The short answer is it’s unknown — why it’s better to be safe than sorry. More below on what may lie ahead.
COVID-19 is a more contagious version of seasonal flu/influenza.
According to Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases/Epidemiologist Dr. Michael Mina, the novel coronavirus may be more transmissible than previously believed — including in hospitals, nursing home, and other settings where large numbers of people interact.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 102 nursing homes in the state reported 551 COVID-19 cases over a 24-hour period.
With staff and visitors coming and going from facilities, it’s highly likely that some individuals will be infected and spread the virus to others. The same is true for hospitals.
Symptoms of seasonal flu/influenza and COVID-19 are similar, why misdiagnosis may be widespread.
Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist Dr. Gregory Poland explained that seasonal flu in the US and elsewhere “cause(s) many more deaths than COVID-19, and the tragedy is that many people die because they consider it ‘just the flu.’ ”
It happens every year like clockwork with no screaming headlines.
Millions of Americans contract it annually. Hundreds of thousands are hospitalized, and tens of thousands die.
In terms of the human toll and cost, it’s far more serious than COVID-19.
Pollard: “Right now, the number of COVID-19 cases pales in comparison to the number of flu cases. Unlike COVID-19, seasonal flu is in every state and every community in the US” — every year.
Symptoms of seasonal flu/influenza and COVID-19 can be mild or severe. Both illnesses can cause pneumonia and are contagious.
Seasonal flu can be caused by any one of a number of different virus strains — COVID-19 by the novel coronavirus.
Person-to-person transmission is similar for both. It’s believed that
COVID-19 droplets linger longer indoors after an infected person leaves the area.
Antiviral medications can ease flu symptoms, short of curing them.
There are no known treatments for COVID-19, claims otherwise exaggerated.
Scientists have been studying seasonal flu/influenza for decades, a considerable body of knowledge about it accumulated.
Because COVID-19 is new, there’s little reliable information on to what extent it can spread, what causes the disease, its seriousness, and number of potential deaths.
Based on what’s known, over 80% of cases are mild. Globally, around 6% of individuals infected with COVID-19 died, about 5% in the US.
Chinese Center for Disease Control and Protection researchers analyzed 44,672 COVID-19 cases from Dec. 31, 2019 – February 11, 2020.
They found 80.9% of cases to be mild, 13.8% severe, and 4.7% critical.
“Critical cases were (called) those that exhibited respiratory failure, septic shock, and/or multiple organ dysfunction/failure.”
Preliminary US data published by the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report showed about 12% of COVID-19 infected US individuals were hospitalized.
The death rate for seasonal flu in the US is around 0.1%. For COVID-19, it’s 1.4% so far — based on data through late February, published by the New England Journal of Medicine.
Older adults, individuals with weakened immune systems and/or other major health issues are most vulnerable to infection.
Thailand Medical News (TMN) “serve(s) the medical industry (and) laymen interested in…the latest (health-related) developments and news” from the country, region and “around the world.”
Its latest edition believes COVID-19 outbreaks so far are a “dry run” for what likely lies ahead, adding:
Numbers of infected individuals worldwide “are expected to rise even more exponentially in the next few months despite claims by governments that the peak is happening and that ‘curves are being flatten’ as we are actually really just moving into the real first wave of the pandemic.”
It’s suspected that “at least tens of thousands of individuals are…asymptomatic,” who are unwittingly spreading disease to others.
Despite research and published data for the past four months, there’s relatively little scientifically known about the novel SARS-Cov-2 virus and the COVID-19 disease it causes.
TMN: “There has been so much fake news and misinformation about the virus and the disease from day one…”
“(R)ecommendations and guidelines that most countries are now basing their treatments protocols on are turning out be gross and criminal misinformation.”
“(A) lot of deaths could actually be attributed to this from drugs being used that cause cardiac failure in patients, drugs that actually caused toxic reactions, wrong usage of ventilators that actually resulted in deaths etc.”
No scientifically known efficacious COVID-19 treatments exist.
“(M)any diagnostic platforms we are using are actually not accurate especially with emerging new mutated strains,” said TMN.
“(A) new report has emerged that CT Scans might not even be giving the real picture.”
“Many…experimental drugs that are being used are not only toxic but in some cases can have long term (detrimental) effects” to human health.
“(I)n some cases…data (on) experimental drugs (used) are being manipulated by governments and pharmaceutical companies either for diplomatic dominance and leverage or for greed.”
Many natural/non-toxic and other potential treatments for COVID-19, including “certain common drugs… are being deliberately ignored or suppressed by those in power…”
Reports by establishment media are unreliable at best, harmful to human health and welfare at worst.
Officially reported data, especially in the US and West, are questionable.
Much information publicly reported about COVID-19 based on official sources are “based on hearsay and ‘half-baked’ studies,” according to TMN.
There’s little reliable information about mutated COVID-19 strains, how they evolve, and if recovered individuals from the virus are immune to infection from it, other strains, or for how long.
Are current coronavirus outbreaks wave one with others to follow that could be much more widespread?
TMN believes what’s ongoing “is not even the first wave,” adding:
What’s happening is “just starting to begin (and may) worse(n).”
There’s “a global shortage of medical equipment and drugs, and already food chains are being infected.”
If economies are opened too soon, “millions more (people may be) infected…”
Current conditions and what may follow could continue for some time.
Hindsight will explain best, including more knowledge about the novel coronavirus, related strains, and what treatments, if any, are efficacious.
For now, taking precautions to stay safe is sensible advice. Follow reliable independent sources of information, largely found online.
A Final Comment
Establishment media reports about the effectiveness of Gilead Sciences’ experimental remdesivir antiviral drug to treat COVID-19 patients, based on clinical trials, are greatly exaggerated, according to the company.
A Thursday statement said the following:
“We understand the urgent need for a Covid-19 treatment and the resulting interest in data on our investigational antiviral drug remdesivir.”
“The totality of the data need to be analyzed in order to draw any conclusions from the trial.”
“Anecdotal reports, while encouraging, do not provide the statistical power necessary to determine the safety and efficacy profile of remdesivir as a treatment for Covid-19.”
“We expect the data from our Phase 3 study in patients with severe Covid-19 infection to be available at the end of this month, and additional data from other studies to become available in May.”
Gilead’s stock price soared on the news. Equity market futures in the US and abroad rose sharply — based on misinformation.
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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Featured image is from Health.mil