During the past two decades, three zoonotic coronaviruses have been identified as the cause of large-scale disease outbreaks–Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and Swine Acute Diarrhea Syndrome (SADS). SARS and MERS emerged in 2003 and 2012, respectively, and caused a worldwide pandemic that claimed thousands of human lives, while SADS struck the swine industry in 2017. They have common characteristics, such as they are all highly pathogenic to humans or livestock, their agents originated from bats, and two of them originated in China. Thus, it is highly likely that future SARS- or MERS-like coronavirus outbreaks will originate from bats, and there is an increased probability that this will occur in China. Therefore, the investigation of bat coronaviruses becomes an urgent issue for the detection of early warning signs, which in turn minimizes the impact of such future outbreaks in China. The purpose of the review is to summarize the current knowledge on viral diversity, reservoir hosts, and the geographical distributions of bat coronaviruses in China, and eventually we aim to predict virus hotspots and their cross-species transmission potential.
Is this prescient or purely coincidental or something else?
I've been thinking about it and I can't fathom how we would know of every case.
What percentage of adults who get the seasonal flu go see a doctor and get diagnosed, 10%? Coronavirus symptoms mimic the flu and can even by asymptomatic in people, meaning people can easily attribute symptoms to a bad cold/flu or not even notice them. On average someone with coronavirus spreads it to 3-4 other people. It's estimated that the virus started infecting people in early January, but China didn't start quarantining people until 3 weeks later or so.
I just don't see the math adding up, all it takes is a handful of people not seeking treatment in order for it to start spreading without our knowledge. There has to be thousands of additional cases around the world of that just aren't diagnosed, which is how we're suddenly seeing unexpected diagnoses in places without any previous outbreak like Iran.
And yeah, there are going to be a bunch of people here who won't seek help unless it gets really bad, and who will go to their jobs even if they feel crummy because they need the money, thus spreading it farther and more rapidly.
BTW, we were warned: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/the-t...
(e.g. the story of the person who was fearful after developing flu systems after traveling to China so he checked into the ER for testing and got a $3,500 bill that 'might' be knocked down to $1,400 if he provides 3 years of medical history to prove it wasn't a preexisting condition: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/health-care/article24047680...)
So we have people who don't want to miss work and people who won't seek medical care unless they're in the later stages of the disease to avoid thousands of dollars of cost. Hopefully it peters out but this could get really ugly.
To a lot of people it's pretty obvious that there are a lot of undiagnosed cases in the wild. They are not testing anyone unless you are coming from a known risk area, which means by definition they can't detect local community outbreaks.
December 2019. That's why it is called COVID-19 to begin with, because it was first detected in 2019.
Fun fact 2: Sialic acids are important for protecting your gut / balancing the microbiome.
Fun fact 3: Bats apparently have a much simpler microbiome (less weight, better flying), and can tolerate low levels of coronavirus infection.
I would bet the closest non-flying relative of a bat would get respiratory infections too.
What do you mean by "recognises" here? Is sialic acid something that helps the coronavirus or something that hinders it?
Edit: a letter.
But Sialic acids are really interesting!
One thing we may have to consider is a policy of bat eradication. At least in populated areas. It would have some ecological consequences, but the risk of mass pandemic probably outweighs that cost.
"Insectivorous bats in particular are especially helpful to farmers, as they control populations of agricultural pests... It has been estimated that bats save the agricultural industry of the United States anywhere from $3.7 billion to $53 billion per year in pesticides and damage to crops."
In comparison, the coronavirus scare has wiped out $1.5 trillion from US equity valuations just in the past two days. Even taking the higher end of that estimate, preventing one coronavirus epidemic every 20 years still passes cost benefit analysis.
More than that, you correctly identify it as a scare, which should be a clear indication how a short-sighted policy that may be.
Not to mention eradication efforts are expensive and can have their own unintended consequences. Offer a bounty, and now you have people breeding bats for the bounties. Introduce a bat-specific disease and it may mutate into something else. A bat-specific poison could turn out to poison things we care about.
Like seriously, it's a stupid idea. I'm sad I wasted so much time even debating you.
Holy crap! This is a bad idea. Just leave the bats alone. They serve as an apex predator to provide balance to the natural environment.
Has the figure at 61%.
You aren't going to catch the current coronavirus from your dog.
Jumping species tends to be a rare event with regard to diseases. But it is an important event, hence the article.
My observations (all facts)
1. Proximity of outbreak to sole advanced virology lab in all of China, suspicious
2. Publications ( https://jvi.asm.org/content/82/4/1899 )from lab suggest they were dealing with CoVid-19 like viruses for a while.
3. State of China would strongly deny/cover-up the lab to be the cause of outbreak, even if that did happen. I'm not suggesting they engineered the virus, just suggesting that they were researching animals with the virus, and a freak case of violating safety protocol let to the virus leaking to the nearby seafood market. Again - attributing this to clumsiness, not malice
Given the above, I think an investigative journalist would find the circumstances fertile enough for a deep investigation. Given how hard it is to identify patient zero of the outbreak, I think journalists need to go down this path of investigation
Notwithstanding the main point you are making, why do you expect an engineered virus to look LESS messy? I would expect it to be a kludged-together frankenstein of different parts.
This 2007 paper from the Wuhan Institute of Virology claims that an "HIV-based psuedovirus system" could be used to enable SARS-Like CoVs to jump to human hosts. As we recently discovered, SARS-CoV-2 has 4-5 "HIV inserts."
Is it possible that SARS-CoV-2 was a byproduct virus engineered from this research?
I don't buy the bioweapon theory, I don't think there is any hard evidence to prove that. What I do buy is that there were two different labs doing work on coronaviruses near the seafood market attributed to the breakout (and we now know a dozen or so patients did not visit the market, meaning it came from somewhere else...), and it is entirely possible that a failure in safety protocol could have led to an accidental release of research samples into the real world. It would not be the first time it has happened.
I do still think it's entirely possible for it to have originated "in the wild" as well, but it would have to be a hell of a coincidence given the facts at hand.
I wish there was a way to prove definitively if it escaped or not. Without the cooperation of the CCP or whistleblowers, we will never know for sure, at least until it can be traced to an exact animal at the market.
Somewhere else, as in, the people who did visit the market?
Geez. Now you’re just spreading conspiracy level nonsense, to find a convenient way to peg this on China’s government.
HN moderators, you need to filter this guy’s Reddit-level nonsense.
The broader point of my discussion is that this could have happened to any biolab, and it is important to figure out what happened so that if it did come from this lab, the proper measures can be taken to make sure it doesn't happen again.
If you want to talk about China specifically, here is a key Nature article: https://www.nature.com/news/inside-the-chinese-lab-poised-to...
> But worries surround the Chinese lab, too. The SARS virus has escaped from high-level containment facilities in Beijing multiple times, notes Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey. Tim Trevan, founder of CHROME Biosafety and Biosecurity Consulting in Damascus, Maryland, says that an open culture is important to keeping BSL-4 labs safe, and he questions how easy this will be in China, where society emphasizes hierarchy. “Diversity of viewpoint, flat structures where everyone feels free to speak up and openness of information are important,” he says.
Also, biolab incidents are as much of a conspiracy theory as historical events.
The article I link itself mentioned the SARS outbreaks in Beijing, indicating a previous safety issue.
In 1971 a Soviet bioweapon facility conducted an open air test of smallpox and accidentally infected 10 people: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aral_smallpox_incident
At some point in the 1970s a Soviet bioweaponeer named Nikolai Ustinov accidentally injected himself with an extremely viral load of Marburg virus and died: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marburg_virus#Biological_weapo...
In 1978 a British photographer was "accidentally exposed to a strain of smallpox virus that had been grown in a research laboratory on the floor below her workplace": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1978_smallpox_outbreak_in_the_...
In 1979 a Soviet bioweapon facility accidentally released anthrax into the open air and killed 100 people (officially): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sverdlovsk_anthrax_leak
In 2004 a Russian scientist died of Ebola after accidentally injecting herself with it: https://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/25/world/russian-scientist-d...
In 2009 an American researcher came down with the Plague and died after being exposed to it in his lab: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6007a1.htm
Want more? Here's 450 (!!!) results from the CDC itself for the query "Laboratory-Acquired Infection": https://search.cdc.gov/search/index.html?query=Laboratory-Ac...
Countries range from the United States to India. To believe that China is somehow immune from human error is naive.
Working on animals also entail working with needles, since in most cases you need to inject them with things that aren't airborne or aerosolized.
> The virus can be transmitted by exposure to one species of fruit bats or it can be transmitted between people via body fluids through unprotected sex and broken skin. The disease can cause bleeding (hemorrhage), fever and other symptoms similar to Ebola.
He told me that he recently directly asked his contact "is this virus engineered?" His contact could have answered "I can't discuss that", but the contact's answer was a direct "No".
(The picture shows nothing. If you have anything besides crazy FUD, here's your chance to tell us about it.)