March 1st, 2020

2009

Coronavirus panic vs reality

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https://www.boston.com/news/health/2020/03/01/coronavirus-may-have-spread-undetected-for-weeks-in-u-s
The coronavirus has been circulating undetected and has possibly infected scores of people over the past six weeks in Washington state
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https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22461675
Up to 3,000 have died from COVID so far, mostly in Hubei. Hubei has a population of ~60 million, which is ~18% of the US population. About 60,000 people died from flu-related illness last year in the US. The same proportion in Hubei would be 10,800.

So it seems it is demonstrably less harmful than flu. Why China or the World is reacting the way is it will be a great question 3-6 months from now in retrospect.
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US did not test patients for Coronavirus:
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https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22451866
voidmain
The guidelines for testing were so absurdly stringent because there was almost no testing capacity in the US, despite their being hundreds of labs with RTPCR equipment, because the CDC screwed up their test kits and the FDA used emergency powers to prohibit labs from developing their own tests, and forbids the creation of commercial test kits and the importation of foreign ones. Three weeks after CDC (after an already unconscionable delay) shipped the non working tests, they have "fixed" this situation by permitting labs to use the 2 of the 3 primers in the original test that mostly work. So as of yesterday we are starting to have the ability to actually test, and the criteria are being loosened.
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"If we did not test you for coronavirus - you do not have coronavirus" logic:
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https://www.reddit.com/r/nyc/comments/fayko1/my_covid19_story_brooklyn/
They discharged me, said I don't have Corona virus, since they didn't test me for it
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https://www.reddit.com/r/nyc/comments/fayko1/my_covid19_story_brooklyn/fj2jib4/
DONTYOUDEER
The buzzfeed article stated exactly what the faulty reagent is: the DNA primers are causing unreliable test results. Designing working dna primers is not by any means a difficult task for any half-competent wet lab biologist. That said, I'm unsure why the CDC had to design their own instead of using the primers being used in Hong Kong. There's gross incompetence all around and given that the CDC has been defunded for the last few years, the folks there are probably in chaos like a headless chicken.
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Originally posted at: https://dennisgorelik.dreamwidth.org/182178.html