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Wuhan coronavirus in Scotland?


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According to a Danish survey, dog owners are 78% more likely to catch Covid. Maybe not too surprising, as they're out walking their dog every day, and chatting to people they meet. I also think that the virus may be building up in streets, and being stirred up by air currents, causing infection, although this isn't a 'mainstream' view.

However, the same survey turned up another fact that is much more inexplicable. People who order their groceries online, and have them delivered to their home, are 94% more likely to catch Covid. That tends to make me think that it's just a statistical quirk which wouldn't be repeated if the researchers used a much bigger sample size. But you never know.

https://scitechdaily.com/are-dogs-spreading-sars-cov-2-study-finds-living-with-a-dog-increases-risk-of-contracting-covid-19/

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On 11/9/2020 at 1:57 PM, yonza bam said:

I decided to do a survey of the average number of daily Covid-19 deaths in selected European countries, plus the US, over the past 7 days. I used the worldometers site, and had to do the calculations myself, from the figures there. The first column is the average number of daily deaths, and the second column is the ratio, adjusted for the population of each country, giving the UK a figure of 1 for comparison. For example, France has a figure of 1.53, indicating that average daily death rates from Covid-19 over the past week have been 53% higher than the UK.

The calculations aren't straightforward. Countries may employ quite different counting criteria. In the UK, if someone dies within 28 days of a diagnosis of Covid-19, that is recorded as the cause of death. It may not be the same in other countries. Covid-19 causes pneumonia, so some countries may record the death as being due to pneumonia, while others would record it as Covid. It also causes cardiovascular disease, so some countries may record such a  death of an infected person as cardiovascular disease, while others would record it as Covid. 

So, there's some scope for disparity in the figures, some of which may be politically driven. Sweden decided to follow a different path from other countries early on, and didn't 'lock down'. This drew criticism, and I'm sceptical of their figures, which may be 'massaged' to make it look as if they did the right thing. I'm also sceptical of the figures from Germany, which borders the country with the highest numbers, Czechia.

 

UK daily deaths 332 (1.0)

Czechia 204 (3.9)

Belgium 183 (3.23)

France 487 (1.53)

Spain 253 (1.12)

Italy 367 (1.11)

Netherlands 81 (0.97)

USA 978 (0.60)

Germany 126 (0.31)

Sweden 10 (0.13)

That's very interesting, Yonza. Scotland seems to have a high number of deaths recorded daily at present that don't seem to be reducing yet cases reducing. I know there is a lag but change seems to be taking a while; 

On 11/16/2020 at 7:21 PM, yonza bam said:

According to a Danish survey, dog owners are 78% more likely to catch Covid. Maybe not too surprising, as they're out walking their dog every day, and chatting to people they meet. I also think that the virus may be building up in streets, and being stirred up by air currents, causing infection, although this isn't a 'mainstream' view.

However, the same survey turned up another fact that is much more inexplicable. People who order their groceries online, and have them delivered to their home, are 94% more likely to catch Covid. That tends to make me think that it's just a statistical quirk which wouldn't be repeated if the researchers used a much bigger sample size. But you never know.

https://scitechdaily.com/are-dogs-spreading-sars-cov-2-study-finds-living-with-a-dog-increases-risk-of-contracting-covid-19/

That's put the wind up me, Yonza, as I order food online. However, I do wipe goods over with Dettol wipe before I put them away. I'm particularly careful with tins. Anything like fresh fruit or veg I leave for a day or so before I use; Hopefully this is helping.  
I thought people would be safer in the fresh air ie the dog walkers.

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I hope that is good news about the vaccine arriving in Scotland. Pfizer, U.S. is awaiting approval. Ontario now having another upsurge, more cases than Quebec, could be a Conservative Government having relaxed rules for business interests. Alberta, richest by far appeared to form all their opinions based on Trump's theories.....one of Alberta's efforts to restrict was a law which required some bars to close by ten PM....Alberta is now in the process of creating three field hospitals, each with the capacity of 760 patients.

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Excellent news regarding the vaccine, Tam. Yes, very sad the vast influence Trump has had. See Rudi Guillani now has the virus. Think there is a delay re vaccine in Canada due to lack of some facilities?

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On 12/14/2020 at 8:16 PM, Pat said:

Number of cases seem to be raising fast in S.E. England and reporting that there is a new strain, which seems to be spreading more quickly?

There's a good article about it in today's Guardian, but a bit technical.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/15/uk-should-boost-vaccine-programme-to-tackle-covid-variant-says-leading-scientist

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New Covid variant blamed for a surge in cases in the London, UK, area, has become the dominant strain driving a surge in South African cases, and anecdotal evidence suggests it is affecting many more young people, with no health comorbidities.

"Health Minister Zweli Mkhize and epidemiologist Salim Abdool Karim have announced that the latest wave of COVID-19 infections in South Africa is being driven by a mutated variant of the virus that appears to be infecting more young people than the first wave of infections.

During a briefing on Friday 18 December, Mkhize and Karim warned that the second wave had come sooner than expected and is spreading even faster than the first.

COVID-19 VARIANT ‘LARGELY AFFECTING YOUNG PEOPLE’
Mkhize said that a South African genomics team led by the Kwazulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform – KRISP – has sequenced hundreds of samples from across the country since the beginning of the pandemic in March, and found that a variant of the SARS-COV-2 Virus- currently termed 501.V2 Variant has been identified.

“Clinicians have been providing anecdotal evidence of a shift in the clinical epidemiological picture – in particular noting that they are seeing a larger proportion of younger patients with no co-morbidities presenting with critical illness,” he said.

“The evidence that has been collated, therefore, strongly suggests that that the current second wave we are experiencing is being driven by this new variant.”

Last week, the UK’s Health Minister Matt Hancock announced that a new variant of the coronavirus associated with faster spread had been identified in south-east England. The announcement led to a spate of concern about the potential for a “super strain” on the loose."

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The new variant now accounts for a huge 69% of cases in London. It is estimated to be 70% more transmissible than the virus strain that it is in the process of replacing. However, scientists are a notoriously conservative bunch, particularly when there's a lack of information, making estimates more tricky.

The information coming out of London is downright scary, and  suggests that the '70% more transmissible' estimate will need to be revised sharply upwards.

From the Evening Standard: bear in mind that these are the percentage increases in new cases in just a single week

Richmond saw cases spiral by 170.4 per cent in the week to December 15, Islington 156.8 per cent, Lambeth 160.8 per cent, Wandsworth 150.3 per cent, Lewisham 145.3 per cent, Westminster 144.4 per cent, Hammersmith and Fulham 130.4 per cent, Croydon 124.3 per cent, and Southwark 123.9 per cent.

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It's terrifying over 30,000 new cases in England today. Going to be very hard for NHS to cope. Hope the restrictions in Scotland work to contain the spread and that people don't go mad on Christmas Day.  Stay outside. 

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Changes to the Pfizer vaccine regime has come under attach. Very worrying. 
 

This morning the DAUK GP committee wrote to Matt Hancock and the JCVI.
We have real and grave concerns about these sudden changes to the Pfizer vaccine regime, and what this may mean for patients and doctors alike.
It undermines the consent process, as well as completely failing to follow the science. We can't let this go unchecked!
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Today in the papers BioNTech stating shortage of supply of vaccine. This coupled with concerns regarding B1.1.7, the more virulent variant has prompted change to vaccine regime so follow up jabes delayed and more people get first jab. Hope all goes well https://uk.reuters.com/video/watch/biontech-warns-of-vaccine-supply-gaps-sp-id723648769

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Matt Hancock has said that he is 'incredibly concerned' about the new South African variant, partly because of its very vigorous spread, and partly because he has been advised that the vaccines may be less effective against it than the UK variant. However, experts have said that it should be possible to 'tweak' the vaccines to combat it in about 4 to 6 weeks.

SARS2 is a winter virus, and winter viruses, such as flu, decline to very low levels in summer. The combination of lockdown measures and summer weather resulted in a steep decline in cases and deaths during the summer months. Then, it began to resurge in October, and we are now back at the level of the spring peak for hospitalisations.

It's now mid summer in South Africa, and one would expect to see the same pattern, but daily deaths in South Africa are now in excess of 400 a day and rising, compared with around 300 during the earlier peak. If it's that bad in summer, what would it be like in more favourable winter conditions?

This page shows the graphs for cases and deaths in South Africa, since the onset of the virus to the present. It's pretty disconcerting.

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/south-africa/

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On 1/4/2021 at 1:41 PM, yonza bam said:

Matt Hancock has said that he is 'incredibly concerned' about the new South African variant, partly because of its very vigorous spread, and partly because he has been advised that the vaccines may be less effective against it than the UK variant. However, experts have said that it should be possible to 'tweak' the vaccines to combat it in about 4 to 6 weeks.

SARS2 is a winter virus, and winter viruses, such as flu, decline to very low levels in summer. The combination of lockdown measures and summer weather resulted in a steep decline in cases and deaths during the summer months. Then, it began to resurge in October, and we are now back at the level of the spring peak for hospitalisations.

It's now mid summer in South Africa, and one would expect to see the same pattern, but daily deaths in South Africa are now in excess of 400 a day and rising, compared with around 300 during the earlier peak. If it's that bad in summer, what would it be like in more favourable winter conditions?

This page shows the graphs for cases and deaths in South Africa, since the onset of the virus to the present. It's pretty disconcerting.

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/south-africa/

Very frightening, yonza.  Hope this lockdown helps to suppress.

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11.5 times increase in incidence of the new variant in just 3 weeks in Denmark. Doesn't take a maths genius to see that's exponential growth, and it will be the dominant strain there shortly. Denmark is the world leader in sequencing, so it's just being detected more there because of that. It'll be the same in many EU countries.

"If other countries that have detected B.1.1.7 also see it surge, it will be “the strongest evidence we will have,” Pybus says. In Ireland, where infections have risen rapidly as well, the variant now accounts for a quarter of sequenced cases. And data from Denmark, which leads the European Union in the sequencing of SARS-CoV-2, aren’t reassuring either. Routine surveillance there has picked up the variant dozens of times; its frequency went from 0.2% of sequenced genomes in early December to 2.3% 3 weeks later. “We have had what looks like a poster child example of exponential growth these last 4 weeks in Denmark,” says genomicist Mads Albertsen of Aalborg University."

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Deaths have reached over 80,000 in UK.  Claimed one in thirty people in London have Covid. How can the hospitals cope? Pity the UK Govt hadn't invested in NHS, raising wages and recruiting staff, ventilating buildings,  Instead have lined the pockets of Tory pals.  New York Times appears to have covered this more thoroughly than any UK newspaper. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/12/17/world/europe/britain-covid-contracts.html

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"A new coronavirus variant identified in Japan over the weekend has the "potential" to be more infectious, although whether or not this is the case has yet to be determined, health officials have said.

The new variant, which differs from others recently found in South Africa and the U.K., was detected in four travelers who arrived in Japan after flying from Brazil's Amazonas state, Japan's Health Ministry said on Sunday.

Japan's National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) said it was not immediately clear how infectious the new variant is.

"At the moment, there is no proof showing the new variant found in those from Brazil is high in infectiousness," NIID head Takaji Wakita told a health ministry briefing, according to Reuters.

But while the new variant detected in Japan differs from those identified in South Africa and the U.K., it does share one mutation with these two, which could indicate that it may be more transmissible."

https://www.newsweek.com/new-covid-variant-japan-potential-more-infectious-1560475

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Potentially very significant article in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, explaining how a cluster of infections in a South Korea tower block, only infected residents who lived in two vertical lines within the block, strongly suggesting aerosol transmission through air ducts, and the potential for low viral load to cause disease.

Abstract
Background

Scientists have strongly implied that aerosols could be the plausible cause of COVID-19 transmission; however, aerosol transmission remains controversial.

The study
We investigated the epidemiological relationship among infected cases on a recent cluster infection of COVID-19 in an apartment building in Seoul, South Korea. All infected cases were found along two vertical lines of the building, and each line was connected through a single air duct in the bathroom for natural ventilation. Our investigation found no other possible contact between the cases than the airborne infection through a single air duct in the bathroom. The virus from the first infected case can be spread to upstairs and downstairs through the air duct by the (reverse) stack effect, explaining the air movement in a vertical shaft.

Conclusions
This study suggests aerosol transmission, especially indoors with insufficient ventilation, which is underappreciated.

https://www.ijidonline.com/article/S1201-9712(20)32558-3/fulltext

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On 1/11/2021 at 6:25 PM, yonza bam said:

"A new coronavirus variant identified in Japan over the weekend has the "potential" to be more infectious, although whether or not this is the case has yet to be determined, health officials have said.

The new variant, which differs from others recently found in South Africa and the U.K., was detected in four travelers who arrived in Japan after flying from Brazil's Amazonas state, Japan's Health Ministry said on Sunday.

Japan's National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) said it was not immediately clear how infectious the new variant is.

"At the moment, there is no proof showing the new variant found in those from Brazil is high in infectiousness," NIID head Takaji Wakita told a health ministry briefing, according to Reuters.

But while the new variant detected in Japan differs from those identified in South Africa and the U.K., it does share one mutation with these two, which could indicate that it may be more transmissible."

https://www.newsweek.com/new-covid-variant-japan-potential-more-infectious-1560475

UK needs to have much stricter border control. Just now eventually going to start stipulating negative tests taken 72 hours before arrival.. Denmark have moved to requiring tests to be negative 24 hours prior to arrival . Don't know if other countries are asking the same. Seems UK slow to catch up 

On 1/12/2021 at 11:52 PM, yonza bam said:

Potentially very significant article in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, explaining how a cluster of infections in a South Korea tower block, only infected residents who lived in two vertical lines within the block, strongly suggesting aerosol transmission through air ducts, and the potential for low viral load to cause disease.

Abstract
Background

Scientists have strongly implied that aerosols could be the plausible cause of COVID-19 transmission; however, aerosol transmission remains controversial.

The study
We investigated the epidemiological relationship among infected cases on a recent cluster infection of COVID-19 in an apartment building in Seoul, South Korea. All infected cases were found along two vertical lines of the building, and each line was connected through a single air duct in the bathroom for natural ventilation. Our investigation found no other possible contact between the cases than the airborne infection through a single air duct in the bathroom. The virus from the first infected case can be spread to upstairs and downstairs through the air duct by the (reverse) stack effect, explaining the air movement in a vertical shaft.

Conclusions
This study suggests aerosol transmission, especially indoors with insufficient ventilation, which is underappreciated.

https://www.ijidonline.com/article/S1201-9712(20)32558-3/fulltext

Seems very conclusive. Japan has paid attention to the importance of ventilation from the outset of the pandemic. 

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