Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Day 40: Mens et Manus

China continues to report low numbers, though they are now experiencing significant importation of cases. Italy has exceeded 10,000 cases, with 631 deaths. Iran has 9,000 cases with 354 deaths, plus 27 deaths from methanol poisoning resulting from a rumored alcohol cure (and, PlagueBlog presumes, a lack of understanding about what sorts of alcohol one should drink). Teheran is now the epicenter of the outbreak, with over 1,800 cases. A second case has been confirmed in Nigeria, in a contact of the first case. In Harare, Zimbabwe, a Thai man fled the hospital to avoid testing.

The US is at 1016 cases with 31 deaths, the latest being a Sacramento County assisted living resident in their 90's. Currently, Washington State leads the nation with 267 cases and 24 deaths. New York, with 173 cases (no deaths), has pulled ahead of California's 109 cases (3 deaths). Massachusetts has the only other large number at 92 cases (though PlagueBlog expects another surge when the DoPH updates again at 4pm). Twelve states and all the territories remain unaffected.

Cancellations: Today's byline is in honor of MIT's closure. Citizenry has a list of college-level closures. Last night, Philadelphia cancelled its St. Patrick's Day parade (via Facebook). DC has "postponed" theirs. Italy, of course, remains closed.

Plague Ships: The saga of Germ Boat #6 floats on: The Mercury News reports that less than half of the passengers had disembarked by last night. Two days apparently only sufficed to remove the ill, Californians, Canadians, and 100 Brits. The fate of the "mostly international" crew is the most in doubt; one plan that's been floated is quarantining them aboard the otherwise empty ship off the coast. The case count for the current cruise as unexpectedly announced by the Vice President was 19 crew and 2 passengers; there seem to have been no updates since then.

Recall that Germ Boat #6 was brought to you by a now-deceased Placer County (CA) man who apparently acquired COVID-19 though community spread, then took the Grand Princess's previous cruise to Mexico (February 11th-21st) on which he infected some fellow passengers and crew. Some of the crew remained aboard for the current cruise to Hawaii, though others moved to other ships, eventually causing the shunning of Germ Boats #8 and #10. The count for the cruise to Mexico is still growing and is now at 14 cases and the one death.

Germ Boat #11 is an unnamed Nile cruise ship quarantined Saturday in Luxor with 45 positive cases (later reduced to 20 after more testing). Once again, the situation was identified through a tourist who returned home after a previous cruise and tested positive there (in this case, a Taiwanese American who returned to Taiwan). Today all remaining foreigners (46 French and American passengers, plus 18 Indians), were released and flown home. Domestic cases may still be quarantined.

P.S. Lawful Masses has an informative video about the Grand Princess lawsuit.

P.P.S. Here on the other germ coast, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has announced 3 new cases. Also, the CDC has deigned to confirm 5 more of our cases, bringing their total up to 6 out of 95. Biogen cases have increased to 77 out of the 95 (4 more than the new cases for today), so some old cases must have been traced to them.

P.P.P.S. The methanol death count in Iran has risen to 44. Colleges and universities continued to announce closures throughout the day. Also, for a touch of Italy, the governor of New York locked down the New Rochelle cluster with the help of the National Guard.

P.P.P.P.S. There's been some misreporting of Daniele Rugani (Juventus/IT) as the first or second (after Timo Hubers of Hannover 96/DE) soccer player to fall ill. PlagueBlog readers know he's at best the third down; the first soccer player victim was Elham Sheikhi, late of the Iran national women's futsal team.

P.P.P.P.P.S. Italy has closed for business except for pharmacies and grocery stores.

P.P.P.P.P.P.S. There were five new deaths in Washington State. CNN reports that the NBA suspended their season in the middle of a Utah Jazz game tonight, due to an infected player.

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