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Everybody Is Kung Flu Fighting

3D rendering of coronavirus (Gilnature/GettyImagesPlus)

Tweets from a Harvard epidemiologist:

 

More:

8/ … SUMMARY: so what does this mean for the world??? We are now faced with the most virulent virus 🦠 epidemic the world has ever seen. An R0=3.8 means that it exceeds SARS’s modest 0.49 viral attack rate by 7.75x — almost 8 fold! A virus that spreads 8 faster than SARS…

— Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) January 25, 2020

10\ … possibly an unchecked pandemic that the world has not seen since the 1918 Spanish Influenza. Let’s hope it doesn’t reach that level but we now live in the modern world 🌎 with faster ✈️+ 🚞 than 1918. @WHO and @CDCgov needs to declare public health emergency ASAP!

— Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) January 25, 2020

 

12/ What is the typical R0 attack rate for the seasonal flu in most years? It’s around an R0=1.28. The 2009 flu pandemic? R0=1.48. The 1918 Spanish Flu? 1.80. This new #WuhanCoronavirus reproductive value again? R0=3.8. (Flu reference: https://t.co/ldAWBlFkvA)

— Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) January 25, 2020

 

So, kung flu is twice as virulent as the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic that swept the globe and killed millions. That’s … not encouraging.

UPDATE: A science writer says this is really alarmist b.s.:

Whole thread here.

UPDATE.2: Xi Jinping convened an emergency meeting of China’s leadership, and said the country faces “a grave situation.” China has also shut down overseas tourism for its citizens — something like quarantining the whole country. More updates here from the NYT.

UPDATE.3: Wyoming Doc comments:

I just want to make sure there is a correction in your above comment.

First of all influenza viruses are a COMPLETELY different family and a very different creature than CORONAVIRUSES. People should not be referring to this outbreak as the “flu” at all – it most definitely is not.

The other comment you made about the Spanish flu of 1918 is factually incorrect – and a very common misconception. I am a medical doctor and have additional training in epidemiology – so please go look this up if you do not believe me.

The normal yearly influenza that comes around in North America this time of the year absolutely follows the trail you outlined. It affects the very old, the very young, the already infirm, the immunosuppressed and the malnourished. This is true.

When influenza mutates in novel ways – as it did in 1918 – it becomes a much different type of Godzilla. It made the entire population very ill as it traversed the globe. However, the VAST majority of people who were wiped out in 1918 were between the ages of 12 and 40 – and never had been sick in their life. Most viral and bacterial PANDEMICS are a very very different thing and behave in very different ways than their non-PANDEMIC counterparts.

The unfortunate joker in the deck in this situation we find ourselves today is the interesting dance between truth and the People’s Republic. I have been scanning for information daily about the characteristics of the dead in China – and have NOT FOUND OR SEEN A THING. At this point – we have not a clue what is going on and who is actually being affected. So far – the patients here in the USA (no deaths) have been otherwise healthy young or middle-aged people.

I just wanted to clear up that one issue – THIS VIRUS IS NOT THE FLU – and PANDEMICS always behave in very unexpected ways. This current issue is certainly not a pandemic yet. Please keep this in mind as we go through the next few weeks – I have a bad feeling this is going to get very interesting.

My comfort now is the childhood memory of my Greek grandfather – who when things like this happened in the world would incorporate the ancient Jesus Prayer into everything in his life for days on end. He said it in Greek – but translated it is – “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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