I attended a private briefing today on the Wuhan Coronavirus (the virus) that I think I should share with the Committee. This information is as reliable and accurate as it gets. I should have taken notes. I apologise in advance for errors and omissions.
The timeline of the discovery of Covid -19 was detailed. I can't remember all the dates but more about that later. The alarm was raised by a Chinese doctor in Wuhan reporting via Promed (the infectious disease bulletin board) of some 50 "anomalous pneumonia" cases clustered in the Wuhan wet market (fish and edible animals) on or about December 31. The World Health Organisation (WHO) was notified the same day. It is understood that known causes (SARS, etc.) had been ruled out. The "index case" was reportedly identified on December 1.
Samples were obtained from China in the first few days of January by an Australian laboratory specializing in identification of new virii (note: this would have required the negotiation of a materials transfer agreement to protect future access to IP, etc..) Tests in China and perhaps elsewhere failed to identify the virus but the Australian lab had developed wide spectrum specialised tests and identified it as a Coronavirus. Further testing was done by a world expert on SARS and others who couldn't identify it as an existing type. On or about 10th January the researchers in Australia and elsewhere concluded it was a new virus. On 14 January China introduced temperature scanning. This was very fast work by China and the researchers.
The Australian lab sequenced the virus and from samples received on 24 Jan announced on 29 Jan that they were successfully growing the virus in vitro. Samples have been sent to other researchers around the world for confirmation and further work.
Comment: The virology timeline dates I saw indicated a very tightly linked set of actions by China, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and researchers once the alarm was raised.. By that I mean that China and the WHO responded and acted almost immediately – within one or two days, as new information was received and have and still are actively and openly communicating and assisting with further research.
In my opinion, such openness, honesty and actions are totally inconsistent with any of the multitude of conspiracy theories currently advanced.
So much for the virology…….
On the epidemiological front, there is also interesting news. The first is researcher opinion that this virus has probably been circulating at least in November and possibly in October. It is also believed that the mathematical models show that there are perhaps Ten times the cases world wide than are officially recorded. This partly because some cases are asymptomatic and currently available tests indicate false negative results. This is good news for the case fatality rate if proven because it is ten times less lethal than we currently estimate.
The researchers believe that the virus originated in Bats (notorious RNA Coronavirus carriers) and then infected Wuhan wet market produce – Pangolins, which then infected people. The initial cases were a group of men in the Wuhan wet market -which is also the cause of the error that the virus attacks men more than women, there are few female market workers. The apparent evidence for this is that large quantities of the virus have been found on the trading floor of another Wuhan wet market – the original Wuhan wet market was perhaps disinfected and its now demolished. (So much for the "bio weapon" BS.)
The best prevention against getting this virus is simple: WASH YOUR HANDS REGULARLY AND DON'T TOUCH YOUR FACE. The virus lived on surfaces for at least Nine days. Things like public door handles, lift buttons, stair rails, supermarket trolleys, etc. that are touched by thousands of people daily are going to in all probability carry the virus. The virus can't get through dry skin, but if you rub your eye or suchlike the virus can get at your living tissue. Faeces may also be a route. Clean toilets. Mask are a waste of time and money except in special .