Coronavirus epidemic news

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Long time site visitors will remember that Joe and I were very concerned about the Ebola epidemic several years ago. Of course, as it turned out, the disease was contained mostly in Africa.

Now there's a new pandemic developing in China. It's so new that the basic transmission parameters are a matter of guesswork. But, Chris Martenson is concerned that this could be much more dangerous than Ebola was. He recommends getting ready with your preps now.

https://www.peakprosperity.com/coronavirus/

 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Several other "alt media" sites have weighed in on the 2019-nCoV epidemic.

Kit Knightly at OffGuardian thinks it's being blown all out of proportion, to enhance drug company profits, or to derail the Chinese economy and prepare the way for martial law, or maybe both.

https://off-guardian.org/2020/01/24/reality-check-coronavirus-fear-porn/

The simple reality is that this new virus strain is currently affecting a group of people the size of a small primary school, and has killed fewer than a bad traffic pile-up or a medium-sized drone strike.
So why the lockdown? Why the fear?
Usually, that means at least one agenda. Maybe more than one.
[...]
If you’re agenda-spotting in this case, be on the lookout for a “new” medicine getting rushed through patent offices. This anti-coronavirus drug will then be bought-up in huge amounts by hospitals and health services the world over.
Whichever of the handful of pharmagiants owns the patent will get a huge profit boom, plus the soaring stock prices that go along with owning the miracle cure to the scary disease du jour.
[...]
Generally speaking, fear is always useful. If you can frighten people they do whatever you say. A fact known to leaders and propagandists for centuries.
Following the Boston bombing, despite the manhunt being for just two alleged bombers, the entire city of Boston was put on lockdown. The national guard rolled tanks down the street, and nobody said a word.
Right now, despite fewer than 30 deaths, millions of Chinese people are under a “lockdown”. Public gatherings are being halted. That’s power you can’t buy.
It never hurts to normalise the idea of martial law. After all, you don’t know when you might need it for real.
Moon of Alabama is hoping that the epidemic will be controlled soon. He posted an interesting chart comparing propagation rate (R0) and mortality rates of the new coronavirus vs. well-known diseases. Based on the scanty and preliminary data available so far, the new virus is probably less contagious and less fatal than diptheria, pertussis, polio, rubella or smallpox. But that's a pretty dangerous ballpark to be playing in.

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/01/the-coronavirus-no-need-to-panic.html



Writing at Global Research, Larry Romanoff says that both the SARS virus and this new 2019-nCoV virus were bioengineered to target persons of Chinese ethnicity.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/chinas-new-coronavirus-an-examination-of-the-facts/5701662

Notable is that while SARS spread to about 40 countries, the infections in most countries were few and deaths almost zero, and it was exclusively (or almost exclusively) Chinese who were infected, those in Hong Kong most seriously, with Mainland China suffering little by comparison.
This appears to be precisely the case with this new virus, in that most of the infected persons (sofar) are Chinese. News reports speak of infections appearing in Thailand or the US, but those (at least to date of writing) were all Chinese who had been to Wuhan. There have been no cases so far of infected Caucasians.
As with SARS, this new virus appears to be tightly-focused to Chinese. At this stage it is too early to draw specific conclusions.
We might in other circumstances pass this off as an unfortunate coincidence but for some major circumstantial events that serve to alter our focus. ....
Chris Martenson is working very hard on researching the virus, and he thinks it's a much bigger epidemic than the Chinese are admitting. There are heartbreaking photographs of people dying in hospital corridors, and pictures of bulldozers piling up rocks to block highways in and out of major cities.

So I can't say I know what's going on. But for now I'm going with my Malthusian eschatological biases, and taking Martenson's advice. I bought some elderberry syrup, and checked my supplies of N95 antiviral face masks.

 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
More updates to put this epidemic into perspective. While we have some good information in these articles, and some misconceptions are corrected, there are still many unknowns.

The Wuhan Coronavirus: A Tentative Clinical Profile

(by Annie Sparrow, writing in 'Foreign Policy')​
We do not know how lethal the new coronavirus is. While the single figures of deaths in early January seemed reassuring, the death toll has now climbed to above 3 percent. This may indicate better reporting—or the lethal lag time (the time for those infected to die). Another big unknown is the risk factors that would lead infection in a deadly direction. Certainly, some adults have compromised immune systems due to chronic illnesses. Of these, 15 percent have died, with higher fatality rates among older patients and those with co-morbidities of diabetes, hypertension, or coronary artery disease. However, most patients with severe illness were healthy to begin with, including a 30-year-old man who recently died.
Even trickier than treatment is detecting the virus. In quarantined Wuhan, dozens of fever clinics are singling out anyone with a fever of 99.1 degrees Fahrenheit or above—the cardinal sign for 98 percent of pneumonia cases—and then interviewing them about possible exposure to the coronavirus. In theory, this sounds reasonable.
In practice, it is the screening from hell. Early symptoms of fever and cough are clinically indistinguishable from the usual winter suspects, such as influenza, while fever is an undifferentiated sign, common to hundreds of noninfective diseases from allergies to arthritis. Even pregnancy elevates body temperature.
Because 110,000 people (about 1 percent of the population) in Wuhan might have a febrile illness at any given time, clinics, hospitals, and medical personnel are overwhelmed, short on lab tests and personal protective equipment.

Wuhan coronavirus -- ... An evidence based hypothesis

(Interview with Dr. Daniel Lucey)​
...the presumed rapid spread of the virus apparently for the first time from the Huanan seafood market in December did not occur. Instead the virus was already silently spreading in Wuhan hidden amidst many other patients with pneumonia at this time of year. ...
If in fact the virus was silently spreading unrecognized amidst other types of pneumonia in Wuhan, in the absence of a specific diagnostic test, for several months before its discovery in early January 2020, then the virus was already present across parts of Wuhan and other places in Hubei province, other parts of China, and even in limited numbers to some other countries. Thus, China could not have instituted earlier control measures against an undiscovered virus.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
The city of Wuhan in China has been almost entirely shut down. No traffic, no public transportation, no schools, no meetings, no work, and stores rapidly being emptied of all products. The lockdown has been going on for a week now, but there's little if any sign that the propagation of the virus has slowed down.

 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
New research indicates that the Wuhan coronavirus causes pneumonia by targeting a cellular receptor channel known as ACE-2 which exists in lung cells. In this regard it is identical to the SARS virus. This is explained in another video by Chris Martenson, who also notes that men generally have more of these ACE-2 receptors than women, leading to a higher incidence of 2019-nCoV in Chinese men.


But, is ACE-2 also an ethically related variable? As noted above in post #2, the SARS virus hit hardest in Hong Kong, and to a lesser extent in China, and that epidemic quickly ran out of gas in other countries. So here's a paper that indicates ACE-2 may indeed be an ethnic variable.

The geographic distribution of the ACE II genotype: A novel finding

Genetics Research 89(4):259-67 · September 2007 (via researchgate.net)

It seems that the ethnic & geographical distribution of the ACE II gene has been extensively studied. This paper includes a table citing many earlier studies. The studies indicate that the ACE II genotype frequency is around 40% to 50% in East Asian populations; 15% to 25% in most European (Caucasian) populations; and less than 10% in the Arab populations sampled.

One might guess that this means European and US populations will be somewhat susceptible, but Asian populations will be hardest hit by this coronavirus.

All of this is assuming that ACE-2 and ACE-II are the same thing. (That is, that the ACE-2 receptor density is related to the ACE-II gene.)
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
So I can't say I know what's going on. But for now I'm going with my Malthusian eschatological biases, and taking Martenson's advice. I bought some elderberry syrup, and checked my supplies of N95 antiviral face masks.
If there is ethnic targeting, who is doing the targeting? The Chinese have been famous for their "one child" policy. All of this is rather eerie in the context of all the Chinese Ghost Cities" of empty apartment and condo towers and empty shopping malls, all never occupied.

Probably should add such as liposomal C, L-Lysine, and cimetidine (Tagamet) [sic] for your anti-viral tool-kit. I have also discovered recently that my new taking of magnesium (malate with B biofactors and threonate) and collagen powder has dramatically increased my mucous production and drainage, a good thing (but I'm not sure which item is responsible).

Cimetidine, a stomach acid medication, may boost the immune system and help fight off viral infections. However, patients at risk for cytokine storm (a potentially deadly overreaction of the immune system) should avoid cimetidine.
...
The over-the-counter drug cimetidine is a histamine receptor type 2 (H-2) blocker approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for inhibition of gastric acid secretion or gastric and duodenal ulcer disease (Kubecova 2011; Scheinfeld 2003). Cimetidine has also been shown to augment the immune system. It appears to accomplish this by mitigating the effects of specialized immune cells called T-regulatory cells, which normally suppress immunity (Shin 2012; Arae 2011; Zhang 2011; Wang 2008). Since cimetidine enhances the immune system, it may be beneficial for combating various infections and has been utilized as an immune modulator for the treatment of several diseases such as herpes simplex infections and mucocutaneous candidiasis (Stefani 2009; Kumar 1990). However, since cimetidine stimulates pro-inflammatory cytokines and inhibits regulatory T cells (Wang 2008), it may exacerbate the development of a cytokine storm and should be avoided by individuals at risk for cytokine storm.

If I remember correctly, the cimetidene dosing for Shingles (the chickenpox virus) is one tablet twice during the day, and three at bed time. And note the other anti-viral strategies on that link.
 
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Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
If there is ethnic targeting, who is doing the targeting?
There is a wide variety of speculation to be found online, including a doxing of a particular Chinese researcher by ZeroHedge. Larry Romanoff has an update at Global Research covering many of the known breadcrumbs.

But in my opinion it's entirely possible that such a virus could evolve naturally as a matter of coincidence. That is, the evolutionary measure of viral success rests in the virus's ability to infect a host. So why should we be surprised if some viruses exhibit enhanced infectious ability for the local hosts found in the local environment, as opposed to hosts from other parts of the world?

As far as I'm concerned, there's no real evidence that would even prove that any human agency is responsible for "targeting" this virus. Much less so, any evidence implicating anyone in particular.
 
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Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
no real evidence
Umm... here's some information indicating that this virus is flirting somewhere at the edge of plausible deniability. In addition to targeting the ACE-2 receptor, it also has four short snippet RNA sequences from the HIV virus. And, similar to HIV (but different from most viruses), it suppresses white blood cell counts, indicating some sort of attack on the immune system. The virus seems to respond to drugs designed to control HIV.

https://theprepared.com/blog/no-the-2019-ncov-genome-doesnt-actually-seem-engineered-from-hiv/

While the author of the above blog denies that anyone has any 'splainin' to do, one can't avoid noticing that he's trying awfully hard. We've got the combination of four separate short sequences (each perhaps unremarkable in itself) from HIV, creating a similar functional capability to attack the immune system. This seems pretty surprising.

As Loren Hough would certainly ask if he were still with us: what are the odds? And as I would always reply: how should I know? Not an easy calculation.
 
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Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
This video is by two guys who have lived in China, the one on the left has a wife who is a Chinese doctor.

They discuss the dreadfully unhygienic and Medieval nature of Chinese 'wet markets' found in the most advanced Chinese cities. And, various cultural legacies that can lead to the conditions ripe for virus mutations. Of course, one wanting to do targeting would see such as providing great cover.


This same guy has a recent video discussing that cultural factors commonly lead Chinese to attack and even murder many Chinese doctors:

 

Emma Robertson

Active Member
"If in fact the virus was silently spreading unrecognized amidst other types of pneumonia in Wuhan, in the absence of a specific diagnostic test, for several months before its discovery in early January 2020, then the virus was already present across parts of Wuhan and other places in Hubei province, other parts of China, and even in limited numbers to some other countries. Thus, China could not have instituted earlier control measures against an undiscovered virus."
The Wuhan coronavirus epidemic began when people exposed to an unknown source at a seafood market in Wuhan began falling ill in early December.
http://theconversation.com/how-contagious-is-the-wuhan-coronavirus-and-can-you-spread-it-before-symptoms-start-130686

On December 31 last year, China alerted the World Health Organization (WHO) to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, a port city of 11 million people in the central Hubei province. The virus is unknown.

Several of those infected worked at the city's Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which was shut down on January 1.

As health experts worked to identify the virus amid growing alarm, the number of infections exceeded 40.

On January 5, Chinese officials ruled out the possibility that this was a recurrence of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus - an illness that originated in China and killed more than 770 people worldwide in 2002-2003.

On January 7, they announced that they had identified a new virus, according to the WHO. The novel virus was named 2019-nCoV and was identified as belonging to the coronavirus family, which includes SARS and the common cold.

On January 20, China reported a third death and more than 200 infections, with cases also reported outside Hubei province including in the capital, Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

Meanwhile, a Chinese expert on infectious diseases confirmed human-to-human transmission to state broadcaster CCTV, raising fears of a major outbreak of as millions travel for the Lunar New Year holiday.

Wuhan was placed under effective quarantine on January 23 as air and rail departures were suspended.

By January 24, the number of cities under shutdown in Hubei rose to 13, affecting 41 million people.

On January 25, travel restrictions were imposed on a further five cities in Hubei province, taking the overall number of people affected to 56 million.
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/timeline-china-coronavirus-spread-200126061554884.html


A doctor in Wuhan who was one of the eight whistleblowers police reprimanded in early January for “spreading rumors” about a mysterious pneumonia has become infected with the coronavirus that causes it.

Prior to his diagnosis, Li had been working on the front lines of the epidemic.

In a separate post Friday, Li recounted how, on Dec. 30, he had examined the medical report of a patient whose condition seemed strikingly similar to SARS, also caused by a coronavirus. Li decided to share this discovery with his former medical school classmates so that they might take appropriate precautions. In their class WeChat group, he sent a message that read: “Seven cases of SARS confirmed.”

“After I sent the message, the police found me and made me sign an official letter of criticism,” Li said. According to a photo of the letter included in Li’s post, the police chastised him on Jan. 3 for “making untrue comments” that had “severely disturbed the social order.”

“The police hope that you can actively cooperate with us, heed our advice, and stop your illegal behavior. Can you do this?” Li writes, “Yes, I can.”

“We hope you can calm down and reflect on your behavior. We solemnly warn you: If you keep being stubborn, with such impertinence, and continue this illegal activity, you will be brought to justice — is that understood?” Li answers, “Yes, I do.” His signature and fingerprint appear at the bottom of the document.

On Jan. 1, the Wuhan police announced on Weibo that eight people had been summoned and punished for “spreading rumors” about the city’s pneumonia patients. After China’s state broadcaster reported on Jan. 9 that a new type of coronavirus was responsible for the unusual number of pneumonia cases, people began to question whether the “rumormongers” had been unjustly punished, prompting the Wuhan police to restrict viewing access to their Jan. 1 Weibo post.

On Tuesday, the Supreme People’s Court, the country’s highest judicial authority, criticized the Wuhan police for reprimanding the whistleblowers in an article published on the court’s official WeChat account. The next day, the Wuhan police wrote on Weibo that the whistleblowers had only been “educated and criticized,” and had not been “warned, fined, or taken into custody.”

A leading scientist from the National Health Commission weighed in on the case during a livestreamed interview that evening. “Those eight individuals are admirable,” he said. “Hindsight is 20-20, but these people had foresight.”

http://www.sixthtone.com/news/1005150/rumormonger-doctor-who-raised-the-alarm-says-he-has-coronavirus


  • In the early days of the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, Chinese officials arrested citizens they accused of spreading rumors about the illness online.
  • Journalists have also reported being detained and threatened by Chinese authorities while covering the outbreak.
  • Experts are now faulting the Chinese government for its harsh crackdown on the flow of information about the virus
In early January, the Wuhan police said they had arrested eight people accused of spreading “rumors” about what was then a mysterious pneumonia causing serious complications in patients.

When the coronavirus made national headlines, more and more journalists began to describe being detained or threatened with arrest by Chinese authorities while reporting on the outbreak.

While the government was almost immediately forthcoming with the international community about this outbreak, its actions in suppressing information at home have left some experts concerned that it made the situation worse than it might have been.

According to Poynter, the people who were arrested posted on the social network Weibo or other messaging apps that SARS was back.

Poynter tried to figure out what had happened to the eight people but struggled. It reported that the state-owned Global Times cited an anonymous police source who said the group was not kept in custody or punished.

There have also been concerning reports of journalists being detained or threatened with arrest while reporting on the coronavirus in Wuhan.

The Hong Kong news outlet TVB reported on January 14 that a group of journalists, including one of its reporters, were detained for hours while covering the outbreak at a Wuhan hospital that has been treating patients.

According to the report, the journalists were at Jinyintan Hospital to get a briefing in the morning when a "group of plainclothes policemen" confronted them and started asking questions.

TVB said its reporter was "then taken to the police room in the hospital for questioning, and asked to delete the materials shot in the hospital."

The Time reporter Charlie Campbell recalled a similar incident while reporting at the seafood market pinpointed as the source of the outbreak. He said he was "repeatedly threatened with arrest while observing the scene from the street."

"A police officer at the market would only confirm they were continuing 'analysis,'" he wrote.

China has been more transparent with the international community with this outbreak than it was with SARS. Then, the government underreported cases until a whistleblower doctor revealed the truth.

But when it comes to giving information to its own people, the message from China has been lacking.

In the early days of the outbreak, officials downplayed the seriousness of the virus, saying it was controlled, according to The New York Times.

Poynter reported that officials initially said the virus came from animals and could not be spread among humans, something that later proved to be incorrect.

Just days before the entire city was quarantined, Wuhan hosted a major banquet involving 40,000 families to try to set a world record, The Times reported.

The virus wasn't even front-page news on the Wuhan Evening News, the city's best-selling newspaper, from January 6 to January 19, according to the Financial Times.

During this time, the city was hosting annual meetings for top municipal and provincial officials (January 7-17). Dali Yang, an expert on Chinese bureaucracy at the University of Chicago, told the Financial Times that this event was most certainly a factor in the toned-down government response.

"This is a major factor that the authorities in Wuhan city sought to project an air of calm and most likely delayed taking action to stop the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus," Yang said.

A public-health expert, who asked not to be named, told the Financial Times: "There is a question of whether the alert [was] in place sufficiently quickly this time."

While the official order is that anyone who hides infections will be "forever nailed to history's pillar of shame," the actions taken by the government so far are telling a different story.

"The authorities are sending a signal, which is that only the government agencies can talk about the epidemic," Yu Ping, a former Southern Metropolis Daily reporter, wrote on his personal blog, according to The New York Times. "All other people should just shut up."
https://www.businessinsider.sg/china-information-crackdown-on-wuhan-coronavirus-2020-1/



SHANGHAI (Reuters) - In a rare sign of public discontent with the government, Chinese social media users are venting their anger at the government, after officials from Hubei province, where the coronavirus outbreak began, briefed the media on Sunday.

Some lashed out at the Hubei governor, who had to correct himself twice during a press conference over the number of face masks being produced in the province.

“The yearly output of face masks is 10.8 billion,” Wang Xiaodong said at the briefing Sunday, only having to correct himself after he was handed a piece of paper. “It’s actually 1.8 billion,” he said.

Users also shared images on messaging platform Wechat, showing officials wearing their surgical masks incorrectly.

One official was shown wearing a mask that did not cover his nose, while in another image the mayor of Wuhan appeared to have his mask on upside down.

Some social media users were surprised that they were allowed to criticize high-level officials publicly.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-health-governor/chinese-provincial-press-conference-on-coronavirus-inspires-anger-criticism-idUSKBN1ZP0RU


So, the outbreak had a chance to be contained starting from December 30, when doctors first attributed the pneumonia outbreak, which started only at the beginning of December (not months earlier)*, to SARS, had they been listened to instead of being repressed, together with the press. It could have also been contained earlier if the possibility of transmission among humans had not been initially excluded, something obvious due to its similarity to SARS, just to give an impression of having the situation under control. Further delay in duly informing Chinese people about the virus was another reason for its spread. Only when authorities realized the situation was not concealable any longer, also because of increasing cases outside China and other countries taking measures to refrain it, they made a 180º turn and took extreme measures to contain it, drastically isolating a growing number of cities and planning to build a new hospital in just a few days (at the beginning they said 6 days) shown in their tv state with some false images as well to appear proceeding faster, all done to avoid being held accountable by other countries for not handling well the epidemics (rather than for concern for their citizens): in SARS case, in fact, they concealed the truth for a long time and only because of a whistleblower it became known.

* notice that they did not want journalists to film the marketplace, from where the first cases of "pneumonia" came from, probably because of its most unhygienic conditions, full of live wild animals, which would have reminded of SARS having started in the same way.

I do not see any conspiracy in the behaviour of Chinese authorities, just an attempt to make appear the one party of the country efficient and able to have things under control in order to keep the power, in typical communist style.
 
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Emma Robertson

Active Member
"If in fact the virus was silently spreading unrecognized amidst other types of pneumonia in Wuhan, in the absence of a specific diagnostic test, for several months before its discovery in early January 2020, then the virus was already present across parts of Wuhan and other places in Hubei province, other parts of China, and even in limited numbers to some other countries. Thus, China could not have instituted earlier control measures against an undiscovered virus."
Here is more.

DNA sleuths read the coronavirus genome, tracing its origins and looking for dangerous mutations

JANUARY 24, 2020

As infectious disease specialists and epidemiologists race to contain the outbreak of the novel coronavirus centered on Wuhan, China, they’re getting backup that’s been possible only since the explosion in genetic technologies: a deep-dive into the genome of the virus known as 2019-nCoV.

Analyses of the viral genome are already providing clues to the origins of the outbreak and even possible ways to treat the infection.

Reading the genome (which is made of RNA, not DNA) also allows researchers to monitor how 2019-nCoV is changing and provides a roadmap for developing a diagnostic test and a vaccine.

“The genetics can tell us the true timing of the first cases” and whether they occurred earlier than officials realized, said molecular biologist Kristian Andersen of Scripps Research, an expert on viral genomes. “It can also tell us how the outbreak started — from a single event of a virus jumping from an infected animal to a person or from a lot of animals being infected. And the genetics can tell us what’s sustaining the outbreak — new introductions from animals or human-to-human transmission.”

Scientists in China sequenced the virus’s genome and made it available on Jan. 10, just a month after the Dec. 8 report of the first case of pneumonia from an unknown virus in Wuhan.

Given what’s known about the pace at which viral genomes mutate, if nCoV had been circulating in humans since significantly before the first case was reported on Dec. 8, the 24 genomes would differ more. Applying ballpark rates of viral evolution, Rambaut estimates that the Adam (or Eve) virus from which all others are descended first appeared no earlier than Oct. 30, 2019, and no later than Nov. 29.

The progenitor virus itself was almost certainly one that circulates harmlessly in bats (as SARS does) but has an “intermediate reservoir” in one or more animals that come into contact with people, Andersen said. Presumably, that reservoir is one of the species of animals at the Wuhan market thought to be ground zero for the outbreak. The ancestor of 2019-nCoV existed in that species for some unknown time, never infecting people, until by chance a single virus acquired a mutation that made it capable of jumping into and infecting humans.

The genome sequences suggest that was a one-time-only jump. “The genomes [from the 24 samples] are very uniform,” Andersen said. “If there had been multiple introductions,” including from many different animals, “there would be more genomic diversity. This was a single introduction.”

That means that what’s sustaining the spread is human-to-human transmission *(suggesting that closing Wuhan’s animal market is very much an after-the-horse-has-fled-the-barn reaction).

Unfortunately, genetic analysis can’t identify what animal species the coronavirus jumped from into humans. But an analysis by a team from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, posted to the preprint server bioRxiv, determined that the genome of this coronavirus (the seventh known to infect humans) is 96% identical to that of a bat coronavirus, suggesting that species is the original source. (Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine on Friday, another team of scientists in China reported that the new coronavirus is 86.9% identical to the bat SARS-like coronavirus.)

Virologists differ on whether it’s possible to read out viral properties from just the genome sequence, such as whether the microbe is spread by coughing, sneezing, touching, or merely breathing. But the analysis by the Wuhan Institute team found that it enters human cells using the same doorway that SARS did. Called angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the door is a receptor to which a “spike protein” on the virus’s surface first attaches and then enables the virus to fuse with the host cell.

https://www.statnews.com/2020/01/24/dna-sleuths-read-coronavirus-genome-tracing-origins-and-mutations/

* which was quite obvious by itself, giving the quickness of the spread. Had it been majorly animal to human it would not be so quick, as there are less opportunities for that to happen. Let's also remember that spread can also occur from asymptomatic infected people, during the incubation period, which makes the spread even faster, as it implies less time of delay and it is more difficult to detect these infected people and stay away from them or to isolate them, as they do not show any sign of illness yet. All of this supports the findings that the virus did not start months earlier to spread.
 
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Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Hello Emma, thanks for posting the information. Nice to see you back.

But, regarding this:

Emma Robertson said:
... the pneumonia outbreak... started only at the beginning of December (not months earlier)*
and:

Emma Robertson said:
All of this supports the findings that the virus did not start months earlier to spread.
Please note that your source says:

Applying ballpark rates of viral evolution, Rambaut estimates that the Adam (or Eve) virus from which all others are descended first appeared no earlier than Oct. 30, 2019, and no later than Nov. 29.

Which could be as much as 2 months earlier than the reported identification of a new virus, January 7. This is important for estimating the rate of propagation of the virus.
 

Emma Robertson

Active Member
Writing at Global Research, Larry Romanoff says that both the SARS virus and this new 2019-nCoV virus were bioengineered to target persons of Chinese ethnicity.
From fake alerts over no-go suburbs to pro-Trump conspiracy theories, crackpot stories and dangerous advice have gone viral.

The Washington Times claimed in a story that the coronavirus outbreak could be linked to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, quoting a former Israeli military intelligence officer who claimed a bioweapon was one possible option.

Other conspiracy theories have suggested the virus was smuggled out of Canada into China.

The Washington Post, however, spoke to a number of experts who said based on the virus genome there is no indication it was engineered. The MIT professor Vipin Narang said in a tweet that there is no evidence it is a bioweapon, and if it were, it would be a bad one, because a good bioweapon should be more deadly but not as easily spread.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/31/bat-soup-dodgy-cures-and-diseasology-the-spread-of-coronavirus-bunkum
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
based on the virus genome there is no indication it was engineered.
No surprise that the mainstream media would be working overtime to "debunk" these "crackpot stories and dangerous advice".

Our job here is to look deeper, and try to distinguish fact from fiction. Not that it's ever easy.

I found this interesting article series this morning, by James Lyons Weiler. Up until 2015, Weiler was a high-powered academic with Hillman Cancer Center, and founded the Genomics Research Core at University of Pittsburgh. His project was closed in 2014, and in 2015 he decided to open an independent research institute, IPAK (Institute for Pure and Applied Knowledge). Lately his research seems to be focused on vaccine safety.

In the series, Weiler explains what he considers "Moderately Strong Confirmation" that the new virus is a bioengineered recombinant product. His explanation of why he thinks his confirmation is only "moderately strong" makes no sense at all to me.

He doesn't think we're looking at a bioweapon. His guess is that it's a result of some sort of project to develop a vaccine against SARS coronavirus. Some scientist named Marc Wathelet in the comment section strongly disagrees, apparently arguing for natural recombination. The debate prompted Weiler to go back through his results again, and he's sticking to his story. The technical level is above my ability to follow.

https://jameslyonsweiler.com/2020/01/30/on-the-origins-of-the-2019-ncov-virus-wuhan-china/

The disease progression in of 2019-nCoV is consistent with those seen in animals and humans vaccinated against SARS and then challenged with re-infection. Thus, the hypothesis that 2019-nCoV is an experimental vaccine type must be seriously considered.
Evidence for: Sequence homology between INS1378 to pShuttle Coronavirus vaccine; presence of a SARS-like Spike protein in bat coronavirus, otherwise most similar to bat coronaviruses; low bootstrap value.
Evidence against: Low sequence homology (but highly signifiant). NB these viruses are RNA viruses and they can evolve quickly, even under laboratory conditions.
Status: Most likely.
https://jameslyonsweiler.com/2020/02/01/on-the-oddities-and-unusual-characteristics-of-the-2019-ncov-virus-genomes-and-their-analyses/

There are two ways on this planet for viruses to recombine: in nature, via co-infection with a common host, and in the laboratory. I evaluated the likelihood of those two outcomes two days ago, and the article went viral, helped by the coverage by the Highwire team. Some have misinterpreted the article as saying that I have ruled out a bioweapons origin; however, I have not. The level of evidence supporting an accidental laboratory release of vaccine type, or of a bioweapon, or of a vaccine experiment gone wrong, sensitizing people to serious illnesss and death upon subsequent exposure, are all about the same. What gives a vaccine program the edge is the match between the outcomes in SARS vaccine research in animals and the symptoms and mortality profile of nCoV in humans.
... scientists are speculating exclusively about natural recombination events, when the sequence they are analyzing has major genomic differences partly inconsistent with the most recent common ancestory of the 2019-nCoV being HKU9-1, in a world in which laboratory recombination research into viruses to make vaccines is 100% known to be ongoing.
We can say with certainty that 2019-nCoV has at least two ancestors: the ancestry of the entire genome, and the ancestry of the SARS spike protein.
I discount the wild recombination idea because natural selection would likely remove individual animals if the recombination occurred in nature due to high mortality. So recombination in the wild is purely speculative.
This looks like an attempt to develop a vaccine to me.
“HIV Sequences” Unsurprising – Maybe
A report of four additional sequences put into the Spike protein, which at the amino acid level are short sequences, but that the nucleotide level are, combined, improbably there by chance, point more toward a bioweapon. The E-values of the match to the HIV sequences are not significant, and there are many more matches to other non-HIV sequences. The presence of all four sequences, the pathogenetic capacity of those additonal novel sequences of are unknown, are of interest to some, but most who understand sequence analysis will attribute their matching to chance.
So who, or what, put SARS spike glycoprotein sequence into 2019-nCoV remains a mystery.

https://jameslyonsweiler.com/2020/02/02/moderately-strong-confirmation-of-a-laboratory-origin-of-2019-ncov/

... I procured the spike protein coding sequence (CDS) of these from NCBI’s nucleotide database and aligned them using Blast, with the sequence from the first 2019-nCoV protein as the anchor. (Oddly, that Genbank entry does not label the S protein CDS as a spike glycoprotein, instead annotating it only as a “structural protein”).
The resulting massive alignment confirms a major unique inserted element in 2019-nCoV not found in other bat coronaviruses, nor in SARS in the homologous genomic position...
Blasting the novel sequence region against all non-viral sequences (to pick up vector technology) again results in pShuttle-SN (no surprise) but now this time is also picked up a recombinant coronavirus clone Bat-SRBD spike glycoprotein gene from UNC, USA. (Genbank entry) and other synthetic constructs.
As I published earlier, before anyone points fingers at the Chinese, note that recombinant viruses have been in play in laboratories all across the world in many nations. ...
It is worth pointing out that due to the length of overlap, the sequence strength is considered moderately strong: highly significant E-value, high %identity, but short sequence length. These findings cannot be considered strong validation for obvious reasons: produced by the same analyst, using (part) of the same data.
 

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Probably should add such as liposomal C, L-Lysine, and cimetidine (Tagamet) [sic] for your anti-viral tool-kit. I have also discovered recently that my new taking of magnesium (malate with B biofactors and threonate) and collagen powder has dramatically increased my mucous production and drainage, a good thing (but I'm not sure which item is responsible).

Cimetidine, a stomach acid medication, may boost the immune system and help fight off viral infections. However, patients at risk for cytokine storm (a potentially deadly overreaction of the immune system) should avoid cimetidine.
...
The over-the-counter drug cimetidine is a histamine receptor type 2 (H-2) blocker approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for inhibition of gastric acid secretion or gastric and duodenal ulcer disease (Kubecova 2011; Scheinfeld 2003). Cimetidine has also been shown to augment the immune system. It appears to accomplish this by mitigating the effects of specialized immune cells called T-regulatory cells, which normally suppress immunity (Shin 2012; Arae 2011; Zhang 2011; Wang 2008). Since cimetidine enhances the immune system, it may be beneficial for combating various infections and has been utilized as an immune modulator for the treatment of several diseases such as herpes simplex infections and mucocutaneous candidiasis (Stefani 2009; Kumar 1990). However, since cimetidine stimulates pro-inflammatory cytokines and inhibits regulatory T cells (Wang 2008), it may exacerbate the development of a cytokine storm and should be avoided by individuals at risk for cytokine storm.

https://www.lifeextension.com/protocols/infections/influenza

If I remember correctly, the cimetidene dosing for Shingles (the chickenpox virus) is one tablet twice during the day, and three at bed time. And note the other anti-viral strategies on that link.
Note my update in green.
 
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Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Dr. Wenlian Li was one of the first doctors in China to recognize the outbreak. He posted about it on Chinese social media website WeChat and was harassed by local police and forced to sign a promise to stop publicizing his experience with the virus. Wenlian Li caught the virus himself, was hospitalized Jan. 12, and died on Feb. 6th.

James Lyon Weiler, John Campbell and Chris Martenson have all posted blogs or videos describing the typical course of the disease. It seems to involve about 5 days incubation, followed by ten to fifteen days of fever and dry cough. Then many get better, but some progress to pneumonia and require oxygen and other intensive care measures.

Weiler says:

Watch the Per-Case Fatality Rate Outside of China
Outside of China the apparent per-case fatality rate is still zero, with all deaths outside of China being two cases that originated in Wuhan and traveled outside of the country to Hong Kong and Phillipines. A reported death of a 22-year male in Malaysia reported to be infected with coronavirus has not been confirmed.
How will we know?
Watch the death rates in the people who have left China who are currently in quarantine.
The next two weeks will inform the world of the immediate threat of serious, deadly pandemic, or if, as I speculated, the Chinese or Asian population is somehow sensitized to 2019-nCoV or at higher risk of fatality.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Here's a new epidemiological study of case reports from Wuhan, China:

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/medrxiv/early/2020/02/11/2020.02.07.20021154.full.pdf

The Novel Coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, is Highly Contagious and More Infectious Than Initially Estimated
We estimated that the date of the beginning of an exponential growth is December 20, 2019 (CI: December 11 to 26). This suggests that human infections in early December may be due to spillovers from the animal reservoir or limited chains of transmission (10, 11). The growth rate of the outbreak is estimated to be 0.29 per day (CI: 0.21 to 0.37 per day), a much higher rate than two recent estimates (1, 5). This growth rate corresponds to a doubling time of 2.4 days. [....]
Fortunately, we see evidence that control efforts have a measurable effect on the rate of spread. Since January 23, Wuhan and other cities in Hubei province implemented vigorous control measures, such as closing down transportation and mass gatherings in the city; whereas, other provinces also escalated the public health alert level and implemented strong control measures. We noted that the growth rate of the daily number of new cases in provinces outside of Hubei slowed down gradually since late January (Fig. 3B). Due to the closure of Wuhan (and other cities in Hubei), the number of cases reported in other provinces during this period shall start to track local infection dynamics rather than imports from Wuhan. We estimated that the exponential growth rate is decreased to 0.14 per day (CI: 0.12 to 0.15 per day) since January 30. Based on this growth rate and an R0 between 4.7 to 6.6 before the control measures, a calculation following the formula in Ref. (14) suggested that a growth rate decreasing from 0.29 per day to 0.14 per day translates to a 50%-59% decrease in R0 to between 2.3 to 3.0. This is in agreement with previous estimates of the impact of effective social distancing during 1918 influenza pandemic (18). Thus, the reduction in growth rate may reflect the impact of vigorous control measures implemented and individual behavior changes in China during the course of the outbreak.
So, the relatively draconian measures implemented in Wuhan slowed the virus down to a doubling time of about 6 days. There are optimistic reports now claiming further reductions in the spread of the disease, but on the other hand there are increasing economic pressures to get production started up again.
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
Scott Gottlieb, former FDA commissioner, warns that the CDC is probably missing 75% of Coronavirus cases entering the USA. He says that local breakouts are probably developing, but won't be noticed until there is a trend or a deadly case.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/health-experts-warn-congress-coronavirus-may-hit-us-hard-in-next-two-to-four-weeks

Health experts warn Congress coronavirus may hit US hard in next two to four weeks

“We shouldn't assume that the 13 cases that we've identified — I think 10 of them were travel-related people who came directly from China and imported the virus into the United States — that we just managed to find all 10 people coming in from China who happened to have coronavirus,” said Gottlieb, who added many passengers returning from China or elsewhere could have been asymptomatic or only showed mild symptoms. “Some of the modeling out of the U.K. suggests that we're capturing about 25% of cases at best. So for every case we identify, there's three or four that we didn't identify.”
He added, "One or a few breakouts may happen on a local level, but until there is a trend or deadly case, local governments may not realize or be able to sound off and at least some of those cases, probably are propagating at a local level, but not enough cases have accumulated yet to be identifiable.” [....]
“What we should be worried about isn’t the cases that we know about — it’s the cases we don't know about. There's certainly cases we don't know about.”
 

Jerry Russell

Administrator
Staff member
James Lyons-Weiler has retracted his argument that the virus (now dubbed "COVID-19") is a lab-created recombinant virus. But now he's suggesting the epidemic has something to do with a Chinese vaccination program? Seems to be pure speculation...

https://jameslyonsweiler.com/2020/02/12/clear-evidence-it-is-not-a-bioweapon-so-whats-all-this-about-ace2-and-ncov-2019-covid-2019/
For the last week, I’ve been analyzing the motif patterns in B-CoV’s, and as a result of that, having settled the issue that pShuttle-SN is not likely to have been involved in the origin of COVID-19, and furthermore that no recombinant B-coronvirus for which we have data is likely to be ultimately found to be the ancestor of COVID-19 (in review).
[....]
Since recombination in nature is not a likely explanation of the massive morbidity and mortality of COVID-19, and recombination technology was not used to create this, and it is not a US Bioweapon that backfired, nor a Chinese bioweapon that backfired, we still need to wonder: why is the mortality and critical illness from COVID-2019 in the Wuhan district so high in comparison to that seen in the rest of the world so far?
Another possibility is high ambient exposure to bat coronaviruses. People in the region, however, have been eating wild-caught animals for thousands of years. Since China has such an exceptional written history going deep into their past, it would behoove humanity to study the ancient scrolls from China for evidence of plagues traced to eating bats, pangolins and other animals we now know understand can harbor coronaviruses. It is likey that B-coronaviruses have been infecting humans for tens if not hundreds of thousands of millenia.
So what’s different in 2019? On Dec 1, a new national vaccine law went into effect. “China is to implement a state immunization program, and residents living within the territory of China are legally obligated to be vaccinated with immunization program vaccines, which are provided by the government free of charge. Local governments and parents or other guardians of children must ensure that children be vaccinated with the immunization program vaccines (art. 6).”
The first reported case of COVID19?
December 1, 2019.
 
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