It's seems likely that Covid-19 will be a pandemic, maybe on the order of the 1918 Spanish Flu (listen to this podcast episode of The New York Times' The Daily for a persuasive argument as to why). It might be a good time to prepare your home for an outbreak. This NPR article, "A Guide: How To Prepare Your Home For Coronavirus," has good advice.
Here's a summary:Make sure you have a supply of daily prescription medication on hand, as well as over-the-counter fever reducers. Have sufficient nonperishable foods to last your family for two weeks. Have soup, crackers, and Gatorade or Pedialyte on hand should anyone in the house get sick. Clean surfaces frequently with soap and water. Wear a mask if you get sick. Telecommute instead of going to an office, if possible. Have a plan in place for kids and older family members. Wash hands as soon as you enter your home. Cough into your elbow.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday confirmed a possible first person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 in California in a patient who is identified as a member of the general public. Read the rest
A Korean Air flight attendant has tested positive for coronavirus, and they worked on flights between Seoul and Los Angeles, South Korean media outlets reported on Wednesday afternoon U.S. time. Read the rest
The U.S. military announced late Tuesday that a U.S.-ROK Armed Forces in Korea soldier stationed at Camp Carroll in South Korea has tested positive for coronavirus.
A USFK soldier stationed at Camp Carroll tested positive for COVID-19, marking the first time a U.S. service member has tested positive for the virus. We’re implementing all appropriate control measures to protect the force. https://t.co/kkfEIuW7Jb
— U.S. Forces Korea (@USForcesKorea) February 26, 2020
The head of Iran's coronavirus government task force who urged the public not to freak out about the epidemic while coughing and sweating profusely has tested positive for the illness himself, authorities said Tuesday. New cases of COVID-19 originating in Iran are now rapidly popping up across the Middle East.
The coughing and heavily sweating Iraj Harirchi told journalists at a televised news conference in Tehran only one day ago that “the situation is almost stable in the country.” Read the rest
In Switzerland today, a 70-year old man tested positive for the coronavirus in the southern canton of Ticino, right next to the border with Italy, say Swiss health authorities. This is the first case of COVID-19 in Switzerland, and authorities say the man was likely exposed in Italy. Read the rest
Covid-19 is a lab-concocted version of the common cold that's been weaponized to make Trump look bad, says Rush Limbaugh.
Right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh claimed on his show Monday that the potentially lethal coronavirus afflicting several countries is nothing more than a “common cold” blown out of proportion by the media to take down President Donald Trump ― even as he also asserted it was a “bioweapon” created by China in a laboratory.
“It looks like the coronavirus is being weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump,” Limbaugh said at the start of his lengthy, misinformation-filled rant.
“Now, I want to tell you the truth about the coronavirus. ... I’m dead right on this. The coronavirus is the common cold, folks.”
Well, that's good. We can all rest easy now. Read the rest
The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummetted more than 1,000 points as news of a spreading coronavirus outbreak suggests wider coming damage to the global economy. Read the rest
China's central bank is now sterilizing — and even destroying — cash as a way to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, or COVID-19.
According to a press release by the Chinese government, banks are deep-cleaning all the cash that comes in by using "ultraviolet disinfection or high temperatures," and "stored for more than 14 days" before being recirculated.
And if the money is coming from a highly infected area, they're destroying it.
And in the central bank's Guangzhou branch, these high-risk banknotes may be destroyed instead of merely disinfected, according to state-run tabloid Global Times.
To make up for the supply, the bank will issue large amounts of new, uninfected cash; in January, the bank allocated 4 billion yuan (about $573.5 million) in new banknotes to Wuhan, the Chinese city where the outbreak began, said the government press release.
But can you even catch a virus from cash? Probably not, but germs can last for hours on surfaces, so...maybe?
According to CNN:
The list of things found on US dollar bills includes DNA from our pets, traces of drugs, and bacteria and viruses, according to a 2017 study in New York.
That doesn't mean cash is actually dangerous for our health; disease transmission linked to money is rare, and no major disease outbreaks have started from our ATMs. But with new cases being reported every day in China, the country's officials are taking no chances.
China's government health commission in Hubei province reported on Friday that the daily death toll from coronavirus rose by 116. Read the rest
The coronavirus test kits distributed to various U.S. states and 30 other countries by the U.S. Centers for disease control may not work, and are feared to deliver results that are at best 'inconclusive,' officials said today.
In the United States, 13 cases of the infection in patients have been confirmed so far. An estimated 850 evacuees who are American have quarantined at military bases after flying from China. Others are self-quarantining at home.
From the New York Times:
The kits were meant to enable states to conduct their own testing and get results faster than they would by shipping samples to the C.D.C. in Atlanta. But the failure of the kits means that states still have to depend on the C.D.C., which will mean several days’ delay in getting results.
The C.D.C. announced last week that it had begun shipping about 200 kits to laboratories in the United States and roughly 200 more to labs in more than 30 other countries. Each kit can test about 700 to 800 specimens from patients, the agency said.
On trial runs in some states, the kits produced results that were “inconclusive,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said at a news conference on Wednesday.
“Things may not always go as smoothly as we may like,” Dr. Messonnier said.
PHOTO: CDC.GOV, the tests now seen as flawed:
Read the rest
This is a picture of CDC’s laboratory test kit for the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
The GSMA says it has canceled Mobile World Congress after the coronavirus made it “impossible” to hold the event. Read the rest