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  #2410895 31-Jan-2020 19:33
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I work from home alone, so not overly concerned with the virus.

I saw the article mentioned N95 masks, and since I'm curious about any technology, did a little digging.

Protecting yourself from coronavirus: The two types of face masks that can help

Cnet by Caroline Roberts

A face mask can protect you from contracting a cold, flu or other virus -- just make sure you get the right kind.

...Do respirators actually prevent viral infections?

The answer to this is yes, but the exact effect is difficult to define. Studies have shown that they're highly effective in preventing viral illnesses, but only in people that actually wore the masks correctly, which is rare.

N95 masks are difficult to put on for people who aren't medical professionals. If you've put the mask on right, it gets hot and stuffy, so a lot of people take it off before it can do any good.

Another study showed that respiratory masks are helpful in preventing viral infections, but only when combined with frequent handwashing.

The bottom line? A government-approved N95 mask can lower your chance of viral illness, but only if you use it correctly. Plus, you should still continue other common-sense preventative measures, like washing your hands frequently, not touching your mouth or nose and avoiding other sick people.

If you don't have access to an N95 mask, a surgical face mask will suffice. Though, as noted, you'll get less protection from airborne viruses if you wear a face mask. Hall says that wrapping a scarf or other cotton fiber around your nose and mouth can also work in a bind.
...


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  #2410992 31-Jan-2020 23:26
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New Zealand's high rates of asthma could amplify the severity of cases in New Zealand.

 

Officials seem to be fixated on preventing panic to the point people may not think it serious enough to take sufficient precautions. On the 6PM news he described it as being "not terribly contagious". 


 
 
 
 


gzt

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  #2411006 1-Feb-2020 01:16
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grimwulf:

gzt:
grimwulf: - and it's really interesting that the discourse, even from our own health department is now on whether there's an 'outbreak' here rather than single infections...

I'm not sure what you are taking about. There is not one single case in NZ at this time.


I guess it depends how much trust you have in our health officials and their priorities. 


It is my view that, given our borders are still open and flights still arriving, and our ties with China from a business and tourism perspective, it's improbable that we don't have any cases here yet. I believe it is more probable that there are cases, isolated, that have not been reported in order not to create public panic or add to the rising tide of racist reaction.


It is my view that, we have absolutely no way of knowing whether we have cases here or not - so categorically saying we do not have one single case in NZ at this time has no logical basis. We do have people here that have travelled here over the past few days from China, sometimes via other countries. They may not be showing symptoms, but given that from reports, the disease can incubate for up to two weeks before symptoms are shown, it is impossible to be 100% sure.


It is my view that, our health officials are being very careful about the words they use.


Initially it started as "there are no confirmed cases". Of course to be confirmed you needed to have been tested, and at the time that required a 72-hour(ish) roundtrip to Australia as we had no labs capable. So of course none were confirmed because the tests wouldn't have been completed.


So then it was, not only have none been confirmed but, "we have no cases that match the definition of a suspected case". Which is also full of holes, because they wouldn't elaborate on the exact definition of a suspected case. Depending on how strict that criteria was, that could be true, or not. For example someone travelling from Wuhan could match the definition, but someone travelling from Beijing might not.


Then, as it is now a notifiable disease, it is unlawful not to report cases - also they've been waiting until we have New Zealand labs capable of testing which was reported earlier today. So the language has changed, it's now that we will get cases, but we'll be able to stop an outbreak. This is all preamble to the notification of said cases - which they'll likely state were awaiting testing at the NZ lab (although they probably have results for some from AU already).


Added to this the economic/tourism/social impacts of announcing cases here, it's unsurprising that the government would want to 'keep a lid' on any such notifications until more of the rest of the world had notified so as not to stick out.


I have very little doubt that in the coming days we will have case notifications, that were first 'suspected' several days ago, but have just been confirmed. 


Whether or not they should have been communicated earlier, time and history will tell.

Above from yesterday.

At that time there were no confirmed cases. Now there is one suspected case which presumably meets diagnostic criteria and is now awaiting a test result.

Personally I trust our health officials to make decisions 100% on the basis of the health of the population of New Zealand. I also trust that those decisions are made independently of anyone else's concerns about tourism, trade or whatever.

If there is anything less than optimal about the process it will come out for sure. Even the health aspects will be studied for years to come. Imo you are imagining a perfect response to a situation based on probability without taking into account actual logistics and unknowns.

Edit: misread article, corrected.

gzt

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  #2411009 1-Feb-2020 02:11
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Ministry of Health executive Dr Ashley Bloomfield press conference:

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/408547/one-patient-in-auckland-hospital-with-symptoms-that-fit-the-coronavirus

Information about NZ government coordination with pacific islands, screening process for kiwi evac from Wuhan, other background info. Press conference in full:


/dev/null
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  #2411010 1-Feb-2020 02:15
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I just had an interesting email from a company I normally get press releases from and thought I'd share it here:

 

My friend and I built a little app that enables to track the toll of the coronavirus in real-time: https://coronavirus.app

 

No download required, no monetization whatsoever — just a simple app we built in 72 hours with the goal of informing people about the epidemic.

 

For the record, we're both expats based in Taiwan, so we felt particularly concerned about the epidemic.

 

The app is being constantly updated so that it reflects the latest numbers provided by the authorities.There are also a number of embeddable charts that might be useful if you write about the coronavirus.

 

Please let know if there are any questions I can answer!

 

Best,

 

Kevin Basset

 

Really feel for these guys - it must be scary. But pretty neat of them to build such an app without money in mind (I've seen many other sites plastered in ads). Also embedded below:

 





703

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Master Geek


  #2411061 1-Feb-2020 11:57
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Latest forecast from the Lancet journel. 

 

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30260-9/fulltext

 

Pay particular attention to figure 4, worse is about to come and will peak around May.

 

"Therefore, in the absence of substantial public health interventions that are immediately applied, further international seeding and subsequent local establishment of epidemics might become inevitable. On the present trajectory, 2019-nCoV could be about to become a global epidemic in the absence of mitigation. Nevertheless, it might still be possible to secure containment of the spread of infection such that initial imported seeding cases or even early local transmission does not lead to a large epidemic in locations outside Wuhan. To possibly succeed, substantial, even draconian measures that limit population mobility should be seriously and immediately considered in affected areas, as should strategies to drastically reduce within-population contact rates through cancellation of mass gatherings, school closures, and instituting work-from-home arrangements, for example. Precisely what and how much should be done is highly contextually specific and there is no one-size-fits-all set of prescriptive interventions that would be appropriate across all settings"

 

Great, we're doing none of the above.

 

 


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  #2411076 1-Feb-2020 12:30
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703:

 

Latest forecast from the Lancet journel. 

 

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30260-9/fulltext

 

Pay particular attention to figure 4, worse is about to come and will peak around May.

 

"Therefore, in the absence of substantial public health interventions that are immediately applied, further international seeding and subsequent local establishment of epidemics might become inevitable. On the present trajectory, 2019-nCoV could be about to become a global epidemic in the absence of mitigation. Nevertheless, it might still be possible to secure containment of the spread of infection such that initial imported seeding cases or even early local transmission does not lead to a large epidemic in locations outside Wuhan. To possibly succeed, substantial, even draconian measures that limit population mobility should be seriously and immediately considered in affected areas, as should strategies to drastically reduce within-population contact rates through cancellation of mass gatherings, school closures, and instituting work-from-home arrangements, for example. Precisely what and how much should be done is highly contextually specific and there is no one-size-fits-all set of prescriptive interventions that would be appropriate across all settings"

 

Great, we're doing none of the above.

 

 

 

 

That's quite mean :-) . I read we are giving all the from China incoming passengers, pamphlets..... :-)

 

On a more serious note, although what I said is factual, I'm aghast at our lack of response. The official stage we are at is "Keep it Out" But we aren't doing anything. The one potential case we have, handed him/herself in. This Govt has been empathetic, and so on, great, but the latest issue NZ has, its now silence and be alert, thats it. 


 
 
 
 


703

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Master Geek


  #2411078 1-Feb-2020 12:41
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tdgeek:

 

That's quite mean :-) . I read we are giving all the from China incoming passengers, pamphlets..... :-)

 

On a more serious note, although what I said is factual, I'm aghast at our lack of response. The official stage we are at is "Keep it Out" But we aren't doing anything. The one potential case we have, handed him/herself in. This Govt has been empathetic, and so on, great, but the latest issue NZ has, its now silence and be alert, thats it. 

 

 

 

 

Yep, if I live in China, and look at the list of airlines still flying, I would definately hop on an Air NZ flight directly to NZ.


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  #2411079 1-Feb-2020 12:43
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bfginger:

 

New Zealand's high rates of asthma could amplify the severity of cases in New Zealand.

 

Officials seem to be fixated on preventing panic to the point people may not think it serious enough to take sufficient precautions. On the 6PM news he described it as being "not terribly contagious". 

 

 

Yes - the high rates of asthma could be a problem.

 

I'm staggered how anybody in any official position could say this virus is "not terribly contagious".  It absolutely and very obviously is. 


703

98 posts

Master Geek


  #2411080 1-Feb-2020 12:56
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Fred99:

 

bfginger:

 

New Zealand's high rates of asthma could amplify the severity of cases in New Zealand.

 

Officials seem to be fixated on preventing panic to the point people may not think it serious enough to take sufficient precautions. On the 6PM news he described it as being "not terribly contagious". 

 

 

Yes - the high rates of asthma could be a problem.

 

I'm staggered how anybody in any official position could say this virus is "not terribly contagious".  It absolutely and very obviously is. 

 

 

 

 

It has already been noted in many medical journals that an outbreak indirectly kills which would have otherwise been preventable because doctors and resources are prioritised to threat dying patients and everyone else requiring surgery, diagnosis and treatment is pushed back months and months. 

 

So its important to look at number outside of 2019-ncov, like the increase in the mortaility of all other dieseases during and after the outbreak. This was well documented for things like SARS.

 

 


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  #2411082 1-Feb-2020 13:03
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Fred99:

 

Fred99:

 

I note that SCTI has cancelled cover for events related to the virus outbreak for policies issued after 21 January for all of China, so assuming all other insurers have done the same. 

 

 

Reading their policy document, you're probably not covered for Wuhan virus medical expenses anywhere anyway.  Under exclusions:

 

l) an epidemic illness or pandemic illness, or the threat or perceived threat of any such epidemic illness or pandemic illness;

 

That's really good to know.  For some places you need to ensure you have cover for medevac.


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  #2411125 1-Feb-2020 13:24
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703:

 

It has already been noted in many medical journals that an outbreak indirectly kills which would have otherwise been preventable because doctors and resources are prioritised to threat dying patients and everyone else requiring surgery, diagnosis and treatment is pushed back months and months. 

 

So its important to look at number outside of 2019-ncov, like the increase in the mortaility of all other dieseases during and after the outbreak. This was well documented for things like SARS.

 

 

 

 

Yep.  There only so many ICU beds, ventilators etc.

 

There's also how cause of death is attributed.  For example, someone on their "last legs" with say COPD catches the flu, then gets a secondary bacterial pneumonia infection that was treated too late or ineffectively and which finishes them off.  So what was the "cause of death"? 

 

So flu deaths reporting, country to country comparisons are kind of meaningless (let alone comparing flu to Wuhan virus).

 

Reading one of the Lancet articles linked above in the thread, they mention protocol in China for confirming "suspected cases" (ie before samples are sent for rRT-PCR lab tests).  They must meet 2 out of 3 clinical criteria plus epidemiological (ie - had contact, from Wuhan etc) - or all 3 clinical criteria.  So, fever (that's easy), radiological (that's maybe not so easy - I think a CT scan - not a simple chest x-ray is needed), blood test (lymphocyte/white blood cell count - so should be routine in a good system - but not instant).  I presume only those meeting those criteria but waiting for rRT-PCR test are the "suspected case" tally.  Many of them are probably positive - it's not as if they test because someone just thinks it's a good idea - or because a patient wants to be tested.

 

Latest official update from China:

 

 

As of (midnight last night) , the national health committee received 31 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) and Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps reported a total of confirmed cases 11791 cases (Jiangxi, Shaanxi Province, Gansu Province, each subtract 1 case), the existing There were 1795 severe cases , a total of 259 deaths, a total of 243 cured and discharged patients , and a total of 17,988 suspected cases .

 

At present, a total of 136,987 close contacts have been traced . Of the 6,509 people who were released from medical observation on the same day , a total of 118,478 people are receiving medical observation.

 

So far, it's not being halted, and the number of "suspected" cases are increasing rapidly.


Devastation by stupidity
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  #2411129 1-Feb-2020 13:53
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I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  #2411133 1-Feb-2020 14:09
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This is a good video by someone who has good knowledge on how China worksforce works https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J12TTFu0mss&t=0s and makes some good points. He wore a mask in the airport, which I think is now common sense.

 

 

 

He was saying everyone should get a measles vaccine and how the USAs low vaccination rates , had meant that the USA who once eradicated measles, not is only vaccinated to 91%, which is less than China, at 99%. I understand NZ is also quite low, which also shows our policies aren't working, and it shoud be made a condition of going to schools in NZ>

 

 

 

I applied to get a measles vaccine in about August last year, and was told that I couldn't as there was a shortage, and that children were being given priority. I was told I would be contacted when there would be supply for adults, but never have been.  I am not sure how NZ will deal with an outbreak of this sort of thing. But I think at the least we should be screening at the border, or even closing the borders to China temporarily  , as they are apparently already on lockdown anyway, and protecting health is more important than tourist numbers. 


gzt

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  #2411170 1-Feb-2020 15:20
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Fred99:

bfginger:


New Zealand's high rates of asthma could amplify the severity of cases in New Zealand.


Officials seem to be fixated on preventing panic to the point people may not think it serious enough to take sufficient precautions. On the 6PM news he described it as being "not terribly contagious". 



Yes - the high rates of asthma could be a problem.


I'm staggered how anybody in any official position could say this virus is "not terribly contagious".  It absolutely and very obviously is. 


Presumably Bloomfield had something worse in mind when he said that. Who knows what. It's unfortunate at the least. Later in the exact same press conference he was very clear stating:

"The level of contagion is such that each infected person will infect two to three other people if they don't take any precautions".

(video and article with quotes linked earlier)

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