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'[OT]: SARS <-- : [OT] m'chip'
2003\04\10@050711 by Russell McMahon

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> > "Additionally, the spread throughout Asia of SARS, an acute respiratory
> > illness, is inhibiting business travel and, in some cases, purchasing
> > decisions, as many customers are temporarily closing plants to avoid the
> > spread of the disease."
> >
> > Compared to other killer diseases (eg influenza, malaria) and even
> > chronic atmospheric pollution from traffic, SARS doesn't really rate. So
> > is the panic concern about it justified ?

SARS could kill (choose one)

- 1% of everyone on earth
- Most people on earth
- All people on earth.

The first is a reasonable probability at present.
The last is exceedingly unlikely.

Some important factors are -

- It's not know with precision what it is yet.
- It's not known how infectious it is and/or exactly how it is and isn't
spread.
- It's origins are unknown.
- It's interactions with other diseases is as yet unknown.

I have heard it suggested that -

- It is especially virulent for those with Chlamydia.
- It was originally / is being spread by cockroaches.
- It is only passed by transfer of oral fluids.
- It was originally spread by a single Chinese doctor visiting Hong Kong
- It can be spread by material left on surfaces (eg door knobs)
- It is surprisingly infectious and has spread through emergency wards and
to disease management experts by mechanisms as yet unknown.
- It is mutating to new forms
- It is completely untreatable and must simply be allowed to run its course
(ie a standard viral infection).


Some or all of the above may or may not be true :-) :-) :-) :-)

The point is - SOME of the above is probably true and until we have a better
idea of which is which we should be excessively cautious. As we don't as yet
know how cautious "excessively cautious" is, we should be very cautious
indeed.

Death rate of those who contract it seems to be about 4%. While it is said
that those who die  usually have underlying problems, all that is saying is
that 4% of people have underlying problems severe enough to kill them.  IF
it was contagious and unstoppable enough to infect everyone on earth at this
death rate that would be about 180 million people - about 5 times as many as
the Great Flu of 1918 - 1919 which is estimated to have killed 30 to 40
million people. (ie about as virulent overall per capita).

It is, of course, possible but unlikely that it is the product of a genetic
engineering germ warfare factory. If so, we could be in for an interesting
time. If not, we could be in for an interesting time.

Note that the reports from the USA are NOT consistent with those from
anywhere else. USA reports 150 + suspected infections but NO deaths.
Everywhere else where it is entrenched has close to a 4% fatality rate. A
number of US people SHOULD have died by now. This suggests that either.
- US cases are largely not really SARS or
- The US is lying or
- The US has managed to find a treatment.

At a survival rate of 96% a population of 150 with no deaths has a
probability of about 0.96^150 = 0.002.
ie there is a 1 in 500 chance of the US figures being correct if it IS SARS
that they have.
Worth a thought?


       Russell McMahon

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2003\04\10@081057 by D. Jay Newman

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> > > Compared to other killer diseases (eg influenza, malaria) and even
> > > chronic atmospheric pollution from traffic, SARS doesn't really rate. So
> > > is the panic concern about it justified ?

The problem with disease is that people have a (perhaps cultural?) fear
of plagues. This goes above and beyond the actual damage caused by the
disease. In addition, of course, the timing of this outbreak with
the USA/Iraq war scares people (no, I don't believe that this is a
terrorist action).

Also SARS seems to be *highly* contageous and has been spread world-wide
by this time. This will have multiple effect on the economies of *many*
countries. I feel that the health care facilities of any city with
suspected infections will be quickly overwhelmed, primarily by people
who either don't have SARS or have a minor case.

> Note that the reports from the USA are NOT consistent with those from
> anywhere else. USA reports 150 + suspected infections but NO deaths.

The problem with SARS is that it may be highly under-reported. It is
possible that most people who get the virus just think of it as a cold
or flu. Also if this is caused by a type of cold virus, then it could
mutate rapidly -- and chance favors a less dangerous version at this point.

I strongly suspect that if there have been deaths in the USA they have
been listed under another cause. I'm not sure there is a good and cheap
test for this yet.
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2003\04\10@083442 by Bob Ammerman

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My MD just told me that they expect to have a simple blood test for this
soon.

Living here in Buffalo, just a short drive from Toronto (the center of SARS
in Canada), nobody really seems very concerned. Yet.

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems

{Original Message removed}

2003\04\10@113047 by William Chops Westfield

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   At a survival rate of 96% a population of 150 with no deaths has a
   probability of about 0.96^150 = 0.002.

That doesn't sound correct, intuitively speaking.  (Of course, my experience
is that probability is frequently counter-intuitive...)  With a survival
rate of 96%, you'd expect 6 deaths in 150 cases, and no deaths is only
slightly surprising...  Perhaps "survival rate" is not the same as the
probability of dying...

BillW

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2003\04\10@122122 by Sean H. Breheny

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I'm pretty sure Russell is correct. Survival rate and probability of
survival are the same (unless you know additional information about an
individual case). Remember, in order for there to be one death in 150
cases, only ONE person had to die, and each person has a 4% chance of
dying, so that the probability of no one dying is 1 minus the sum of the
probabilities of all the ways in which one or more people might have died.
It's like making a machine with 150 parts that are each only 96% reliable.
It would be amazing if that thing did not fail in some way.

Sean

At 08:30 AM 4/10/2003 -0700, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2003\04\10@130155 by Wouter van Ooijen

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>  With a survival
> rate of 96%, you'd expect 6 deaths in 150 cases, and no deaths is only
> slightly surprising...

With a chance of 0.002 (the math *is* correct) no deaths would be very
surprising, in fact much more surprising than a nonse result from the
average 'scientific' experiment (which commonly uses 0.005 or even 0.05
as false-positive rate).

Wouter van Ooijen

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2003\04\10@132135 by Katinka Mills

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> -----Original Message-----
> From: pic microcontroller discussion list
> [KILLspamPICLISTKILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU]On Behalf Of Wouter van Ooijen
> Sent: Friday, 11 April 2003 1:01 AM
> To: RemoveMEPICLISTTakeThisOuTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
> Subject: Re: [OT]: SARS <-- : [PICLIST] [OT] m'chip
>
>
> >  With a survival
> > rate of 96%, you'd expect 6 deaths in 150 cases, and no deaths is only
> > slightly surprising...
>
> With a chance of 0.002 (the math *is* correct) no deaths would be very
> surprising, in fact much more surprising than a nonse result from the
> average 'scientific' experiment (which commonly uses 0.005 or even 0.05
> as false-positive rate).
>
> Wouter van Ooijen
And any minte now we will start to play hitch hikers guide to the galaxy ;o)

"Probability 1 ^10-6 and rising"

Lol

Regards,

Kat.

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2003\04\10@135328 by Tom Messenger

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So! That =was= you I saw tomorrow night at the restaurant at the end of the
universe!
I bet you've got a Heart of Gold, Kat!

>"Probability 1 ^10-6 and rising"
>
>Lol
>
>Regards,
>
>Kat.
>
>---

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2003\04\10@174544 by Brendan Moran

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>Some important factors are -
>
>- It's not know with precision what it is yet.
>- It's not known how infectious it is and/or exactly how it is and isn't
>spread.
>- It's origins are unknown.
>- It's interactions with other diseases is as yet unknown.

Has anyone here played Deus Ex?  If so, does this remind you at all of the
Grey Death?  Where a vaccine was just rumour spread only by tabloids, even
though it existed?

Just a little fun conspiracy theory

--Brendan

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2003\04\10@174551 by Brendan Moran

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Next thing you know, there will be an infinite number of moneys outside
with their script for Hamlet.

--Brendan

{Quote hidden}

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2003\04\10@192944 by Russell McMahon

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>     At a survival rate of 96% a population of 150 with no deaths has a
>     probability of about 0.96^150 = 0.002.
>
> That doesn't sound correct, intuitively speaking.  (Of course, my
experience
> is that probability is frequently counter-intuitive...)  With a survival
> rate of 96%, you'd expect 6 deaths in 150 cases, and no deaths is only
> slightly surprising...  Perhaps "survival rate" is not the same as the
> probability of dying...

I'm pretty sure we are well out in one probability tail here OR something is
not as it is said to be.

The margin of error test to 3 std devs is

   Error = 1.98 sqrt(P*(1-P)/N)

Where P is the expected probability per event.
This assumes normal distribution and a few other things but works well
enough in many cases.
E&OE

Worst case (widest error) you set P=0.5 and this collapses to
Error = 1/sqrt(N)
which is where they get the margin of error statements for polls.
It works very well - next time they tell you the poll has a margin of error
of say 5% you can reverse this
N = 1/Error^2
so 1/(.05)^2 = 400 samples.

In this case P=0.04 so

Error = 1.98 *(0.04 * 0.96/150) = 0.032
ie margin or error is 3% so expected deaths for a 150 sample would be 4% +/-
3%
ie a 0% result is "rather improbable".

Stay tuned.



           Russell McMahon

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2003\04\10@231457 by SM Ling

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US figure could be accurate because the situations are different.

1.  US has given influenza vaccine to their citizens when they are young,
but I think no Asia countries do.

2.  Also some strains of SARS virus seems to be more fatal than the other.
The strain from the HK hotel is responsible for many of the death outside
China/HK, It is responsible for 95% of the inflected case here.  Some people
are also spreading the virus much better than others.  Here, a lady that
caught the virus from the HK Hotel transmitted the virus to 95% of the
reported cases here (primary, or secondary).  And that strain is quite
fatal, as it killed both her parents and her pastor, and still spreading on.


Ling SM

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2003\04\10@234226 by Sean Alcorn - PIC Stuff

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> 1.  US has given influenza vaccine to their citizens when they are
> young,
> but I think no Asia countries do.

This is a very interesting point. I never knew that. But which vaccine
do they give? Isn't the vaccine changed every year or so to combat the
particular strain that WILL hit us for the following year?

> Some people
> are also spreading the virus much better than others.  Here, a lady
> that
> caught the virus from the HK Hotel transmitted the virus to 95% of the
> reported cases here (primary, or secondary).

She gets around! :-(

Cheers,

Sean

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2003\04\10@235056 by SM Ling
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> > 1.  US has given influenza vaccine to their citizens when they are
> > young,
> > but I think no Asia countries do.
>
> This is a very interesting point. I never knew that. But which vaccine
> do they give? Isn't the vaccine changed every year or so to combat the
> particular strain that WILL hit us for the following year?

Don't know actually what is it, labelled as "influenzae" for 1 of my kids.
We never have such thing here, even now.

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2003\04\11@005009 by SM Ling

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AVOID hosipitals at all costs.

The cases here are quite well tracked, so far 100% tracking to the source.
Just last night, I think they found one of the reasons why hosipitals is
such a contagious place.

Presently the best and earliest indicator for SARS is the adnormally high
tempertaure (>38 C) of the infected, though not 100%.  The problem is in
hosipitals, there are patients on all kind of medications.  Some of them
caught the virus and start spreading without showing the usual symptons
because the symptons are masked by their medications.  So the virus has a
free-run in his/her ward and to the medical staff, and then spread among the
medical staff duirng their briefings and meetings, and then to other
patients, and to visitors.

Looks like the influenza jet is given every year.  It will be educational to
compare the countries that practise influenza jet and those that don't after
this crisis.  Japan is another country that practise influenza jet, so far
their figure is too good to believe - less than 20 infected and all recover.

Ling SM

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2003\04\11@015454 by William Chops Westfield

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"Flu vaccines" in the US are not given to anyone as a matter of
course, although they're recomended in certain professions (teachers,
healthcare workers, people with immune deficiencies of various sorts.)
I suspect that most of the cases in the US (or SUSPECTED cases in the
US.  I hear now that there are only 5 cases CONFIRMED to be SARS) are
amoung international travelers and their immediate acquaintances.  It
wouldn't surprise me if they:

1) Are relatively "wealthy."  (well fed, enviormentally controlled
  living space, etc.)
2) Are in relatively good health otherwise.
3) HAVE had flu vaccines (and perhaps other common "travel vaccines.")
4) have easy access to health care.

Spread some SARS in the inner-city slums or homeless shelters, and
watch the death rate climb.  If anyone pays attention...

BillW

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2003\04\11@025528 by Russell McMahon

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> Spread some SARS in the inner-city slums or homeless shelters, and
> watch the death rate climb.  If anyone pays attention...

While it stays in the incubator, maybe not.
Once it gains some size and leaves the incubator, certainly.


           RM

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2003\04\11@032721 by Jason Dini

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It would probably be a lot more effective to have engineers working on
vaccines and cures. Are there even forums for people working on this stuff?
I knew a guy with a Phd in chemistry and he really wasn't very practical. At
the end of the day you need somebody who is actually going to get the job
done and find a working solution. Academics are often not the right people
for this.

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2003\04\11@065129 by Eric Bohlman

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4/10/03 4:06:01 AM, Russell McMahon <EraseMEapptechspamEraseMEPARADISE.NET.NZ> wrote:

>Note that the reports from the USA are NOT consistent with those from
>anywhere else. USA reports 150 + suspected infections but NO deaths.
>Everywhere else where it is entrenched has close to a 4% fatality rate. A
>number of US people SHOULD have died by now. This suggests that either.
>- US cases are largely not really SARS or
>- The US is lying or
>- The US has managed to find a treatment.

The head of the CDC favors the former.  She said that the US is using a much broader definition of
"suspected SARS case" than the rest of the world.

IIRC, the majority of the SARS deaths were in elderly people.  It's possible that the exposure
demographics in the US are different enough to change the death rate (AFAIK, none of the US cases
have been the result of transmission by health-care workers, because of conscious efforts to
eliminate that risk, and that would reduce exposure to the immunocompromised or elderly).

>At a survival rate of 96% a population of 150 with no deaths has a
>probability of about 0.96^150 = 0.002.
>ie there is a 1 in 500 chance of the US figures being correct if it IS SARS
>that they have.

That does assume that all 150 cases are actually SARS, that it's the same strain as elsewhere, and
that the susceptibility factors are the same as elsewhere.

There's also the fact that most of the actual or suspected SARS cases in the US are fairly new,
meaning the infected people are mostly in the early stages of the disease.

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2003\04\12@013457 by Eric Bohlman

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4/10/03 10:16:54 PM, SM Ling <spamBeGoneipal11spamKILLspamSINGNET.COM.SG> wrote:

>> > 1.  US has given influenza vaccine to their citizens when they are
>> > young,
>> > but I think no Asia countries do.
>>
>> This is a very interesting point. I never knew that. But which vaccine
>> do they give? Isn't the vaccine changed every year or so to combat the
>> particular strain that WILL hit us for the following year?
>
>Don't know actually what is it, labelled as "influenzae" for 1 of my kids.
>We never have such thing here, even now.

That's not for the influenza virus.  It's for a bacterium called haemophilus influenzae, which
causes meningitis.  See <http://www.cdc.gov/health/hib.htm>.  In the US, the influenza vaccine is
most commonly given to people over 65 or who have certain conditions that render them unusually
vulnerable, though anybody can get it if they want it and are willing to pay for it (it's pretty
inexpensive).

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2003\04\12@015833 by Sean Alcorn - PIC Stuff

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On Saturday, Apr 12, 2003, at 15:28 Australia/Sydney, Eric Bohlman
wrote:

> That's not for the influenza virus.  It's for a bacterium called
> haemophilus influenzae, which
> causes meningitis.  See <http://www.cdc.gov/health/hib.htm>.  In the
> US, the influenza vaccine is
> most commonly given to people over 65 or who have certain conditions
> that render them unusually
> vulnerable, though anybody can get it if they want it and are willing
> to pay for it (it's pretty
> inexpensive).

Yes. That's exactly the same down here in Aus. I could not see how they
could give newborns a flu vaccine, when the vaccine itself is changed
almost every year.

My father has a had shot every year for the last 12 years, and I would
estimate that he has had the flu maybe twice in those 12 years. Not bad
when you consider that the vaccine is basically a 'best guess' at what
strain we might see next season.

Regards,

Sean

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On Saturday, Apr 12, 2003, at 15:28 Australia/Sydney, Eric Bohlman
wrote:


<excerpt><fixed>That's not for the influenza virus.  It's for a
bacterium called haemophilus influenzae, which

causes meningitis.  See
<<<underline><color><param>1999,1999,FFFF</param>www.cdc.gov/health/hib.htm</color></underline>>.
In the US, the influenza vaccine is

most commonly given to people over 65 or who have certain conditions
that render them unusually

vulnerable, though anybody can get it if they want it and are willing
to pay for it (it's pretty

inexpensive).

</fixed></excerpt>

Yes. That's exactly the same down here in Aus. I could not see how
they could give newborns a flu vaccine, when the vaccine itself is
changed almost every year.


My father has a had shot every year for the last 12 years, and I would
estimate that he has had the flu maybe twice in those 12 years. Not
bad when you consider that the vaccine is basically a 'best guess' at
what strain we might see next season.


Regards,


Sean
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