jm + pandemics   21

Fangcang shelter hospitals
... a novel public health concept. They were implemented for the first time in China in February, 2020, to tackle the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. The Fangcang shelter hospitals in China were large-scale, temporary hospitals, rapidly built by converting existing public venues, such as stadiums and exhibition centres, into health-care facilities. They served to isolate patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 from their families and communities, while providing medical care, disease monitoring, food, shelter, and social activities.
fangcangs  hospitals  covid-19  buildings  architecture  emergencies  china  pandemics  medicine 
yesterday by jm
COVID-19 and the NHS—“a national scandal” - The Lancet
Bloody hell, the UK is heading for a disaster.

'The NHS has been wholly unprepared for this pandemic. It's impossible to understand why. Based on their modelling of the Wuhan outbreak of COVID-19, Joseph Wu and his colleagues wrote in The Lancet on Jan 31, 2020: “On the present trajectory, 2019-nCoV could be about to become a global epidemic…for health protection within China and internationally…preparedness plans should be readied for deployment at short notice, including securing supply chains of pharmaceuticals, personal protective equipment, hospital supplies, and the necessary human resources to deal with the consequences of a global outbreak of this magnitude.”

This warning wasn't made lightly. It should have been read by the Chief Medical Officer, the Chief Executive Officer of the NHS in England, and the Chief Scientific Adviser. They had a duty to immediately put the NHS and British public on high alert. February should have been used to expand coronavirus testing capacity, ensure the distribution of WHO-approved PPE, and establish training programmes and guidelines to protect NHS staff. They didn't take any of those actions. The result has been chaos and panic across the NHS. Patients will die unnecessarily. NHS staff will die unnecessarily. It is, indeed, as one health worker wrote last week, “a national scandal”. The gravity of that scandal has yet to be understood.'
covid-19  government  uk  disasters  nhs  the-lancet  pandemics  ppe  scandals 
3 days ago by jm
How they flattened the curve during the 1918 Spanish Flu
How some cities ‘flattened the curve’ during the 1918 flu pandemic
Social distancing isn’t a new idea—it saved thousands of American lives during the last great pandemic. Here's how it worked.

(via Vipul Ved Prakash)
via:vipul  covid-19  history  coronavirus  pandemics  flu  1918  social-distancing 
3 days ago by jm
'Estimating the number of infections and the impact of nonpharmaceutical interventions on COVID-19 in 11 European countries'
new paper from the Imperial College COVID-19 epidemiological team:

'Following the emergence of a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and its spread outside of China, Europe
is now experiencing large epidemics. In response, many European countries have implemented
unprecedented non-pharmaceutical interventions including case isolation, the closure of schools and
universities, banning of mass gatherings and/or public events, and most recently, widescale social
distancing including local and national lockdowns.

In this report, we use a semi-mechanistic Bayesian hierarchical model to attempt to infer the impact
of these interventions across 11 European countries. Our methods assume that changes in the
reproductive number – a measure of transmission - are an immediate response to these interventions
being implemented rather than broader gradual changes in behaviour. Our model estimates these
changes by calculating backwards from the deaths observed over time to estimate transmission that
occurred several weeks prior, allowing for the time lag between infection and death.'
covid-19  papers  europe  uk  lockdowns  pandemics  social-distancing  modelling  medicine 
4 days ago by jm
Notes From the Battlefield March 30, 2020 - SAGES
'Despite that devastation from the disease still continues, and being too early to draw any definitive conclusions, there are some signs that the slope of COVID-19 new cases in Italy may be starting to slow down. Italian epidemiologists feel it is the result of the strict physical distancing measures. As health care providers, this appears to be the best preventive measure to emphasize and possibly the only intervention currently available to overcome this epidemic.'
pandemics  covid-19  italy  medicine  social-distancing 
5 days ago by jm
What happened with the UK's "herd immunity" COVID-19 strategy
"I'll tell you what happened in the UK. Over the past decade, eminent figures in public health developed complex models that would help inform the UK response to a pandemic. The response plan would allow slow spread through a population and a number of deaths that would be deemed acceptable in relation to low economic impact. Timing of population measures such as social distancing would be taken, not early, but at a times deemed to have maximal psychological impact. Measures would be taken that could protect the most vulnerable, and most of the people who got the virus would hopefully survive. Herd immunity would beneficially emerge at the end of this, and restrictions could relax. This was a ground-breaking approach compared to suppressing epidemics. It was an approach that could revolutionise the way we handled epidemics. Complex modelling is a new science, and this was cutting edge.

But a model is only ever as good as the assumptions you build it upon. The UK plan was based on models with an assumption that any new pandemic would be like an old one, like flu. And it also carried a huge flaw - there was no accounting for the highly significant variables of ventilators and critical care beds that are key to maintaining higher survival numbers."

Amazing. The sheer arrogance and hubris of assuming the model was right! Somebody will have to pay for this, it's shocking.
herd-immunity  hubris  arrogance  covid-19  uk  uk-politics  pandemics  models  data-science  epidemiology 
7 days ago by jm
Carl T. Bergstrom on Twitter
"a personal thread about the experience of working at the intersection of infectious disease modeling and the study of misinformation during the worst pandemic in a century:
the fight against misinformation is not merely a scientific communication issue. It's a vital public health necessity. [...] In all the years of studying infectious disease and planning for this day, I never dreamed that when it came I'd be opposed by my own federal government, a non-trivial fraction of my fellow citizens, and as yet undetermined fraction of hostile foreign actors.
disinformation  misinformation  propaganda  trump  covid-19  scicomm  science  public-health  social-media  twitter  pandemics 
9 days ago by jm
The Singapore government's version of the anonymised-ids-with-BLE local contact tracing app for COVID-19. This has a fancy video! (via Dorothy)
contact-tracing  singapore  contacts  ble  bluetooth  covid-19  pandemics 
14 days ago by jm
Coronavirus: Deaconess asks public to sew medical face masks
Shortages of specialized masks moved federal health officials this month to liberalize their recommendations about which face protection front line health-care workers should use to ward off the highly contagious disease stemming from coronavirus.

“Prior to modern disposable masks, washable fabric masks were standard use for hospitals,” said Dawn Rogers, MSN, RN, FNP-C, Patient Safety & Infection Prevention Office in a release to media.  “We will be able to sterilize these masks and use them repeatedly as needed. While it’s less than ideal, we want to do our best to protect our staff and patients during this pandemic.” 
facemasks  covid-19  shortages  pandemics  medicine  emergency 
15 days ago by jm
Safe Paths
Another privacy-preserving COVID-19 contact-tracing app, this one from MIT:
The news: An app that tracks where you have been and who you have crossed paths with—and then shares this personal data with other users in a privacy-preserving way—could help curb the spread of Covid-19, says Ramesh Raskar at the MIT Media Lab, who leads the team behind it. Called Private Kit: Safe Paths, the free and open-source app was developed by people at MIT and Harvard, as well as software engineers at companies such as Facebook and Uber, who worked on it in their free time.  
mit  contact-tracing  privacy  apps  smartphones  android  ios  covid-19  epidemics  pandemics 
17 days ago by jm
'Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID19 mortality and healthcare demand'
This is the report from the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team which, it seems, *finally* got the UK and US to realise that this is going to require a massive social-distancing and lockdown to avoid killing millions. The graph on the last page in particular is a kicker.
covid-19  health  pandemics  epidemics  medicine  social-distancing  imperial-college  uk 
17 days ago by jm
'Sustainable containment of COVID-19 using smartphones in China: Scientific and ethical underpinnings for implementation of similar approaches in other settings'
China have enforced a variety of measures aimed at social distancing including lockdowns, restrictions on movement and cordon-sanitaires, as well as the Alipay Health Code smartphone application (an add on to the WeChat app system) now adopted in over 200 cities and by 90% of individuals in one Chinese province. A separate system has been implemented in South Korea, and both have come under public scrutiny over issues of data protection and privacy.
We sought to design a broadly acceptable version of this platform, leveraging commonly used smartphone functionality. This system is currently in development, and based on a very simple algorithm, that we show through mathematical modelling will enable public health agencies to prevent a COVID-19 epidemic while minimizing social and economic disruption.

This also introduced me to a new concept, "herd protection", which is described as "Ronald Ross's great discovery: you don't need to stop all infections to stop an epidemic, you need to get and keep R<1."
papers  toread  covid-19  herd-protection  social-distancing  movement  cordons  quarantine  epidemics  pandemics  china  smartphones  location 
18 days ago by jm
If You Go Out Now, You Might Feel Guilty Later. I Do.
Others have written eloquently of the importance of social distancing. But the scale and scope of this is something every single one of us is having to grapple with. Things that felt like a dumb overreaction a week ago — “Canceling vacation? Really?” — now feel hilariously quaint. Or if they don’t, they will soon.

If you still can’t quite believe that you need to take these measures, or that people’s lives may hang in the balance, or if you still think that it will be okay because the numbers where you live aren’t so bad yet, I am not here to scold you.

But if you do go out, and you do risk infecting somebody else, you may feel the guilt — and the fear — that I’m struggling with right now. Trust me, it’s not worth it.
social-distancing  covid-19  isolation  quarantine  infection  pandemics 
20 days ago by jm
The Paradox of Preparation
Chris Hayes on Twitter: "A doctor I spoke to today called this the “paradox of preparation” and it’s the key dynamic in all this. The only way to get ahead of the curve is to take actions that *at the time* seem like overreactions, eg: Japan closing all schools for a month with very few confirmed cases".

See also the Millennium Bug, and what's currently (failing) to happen with climate change. This is a great concept, and good to have a name for it.
millennium-bug  paradox-of-preparation  covid-19  pandemics  preparation 
20 days ago by jm
The Dismantled State Takes on a Pandemic | The New Republic
It didn’t occur to the right that a more terrifying series of words than “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help” would turn out to be “I’m from the government, and I guess I anticipated that the private sector would have engaged.”
cdc  coronavirus  covid19  politics  republicans  us-politics  pandemics  government 
22 days ago by jm
Internet Book of Critical Care (IBCC) on COVID-19
Detailed info on COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment for healthcare professionals
medicine  covid-19  coronavirus  diseases  pandemics 
29 days ago by jm
We’re learning a lot about the coronavirus. It will help us assess risk
Early studies on Covid-19 suggest people who have contracted the coronavirus are emitting, or “shedding,” infectious viruses very early on — in fact sometimes even before they develop symptoms. “We do know from shedding studies that people can shed in the pre-symptomatic phase,” Van Kerkhove said, adding that while the data are still preliminary “it seems that people shed more in the early phases rather than the late phases of disease.”

...also: 'This week the WHO said the case fatality ratio currently looks like 3.4% — which is not a reassuring number.'
diseases  coronavirus  covid-19  health  pandemics 
29 days ago by jm
Coronavirus in China: The most important lessons from China’s Covid-19 response - Vox
Here, again, is where I’ve seen things starting to break down. What I’ve been told is if you think you’ve been exposed and have a fever, call your [general practitioner]. We’ve got to be better than that. If we are going to use our GPs — do they have an emergency line where you can get through? Do they know what to do?

In China, they have set up a giant network of fever hospitals. In some areas, a team can go to you and swab you and have an answer for you in four to seven hours. But you’ve got to be set up — speed is everything.
covid19  coronavirus  china  hospitals  healthcare  medicine  pandemics 
4 weeks ago by jm
Is America Ready for a Global Pandemic? - The Atlantic
The egg-based [vaccine manufacture] system depends on chickens, which are themselves vulnerable to flu. And since viruses can mutate within the eggs, the resulting vaccines don’t always match the strains that are circulating. But vaccine makers have few incentives to use anything else. Switching to a different process would cost billions, and why bother? Flu vaccines are low-margin products, which only about 45 percent of Americans get in a normal year. So when demand soars during a pandemic, the supply is not set to cope.

American hospitals, which often operate unnervingly close to full capacity, likewise struggled with the surge of patients. Pediatric units were hit especially hard by H1N1, and staff became exhausted from continuously caring for sick children. Hospitals almost ran out of the life-support units that sustain people whose lungs and hearts start to fail. The health-care system didn’t break, but it came too close for comfort—especially for what turned out to be a training-wheels pandemic. The 2009 H1N1 strain killed merely 0.03 percent of those it infected; by contrast, the 1918 strain had killed 1 to 3 percent, and the H7N9 strain currently circulating in China has a fatality rate of 40 percent.

That the U.S. could be so ill-prepared for flu, of all things, should be deeply concerning. The country has a dedicated surveillance web, antiviral drugs, and an infrastructure for making and deploying flu vaccines. None of that exists for the majority of other emerging infectious diseases.
vaccines  health  diseases  h1n1  flu  pandemics  future  scary 
june 2018 by jm

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