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Friday, March 06, 2020

During his Fox News town hall on Thursday night, President Donald Trump said he planned to propose cuts to government benefit programs like Medicare and Social Security in his second term. The White House spent the hours that followed trying to walk those comments back.

Trump's remarks came in the context of a discussion about the national debt, which has ballooned to historic levels under his presidency despite his 2016 campaign promise to eliminate it entirely. After Trump claimed that cutting the debt would be a focus of his second term, host Martha MacCallum pointed out that "if you don't cut something in entitlements, you'll never really deal with the debt."

But before "you'll never really deal with the debt" even escaped MacCallum's lips, Trump interjected to agree with the first part of her statement " that cuts to programs like Social Security and Medicare will be necessary to get the debt under control. read more


Saturday, February 29, 2020

A high school student who has no history of traveling to infected areas has been diagnosed with coronavirus, according to Washington State Department of Health.


Thursday, February 27, 2020

U.S. stock markets are down again in early trading as coronavirus fears continue to hit economists forecasts for growth, and a number of technology companies began to note the impact of the outbreak in their trailing earnings and future results. read more


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed an infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 in California in a person who reportedly did not have relevant travel history or exposure to another known patient with COVID-19. At this time, the patient's exposure is unknown. It's possible this could be an instance of community spread of COVID-19, which would be the first time this has happened in the United States. Community spread means spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown. It's also possible, however, that the patient may have been exposed to a returned traveler who was infected. This case was detected through the U.S. public health system -- picked up by astute clinicians. This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States to 15. read more


Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Severe illness caused by viruses such as H5N1 also means that infected people can be identified and isolated, or that they died quickly. They do not walk around feeling just a little under the weather, seeding the virus. The new coronavirus (known technically as SARS-CoV-2) that has been spreading around the world can cause a respiratory illness that can be severe. The disease (known as COVID-19) seems to have a fatality rate of less than 2 percent"exponentially lower than most outbreaks that make global news. The virus has raised alarm not despite that low fatality rate, but because of it.


Comments

www.sciencemag.org

Good article about mutations and evolution of this virus.

Tor, you might find this interesting as you were asking about this about a month ago.

I'm just trying to remove the politics and get a handle on how serious this thing is.

#24 | Posted by JeffJ

Good questions. I don't have a go to source of info for it because my information is an aggregate from conversations with people at work and the literature. Most of what I'm reading in the media is about new cases or deaths, nothing stated about the virology or medical side is new to me.

The problem with trying to describe the true gravity of the situation is most people fall in to two camps-they latch on to the low 3-3.5% number and take that to mean it's nothing and everybody is freaking out and scaremongering or they latch on to the rapid spread and word "pandemic" and raid their local Costco for the most bottled water and toilet paper they can fit in their trunk.

It seems like it's extremely infectious but has an incubation period which means it can be transmitted prior to symptoms becoming manifest. Stated another way, a person can unwittingly transmit it prior to even knowing they are sick.

Correct. I don't think we have a good handle on how many days one can be asymptomatic and contagious. It's probably the first few days before symptoms set in like other respiratory illnesses, not the entire incubation period.

The best number to remember is that each infected person will, statistically, infect another two people. We're in true exponential territory.

It's not like Motawba from the movie Outbreak which had basically a 100% mortality rate, but it's mortality rate of 2-3% is still considerably higher than that of the flu and young children and the elderly are at much greater risk.

The case fatality rate (number of lethal, confirmed infections) is about 3-3.5% (the numbers from Italy and Iran are in that ballpark). For seasonal influenza the case fatality rate is about 1.5% IIRC. Overall total lethality rates are 0.1% for seasonal influenza and estimated to be 0.6-0.7% for SARS-CoV-2. Both are predominantly dangerous in the elderly and those with preexisting medical conditions.

The quarantines we are seeing overseas seem excessive to me but (setting aside Italy) it's taking place in countries that tightly control their flow of information which suggests to me that this thing is far more dangerous than we are being lead to believe.

Like I said, numbers from Iran and Italy are pretty close and I think we'll see the US numbers level off in that range.

If you're young and healthy, you don't have much to worry about with this beyond economic and social disruption (time off, schools closing ect). The biggest worry is spreading to people you know who are more susceptible to severe disease. So practice good hygiene, stay home if you're sick and avoid large gatherings when cases start to pick up in your area.

Here area few good links for info.

www.cdc.gov

coronavirus.jhu.edu

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