Sunday, March 15, 2020

Stuff to Know About The China Flu

PowerLine found this page and it is a good, calm, discussion of the event.  You may want to bookmark it for future looks.

A couple of excerpts which are significant:

...We want to know the total number of cases.

However, the total number of COVID-19 cases is not known. It is unknown by us at Our World in Data, or any other research, governmental or reporting institution. 

There are several reasons why the total number is not known.

Whilst for some the symptoms are very severe (see below here), for a large share of the population the symptoms are mild. In such cases people may be unaware that they are infected with COVID-19, and therefore not get seen, and diagnosed, by a doctor.1,2

The second reason that the confirmed cases are only a fraction of the total number is that many countries are struggling to test a large number of cases. Not every person that should be tested is able to....
As we know, testing in the USA was not great, but with new protocols for FDA/CDC to follow in the future, that problem should go away in the next 30-60 days.

 ...But in an outbreak of an infectious disease it is important to not only focus on the number of cases, but also the growth rate at which the number of cases is increasing....

...A helpful metric to measure the rate of change is to look at each country and ask: How long did it take for the number of confirmed cases to double?

...The doubling time of cases has changed and it will change in the future. It would be wrong to extrapolate current growth into the future....
In other words, some models may be flawed, just like the models of GlobalWarm/GlobalCool.  

...The global average hides the differences between countries that are successfully reducing the number of confirmed cases and those that fail to achieve this...
Averages are fine in baseball, but not in this instance.

Keep scrolling on their page and you'll find country-by-country stats.  You'll also note that there ARE cases in Africa, which MAY nullify the thesis that 'warm weather' will halt spread of the China Flu.

Moving on........another site with more information.  H/T Grim

...The directive, issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, requires that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a sister agency, retest every positive coronavirus test run by a public health lab to confirm its accuracy. The result, experts say, is wasting limited resources at a time when thousands of Americans are waiting in line to get tested for COVID-19.

The duplicative effort is the latest obstacle that is slowing the federal response to COVID-19,...

That directive was issued 2/4/20.   You can read this in two ways:  either FDA wants to maintain quality control of the results OR FDA is an overweening bunch of power-mad bureaucrats.  I vote for the former....but you can go the other way.

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