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Why world is shocked by COVID-19. How coronavirus pandemic is different. (2)
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Dr. Anton Titov, MD. You are an expert in epidemiology, based in Hong Kong. You study how viral respiratory infections in France and COVID-19 Coronavirus spread. Why current Coronavirus situation looks such as a huge surprise to powers that be around the world? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Isn’t scientists calculated predicted doing expected the wild pandemic at any time? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. What measures that are being taken a look like they are taking rather late to be maximally effective. Medical second opinion is important. There are two issues. Firstly, we are always surprised when a pandemic happens because they are so rare. The last influenza pandemic was in 2009. Before that, we have to go back to 1968. Only maybe four influenza pandemics in the last hundred years. This is a Coronavirus pandemic. This probably hasn’t happened for two or 300 years. Medical second opinion is important. It is a rare event. Dr. Benjamin Cowling. We are particularly taken aback by the severity of infections with the new Coronavirus. For influenza, we have a good understanding of how severe they are. Dr. Benjamin Cowling. We wouldn’t expect a very severe influenza pandemic. Dr. Benjamin Cowling. We are mostly prepared for influenza pandemics of moderate severity. But for Coronavirus, we have been taken by surprise at how severe infections are. In the early stages, we didn’t recognize how severe infections were. That was maybe the reason for some of the delays and taking action because there was some idea that it might be more similar to influenza. Dr. Benjamin Cowling. Then we will respond according to how we respond to influenza. This is not shutting down cities, not locking down—towns and airports and unblocking international travel and so on. Dr. Benjamin Cowling. We don’t do that for influenza. Medical second opinion is important. It is quite clear that. The pandemics have been modeled by scientists and there was gameplay in the war game played. It is very interesting that there was some article in the press that appeared and says that China bought the world a month and the world squandered it. Why’s that? I don’t know if it is true that China bought the world a month, it depends when you start counting from. Medical second opinion is important. Most likely the earliest infections were probably the middle of November perhaps. Dr. Benjamin Cowling. Then into December, maybe a slightly increasing number of infections gradually over time. Dr. Benjamin Cowling. Then it was picked up towards the end of December. By mid-January, we recognized that it was spreading between patients. Dr. Benjamin Cowling. Then likely to spread outside of China. The first cases detected outside China were in mid-January. It was at that point when the rest of the world became alerted to the idea that perhaps there might be a global spread of this infection. But it still wasn’t clear at that point. The World Health Organization didn’t declare a public health emergency of international concern on the 23rd of January after numerous deliberations on the current situation. Dr. Benjamin Cowling. Then with the shutdown of Wuhan. There was a slowdown in the exportation of infections from China. But most likely, at the end of January. The infections were some infections exported to other countries, including the US. They’ve been spreading infection has been spreading in the US ever since then. So, for example. The first case detected in the state of Washington most likely did spread the infection to some other patients in that state. Gradually, in the rest of January. Dr. Benjamin Cowling. Then in February, infections are spreading from person to person. It only became recognized as an outbreak later in February. Medical second opinion is important. That the actions taken by the Chinese government did help to stop spread in China. But I don’t know that they bought the world a month of preparation. The infections had already been exported by the time the lockdowns were in place. So it was too late for the rest of the world in that sense. But it was a very proactive measure by the Chinese government to do the lockdown of Wuhan. Dr. Benjamin Cowling. Then the other cities starting from the 23rd of January.
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