Wuhan Coronavirus (1/25/2020)
Due to the latency of the virus, the effects of the current active public health measures underway, media fatigue, and the extensive (and largely terrible) coverage in the media, an inevitable (and understandable) backlash is the invariable result.
Overly facile responses to what some consider ‘coronavirus hype’ often feature irresponsible comparisons of coronavirus to influenza mortality. Influenza infects 13,000,000 with 6,000 dead. There are treatments for influenza. Coronavirus kills upwards of 3 to 10%, and has a very long incubation, during which infected people are contagious.
For comparison, the mortality rate of the seasonal influenza virus is estimated at 0.59% (again with most deaths among older people). So, currently Wuhan Coronavirus is approximately 6 times more deadly than seasonal flu. Coronavirus is 2.3-4.6 times more likely to land a person in the ICU than the flu.
Bad, but not apocalyptic.
No other significant news to report, other than 1.) looks like the WHO is finally going all-in, declaring it a public health crisis of global significance 2.) Experts are worried that Africa could be a problem 3.) This strain appears to bind to ACE2, like other coronaviruses. 4.) There are some interactions between the viral glycoproteins and some of the surfactant receptors in the alveoli of the lower lungs, which may offer up opportunities to minimize risk progression to acute respiratory distress (looking into it)
Wuhan Virus 1/22/2020
Numbers stuff. Some respectable sources suspect that there could possibly be up to 1 million infected in China by early February. Currently 6000+ reported, but these are patients who actually tested positive for virus. The Chinese are no longer mass testing, so the current number of infected is undoubtably higher.
But there is a bit of a silver lining here: one thing you can’t under-report are the total number of dead people, which is currently somewhere under 200. This has led to a rather consistent 2.3% fatality rate, even as the number of confirmed cases grew from 2000 to 6000. However, if the number of unconfirmed cases is actually much higher, then the true mortality rate is probably actually much lower.
On the down side, there is also the obviously a lag-time between contracting the virus and developing symptoms (5-16 days) so there is always a gap between what we can see and what actually is.