Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Debate about Covid-19 Disease Progression Across Population(s)

An article published at The Conversation discusses a British Medical Journal (BMJ) study suggesting 78% of people who contract covid-19 don't develop symptoms. Here is the link:
Jasmina Panovska-Griffiths (Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer in Mathematical Modelling, UCL). Coronavirus: BMJ (British Medical Journal) study suggests 78% don’t show symptoms – here’s what that could mean. The Conversation April 7, 2020, 2:45 PM UTChttps://theconversation.com/coronavirus-bmj-study-suggests-78-dont-show-symptoms-heres-what-that-could-mean-135732
The BMJ article cited by Panovska-Griffiths (above) draws conclusions from Chinese data.  Here are the link to, and excerpt from, the conclusion of the BMJ study:
Day Michael. (2020). Covid-19: four fifths of cases are asymptomatic, China figures indicate BMJ 2020; 369 :m1375 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1375 (Published 02 April 2020) https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1375?=&utm_source=adestra&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=usage&utm_content=daily&utm_term=text

In an article on the website of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, Jefferson and Carl Heneghan, director of the centre and editor of BMJ EBM, write, “There can be little doubt that covid-19 may be far more widely distributed than some may believe. Lockdown is going to bankrupt all of us and our descendants and is unlikely at this point to slow or halt viral circulation as the genie is out of the bottle.

“What the current situation boils down to is this: is economic meltdown a price worth paying to halt or delay what is already amongst us?”3

Does that mean covid-19 poses little disease risk for the general population, particularly if antibodies earned through disease exposure help prevent future re-infections?

I certainly hope so!


Still, I'm not yet convinced.  I've posted previously concerns regarding disease dormancy.

What if the virus remains latent, as illustrated by herpes? It could flare up when the body is under stress. Or, perhaps the virus works away reproducing in other bodily systems with more protracted epidemiology.

A comment posted in response Day's BMJ article points to other disease pathways that play out in the gastrointestinal system, among others impacted:



The economy cannot be idled indefinitely.

There is growing expert consensus that testing must be twofold, seeking both to detect the presence of the virus and to detect the presence and characteristics of antibodies among those who 'survive' the virus.

This need for testing to "govern the disease" at the level of the population is going to be historically significant for its intrusiveness.

Civil liberties are at risk but so is biological life. There are complex and yet critical issues that need to be discussed and debated in the public sphere.


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  3. Interesting experiment going on in Sweden.

  4. best blog o the year . right here


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