Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Why the High Death Count in Wuhan?

I've sat and pondered over the numbers by the WHO.

Roughly 67,000 cases of the Coronavirus in the Hubei Province (Wuhan City).  Of that.....2,803 deaths.  If you use the latest WHO data....in the past 24 hours, there's been 42 deaths in the city from the virus.

But here's the thing....then you enlarge the data from the rest of China (the rest of the provinces)....it's only 13,000 more cases of sick people, and roughly 100 dead folks. 

So this makes one ask the stupid question....why Wuhan got the bulk of the infected, and the bulk of deaths?

I would suggest that three significant factors fell into play:

1.  Somewhere back in October of 2019....a couple of sick folks (probably from the fish market operation) showed up in serious condition and everything seemed to be pointed toward pneumonia.  Doctors and nurses in the initial treatment area didn't protect themselves much in that initial round. 

So a week into this.....as those seriously affected passed on, the medical staff, nurses, and doctors who were treating these folks became infected, and started to pass it along to others they were associating with and treating.

Adding to this initial period....the pneumonia-like folks were passing the disease onto other regular patients of the hospital system across the city.  Folks who were there for knee operations, car accidents, or whatever....got infected, and went home to pass their coronavirus onto family members.

By mid-November, there was a heck of a lot of pneumonia going on....way more than the statistics should be, and triggered more of an investigation.  By this point, it was too late.

Those doctors and nurses affected?  They got pretty sick by mid-November and were checking into the hospitals themselves.  More doctors and nurses were called in, and they were infected as well....passing it along at a hearty speed.

By early to mid-December, the authorities probably figured out the virus business, but the infection rate was way beyond their control at that point, and a massive number of nurses and doctors were missing....who would have helped patients to survive. 

2.  The pollution factor of Wuhan?  This rarely gets brought up, but if you dig up the numbers....it's one of the densely polluted areas of China.  It's been that way for at least two decades.....as the city of 11-million crew at fantastic speed.

No one talks about weakened breathing issues but if you were a guy who worked outdoor, or had the window to the office open.....you got a big dose of pollution daily. 

I suspect with weakened lungs.....your odds with the medical system and the virus were severely limited. 

3.  Finally, I come to something that a lot of Americans and Brits talk about when visiting China....bad sanitary habits.  Poor hygiene habits are often discussed and you will be given a list of a hundred things which visitors observe when going into China.

In the case of this virus.....it got plenty of help from local people, and the hygiene situation.

All of these three things add up. 

I'll add this comment over the Italian numbers which might fit in as well.....when you look at the 35 Italian deaths (to this point)....I suspect if you listed the ages of these people, the bulk are over the age of 65.  I suspect Wuhan's death count....with those over 65....is fairly hefty.

So if you were to look at comparisons.....I don't think a serious death count in Europe or the US will occur.  When you do find rates going higher, it'll be because of poor sanitation, poor hygiene, over the age of 65, immunity issues, and lung problems.