Health Editor’s Note: We are appreciative to have knowledge about this virus and what is currently occurring in China, regarding the coronavirus, from someone who lives there. The current constraints/quarantines on travel within China will certainly have a negative impact for those who need medical care. A specialized test is needed to determine if someone with flu/viral symptoms of an illness have the novel coronavirus or the influenza virus that was expected for this flu season. Certainly China has and will be hit hard by restrictions to try to contain this virus and we, who are currently living without these restrictions sympathize with the plight of the Chinese citizens…..Carol
I’m currently living in Shanghai
The Coronavirus is no joke!
Submitted by Peter Paget for immediate publication
Just a few minutes ago Shanghai announced the closure of all highways and roads leading in and out of the city.
Yesterday Beijing announced the closure of the city as well. These are the two biggest cities in China, and they’ve gone into isolation. This has never happened in history ever.
The list of quarantined cities are growing every day, and currently, over 60 million people have been quarantined in Central China. That’s almost 3 times the population of Australia.
On all the projections and data that I’ve seen. Shanghai is the next major city after Wuhan to have the most infected. With Beijing being second.
Shanghai hospitals are full to the brim with patients who have flu and cold symptoms – Which are also coronavirus symptoms. Multiple hospitals have actually closed and shut down due to the number of patients.
My aunty came down with a fever a few days ago, and it took over 8 hours to see a doctor for a few minutes. The doctors refused to test her for the virus and only advised her to self isolate at home.
The government is refusing to diagnose the virus so that the official count of infected and the death toll remains low. I am hearing that a lot of deaths are marked as pneumonia since the victim was never diagnosed positively for Coronavirus.
Shanghai has had it’s the first death from the virus today. As far as I know, the first city to have a death outside of the Hubei province (Edit: Someone has corrected me that the first death was in Hebei)
The streets in Shanghai are like a ghost town. Partly also because of CNY where most of the people leave the city.
In a few days, CNY will be ending and hundreds of millions of Chinese (mainly in China but also many that are abroad) will be traveling back to the cities where they work and live. This will be prime time for the virus to spread harder and stronger.
There is no vaccine, and the only effective treatments so far are IV drops, hormonal injections, and recently discovered that HIV drugs are effective as well.
The virus can even spread from someone who is not displaying symptoms. So stay away from anyone who has recently been to China (Even me if I get to leave the country). The virus can enter through the eyes, nose, and mouth. Don’t touch your face with unwashed hands. Bring antibacterial hand wipes and handwash with you everywhere. Wear hospital-grade surgical masks or N95 material masks with a respirator when going out to protect the mouth and nose. I also wear gloves to keep my hands clean in case I touch any infected surfaces.
Currently, all supplies are pretty much sold out all through China. Masks are impossible to get no matter which province you’re in. Hand sanitizer and the likes are rapidly dwindling. Goggles are also out as I haven’t been able to buy any. So I recommend people in Australia to start stocking up.
In Shanghai, the infected count is easily way higher than official reports (40 officially infected) simply judging by the number of people in the hospitals who are afraid they have the virus. All it takes is for a few of them to actually have the virus, to then cough on others or on a surface, and then suddenly a clean person who has a fever from the flu gets sick.
I have multiple friends and acquaintances who asked for leave from their jobs in Shanghai, been denied the leave, and just straight out quit their job. Schools are also shut until Feb 17th, and if the situation hasn’t improved I have no doubt the closure would be extended.
Do not trust any official reports from China on what the situation is like over here. Censorship is rampant. At first, China claimed it was all under control. But just yesterday Xi Jinping himself admitted the virus was accelerating and China was in grave danger. It’s not good when even a communist government admits it’s fucked.
Vaccines themselves take months to develop, and then months and years to test and manufacture and distribute. We cannot count on a vaccine if this breaks out globally. Hopefully, better treatments will be discovered meanwhile though. I am unsure of how antibiotics affect the virus.
Confirmed cases in Australia were spread from travelers who entered the country on the 19th of January. That was a week ago. During that week, there would have been hundreds of more flights from China which statistically speaking would definitely contain virus carriers. Maybe Australia’s healthcare is good and the virus won’t run rampant there like it did in China. But better to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.
The virus has been closely compared to SARS in 2003. Since 2003 people travel a lot more, there are a lot more flights, and the world is just so unprepared for an epidemic right now. Moreover, SARS had an R0 of 2.5 (Every infected person infects 2.5 people) and Coronavirus is estimated to have an R0 of 3.8. The symptoms of SARS was also a lot more obvious. And most of the SARS infections came from a few superspreaders. Coronavirus spreads strongly amongst anyone. The incubation period is longer, with reports saying 3 days to 14 days. During incubation, it’s not infectious, but it gives time for the carriers to enter a clean corona-free society. Not every infected person will have a fever either.
It’s worrying because there is nothing that China can do to contain the spread of the virus. The official death toll is growing by a dozen a day and these are all elderly people. Which to me doesn’t mean only those with weak constitutions fall victim to the virus? These are still early days and I feel like the young and healthy just take longer to succumb to it.
By worrying I mean fucking scary. The situation here is in free fall and there’s nothing on the horizon that could possibly contain it.
Friends and family stay safe. If anyone has any questions about the situation in China just let me know.
EDIT: Many have asked for more information on the masks.
N95 disposable masks need changing every 4-6 hours of use.
Re-usable masks I would recommend also changing every 4-6 hours and washing it before using it again.
Smart USB-charging N95 masks should also need recharging every 4-6 hours.
Hospital surgical masks have to be worn with the blue side out and white side inwards. Blue is waterproof to prevent others from coughing on you. White is absorbent so your coughs get absorbed. For this reason, it’s good to change them every 4-6 hours as well
EDIT: According to a report by the Chinese National Health Commission, the virus is infectious during its incubation period which can last up to 14 days.
ENDS. 14.33 London 29/01/2020
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.
She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with her husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescues.