Book Reviewer
Further to the general thread here:

For those with an interest, The Economist Intelligence Unit is running another Web seminar tomorrow Monday 17th Feb 08:00 UK time.

Coronavirus : A Special on Infectious Diseases in Asia

Video Conferencing, Web Conferencing, Webinars, Screen Sharing - you will need a product called Zoom to access the content.

Check your system download policy - pretty sure DII will not allow.

The earlier one on the economic impact of the Coronavirus in East Asia was of interest.

" Dear Goats,

Thank you for registering for "Coronavirus : A Special on Infectious Diseases in Asia".

Please submit any questions to:

Date Time: Feb 17, 2020 04:00 PM Singapore

Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device:

Description: The outbreak of a novel coronavirus originating in the central Chinese city of Wuhan is neither the first, nor will it be the last of new infectious diseases spreading globally.

As the virus spreads further in Asia, we invite Ivy Teh, Global Managing Director and Chee Hew, Director of Data Analytics & Consulting at EIU Healthcare to share our views. '

[Ivy holds an MBA from Schulich School of Business, York University (Canada) and BSc (Hons) in Medical Physics from McMaster University (Canada). Prior to co-founding Clearstate, Ivy headed the Singapore and Malaysia operations of Synovate Business Consulting (now Ipsos).]

Posted ' for the good and benefit of the troop ' and FWIW.


Book Reviewer

75 confirmed cases in Singapore.

15 cases in USA,same in Aus.

from the EIU seminar (ongoing now): Note: these are quoted from the two Panel members, not my views.

- Chinese company 'Life River' has allegedly produced a testing kit which is quote 100% accurate unquote.
- Plasma has been collected from recovered patients, antibodies have proved effective in treating new cases.
- Singapore has 19 recovered patients.
- noted that Indonesia has thus far reported no cases ( is this credible?) Has only three labs capable of testing for COVID-19.
- Singapore (only 4M pop) has set up a multi department task force to track and isolate cases
- Thailand is a key medical hub in Asia - has a strong diagnostic infrastructure. Collaborate closely with W.H.O
- key Points - Improve Detection ; -GPS location of cases can improve control
- Prevention - Big Data and AI can improve surveillance and predict spread.
- Telehealth technology can help keep patients at home and prevent spread to health care workers
- Health security preparedness requires ongoing and sustainable funding R&D . NGOs may enable?

- In Wuhan, family members are not allowed to see/handle deceased family mebers; reduces transmission rates.

From Q&A:
' Favilavir has been approved as a drug against COVID 19, saw it in the news just now - which organization/s will be tracking its efficacy? '

' Regarding 30-50% accuracy, is there any number about the false positive/negative rate of the current diagnostic test? '

---------------- ----------------- - session ends - --------------------------

A search of Reuters and AFP sites this am reveals no results for Favilavir. Only mention so far is from China Daily site.

For Infection Control Nurses:

The (German) Wiki entry linked to this piece in the Journal of Hospital Infection , which discusses whether the COVID-19 virus can survive on door knobs, inanimate objects and surfaces. dated 22 Jan 2020


Currently, the emergence of a novel human coronavirus, temporary named 2019-nCoV, has become a global health concern causing severe respiratory tract infections in humans. Human-to-human transmissions have been described with incubation times between 2-10 days, facilitating its spread via droplets, contaminated hands or surfaces. We therefore reviewed the literature on all available information about the persistence of human and veterinary coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces as well as inactivation strategies with biocidal agents used for chemical disinfection, e.g. in healthcare facilities.

The analysis of 22 studies reveals that human coronaviruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronavirus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus or endemic human coronaviruses (HCoV) can persist on inanimate surfaces like metal, glass or plastic for up to 9 days, but can be efficiently inactivated by surface disinfection procedures with 62-71% ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite within 1 minute.

Other biocidal agents such as 0.05-0.2% benzalkonium chloride or 0.02% chlorhexidine digluconate are less effective. As no specific therapies are available for 2019-nCoV, early containment and prevention of further spread will be crucial to stop the ongoing outbreak and to control this novel infectious thread.

W.H.O info here : Infection prevention and control

Wiki entry (original in German) :

During the Ebola epidemic of 2014, Japan offered to WHO to supply favipiravir when needed. [7] On October 4, 2014 French nurse who was MSF treated with favipiravir and survived an infection with Ebola virus, which they had contracted in Liberia. [8]

The World Health Organization wrote in a statement that it was ethically acceptable in the course of the Ebola fever epidemic 2014 to use preventive or therapeutic medication without proof of its effectiveness in humans, if promising results could be shown in animal experiments. [9]

In February 2020, favipiravir was tested in China in a first randomized study as an antiviral therapy against the coronavirus COVID-19 . [10] Favipiravir received short-term approval on February 16, 2020 as an effective antiviral against COVID-19 for five years. It is now being produced in China under the name Favilavir.
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Book Reviewer
'Coughing Like I Was Going to Die.' Here’s What It’s Like to Survive the Coronavirus in Wuhan

Timely Patient's-eye view of the progression of the disease - and the initial chaos in Wuhan, centre of the outbreak.

Nine days later on Feb. 7, another set of nucleic acid tests came back negative for the virus, but Ye wasn’t out of the woods. After reports that even patients who tested negative could slip into critical distress, the local government quarantined him in a hotel that had been turned into a makeshift hospital. Police stood guard outside to prevent anyone from leaving or entering.

Ye was allowed to go home five days later, ending a saga that began more than three weeks ago. He‘s thankful he survived, and salutes the doctors and nurses who put their own lives at risk to help him. Some doctors told him they suspected they had the virus, but continued to treat patients.
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Book Reviewer
The reason I have a close personal interest in this issue is because I spent 3 weeks in ICU Easter 2018, with severe pneumonia. The cause was a nasty bug identified as Chlamydia psittacosi (NOT an avian flu virus)

I was on a ventilator for ten days, first in my local hospital and then put on ECMO in London.
At the time, there were only five of these machines in the UK.
My recovery is.... ongoing.

I have posted here, not because I am a medical practitioner like you gods in scrubs, just Joe sixpack trying to understand what happened to me. But this video gives a simple overview of how ventilating patients has changed in the last twenty years - I'm sure most of you know this stuff already. I'm sure @kandak01 is all over it....



Book Reviewer
From a friend of mine -Teacher, 40s, 'Twiggy' - a confirmed COVID-19 patient shares her view of what atypical symptoms feel like, first-hand, for info:

As far as I can tell, I am dealing with the Covid 19 virus, though, I know, without a test how can anyone be sure. Here are features I have encountered. They might help you spot atypical symptoms.

Late, last Saturday, BIZARRELY loud stomach sounds, like a singing WHALE!...Sunday afternoon, and something I never suffer from, ordinarily, relentless watery upset stomach, late Monday evening a “floating feeling” like being giddy and disorientated. At that point, having been told that a sudden super high fever preceded by a scratchy throat and dry cough was the indicator of the virus, I just thought I’d picked a bad bug so had carried on trying to work as normal. I felt nauseous in waves and that has continued throughout...and is still hanging in.

Suddenly, on Tuesday night I noticed my glands up in my throat, then a prickly sore throat high up. I gargled and used other stuff to help it. Suddenly I got a pointless dry cough that was almost involuntary. I cancelled my work and stayed at home, still unsure of the problem as I had no fever and, initially, my symptoms were weird. Since Wednesday morning I have holed up in bed, slept, drank water, slept and truly couldn’t face eating.

In fact, now, I cannot taste ANYTHING...everything tastes like a rusty tin can. I can’t smell food other, even though I haven’t really had a problem with my sinuses or nose. Friday morning my temperature got to 104.1 but as I didn’t really understand what Fahrenheit means it wasn’t truly aware that it was that hot. Paracetamol works well.

Still got a temperature and nausea and now cough has evolved into something very rattling a deep down and my lungs have gone from feeling bruised to feeling like water filled. I can get rid of the stuff so that’s manageable. They said it was a dry cough but mine didn’t STAY like that.

I am going to be fine. We found isolating in a small house unmanageable so all resigned to “getting it”. Still not sure how long I will be infectious for and would appreciate any info you might have on that. Hopefully you won’t encounter ANY of this... but at least you know stuff to look out for



Book Reviewer
SK is a vocation and profession. She's tough....but ridiculously frail. Hold her in your hearts.


Book Reviewer
Hopefully her sense of smell and taste will return.

Morning All,
Just received this, no doubt a q&a sheet. I don't want to open it on this device.


  • Screenshot_20200324-182638_WhatsApp.jpg
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Book Reviewer
some old bozo said:
SK is a vocation and profession. She's tough....but ridiculously frail. PLEASE Hold her in your hearts.

My friend 'Twiggy' has updated people on her condition. I hope she won't mind me sharing ( I'll buy her a pint of cider at the first opportunity)

Ok...and it is THURSDAY.. that is 11 days since the upset stomach... 8 days since the first prickly throat and dry cough... and in-between, some huge temperatures despite being convinced I am freezing. On Monday and Tuesday, this week, I was SURE that I was through the worst and tried being in the sunlight in the back garden to get back stronger. TUESDAY night, this week, the illness dug in again... and on Wednesday I woke with lungs that were “bubbling” with liquid and I was even more aware of dragging breath in, breath by breath. I fell back into bed all yesterday, just slept for the day and most of the evening.. I think I have developed a chest infection but getting treatment for it is impossible. I promised myself, today, that, come hell of high water, I would talk to SOMEONE at 111 and see if I could get some antibiotics but thankfully, I am a million times more comfy TODAY so have decided against. What bemuses me is that, if our family has travelled through this TOTALLY off radar and nobody in the health service knows that the virus is in our home, how many OTHERS are struggling in the same way. This means that EVERYONE must keep their distance, keep great hygiene practices up, isolate as requested because I honestly don’t think the country knows how widespread this is. I started off just under 9 stone. I am a little above 8 stone today. I THINK that I may have smelled BACON today... though I couldn’t taste, life I feel, for me, may be in the up... hoping you are digging in and doing whatever you need to get by.

She's about 5'9 .... built like a whippet...turn sideways and she disappears.
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Book Reviewer
Seems this topic has been thoroughly exhausted - but for what it's worth, here's a brief dit from the Irish lad who was in Wuhan when this all kicked off. He then spent a further 14 days in quarantine in the Wirral .

I think he knows from firsthand experience what he's talking about.

Anyway, for the good and benefit of the Arrse Troop:

stay safe groovers.
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Book Reviewer


Book Reviewer
Posted in another thread...

Dr John Campbell's concise section on how New Zealand has achieved considerable success in keeping this bastard thing at bay can be seen HERE



Book Reviewer
And here, for clinicians and stats geeks :
Talking about a recent JAMA study into 5700 cases in New York.

Comorbidities : High Blood Pressure - Diabetes mellitus - Obesity

14% of those admitted to hospital required Intensive care treatment.

Median age of those admitted to ICU was 68.
A question for the quacks and pill-pushers amongst us. The vaccine mentioned in the link, how effective does it have to be before it's considered usable? Given that we've no defence against the virus now, is something that is, say, only 10% effective better than nothing, at least as a first line of defence after social distancing?

Perhaps in normal times 10% would be a "fail" but these days...?


8 year old girl we know has made these for nurses who are wearing face masks.
They fasten the mask behind the head, the little girl didn't want the nurses getting sore ears because of the masks elastic bands cutting in.

My Mrs was bawling her eyes out because of her.... And the little girl makes cup cakes which she's selling to raise funds.
All because her grandparents who have been gone for 3 years always told her and her sister to look after the lady next door because she's a nurse and you'll need her one day.

Fecking dusty in here...


Book Reviewer
A question for the quacks and pill-pushers amongst us. The vaccine mentioned in the link, how effective does it have to be before it's considered usable? Given that we've no defence against the virus now, is something that is, say, only 10% effective better than nothing, at least as a first line of defence after social distancing?

Perhaps in normal times 10% would be a "fail" but these days...?

The whole issue of a usable vaccine is overshadowed - categorically in the States and to some degree elsewhere - by the need to pass Food & Drug Administration criteria.

Not least, because of the presence in America of the unhinged Anti-Vax movement, who have already been responsible pre-COVID19 for one of the worst outbreaks of common old-fashioned Measles since Edwardian times.

Do not underestimate also the money angle: whoever comes up with a viable vaccine first to market will have a licence to print it.

Welcome to the pitiless world of ' Big Pharma '

Sunday Tel had a comparative double page spread this weekend, on the various efforts currently underway across the whole world to produce a working jab.

In UK, the Oxford Vaccine Trial - which won't report until OCTOBER 2020 - has literally just started human trials.

An earlier anti-viral treatment from a U.S company called Gilead was initially taken up for production in China.

They produce a drug called Remdesivir - originally developed ten years ago as a possible weapon in the drug arsenal against Ebola.

Suitably equivocal Washington Post piece here

Key phrase - ' Don' t expect a magic bullet '

Disclaimer: I am neither a quack nor a pill-pusher, just worked with a herd of them for six years and taken an interest in the subject. Ping @theoriginalphantom or @jockparamedic for another view.


Book Reviewer
This today;


What the bare stat on 'New Cases' does NOT show is

- current hospital caseload
- number of recovered patients.

It also shows a gradual rise since Mid-August.

An update from Dr John Campbell.
I've been watching the graphs on the BBC website:

Unfortunately, they're not consistent in which graphs they produce so it's difficult to keep track of what is happening. One example of this are graphs they produced that showed the effects by age and ethnicity etc. Suddenly, the BBC stopped producing them. The blurb is just a rehash of the previous day's words with several paragraphs unchanged despite the data indicating something new.

Also, I can't find a way to view archived graphs so it's largely a case of trusting to memory to estimate trends.

ONS is generally a good source but they're slow in producing data. Good info for budding authors of future history books but limited for those of us who want to get a grasp of what's happening now and likely to happen in the near future.

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