I have no qualifications to advise you whether to go or not to go. But if I was you, there is no way in Hell that I would go. At least, I'd wait a week or two and see how this thing develops. As it stands, it seems quite terrifying to me.
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:39 AM
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I know as much as anyone who's not intensively researching it. And anyone who thinks they know enough to know there's not much need for concern is an idiot.

What do you think people who realize this is a potential pandemic should be doing? I think they should merely pay attention to the news and if at all possible avoid travel to places with known cases.
I fully agree with both opinions you have stated. This virus is one of the scariest that has happened in a very long time. Since so many people seem to be downplaying the possible problem, I am paying very close attention and I have an appointment with my doctor in a few days and I will ask if there are any medications I can stock up on. I will let you know what he says.

In addition, there are several doctors who post on this site. One of them (I believe his name starts with an "S") often discusses natural remedies. If I can find out who he is, I will indeed ask his opinion on things we can do to prevent health problems.

BTW, a flu shot would be a real good idea.

AAMOF, I'm guessing he will post to this thread and I look forward to hearing what he has to say.

I am not a medical professional - not by a long shot. But it seems to me there are two categories of activities ordinary folks can do.

The first is not to take any extraordinary foolish chances - such as inviting strangers or friends who seem to be sick to come and stay with us for a few days. Other extraordinary risks include doing things for the first time that are inherently dangerous - such as: skiing or snow boarding. This would seem to be a bad time to try any of these things for the first time.

The second category of things to do is to prepare by stocking up on certain kinds of medications (like antibiotics) or other products that may become hard to get if many people begin to get sick. I'd also consider what I would need to have in order to stay indoors for a week or so at a stretch.

I certainly don't want to alarm people. But if it turns out this viral outbreak becomes a serious health problem, I think it might be a good idea to acquire certain products now if we believe they may become hard to find if this problem should become an epidemic.

Please understand, all of my opinions are no better than mere guesses.

Last edited by Charlie Wayne; 01-23-2020 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:43 AM
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It's tragic for the individuals who have died from it, dire for those who are confirmed infected, and worrisome for those who live in Wuhan. But for the general mass of humanity around the globe, this is an isolated thing - and disease prevention organizations are swinging into action to prevent it from becoming a widespread pandemic. If it spreads, I fully expect that these organizations will increase their efforts.
At present, I'm not worried for the safety of anyone I personally know.

No more than I've done in any other year. I wash my hands before eating, including at restaurants. On an upcoming flight, as soon as I sit down I will sanitize my armrests, tray table, and seat belt with a disinfecting wipe, just as I've been doing for several years; and I'll open the overhead vent to shower my face with fresh, HEPA-filtered air, helping to keep unfiltered air from disease-ridden fellow passengers away from my face.
Both of these practices seem like excellent ideas to me. Thank you.
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:54 AM
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It's tragic for the individuals who have died from it, dire for those who are confirmed infected, and worrisome for those who live in Wuhan.
Wuhan and now Huanggang, Ezhou, Chibi, and Zhijiang as well. It doesn't help, of course, that as soon as a quarantine/travel restriction is announced a lot of people suddenly have the impulse to get out of Dodge (or Wuhan, or Huanggang or Ezhou or Chibi or Zhijiang). It's completely understandable, but not helpful.

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But for the general mass of humanity around the globe, this is an isolated thing - and disease prevention organizations are swinging into action to prevent it from becoming a widespread pandemic. If it spreads, I fully expect that these organizations will increase their efforts.
And this is the case for those of us outside the affected cities, or not having recently spent time on an airplane with someone suspected of having the virus.

At this point it's impossible to really know how bad this is or is going to get. We've had SARS and Ebola take plane trips to other continents but have not had pandemics or metastasizing epidemic hot spots. Airports with a lot of international/intercontinental travel are being monitored and travelers screened. These are all positives. We have means of monitoring, tracking, and responding to infectious diseases that didn't exist a hundred years ago.

That said - there's considerable difference between "infectious diseases". A cold virus and SARS both spread in similar ways, but one is much more serious to actually catch. My completely lay-person, non-authority, wild-ass guess about this is that it is at least as serious as a bad flu virus. Is it worse than that? I have no idea

Last edited by Broomstick; 01-23-2020 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:43 AM
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I have sent a Private Message to a few people who I think may be doctors to ask for some advice.

I seem to recall there is someone who posts on this board who posts some medical advice that has always seemed most excellent to me. Unfortunately, I cannot remember their name. All I can remember is that it may start with "C" or "S". Anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:46 AM
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Wash your hands more frequently, postpone trips to China and the Far East and maybe delay those plans for a chicken coop. But at this point, awareness and not panic seems to be in order.
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:54 AM
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And if you are the president of Madagascar, close the ports.
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:57 AM
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That said - there's considerable difference between "infectious diseases". A cold virus and SARS both spread in similar ways, but one is much more serious to actually catch. My completely lay-person, non-authority, wild-ass guess about this is that it is at least as serious as a bad flu virus. Is it worse than that? I have no idea
Based on some numbers I looked up last night, I think the flu typically has a mortality rate of about 0.002 percent, whereas the current Wuhan virus is more like 1%. The 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic was more like 20%, but of course hygiene and health care standards were much lower 100 years ago, which may have had something to do with it.

Ebola is about 90%.
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Old 01-23-2020, 11:33 AM
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This virus is one of the scariest that has happened in a very long time.
I'd say this is the scariest thing that's happened since the last time it's happened.

Are you old enough to remember the Bird Flu scare around 2000? The Ebola scare in the nineties? The AIDS scare in the eighties? The Swine Flu scare in the seventies? The Andromeda Strain scare of the sixties? (Okay, that last one may not have actually happened.)

This is not the first time we've had reports of some new disease arising and killing people and some people begin projecting the danger into the collapse of civilization or even the end of humanity. But what's always happened is that the disease hits a peak and then we get it under control. It becomes just another thing that some people die of; tragic for those people and their families but not a threat to humanity as a whole.
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Old 01-23-2020, 11:38 AM
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. . . Airports with a lot of international/intercontinental travel are being monitored and travelers screened. These are all positives. We have means of monitoring, tracking, and responding to infectious diseases that didn't exist a hundred years ago.

. . .
It's my understanding that only direct flights are being monitored at this time. So all the people who have a layover and don't leave the airport are going unchecked. This concerns me deeply as China -> USA is a long flight and not likely to be direct.

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Based on some numbers I looked up last night, I think the flu typically has a mortality rate of about 0.002 percent, whereas the current Wuhan virus is more like 1%. The 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic was more like 20%, but of course hygiene and health care standards were much lower 100 years ago, which may have had something to do with it.

Ebola is about 90%.
The latest DNC Ebola outbreak had about a 64% mortality rate if we limit it to the confirmed cases. We are getting better at treating and controlling it, and there are multiple strains.

IANAD or an epidemiologist, but I have more than the average lay person's understanding of these things. A virus that has evolved recently is more likely to evolve again in the near future. This can make it more or less dangerous, but evolution tends toward increased propagation.

China's reaction is scaring many people as they have been poor responders/reporters in the past. But they also took a major hit for their delay in reporting on SARS, and relationship-building has been a strong priority in the medical community since then. So I think it may be that this reflects a change in approach, rather than an increased threat. https://www.theguardian.com/global/c...isease-dissent

I do fear what may happen if it reaches the US, given the anti-science attitudes of the current administration. There is reason to worry that our government will act slowly, preferring denial and prayer to prevention and preparation.

Last edited by TruCelt; 01-23-2020 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 01-23-2020, 11:41 AM
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Sars, Swine Flu, Bird Flu, Spanish flu, and the list goes on and on. The more we globalize, the more these diseases will spread. It's been going on since forever. Concerned, yes, but it's a fact of life we just have to accept.

Last edited by Mallard; 01-23-2020 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 01-23-2020, 11:42 AM
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And if you are the president of Madagascar, close the ports.
Fuckin' A right... Plague Inc. taught me that much, at least.
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Old 01-23-2020, 11:47 AM
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I fully agree with both opinions you have stated. This virus is one of the scariest that has happened in a very long time. Since so many people seem to be downplaying the possible problem
I think you're letting the breathless news coverage get the better of you. Right now, there's no evidence, even in the news stories, to indicate that this virus is either more deadly or more communicable than say... the commonplace influenza virus, which nobody really freaks out about.

Part of the issue is that nobody trusts the Chinese government, so the information we're getting is not reliable, so that fuels fears. It's probably too early to start worrying about a pandemic- there's no evidence of that yet.


That said, I wouldn't go to China anytime soon.
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Old 01-23-2020, 11:54 AM
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Somebody mentioned flu, that doesn't really apply. Wuhan is a coronavirus, and they have extremely problematic in the past.

Interestingly, it's been reported that shares in NovaVax have jumped significantly in response to the news. NovaVax developed vaccines for SARS and MERS (both corona viruses) but both diseases were quashed by containment before the vaccines got to human trials. There have been coronavirus vaccines approved for animals, but it's been shown that they can result in an immune-system cascade which itself kills the patient when the virus is encountered. Nobody knows yet whether this will occur in humans. It's the very first vaccine that would give me pause in just jumping to get inoculated.
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Old 01-23-2020, 12:02 PM
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Old 01-23-2020, 12:12 PM
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Sars, Swine Flu, Bird Flu, Spanish flu, and the list goes on and on.
And now, the snake flu.
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Old 01-23-2020, 12:17 PM
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I fully agree with both opinions you have stated. This virus is one of the scariest that has happened in a very long time. Since so many people seem to be downplaying the possible problem, I am paying very close attention and I have an appointment with my doctor in a few days and I will ask if there are any medications I can stock up on. I will let you know what he says.

In addition, there are several doctors who post on this site. One of them (I believe his name starts with an "S") often discusses natural remedies. If I can find out who he is, I will indeed ask his opinion on things we can do to prevent health problems.

BTW, a flu shot would be a real good idea.

AAMOF, I'm guessing he will post to this thread and I look forward to hearing what he has to say.

I am not a medical professional - not by a long shot. But it seems to me there are two categories of activities ordinary folks can do.

The first is not to take any extraordinary foolish chances - such as inviting strangers or friends who seem to be sick to come and stay with us for a few days. Other extraordinary risks include doing things for the first time that are inherently dangerous - such as: skiing or snow boarding. This would seem to be a bad time to try any of these things for the first time.

The second category of things to do is to prepare by stocking up on certain kinds of medications (like antibiotics) or other products that may become hard to get if many people begin to get sick. I'd also consider what I would need to have in order to stay indoors for a week or so at a stretch.

I certainly don't want to alarm people. But if it turns out this viral outbreak becomes a serious health problem, I think it might be a good idea to acquire certain products now if we believe they may become hard to find if this problem should become an epidemic.

Please understand, all of my opinions are no better than mere guesses.
Most of this is bad advice. Antibiotics are ineffective against viruses so there is no point in stocking up on them. Antivirals are only available with a prescription so it is illegal to stock up on them. There are no known effective natural products that protect against viruses. Unless your guests are from China, there is no point in not inviting people over. Skiing or snowboarding will not increase your chance of getting this disease unless you do it in China.

So far this disease is most like SARS which was also a coronavirus, it infected about 8,000 people and killed slightly less than 10% of them. The fatality rate was highest in Canada, so unless you are from the frozen north, it is probably not a big deal.
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Old 01-23-2020, 12:23 PM
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In addition, there are several doctors who post on this site. One of them (I believe his name starts with an "S") often discusses natural remedies. If I can find out who he is, I will indeed ask his opinion on things we can do to prevent health problems.
Qadgop the Mercotan is a doctor, and I believe Jackmanii is a pathologist. I doubt they will recommend any "natural remedies" unless there is science to back them up.
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BTW, a flu shot would be a real good idea.
In general, sure, but it won't affect your chance of getting this new strain of coronavirus. There is no vaccine for that strain as of yet.
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The second category of things to do is to prepare by stocking up on certain kinds of medications (like antibiotics) or other products that may become hard to get if many people begin to get sick.
I doubt if the demand for antibiotics is going to be affected, since this is a virus and antibiotics have no effect on viral infections.

To date, this appears to me to be a somewhat more serious strain of flu. A 1-2% mortality rate is nothing to sneeze at ( ) but it is also not the end of the world.

Wash your hands avoid contact with anyone who traveled thru the affected areas of China. Maybe the situation is much worse than we think - China is not real good at reporting these kinds of things, for many reasons - but maybe not. As usual, I expect it will affect those who are already in compromised health or are very young.

I prefer to wait until the last minute to panic.

Regards,
Shodan

Last edited by Shodan; 01-23-2020 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 01-23-2020, 12:24 PM
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I'm all set... got a metric shit-ton of Forsythia, a couple pallets of ramen noodles and I'm avoiding shaking hands with any chefs in Asia.
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Old 01-23-2020, 12:36 PM
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Naw, I have "crisis" burnout. Couldn't be arsed to increase my blood pressure if a tiger jumped on me at this point. I'm a long way from China--a big ocean and a couple mountain ranges--and anyone I actually care about lives within 5 miles of me. The only thing about a worldwide plague of lethal influenza that mildly concerns me is the health effects of so many rotting and unburied corpses. But I recon that'd be a fairly brief matter because stuff can't rot forever.

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Old 01-23-2020, 12:56 PM
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Qadgop the Mercotan is a doctor, and I believe Jackmanii is a pathologist. I doubt they will recommend any "natural remedies" unless there is science to back them up.
In general, sure, but it won't affect your chance of getting this new strain of coronavirus. There is no vaccine for that strain as of yet.I doubt if the demand for antibiotics is going to be affected, since this is a virus and antibiotics have no effect on viral infections.

To date, this appears to me to be a somewhat more serious strain of flu. A 1-2% mortality rate is nothing to sneeze at ( ) but it is also not the end of the world.

Wash your hands avoid contact with anyone who traveled thru the affected areas of China. Maybe the situation is much worse than we think - China is not real good at reporting these kinds of things, for many reasons - but maybe not. As usual, I expect it will affect those who are already in compromised health or are very young.

I prefer to wait until the last minute to panic.

Regards,
Shodan

Thanks very much Shodan.
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Old 01-23-2020, 01:01 PM
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On an upcoming flight, as soon as I sit down I will sanitize my armrests, tray table, and seat belt with a disinfecting wipe, just as I've been doing for several years; and I'll open the overhead vent to shower my face with fresh, HEPA-filtered air, helping to keep unfiltered air from disease-ridden fellow passengers away from my face.
I guess I owe "people like you" an apology. On our plane out of the US I saw a passenger wiping everything down and pointed him out to my gf. We had a laugh about the germaphobe.

On our flight home we sat on a crowded plane while a repair was made which took 90 minutes (and made us miss our next flight) and now we are both sick.
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Old 01-23-2020, 01:01 PM
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Hm. The only case in the U.S. so far is in Everett, Washington. We're flying to Everett this April for a vacation. That guy better stay in the hospital until he's completely well and not pass his bug on to people in the area.
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Old 01-23-2020, 01:09 PM
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The second category of things to do is to prepare by stocking up on certain kinds of medications (like antibiotics) or other products that may become hard to get if many people begin to get sick. I'd also consider what I would need to have in order to stay indoors for a week or so at a stretch.
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Most of this is bad advice. Antibiotics are ineffective against viruses so there is no point in stocking up on them. Antivirals are only available with a prescription so it is illegal to stock up on them.
I just want to +1 what puddleglum said. Antibiotics are utterly and completely useless against viruses. Antibiotic overuse/abuse is an ever-increasing problem, causing a rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria and fewer useful types of antibiotic. [/hijack]
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:05 PM
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Charlie Wayne, the whole reason we have elected officials is so we don't have to think all the time. Just like that rain forest scare a few years back. Our officials saw there was a problem and they fixed it, didn't they?

I'm not too worried about it myself. I think the R0 for SARS was brought down to 0.2 due to public health containment efforts in China. Hopefully they'll do the same with this virus.
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:08 PM
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Every time viruses get mentioned, someone has to bring up antibiotics, someone else then has to recite the "overuse/ineffective" speech yet again ... I guess I don't understand how that hasn't sunk in more thoroughly.

I mean, the majority of people are familiar with "Look both ways before you cross the street" and "Call 911 in emergencies." I didn't think this was more complicated, but O.P. isn't the first person I've heard THIS WEEK talking about antibiotics as a magic cure-all that you can take - and critically, STOP taking - whenever you feel like it.

Anyway, I also have to wonder what, if anything, "staying indoors for a week" would accomplish. Unless you have industrial-scale filters for your home HVAC intake (and you don't ... ) then being inside wouldn't provide any additional protection.

Air conditioning and Netflix, sure. But not protection from viruses.
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:09 PM
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I'm not overly concerned, but I have steel supplier in Wuhan, and I've been there myself. Potentially my Chinese materials engineer could have visited, returned to Nanjing, passed it to someone visiting us here, and infect half of SE Michigan. Six degrees of separation, and all. Oh, and because DTW is a hub, 60% of the people on the plane will disperse to other US and Canadian cities.

I have in-laws in China, of course, but not in Wuhan. Some of them I might credit with eating anything that's sold live, so they may be patient zero for something else in the near future.
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:11 PM
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double

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Old 01-23-2020, 02:11 PM
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Sars, Swine Flu, Bird Flu, Spanish flu, and the list goes on and on.
Let's not forget those Mad Cows.
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:12 PM
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My imminent-disaster folder is full and has been for awhile now. I'd have to delete something to make room.
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Old 01-23-2020, 02:32 PM
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I'm all set... got a metric shit-ton of Forsythia, a couple pallets of ramen noodles and I'm avoiding shaking hands with any chefs in Asia.
Ramen noodles!!??? Are you crazy? Those things are Asian. You're just begging to be infected by the... the... say, does this new virus have a catchy name yet? How can I panic appropriately if I don't know the correct name? Flunado! Virpocalypse! Flurus!
  #37  
Old 01-23-2020, 03:06 PM
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I just want to +1 what puddleglum said. Antibiotics are utterly and completely useless against viruses.
Not only that, but the average person will have a difficult time stockpiling antibiotics, since virtually all of them are prescription only. Unless we're talking about using Neosporin as a sandwich spread.
  #38  
Old 01-23-2020, 03:12 PM
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Agree with Little Nemo, Shodan, and several others.

Seen this movie too many times. If this thing is just SARS, H1N1, Mad Cow, Ebola, etc. all over again ... I'll be totally safe.

If this thing is Captain Trips, then there wasn't anything I could have done to protect myself anyway.

...

I am curious as to how one stocks up on antibiotics in the U.S. Are there states where over-the-counter antibiotics are legal? Or do you just go and feign symptoms and get several doctors to write you prescriptions? Or else ... is raiding PetCo for fish antibiotics still a thing?

Last edited by bordelond; 01-23-2020 at 03:13 PM. Reason: typo
  #39  
Old 01-23-2020, 03:59 PM
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You snake the antibiotics (along with all the yummy yummy valium!) from the pharmacy after society has collapsed. They won't help you with the virus, but if you survive the Captain Tripps apocalypse you may need them for some other eventuality. If not, no big loss.
  #40  
Old 01-23-2020, 04:13 PM
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I have no qualifications to advise you whether to go or not to go. But if I was you, there is no way in Hell that I would go. At least, I'd wait a week or two and see how this thing develops. As it stands, it seems quite terrifying to me.
I mean, there's going in April. That's quite a bit of time to see how this develops.

My mom goes about once a year for work. She HAS gone in April before, but seeing as she was last there in October, I doubt she'll be going back so soon. It usually depends on airfare prices. This is a good thing to keep an eye on, though. If it moves toward Shanghai (where she always goes), hopefully she won't risk it. If it gets that dire though, she probably won't have a choice.

Unrelated to the virus, I've been to Shanghai and Beijing once. Beautiful country with incredible history. You really get a culture shock, going from a country with a little over 200 years of recorded history to one with thousands. I'd absolutely visit again. I hope this virus subsides, and no more people are hurt/killed.
  #41  
Old 01-23-2020, 04:20 PM
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Not real worried for me; very worried for some friends who live there. Especially since I haven't heard from the one in two weeks now. I have a trip planned but not for two years.
  #42  
Old 01-23-2020, 05:41 PM
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At this time, there are more people killed in motor vehicle collisions that have been reported to have died from this outbreak. I'm far more likely to be killed or injured that way than from this virus. I'm not doing anything more than standard hygiene practices at this time, but those are also good against things like the common cold.


Quote:
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Other extraordinary risks include doing things for the first time that are inherently dangerous - such as: skiing or snow boarding. This would seem to be a bad time to try any of these things for the first time.
First, I would hardly call skiing inherently dangerous; yes, people get injured, & even occasionally die from those activities but we just had another doper break a foot missing a step in their house. If you're new to the sport, take a lesson & new or experienced, ski/snowboard within your ability, ie. don't do the double black diamond run if you a novice. Typical skiing injuries are things like a sprain/fracture. They can be treated at an urgent care facility & don't even require an ER visit, let alone a hospital stay. I see no reason to not do them because of this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie Wayne View Post
The second category of things to do is to prepare by stocking up on certain kinds of medications (like antibiotics) or other products that may become hard to get if many people begin to get sick. I'd also consider what I would need to have in order to stay indoors for a week or so at a stretch.
As other have stated, antibiotics would be useless against a corona virus. Further, any doc giving you a prescription for one prophylacticallyshould probably have his or her license suspended because I don't think they know what they're dispensing prescriptions for & antibiotic overproscription is a real thing.

I'm not a prepper but it's not a bad idea to have at least a couple of days worth of supplies in the event of a natural disaster. What are you going to do if an earthquake disrupts gas & water lines along with trashing the main road to/from your neighborhood?
  #43  
Old 01-23-2020, 07:14 PM
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Article on the novel coronavirus infections in Wuhan, from Eurosurveillance, which purports to be, "Europe's journal on infectious disease surveillance, epidemiology, prevention and control." Real-time tentative assessment of the epidemiological characteristics of novel coronavirus infections in Wuhan, China, as at 22 January 2020

Abstract: Information on reported cases strongly indicates human-to-human spread, and the most recent information is increasingly indicative of sustained human-to-human transmission. While the overall severity profile among cases may change as more mild cases are identified, we estimate a risk of fatality among hospitalised cases at 14% (95% confidence interval: 3.932%).

I think it's worth your time. The authors claim uncertainty about whether this bug can be easily passed person-to-person, despite increasing evidence of multiple generation transmission in China. AIUI, the same was true of SARS communicability rates in Canada vs. China, despite the death toll in Canada.

Personally, I am not worried as yet, in the States about this bug. There is one confirmed case in Washington state, AFAIK, and one suspected case in College Station, Texas. WHO doesn't think it's a global emergency. Yet. China's reaction to it, with using the army to quarantine 20+ million people in several major cities, allegedly cancelling Chinese New Year celebrations in Beijing (which I understand is like the US deciding to cancel the Super Bowl.), is much more concerning than the public facts as we know them. I don't recall hearing about such public health measures since reading about the Spanish Flu epidemic.

Aside, there's a certain irony in that China's first BSL-4 containment lab was built in 2018. In Wuhan.

Anyway, I thought the article was interesting.
  #44  
Old 01-23-2020, 07:38 PM
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. . . there's no evidence, even in the news stories, to indicate that this virus is either more deadly or more communicable than say... the commonplace influenza virus, which nobody really freaks out about.
In North America, you are far more like to catch (and die from) influenza than this new bug. Yet, people procrastinate getting, or simply decline to get the influenza vaccine (NB - cost is not an issue at least in Canada where it is given for free at most pharmacies).

We had rounds this morning about the new virus in/from China and the bottom line is that, sure, we'll be vigilant for it, but there is far more urgency (and likely benefit) in directing our efforts to get more people vaccinated against influenza. There were something like 3500 influenza deaths in Canada last year and over 60000 in the US. It is bizarre that people seem to panic about a new flu-like virus yet do nothing to protect themselves from the more common and readily acquired influenza virus.

ETA: I am in Toronto where we are very aware of SARS and potential 'SARS' yet still feel this way.

Last edited by KarlGauss; 01-23-2020 at 07:42 PM.
  #45  
Old 01-23-2020, 07:47 PM
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FWIW, I posted the wrong link. Here is a better one.
  #46  
Old 01-23-2020, 09:26 PM
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Remember when Ebola and Zika were supposed to kill all of us four years ago? People here were legitimately saying Zika was going to cancel the Brazilian 2016 Olympics.
  #47  
Old 01-23-2020, 09:52 PM
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When I said it would be a good idea to get a flu shot, I didn't mean that in any sense related to this virus. I don't know hardly anything about medicine. But I do know that a flu shot would be extremely unlikely to help anyone afflicted with this virus. I just meant to relay some advice that my doctor had given me. That is that a flu shot is a good idea for most everyone.

My intention was to start a discussion from which I might be able to glean some advice for things that I could do to help prepare should this problem continue to grow and spread.

I probably could have worded my OP much better and I apologize if I was responsible for any confusion.

I also want to thank all those people who tried to suggest some constructive advice people can use to help protect themselves. Thank you all very much.

Last edited by Charlie Wayne; 01-23-2020 at 09:55 PM.
  #48  
Old 01-23-2020, 11:02 PM
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Most of this is bad advice. Antibiotics are ineffective against viruses so there is no point in stocking up on them. Antivirals are only available with a prescription so it is illegal to stock up on them. There are no known effective natural products that protect against viruses. Unless your guests are from China, there is no point in not inviting people over. Skiing or snowboarding will not increase your chance of getting this disease unless you do it in China.
And specifically, the Wuhan region and the other cities mentioned.

There's a lot of talk on Facebook about the virus (or something very similar) being patented, so therefore this virus was made in a lab and is being leashed upon us like Captain Trips, to wipe out humanity. Yes, it's patented due to intellectual property issues that go along with research, and don't forget that some people have believed that (among others) AIDS and Ebola viruses were made in a lab, never mind the annual flu shot viral strain.

I'm personally not worried about myself here in the American Midwest.
  #49  
Old 01-23-2020, 11:10 PM
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Hm. The only case in the U.S. so far is in Everett, Washington. We're flying to Everett this April for a vacation. That guy better stay in the hospital until he's completely well and not pass his bug on to people in the area.
I just heard on my local news that several Chinese students at a Wisconsin college are being monitored for fevers, etc., having just flown in from the Wuhan region. None so far have any symptoms.

And I agree that this person needs to stay in the hospital until s/he is deemed to no longer be contagious.
  #50  
Old 01-23-2020, 11:16 PM
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Lots of good advice here, particularly from KarlGauss who did battle against the SARS virus when it infected his patients and colleagues. He knows of what he speaks. I consider him a legit hero among physicians.
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