2019-nCoV-CDC-23312 without background.
(Image by (From Wikimedia) CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM, Author: CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAM) Details Source DMCA
This business has reawakened the investigator in me. And also the desire to rebut false or misleading information.
Today I was outside the Bluesberry Cafe' (where I am a partner) in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and a couple, with a grandchild, longtime customers, came by. The gentleman asked me not to use his name, but he identified himself as a clinical and radiological consultant fairly recently retired from the CDC.
He said that, as far as the disease itself, we are making too much fuss about it. This person is definitely one of those (unusual in the scientific community in the last several weeks) with confidence that as the weather gets warmer, the spread of the virus will subside as influenza viruses tend to do.
Later in the day I watched another environmental/epidemiological scientist declare
(WATCH THE SECOND VIDEO SHOWN)
As he and I, and my restaurant partner, and our breakfast musician, and one or two others stood around outside, glad to have the opportunity to question someone who by reason of his background might have valuable information for us all, I for the first time in open conversation heard someone besides myself note the information that there were two strains of this novel coronavirus.
Type S was the first to emerge, and it is the less virulent of the two. Type S, the milder of the two strains, is the one that has reached our shores (though there is no proof that Type L has not also contributed to the pandemic internationally, particularly in hard-hit Italy).
Type S is the one that certain politicians, and most of the scientists, say we will survive as a population, though it is still a threat to the lives of the old and underlyingly sick. Type L was the strain responsible for most of the death and contagion characterizing the first stages of the Wuhan outbreak.
Alexander McNamara, editor of the online scientific magazine BBC Science Focus, succinctly delineates the difference, and also notes that the scientific community in China has given COVID-19 a new name:
Scientists in China claim to have identified two main strains of the coronavirus that is circulating in humans, indicating that the virus is mutating.
Researchers at Peking University's School of Life Sciences and the Institute Pasteur of Shanghai say the COVID-19 virus, which has since been renamed SARS-CoV2, has evolved into two major lineages, known as "L" and "S" types. Seventy per cent of the cases from the early outbreak, researchers said, have resulted from the newer, more aggressive L Type. But its frequency decreased from early January, which the researchers attributed to human intervention.
The older, "ancestral" S type strain, meanwhile, is continuing to infect new patients, which experts believe could be because it is less severe, meaning people carry it for longer before going to the hospital, increasing the risk of passing it on.
However, the most disturbing thing I have heard during this entire coronavirus-driven crisis was what the retired CDC man said about the two strains. Our friend suggested that the deadly Type L mutation might have been engineered.
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