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China vows to slay “devil” virus, as countries scramble to evacuate citizens

BEIJING,  (Reuters) – President Xi Jinping said today that China was sure of defeating a “devil” coronavirus that has killed 106 people, but international alarm was rising as the outbreak spread across the world.

 

From France to Japan, governments were organising evacuations, while Hong Kong – scene of anti-China unrest for months – planned to suspend rail and ferry links with the mainland.

The United States said it was expanding screening of arrivals from China from five to 20 airports and Health Secretary Alex Azar said nothing was “off the table” in terms of imposing further travel restrictions.

Among countries pulling nationals out of Wuhan, the central Chinese city of 11 million people where the outbreak started, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing said a chartered plane would pick up its consular staff on Wednesday. The European Commission said it would help fund two aircraft to fly EU citizens home, with 250 French nationals leaving on the first flight.

 

World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Xi met in Beijing to discuss how to protect Chinese and foreigners in areas affected by the virus and possible evacuation alternatives, a WHO spokesman said.

“The virus is a devil and we cannot let the devil hide,” state television quoted Xi as saying.

“China will strengthen international cooperation and welcomes the WHO participation in virus prevention … China is confident of winning the battle against the virus.”

The UN agency said later that China had agreed the WHO can send a team of international experts “as soon as possible” to increase understanding of the virus and guide the global response.

 

Investors are fretting about the impact of the crisis on the world’s second-biggest economy, though stock markets rebounded on Tuesday following a sharp sell-off the previous day.

An outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2002-03 led to a 45% plunge in air passenger demand in Asia. The travel industry is more reliant on Chinese travellers now, and China’s share of the global economy has quadrupled.

CONTAGION

The flu-like virus has spread overseas, but none of the 106 deaths has been outside China and all but six were in Wuhan, where the virus emerged last month, probably from illegally traded wildlife.

 

However, cases in Germany, Vietnam, Taiwan and Japan where the virus has spread person-to-person – as opposed to a visitor from China arriving – have heightened concern.

“The reported human-to-human transmission in Germany and Japan is unsurprising to see,” said Michael Head, senior research fellow in global health at Britain’s University of Southampton.

“We will continue to see further similar cases outside of China, but the indications are at this stage that onwards transmission will be limited, so there will likely not be too many cases for example across Europe, and on a much lesser scale than we are seeing in China.”

Chinese-ruled Hong Kong said high-speed rail services to the mainland would be suspended from midnight on Thursday, while the number of flights would be halved. Chinese authorities later said they would stop issuing travel permits for mainland tourists to visit Hong Kong and neighbouring Macau.

 

Thailand confirmed six more infections among visitors from China, taking its tally to 14, the highest outside China. France had a fourth confirmed case, a Chinese tourist.

Far eastern Russian regions would close their borders with China until Feb. 7, Tass news agency said.

Wuhan is under virtual quarantine, with a lockdown on transport and bans on gatherings. Tens of millions in Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the capital, live under some form of travel curb.

NO ‘INTERNATIONAL EMERGENCY’, YET

 

The number of confirmed cases in China surged to 4,515 as of Monday from 2,835 the previous day, the government said.

Communist Party-ruled China has been eager to show it is transparent over this outbreak, after initially covering up the extent of the SARS epidemic that killed about 800 people globally.

Known as “2019-nCoV”, the newly identified coronavirus can cause pneumonia and, like other respiratory infections, it spreads between people in droplets from coughs and sneezes. It is too early to know what its death rate will be, since there are likely to be many cases of milder disease going undetected.

It has an incubation of between one and 14 days.

 

A WHO panel of 16 independent experts twice last week declined to declare an international emergency. Traditionally, the WHO is reluctant to antagonize or ostracize countries dealing with epidemics for fear of undermining future willingness to report cases of infectious disease outbreaks.

Confirmation of any sustained human-to-human spread of the virus outside of China, as well as any documented deaths, would bolster the case for reconsidering.

Tedros can reconvene the panel on very short notice as needed, the WHO statement said.

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Prashad posted:

I think this illness is overblown. I think the next pandemic will be a full avian bird virus that is difficult to cure. 

If it is specific to  avians why should we worry? People fly about more than birds these days and a virus only have to be passed by contact and able to live outside the body for a few hours to rapidly spread all over the world in a month.

ORIGIN OF HIV & AIDS

Sunset on the Congo River
HIV first began to spread along the historic trade routes of the Congo basin in the 1920s.
KEY POINTS:

HIV crossed from chimps to humans in the 1920s in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo. This was probably as a result of chimps carrying the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV), a virus closely related to HIV, being hunted and eaten by people living in the area.

The origin of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has been a subject of scientific research and debate since the virus was identified in the 1980s. There is now a wealth of evidence on how, when and where HIV first began to cause illness in humans.

You can find out more about the origins and history of HIV through our interactive timeline, where you can read, watch, listen and explore key events from the history of the epidemic.

The link between HIV and SIV

HIV is a type of lentivirus, which means it attacks the immune system. In a similar way, the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) attacks the immune systems of monkeys and apes.1

Research found that HIV is related to SIV and there are many similarities between the two viruses. HIV-1 is closely related to a strain of SIV found in chimpanzees, and HIV-2 is closely related to a strain of SIV found in sooty mangabeys.2

Did HIV come from monkeys?

In 1999, researchers found a strain of SIV (called SIVcpz) in a chimpanzee that was almost identical to HIV in humans.

The researchers who discovered this connection concluded that it proved chimpanzees were the source of HIV-1, and that the virus had at some point crossed species from chimps to humans.3

The same scientists then conducted more research into how SIV could have developed in the chimps. They discovered that the chimps had hunted and eaten two smaller species of monkeys (red-capped mangabeys and greater spot-nosed monkeys). These smaller monkeys infected the chimps with two different strains of SIV.

The two different SIV strains then joined together to form a third virus (SIVcpz) that could be passed on to other chimps. This is the strain that can also infect humans.4

How did HIV cross from chimps to humans?

The most commonly accepted theory is that of the 'hunter'. In this scenario, SIVcpz was transferred to humans as a result of chimps being killed and eaten, or their blood getting into cuts or wounds on people in the course of hunting.5 Normally, the hunter's body would have fought off SIV, but on a few occasions the virus adapted itself within its new human host and became HIV-1.

There are four main groups of HIV strains (M, N, O and P), each with a slightly different genetic make-up. This supports the hunter theory because every time SIV passed from a chimpanzee to a human, it would have developed in a slightly different way within the human body, and produced a slightly different strain. This explains why there is more than one strain of HIV-1.6

The most studied strain of HIV is HIV-1 Group M, which is the strain that has spread throughout the world and is responsible for the vast majority of HIV infections today.

How did HIV-2 get passed to humans?

HIV-2 comes from SIVsmm in sooty mangabey monkeys rather than chimpanzees.7 The crossover to humans is believed to have happened in a similar way (through the butchering and consumption of monkey meat).

It is far rarer, and less infectious than HIV-1. As a result, it infects far fewer people, and is mainly found in a few countries in West Africa like Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.8

When and where did HIV start in humans?

Studies of some of the earliest known samples of HIV provide clues about when it first appeared in humans and how it evolved. The first verified case of HIV is from a blood sample taken in 1959 from a man living in what is now Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The sample was retrospectively analysed and HIV detected. There are numerous earlier cases where patterns of deaths from common opportunistic infections, now known to be AIDS-defining, suggest that HIV was the cause, but this is the earliest incident where a blood sample can verify infection.9

Did HIV start in Africa?

Using the earliest known sample of HIV, scientists have been able to create a 'family-tree' ancestry of HIV transmission, allowing them to discover where HIV started.

Their studies concluded that the first transmission of SIV to HIV in humans took place around 1920 in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).10

The same area is known for having the most genetic diversity in HIV strains in the world, reflecting the number of different times SIV was passed to humans. Many of the first cases of AIDS were recorded there too.

How did HIV spread from Kinshasa?

The area around Kinshasa is full of transport links, such as roads, railways and rivers. The area also had a growing sex trade around the time that HIV began to spread. The high population of migrants and sex trade might explain how HIV spread along these infrastructure routes. By 1937, it had reached Brazzaville, about 120km west of Kinshasa.

The lack of transport routes into the North and East of the country accounts for the significantly fewer reports of infections there at the time.11

By 1980, half of all infections in DR Congo were in locations outside of the Kinshasa area, reflecting the growing epidemic.12

Why is Haiti significant?

In the 1960s, the 'B' subtype of HIV-1 (a subtype of strain M) had made its way to Haiti. At this time, many Haitian professionals who were working in the colonial Democratic Republic of Congo during the 1960s returned to Haiti.13 Initially, they were blamed for being responsible for the HIV epidemic, and suffered severe racism, stigma and discrimination as a result.

HIV-1 subtype M is now the most geographically spread subtype of HIV internationally. By 2014, this subtype had caused 75 million infections.14

What happened in the 1980s in the USA?

People sometimes say that HIV started in the 1980s in the United States of America (USA), but in fact this was just when people first became aware of HIV and it was officially recognised as a new health condition.

In 1981, a few cases of rare diseases were being reported among gay men in New York and California, such as Kaposi's Sarcoma (a rare cancer) and a lung infection called PCP.15 16 No one knew why these cancers and opportunistic infections were spreading, but they concluded that there must be an infectious 'disease' causing them.

At first the disease was called all sorts of names relating to the word 'gay'.17 It wasn't until mid-1982 that scientists realised the 'disease' was also spreading among other populations such as haemophiliacs and heroin users.18 19 By September that year, the 'disease' was finally named AIDS.20

It was only in 1983 that the HIV virus was isolated and identified by researchers at the Pasteur Institute in France. Originally called Lymphadenopathy-Associated Virus (or LAV) the virus was confirmed as the cause of AIDS, when scientists working at the USA National Cancer Institute isolated the same virus and called it HTLV-III. LAV and HTLV-III were later acknowledged to be the same.

What is the 'Four-H-Club'?

In 1983, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States listed the main at-risk groups, including partners of people with AIDS, people who inject drugs, haemophiliacs and people who have recently been to Haiti. At the time that cases of AIDS began to emerge in the USA, the absence of definitive information about HIV and its link to AIDS, inflated the panic and stigma surrounding the epidemic. Before long people began to talk colloquially of a “4-H Club” at risk of AIDS: homosexuals, haemophiliacs, heroin addicts and Haitians, contributing to further stigmatisation.21

https://www.avert.org/professi...tory-hiv-aids/origin

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What we know about novel coronavirus so far

A viral outbreak traced back to a live seafood and animal market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, home to 11 million people, continues to spread around the world, with new cases reported in the United States.

So far, 106 people have died from novel coronavirus, and 4,515 people have been hospitalized in China, authorities have said. Health officials have identified cases in 16 countries, including the U.S. These numbers are expected to rise.

Questions remain about the virus’ nature and severity. That is why the World Health Organization last week postponed declaring novel coronavirus a global public health emergency.

Here’s what we know about this illness so far, and some questions public health experts are still asking.

How does novel coronavirus spread?

A woman wearing a face mask travels in the subway, as the country is hit by an outbreak of the new coronavirus, in Beijing, China January 26, 2020. Photo by Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters.

Novel coronavirus, or 2019-NoCV, belongs to the same family of viruses as the common cold and SARS. Though its geographic origin has been pinpointed, it’s unclear which animal first carried the virus, or how it was transmitted from animals to humans.

Practicing good public health etiquette “goes a long way in preventing all respiratory viral illnesses, including novel coronavirus,” said Sharon Wright, senior medical director and hospital epidemiologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

MORE: Track the spread of novel coronavirus with this map

To prevent further spread, health officials ask people to cover their noses and mouths when they sneeze or cough, stifling the spray of airborne respiratory droplets — i.e. saliva and mucus — that might spread the virus to others.

On Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention elevated its travel precautions, warning people to avoid all non-essential travel to China’s Hubei Province, including Wuhan, and to exercise caution when traveling around the rest of the country. This includes avoiding sick people and all animals in the region, discussing the trip with a health care professional and thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Why has China put cities on lockdown?

A worker sanitizes the square in front of the Hankou Railway Station, closed after the city of Wuhan was locked down following the outbreak of a new coronavirus, in Wuhan, Hubei province, China January 23, 2020. China Daily via REUTERS

China has shut down transportation for 17 cities, including Wuhan, effectively placing 50 million people under quarantine.

The outbreak comes amid Lunar New Year celebrations, “an occasion for extremely widespread travel,” said William Schaffner, an epidemiologist and medical director for the National Foundation of Infectious Diseases. “Celebratory occasions where people get together with friends and family — that’s an ideal condition for transmitting a respiratory virus.” And that poses a significant public health challenge.

There is debate among public health experts about the wisdom of this containment strategy, said Kasisomayajula Viswanath, a scientist and professor of health communication at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

While similar strategies were taken during outbreaks of ebola and H1N1 (or swine flu) virus, Viswanath said China’s “scale of quarantine this time around is unprecedented.”

Before the Chinese government could lock down affected cities last week, several million people left Wuhan alone, Viswanath said, potentially scattering exposure ahead of the quarantine.

“If that is true, it can be a real problem,” he said.

 
“Things will get worse before they get better.”

Right now, the Chinese government is in panic mode, said Minxin Pei, an expert on Chinese governance and professor of government at Claremont-McKenna College.

During crises, China stumbles because of “bureaucracy, secretiveness and censorship,” Pei said, leading to initial under-reaction that cost the country’s public health infrastructure time in identifying and containing the virus. Now, the country is lurching into overreaction mode, Pei said. Over the next two weeks, Pei said he anticipates logistical problems, such as not having the capacity to produce enough medical supplies.

“The tragedy is that this could have been dealt with sooner and less costly,” he said. “Things will get worse before they get better.”

What do public health experts still want to know?

A security officer in a protective mask checks the temperature of a passenger following the outbreak of a new coronavirus, at an expressway toll station on the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations, in Xianning, a city bordering Wuhan to the north, Hubei province, China January 24, 2020. REUTERS/Martin Pollard

After the 2003 SARS outbreak that sickened more than 8,000 people and led to 774 deaths worldwide, China established a surveillance system to monitor pneumonia outbreaks, a red flag for the potential rise of a viral infection.

Epidemiologists have credited China with quickly identifying the pathogen responsible for novel coronavirus, sequencing its genome in weeks and sharing that information with scientists around the world. That helped Japan and Thailand identify its cases, the CDC said.

But Tom Frieden, former CDC director, said China should be more forthcoming with case details.

The global public health community needs a better understanding of how the virus works. After exposure, how long does it take for symptoms to emerge? What risk factors are associated with the virus? Who is most at risk of getting severely ill? Or dying? How does this virus spread?

“The sooner China publishes that information, the safer China will be, and the safer the world will be,” Frieden said.

Coronavirus has been detected in the U.S. Now what?

Passengers leave LAX after arriving from Shanghai, China, after a positive case of the coronavirus was announced in the Orange County suburb of Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 26, 2020. Photo by Ringo Chiu/Reuters.

In the U.S., physicians have diagnosed five people with confirmed cases of novel coronavirus. All had traveled recently to Wuhan. On Monday, the CDC said 110 additional cases are under investigation in 26 states.

More cases are expected to emerge, said Nancy Messonnier, who directs the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases,but the nation’s immediate health risk level is considered low.

“Risk depends on exposure,” she said. “Right now, we have a handful of patients with this new virus in the U.S. However, at this time in the U.S., this virus is not spreading in the community.” Public health experts said the virus’ incubation period — the time between when a person is exposed to the virus to when symptoms appear — is within 14 days and has not appeared to mutate.

On Jan. 17, the CDC dispatched public health experts to screen passengers arriving at the international airports in San Francisco, New York (John F. Kennedy), Los Angeles, Atlanta and Chicago O’Hare. Out of more than 2,400 people screened, no one tested positive for the illness in those airport checks, according to Messonnier during a call with reporters Tuesday.

The CDC also is working to develop and dispatch diagnostic test kits to all states to test respiratory and blood samples more quickly. It currently takes four to six hours to complete a test, but the biggest delay is getting the samples to CDC laboratories, Messonnier told reporters during a subsequent call on Friday.

The flu still poses a greater risk to Americans

A nurse at a clinic in Boston gives a child an influenza vaccine injection. Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters.

A nurse at a clinic in Boston gives a child an influenza vaccine injection. Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters.

While the public health community is monitoring coronavirus, medical experts urge the public to remember the nation’s primary health risk this time of year — the flu.

Flu season started early in the U.S. and may be on the upswing, health officials said. This flu season, influenza has led to 8,200 deaths, 140,000 hospitalizations and at least 15 million people getting sick, according to the latest CDC estimates.

Influenza B peaked already and appears to be tapering off, but another strain of the illness — influenza A — may be on the rise, said epidemiologist William Schaffner, medical director for the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. He advised Americans to get their flu shot and take precautions.

“Don’t linger, get vaccinated this afternoon,” he said. “There’s flu in every state.”

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/h...l-coronavirus-so-far

Last edited by Former Member
Amral posted:

One thing though, we could not blame China for Aids

Agree. Aids originated from Africa and so did Ebola.

Fact:

We would have had none of these diseases if people ate a plant based diet.

Last edited by Former Member
Sean posted:
Amral posted:

One thing though, we could not blame China for Aids

Agree. Aids originated from Africa and so did Ebola.

Fact:

We would have had none of these diseases if people ate a plant based diet.

You have a point. However, we have heard so much unhygienic stuff from Indian, the only virus from them is Cricket. Let’s face the truth. maybe Indians don’t eat rope, soap and iron. 

Sean posted:
Amral posted:

One thing though, we could not blame China for Aids

Agree. Aids originated from Africa and so did Ebola.

Fact:

We would have had none of these diseases if people ate a plant based diet.

Transmission of animal viral or prion proteins are not limited to ingesting animal flesh. Most including this corona virus are transmitted by contact with viral particles in the environment. A vegan diet is healthy for many reasons but saying none of these diseases would exist if we eat plant products alone is stupid.

Dave posted:
Sean posted:
Amral posted:

One thing though, we could not blame China for Aids

Agree. Aids originated from Africa and so did Ebola.

Fact:

We would have had none of these diseases if people ate a plant based diet.

You have a point. However, we have heard so much unhygienic stuff from Indian, the only virus from them is Cricket. Let’s face the truth. maybe Indians don’t eat rope, soap and iron. 

And SNAKE. That's what started this virus. 

Sean posted:
Amral posted:

One thing though, we could not blame China for Aids

Agree. Aids originated from Africa and so did Ebola.

Fact:

We would have had none of these diseases if people ate a plant based diet.

As a vegetarian I can't say I agree. We have also had many recalls on various salads in the last couple years. Being a vegetarian or vegan just means you die healthy. Hehe

Based on evidence, all of the viruses mentioned above are linked to animal sources.

While I don’t advocate any specific diet, we just can’t deny the origin of these particular viruses. Some will argue that bad food choices especially bats and snakes are the main contributing factors.

This latest virus has created a lot of uncertainty in Canada and some are predicting a repeat of the SARS scenario where people avoided Chinese food stores and restaurants.

I noticed many Asians wearing face masks, are they contributing to the fear and anxiety ? 

What do other members think ? 

D2 posted:
Sean posted:
Amral posted:

One thing though, we could not blame China for Aids

Agree. Aids originated from Africa and so did Ebola.

Fact:

We would have had none of these diseases if people ate a plant based diet.

Transmission of animal viral or prion proteins are not limited to ingesting animal flesh. Most including this corona virus are transmitted by contact with viral particles in the environment. A vegan diet is healthy for many reasons but saying none of these diseases would exist if we eat plant products alone is stupid.

People eat too much shyte.  I was always careful when I visited China. But in NJ dem slip me cyat, and me eat um fuh so.   Me start scratching nuff nuff. 

Sean posted:

Based on evidence, all of the viruses mentioned above are linked to animal sources.

While I don’t advocate any specific diet, we just can’t deny the origin of these particular viruses. Some will argue that bad food choices especially bats and snakes are the main contributing factors.

This latest virus has created a lot of uncertainty in Canada and some are predicting a repeat of the SARS scenario where people avoided Chinese food stores and restaurants.

I noticed many Asians wearing face masks, are they contributing to the fear and anxiety ? 

What do other members think ? 

Indeed, only the Chinese are wearing masks so one would assume that they are infected with the virus.  Today I was at Scarborough Town Center  and I saw about 15 Chinese wearing masks everyone was looking and avoiding them. A Chinese friend told me that the restaurants are not as busy. Tomorrow the Chinese association will address the issue of racial discrimination because of this virus. 

Chinese having been eating these same animals for centuries if not millennia. Why did this virus, or some other strain of it, not manifest before when the handling would have been much worse?

There was a case a few years ago in the US of two brothers who inherited their father's cantaloupe farm. They stop soaking the cantaloupes in a anti bacterial solution before they leave the farm for the stores in order to cut costs. The result was several people died from eating the cantaloupes and several families sued the brothers and their farm.

A while back Iman ate some nice rock hard tennis roll, ohhh yeh, it was the one time I baked...I survived it but dam sure was dah ting what blocked up my..ahem... exit. I shoulda used the grocery store for selling yours truly, hard flour.

Prashad posted:

There was a case a few years ago in the US of two brothers who inherited their father's cantaloupe farm. They stop soaking the cantaloupes in a anti bacterial solution before they leave the farm for the stores in order to cut costs. The result was several people died from eating the cantaloupes and several families sued the brothers and their farm.

So during thousands and thousands of years of the Chinese enjoying their cuisine, only now, this once, has someone not properly cared for a piece of meat?

I watched an interesting series on Netflix last night called Pandemic. It was an eye opener. There was a little politics added but if one sets aside the politics, it was a very interesting series 
 

Please watch if you have some time.