Well the HK head and most knowledgable person about coronaviruses says the R0 is 2.12 if methods are not implemented to stop the spread. Also says that Wuhan link to other major cities means that all 5 large city clusters in CHina will highly likely have an epidemic depending on the containment measures with it peaking in April-May. Wuhan will be a bit faster. Without any preventive measures a doubling of infected cases is expected every 6 days.
The epidemic might turn global depending on what happens to intentional mobility etc and containment measures. Advises draconian movement restrictions.
Not sure how bad that R0 is? May be Drlee can clarify. Spanish flu had R0 of 1.8 so we are fucked or something? (R0 is spread rate of sorts as i understand which basically means that 1 carrier is expected to infect 2.12 individuals on average)
Well John I am not comfortable making predictions or offering advice. I will leave that to the CDC.
What does the R0
mean? Let me put the numbers into perspective. To understand R0
you have to bear in mind that is measures spread among susceptible
populations. Those are populations where everyone is susceptible. No one has been vaccinated, no one has had the disease before, there’s no way to control the spread of the disease.
If R0 is less than 1, each existing infection causes less than one new infection. In this case, the disease will decline and eventually die out.
If R0 equals 1, each existing infection causes one new infection. The disease will stay alive and stable, but there won’t be an outbreak or an epidemic.
If R0 is more than 1, each existing infection causes more than one new infection. The disease will spread between people, and there may be an outbreak or epidemic.
So we know now that this disease is spread by droplets and contact. That is bad.
It has a period of up to 14 days where the infected person is contagious and presents no symptoms. That is bad. (Chinese officials say this but the CDC is not ready to endorse this yet. My uninformed guess is that there is at least some period of no symptoms but contagious.
We have cases increasing at a rapid pace in China. That is bad.
So this is no Measles R18. No Mumps R8. But it is a nasty bastard that is not finished with us yet.
There are some companies working on vaccines. They could be ready for human study in about three months. This is lightning fast in historical terms but three months from now, with these vaccines just starting human study does not make me feel much better. A lot can happen in three months.
Here is what I am doing as a precaution.
I am washing my hands like Lady Macbeth. 20 seconds of brisk soap and water. I use 70% hand sanitizer when I don't have access to a sink. I clean environmental surfaces with dilute bleach. I wear a mask and gloves when around patients with respiratory symptoms. I am not traveling. I am not kissing Chinese people unless they are simply irresistible.
I have stashed a supply of face masks, alcohol, Tylenol and Ibuprofen. The cars are full of gas and there is plenty of food in the house.
I watch the progress of this disease carefully. I can tap my friends at CDC is necessary.
I go to the clinic and let sick people cough on me. Sigh...