Corona Virus spreading ... US official says no need to worry

When the government tells me I don't need to worry, then I tend to think I really do need to be concerned. But at least one report is quoting some US health officials as saying there is no need for US citizens to worry.

We know there are 4 cases in the USA, 1 case in Canada.

The Canadian case is a man who arrived sick and is in the hospital in Toronto. Canadian health officials seemed to imply that they have probably contacted all the at risk people who may have been in contact with the Chinese national on the inbound flight.

In the US, there is 1 confirmed case in Washington State, 1 in Chicago, 2 in California. I believe all the cases are foreign nationals.

China has QUARANTINED roughly 60 MILLION PEOPLE by cutting off 16 (or more) cities. The epicenter is Wuhan, a city of 11 Million people, but the quarantine was put into place after roughly 5 million people left the city for the Lunar New Year celebration, which is the heaviest travel time in China and typically has more than 100,000,000 people traveling nationally + internationally for the week long holiday period.

Official sources say there are under 2000 cases worldwide, and approximately 50 deaths. The disease is being compared to the Spanish Flu, which killed millions just about 100 years ago, but this is considered far more dangerous.

UN-official sources suggest that at least 100,000 cases exist and the disease is spreading and mutating very quickly.


China scrambles to contain 'strengthening' virus
(Adds comments from mayor of Wuhan)

* Coronavirus' transmission ability getting stronger

* Incubation 1-14 days, infectious during incubation

* China confirms 1,975 people infected, 56 dead

* U.S. to evacuate diplomatic staff, citizens from Wuhan

* China imposes temporary nationwide ban on sale of wildlife

By Gabriel D. Crossley and Cheng Leng

BEIJING/SHANGHAI, Jan 26 (Reuters) - The ability of the new coronavirus to spread is strengthening and infections could continue to rise, China's National Health Commission said on Sunday, with more than 2,000 people in China infected and 56 killed by the disease.

Health authorities around the world are racing to prevent a pandemic after a handful of cases of infection were reported outside China, including in Thailand, Australia, the United States and France.

The mayor of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, said he expected another 1,000 new patients in the city, which was stepping up construction of special hospitals.

The newly identified coronavirus has created alarm because much about it is still unknown, such as how dangerous it is and how easily it spreads between people. It can cause pneumonia, which has been deadly in some cases.

China's National Health Commission Minister Ma Xiaowei said the incubation period for the virus can range from one to 14 days, during which infection can occur, which was not the case with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

SARS was a coronavirus that originated in China and killed nearly 800 people globally in 2002 and 2003.

"According to recent clinical information, the virus' ability to spread seems to be getting somewhat stronger," Ma told reporters.

The Lunar New Year holiday, traditionally celebrated by hundreds of millions of Chinese travelling around the country and abroad to see family, began on Friday but has been severely disrupted by the outbreak.

Ma said China would intensify its containment efforts, which have so far included transportation and travel curbs and the cancellation of big events.

The country may extend the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, state broadcaster CCTV reported, citing a meeting hosted by Chinese premier Li Keqiang.

The virus, believed to have originated late last year in a seafood market in Wuhan that was illegally selling wildlife, has spread to cities including Beijing and Shanghai. Hong Kong has six confirmed cases.

The World Health Organisation this week stopped short of calling the outbreak a global health emergency, but some health experts question whether China can contain the epidemic.

Chinese President Xi Jinping described the situation as "grave" on Saturday.

China confirmed 2,051 cases of infection as of 7 p.m. (1100 GMT) on Jan. 26, while the death toll from the virus remained at 56, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Health officials in Orange County, California, reported that a third case had been registered in the United States in a traveller from Wuhan, who was in isolation and in good condition.

On Saturday, Canada declared a first "presumptive" confirmed case in a resident who had returned from Wuhan. Australia confirmed its first four cases.

No fatalities have been reported outside China.


On Sunday, China temporarily banned nationwide the sale of wildlife in markets, restaurants, and e-commerce platforms. Wild and often poached animals packed together in Chinese markets are blamed as incubators for viruses to evolve and jump the species barrier to humans.

Snakes, peacocks, crocodiles and other species can also be found for sale via Taobao, an e-commerce website run by Alibaba.

The New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society called on China to make the ban permanent.

The U.S. State Department said it will relocate personnel at its Wuhan consulate to the United States, while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his government was working with China to arrange a charter flight for Japanese nationals to return from Wuhan.

The outbreak has prompted widening curbs on movements within China, with Wuhan, a city of 11 million, on virtual lockdown and transport links all-but severed except for emergency vehicles.


Health authorities in Beijing urged people not to shake hands but instead salute using a traditional cupped-hand gesture. The advice was sent in a text message that went out to mobile phone users in the city on Sunday morning.

Beijing also postponed the reopening of the city's schools and universities after the Lunar New Year holiday, state radio reported. Hong Kong had already delayed the reopening of schools to Feb. 17.

China has called for transparency in managing the crisis, after a cover-up of the spread of the SARS virus eroded public trust, but officials in Wuhan have been criticised for their handling of the current outbreak.

"People in my hometown all suspect the real infected patients number given by authorities," said Violet Li, who lives in the Wuhan district where the seafood market is located.

Illustrating the extend of disruption to life in China, overall passenger travel declined by nearly 29% on Saturday, the first day of the Lunar New Year, from a year earlier, with air passengers down nearly 42%, a transportation ministry official said.

Many cinemas across China were closed with major film premieres postponed.

Cruise operators including Royal Caribbean Cruises, and Costa Cruises said they had cancelled a combined 12 cruises that had been scheduled to embark from Chinese ports before Feb. 2.

Hong Kong Disneyland and the city's Ocean Park were closed on Sunday. Shanghai Disneyland, which expected 100,000 visitors daily through the holiday period, has already closed.

Airports around the world have stepped up screening of passengers from China, although some health officials and experts have questioned the effectiveness of these efforts.
I've been hearing more and more about break through cases. I'd be interested in reading about which vaccine is more susceptible to break through cases. That info may be impossible to obtain and just not out there, but I'd sure like to see percentages compared by vaccine brands.
I found some data on breakthrough cases in Israel. They primarily used Pfizer and AstraZenica. But the people who got it after vaccination rarely got very sick. It seems like it is nothing to really worry about (statistically) if you are vaccinated or if you recovered from a prior infection.
The thing about being American is we get to make choices. Sometime we make bad ones. But why does that give our government, or any particular political party, any foundation for telling us what we MUST do? A government that tells us what we must do is not one of a free people. So they say, the choice is either we are free or we are safe? Bull feathers.

We are free to make bad decisions. and no government should be held to task for not preventing our stupidity.
Right now we have the choice.

There are SOME government workers that are going to be mandated to get a vaccine.

There are SOME private sector workers that are being told they need to get the vaccine but they still have a choice.

Just to add a little clarity to the fire, the death rate is still VERY VERY LOW from Covid. I can find no data that shows that DELTA is actually more deadly as a % of cases. It will increase hospitalizations and deaths in the unvaccinated population as they get infected, but very likely among the higher risk populations (obesity, autoimmune, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, etc).

U.S. Coronavirus Death Rate Is Still Roughly at Pandemic-Low

Wendell Husebø27 Jul 2021
In this file photo, James Harvey tends tends to the inventory of pre-sold caskets at a funeral home on April 29, 2020 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
The United States’ coronavirus death rate is still roughly at a pandemic-low, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended Tuesday that vaccinated individuals and children wear masks indoors.
According to Google’s coronavirus tracking system on July 26, 275 people are dying from the virus on a seven day average, while overall infection cases are rising. Around the high of coronavirus deaths on January 20, when President Joe Biden took office, 3,056 people were dying on a seven day average.
Since January, coronavirus deaths have steadily decreased – presumably due to the vaccine developed under the Trump administration.
On February 20, 1,904 people were dying on a seven day average. The number dipped again in March to 1,083.
On April 20, the number had decreased to 784 deaths on average per seven days. May saw the number shrink to 595 and in June the average seven day death rate was down to 300.
The dropping numbers come as the CDC reinstated mask recommendations for vaccinated individuals, a policy which was previously dropped in May when the seven day average was recorded at 595.
When the White House was pressed as to why vaccinated individuals must wear masks, press secretary Jen Psaki said the recommendations were due to the “transmissibility of the virus.”
“Because the public health leaders in our administration have made the determination, based on data, that is a way to make sure they are protected, their loved ones are protected.,” she said. “That’s an extra step in given the transmissibility of the virus.”
“Federal officials met on Sunday night to review new evidence that may have prompted the reversal,” a New York Times report stated. “The new guidance would mark a sharp turnabout from the agency’s position since May that vaccinated people do not need to wear masks in most indoor spaces.”
“It’s a dynamic situation. It’s a work in progress, it evolves like in so many other areas of the pandemic,” Dr. Anthony Fauci explained Sunday. “You’ve got to look at the data.”
The Associated Press reported the peak death toll “topped out in mid-January at an average of more than 3,400 a day, just a month into the biggest vaccination drive in the nation’s history.”
And for the old folks.

Israel, the nation which is the most vaccinated in the world, and which vaccinated their older people faster than any other nation, we have a lot of news reports. Already noted, people who got vaccinated in December/January have less resistance to Delta than people who got vaccinated in March/April. So it appears that, at least among OLDER people, the vaccine effectiveness seems to fade. Younger people don't seem to show as much fade in effectiveness but there are very few studies so the data is really incomplete.

Israel is not going to begin dosing a 3rd dose of vaccine to older folks. It is unclear if they are just going to give another shot of the current vaccine or if they are using a newer version of the vaccine that has been optimized for Delta. As it clearly doesn't say a new version is being used, I'd just guess they are giving another dose of the current vaccine.

Health Ministry experts panel recommends 3rd COVID shot for older Israelis

Jul. 29, 2021 12:38 AM​
Experts advising the Health Ministry have recommended that older people receive a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine, though they disagree on whether the cohort should start at 60 years old, 65 or 70.​
Some of the data presented at a discussion Wednesday suggested that the vaccine's effectiveness in preventing severe symptoms among 60-year-olds and above has dropped to 81 percent from 97 percent in January.​
While most panel members favored a booster shot for anyone 60 or older, others suggested that the bar be raised to 65 or 70. The Health Ministry's director general, Nachman Ash, will make the final decision.​
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will meet the health minister and other experts on Thursday to discuss the health or economic implications of the said move, a statement by the prime minister's office reads.​
Earlier Wednesday, experts told Haaretz that there is still not enough data on the effectiveness and safety of a third dose, but they also expressed concerns about delaying the decision.​
Prof. Galia Rahav, head of the infectious disease unit at Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv, will head a research team looking into the move. Rahav told Haaretz that she hopes to begin testing a third dose next week.​
“We're seeing a dramatic drop in the level of immunity and we know the elderly respond less to vaccines than the young, but we don’t have this data for COVID-19,” she said.​
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett declared that Israel was “very close” to making a decision on COVID booster shots, and on obtaining the additional doses needed to make that happen.​
Bennett's remarks came two weeks after the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said there was no need at this time for a third dose, but as Israeli Health Ministry data showed a sharp decline in the vaccine's effectiveness against infection and a slight decline in preventing severe illness.​
SWEDEN has a fairly small population but an extraordinarily high vaccination rate, especially among the older populations, which are generally at greater risk. Nice to see they have ZERO deaths. Probably largely because they have so many vaccinated people.

Israel also is high vaccinated but is seeing breakthrough by the DELTA variant from India.

Why is Israel having a different infection rate than Sweden? Some of the answer may lie in WHEN people were vaccinated. There are now studies showing that the vaccination efficacy, especially in OLDER adults, tends to fade over time. Since Israel started their vaccination program earlier than other nations, logically some of their population, especially the older members who were vaccinated first, would actually have lower immunity than people who have more recently been vaccinated. Sweden started mass vaccinations later, and therefore would, if the data is correct, have a higher level of immunity to the Delta/Indian variant because more people have been vaccinated fairly recently.


Israel Becomes First Country In World To Push 3rd COVID Shot For Already Vaccinated

In what's a likely sign of things to come elsewhere, Israel is now pushing a third jab, or follow-up booster for those who've already received their two vaccine rounds, for the elderly people over the age of 60.
Israel's prominent Haaretz newspaper revealed Thursday the country will be the first in the world to start doing so after government approval, writing that Israel "will start offering a third COVID vaccine shot to people over 60 starting on Sunday, after the Health Ministry approved the move on Thursday."
"The booster shots will be given to those over 60 who received their second dose at least five months ago. Israel is the first country to announce that it will begin giving booster shots," the report says.
Israeli President Naftali Bennet unveiled the plan to the nation in a televised address:
"I’m announcing this evening the beginning of the campaign to receive the booster vaccine, the third vaccine," Bennett said.
"Reality proves the vaccines are safe. Reality also proves the vaccines protects from severe morbidity and death. And like the flu vaccine that needs to be renewed from time to time, it is the same in this case."
Recent reports have indicated internal health ministry disagreement on whether the third jab program should start for vaccinated people 60 years old, 65 or 70. The rationale is that the elderly are considered to have weaker immune systems compared to the broader population.
Some 60% of Israel's total population has been vaccinated. The third round of a Pfizer-BioNTech shot is also in response to fears that the vaccine's effectiveness is waning the face of the delta variant's spread. Within the eligible age group, those that received their second dose at least five months ago have access to the booster.
Some are already calling for a "different vaccine" altogether to fight delta and other variants...
Axios notes that:
Pfizer on Wednesday said it has data that shows that a third shot "strongly" increases antibody levels against the Delta variant.
Recently Israel's health ministry boasted that the two-dose vaccine is 91% effective against severe illness and 88% effective against hospitalization, but again it appears that officials are concerned the effectiveness is being reduced especially in the elderly population. . .
This morning I saw a "shocking" headline that is supposed to scare people.

126,000 Breakthrough Infections in Vaccinated People

Put that into perspective, that is less than 0.08% of the vaccinated people who got Covid after vaccination, and they typically get very mild cases and don't end up in the hospital.

Over 98% of the deaths are among the UNvaccinated population.

People at risk are usually a combination of 2 or more of the following: overweight, with hypertension, diabetic, elderly, autoimmune disease, cancer, pulmonary issues. Unvaccinated people are at much higher risk than vaccinated people for developing complications, especially if they have some of the above morbidities.
I would really like to see the demographic data on the people who are going into the hospitals.

How old are they? Breakdown by age brackets.
What other co-morbidities do they have?

The 3 data points below are NOT listed in the article, which clearly shows that some hospitals are bursting their capacity limits, but it should be noted that based on national data:
  • 179 unvaccinated people per 100,000 get Covid versus 21 vaccinated people per 100,000.
  • 2.96 people per 100,000 cases end up in the hospital versus 0.1 vaccinated peoplel.
  • 0.96% unvaccinated who get Covid end up dead vs 0.04% of the vaccinated people.

Full story at the link below:

According to the Florida Health Department, the new positivity rate for all of Florida is at 18.1%. In Broward, it’s 14%, Miami-Dade is at 12.1%, and Monroe County is at 16.2%.​
And according to the Florida Hospital Association, COVID-19 hospitalizations are nearing last year’s peak.​
Florida now has more people hospitalized than any other state.​
Dr. Yvonne Johnson, Chief Medical Officer at Baptist South Miami Hospital, said the number of patients in her COVID ward has quadrupled in the past 3 weeks.​
Eighty to eighty-five percent of those people who are hospitalized are unvaccinated. And 100 percent of the people in my IUC are unvaccinated. All those people are suffering unnecessarily.”