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China Now Says Virulent Coronavirus Started Earlier, Hit Two Areas at Once

Chinese authorities now say that the dangerous Coronavirus struck nearly a month earlier than initial estimates.

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Chinese authorities now say that the dangerous Coronavirus struck nearly a month earlier than initial estimates and that it started somewhere other than the Wuhan fish market.

For months, now, China has claimed that the Coronavirus only got into high gear in Wuhan around Chinese New Year, which is January 8. But now a government report says that it appears that there was an earlier outbreak in the first week of December in a different area than Wuhan.

The new info comes from a study published on ChinaXiv, a Chinese open repository for scientific researchers.

Per the Global Times:

Trending: Legendary Country Music Artist Falls Victim to Coronavirus

[The research] reveals the new coronavirus was introduced to the seafood market from another location, and then spread rapidly from market to market. The findings were the result of analyses of genome-wide data, sources of infection and the route of spread of 93 samples of the novel coronavirus collected from 12 countries across four continents.

This study says that a worker at a biowarfare center accidentally transmitted the virus at the Huanan seafood market early in December.

According to the researchers, the new coronavirus experienced two sudden population expansions, including one on January 6, 2020, which was related to the Chinese New Year’s Day holiday.

An earlier expansion occurred on December 8, implying human-to-human transmission may have started in early December or late November, and then accelerated when it reached the Huanan seafood market.

On January 6, the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a second-level emergency response, which the researchers said served as a warning against mass public activity and travel.

The report added that if the warnings had received wider public attention, the number of cases and deaths would have been many times lower.

Unlike past flu viruses, this strain of Coronavirus is still picking up speed instead of waning.

The virus is still surging and has gained a stronger foothold in Italy, and South Korea, and even Iran has now reported eight deaths from the virus.

Per Fox News:

Italian authorities announced they were shutting down carnival events in Venice as at least 133 people have been reported to have been infected with COVID-19 in the country. Nearly all of Italy’s cases are clustered in the north, including in the northeast Veneto region, which includes Venice.

The dozens of newly confirmed cases have caused all schools and universities to be closed not only in Milan, but in the entire region of Lombardy, for an indefinite period of time as movie theaters, concerts and public gatherings have also been banned.

“South Korea announced 169 more cases of the new virus, bringing the country’s total to 602. The country also reported three more fatalities, raising its death toll to six,” Fox reported.

Senator Tom Cotton has voiced serious questions about how well the Chinese have handled this medical emergency.

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Healthcare

Boris Johnson Moved To ICU As Coronavirus Symptoms Worsen

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UK prime minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital for tests on Sunday, 10 days after testing positive for coronavirus. On Monday, a Downing Street statement said that Johnson’s condition “has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital.”

President Trump on UK Prime minister Boris Johnson: “We are very saddened to hear that he was taken into intensive care this afternoon a little while ago and Americans are all praying for his recovery. He has been a really good friend. He’s been something very special.”

Twitter responds:
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Healthcare

Tigers And Lions At Bronx Zoo Tests Positive For Coronavirus

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A tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for the new coronavirus, in what is believed to be the first known infection in an animal.

“We tested the cat out of an abundance of caution” and aim to “contribute to the world’s continuing understanding of this novel coronavirus,” said Dr. Paul Calle, the zoo’s chief veterinarian.

BI:

In a suspected human to animal transmission, a tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for COVID-19, the coronavirus disease.

Nadia, a four-year-old female tiger at the zoo tested positive, and the diagnosis was confirmed by the USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory, based in Ames, Iowa. The Wildlife Conservation Society said that Nadia, three other tigers, and three African lions have developed dry coughs and decreased appetite, but are expected to recover. None of the zoo’s other big cats, including tigers in another area of the zoo, have shown any coronavirus symptoms.

The cats were infected by a caretaker who had COVID-19 but was asymptomatic, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society. They don’t yet know how the virus develops or affects big cats. The zoo has implemented preventative measures to prevent exposure in other cats. Nadia was tested out of “an abundance of caution” after symptoms started on March 27, the zoo said, and it hopes that any information gained will contribute to the world’s understanding of the virus, which has infected more than a million people around the world. More

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Healthcare

Alabama And Massachusetts Are Giving Police The Addresses Of People Diagnosed With Coronavirus

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Alabama and Massachusetts health officials are sharing with law enforcement the addresses of people diagnosed with coronavirus in a bid to contain the virus.

“It’s only on an as-known, as-needed basis,” Leah Missildine, executive director of Alabama’s 911 Board, told VICE News in a story published yesterday. “The impetus behind this is to protect first responders because 9-1-1 receives the information and coordinates the response of first responders.”

DM:

The states of Alabama and Massachusetts are now giving the details of people who are known to have been diagnosed with coronavirus to the police.

Alabama has been providing the addresses but not names to law enforcement and other emergency responders for more than a week.

The information is supposed to be given to officers when they go out on calls.

‘It’s only on an as-known, as-needed basis,’ said Leah Missildine, executive director of Alabama’s 911 Board to Vice.

‘The impetus behind this is to protect first responders because 911 receives the information and coordinates the response of first responders. That was deemed the most efficient way to share this information.’

‘The Alabama Department of Public Health was requested to provide addresses of patients home quarantined for COVID 19 to the Alabama 9-1-1 Board for the protection of first responders,’ said Arrol Sheehan, director of public information at the Alabama Department of Public Health.

The state of Alabama could also release information to third parties including doctors or anyone else who could be deemed to be exposed.

he state say the rule came into force to help protect first responders, in particular.

Sheehan quoted the part of Alabama law that authorizes such disclosures: ‘Physicians or the State Health Officer or his designee may notify a third party of the presence of a contagious disease in an individual where there is a foreseeable, real or probable risk of transmission of the disease.’ More

Does this violate our HIPAA laws? So now they’re trampling on people’s privacy rights. This is a very wrong step down a very slippery slope. Plus this might keep some folks from getting tested.

Shouldn’t they just assume all people are potential carriers of the coronavirus and protect themselves?

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Healthcare

White House Issues New Social Distancing Rules as Virus Crisis Set to Peak

If we all play along, we should be able to get the nation back up and running within a month or two.

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This is a war, folks, and we have all a role to play.

As a novel and dangerous strain of coronavirus continues to race around the globe, the world is mobilizing in ways that we haven’t seen since perhaps World War II.  Everyone has a job, a duty in these trying times, and for a vast majority of us our task is social distancing.

While the idea seems simple, (stay away from one another until we starve this illness of hosts), it seems as though a great many Americans are having trouble with the concept.  This has been particularly true of young Americans, whose feelings of invincibility have spawned numerous outbreaks after they cavorted around in South Florida for spring break and caravanned home with coronavirus.

The White House has recognized the value in social distancing, and is now issuing further guidance on the topic – including a new date until which we must strive to keep the practice alive.

President Donald Trump said Sunday he would extend nationwide social distancing guidelines for another 30 days, an abrupt back-down from his push to reopen the country as coronavirus continues to spread.

The 15-day guidelines Trump announced two weeks ago were set to expire on Monday, and the President had suggested over the past week that he was looking to relax them, at least in some parts of the country. He even floated Easter, on April 12, as a potential date by which the country could return to normal.

But on Sunday he said he’d decided to extend the guidelines — which include suggested limits on large gatherings — to April 30, a sign his earlier predictions were overly rosy.

“The better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end,” the President said Sunday at a White House news conference. He said he would be finalizing a new plan and strategy early this week and announcing the details on Tuesday.

With any luck, and with a concerted effort on the part of all Americans, we hit this target and bring the nation roaring back to life…perhaps before Memorial Day.

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Healthcare

Massive Naval Hospital Ship Arrives in The Big Apple, and Not a Minute Too Soon

The US Navy has come to the rescue once again.

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New York City is one of, if not the most iconic cities in the entire world.  It’s the hub of American business and a driver of US fashion and art.  Despite what some may think of the politics of The Big Apple, there is no denying that the Five Boroughs are an American gem, thanks to the intensely dense population and melting pot of cultures contained within.

But it is for very reason that New York City has become a coronavirus hotspot, as close contact is hard to avoid in the city that never sleeps.

That’s why, when New Yorkers asked America for help, America brought it in a big way.

The USNS Comfort arrived in New York on Monday, bringing a massive Navy hospital ship to help relieve city hospitals overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.

The 1,000-bed floating hospital docked Monday at Pier 90 on Manhattan’s West Side, and is set to begin treating patients Tuesday.

“Our nation has heard our plea for help here in New York City,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said as he greeted the ship at Pier 90. “There could not be a better example of all of America pulling for New York City than the arrival of the USNS Comfort.”

The ship, emblazoned with red crosses on its white hull, will not treat coronavirus patients, but will take on other patients including trauma cases, freeing up beds at local hospitals focused on combating the pandemic. It will have 750 beds ready to treat patients immediately.

The well-equipped ship allowed authorities to breathe a brief sigh of relief.

The Comfort is staffed by 1,200 medical personnel and equipped with operating rooms, a medical laboratory, a pharmacy, digital radiology, a CAT scan, two oxygen-producing plants and a helicopter deck.

“We needed this boost. We needed this hope,” de Blasio said, calling it a “beacon of hope” to see the ship entering city waters and “coming here to save the lives of New Yorkers in our hour of need.”

The news will certainly be well regarded among the city’s medical staff, who have been working themselves to exhaustion in an effort to slow the coronavirus outbreak.

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NY Governor Cuomo No Longer Satisfied with CDC Coronavirus Guidelines

Is New York’s situation really that unique?

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New York City has quickly become one of, if not the most infected city in the world in terms of COVID-19 cases, and that has put local authorities in a very peculiar situation.

The population density of The Big Apple, along with the city’s notorious hustle and bustle, have combined to make the highly contagious coronavirus an omnipresent nightmare for those on the ground.  Hospitals are growing ever more crowded, and healthcare heroes are exhausting themselves…and we haven’t likely seen the worst of it yet.

For those on the ground, the experience appears to be harrowing, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has even suggested that CDC’s guidelines could be abandoned in favor of a New York-specific set of recommendations.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday that his state is considering bucking Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for personal protective equipment (PPE) in crisis situations that he said is worrying some health care professionals.

The comments during a Saturday press conference came after the governor went out of his way Friday to emphasize his state’s need for tens of thousands of ventilators after President Trump questioned the number that New York would need to deal with its coronavirus patients.

Then came the question of the CDC guidance.

“There is a concern among health care professionals because the CDC guidelines suggest a different protocol for PPE and masks depending on the condition,” Cuomo said. “And apparently there is a crisis set of guidelines that the CDC puts out for … how often you change your gown, how often you change your mask, etc. in a crisis. And the CDC has put those crisis guidelines in place and many health care professionals are concerned that those guidelines do not adequately protect the nurses and the doctors and the health care staff that are working on this issue.”

Cuomo continued: “[Commissioner of Health] Dr. [Howard] Zucker is looking at that. If we believe the CDC guidelines do not protect health care professionals, we will put our own guidelines in place.”

Cuomo and President Trump have repeatedly butted heads on the subject of the coronavirus, and the tension has even led some Democrats to openly call for Cuomo to usurp Joe Biden as the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.

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Healthcare

Florida Governor Installs Road Blocks to Keep Louisianans in Louisiana

WOW.

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As social distancing measures continue to be mocked online, particularly by the younger generations, state and local authorities are being forced to draw a hard line in the sand.

You see, the only way to expedite the course that this virus will take is by disallowing the illness access to human hosts.  That means staying away from everyone, because you don’t need to be showing symptoms to be contagious.

For folks in hot spots like New York City and New Orleans, this is especially important.  That’s why the Governor of Florida is telling Louisianans to visit the Sunshine State some other time.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is requiring travelers from Louisiana to self-isolate for 14 days and said the Florida Highway Patrol will install checkpoints on major roads to screen travelers from that area, he announced on Friday.

DeSantis is imposing restrictions on travelers fleeing to Florida from Louisiana — particularly New Orleans, which is emerging as one of the hotspots of the coronavirus outbreak.

“New Orleans is having a lot of problems — they may not be quite as widespread as New York City. There was a concern from the Panhandle that this could impact them,” DeSantis said during a press conference on Friday.

“They are working hard to keep their rates low and we don’t want to add any problems to them,” he added.

The Florida Highway Patrol will install checkpoints on the major roads along the Alabama-Florida state line and screen drivers from Louisiana, with the exception of those driving commercial vehicles.

“There’ll probably be a diversion for folks with certain license plates,” DeSantis said.

Those who are allowed to enter Florida will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days in accordance with CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19.

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