Tag Archives: viruses

Time to reconsider the COVID-19 shutdown?

“Financial markets paused their slide Thursday, but no one should think this rolling economic calamity is over. If this government-ordered shutdown continues for much more than another week or two, the human cost of job losses and bankruptcies will exceed what most Americans imagine. This won’t be popular to read in some quarters, but federal and state officials need to start adjusting their anti-virus strategy now to avoid an economic recession that will dwarf the harm from 2008-2009.” click here

What is the general population mortality rate of COVID-19? (Infection rate does not equal mortality rate.)

It is impossible to calculate a reliable rate of infection in the general population. For any infectious disease, there will be members of the population (e.g, Typhoid Mary) who will be asymptomatic (infected but show no symptoms). Some people will be infected but not seriously ill so they will not be tested or counted. Even some who are tested positive may not be because of false positive test results.

But data talks….You can count fatalities. So what is the general population mortality rate of COVID-19?

“Italy has had 3,400 COVID-19 deaths. They average nearly 23,000 flu deaths per year.” click here

How many lives were (or will be) lost (or disability life-years lost) due to the consequences of the coronavirus economic shutdown?

“But here is a prediction: If the government can order society to cease functioning, from restaurants and other businesses to schools, due to a possible health disaster, it is highly likely that a Democratic president and Congress will similarly declare emergency and assert authoritarian rule in order to prevent what they consider the even greater “existential threat” to human life posed by global warming.” click here

Is COVID-19 “a once-in-a-century” fiasco?

“The current coronavirus disease, Covid-19, has been called a once-in-a-century pandemic. But it may also be a once-in-a-century evidence fiasco.” click here

COVID-19 not detected in drinking water

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that COVID-19 has not been detected in drinking water. Conventional water treatment methods of filtration and disinfection — which are in most municipal drinking water systems — should remove or inactivate the virus causing COVID-19.” click here

Sensitive subpopulations (e.g. people with weakened immune systems) are always at greater risk of death from opportunistic pathogens (This is not a new finding.)

Severe Outcomes Among Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) — United States, February 12–March 16, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 18 March 2020. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6912e2external icon


What is already known about this topic?

Early data from China suggest that a majority of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) deaths have occurred among adults aged ≥60 years and among persons with serious underlying health conditions.

What is added by this report?

This first preliminary description of outcomes among patients with COVID-19 in the United States indicates that fatality was highest in persons aged ≥85, ranging from 10% to 27%, followed by 3% to 11% among persons aged 65–84 years, 1% to 3% among persons aged 55-64 years, <1% among persons aged 20–54 years, and no fatalities among persons aged ≤19 years.

What are the implications for public health practice?

COVID-19 can result in severe disease, including hospitalization, admission to an intensive care unit, and death, especially among older adults. Everyone can take actions, such as social distancing, to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect older adults from severe illness.

COVID-19 false-positive rate for “asymptomatic infected individuals” during screening estimated at up to 80%???

G H Zhuang, M W Shen, L X Zeng, B B Mi, F Y Chen, W J Liu, L L Pei, X Qi, C Li. [Potential False-Positive Rate Among the ‘Asymptomatic Infected Individuals’ in Close Contacts of COVID-19 Patients] Zhonghua Liu Xing Bing Xue Za Zhi, 41 (4), 485-488

Objective: As the prevention and control of COVID-19 continues to advance, the active nucleic acid test screening in the close contacts of the patients has been carrying out in many parts of China. However, the false-positive rate of positive results in the screening has not been reported up to now. But to clearify the false-positive rate during screening is important in COVID-19 control and prevention.

Methods: Point values and reasonable ranges of the indicators which impact the false-positive rate of positive results were estimated based on the information available to us at present. The false-positive rate of positive results in the active screening was deduced, and univariate and multivariate-probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed to understand the robustness of the findings.

Results: When the infection rate of the close contacts and the sensitivity and specificity of reported results were taken as the point estimates, the positive predictive value of the active screening was only 19.67%, in contrast, the false-positive rate of positive results was 80.33%. The multivariate-probabilistic sensitivity analysis results supported the base-case findings, with a 75% probability for the false-positive rate of positive results over 47%.

Conclusions: In the close contacts of COVID-19 patients, nearly half or even more of the ‘asymptomatic infected individuals’ reported in the active nucleic acid test screening might be false positives.