Updated: Jan 21
Professor Neil Ferguson, Imperial College London, believes this infection to be as deadly as the 1918 Spanish Flu. Although it is improbable, if he is correct, over 221 million people will die from the Wuhan Virus this year (3% of the population). Let’s hope he’s wrong.
What We Know about 2019-nCoV (Wuhan Virus)
In the first three weeks, 6,000 people have been infected. It is difficult to judge accuracy, since Chinese hospitals are so overwhelmed that they are turning away people with symptoms of pneumonia, fever, and even indications of pneumonia from radiological tests. The Chinese government has quarantined two cities.
We do not yet know the basic reproduction number (R naught), which tells us how easily the infection spreads. We do know that it is airborne, so you can catch it just by inhaling another person’s exhalation, i.e. walking around in public.
The CDC currently has a test, but they can only administer it at the CDC. All other doctors in the world are simply speculating when they receive a patient with symptoms of severe pneumonia.
The incubation time is one week. So people can be infected and not show symptoms for an entire week while they are giving it to everyone around them.
What It Feels Like
This is a coronavirus in the same family as the 2003 SARS infection (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed 10% of those who contracted it. They typically kill people from pneumonia that can’t be healed.
I was personally infected by medical error in 2018, and my life was threatened. The smoldering bacteremia punished my body for seven months until it nearly killed me in the same way the coronavirus victims die.
The bacteremia would first make me as cold as ice. There was nothing that could warm my extremities. Then I would shake violently for about 90 minutes, like a heroin addict in withdrawal. Afterwards, I would sweat for two to three hours. My sweat-soaked bed, gave the impression that I laid down after jumping in a pool. I would spend the next hours recovering, only to spend the rest of my day trying to do the basic necessities of life.
I had only three weeks left to live by the time the late-stage disease manifest in lethal pneumonia. The pain was so excruciating that felt like a knife in my back every time I took a breath. I rarely accept painkillers. But I took them then, just to fight for air to breathe.
I have medical research credentials. Consequently, I had the knowledge to force the equivocating doctors to correctly diagnose and treat me, against their mindless “standards of care.” They tried to release me without even flushing my IV port (which should have been done daily). Even when I told them that the chills, sweats, and tremors occurred whenever the port was accessed, they still refused to investigate the port. I refused to sign a hospital release until they changed and flushed my port, which sent me into the terrible observable condition that the drone-like Kaiser Permanente doctors refused to diagnose.
My infection was bacterial, so there were good options for me once the malfeasant doctors obtained the lab results that I coerced from them with my diagnostic demands. I would be dead if it weren’t for my medical knowledge.
Imagine what most people will experience, without medical knowledge, or vociferous advocates by their side. The grand socialist hospitals “cover” everyone, and kill those that they “cover” with inefficiency, “standards of care,” and triage.
In the case of the coronavirus, there aren’t good options for treatment. I’m not sure if any antivirals are effective. In all likelihood, the hospitals will try to support the person’s vitals, keep them comfortable, and quarantined if they can.
I’d rather die from a gunshot than the knife-stabbing pain of every breath leading to drowning in my own bodily fluids. From a person who has experienced this firsthand, torture is the only apt description. These are uncomfortable truths that few educators and fewer journalists are willing to speak.
What I Will Do
Nobody can guarantee that you will be safe from an epidemic. I will personally increase my chances of survival with a few proactive measures:
I will avoid crowds. I will only go to church when it’s nearly empty. I will not go to rallies or cities. I will not go to crowded restaurants. I will cook at home.
I will avoid people who continue to choose air travel, and I will avoid people who have been in contact with people who are going to airports. I will avoid people traveling from outbreak locales.
I will continue my professional business as usual, unless the infection becomes as severe as it is currently in the quarantined Chinese cities.
I will give my immune system the best chance it has by continuing proper exercise, diet, and sleep.
I will take daily plant-based multivitamin supplements
I will wash my hands frequently and wear a surgical mask in public to reduce fomite transmission to others (even though it won't protect me personally from airborne transmission)
These are the only proactive actions I can think of at the moment. If you have other ideas, please list them in the comments below.
Get new information from the CDC page, but realize that it is the most cautious and bureaucratic publication on the Wuhan Virus. The ground truth will not be published there. You should stay tuned to medical journals and NIH publications for emerging ideas for intervention.
Let’s hope that Neil Ferguson is wrong, and this infection is similar to swine flu and SARS. In the event that he’s right, I hope that these proactive steps to reduce transmission will save some lives. Recall that disease is not just about the acute stage. Many diseases can leave chronic and debilitating conditions and shorten your life, even if it doesn't kill you in the first year.