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Wuhan Strain Update 900PM 1.24.20

Got some more Wuhan Strain updates for you. I’m sure you trust Dr. Thompson for all your Plague of Doom news. Don’t bother with the main stream media, those useless morons are too busy arguing about bad Orange Man. Check looserounds every day for all your up to the minute news about the pending end of civilization.

New virus-related developments

  • China announces another 15 deaths in Hubei province
  • Total number of confirmed cases now 1,000+, 41 dead.
  • China restricts travel for 46+ million people across 16 cities as the death toll surges.
  • AFP reports that the virus has jumped to Europe, with three confirmed cases now in France.
  • Two deaths have been reported outside Wuhan.
  • Some residents displaying symptoms are being turned away from hospitals.
  • Hospitals in Wuhan make urgent pleas for help and supplies.
  • Beijing orders PLA medics to assist in Wuhan treating patients
  • UK and US governments tell citizens to avoid outbreak zones.
  • 63 suspected cases in US, Senator says 3 confirmed, with two reported so far in Illinois and California, and two suspected in Minnesota

* * *

Update (1700ET): All day we’ve been watching disturbing videos of hospital hallways littered with what appear to be dead bodies, yet the death toll from the Wuhan coronavirus hasn’t budged from 26 since Beijing reported the first two deaths outside Hubei yesterday.

Now we know why: As we suspected, the virus has been claiming more victims. But the local authorities, who promised ‘transparency’ in everything virus-related, apparently felt the need to wait until 4 am local time to drop this massive bomb: Another 15 people have died in Hubei as hospitals struggle with severe shortages of nearly everything, including doctors and nurses. That brings the total number of casualties to 41. In addition, another 180 cases have been discovered in Hubei, bringing the total number of cases over 1,000.

The latest figures show that the virus is more deadly than previously thought.

Meanwhile, Sky News is reporting that officials in France have confirmed a third case of coronavirus in the country.

* * *

Update (1420ET): AFP reports, citing a minister, that two cases of coronavirus are now confirmed in France, as the virus officially spreads to Europe. The outbreak will give President Emmanuel Macron a desperately needed distraction from seemingly never-ending protests of his government.

Across China, fairs and other events celebrating the New Year holiday have been cancelled, meanwhile officials in Wuhan are scrambling to try a build a 1,000 bed hospital in Wuhan in under ten – some say five – days. Amid all of the terrifying videos showing what appear to be dead bodies piling up in a hallway in Wuhan (we shared the video below), reports out of Wuhan offer plenty of reason to fret: A previously healthy young man has succumbed to the virus – the first victim who wasn’t elderly or struggling with a serious co-occurring health problem.

Across China, more than 7,000 movie theaters have shuttered until further notice. CNBC reported that this could cost the Chinese box office more than $1 billion. Meanwhile, shares of Netflix rallied Friday on the belief that millions of Chinese might instead stay home and stream – even though Netflix doesn’t operate in China.

We joked about it yesterday, but today it has become a reality: Beijing has quarantined an entire province, with more than 46 million on lockdown across China.

As experts warn that there are probably closer to 4,000 cases in China alone, projections suggest that whatever governments – including China – are doing to fight the virus, it likely won’t be enough to stop a global outbreak.

The WHO is still waiting on making a call, claiming that it hasn’t yet seen enough evidence of human-to-human transmission, despite the fact that this is no longer in doubt. Yesterday, the organization estimated that the Wuhan coronavirus had a Ro rating – a measure of its infectious potential – of 2, making it more contagious than the flu, but less infectious than smallpox.

Update to Wuhan Strain News

I got another update on the current Wuhan strain. Lot happening this morning. China’s claims and efforts at containment are as laughable as we already knew it would be. Not very good news about its spread unless you are like me and hoping for that zombie pandemic to start. I share this news because it’s interesting not because it’s any real threat. So don’t go panicking.

Summary

Here’s a glimpse of new virus-related developments that occurred overnight.

  • Total number of confirmed cases now 939+, 26 dead.
  • China restricts travel for 46+ million people across 16 cities as the death toll surges.
  • Two deaths have been reported outside Wuhan.
  • Some residents displaying symptoms are being turned away from hospitals.
  • Hospitals in Wuhan make urgent pleas for help and supplies.
  • Beijing orders PLA medics to assist in Wuhan treating patients
  • UK and US governments tell citizens to avoid outbreak zones.
  • 63 suspected cases in US, Senator says 3 confirmed, across Minnesota, Illinois, Jersey, and California

* * *

Update (1320ET): CNBC’s Eunice Yoon has provided the latest horrifying update of the spread of the Coronavirus in China:

China quarantines 16 cities, total population 46 million

  • Wuhan: 11mln
  • Huanggang: 7.5mln
  • Xiangyang: 6.1mln
  • Yichang: 4.2mln
  • Jingmen: 3mln
  • Xianning: 2.8mln
  • Huangshi: 2.5mln
  • Suizhou: 2.2mln
  • Xiantao: 1.6mln
  • Ezhou: 1mln
  • Qianjiang: 962k
  • Enshi: 780k
  • Xiaogan: 780k
  • Zhijiang: 550k
  • Dangyang: 560k
  • Chibi: 530k

That is larger than the entire 39.5 million population of California.

The DoD said it’s following CDC guidance on the virus.

* * *

Update (1120ET): A senator has reportedly told the press that the CDC is about to confirm a third case of coronavirus in the US.

As authorities in Beijing try to convince the world that they have the outbreak under control, researchers in the US and UK have warned that the total number of cases might be closer to 4,000, according to the New York Times.

South Korea and Japan have each confirmed their second cases, while the US worries that a second case may have been discovered in Texas. Reports that an individual is under quarantine in Sydney have also emerged, while fears about a virus case in New Jersey have already been debunked.

New Video of General Dynamics Next Gen Rifle Released

The NGSR-AR is expected to replace the M249 squad automatic weapon, while the NGSW-R (Rifle) will replace M4 carbine. 

NGSR-AR and NGSW-R are expected to replace the current field weapons in the next several years. 

These new weapons are expected to include “sophisticated technologies such as ballistic calculation, intelligent targeting and tracking capabilities, wireless communication and advanced camera-based capabilities,” said Defense Blog. 

We’ve noted before, NGSR-AR and NGSW-R’s firepower will be able to shoot at much greater distances, able to penetrate the world’s most advanced body armor. The weapons are expected to be lightweight and have reduced acoustic and flash signature.

Last week, the Special Operation Command (USSOCOM) granted Sig Sauer a safety certification for its new MG 338 Machine Gun, 338 Norma Mag Ammunition, and Next Generation Suppressors.

https://www.zerohedge.com/technology/general-dynamics-releases-new-video-its-next-generation-assault-rifle

Quick Update to the China-Virus

  • 8 Chinese cities, more than 23 million people, effectively under quarantine
  • Multiple cases across the world – from Scotland to Singapore and USA
  • 653 Infected according to Chinese officials (Mainland China: 639 Taiwan: 1 Macau: 2 Hong Kong: 2 Vietnam: 2 Thailand: 3 Singapore: 1 Japan: 1 South Korea: 1 US: 1)
  • 18 Dead (following 1st death outside Wuhan)
  • WHO says “not the time to declare a global health emergency”
  • Patient in Texas recently traveled to Wuhan
  • WHO estimates coronavirus is about as contagious as the Spanish flu, more than twice as infectious as the common flu. 

That is not at all disconcerting

Wuhan, Chinese lab ( Weapons Research?)

If you will endure with me one more bit of speculation on the Chinese virus, I ran across this article linked from another news site about a Chinese lab where the outbreak started. Now, I’m not implying any tinfoil hat stuff here but we are talking about the communist Chinese gov. In a country known for exploding office chairs and concrete literally made out of garbage. Anyway, take a look and that will be the end of my fearmongering on behalf of my reptilian over lords for the day.

Inside the Chinese lab poised to study world’s most dangerous pathogens

A laboratory in Wuhan is on the cusp of being cleared to work with the world’s most dangerous pathogens. The move is part of a plan to build between five and seven biosafety level-4 (BSL-4) labs across the Chinese mainland by 2025, and has generated much excitement, as well as some concerns.

Hazard suits hang at the National Bio-safety Laboratory, Wuhan, the first lab on the Chinese mainland equipped for the highest level of biocontainment.

Some scientists outside China worry about pathogens escaping, and the addition of a biological dimension to geopolitical tensions between China and other nations. But Chinese microbiologists are celebrating their entrance to the elite cadre empowered to wrestle with the world’s greatest biological threats.

“It will offer more opportunities for Chinese researchers, and our contribution on the BSL‑4-level pathogens will benefit the world,” says George Gao, director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Key Laboratory of Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology in Beijing. There are already two BSL-4 labs in Taiwan, but the National Bio-safety Laboratory, Wuhan, would be the first on the Chinese mainland.

The lab was certified as meeting the standards and criteria of BSL-4 by the China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment (CNAS) in January. The CNAS examined the lab’s infrastructure, equipment and management, says a CNAS representative, paving the way for the Ministry of Health to give its approval. A representative from the ministry says it will move slowly and cautiously; if the assessment goes smoothly, it could approve the laboratory by the end of June.

BSL-4 is the highest level of biocontainment: its criteria include filtering air and treating water and waste before they leave the laboratory, and stipulating that researchers change clothes and shower before and after using lab facilities. Such labs are often controversial. The first BSL-4 lab in Japan was built in 1981, but operated with lower-risk pathogens until 2015, when safety concerns were finally overcome.

The expansion of BSL-4-lab networks in the United States and Europe over the past 15 years — with more than a dozen now in operation or under construction in each region — also met with resistance, including questions about the need for so many facilities.

The Wuhan lab cost 300 million yuan (US$44 million), and to allay safety concerns it was built far above the flood plain and with the capacity to withstand a magnitude-7 earthquake, although the area has no history of strong earthquakes. It will focus on the control of emerging diseases, store purified viruses and act as a World Health Organization ‘reference laboratory’ linked to similar labs around the world. “It will be a key node in the global biosafety-lab network,” says lab director Yuan Zhiming.

The Chinese Academy of Sciences approved the construction of a BSL-4 laboratory in 2003, and the epidemic of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) around the same time lent the project momentum. The lab was designed and constructed with French assistance as part of a 2004 cooperative agreement on the prevention and control of emerging infectious diseases. But the complexity of the project, China’s lack of experience, difficulty in maintaining funding and long government approval procedures meant that construction wasn’t finished until the end of 2014.

The lab’s first project will be to study the BSL-3 pathogen that causes Crimean–Congo haemorrhagic fever: a deadly tick-borne virus that affects livestock across the world, including in northwest China, and that can jump to people.

Future plans include studying the pathogen that causes SARS, which also doesn’t require a BSL-4 lab, before moving on to Ebola and the West African Lassa virus, which do. Some one million Chinese people work in Africa; the country needs to be ready for any eventuality, says Yuan. “Viruses don’t know borders.”

Gao travelled to Sierra Leone during the recent Ebola outbreak, allowing his team to report the speed with which the virus mutated into new strains. The Wuhan lab will give his group a chance to study how such viruses cause disease, and to develop treatments based on antibodies and small molecules, he says.

The opportunities for international collaboration, meanwhile, will aid the genetic analysis and epidemiology of emergent diseases. “The world is facing more new emerging viruses, and we need more contribution from China,” says Gao. In particular, the emergence of zoonotic viruses — those that jump to humans from animals, such as SARS or Ebola — is a concern, says Bruno Lina, director of the VirPath virology lab in Lyon, France.

Many staff from the Wuhan lab have been training at a BSL-4 lab in Lyon, which some scientists find reassuring. And the facility has already carried out a test-run using a low-risk virus.

But worries surround the Chinese lab, too. The SARS virus has escaped from high-level containment facilities in Beijing multiple times, notes Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey. Tim Trevan, founder of CHROME Biosafety and Biosecurity Consulting in Damascus, Maryland, says that an open culture is important to keeping BSL-4 labs safe, and he questions how easy this will be in China, where society emphasizes hierarchy. “Diversity of viewpoint, flat structures where everyone feels free to speak up and openness of information are important,” he says.

Yuan says that he has worked to address this issue with staff. “We tell them the most important thing is that they report what they have or haven’t done,” he says. And the lab’s inter­national collaborations will increase openness. “Transparency is the basis of the lab,” he adds.

The plan to expand into a network heightens such concerns. One BSL-4 lab in Harbin is already awaiting accreditation; the next two are expected to be in Beijing and Kunming, the latter focused on using monkey models to study disease.

Lina says that China’s size justifies this scale, and that the opportunity to combine BSL-4 research with an abundance of research monkeys — Chinese researchers face less red tape than those in the West when it comes to research on primates — could be powerful. “If you want to test vaccines or antivirals, you need a non-human primate model,” says Lina.

But Ebright is not convinced of the need for more than one BSL-4 lab in mainland China. He suspects that the expansion there is a reaction to the networks in the United States and Europe, which he says are also unwarranted. He adds that governments will assume that such excess capacity is for the potential development of bioweapons.

“These facilities are inherently dual use,” he says. The prospect of ramping up opportunities to inject monkeys with pathogens also worries, rather than excites, him: “They can run, they can scratch, they can bite.”

The central monitor room at China’s National Bio-safety Laboratory

If that wasn’t enough, here is January 2018 press release from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, announcing the launch of the “top-level biosafety lab.”

China has put its first level-four biosafety laboratory into operation, capable of conducting experiments with highly pathogenic microorganisms that can cause fatal diseases, according to the national health authority. Level four is the highest biosafety level, used for diagnostic work and research on easily transmitted pathogens that can cause fatal diseases, including the Ebola virus.

The Wuhan national level-four biosafety lab recently passed an assessment organized by the National Health and Family Planning Commission, according to a news release on Friday from the Wuhan Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Virologists read data on a container for viral samples at China’s first level-four biosafety lab at the Institute of Virology in Wuhan

After evaluating such things as the lab’s management of personnel, facilities, animals, disposals and viruses, experts believed the lab is qualified to carry out experiments on highly pathogenic microorganisms that can cause fatal diseases, such as Marburg, Variola, Nipah and Ebola.

“The lab provides a complete, world-leading biosafety system. This means Chinese scientists can study the most dangerous pathogenic microorganisms in their own lab,” the Wuhan institute said.

It will serve as the country’s research and development center on prevention and control of infectious diseases, as a pathogen collection center and as the United Nations’ reference laboratory for infectious diseases, the institute said.

Previous media reports said the Wuhan P4 lab will be open to scientists from home and abroad. Scientists can conduct research on anti-virus drugs and vaccines in the lab.

The lab is part of Sino-French cooperation in the prevention and control of emerging infectious diseases, according to the news release.

The central government approved the P4 laboratory in 2003 when the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome spread alarm across the country. In October 2004, China signed a cooperation agreement with France on the prevention and control of emerging infectious diseases. This was followed by a succession of supplementary agreements.

With French assistance in laboratory design, biosafety standards establishment and personnel training, construction began in 2011 and lasted for three years. In 2015, the lab was put into trial operation.

https://www.nature.com/news/inside-the-chinese-lab-poised-to-study-world-s-most-dangerous-pathogens-1.21487