Coronavirus 2020


This is the only thing that makes sense on the current growth rates which are very small outside of China. It is increasingly looking as if it is not as infectious as it first appeared and that it has been around for longer than we are hearing (the cruise ship in Japan does not seem to have too many infections on a cruise ship of 3000+ people).

Also, as a young healthy western European he would probably not have been too badly hit by the virus. It could just as easily have been the common cold or flu though, but it’s quite a coincidence and Occam’s razor points to the fact the virus has been around a while. The evidence might change however.


Ok, not as positive as I had thought. More information on the cruise ship below.

“273 people on board who have since been tested following health screenings, 31 results had come back – and of those 10 were positive.”

That’s quite dire. Hopefully they were just testing the most symptomatic people first and the results are skewed because of this. I do imagine a high volume of older asian gentlemen on this cruise ship but still not good results so far at all. The initial case was an 80 year old man that spurred the quarantine.


I’d be interested to see if this is the single driving factor. There is another element. I don’t know about now, but when I backpacked in China nearly 20 years ago, the Chinese habit of spitting, hocking a loogie, and generally clearing their nasal passages direct to the ground - was some thing to behold. Admittedly I didn’t see much of this in Shanghai, but certainly in Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing and generally in the rural areas I visited for sure. And it was pretty much a male habit.


You should assume they are not up-to-date for very obvious reason of medical bandwidth to more sinister ones, which leave a range of the circa 400 figure all the way up to the lates 25,000+ dead.

Also, based on chatter, I wonder how accurate are the tests at detecting it first time round or every time - how many false positives are there, i.e. negative but actually positive.


Still wondering about its affects on Europeans. Also, on the John Hopkins map they still haven’t updated that German man’s health status as recovered. Which is unusual.

Another interesting snippet is that none of the 6 Germans from that company have gone to hospital. They are just at home with the virus in stable conditions and have been urged to contact medical facilities if they need it. There’s been no further updates on their conditions for a few days, but no bad news.

It’s interesting that just 6 people in the company appear to have contracted the virus.


btw… If everybody sits at home and Wuhan is a “ghost city”…
Why PM2.5 levels are still crazy high ?

I don’t see any anomalies which would be expected if everybody sits at home… Very strange.


Pm2.5 mainly derived from home heating fuel


Some big numbers quarantined or who travelled from wuhan for the Chinese New year

Concerns as 3,000 Chinese from Wuhan visited Sihanoukville and Siem Reap during the Lunar New Year.

43,000 workers quarantined in Chinese owned mining complex on Sulawesi. Concerns over zero cases being reported in the country leading to accusations of lack of screening

25,000 Chinese visited Thailand during the Lunar New Year. Concerns grow over potential outbreaks in tourism spots.





Watch video before it disappears.

Main acc here -


Strange and very large looking fires burnt at night in wuhan filmed from apartment overlooking the site.

Comment some way down noted a rise is Sulphur Dioxide using windy app that reports air quality allegedly at that location.


That Tencent transient webpage numbers looks about right when compared with the epidemiological model published by the guys an HK Univ Med School last week. We should be at around 1M infected but only 200K’ish with strong enough symptoms to be diagnosed. The 25K deaths for the whole county would be around 2.5% mortality rate. That HK model gives the Chinese epidemic reaching peak in late April. I have not seen any epidemiological models for the West yet but I would expect a two or three month lag with a lower peak.

For those wondering about treatment regime this is the clearest one published so far. The guy in Seattle who got infected…

Basically just the usual acetaminophen, ibuprofen and guaifenesin, with antibiotics so the patient did not pick up hospital inflections With some supplemental oxygen. And when it started turning into pneumonia they threw a shit load of antivirals at it for a day. Which seemed to work.

Long term future of 2019 nCoV will probably be something like this.

It seems the other corona viruses out there are the cause of a minority of common colds.

The reason why the Indian paper, now withdrawn, first got my attention was because of these two very odd paragraphs in one of the first characterizations of the virus.

" As a typical RNA virus, the average evolutionary rate for coronaviruses is roughly 10−4 nucleotide substitutions per site per year,


with mutations arising during every replication cycle. It is, therefore, striking that the sequences of 2019-nCoV from different patients described here were almost identical, with greater than 99·9% sequence identity. This finding suggests that 2019-nCoV originated from one source within a very short period and was detected relatively rapidly. However, as the virus transmits to more individuals, constant surveillance of mutations arising is needed"


" Phylogenetic analysis showed that bat-derived coronaviruses fell within all five subgenera of the genus Betacoronavirus. Moreover, bat-derived coronaviruses fell in basal positions in the subgenus Sarbecovirus, with 2019-nCoV most closely related to bat-SL-CoVZC45 and bat-SL-CoVZXC21, which were also sampled from bats.


These data are consistent with a bat reservoir for coronaviruses in general and for 2019-nCoV in particular. However, despite the importance of bats, several facts suggest that another animal is acting as an intermediate host between bats and humans. First, the outbreak was first reported in late December, 2019, when most bat species in Wuhan are hibernating. Second, no bats were sold or found at the Huanan seafood market, whereas various non-aquatic animals (including mammals) were available for purchase. Third, the sequence identity between 2019-nCoV and its close relatives bat-SL-CoVZC45 and bat-SL-CoVZXC21 was less than 90%, which is reflected in the relatively long branch between them. Hence, bat-SL-CoVZC45 and bat-SL-CoVZXC21 are not direct ancestors of 2019-nCoV."

Further studies should clear up these mysteries. Maybe. One odd feature about the Indian paper before it was shown to be wrong about the math was the pre-print site looked like it was being DDOS’ed. The Cloudflare behavior I saw was just like you see when a DDOS attack is detected. Maybe nothing to it, but still odd.

So I think we are looking at a rerun of the Asian flu epidemic of the late 1960’s. Those kind of numbers. With the most likely vector into the west being Australia. If the stories about the delay in shutting down flights for almost a week for the very lucrative foreign students from China to return are true. If looks like the hospital strike by medical staff in Hong Kong for the last two days to force the government to close the border has worked. So that should greatly reduce the spread into the west by that route.

The weibo page for CCTV will show you a lot of domestic TV news coverage. Using Chrome will give you a reasonable translation of the text. The expected positive story spin but not the old style heavy handed propaganda from the 1990’s and it will put very human faces on this huge humanitarian disaster.


Lab with the ability to diagnose 10,000 tests a day just built


Awesome. I wonder if there is a lag time on finalising those 10k tests or if they are completed in one day. Either way, we’ll learn a lot more over the next couple of weeks, particularly regarding the mildly affected and the asymptomatic.


Professor David Heymann, who led the World Health Organization’s infectious disease unit at the time of the Sars outbreak, urged caution, saying it was too soon to accurately predict the spread of the virus.

“What’s important is the cases outside of China,” said Heymann. “Inside China there is a lot of disorder in the health system, because it is overstretched. Patient management has to come first. But with a victim outside China, you can follow that case and see how others are being infected, by observing the reproduction rate and the spectrum of disease.

“It’s a 26 country laboratory, where there is a chance of much better understanding of the dynamics of the outbreak and the spectrum of the disease in people who are infected.

“What helps in an outbreak is to know what you don’t know,” he added.

“The evidence will come, as the rate of transmission and reproductive rates are estimates, not models. Models are only as good as the information in them.”


This doesn’t help either 

Who trusts self isolation?



The guy who flew into Dublin at the weekend would, if tested positive and not requiring hospitalisation for his own sake, have been escorted / transported to his residence to begin self isolation. His residence was student accommodation in a major third level institution…