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Coronavirus: how far will it spread? | FT

February 1, 2020


What we know about
the coronavirus called 2019 nCoV
changes hour by hour, making it hard to predict how
far the virus might spread and how many people
could become infected. One Chinese government
expert, Zhong Nanshan, says the epidemic may peak
towards the second week of February, but academics from
the University of Hong Kong, think that’s more likely
to happen sometime in April or May. There is so much uncertainty
about this new virus, that it’s almost impossible
to make accurate predictions. First of all, we don’t
know how many people have the virus right now. Reported cases have surged
in the last few days, but that could be down
to increased surveillance and testing. There could still be thousands
who aren’t coming forward, either because they
have mild symptoms or because they feel safer
waiting it out at home. Next, we don’t know how
easily the virus spreads. On average, it looks as
though each infected person has the ability to
infect two or three more. This is known as the
reproduction number, and it’s significant. Up until now the
number of infections is thought to have
doubled every six days. That gives us some
really big numbers. Mass quarantines, the
extended public holiday, plus putting the
public on high alert may slow the spread of
disease from person to person, but it’s hard to know how
effective these measures will be because of
another big unknown. We don’t yet know how long it
takes for an infected person to show symptoms, nor
whether that person can pass the disease on before
showing any signs of illness. This raises doubts
over the value of temperature screening, which
has been a key control so far. Finally, we don’t know
how severe the virus is. It seems to be spreading
faster and wider than Sars, which infected
8,000 people over eight months. This coronavirus has
gone past that number in less than two months. Around 20 per cent of
patients progressed from fever and a dry cough
to more severe symptoms such as pneumonia and
organ failure with around 4 per cent dying, but at
the start of an outbreak serious cases tend
to appear first, like the tip of an iceberg. So the rate of
severe illness may drop as milder cases turn up. In Sars, the death rate
was about 10 per cent, but even if this new virus
has a lower mortality rate, it could still kill
more people because it causes more infections. And while it’s
spreading, it might also mutate to become more
or less virulent. We are better prepared than we
were in 2003 during the Sars epidemic, but this still looks
like a monumental global health challenge. And until we know more
about the virus itself, its final impact will
be hard to predict.

45 Comments

  • Reply Tony Faxton January 31, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    In the fear of hurting Chinese economy, director of WHO downplayed the seriousness of the virus, and now it's spreading like an wild fire. Even on the day of declaring international health emergency, he tried so hard to save the face of China calling it the most wonderfully handled situation by Chinese government and people should still feel free to travel and trade with China. I really think he should resign his position. He and WHO under his leadership have been one of THE WORST organization, making blunders after blunders.

  • Reply Trap Town January 31, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    Financial Times

  • Reply Nilesh Bhakre January 31, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    Revenge of killing innocent animal

  • Reply Srini Vasan January 31, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    Financial Times or medical times.???…FT need to provide huw economy get affected because of this virus globally….

  • Reply Doug Hanchard January 31, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    Very poor reporting.

  • Reply what a shambles January 31, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    Hard to stop it when everyone is allowed to fly around the world from China, WHO acting like they're more worried about trade more than health

  • Reply jason okwaho January 31, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    Google Bianco Research coronavirus, it can save your life.

  • Reply SPARTACUS January 31, 2020 at 5:29 pm

    Coronavirus was created in the laboratory to be used as a bacteriological weapon. The creators lost control of the experiment and the virus spread, very difficult to control it now that it is spreading. May this hope serve as a lesson for all ….

  • Reply Muslim Flat Earth January 31, 2020 at 5:33 pm

    Fake .

  • Reply TheGamingMelon January 31, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    This virus is expected to have an R0 of 4.1

  • Reply ᎡႮՏՏᏆᎪ`Տ ᗞᗴᖴᗴᑎᗞᗴᖇ January 31, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    Close all borders, expel all Chinese.

  • Reply GOD FATHER January 31, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    Xi should step down… Taking responsibility.

  • Reply what a shambles January 31, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    https://youtu.be/Nmrm0mk5928

  • Reply Nathan Hallifax January 31, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    International travel should be immediately stopped. This virus may not end us but sooner or later one will unless international travel is banned completely. People should not mix.

  • Reply London Power January 31, 2020 at 6:02 pm

    Brexit virus is worst to much racism and fascism in English society

  • Reply Brent Miller January 31, 2020 at 6:03 pm

    2 things, anyone there should stay there and the Media are really having a hayday telling us how bad it is and a lot of people are hanging on every word so the ratings are sky high and the media want to keep it that way.

  • Reply Andrew January 31, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    Downvoted, not because of the information..no…I just hate how she flails her arms about…

  • Reply Thien Phung January 31, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    The title should be changed to “what don’t we know” – waste of time!

  • Reply Georges Moraitis January 31, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    Weird hand moves

  • Reply Haradeas January 31, 2020 at 6:20 pm

    A lot of information is known, RO is 4.. something (although this is estimate from a Chinese research document doing research on corona virus). Looking at the event in Germany it seems that the incubation time is 3 days. The danger is, is that the virus can multiply with and without the host having symptoms. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nW3xqcGidpQ) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nmrm0mk5928&t=933s)

  • Reply DC0014 January 31, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    Well until they ban all flights to and from China for them moment.. then lets take it serious… but thats not the case so life goes on

  • Reply ObsoletePowerCorrupts January 31, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    Hmmm, The infections doubling each six days does sound a bit like it can partly be explained in terms of a glut of tests being done. They could include a very large subset whereby they have been infected in one go. That might mean a load more people had it and then got better. Holidays mean some have been resting hermits of late anyway.

  • Reply Tuatha DeDanaan January 31, 2020 at 6:35 pm

    She appears not to have washed or combed in hair in the past three months.
    Personal hygiene matters.

  • Reply California Dreamin' January 31, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    The virus is busy being spread to half the UK population, by road , on a Friday afternoon, because some idiot in the government ….residing in No 10…. has no concept of a drive from Brize Norton to the Wirral, via the M6……when Manchester Airport is on the doorstep !!!
    As long as the virus is taken as far away as possible from Westminster, to the Wirral , and now Newcastle, is all that matters.

  • Reply Krazy Kanuk January 31, 2020 at 8:09 pm

    Thank you for the unbiased report!

  • Reply jerzy kunowski January 31, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    no masks in pharmacies

  • Reply Aaron Malcolm January 31, 2020 at 9:18 pm

    coronavirus: Hold my beer

  • Reply Rubber Dub January 31, 2020 at 9:46 pm

    More to the point is how far are the globalist vermin allowing it to spread ..

  • Reply Loppy2345 January 31, 2020 at 10:44 pm

    Coronavirus is going to become the new Flu, it's not going away.

  • Reply Mahmoud jamal Mahmoud January 31, 2020 at 11:48 pm

    That country and its viruses that never ends 😠

  • Reply Finn and Morgan K February 1, 2020 at 12:42 am

    I swear this is the next plague I feel so sorry for those people but I don’t want em near me stay out Britain 🇬🇧

  • Reply patates kizartmasi February 1, 2020 at 12:43 am

    America : shoot everything walking
    China : eat everything walking

  • Reply wolf blitzer February 1, 2020 at 1:09 am

    Keep people from travelling it's simple it will stop the spread of this virus

  • Reply James H February 1, 2020 at 2:05 am

    What's the difference between this and the normal flu? The normal 2017-2018 flu hospitalized 900,000 and killed 80,000. Infects over 31million each year.

  • Reply Lee Bowers February 1, 2020 at 2:40 am

    https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/85320e2ea5424dfaaa75ae62e5c06e61
    ⚡⚡coronavirus counter ⚡⚡

  • Reply sungkchun February 1, 2020 at 3:02 am

    One of the major problem is Chinese government’s lack of candor or intentional lies to hide the bad news on the gravity of severity…

  • Reply Norma Stafford February 1, 2020 at 3:19 am

    Kind of scary ..

  • Reply Majic C February 1, 2020 at 7:08 am

    Hard to predict – now there's the truth.

  • Reply D3am3r February 1, 2020 at 11:07 am

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    " Top 12 Berberine Benefits

    Below you'll find some of the most common uses of berberine.

    1. Aids Weight Loss

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    Berberine not only boosts metabolism but also increases weight loss.

    Obese individuals who took berberine three times a day for 12 weeks lost
    weight — about five pounds each. While that’s not a huge amount of
    weight, it was also accompanied by a reduction in their body mass index
    (BMI).[3]

    Consuming berberine can shrink fat cells — for good — even when your diet works against you.[4] If you have a healthier diet, you may have even better results!

    2. Supports Normal Blood Sugar Levels

    Berberine may promote normal blood sugar levels in the body.[5]

    Maintaining a steady blood glucose level is best for good health,
    stable energy, and a healthy weight. This is not just true for the
    millions of Americans who experience Type 2 diabetes, but for all
    people.[6]

    Taking berberine three times a day for three months may help balance blood sugar. And berberine has low toxicity and few if any side effects.[7]

     
    3. Boosts Your Immune System

    Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners have long used berberine to help infections, particularly gastrointestinal ones.[7]
    This herb can deter harmful organisms in your body because of its natural antibacterial properties. That means berberine can boost your immune system.[1]

    Researchers found that the compound stopped certain harmful bacteria from creating a biofilm, a sticky substance that protects them.[8] It takes up to 24 hours for bacteria to produce biofilms, so taking berberine every day can help your immune system ward off these harmful organisms.

    4. Helps Canker Sores & Oral Health

    Historically, Native Americans used goldenseal — which contains berberine compounds — to help with irritation inside the mouth and nose.[9]

    Today, people still use berberine for oral health, including for canker sores, which can make it uncomfortable to eat or drink.

    Applying berberine gel may relieve both the discomfort and the redness of these sores.[2] The gel even helped reduce the size of the canker sore when taken four times per day.[2]

    5. Counters Free Radicals With Antioxidant Properties

    Berberine has antioxidant properties, which means that it helps reduce the damage free radicals cause to your cells.[10]

    When free radicals damage your cells, it leads to aging and disease.

    The process is similar to what happens to a freshly-cut apple after it gets exposed to air: The oxygen makes it turn brown.

    Berberine activates an enzyme inside cells called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK).[10] AMPK slows down the production of free fatty acids — a type of free radical — thus slowing down oxidative stress in your body.

    6. Soothes Inflammation

    Berberine has anti-inflammatory properties, which means it reduces redness and swelling throughout the body.

    Gut conditions like colitis and Crohn's disease cause a lot of inflammation.[5]

    In autoimmune diseases like these, your body attacks its own cells. Berberine may lower your body’s release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. This reduces redness and swelling and boosts the immune system.[5]

    7. Balances Cholesterol & Helps Heart Health

    The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of berberine can boost heart health.[2] Berberine promotes normal cholesterol and triglyceride levels.[2] Triglycerides are fats that your body makes from the foods you eat.

    Keeping your cholesterol and triglyceride levels in check reduces your risk of heart disease. Researchers were so impressed with
    berberine's powers, they hailed it as a breakthrough herbal medicine.[11]

    Berberine may also reduce high blood pressure.

    8. Soothes PCOS

    PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome is an uncomfortable condition that affects many women. In people with PCOS, hormone imbalances lead to ovarian cysts. Evidence suggests that berberine improves PCOS by promoting healthy blood sugar levels.[2]

    Women with PCOS and infertility who took berberine for three months ended up with better-balanced hormone levels. On top of that, berberine helped balance their blood sugar and even improved pregnancy outcomes.[12] That’s promising.

    9. Helps Anxiety & Depression

    This herb has a positive effect on mood. Not only does it lift your spirits, it may also help you feel calmer, happier, and less withdrawn. [13]

    Berberine stimulates the production of brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. This is likely responsible for its
    antidepressant-like effects.[13]

     
    10. Boosts Memory & Learning

    As we age, our memory and learning abilities can change, but taking supplements like berberine may promote normal brain aging processes. In other words, it has nootropic effects.

    Berberine can boost memory and recall skills. Some evidence also suggests it can protect the brain from neurodegenerative conditions.[13, 14] One of the ways that berberine helps your nervous system stay healthy is by promoting healthy, normal levels of inflammation.[9]

    11. Provides Liver Protection

    It’s not just for your heart, gut, and brain. Berberine may also protect your liver. By promoting normal fat levels in the blood, berberine keeps fat from accumulating in the liver.[2]

    It appears to help people with both alcoholic fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, known causes of fat buildup in the liver.[2, 15]

    Berberine seems to influence genes that control liver metabolism, helping it function more effectively.[15]

    12. Supports Gut Health

    From minor concerns to leaky gut, your gastrointestinal health has a significant impact on your overall wellness. In fact, your gut microbiota has a tremendous influence on how you feel mentally and physically.

     Although a quality probiotic can quickly improve gut health, you may also want to consider berberine. People have used this compound for centuries to help digestive issues.

    For instance, berberine can help with diarrhea by fighting certain stomach infections caused by E. coli.[2] When people took 150 mg of berberine HCL three times per day, it helped reduce their diarrhea.[2]

    << Points to Remember >>

    Berberine is a natural compound found in plants of the genus Berberis, including goldenseal and Oregon grape. Berberine supplements are usually sold as capsules, but you can also find topical forms. Berberine is generally safe for adults.[2, 7]

    For centuries, traditional Chinese healers have used berberine for a variety of health conditions, mainly inflammation and digestive woes.

    Berberine has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. It may help with weight loss, diabetes, infections, canker sores, and PCOS. Not only that, it may promote normal triglyceride and blood sugar levels, boosting your liver, brain, and gut health.

    Berberine not only may deter anxiety or depression but also may boost memory and learning."

  • Reply George Henry Moore February 1, 2020 at 11:30 am

    Well, you can predict the r0? 2 and 3 is quite a difference on a global scale. According to the non peer reviewed paper by Zhidong Cao1, Qingpeng Zhang1, Xin Lu, Dirk Pfeiffer, Zhongwei Jia, Hongbing 8Song, Daniel Dajun Zeng in cooperation with other researchers the r0 is more than 4. Can you or anyone confirm the validity of these data? https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.01.27.20018952v1

  • Reply Laura Kluk February 1, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    Free Spread Prediction Tool https://youtu.be/0NqUM1Ak_J0

  • Reply NN SWEN February 1, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    It seems a biased report as it presents more on the negative numbers rather than an objective picture…

  • Reply John Baker February 1, 2020 at 5:05 pm

    This will not stop spreading until everything but essential services get shut down.

  • Reply Ashyo Sings February 1, 2020 at 6:03 pm

    Its been confirmed to have an R0 of 4.08 and Asymptomatic up to 14 days, contagious after 2 days

  • Reply COMMIE CHINESE'S DO ORGANS HAVESTING February 1, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    invest in your own economy ; dump communist china !!!

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