COVID-19 Coronavirus current events

Arugula

Member
The tech world is buzzing about Chloroquine (an common, existing Malaria drug) being a potential treatment for the virus

It appears now that Hydrochloroquine is now facing shortages, and some state pharmacy boards are now limiting the prescriptions.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - At least four state pharmacy boards have taken steps to limit prescriptions of potential coronavirus treatments touted by U.S. President Donald Trump that are in short supply as demand has surged with the rapid spread of the outbreak.

State pharmacy boards in Texas, Ohio, Idaho and Nevada in recent days moved to restrict who can be prescribed the malaria treatments chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, and how much of the drugs can be prescribed, according to documents filed by the boards. Texas has also limited prescriptions of the antibiotic azithromycin as well as another anti-malarial drug, mefloquine.

There are currently no approved treatments or preventive vaccines for COVID-19, the highly contagious, sometimes deadly respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus. Researchers are studying existing treatments and working on experimental ones, but most current patients receive only supportive care such as breathing assistance.
Content from External Source
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-...-of-potential-coronavirus-drugs-idUSKBN2190XC

The drug still hasn't been thoroughly tested, but the state of New York just acquired 70,000 doses and will implement drug trials starting tomorrow at some of their new temporary hospital sites. It's good news that we're going to start getting a lot of data on this possible treatment.

New York State is Ready for Army Corps to Start Construction at SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY Westbury, Westchester County Center and Jacob K. Javits Center

Announces FEMA Will Erect Federal Hospitals within Javits Center - Four 250-Bed Fully-Equipped and Fully-Staffed Facilities

Announces State Has Leased 600-Bed Capacity Nursing Home Facility in Brooklyn to Convert into Temporary Hospital

Calls on Federal Government to Immediately Implement Defense Production Act — Nationalize Medical Supply Chain

Calls on Federal Government to Prioritize Sending Stimulus Funding to Individuals, State and Local Governments and Businesses - Taxpayers Must Share in Success of Corporations

Acquires 70,000 Doses of Hydroxychloroquine, 10,000 doses of Zithromax and 750,000 Doses of Chloroquine to Implement Drug Trials - Trials Will Start Tuesday

Urges FDA to Immediately Approve Serological Testing for COVID-19 Antibodies
Content from External Source
https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/vi...oing-covid-19-pandemic-governor-cuomo-accepts


So while it is technically true that the government is putting Americans in FEMA camps and experimenting with drugs... these are well known, safe drugs that have been successful in treating things like Malaria, Lupus, and Rheumatoid Arthritis, being given to sick people in need.
 
Last edited:

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
It appears President Trump is signaling that he favors ending the guidelines put in place on for social distancing and business closures at the end of this month, despite COVID-19 cases still exponentially growing in the US.
He just said something similar in the CV Task Force Briefing.

He seems exhausted. Slow and slurring.

He's pushing anecdotal evidence for that drug he thinks a solution.

It appears now that Hydrochloroquine is now facing shortages,

that one
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Trump just announced a big crack-down on holding and price-gouging. So we may see less of these EBay listings soon. Barr is going to talk about it.
 

Arugula

Member
He's pushing anecdotal evidence for that drug he thinks a solution.

Yes, and it appears that confusion around the drug has led to a man in Arizona's death from self-medicating, with his wife in critical condition. It appears they saw it was an ingredient in a fish parasite treatment, and took a dosage, thinking it could be a preventative medicine.

An Arizona man has died after ingesting chloroquine phosphate — believing it would protect him from becoming infected with the coronavirus. The man's wife also ingested the substance and is under critical care.

The toxic ingredient they consumed was not the medication form of chloroquine, used to treat malaria in humans. Instead, it was an ingredient listed on a parasite treatment for fish.

The man's wife told NBC News she'd watched televised briefings where President Trump talked about the potential benefits of chloroquine. Even though no drugs are approved to prevent or treat COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, some early research suggests it may be useful as a therapy.

The name "chloroquine" resonated with the man's wife, who asked that her name not be used to protect the family's privacy. She'd used it previously to treat her koi fish.

"I saw it sitting on the back shelf and thought, 'hey, isn't that the stuff they’re talking about on TV?'"

The couple — both in their 60s and potentially at higher risk for complications of the virus — decided to mix a small amount of the substance with a liquid and drink it as a way to prevent the coronavirus.

"We were afraid of getting sick," she said.

Within 20 minutes, both became extremely ill, at first feeling "dizzy and hot."

"I started vomiting," the woman told NBC News. "My husband started developing respiratory problems and wanted to hold my hand."

She called 911. The emergency responders "were asking a lot of questions" about what they'd consumed. "I was having a hard time talking, falling down."

Shortly after arriving at the hospital, her husband died.

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/heal...oroquine-attempt-prevent-coronavirus-n1167166

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control is also warning people against self-medicating, after Lagos hospitals have received people with overdoses:


Some hospitals in Lagos state have been receiving patients suffering from chloroquine poisoning, according to Gboyega Akosile, chief press secretary to the governor.

Quoting Oreoluwa Finnih, senior special assistant to the governor on health, Akosile warned people against massive consumption of chloroquine as a measure to fight coronavirus.

The demand for chloroquine, an oral artemisinin-based monotherapies (oAMTs) for malaria treatment, soared a few hours after President Donald Trump said the drug had been approved to treat COVID-19.

But Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, contradicted the American president, saying the agency was still working to examine all possibilities.

TheCable had reported how residents trooped to pharmaceutical stores across Lagos and Abuja on Thursday evening to purchase the drug.
Content from External Source
https://www.thecable.ng/alert-lagos...patients-suffering-from-chloroquine-poisoning


Source: https://twitter.com/NCDCgov/status/1241006420419641345
 
Last edited:

Mendel

Senior Member.
Pretty much every effective medicine is a poison. It depends on the dosage.
It may turn out that these people were killed by bunk. The prime area for bunk to be harmful has always been medicine.
 

Jan

Member
Professor Sukharit Bhakdi claims that the measures against the corona virus are way too much, irresponsible and even "suicidal". On the internet, some people claim that the Corona virus isn't as harmful as portrayed in the media, see this for example: Source: https://t.me/GFTV_HH/1763

Could somebody refute this, please?
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Professor Sukharit Bhakdi claims that the measures against the corona virus are way too much, irresponsible and even "suicidal". On the internet, some people claim that the Corona virus isn't as harmful as portrayed in the media, see this for example: Source: https://t.me/GFTV_HH/1763

Could somebody refute this, please?
The most basic refutation is that doing less gives us situations like Wuhan (emergency hospitals erected, lockdown) and Italy (people over 60 excluded from advanced medical care because the hospitals can't cope). If your opinion is that we needn't stress about that (like Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick), then, sure, we're doing too much; if that is a situation we want to avoid, we need to fight the virus, and that means to stop it from spreading.

But let's look at the cited evidence. The cited paper is a an unreviewed preprint at https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.02.12.20022434v2. I can't upload the PDF to the forum, if someone else could do that for me, I'd appreciate it.
image.jpeg
The authors establish a simple mathematical model of virus transmission, calibrate it with 4 plane-loads of Japanese evacuees who have all been tested, adjust some parameters and hand-wave away the remaining discrepancies, to arrive at a guess how many people have been infected without becoming "cases". There are various studies attempting to guess this number, but until someone has run an antibody screening on a good population sample, these are all no more than informed guesses. I don't really see any reason to prefer an unreviewed paper to any of the other guesses out there, unless you have an agenda.

Their mathematical model assumes two phases, one with R=5.2 until the lockdown, and afterwards R=0.58. R measures how many people someone transfers the disease to, on average. This model has the effect of the Chinese lockdown built in, and assumes it worked to stop the virus. Using it to argue against lockdowns is a little like a Flat Earther using GPS data to make a point.

The Diamond Princess had 3711 people on board, and the 8th death was reported yesterday. If everyone on that ship had been infected (and not just the 17% cases), that'd be a 0.22% IFR, which exceeds the margins in that paper, and would require making some age group adjustments to get it to fit.

If the low guess turns out to be correct, with the IFR=0.12, and R=5.2, 81% of the population would be infected when the epidemic peaks, and 320 000 people would die in the USA, making Covid-19 the third largest cause of death this year, after heart disease and cancer. A much larger number of people would survive, but have permanent lung damage as a result.

The last argument is the one for flattening the curve. There is no "pure" death rate, as the rate of death varies with the quality of care available. If our health systems are overwhelmed, as is foreseeable, the IFR will obviously go up, which means people will die who could otherwise have survived. Again, maybe you're ok with that, but if we want to keep that from happening, we must raise the capacity of our health system, and slow the spread of the virus. Politics in Germany and other countries is doing both.
 
Last edited:

Mendel

Senior Member.
NY ordered 70,000 doses. so apparently they are hoping the drug might help too. at least until better drugs are available/found.
How much is a dose? This could be enough for 3500 cases:
recommended chloroquine phosphate tablet, 500mg twice per day for 10 days for patients diagnosed as mild, moderate and severe cases of novel coronavirus pneumonia and without contraindications to chloroquine.
Content from External Source
[Expert consensus on chloroquine phosphate for the treatment of novel coronavirus pneumonia].
image.jpeg

A Systematic Review concludes There is rationale, pre-clinical evidence of effectiveness and evidence of safety from long-time clinical use for other indications to justify clinical research on chloroquine in patients with COVID-19, but I believe it still pretty much has the status of an experimental treatment.
image.jpeg
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Acquires 70,000 Doses of Hydroxychloroquine, 10,000 doses of Zithromax and 750,000 Doses of Chloroquine to Implement Drug Trials - Trials Will Start Tuesday
Content from External Source
So this is for trials. What exactly is the difference between Hydroychloroquine and Chloroquine? I had assumed these were synonyms.

The Minnesota study Post-exposure Prophylaxis for SARS-Coronavirus-2 uses this dosage:

Drug: Hydroxychloroquine
200mg tablet; 800 mg orally once, followed in 6 to 8 hours by 600 mg, then 600mg once a day for 4 consecutive days
Content from External Source
It's set to complete in May.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
What exactly is the difference between Hydroychloroquine and Chloroquine? I had assumed these were synonyms.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chloroquine
Chloroquine (generic name Chloroquine Phosphate) is a quinine analogue medication used to prevent and to treat malaria in areas where malaria is known to be sensitive to its effects. ... Chloroquine is a member of the drug class 4-aminoquinoline.
Content from External Source
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroxychloroquine
Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), sold under the brand name Plaquenil among others, is a medication used for the prevention and treatment of certain types of malaria.[2] Specifically it is used for chloroquine-sensitive malaria. ... Hydroxychloroquine is in the antimalarial and 4-aminoquinoline families of medication.
Content from External Source
Metabunk 2020-03-24 07-29-18.jpg
 

Jan

Member
Their mathematical model assumes two phases, one with R=5.2 until the lockdown, and afterwards R=0.58. R measures how many people someone transfers the disease to, on average. This model has the effect of the Chinese lockdown built in, and assumes it worked to stop the virus. Using it to argue against lockdowns is a little like a Flat Earther using GPS data to make a point.
Thanks a lot for pointing that out and going into the detail! In the meantime, I also found a refutation by German news outlet against the downplaying of the virus made by Prof. Sukharit Bhakdi which basically showed that he used wrong numbers (wrong by far!):
https://www.zdf.de/nachrichten/panorama/coronavirus-faktencheck-bhakdi-100.html
(Title: "Why Sucharit Bhakdis numbers are wrong")

I translate a part of it:

"Bhakdi claims that '99% of them [i.e. the infected] have no or only little symptoms". They are infected, but not sick - the latter is less than 1% of the affected.

The Robert-Koch-Institut (RKI) however states in its Coronavirus-flier, by referring to three scientific studies, a manifestation index (portion of the infected that actually got sick) between 51 and 81 percent. Furthermore, the RKI states that about 20% of all diseases procede severely or life-threatening. Both are significantly higher values than given by Bhakdi
[...]
Bhakdi assumes, as the worst-case "horror scenario" a number of 1 mio. infected people in Germany which would mean, according to Bhakdi, 30 deaths per day. Both numbers are set significantly too low and clearly contradict the numbers of countries like Spain or Italy that already have higher death tolls now with hundreds of deaths per day at the moment.

Bhakdi ascribes the high death toll in Italy solely to external environmental influences. He explicitly names the high amount of air pollution in North Italy and China. 'The lungs of the people in these areas are very differently pre-burdened than our lungs.'

OECD statistics about the health consequences of air pollution put this thesis into doubt: 2017 died 450 per 1 mio people in Germany from the consequences of air pollution. In Italy, there were 436, in the much Corona-affected Spain only 289 people. [...]"
 
Last edited:

Agent K

Senior Member
This was encouraging
https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/16/coronavirus-can-become-aerosol-doesnt-mean-doomed/
The weight of the evidence suggests that the new coronavirus can exist as an aerosol only under very limited conditions, and that this transmission route is not driving the pandemic.
...
CDC scientists reported that the rate of symptomatic infection among a patient’s household members was 10.5%. The rate among other close contacts was 0.45%. In the case of one particular patient, none of his five household members, although continuously exposed to the patient during the time he was isolated at home, tested positive for the virus.
Content from External Source
But then you get horror stories like this
"Coronavirus Ravages 7 Members of a Single Family, Killing 4"
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/18/nyregion/new-jersey-family-coronavirus.html
Three other children remain hospitalized, two of them in critical condition
Content from External Source
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Well, sure. That the virus doesn't normally aerosolize means you can isolate someone in your household if you're cautious -- separate bathrooms (or cleaning well after use), separate bedrooms, 6 feet physical distance -- if the virus aerosolized, this would be impossible. If you're not cautious enough, the whole family gets infected, or they got infected by the same person at the same time.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
National Geographic says the social media messages about animals reclaiming cities are hoaxes:
The swans in the viral posts regularly appear in the canals of Burano, a small island in the greater Venice metropolitan area, where the photos were taken. The “Venetian” dolphins were filmed at a port in Sardinia, in the Mediterranean Sea, hundreds of miles away. No one has figured out where the drunken elephant photos came from, but a Chinese news report debunked the viral posts: While elephants did recently come through a village in Yunnan Province, China, their presence isn’t out of the norm, they aren’t the elephants in the viral photos, and they didn’t get drunk and pass out in a tea field.
Content from External Source
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/...andemic-fake-animal-viral-social-media-posts/
 

Arugula

Member
Quite a striking graph, showing claims for unemployment benefit in the US since the late-60s:
https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-52044452

That's a lot of Americans losing their employer-sponsored healthcare programs during the middle of this public health crisis. I feel like this will exacerbate the issue, with cost & uncertainty prohibiting people with mild symptoms from seeing a doctor.

Not every American will qualify for COBRA (which is also expensive) and there hasn't been an indication that the government will subsidize it, like they did in the 2008 financial crisis. Only 11 states have fully opened ACA enrollment so far, and there hasn't been an indication that there will be a federal open enrollment.

So if you or someone you know loses their job in America, they may only have 60 days to enroll in a new marketplace health plan - you can see if you're qualified at https://www.healthcare.gov/coverage-outside-open-enrollment/special-enrollment-period/
 

derwoodii

Senior Member.
some info & pictures from in bound Hong kong travelers below


As suggested by Don Nguyen, moving my insta story here:

I just got back to Hong Kong today and got to see firsthand how vastly differently COVID is dealt with here compared to the US/NYC.

I hope folks in the US, UK or wherever will see from HK's example how seriously this situation should be taken and NOT WAIT for your governments to impose stricter precautions, but rather practice them yourselves
Content from External Source


91235147_10219784971147469_2937879598945271808_n.jpg91238238_10219784971667482_3477776959650398208_n.jpg91171487_10219784972027491_2848209529437421568_n.jpg90639767_10219784972307498_3954672540307161088_n.jpg91094672_10219784972587505_6435474851959406592_n.jpg91006683_10219784972827511_849337324746571776_n.jpg
 

Agent K

Senior Member
Comedian Kathy Griffin says
I was sent to the #COVID19 isolation ward room in a major hospital ER from a separate urgent care facility after showing UNBEARABLY PAINFUL symptoms. The hospital couldn’t test me for #coronavirus because of CDC (Pence task force) restrictions.
Content from External Source
Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-K0Znug9O0


Would a hospital place her in a ward room with COVID-19 patients without testing her first? What if she doesn't have COVID-19, but contracts it from the other patients? What do hospitals do with patients who need treatment right away, and there's no time to test them for COVID-19? Treat them as if they have it?
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Would a hospital place her in a ward room with COVID-19 patients without testing her first? What if she doesn't have COVID-19, but contracts it from the other patients? What do hospitals do with patients who need treatment right away, and there's no time to test them for COVID-19? Treat them as if they have it?
From her instagram pictures, it looks to me like she as placed in a single room in the isolation ward, which would isolate her from Covid-19 patients.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/kathy-griffin-coronavirus_n_5e7c7fa1c5b6cb9dc19ae204

UPDATE: 7:18 p.m. ― Kathy Griffin told The Los Angeles Times on Thursday afternoon that she was now at home with a stomach infection after being hospitalized over concerns that she had COVID-19 symptoms.
Griffin said she recently returned from a Mexican vacation and experienced intense abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and a cough. She said she was eventually directed to the emergency room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and placed in its coronavirus isolation ward.
An x-ray revealed her lungs were clear and a scan revealed she had an abdominal infection, Griffin said. A doctor still wanted to administer a test for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, because some of her symptoms fit the illness, according to the comedian. But, she said, the doctor said she couldn’t because of guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Content from External Source
The current CDC guidelines say:
Clinicians should use their judgment to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether the patient should be tested.
Content from External Source
https://radiopaedia.org/cases/covid-19-pneumonia-ct-abdomen-2?lang=us
There are many case reports of SARS-CoV-2-infected patients presenting with only abdominal symptoms and fever, without symptoms from the respiratory tract.
Content from External Source
https://www.masslive.com/coronaviru...tom-for-some-confirmed-cases-of-covid-19.html
The pain in the stomach is a result of a patient developing pneumonia in the lower lobes of the lungs, Hirsh said. If the lobes are inflamed frequently, the irritation in the diaphragm causes pain in the abdomen.
“The more we see the disease, we’re going to see manifestations of the disease that don’t fit that classic picture of dry hacking cough and fever,” Hirsh said. “We’re going to see other manifestations of it.”
Hirsh said many of the patients with abdominal pain haven’t had any respiratory symptoms. While there’s not enough data available yet, Hirsh said at this time younger patients reported the stomach pain, while older patients showed respiratory symptoms.
Content from External Source
Griffin had clear lungs and an abdominal infection, so the Covid-19 symptom she's left with is just the cough. If she was hospitalized "properly", CDC guidelines say she needs to be tested at top priority, but if they already plan to discharge her, she'd be gone when the result comes in, so that wouldn't apply?
 
Last edited:

deirdre

Senior Member.
One already exists debunking the idea that it was intentionally made using sequences from HIV, but I suppose there could be more to discuss. @deirdre what do you think?
I did move his claim into your thread(expanded title) since these claims are basically just speculation claims and not "claims of evidence", we can put them all in the same thread for now. we can split the thread up later if for example anyone wants to look up the sequences (if that is even possible) for the experiment corona vs. the covid-19 sequence for a simple to understand clear debunk on that particular topic.

https://www.metabunk.org/threads/cl...drawn-by-authors-other-man-made-claims.11103/
 

Agent K

Senior Member
From her instagram pictures, it looks to me like she as placed in a single room in the isolation ward, which would isolate her from Covid-19 patients.

Looks like a big room for one patient, but even if it's a single room, the medical workers treat multiple patients. There's a reason why they separate COVID-19 patients from other patients. So, where do suspected COVID-19 patients receive treatment before they're tested? Next to COVID-19 patients who might infect them with COVID-19, or next to patients who don't have COVID-19 and might be infected by the suspected COVID-19 patient?
Fortunately, the FDA just approved a rapid coronavirus test that can deliver "positive results in as little as five minutes and negative results in 13 minutes." Hopefully it's more accurate than the rapid flu test that's "only 50 to 70 percent accurate."
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Fortunately, the FDA just approved a rapid coronavirus test that can deliver "positive results in as little as five minutes and negative results in 13 minutes." Hopefully it's more accurate than the rapid flu test that's "only 50 to 70 percent accurate."
The FDA Emergency Use Approvals are listed on https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices...-medical-devices/emergency-use-authorizations and include e.g. the ventilator splitters that the Gov. of NY talked about, as well as permissions to use PPE approved in other countries. Quite a few testing apparatuses are also listed, including the ID-NOW.
image.jpeg
The site also offers the instruction sheets (IFU) for download; these typically include a section about the performance of the test, which will specify the LoD (level of detection) as a measure of when the error rate is still >= 95%; basically, the test is reliable when LoD amount of virus is present in the sample and becomes more reliable the more virus there is.
For the ID-NOW, the performance data includes this table:
PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTICS
Clinical Study:

The performance of ID NOW COVID-19 was evaluated using contrived clinical nasopharyngeal (NP) swab specimens obtained from individuals with signs and symptoms of respiratory illness. The samples were prepared by spiking clinical NP swab matrix with purified viral RNA containing target sequences from the SARS-CoV-2 genome at concentrations approximately 2x LOD and 5x LOD. Negative NP swab samples were also tested in this study.

image.jpeg
Content from External Source
What they did there was prepare a few samples where they knew how much virus was on them and checked that everything works as expected.

If you compare that with the performance section for this Chinese RT-PCR kit I picked at random (top of the list), you see that that device has a lot more documentation, including tests with actual clinical samples, and a 20/20 success rate at a third of the 2xLoD concentration that Abbot was using in their test. The drawback is that it takes more than an hour and requires some lab training to use.

So, is this test the answer to our prayers?
a) There are a lot of different tests approved there, with different characteristics and purposes.
b) This machine tests single samples, it can't test large numbers of people. It looks designed to e.g. screen patients admitted to an ICU as they arrive.
c) Because it tests single samples, I expect it uses more material per sample than the big lab tests. A lab in Germany had to throw out 4000 samples because they couldn't get the materials delivered in time to perform the tests. There is a shortage. Also, the ID-NOW materials include custom plastic parts. I expect this stuff won't come cheap.
d) Like all Covid-19 tests I know, It will reliably detect this virus and no other. Since SARS-nCoV-19 is new, all strains are closely related and can be detected from the same set of markers, unlike flu tests. All Covid-19 tests I have looked at are very unlikely to generate false positives (if the operator takes care not to cross-contaminate the samples).
e) All Covid-19 tests using nasal swabs may be false negative if the test is done too early (not enough virus) or too late (virus is in the lungs, but no longer in the throat/nose). That is obviously independent of the procedure used, but lower LoD is better here.

tl;dr This device can answer the question "is the person before me infectious for Covid-19" with reasonable reliability. It seems badly suited to economically test large numbers of people.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
The FDA Emergency Use Approvals are listed on https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices...-medical-devices/emergency-use-authorizations and include e.g. the ventilator splitters that the Gov. of NY talked about, as well as permissions to use PPE approved in other countries. Quite a few testing apparatuses are also listed, including the ID-NOW.
They have an EUA out now to disinfect N95 masks with Hydrogen peroxide vapor, which makes them reusable up to 20 times. Hopefully that helps with the NY face mask shortage.

I want to talk about test again. Germany is doing close to 500 000 test per week, and those tests are done by big labs on existing equipment. The method, the PCR test, is not new: all you need is some RNA that you can identify this virus with, and you're good to go. Since we had that back on Jan 13th, all of the existing PCR test machines have had that detection capability added. These machines can test about 100 samples at a time, the example machine pictured takes about 2.5 hours do process one batch.
image.jpeg
If you run this in shifts (and some labs do, or did), you can process 800 samples a day, which is the current testing capacity of Scotland. (I wish that was a joke.)
image.png
You also only need a few quality test samples for the whole batch (to ensure the test ran right), so you're mostly actually using the machines and the chemicals to test actual clinical samples. This is a concern because it is relatively easy to produce and install new machines: 10 machines up your capability by 50 000 test per week, and a single worker can probably supervise a few of these since they run by themselves for most of the time. The problem is actually getting the chemical supplies to run these machines.

The Point-Of-Care 15 minute machine I talked about in my previous post is different. It processes a single sample, so it could maybe do 100 samples a day if operated in shifts, and someone would have to keep feeding it. The test cartridges are big, each one contains its own control samples, so you'd need a lot of machines and a lot of supplies and a lot of personnel to even approach the throughput that the bigger lab equipment can do. And it's easier for a few big labs to source chemicals and get them delivered than to supply a multitude of machines spread all over the country.

So while these Point-Of-Care machines do have a use, they are not the solution to ramping up a country's testing capacity quickly.

What we need is a reliable test that works quickly, scales up, and can be mass-deployed and affordibly supplied and operated. That means using a different process that is tailored to this virus, ideally one that reliably detects antibodies so we can tell weeks or months later if a person had Covid-19 and is now immune. These are being developed and being produced and may be ready for a wide-spread rollout in a few weeks if all goes well. That'll be the breakthrough.
 

Agent K

Senior Member
Another horror story
"A choir decided to go ahead with rehearsal. Now dozens of members have COVID-19 and two are dead"
Alternative headline in other outlets: "Choir practice turns fatal. Airborne coronavirus strongly suspected"
https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-03-29/coronavirus-choir-outbreak
On March 6, Adam Burdick, the choir's conductor, informed the 121 members in an email that amid the "stress and strain of concerns about the virus," practice would proceed as scheduled at Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church.
"I'm planning on being there this Tuesday March 10, and hoping many of you will be, too," he wrote.
Sixty singers showed up. A greeter offered hand sanitizer at the door, and members refrained from the usual hugs and handshakes.
"It seemed like a normal rehearsal, except that choirs are huggy places," Burdick recalled. "We were making music and trying to keep a certain distance between each other."
After 2½ hours, the singers parted ways at 9 p.m.
Nearly three weeks later, 45 have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or ill with the symptoms, at least three have been hospitalized, and two are dead. (Health officials said all 28 choir members who were tested for COVID-19 were found to be infected. The other 17 with symptoms never got tested, either because tests were not available or the singers were under the impression that only people in dire condition were eligible.)
The outbreak has stunned county health officials, who have concluded that the virus was almost certainly transmitted through the air from one or more people without symptoms.
"That's all we can think of right now," said Polly Dubbel, a county communicable disease and environmental health manager.
In interviews with the Los Angeles Times, eight people who were at the rehearsal said that nobody there was coughing or sneezing or appeared ill.
Everybody came with their own sheet music and avoided direct physical contact. Some members helped set up or remove folding chairs. A few helped themselves to mandarins that had been put out on a table in back.
Experts said the choir outbreak is consistent with a growing body of evidence that the virus can be transmitted through aerosols — particles smaller than 5 micrometers that can float in the air for minutes or longer.
The World Health Organization has downplayed the possibility of transmission in aerosols, stressing that the virus is spread through much larger "respiratory droplets," which are emitted when an infected person coughs or sneezes and quickly fall to a surface.
But a study published March 17 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that when the virus was suspended in a mist under laboratory conditions it remained "viable and infectious" for three hours — though researchers have said that time period would probably be no more than a half-hour in real-world conditions.
One of the authors of that study, Jamie Lloyd-Smith, a UCLA infectious disease researcher, said it's possible that the forceful breathing action of singing dispersed viral particles in the church room that were widely inhaled.
"One could imagine that really trying to project your voice would also project more droplets and aerosols," he said.
With three-quarters of the choir members testing positive for the virus or showing symptoms of infection, the outbreak would be considered a "super-spreading event," he said.
Linsey Marr, an environmental engineer at Virginia Tech and an expert on airborne transmission of viruses, said some people happen to be especially good at exhaling fine material, producing 1,000 times more than others.
Marr said that the choir outbreak should be seen as a powerful warning to the public.
“This may help people realize that, hey, we really need to be careful,” she said.
...
Amateur singers interested in choral music tend to be older, but the group includes some young adults... The youngest of those sickened was 31, but they averaged 67, according to the health department...
In their split-level home, Burdick and his wife kept distance between themselves for a week. But Lorraine got sick anyway.
The Burdicks had been heartened to hear that another woman in the hospital — an alto in her 80s — seemed to be getting better.
But this past Friday, the conductor got another call. She had died.
...
Marr, the Virginia Tech researcher, said that the choir outbreak reminded her of a classic case study in the spread of infectious disease.
In 1977, an Alaska Airlines flight returned to Homer, Alaska, after experiencing engine trouble and sat on the tarmac there for four hours with the ventilation system off.
Of the 49 passengers on board, 35 developed flu symptoms and five were hospitalized. Researchers ultimately traced the outbreak to a woman who felt fine when she boarded but later became ill.
The case jolted epidemiologists into the realization that influenza could spread through the air.
Research has already shown that the coronavirus is nearly twice as contagious as influenza and far more deadly.
Content from External Source
If 45 participants had COVID-19 and two of them died - both in their 80s - that's a 4.4% case fatality rate so far, but like the Diamond Princess cruise ship and the nursing homes, the sample skews older than the general public.
 
Last edited:

Mendel

Senior Member.
If 45 participants had COVID-19 and two of them died - both in their 80s - that's a 4.4% case fatality rate so far
"Sixty singers showed up." "Health officials said all 28 choir members who were tested for COVID-19 were found to be infected. The other 17 with symptoms never got tested, either because tests were not available or — like Comstock and Owen — the singers were under the impression that only people in dire condition were eligible." This means that [the remaining] 15 choir members were asymptomatic and never got tested. Since we know (from the Diamond Princess) that Covid-19 manifests in ~50% of the cases, I'd assume these 15 were also infected. (Although some say that you always have some symptoms, but they could be very mild -- a roughness in the throat, perhaps.)

"Cushioned metal chairs extended in six rows of 20, with about a foot between chairs and one aisle down the center." "At one point the members broke into two groups, each standing around separate pianos to sing." "After 2½ hours, the singers parted ways at 9 p.m." They're bound to have had a break and would have socialized then.
I was going to say, prolonged exposure with close physical contact means high risk of droplet transmission, but if there was just one or two people who were infected in that group, how did they manage to infect everyone? Some choir exercises involve people moving around the room at random while singing, and they certainly moved around to gather around the pianos, but still, aerosolization would best explain it. Hmmm.

Definitely add regularly airing out the rooms to your Covid-19 prevention regime!
 
Last edited:

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
"Sixty singers showed up." "Health officials said all 28 choir members who were tested for COVID-19 were found to be infected. The other 17 with symptoms never got tested, either because tests were not available or — like Comstock and Owen — the singers were under the impression that only people in dire condition were eligible." This means that [the remaining] 15 choir members were asymptomatic and never got tested. Since we know (from the Diamond Princess) that Covid-19 manifests in ~50% of the cases, I'd assume these 15 were also infected. (Although some say that you always have some symptoms, but they could be very mild -- a roughness in the throat, perhaps.)

"Cushioned metal chairs extended in six rows of 20, with about a foot between chairs and one aisle down the center." "At one point the members broke into two groups, each standing around separate pianos to sing." "After 2½ hours, the singers parted ways at 9 p.m." They're bound to have had a break and would have socialized then.
I was going to say, prolonged exposure with close physical contact means high risk of droplet transmission, but if there was just one or two people who were infected in that group, how did they manage to infect everyone? Some choir exercises involve people moving around the room at random while singing, and they certainly moved around to gather around the pianos, but still, aerosolization would best explain it. Hmmm.

Definitely add regularly airing out the rooms to your Covid-19 prevention regime!
When was the previous practice? They could have been exposed then when they were not taking all of those "precautions."
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
When was the previous practice? They could have been exposed then when they were not taking all of those "precautions."
They seem to not have taken any precautions except not shaking hands. Sitting in chairs a foot apart isn't proper distancing. I had a small event that week with 30 people, we were mildly cautious, standing further apart than normal and not shaking hands, but it probably wouldn't have stopped many infections either.

I think the specificity of the infection reveals its origin: if they'd been infected at the Sunday service, the congregation should've been infected as well; if it was a week earlier, symptoms should've showed up earlier in many people, and it should have affected choir members who turned up for that rehearsal but not the one we're looking at now (and vice versa, in a choir as large as that with 60 out of 120 potential singers attending, you always have a few who are there one week and absent the next).
 

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
They seem to not have taken any precautions except not shaking hands. Sitting in chairs a foot apart isn't proper distancing. I had a small event that week with 30 people, we were mildly cautious, standing further apart than normal and not shaking hands, but it probably wouldn't have stopped many infections either.

I think the specificity of the infection reveals its origin: if they'd been infected at the Sunday service, the congregation should've been infected as well; if it was a week earlier, symptoms should've showed up earlier in many people, and it should have affected choir members who turned up for that rehearsal but not the one we're looking at now (and vice versa, in a choir as large as that with 60 out of 120 potential singers attending, you always have a few who are there one week and absent the next).
If the infection point was first introduced by a choir member then it makes sense the choir would get sick first before the rest of the congregation.
 

Agent K

Senior Member
"Sixty singers showed up." "Health officials said all 28 choir members who were tested for COVID-19 were found to be infected. The other 17 with symptoms never got tested, either because tests were not available or — like Comstock and Owen — the singers were under the impression that only people in dire condition were eligible." This means that [the remaining] 15 choir members were asymptomatic and never got tested. Since we know (from the Diamond Princess) that Covid-19 manifests in ~50% of the cases, I'd assume these 15 were also infected. (Although some say that you always have some symptoms, but they could be very mild -- a roughness in the throat, perhaps.)

Very little underreporting in that group. Even if all sixty were infected, the case fatality rate would be 2/60=3.3%
The CDC said the following about the Diamond Princess on March 26. No mention of airborne spread, just fomites.
https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6912e3.htm
The results of testing of passengers and crew on board the Diamond Princess demonstrated a high proportion (46.5%) of asymptomatic infections at the time of testing. Available statistical models of the Diamond Princess outbreak suggest that 17.9% of infected persons never developed symptoms. A high proportion of asymptomatic infections could partially explain the high attack rate among cruise ship passengers and crew. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was identified on a variety of surfaces in cabins of both symptomatic and asymptomatic infected passengers up to 17 days after cabins were vacated on the Diamond Princess but before disinfection procedures had been conducted (Takuya Yamagishi, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, personal communication, 2020). Although these data cannot be used to determine whether transmission occurred from contaminated surfaces, further study of fomite transmission of SARS-CoV-2 aboard cruise ships is warranted.
Content from External Source
 

Rory

Senior Member.
Received this video from a few different friends today, about the benefits of wearing face masks in the Czech Republic:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhNo_IOPOtU

It seems nice, and I'm not arguing with the sentiment, but I have doubts about some of the statements. The actress presenting the information says:
"The Czech Republic is one of the few countries in Europe that has significantly slowed down the spread of the virus. We would like to tell you what we did differently [...] everyone who leaves their home has to wear a facemask."
Content from External Source
I guess I'm skeptical that the Czech Republic has succeeded in "significantly slowing the spread of the virus". Their figures appear a bit up and down - though not increasing exponentially, and with their worst day four days ago, there were still 123 more cases today than yesterday, and 50% more than a week ago - and their number of deaths - though too few to really deduce anything from - has been on the rise:


Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_coronavirus_pandemic_in_the_Czech_Republic

Also, the ban on movement outside the home without covering the mouth or nose has only been in effect for twelve days. It seems a little early to be declaring both victory and the method of how this victory was achieved.
 
Last edited:

Mendel

Senior Member.
It seems a little early to be declaring both victory and the method of how this victory was achieved.
A little scepticism is probably warranted.
Czechia03-31.png
The red curve is Czechia up to march 21st, and the dashed regression curve is based on that data. The green part extends that data over the past 10 days. I've put Spain and France in to compare Czechia's rate of spread to a baseline, and I've put Japan in because that country had similar dips like Czechia is having, but still returned to what looks like exponential spread, albeit at a much lower rate. Note that mask use is very widespread in Japan as well.

The death rate has a lot of delay built in, since the deaths occur weeks after the infection; that makes the death rate an unsuitable source for timely assessment of public health measures.

It's true that masks limit the spread of the virus in public, but the message in Germany is that most infections occur in close settings (<1.5m) with prolongued exposure (> 15 minutes). These are typically private settings, so a measure that is only effective in public settings is likely to have a limited effect on the spread. It should prevent "super events" like the infection cluster around a religious service in Korea; maybe mandating masks could be a way to have big public events again, once we have a better handle on the situation.
 
Last edited:

Mendel

Senior Member.
Very little underreporting in that group. Even if all sixty were infected, the case fatality rate would be 2/60=3.3%
You can say with 90% confidence that the case fatality for the population that this group is a sample of ranges from 0.6% to 10.1%.

The CDC said the following about the Diamond Princess on March 26. No mention of airborne spread, just fomites.
https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6912e3.ht
Well, the fomite quote is, "these data cannot be used to determine whether transmission occurred from contaminated surfaces", which means it's not clear whether they found actual fomites. (By definition, a fomite must be infectious. If we have no evidence of infection from these surfaces, we do not know whether they are fomites.)

But the CDC do have an explanation for the infections, in a paper they referenced in the one you quoted: Initial Investigation of Transmission of COVID-19 Among Crew Members During Quarantine of a Cruise Ship — Yokohama, Japan, February 2020
Interviews were conducted with nine crew members with confirmed COVID-19 on February 12, just before their disembarkation; three of these patients reported close contact with other crew members with confirmed COVID-19 before their symptoms began. These interviews indicated that infection had apparently spread among persons whose cabins were on the same deck (deck 3) and who worked in the same occupational group (food service), probably through contact or droplet spread, which is consistent with current understanding of COVID-19 transmission (2). Eight of 20 crew members with confirmed COVID-19 had cabin mates; investigators later learned that following disembarkation, as of March 4, five of the eight cabin mates had also developed COVID-19.
Content from External Source
I agree that they don't mention aerosols, but droplets are "airborne spread", I believe.
 
Last edited:

TheWacoKid

New Member
I'm hoping for some help from the metabunk community on this one. As I think it could be easy to disprove.

A couple of FB friends of mine have been circulating this and passing it off as evidence of a hoax. Proof that the media is lying. Basically, that the government is grossly exaggerating the severity and inflating numbers in order to "control" us. Why? I don't know. However, these particular FB friends are very entrenched into this world. So, it's no surprise.
92000302_10158176486325365_1962579043844882432_n.jpg
So, the top picture is a screenshot of an ABC broadcast showing a hospital room with the caption "horrifying scenes in Italian hospitals"

The bottom is undoubtedly the same photo from a different broadcast. However, it talks about the "center of the NYC epidemic".

The claim is that this is proof that they're using a staged hospital room. Or it could possibly be that they're using on room. Then, passing it off as the other as well. Hoping people won't catch it.


A few initial thoughts/easy explanations:

- The broadcast could have the caption about Italy and then cut away for a moment to the NYC hospital room to touch on how things are going in the states hot spots. Doing a comparison.

- I used to work in broadcasting. Sometimes you see stuff, believe it is one thing for some reason. Then, you find out it is another but you have already spliced it in. They also could be lazy producers and known... but decided to roll with the footage anyway. Or... their program director told them to simply "find hospital footage" without clarification.

I was hoping to find the broadcasts themselves for proper context. I cannot locate them, though. I believe this could rather easily be explained away if we just got a hold of the broadcast clips themselves. There is a reason these were screen shot out of context, IMO. They could have easily shown parts of the clips themselves if they wanted.

Anyone?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

deirdre

Senior Member.
I was hoping to find the broadcasts themselves for proper context
this article links both videos. the start timestamps are embedded so you just click play. https://pluralist.com/cbs-this-morning-coronavirus/

basically coumo is complaining the feds won't send him all the ventilators he wants. so it's possible the news agency is using Italy footage to show what happens once you run out of ventilators. OR they didn't have cool ventilator footage from NY so just used Italy... they did that with some shootings too early on, they would use Sandy Hook shooting footage since they didn't have [emotionally] illustrative footage from the shooting they were covering at the time.

im not linking all the info/video directly here because im sick and my head hurts, but the vids are easy to find in the above link.

edit add: tutorial.. I just googled the topic then scrolled a bit through images until I saw the one matching your pic. 1585786319386.png
 

Rory

Senior Member.

At 2:05 the narrator says "the mayor of Los Angeles says New York could be a preview of what's to come" over images of an old man receiving breathing assistance; the footage is actually from Bergamo, Italy, as originally broadcast in the Sky News report Deirdre linked to:

1585790417960.png
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=51&v=_J60fQr0GWo

I guess there must be a thing in US news (and elsewhere?) that means it's okay to do something like that.
 

Rory

Senior Member.
I wonder where the footage at 1:47 is from, when the narrator is talking about New Jersey? You can hear someone speaking at 1:51, but it doesn't sound like English.
 
Top