News of the Day

I’m bombarded daily by news. It starts in the morning with husband’s look at the weather, today’s and the week. Then world/national news and local shootings and traffic accidents with a house fire or two through the night.

There isn’t any good economic news. The nation is set to collapse. The world is set to collapse too. Governments seek to ‘fix’ everything. Though, it’s the people who can make a difference, not rulers, presidents, representatives.

But we’re drowning in laws, regulations. We’re working hard to keep our heads above water and care for our families. But prices on everything are going up and our retirement savings have been taken away by stock market drops. There’s no place to put anything saved. We lose our principle in every place we used to sock a little money.

I’m looking for a person to run for president who will tell me there is hope. Real hope. Hope for my country. Hope for my family. Hope for the world. After Mr. Cain suspended his campaign, I see no one that fits that bill.

So I’ll just lean on Jesus. And do what I can to take his Gospel to those in need. I don’t know what others do without Him. He’s the only sanity in my world. He’s the only one with Good News. ♡♡♡

Is. 40:9 You who tell good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain; you who tell good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with strength; lift it up, don’t be afraid; say to the cities of Judah, Behold, your God!

Locations of Site Visitors

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The Boy Scouts File for Bankruptcy

Once you enter the sewer, it’a very difficult to get out.

This is a travesty.

~tannngl

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Wuhan Coronavirus—WUWT Update

Worth the read.

~tannngl

Wuhan Coronavirus—WUWT Update

Guest post by Rud Istvan,

ctm posted my longish scientific commentary written last Sunday on Monday. The situation is still rapidly evolving. Much more is now known than last Sunday. This updates my previous commentary and the general knowledge about Wuhan, adding new factual information plus additional research. For those interested, the WSJ online (paywalled, but I am a subscriber) has added a new coronavirus section tracking Wuhan daily news because of the importance to China and global supply chains. I rely on it here using today’s WSJ noon update.

A special h/t to previous commenters Robert of Texas and Nicolas McGinley, who added much to my previous post with many erudite comments.

Origins and precedents

Wuhan is the third known transmission of a respiratory tract coronavirus infection from bats via an intermediary mammal to humans:

SARS 2003: The following information is derived from a special WHO report. 916 deaths from 8422 total infections, mortality 10.9%. Not transmissible prior to onset of symptoms (cough, fever); main transmission days 4 and 5 after symptom onset. Mode of transmission mainly contact, with an R0 about 3. Bat corona via live civet intermediate to humans in a Chinese wet market.

MERS 2012: 779 deaths from 2229 total infections, mortality 35.5%. Not transmissible prior to symptom onset. Bat corona via live camel intermediate to humans in a Saudi Arabian camel market.

Wuhan 2020: to today at noon (2/13/20), about 1300 deaths in about 59000 diagnosed cases, with about 5000 full recoveries. The implications are discussed below. Bat corona via live pangolin to humans in Wuhan’s Huanan wet market (since permanently closed) in December 2019.

Wuhan transmission and clinical progression

Many more case reports are now giving a clear clinical picture.

Transmission route is either contact or inhalation (of real concern, because more flu like than cold like—even with annual flu shots influenza R0 remains about 2 because of flu vaccine issues covered in the previous post). Based on SARS and influenza, this means the likely Wuhan R0 is 3ish, so very contagious. The significant inhalation route is now shown by both the Diamond Princess cruise ship experiment (more below) and by the fact that ordinary surgical masks proved ineffective in the Wuhan hospital setting (JAMA, previous post).

Incubation period is 7-10 days from initial infection. The good news is that the 14-day quarantine adopted pretty much universally last week should therefore be effective (with a margin of safety) at Wuhan containment. But in most of Southeast Asia outside China, Japan, and Singapore, or in Africa should Wuhan spread there, 14-day quarantine will be difficult or impossible to maintain so the possibility of a pandemic remains.

The bad news is that Wuhan IS transmissible during some later part of the symptomless incubation period. The definitive clinical proof (there was comment debate about the reliability of previous post evidence from Japan and Germany) is an age 50’s UK male who attended an about 100 person sales conference in Singapore 1/20-1/22 2020. A single individual from Wuhan also attended this conference and was–per Singapore Wuhan containment policies– symptomless on arrival (no fever, no cough). That either symptomless or very early symptomatic individual transmitted Wuhan to the UK citizen in Singapore. The UK individual then flew to France for a 4-day family ski vacation 1/24-1/28 at Le Contamines-Montjoie. During the 4-day vacation the UK male remained symptomless (entire incubation time Singapore plus France at most 8 days) but transmitted Wuhan to 11 other individuals, 5 later diagnosed in UK (family and friends), 5 later diagnosed in France, and 1 later diagnosed in Spain. Clearly this case is NOTfamily close proximity contact transmission. This case may be a “super spreader” outlier, BUT it means a symptomless R0 as high as 11 cannot be ruled out, with a symptomless transmission period of several days. By comparison, the R0 for measles (absent vaccination) is 12-18, so a horrific Wuhan symptomless R0 of 11 is within the realm of actual possibility.

This is VERY bad news, as the formal CDC guidance on URI’s is that transmission risk is highest with peak symptoms (equating to peak virion shedding)–as was the case with SARS. Not so with Wuhan, reinforcing the public health necessity of strict 14-day quarantine.

Disease progression is standard common cold symptoms for 7-10 days with one exception–used since yesterday for clinical diagnosis in Hubei Province, as both the Chinese and the experimental CDC US test kits are showing significant problems with a high rate of false negatives. Common colds from over 120 distinct serotypes from all three viral families (RNA naked Rhino, RNA enveloped Corona, and DNA enveloped Adeno) all evidence the same three symptoms: runny nose, sore throat, and cough. Influenza adds two: fever and muscle ache. Wuhan clinically shows four: runny nose, sore throat, cough, AND fever—but NOT muscle ache. As of today, Hubei switched to clinical diagnosis and today’s ‘new’ diagnosed Wuhan cases were 14840. Yesterday, using only test kits, it was 1638. This is not a leap in cases; it is a leap in diagnostics.

Unfortunately, this new fact means Wuhan has previously (as suspected but now proven) been severely under diagnosed and reported. And that unfortunately means the 1300 attributed deaths were also severely underreported. More on presently inferable mortality comes in a following section.

Wuhan then makes a now well-established clinical bifurcation. In 75-80% of cases, by symptom day 10 there is a normal ‘corona cold’ recovery lasting a few days. (In my own case last week, 3 recovery days in total, days 9-12 from symptom onset.)

In 20-25% of cases, by symptom day 10 Wuhan progresses to lower respiratory tract pneumonia, where death may occur with or without ICU intervention. The percentage of these deep pneumonias that are viral as opposed to a secondary bacteria infection is not known, but the NEJM clinical case report from Washington State discussed in the following paragraph strongly suggests viral (like SARS), not secondary bacterial treatable with antibiotics.

The new NEJM case report is so important it is summarized here because it leads to a hopeful culminating section below. The Seattle Wuhan case evidenced x-ray diagnosed lower respiratory tract pneumonia from days 9-11 from symptom onset. Supplemental oxygen was started day 9. IV antibiotics were started day 10 to no effect, so discontinued after one day. Importantly (more below), experimental antiviral remdesivir started day 11 by IV under a compassionate use exception, and the deep viral pneumonia fully resolved (per x-ray diagnosis) within 24 hours!

Diamond Princess ‘lab’ experiment

On Sunday, reported cases were 69 out of about 3700 total ship passengers and crew. Japan was removing people from the ship to hospital isolation as soon as symptoms (fever) showed, so the cruise ship became a somewhat artificial (close quarters) symptomless R0 experiment.

As of today, the ship’s website reports that 218 passengers have been positively diagnosed from 713 tested, all removed to hospital isolation. About 3500 passengers and crew remain on board as the ‘experiment’ continues. This suggests symptomless Wuhan R0 is greater than 2 (37 new cases per day for four days among a symptomless about 3500- 3600) and could be, like SARS, 3ish. Except SARS transmission was after symptom onset; this is before.

Per its website, ship offered today to begin removing symptomless passengers to shore quarantine at their expense, or to remain quarantined on the ship at Princess expense. In either event, full cruise refunds have been made.

Inferable Mortality

The news here is not good. We have mostly very poor data; both Hubei incidence and mortality were now provably severely under reported. But we do have one piece of usable comparable information. 1300 mortalities and 5000 recoveries amongst those who tested positive from the false negative test kits used until yesterday (the majority of cases have not yet resolved one way of the other). In the end, when the disease has run its course, there are only two outcomes: recovery or death. On the test kit basis, the mortality could be as high as 26%. That is horrible but not impossible since MERS was almost 36%.

My own ‘hunch’ is that Wuhan in the end will come in about 10% mortality; the mechanism is lower respiratory tract viral pneumonia just like 2003 SARS and the 1918 ‘Spanish flu’. There is no reason to think the mortality outcome would differ greatly from a very similar clinical mechanism.

Vaccine possibility

For sure, not any time soon.

The degree of difficulty is explained by the structural nature of Wuhan and its reproduction method. It is an enveloped non-segmented positive sense single strand RNA of about 30kb (the largest of any virus). The genome reads from the 5’ end. It first codes for (along about 20kb) the RNA protease ‘polyprotein’ that hijacks the host cell and causes replication. The remaining ~10kb code for 4 viral proteins separately needed to finally reassemble viable Wuhan virions: S, the pronounced spike from the envelope that gives the corona virus its generic name and enables further cell infection; N, the nucleocapsid (the capsid protein around the RNA core); M, the envelope membrane protein, and E, the envelope protein that protrudes from M but not nearly as far as S.

The obvious vaccine antibody targets are primarily S and secondarily E. That is no different than H and N in influenza. Unfortunately also like influenza, in SARS it has been shown that both S and E undergo RNA transcription error mutation, and at higher rates than one might suspect from the specifics of RNA coronavirus. Thus, like influenza, it may not be possible to develop a general Wuhan vaccine, only one of limited effectiveness against circulating virus that Wuhan will then mutate around.

Drug therapy

Here, the very new news is hopeful. Gilead Science developed remdesivir for enveloped non-segmented negative sense single strand Ebola virus. In emergency human clinical trials in Africa, it proved safe but not effective. It has shown good in vitro efficacy against SARS and MERS. And the single NEJM case report above has a definite positive proof of principle human outcome.

Based on this, China has announced a full-scale random double blind placebo controlled trial in 761 patients. As of this writing China reports successful synthesis of sufficient remdesivir active, so human testing begins today.

Of note for potential future Gilead/China intellectual property conflicts, China announced yesterday that it has applied for a patent to use remdesivir to treat human Wuhan. WUWT?

Updated WUWT conclusions

Is Wuhan a serious public health concern? Yes.

Is Wuhan a serious pandemic threat? Not yet.

If containment mainly to China via travel restrictions and 14-day quarantine can be enforced, it is probably not a pandemic threat ever to North America or Western Europe or Australia. Africa and Southeast Asia outside China, Japan, and Singapore need careful watching. And as with 2009 Swine flu, South America will be hit or miss.

Is 14-day quarantine effective? Yes.

Is a vaccine on the horizon? No.

Is a drug therapy on the horizon? Yes.

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China Ambassador Did Not Deny Coronavirus Could Have Started In A Weapons Lab

Start watching at 4 minutes and 17 seconds…

~tannngl

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The State of the Democrat Party – Still Hurting by @CarpeDonktum

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BREAKING NOW: SCIENTISTS CONFIRM CORONAVIRUS MAN-MADE…CONTAINS ‘PSHUTTLE-SN’ SEQUENCE PROVING LABORATORY ORIGIN

Experts believe may be Chinese vaccine experiment gone wrong.

Original article by Mike Adams of Natural News appears below:

Two days ago, a paper published in the Biorxiv.org journal presented findings that indicated the coronavirus appeared to be engineered with “key structural proteins” of HIV. The paper, entitled, “Uncanny similarity of unique inserts in the 2019-nCoV spike protein to HIV-1 gp120
and Gag,” concluded that the engineering of coronavirus with such gene sequences was “unlikely to be fortuitous in nature,” providing strong scientific support for the theory that the coronavirus is an engineered bioweapon that escaped laboratory containment in China.

The coverage of this paper by Zero Hedge led to a firestorm of denials by governments, health authorities and the CIA-controlled media, not surprisingly. Any suggestion that the coronavirus was engineered as a bioweapon had to be immediately eliminated. The prevailing panic by the establishment sought to blame this outbreak on Mother Nature — i.e. bats, snakes, seafood, etc. — rather than the human beings who are playing around with deadly biological weapons that are designed to extinguish human life.

Coronavirus Contains “HIV Insertions”, Stoking Fears Over Artificially Created Bioweapon

Interesting, knowing that scientists should be able to ID any proteins inside a particular virus. And evidently this ‘news’ has been stifled, removed.

I’ve read that Vitamin D in adequate amounts can help your immune system fight disease. Might be wise since we don’t get much sun at this time of year.

~tannngl

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#TweetOfTheDay

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Is This The Man Behind The Global Coronavirus Pandemic?

Is This The Man Behind The Global Coronavirus Pandemic?

Read the article, though it’s very long.

The summation of this article by Tyler Durden at the end is below:

So to summarize:

  1. One of China’s top virology and immunology experts was and still works at China’s top-rated biohazard lab, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which some have affectionately called the real Umbrella Corp.
  2. Since 2009, Peng has been the leading Chinese scientist researching the immune mechanism of bats carrying and transmitting lethal viruses in the world.
  3. His primary field of study is researching how and why bats can be infected with some of the most nightmarish viruses in the world including Ebola, SARS and Coronavirus, and not get sick.
  4. He was genetically engineering various immune pathways (such as the STING pathway in bats) to make the bats more or less susceptible to infection, in the process potentially creating a highly resistant mutant superbug.
  5. As part of his studies, Peng also researched mutant Coronavirus strains that overcame the natural immunity of some bats; these are “superbug” Coronavirus strains, which are not resistant to any natural immune pathway, and now appear to be out in the wild.
  6. As of mid-November, his lab was actively hiring inexperienced post-docs to help conduct his research into super-Coronaviruses and bat infections.
  7. Peng’s work on virology and bat immunology has received support from the National “You Qing” Fund, the pilot project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the major project of the Ministry of Science and Technology.

* * *

Something tells us, if anyone wants to find out what really caused the coronavirus pandemic that has infected thousands of people in China and around the globe, they should probably pay Dr. Peng a visit.

Or at least start with an email: Dr Peng can be reached at peng.zhou@wh.iov.cn, and his phone# is 87197311.

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Coronavirus – A Matter of Life and Death?

Coronavirus – A Matter of Life and Death?

How Bio-weapons are designed…

If you were going to “build” a biological agent, a “bio-weapon,” what would you want?

The layman would say “lethality.”  Its purpose would be to kill.  It should do so effectively.

In the cold, hard, brutal world of biological weapons design, that single characteristic turns out not to be so simple.  Yes, certainly, the organism must ultimately kill its host to achieve the desired horrifying result.  But, there are many pieces to how that is most “efficiently” achieved.

The organism, the disease, must spread directly human to human and ideally be airborne.  Many diseases are transmitted to humans by infected animals, usually when the animals are eaten.  This does not allow the disease to spread rapidly through human populations.

Paradoxically, the disease must not kill too quickly.  There must be time for one person who has been infected to infect as many others as possible.  If a person exposed to the organism dies too rapidly there will not be time for him to infect the maximum number of others.

Finally, at least for our purposes here, an individual infected with the disease should ideally be able to communicate the illness to others even before symptomatic.  Efforts to control the spread of a previously unknown illness will key on simple tests such as temperature checks, which can be applied easily to large groups.  If infected individuals can circulate freely, infecting others and escaping detection, the number of people exposed and infected will increase greatly.

The coronavirus is currently sweeping across China.

The coronavirus currently sweeping across China has all these characteristics.  It can pass directly from one human to another.  It takes up to 14 days to fully incubate.  And, according to Chinese authorities, long before an individual becomes symptomatic, he or she is contagious.

There are also other facts concerning this virus that should give us pause. The only bio lab in China at which work can be done on viruses of this type is located just outside the city of Wuhan – the epicenter of the growing epidemic.  The coronavirus is also known to be of interest to Chinese bio-researchers, and, in fact, last yearChinese intelligence personnel were implicated in the theft of coronavirus from a Canadian lab and the transport of the organism to China.

None of that is conclusive.  None of that tells us definitively that the virus is manmade or even that humans had any part in its release.  The leading theory is that the virus entered the human population from a market in Wuhan where animals known to carry the coronavirus are sold as food. That remains, as of this writing, the most likely explanation for what is now happening.

Should we be treating this as a possible bioterror event?

Still, it would be wise to consider the implications of the possibility that this is a bio-warfare event, deliberate or otherwise.

The idea of an attack with a bio-weapon, by a nation-state or a terrorist group is not science fiction.  This is reality.  Al Qaida, before 9/11, was already working with anthrax.  The Japanese Army in World War II used the bubonic plague against the Chinese.  Every terrorist group on the planet has aspirations of some kind to be able to weaponize disease and create what WMD experts often refer to as the poor man’s nuclear weapon.  We should assume that we will see a bio-weapons attack sometime in the near future, that it will come without notice and that we will have to manage its consequences.

To control the spread of a bio-weapon deliberately engineered to spread rapidly, escape detection for as long as possible and kill most efficiently will require rapid decision-making and prompt, decisive action.  Neither of those things is in evidence today in regard to the coronavirus.

China downplaying the event as it is spreading.

The Chinese reaction has been, predictably enough a disaster.  Beijing generally responds to political dissonance and bad economic news by simply denying they exist and hewing to the party line.  It chose the same path in this case in regard to the coronavirus.  We now know that coronavirus was detected at the beginning of December, and yet Chinese authorities did not begin to sound the alarm until almost a month later. China continues to spew out numbers that make no sense and to deliberately downplay the significance of what is happening.

Meanwhile, the virus has done the only thing it knows how to do – spread. Wuhan, the city where the virus was first detected is under quarantine, but estimates are that fully five million people may have left the infected area for other parts of China before the lockdown went into effect.

Cases of the virus have been detected in many other regions of China already, but enforcement of travel restrictions remain lax.  Not until two days ago did Chinese authorities impose a ban on Chinese tour groups leaving the country for other parts of the world.  Supposed enforcement measures to stop the spread of the disease to Hong Kong had not yet been implemented as of this morning.

SCMP News

@SCMPNews

Wuhan should’ve been locked down earlier, a resident says, adding that the government has become more open but “there must have been a cover-up before”

75 people are talking about this

How’s the rest of the world responding?

Meanwhile, the response in the rest of the world makes what China is doing look resolute and decisive.  The Center for Disease Control’s guidance for travelers to China as of today remains a recommendation that travelers avoid non-essential trips to Wuhan and the surrounding area.

A person from New York can fly to China today, spend a few days, and return to Manhattan without any interference on the part of American authorities or requirement for special screening of any kind.

In China there are now over 2700 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.  That number has tripled in two days.  Infectious disease experts in Hong Kong have said they think that number is ridiculously low and that based on their math there are likely 44,000 people infected in Wuhan already.  A nurse in Wuhan treating coronavirus patients was quoted recently as saying she believed 90,000 people had the disease.

ANI

@ANI

Ministry of Health: Three cases of suspected in India; two from Mumbai & one from Hyderabad. They are under observation. https://twitter.com/ANI/status/1220710039800840200 

ANI

@ANI

Ministry of Health&Family Welfare: As on 24 Jan, 20,844 passengers from 96 flights have been screened for Novel #coronavirus symptoms. Today, 4082 passengers were screened in 19 flights. No case detected in the country so far. However, 3 persons have been put under observation.

View image on Twitter
180 people are talking about this

Over 2800 people worldwide have been determined to be infected.  Eighty people have died so far.  Based on statistics from Wuhan where the outbreak began, at least 5% of the individuals infected will die.  As hard numbers increasingly become available the death rate will likely only increase.

The Center for Disease Control has already confirmed the presence of the virus in at least four states, Arizona, California, Illinois, and Washington.

Our modern world spreads disease very quickly.

For most Americans, Wuhan – a city they have never heard of in China – may seem very far away.  Events there may seem a similarly distant concern.  For the purposes of the spread of infectious disease, that distance means very little.  Deadly organisms don’t spread gradually in some inkblot fashion from a point of origin.  They jump rapidly, typically via aircraft, from one city to another, across oceans and deserts, and explode outward from travel hubs into surrounding areas.

A virus that sweeps through Wuhan is very quickly in Beijing.  Once there it is in London, New York, Tokyo, and New Delhi within days if not hours.  By the time deaths begin to mount up at the point of origin and quarantines are imposed it is too late.  The fire has already jumped the firebreaks, and all we can do is focus on limiting the death toll.

The coronavirus – naturally occurring or manmade- is doing what it was “engineered” to do.  It is spreading, mutating, infecting and growing relentlessly.  We must be just as relentless and just as driven in our response.  The time for warnings and advisories has passed.  It is time to move like it is a matter of life or death – it is.

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Virus-hit Wuhan has two laboratories linked to Chinese bio-warfare program

via Virus-hit Wuhan has two laboratories linked to Chinese bio-warfare program

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An Iranian’s Personal Revolution

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