Coronavirus: Just A Nasty Dose of Flu?

How serious is the new coronavirus epidemic?

A sense of anxiety is growing in Wuhan as the Chinese city goes into lockdown in an effort to control the spread of a new virus which has left 17 dead.

The authorities have suspended planes and trains in and out of the city of 11 million people, as well as buses, subways and ferries.

Residents have been told not to leave. Worried about a food shortage, one said it felt like “the end of the world”.

There are more than 500 confirmed cases of the virus, which has spread abroad.

It’s already spread to several other countries

I suppose that the Chinese authorities must think it very serious if they feel that it’s necessary to place a city with a population of 11 million under lockdown.

What’s been happening with Ebola, by the way? Is the latest outbreak over yet? Anything but, it would seem. The Ebola epidemic in the Congo, which began in 2018, is still growing, with 3804 cases in total, and 2224 deaths, up until the end of December 2019:

There seems to currently be about 1000 cases of the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic, and 17 deaths: so 98% of victims survive. In the case of Ebola in the Congo, with 3804 cases, only 41% of those infected survive.

So the Coronavirus epidemic is spreading much more rapidly than the Ebola epidemic. But is it any more dangerous than, say, influenza? Perhaps not:

The case-fatality rate is central to pandemic planning. While estimates of case-fatality (CF) rates for past influenza pandemics have ranged from about 0.1% (1957 and 1968 pandemics) to 2.5% (1918 pandemic)

Case-fatality rate with the current Coronavirus epidemic is about 2%, which is similar to the influenza epidemic of 1918.

Another estimate gives a figure of 1723 cases by 12 January 2020, which with 17 deaths is a 1% case-fatality rate.

The Coronavirus epidemic looks like it’s pretty much just a nasty case of ‘flu.

About Frank Davis

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12 Responses to Coronavirus: Just A Nasty Dose of Flu?

  1. Radical Rodent says:

    Another “epidemic” to keep the fear-factor elevated, now that global warming (aka climate change) is losing its fizz. It seems essential that we have some fear or other bubbling away.

  2. beobrigitte says:

    The Coronavirus epidemic looks like it’s pretty much just a nasty case of ‘flu.
    Unfortunately for us it is extremely nasty as our immune system finds it incredibly hard to deal with new strains of micro-organisms.

    What’s been happening with Ebola, by the way? Is the latest outbreak over yet? Anything but, it would seem. The Ebola epidemic in the Congo, which began in 2018, is still growing, with 3804 cases in total, and 2224 deaths, up until the end of December 2019:
    And the WHO is still wasting money on the so-called “tobacco epidemic”. Enough said.

    Given the choice of death of preference I choose to be a laughing “victim” of the so called Tobacco Epidemic. I wouldn’t last 50 years (my tobacco consumer time until now) with Ebola or this new Corona virus strain.

  3. Clicky says:

  4. Joe L. says:

    Debate over the level of virulence aside, it’s interesting to note that as of today, the WHO refuses to label the coronavirus–a contagious pathogen which is spreading across the globe and is directly responsible for the deaths of at least 17 people–as a “Global Health Emergency,” yet the same WHO has labeled tobacco as a “Global Health Epidemic” for over a decade. Priorities …

  5. Joe L. says:

    It’s hard to trust “official” numbers from any government, but that is especially true for China. I wonder if the reported numbers of infections and deaths are much lower than the actual figures. I just came across multiple links to cell phone videos from China posted on people’s Twitter feeds showing people collapsed in the middle of sidewalks and streets being tended to by people in hazmat suits.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Or the reservoir may be in Wuhan laboratory

      in February 2017, Nature penned an extensive profile of what it called the “Chinese lab poised to study world’s most dangerous pathogens.” The location of this BSL-4 rated lab? Why, Wuhan.

      A quick read of what this lab was meant to do, prompts the immediate question whether the coronavirus epidemic isn’t a weaponized virus that just happened to escape the lab:

      • Joe L. says:

        Indeed, Frank! I read about the Wuhan BSL-4 lab last night, and the pieces of the puzzle started coming together. Which scenario is more likely: the official story, which claims that this new strain of coronavirus originated from seafood at a fish market in Wuhan, China, or that it originated due to sloppy safety procedures at a BSL-4-rated biohazard lab in Wuhan, China?

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