MERS Coronavirus warning

Interesting.
Not being a scientist, I am not qualified to comment.

But at the end he says the word, could.
 
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Interesting.
Not being a scientist, I am not qualified to comment.

But at the end he says the word, could.
Interviewer: So what does that actually mean in terms of the virus.
Petrovsky: So what it means is that we really don't know where this virus has come from, that's the truth. The two possibilities which I think are both still open, are that firstly it was a chance transmission of a virus from an as yet unidentified animal to humans. The other possibility of course is that it was the accidental release of the virus from a laboratory.

The discussion after that basically goes along the lines of there is no evidence that the virus was man made, and most reputable scientists aren't going to believe it is without evidence.

The most that Petrovsky says about the virus originating in a lab is that he can't absolutely exclude the possibility.

What Petrovsky seems most concerned about is identifying the origin of the virus, as it if originated in the wild then there is an animal reservoir of this virus which could lead to another pandemic in a few years.

I've done some googling, and this story doesn't seem to have been picked up outside of a few tabloids (e.g. the Daily Mail) and a few pay-walled Australian sites.

Sky Australia seem to be hyping the story up more than Professor Petrovsky himself is, and there doesn't seem to be much interest from other news sources. Petrovsky's statements are based on computer modelling of the virus that he has done. There's been very little research into finding where the virus itself originated. There are thousands of bat corona viruses, and finding where in nature it originated means finding the right bat cave the original virus could have come from.

Petrovsky also said that new viruses arise all the time when an animal such as a pig gets infected with two or more viruses. The viruses will exchange genetic material when they meet, creating a new virus. He said that this happens all the time.

His basis for saying that the COVID-19 virus might possibly have originated in a lab is that the same process may have happened accidentally in a contaminated petri dish while a virus was being examined, and then a lab worker accidentally got infected, and then the lab worker spread that disease outside the laboratory.

The reasons why other scientists dismiss the lab origin as unlikely is that it piles numerous unlikely events on top of one another, making it highly improbable. By comparison, millions of animals get infected with thousands of different viruses all the time, with new viruses resulting from this on a regular basis in a well known and well understood process, making this the far more likely scenario by orders of magnitude. This is how new strains of flu originate every year, something that he mentions in the interview.

The interviewer didn't ask Professor Petrovsky about the possibility of the virus having been created by aliens or lizard people. I imagine that if he was being honest he couldn't categorically rule that out either at this time.
 
Hmm… I’m not really into conspiracy theories (they all say that!), but I wouldn’t be that surprised if Kung Flu had been given a leg up by the blokes in the white coats. Plus, I want to get a bite from terminal! *grin*
I’ve been digging around in recently published papers, and one in particular had some interesting data. The SARS-Cov-2 virus that causes COVID-19 (the given name of the actual disease) has a particularly large sequence of bases in it which match the human genome extremely closely. Seemingly, there are only two other common viruses that have a matching chunk of a similar magnitude somewhere: One is Hepatitis A, the other is Saint Louis encephalitis Saint Louis encephalitis - Wikipedia

Dons tinfoil hat, and ducks for cover…
 
To lighten the mood a bit.

I saw this doing the rounds on social media.


As I was bored I did some poking around. and found this news story:

In particular this quote:
“Making these kinds of statements might get you a lot of attention on Twitter, but it does nothing to help people understand what’s really happening,” said Jeffrey Howard, an assistant professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio who worked on a study that showed excess deaths in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. “People who aren’t trained and don’t have experience with assessing these data from the (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) can easily come away with very inaccurate conclusions.”

As of Friday, Florida had reported 2,495 deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The health department has announced 54,497 cases. In the department’s online dashboard, it reports provisional data showing 1,385 deaths tied to influenza and pneumonia this year.
As far as I can tell, from publicly available websites, there's only data up to 2018 available (Link1, Link2). So the newspaper seems to be berating stupid people for not understanding the data, while not understanding the data. I suppose that proves their point.

From what I've heard though there is widespread and significant undercounting. Basically the US is doing a China/Germany. But its something that will not be clear until the slow time number crunching over the next year or so.
 

Interesting comments on the hurdles to vaccine development, eg ARDS and T immunopathology already discussed at length here.

Hopefully, the pitfalls of these inappropriate immune enhancements/defects can be avoided.
 
I think the general public have said far queue to lockdown, Boris and Cummings.

I went out for a walk today for the first time in three months (not because of lockdown but because I am a fat lazy bastard).

I have never seen so many people out on the river and the canal next to it. Large numbers of kids partying by the river; dozens of people on the canal - far more than I have ever seen before; Asian families on the canal - something I have never seen before; three street gatherings/piss-ups of about six to eight people in close proximity; one street quiz with no distancing; groups of cyclists clearly not from the same family; and more.

Hello second wave.

Game over man.
 
No, not because of anything that's happening now. But maybe in the future when the herd immunity we've accumulated has worn off.

Science.

See the above Guardian article for a supporting reference.
Temporary immunity is more the thing with coronaviruses.

Stretching out the time it hangs around (flattening the hill) by isolation of the healthy population just gives it the opportunity to stay circulating at some constant volume higher than the average of the typical, seasonal hills and valleys (consider seasonal winter cold and flu when everyone is generally stuck inside together with poor air circulation concentrating the nasties, hmmm).

More than anything, multiple exposure to coronaviruses (including vaccines) just seem to lead to runaway immune response causing ARDS. The more times you've been exposed, the more likely you'll finally reach the deathlurgy end game for any respiratory virus.
 
It looks like the UK's covid-19 death toll wasn't because of BoJo or Brexit:


View attachment 478289
He is clearly extremely eminent in neuroscience.

However, I wonder if he is having an "out of speciality/expertise" moment. These are very common in science when renowned scientists get involved outside their area of expertise - Fred Hoyle, Linus Pauling, Einstein, Darwin, Lord Kelvin etc.

The article raises a few red flags.

Invoking Feynman for no apparent reason is merely an appeal to authority. Despite being one of the greatest physicists ever, his two autobiographies contain nothing on any medical subjects.

Suggesting there is some sort of "immunological dark matter" is just a wild stab in the dark at saying "no idea". Cosmologists know that dark matter is very likely to be real because regions of "nothing" exert demonstrable gravity, for which some form of matter is the only viable cause.

I think the differences between Britain and Germany are far more likely to be down to differences in recording and reporting, different health care structures, centralised versus regional health authorities and a host of other reasons. I will leave out deliberate under-reporting as I rather like Germans and Germany.

The notion that the Boxheads are protected by "immunological dark matter" is bullshit as they are no different to their neighbours. Germans are not a different species to French, Belgians or Italians. Nor is the German population any more geographically dispersed than its neighbours (and certainly not France).
 
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The notion that the Boxheads are protected by "immunological dark matter" is bullshit as they are no different to their neighbours. Germans are not a different species to French, Belgians or Italians. Nor is the German population any more geographically dispersed than its neighbours (and certainly not France).
More likely "lack of immunological dark matter" as they'll be Aryan, innit? After all, the 'rona is racist.
 
The master race ?
 
Invoking Feynman for no apparent reason is merely an appeal to authority. Despite being one of the greatest physicists ever, his two autobiographies contain nothing on any medical subjects.
They do have several stories of him floundering with things he wasn't familiar with. ISTR the discussion of blueprints of a warehouse where radioactive material was being stored was an issue for him because he didn't understand the drawing convention.
 
We enter Phase 2 of the return to a new normality (yep, the official gov words, not mine) tomorrow in this area of Spain. Another 2 deaths and 464 new cases yesterday which brings the number of deaths to 39 in the last week.
We have no hospitalised patients with CV-19 in our health area and just one death (a chap from Madrid) in the last week.

Phase 2 means shopping malls can open but with only 40% of the listed number of customers (including staff) and no seating or children areas allowed to open. Restaurants and bars can open inside with 2m distance between tables, no bar service and only single sachets of sauces etc (Spanish won't like that as they binned the EU idea of getting rid of olive oil bottles some years ago).
No restrictions on exercise periods, going for walks and so on except for the over 70s who are still restricted to 10 to 12 noon and 7 to 8pm in the evening although they can go to a bar or restaurant at any time.

We can have up to 15 in our homes or at a restaurant but with a 2m distance from those not in the same households.

We still have to wear face masks everywhere if the 2m rule can't be followed and at all times in shops (unless you have a note from your doctors about respiratory probs or anxiety etc when a face shield can be worn).
Still only allowed to travel in our own province. Not allowed to go to another province until 21st June.

Tourists from about 3 or 4 low risk countries may be allowed in from June 15th (not UK) but other tourists from 1st July when those living in Spain will be allowed to travel between regions.

Not many people respecting the exercise times which are in place for all towns with a population of more than 10,000 and are going out when they feel like it. They are keeping their distance, though, and the beaches have been opened since yesterday and people are keeping a long way from each other.

Quite a lot of bars in our main street have closed for good along with some of the shops and probably won't open ever again. Rents and taxes probably did for them which is a shame. Two particularly good restaurants have gone forever as they had no outside terraces which they could open.

The similar to furloughing system stops at the end of June but they have introduce a minimum income which will guarantee people not earning about 500 euro a week. The furloughing system provided 70% of their pay (same as the unemployment benefit paid for 6 months) and many of the bigger firms topped it up to 100%.

Will be interesting to see how many of the designer stores at the malls reopen as they were pretty under used anyway (Prada, Tommy Hilifiger, Pierre Cardin and so on) but Primark (yes, we have one here) have already put up queue barriers. Zara will no doubt survive but not sure of places like Masssimo Dutti which we only used when they had big sales on.

Swimming pools can open next week but the restrictions on numbers and the cleaning regime may make it impossible for them to do so. Indoor sports centres and gyms can open but everything has to be disinfected between users and the indoor showers can't be used until the next phase in a fortnight time. Also restricted to 30% of users.

The mad, mad, mad (etc) world continues.
 
I fired myself a couple of months ago due to the economic turn down, certainly not because I made too much to get the "one time only" $1200 vacation check. However, the extra $600 per week added to the full strength unemployment has just about made up for that, and my lack of work.
 

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Are we, the UK, the only country in the world to set up an advisory group with the sole intention of countering advice and information that comes from the 'official' SAGE group?

There could not be anything designed to muddy the waters than having a group criticising advice purely for the sake of opposition.

I think this "Independent" SAGE is not independent at all and is even more political than the official SAGE.

Does anyone know who is paying for the work of this 'independent' group?
 
Are we, the UK, the only country in the world to set up an advisory group with the sole intention of countering advice and information that comes from the 'official' SAGE group?

There could not be anything designed to muddy the waters than having a group criticising advice purely for the sake of opposition.
I reckon it could get more confusing if they chose exactly the same acronym as the official advisory group so that when something is reported as 'SAGE says' no one is quite sure which group is being referred to.

The only way they could make it even more confusing is to label the new group the 'independent' group when the existing group are also described as being 'independent' from government policy and politics.

Anyone would think at that stage it was a cynical and deliberate attempt at impersonation :rolleyes:
 

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