Data and Doctors change the whole Coronavirus Dynamic

Data and Doctors change the whole Coronavirus Dynamic

New findings that far more people have had mild Covid-19 and have antibodies than ever realised, plus Doctors using initiative and trying therapies like Plasma Therapy and Hydroxychloroquine, coupled with trials on new drug Remdesivir, must change the fear factor and panic mentality that has led to some ridiculous commentary.

Data and Doctors change the whole Coronavirus Dynamic

In my first blog on Coronavirus I compared the incidence of the disease and death rates to those of last year’s flu season, which was anyway 60% lower than previous years. What troubled me was that the figures were not much different, people in both seasons were still dying from chronic respiratory disease and I also was concerned about whether the total number of cases of Covid-19 was even accurate. I wondered in a normal flu season, and in Coronavirus season, how many people had simply shrugged off the illness, before the media and vested interests caused the panic.

Model conflicts

Professor Suneta Gupta and her team have modeled the Coronavirus season in the UK. The Oxford University study produced in mid-March believes that it is absolutely impossible that this virus has only just arrived in the UK. They believe it must have arrived in the UK in mid-January at least and for 6-8 weeks, the sniffles, fever and coughs (and even the deaths) were treated as a normal ‘flu. This, according to the model could mean that up to half the population has had Covid-19 and has immunity already.

Yes, it’s a model, but it is no less or more worthy that the first model of the disease produced by Imperial College London and used by many World Governments; namely that this virus is in its early stages and can only get worse, and we're all doomed, so to save the World we needed to shut businesses, schools and lock people indoors while we wait for a hero vaccine.

Reality check

A hot off the press research study(1) from Stamford University may have escaped your notice; possibly because it is getting such little coverage. In a study of 3,300 people representative of the general population in Santa Clara County, California, the researchers tested for Covid-19 antibodies in the sample and found them in 50-80% more people than official statistics on infection portray.

Maybe the study wasn't perfect, but a study on blood from blood donors in Holland has found much the same thing. Jaap van Dissel, who is head of RIVM, the National Institute for Health in Holland, has said that 3% of blood from Blood donors showed antibodies present which would mean that several hundred thousand people have immunity in Holland and never realised they even had the disease(2).

Now, no one is pretending that COVID-19 doesn’t take lives and isn’t a nasty disease, but the figures from Italy to Korea indicate that 98.8 % of the deaths come in the over 60 age group. And 99.1% of the deaths come in people with ‘Metabolic Syndrome’ – diabetes and/or cardiovascular problems and/or obesity. 23% of Americans have Metabolic Syndrome.

There may be another factor in play in America, amongst the black American population. While they have higher BMIs and greater levels of Metabolic Syndrome, they are also known to have poorer vitamin D levels. And vitamin D is essential as it ‘arms’ your immune system. Without good levels of sunshine or supplements, a Black person living in urban USA has an immune system that is notoriously poor.

The fact is that in the VAST majority of cases, this disease has killed people who were old and/or sick. And, it would appear, that more people than that - maybe even far more - just shrugged it off and didn't even know they had it.

Doctors return to Medicine

What has been so pleasing to me is to see that American Doctors have been using their expertise rather than sticking to ‘Best Practice’ and doing today what they were told to do yesterday. They’ve rediscovered science and experimenting!

The biggest issue by far with Covid-19 was the sudden rush of sick people with respiratory problems. Hospitals simply could not cope – not enough doctors, not enough beds, not enough ventilators. And because there were no approved drugs available, the critically sick were spending a long time in hospital because of it, further over-stretching the system.

But rather than wait for drugs or vaccines to be approved by Governments (under the influence of their Big Pharma friends), we have seen rapid real time trials with, for example, Hydroxychloroquine, space helmets used as respiratory devices, Plasma Therapy and Gilead’s new Remdesivir, all with good levels of success.

Go to: Hydoxychloroquine and Covid-19

Go to: Plasma Therapy and Covid-19

Go to: Remdesivir and Covid-19

But if many of us have had Covid-19 and shrugged it off and if there are treatments for the seriously ill that can get the majority of patients back on their feet within a week, the true numbers and the statistics are going to appear very different.

Maybe then we  can stop the panic-mongering, the vested-interest politics and calls for vaccines.

Officially, as of Saturday 18 th April, the USA has had 715, 861 cases and 37,265 deaths. That’s a death rate of 5.2%

But, what if the infection rate really is 50 times higher? What if the numbers of dead are actually lower than those quoted?

Take Holland - 29,214 confirmed cases, 3,315 deaths - Death rate 11.3% (in itself 10 times higher than neighbours Germany). What if van Dissel is correct and over 200,000 people have also had te disease without knowing? That brings the death rate down to a little over 1% of those infected. The same maths in Germany would bring it down to 0.07%.

Then there's the over-reporting of deaths - last week on of my patients was upset. Her father had died in his own home 2 days before. 82 years old, he had a sudden heart attack. It happens. Perfectly well one minute; dead the next.

So then he was tested for Covid. He was positive. Immediately, his death certificate changed - he is now a Covid death.

I showed all my readers the statistics from last year's UK flu season back in March. The 2018/9 season was 60% down on previous years - but the figures weren't that different from Covid-19 in March. Now take America. The 'Covid Task Force' are reporting that projected estimates are now for 60,000 deaths.

Flu deaths in the USA last year 2018/19?

61,000. 

The problem has been the lack of readiness for a Spanish Flu type pandemic. Completely inadequate levels of Hospitals, doctors, nurses, beds, ventilators and so on. CNN blamed years of Government (Democrat and Republican) under-investment.  The illness created a tsunami of sick. The system couldn't cope.

But the good news is that 100 years on from Spanish Flu and a 20 million death toll, we have more medical knowledge and better, faster organisational skills.

Learn from this

I think we have been lucky. As I have been saying all along, we had a coronavirus epidemic, turned into a panic-demic be vested interests. For many people the symptoms were mild; for the vast majority of under-60s there was no danger to their lives unless they had metabolic disease.

Next time we might not be so lucky; next time the death rates might not be 1% but a disease like Ebola that could deliver 30%.

A vaccine is NOT the answer. It can never be. From the day this started in Wuhan to a fully trialed, safe vaccine could be 18 months minimum. Pandemics may only last two years. And there's no certainty that this pandemic's vaccine will have any benefit with the next pandemic.

Good medical treatment is the answer. As Boris Johnson who had been near to death said, "The NHS saved my life".

So what have we learned?

The first answer is preparedness – machinery, equipment, beds, doctors, nurses. Apparently in the USA there are 17 layers of Government between the President and a piece of Hospital equipment. It’s probably the same in the UK. In times of crisis who needs 17 managers to one nurse? It's probably much thesame in the UK.

The next answer was allowing bright doctors the freedom to be, simultaneously, scientists and doctors and use their skills to reduce the death rate. Plasma Therapy was used 100 years ago with the Spanish flu; and we know so much more now. Governments and Health Authorities need to learn from this. Big Pharma who normally dominate medicine through their ties to Government and Health Authorities were completely by-passed.

Good. May it long continue this way.

Finally, maybe this is not over – the smallpox outbreak in the Midlands 80 years ago, came back twice more. Keep safe, take precautions, even when it's deemed safe to go back to work. 

Go to: Chris Woollams and Covid - The Sunday Show - 10 am London Time; repeated 10.00 California time

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References

  1. https://www.sfgate.com/news/editorspicks/article/Santa-Clara-antibody-test-coronavirus-results-case-15208216.php
  2. https://nltimes.nl/2020/04/16/3-dutch-blood-donors-covid-19-antibodies
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