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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/28/20

Coronavirus: Hysteria reaches "Tipping Point"

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The Quarantine Question
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In Hubei Province, China, where the 'new' virus was first diagnosed, and where the vast majority of the cases have occurred, it's no longer considered necessary to test for the presence of CV antibodies before diagnosing the disease.

Let's say that again.

The epicentre of the so-called new virus outbreak is currently diagnosing new cases of the disease without testing for the virus.

Instead they are relying on 'clinical diagnosis', which is defined as [our emphasis]:

The estimated identification of the disease underlying a patient's complaints based merely on signs, symptoms and medical history of the patient rather than on laboratory examination or medical imaging.

Which means physicians look at presenting symptoms and make a guess on what is causing them.

Now if you're talking about something like Smallpox that option can make some sense because Smallpox presents with one very distinct clinical feature a recognisable rash that makes it fairly easy to distinguish from other viral agents or other disease processes.

But the 'new' coronavirus does not do that. In fact, symptoms of the 'new' CV are exactly like symptoms of the numerous 'old' CVs, and indeed of the common cold or flu. Cough, fever, malaise, upper respiratory tract inflammation and (in severe cases) lung involvement up to and including full-blown pneumonia.

The only way to differentiate a case of 'new' CV from severe regular flu, viral pneumonia or even environmental lung disease, is by testing for antibodies. If they aren't doing this, physicians in Hubei Province are now at grave risk of essentially diagnosing every single case of pneumonia or lung inflammation they see as the new CV.

Which goes quite a long way to explaining the sudden increase in cases [our emphasis]:

China's Hubei province reported an additional 242 deaths and 14,840 new cases as of Feb. 12 a sharp increase from the previous day. The province said it is starting to include "clinically diagnosed" cases in its figures and that 13,332 of the new cases fall under that classification.

By CNBC's figures, fully 89% of the "new cases" reported in Hubei province have never been tested for the virus.

According to Our World in Data, roughly 180,000 people die of pneumonia in China every year. Under this new system, all of those people could be diagnosed with coronavirus.

Further, "signs of pneumonia" don't have to be a sign of any disease at all. Pneumonic symptoms can come simply as the result of being exposed to a heavily polluted air, something very common in China's densely populated urban centres.

A major question here has to be why? Why take a step that inevitably increases the number of false positives? Why intentionally inflate the apparent caseload? What rational benefit can there be in that?

Is it some form of hyper-caution? They would rather throw the net too wide than risk missing cases?

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[Republished from Off-Guardian] Catte Black is one of the founders of Off-Guardian. Off-Guardian is the creation of people committed to the original vision which drew us together on The Guardian's CiF pages. We followed with dismay and (more...)

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