Last Active
  • Coronavirus / COVID-19

    redlancer said:
    JaimieT said:
    redlancer said:
    JaimieT said:
    God, can you imagine if this thing had a 10% or 20% death rate? Or 50%? Then I'd feel more dread. Ugh, that would be miserable, the waiting. 

    From what I understand that actually makes the virus not spread, the people who get it die too fast before they can pass on the virus. That's why ebola and bird flu hasn't wiped out the world. This one seems like the sweet spot of very contagious but mild enough symptoms that take quite a while to show (if at all). 

    I need to go buy a dust mask at the hardware store to do some drywall sanding this weekend, hopefully you guys haven't bought them all yet...  :)

    edit  --  nm, you guys did take them all. I blame all of you for my eventual silicosis and lung cancer...

    NGL, this doesn't make any sense to me at all. People aren't contagious after they fought it off. Also there's variances in the incubation/contagious period. Also the game Pandemic!

    I... don't think this is a broad truth you're talking about.
    It's that it takes quite a while before you show symptoms and even then usually aren't very severe, but you're spreading the virus the whole time. Very similar to regular flu/cold.

    The 'deadly' viruses you catch, get sick, and die before spreading. Seems to be an evolutionary trait of regular human viruses that they don't want to kill the host, they want to spread. It's these new viruses that jump from animal to human that can be the super dangerous ones since they didn't evolve with our species (but don't spread far because they kill the host too quickly). 

    At least that's what the random articles the last month seem to point out. Now that we have a resident virologist would love to hear their take on pathogen mortality rate vs spreading capabilities.

    Are you talking about me?  Epidemiologist, but close enough!  I am here!  OK, so how quickly a disease spreads is dependent on how contagious it is in general and how contagious it is relative to how it is transmitted and when someone starts to show symptoms.  So for instance, flu peak infectiousness is usually one day before you show symptoms to about 5 to 7 days after and it spreads via droplets (coughing, sneezing, talking etc. on to a person or a surface, etc.). That causes about 2 cases for every one person with the flu (this number is called the R-naught or the viral reproductive rate, btw)

    Ebola can only be transmitted through bodily fluids and is only contagious once they develop symptoms.  In an outbreak situation, you treat everyone with a high fever as possibly infected so you just avoid bodily fluids. The reason these outbreaks hang on in rural Africa is burial practices. People ritually wash the body of the deceased and it is hard to be culturally sensitive yet informative. A conversation for another time.  We will likely never have community spread of Ebola unless that virus develops the ability to be transmitted through droplets (read about Ebola Reston if you want to have nightmares.  It has once made that jump but only infected Monkeys).  H5N1, bird flu, is notoriously bad at human to human transmission.  Transmits really efficiently from birds to humans, but not so well between humans which is why currently, we haven't had a major outbreak.  This is the one that keeps epidemiologists up at night. 

    Then you have something like measles; also spread by droplet but crazy contagious before people start to develop the rash.  For every one case of that, on average you see 12 to 16!   Luckily, it seems that coronavirus is following a similar pattern of transmission to flu.  Contagious from right before symptoms start to about 7 to 10 day mark (resolution of symptoms in a normal case).  From what I have read, about 80% are cases are fairly mild and by that time, people are staying home. The initial R-naughts that had come out of China were between 2 and 4, but that has come down to about 2-2.5 since it has moved to less densely populated areas.  What is complicating this is there is evidence that there are people who seem to be carriers (never develop symptoms), and people with extremely mild disease, who are serving as community spreaders. This is why we are starting to see cases with no travel history and no cause that makes sense.  

    The type of outbreak that proverbially keeps me up at night is, lets say measles decides it wants to be a mass murderer.  Essentially measles and H5N1's love child.  A disease with a relatively long incubation period (measles), spreads efficiently (MEASLES), high mortality rate (H5N1).  That happens, we are screwed. H5N1 could potentially make that jump if it picks up the the correct genes.  Flu is a virus that picks up gene in mixing vessels (human, pigs, birds - see above comment by @redlancer) which is why our body doesn't recognize them AT ALL and makes them so pathogenic (called antigenic shift).     

    So infectious epidemiology in a nutshell.  Sorry for any typos, trying to answer between meetings/grading.  
    cdrivebizmarkiefaderJaimieTMichelleMichaelGMrXFreddyDeeOliviaDNgongo121and 1 other.
  • Coronavirus / COVID-19

    Friendly neighborhood epidemiologist here...  I teach infectious disease epidemiology so I have been following this from the jump.  Until today, I really haven't been all that concerned. 70k cases in a country with one billion people and cities with population densities that makes NYC look rural has resulted in a rate of 7 cases per 100,000 population. That is REALLY rare. Add to that a low mortality rate, we aren't looking at the 1918 flu pandemic which wiped out somewhere around 50+ million people.  But now, the CDC is announcing that it's on its way, San Francisco just declared a state of emergency (I know someone whose flight to SF was cancelled from Memphis?!?), I am with you, @cdrive, I am seriously going to start hoarding cold medicine and food. I have been through a "snow storm" here in the south...  Can't imagine what the threat of an "epidemic" would do to this city.  
  • And The Band Played On

    rjodierna said:
    A. Ron.  Watch And the Band Played On on HBO.   Based on a book, an HBO movie from before hbo was hbo.  It’s takes you through the early days of the AIDS crisis in a very compelling way.  
    Yes! This movie is why I am an epidemiologist!  It was on repeat on HBO while I was in college, on the pre-med treadmill, but actually had no desire to be a clinician.  Watching the scenes where the sociologist is interviewing the flight attendant about his sexual history and puts together the first cluster, I was like, OK how do I do this, what degree do I need, where do I go to school?  Now that I teach this stuff, I subject my students to this movie every year.  There are things about it that didn't age well (Pac man scene) but the epi holds up!

    Linking this all back to The Deuce, I think the guys were a little hard on the public health response to the closing of the bath houses.  This movie does a pretty good job of showing just how integral to the early epidemic those bath houses were. 
  • The Boys on Amazon

    @Murderbear Thought I was crazy for wondering why all the hate. Glad someone else is on the same page.
  • The Boys on Amazon

    Need to discuss the Aron and Cecily's take on the ending.  There be spoilers below.

    On Bald Move TV, they said it was lazy writing, but I thought Madeline and Dr. Rawls' stories contradicted!  She said Mama Butcher had a miscarriage and he said he said the baby clawed/punched its way out and died 10 minutes after.  In my book, those are two different birthing scenarios.  Thoughts? 

    I realized that we can't really "discuss" lest we spoil everyone else, but a yay or nay so I don't feel like I am crazy would be a huge help.