Saturday, 4 April 2020

Just Another Flu?

It’s true that many thousands of people die from the flu each year. But Covid-19 hasn’t been around a year — or even half a year. It’s just getting started. 


Coronavirus may well be just another kind of flu, but with a higher fatality rate.


The evidence so far shows the disease kills a larger proportion of people than the flu and is particularly lethal for the elderly and/or those with underlying health-risk conditions.


Biologically, it behaves differently to the flu. It takes one to 14 days for people with Covid-19 infection to develop symptoms (five days is the median). For the flu, it’s around two days. That potentially gives people more time to spread the illness asymptomatically before they know they are sick.

Four or so months ago, this virus is believed to have made the leap from animals to humans for the very first time. No human immune system had seen it before November, so no human had any natural immunity to it. That means it’s more contagious than the flu.

Currently, there is no vaccine to combat it nor any approved therapeutics to slow the course of its toll on humans.

Some Epidemiologists say that 20 to 60 percent of the world’s adult population could end up catching this virus.

It also has a higher potential to overwhelm our health care system. (See my recent blog from Dr Irial Violet)

Around the country, health care providers are worried about their facilities being overrun with an influx of patients, and having to ration lifesaving medical supplies.

Moreover, NHS staff are working without proper protection. “This is astonishing. Our frontline heroes in the NHS are wearing 10p plastic bags on their heads for protection. Something’s wrong. Something’s very wrong.” Ian Lavery MP

Some flu seasons are worse than others — but previously the NHS anticipated flu cases, and prepared for them.

In the UK warnings have been ignored. Richard Horton, Editor of The Lancet says, “Scientists have been sounding the alarm on coronavirus for months. Why did Britain fail to act?” (read more from Richard Horton here)

It’s possible that Covid-19 will become endemic — meaning it will be a disease that regularly attacks humans and will not go away until there’s a treatment or a vaccine.

Now read Jonathan Cook on what is terrifying our leaders 

and then   Nouriel Roubini, Prof of Economics at NY University

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