Monday, February 10, 2020

Day 10: Not Our Brighton

The Argus reports that a medical center in Brighton, England has closed due to a GP being confirmed to have coronavirus. He was apparently part of the ski cluster and caught it in France, despite being from the same part of England as the postulated super-spreader from Hove. The claim is that the GP only went in to work at the medical center for one day, during which he did paperwork and saw no patients.

The pangolin theory has reached Nature.

Caixin Global reported Saturday that the nucleic acid test (NAT) for coronavirus has a high false negative rate. (NAT is the cheaper, more convenient test.)
In a Wednesday interview with state broadcaster CCTV, Wang Chen, an expert in critical diseases and director of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, said one characteristic of the virus was that "not all of those infected by it return positive NATs."

"Even patients who definitely have the disease only come back positive 30%-50% of the time," Wang said.


A doctor in the imaging department of another major Wuhan hospital, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Caixin said that previously some patients whose CT scans clearly showed signs of viral infection but whose NATs tested negative were "released" back into their communities due to a shortage of hospital berths.
Genetic testing is more accurate but more expensive and not available everywhere. This has led to some changes in the official diagnostic criteria:
In response to calls from medical professionals on the frontlines of the epidemic, the NHC on Tuesday relaxed the clinical criteria for reporting suspected coronavirus cases, with extra leeway granted to people in Hubei. Outside the stricken province, medical professionals should now suspect coronavirus infection in patients with radiographic evidence of pneumonia, fever, and/or breathing problems, and a low-to-normal white blood cell count or a low lymphocyte count. Within Hubei, only 2 of the 3 criteria are required.
P.S. Later in the day, cases exceeded 43,000, deaths exceeded 1,000, and confirmed cases aboard the Germ Boat rose to 135, among them 10 crew (though the food tweeter tweets on).

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