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Coronavirus epidemic; beyond Socio-political rhetoric

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An intimate insight into the chronology of emerging infectious diseases

For the past few decades, we all have contemplated the increasing focus of emerging as well as re-emerging infectious diseases. Or in the least, we are sighting the public media stake with various health epidemics that appear to be valuable to politicians, journalists, and economists. 

Today the coronavirus, as its inscription indicates, has become the (crown) of the social media themes. The surge in notoriety to coronavirus epidemics is not unique to itself, as many other pandemic outbursts have historically become the core of vigilance. 

Not every emerging infection outbreak draws identical media, public, or political attention to itself. Most grandly, not every contagious disease receives comparable public health scrutiny or appropriation. It is prevalent today that political, unorthodox economic exercises and population health schemes play a crucial role in defining the severity and responsiveness of health authorities to emerging diseases irrespective of its comparative morbidity and mortality aptitude.

COVID-19

Emerging Infectious Diseases; and coronavirus 

The National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases on emerging infectious diseases has a publication regarding the emerging epidemics. The statement merely marks as what involves an emerging infectious disease. The latter primarily includes Outbreaks of previously unfamiliar infections; already identified ailments with a recent surge in incidence and geographic span in the preceding two decades. The emerging epidemic may also refer to the persistence of widespread challenging diseases.

Few emerging diseases we all may be aware of include HIV infections, SARS, Lyme disease, Escherichia coli O157: H7 (E. coli), hantavirus, dengue fever, West Nile virus, and the Zika virus. Today we can also include Coronavirus infection among the emerging ones. 

Not too rare, we can witness re-emergence of old infection epidemics that reappear after they have been on a substantial plunge for decades or even centuries. Re-emergence, too- may ensue because of a deterioration in public health regulations for diseases that once controlled effectively. Emergence can also occur due to mutation of the organism or when new strains of known disease-causing organisms such as the Influenza virus appear. 

Human behavior such as antibiotic overuse as well affects re-emergence, by creating resistant bacteria.

Malaria, tuberculosis, cholera, pertussis, influenza, pneumococcal disease, and gonorrhea exemplify some of the most recent re-emergencies-emergence of infectious disease.  

The Coronavirus epidemics

In February 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the official term of a new Coronavirus strain that has been infecting thousands of people worldwide since it was the initial outbreak in 2019. The organization now calls it COVID-19. The latter term stands for “COVI” for coronavirus, “D” for “disease,” and “19” for the year (2019) when it was recognized. But, The virus itself is presently called “SARS-CoV-2”.

Coronaviruses type are of many. Only a few strains cause disease. The COVID-19 type is responsible for the most recent outbreak of respiratory illness that started in Wuhan, China.

Means of COVID-19 Transmission

Recent data shows COVID-19 is transferable from person to person. However, there is a yard of unknowns, including how contagious it might be, even though the current evidence supports viruses’ high level of transmissibility. 

Various Centers across the globe are watching the spread of the 2019 coronavirus. As of January 30, the World Health Organization has declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global public health emergency.

How did the coronavirus epidemics start?

It is the typical indication that COVID-19 initially emerged in Wuhan, a city in China, in December 2019. Yet, The health officials are still investigating the exact lineage of this new coronavirus. However, it may link to a seafood market in Wuhan, China, because Some people who visited the market developed viral pneumonia caused by the new strain of coronavirus. 

The COVID-19 virus apparently may have emerged from an animal source. Momentarily seems to be spreading from person to person. Coronavirus has been detected in people everywhere in China and over twenty-four other countries, including the United States.

Public Health policy

The incubation period and symptoms for COVID-19

symptoms of the coronavirus infection seem to be showing up in people within 14 days of exposure.

Symptoms of COVID-19 symptoms are non-specific, including; Cough; Fever; Shortness of breath that is also common with some other viral infections such as influenza. Rarely, COVID-19 can lead to severe respiratory problems, kidney failure, and even death.

How is COVID-19 diagnosed?

Because coronavirus shares the same symptoms and pattern of infections with other organisms, therefore Diagnosing it may be difficult with only a simple physical exam. Mild cases of COVID-19 may appear similar to the Flu or a bad cold. A laboratory test can confirm the diagnosis.

COVID-19 treatment

As for many viral infections, there is no specific treatment for the coronavirus. Patients contracting COVID-19 must receive supportive care with treatments directed in alleviating symptoms. For severe cases of treatment, including research, drugs, and therapeutics, may be applicable.

Mortality of COVID-19

Predictably, the mortality rate of COVID-19 is 1-2 %. As of February 28, 2020, 2,871 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19. However, in contrast, 36,687 people healed from the illness.

Coronavirus and SARS

The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) 2003 outbreak also started in China and spread to other countries before settling in 2004. The virus that causes COVID-19 is related to the one that caused the 2003 SARS outbreak. The latter two are types of coronaviruses. But COVID-19 seems to spread faster but less severe illness than the 2003 SARS.

Protection against coronavirus?

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) advises for frequent Washing hands for a minimum of 20 seconds can significantly reduce transmission. The use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers may have additional benefits. Additional precautions include Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash, avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

Sick must Stay home and urged to Clean and disinfect surfaces, including objects around them.

Related Article: National Institute of Health Wants Your Blood, Urine, and “Data”- What is Next?

What are the similarities between coronavirus and the influenza virus 

Influenza, commonly known as “the flu,” is the infectious illness caused by an influenza virus. Like the coronavirus infection, Symptoms can be mild to severe. Yet, The most common symptoms include high fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscle and joint pain, headache, coughing, and feeling tired. 

Influenza and COVID-19 are two different types of viruses, but both share a typical profile of Symptoms, including fever, cough, body aches, fatigue, sometimes vomiting, and diarrhea. Both Can be mild or severe, even fatal in rare cases. The Two organisms Can cause pneumonia. Both can be transmitted from person to person through air droplets from an infected person coughing, sneezing, or talking. 

COVID-19 and Flu can dissipate by an infected person for several days before their symptoms emerge.

Neither virus is treatable with antibiotics, while Both dealt with by addressing symptoms, such as reducing fever. Severe cases may require hospitalization and intensive support, such as mechanical ventilation.

Both ailments can be halted by frequent, meticulous hand washing, coughing into the crook of the staying home when sick elbow, and limiting contact with infected people.

COVID-19 represents a single strain of the virus. It stands for the 2019 coronavirus, as called” severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2″, or SARS-CoV-2. But Flu, on the other hand, is caused by any of several different types and strains of influenza viruses.

While both the Flu and COVID-19 transmission ways are similar, there is also a possible difference. For instance, COVID-19 might be spread through the airborne route while tiny droplets potentially remain in the air longer and cause disease in others even after the ill person is no longer close.

The therapy

Antiviral Medications are nowadays unavailable for COVID-19 but are being tested as we speak to see if they can address symptoms. Antiviral medications can treat symptoms and sometimes shorten the duration of the illness.

No vaccine is available COVID-19 at this moment, though it is in progress. The flu vaccine is accessible and useful to prevent some of the most dangerous types or to reduce the severity of the Flu.

Statistics of mortality and morbidity competitive look

According to a survey performed by the Center for infectious disease research and policy of 72,000 COVID-19 patients, a 2.3% death rate was detected.

CoronavirusCOVID-19 has infected Approximately 84,119 cases worldwide; 62 cases in the U.S. as of February 28, 2020. 

Flu cases are Estimated to be 1 billion worldwide; 9.3 million to 45 million cases in the U.S. per year.

Approximately 2,871 deaths from coronavirus reported worldwide; 0 deaths in the U.S., as of February 28, 2020; however, expected to emerge. There are 291,000 to 646,000 flu deaths reported worldwide; 12,000 to 61,000 deaths in the U.S. per year.

Corona virus myth 

Unfortunately, coronavirus epidemics is subject to the tales of its own. Few of the said misconception is:

  • the vaccine to cure COVID-19 is available.
  • One can protect self from COVID-19 by swallowing or gargling bleach, taking acetic acid or steroids, or using essential oils, saltwater, ethanol, or other substances.
  • The novel coronavirus was intentionally conceived or released by people. 

The fact is that; Viruses can change over time. Periodically, a disease outbreak occurs when a virus is widespread by animals; or undergoes changes and passes to humans. But the factuality of it applying for coronavirus is currently speculative. 

  • People are dying from COVID-19 everywhere. 

Surely, As of February 28, 2020, 2,791 people in China have died from COVID-19, as well as 80 people in other countries. 

  • Purchasing products shipped from China will make a person sick. 

Researchers are currently studying the new coronavirus. They still have to learn more about how it infects people. As of this writing, scientists remark that viruses like COVID-19 don’t survive for long on surfaces. It is, therefore, not likely one can contract COVID-19 from a package that was in transit for days or weeks. 

  • A face mask will protect us from COVID-19. 

Particular types of professional, tight-fitting masks (such as the N95) can protect health care workers as they take care of infected patients. But the benefit of wearing lightweight, disposable surgical masks is not clear for the general public. 

The role of Media on coronavirus epidemics 

No doubt about the importance of public health, thus Latter does not eliminate taking the COVID-19 seriously. However, realistic expectations and precautions considering the circumstances are of vital significance. Public media should bring public awareness up to date with the spread while the existing public, but occasionally we witness Media reacting in accordance that is not exclusive to public health and safety. Instead, follow the rhetoric of political missions. 

It is evident that informing the public, media utterly moves overboard, hence creating public panic. But panic fabricated or not invariably conveys negative consequences.

The CDC’s website announcements indicate that the six-month run of SARS in 2003 cost the world an approximate $40 billion. 

Medicine

The panic built over this current coronavirus epidemics is already over that of the SARS pandemic. That being the case, it’s wary of inferring that once COVID-19 runs its course, the financial retribution to businesses and the people they employ will be far higher than $40 billion.

Politics of the healthcare 

Healthcare of the 21st-century is more than ever political. It has evolved the topic of significant discussions for leftwing further so than for the right, primarily because it has become a player in the social welfare roster. One who can provide the lowest cost medical service or has the magic bullet to contain the pandemic secures the popular voting. Doing that, they engage the media in line with their complex oratory behaviors. Chronologically, All in all, politics have invariably played an ineffectual role in healthcare delivery. Politicizing healthcare is a probe to create more sophisticated, and present a breeding ground for the 3rd party self-seekers. It may be used as an agent of heightening sales and revenue for individual businesses through the establishment of a public sense of urgency and even panic.

Politics of coronavirus 

Today, with the endless sense of urgency established by the public media, the story of coronavirus is unfolding extensively faster than the virus itself. As the Wuhan coronavirus eruption remains to divulge globally, the human-to-human spread is now corroborated, so is its tale and fury. The city of 11 million people is now under quarantine. The vocabulary is also distorting as fast as the virus spreads. As facts emerge, from outbreak to an epidemic, pandemic or presumably to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) public health emergency of international concern. All up to date number of fatalities from coronavirus are pitiful. However, public interest and breathless media reporting on outbursts, including the unfavorable inclination to call the new strain of the virus as “mysterious,” is contributing to an already existing sense of widespread panic. 

Public health strategies to contain infectious diseases 

The experience with H1N1 09 and SARS has been very useful in informing us of the potentials and deficiencies of the simplified approach to emerging epidemics. Key messages are a need for expanded oversight, more intelligent planning, improved diagnostic testing, and maintaining a focus on essential hygiene criteria.

Inferences about accepted methods made regarding mathematical models rely merely on several assumptions. Yet, Geographic modeling approaches principally function through spatial science and would likely fill rifts where no data identified. At times, the underlying ecological process is poorly understood, and dynamical aspects of the invasion process are overlooked. These deficiencies can be bettered, in part, by appending virus genome data that contain information about preceding transmission and invasion patterns. 

The vaccine industry, population health, and vaccine market

Today our healthcare model follows the two-century-old population health scheme. Hence it will primarily focus on treatment options (in this case, vaccine development) only if it falls within the spectrum of the lower cost-benefit ratio. In other words, it is not feasible for pharmaceutical industries to develop vaccines for the sake of a minor fraction of the population. 

The worthiness of the vaccine market 

Today, the Coronavirus outbreak highlights the imminent $35 billion vaccine market. The key players of the coronavirus outbreak are bidding scrutiny to the fast-growing vaccine industry.

The vaccine market has multiplied sixfold over the past two decades. The four most prominent players that account for about 85% of the market are British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, French pharmaceutical company Sanofi, and U.S.-based Merck and Pfizer. This oligopoly or the state of limited competition has curbed the market share by a small number of yielders or sellers has been built significant market consolidation driven primarily by the complexities of the manufacturing and supply chain. Latter, in turn, has monopolized the vaccine industry negatively affecting the minority individuals who could otherwise have a fortune of proper vaccination.

Media and politics helping coronavirus problem

Politicizing epidemics and pandemics is not new to our world; the United States in particular. The virulent pathogen referred to as” the Spanish Flu,” occurred in April of 1917 when the United States entered the First World War. During that time President, Woodrow Wilson started a campaign to win populist backing while stifling criticism. Therefore, He organized a Committee on Public Information, whose chairman, George Creel, commenced facilitating “propaganda,” i.e., ‘propagation of the faith.’

Wilson authorized the Sedition Act, which outlawed dishonesty, obscenity, scurrilousness, and derogatory language about the government or anything that potentially hinder the war effort. The government posted signs throughout the country, asking citizens to report anyone who dissipates pessimistic anecdotes.

Politics contribution 

Spanish Flu

In early 1918, the Spanish flu virus infected a large number of men at Camp Funston, an Army base in Kansas. After that, Infection spread rapidly to other stations. As it shifted into the civilian world, public-health officials told an untruth for the war endeavor. It came amid the propaganda machine created by Wilson. A Navy ship carried the virus to Philadelphia, and sailors started dying. However, the city’s public health administrator, who also was a political nominee, named Wilmer Krusen, dismissed it as “old-fashioned influenza.” 

As the toll rose, Krusen convinced the public that the city was on track to “nip the epidemic in the bud,” and some news organizations became confederates in sustaining the face. A headline in the Inquirer declared, “Scientific Nursing Halting Epidemic,” when, in fact, local hospitals were collapsing under a crush of new cases.

HIV

In 1982, as HIV and AIDS cases were increasingly notable among gay male populations. Too, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported it an epidemic. But when President Ronald Reagan’s spokesman, Larry Speakes, was invited to reflect on it during press briefings, he made hoax of the notion. Inevitably, Reagan, after that, spoke publicly about the disease in September of 1985.

Corona Virus

In China, after Li Wenliang, a physician in Wuhan brought attention to the coronavirus. Chinese police instantly criticized him for spraying “rumors.” It was after his death from the virus; the government restricted online posts asking for free speech. Even weeks after the virus surfaced and started to spread, the local government in Wuhan dictated news agencies to contain the information and allowed approximated five million people to flee the city before placed under quarantine on January 22.

Chinese deemphasis of coronavirus threat

The Chinese communist party also suppressed live virus specimens from the international medical organization for weeks, despite urgent requests. Many suspects that the Chinese continue to de-emphasize the sweep of the coronavirus. The underreporting infections and deaths, especially given the scarcities of test kits and the communications blackout, seem to create the legitimate ground for such an assumption.

Democratic presidential candidates on Saturday shredded Donald Trump’s contention that the coronavirus is the Democrats’ “new hoax,” describing the attack “dangerous” and “disturbing” while Trump cried furthermore Democrats are making political hay of the coronavirus eruption.

Trump made the contention during a rally in South Carolina in February 2020. He told the crowd that Democrats have been “politicizing” the Coronavirus outburst. 

When the coronavirus entered the United States in recent months, it instantly became entangled in political posturing and manipulation. Recently, Rush Limbaugh, the American radio personality, a conservative political anchor, told his audience.

Primary care medicine: A clinical specialty, or managed care travesty

Iran and COVID-19

The Iranian government substantiated until very late that only twelve people had died of the virus. The governments came amid local health officials from Qom had advised reporters that, in his city alone, fifty people had expired from the COVID-19. In a moment of cruel farce, Iran’s deputy health minister, Iraj Harirchi, appeared on television to downplay the risks, even as he coughed and wiped his brow with a towel. That evening, he discovered that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Media contribution 

According to a story on NBC, Coronavirus is allotting a unique opportunity to meddle in U.S. forthcoming presidential election. The possibility of raising phobia of disease to keep people at home on Election Day exhibits how disinformation campaigns can perhaps sidestep tech companies’ protection.

In a warning sent to election officials during the last fall, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) clearly warned that Russia sways effort to covertly repress or stifle U.S. voters from partaking in next year’s election.

United States, Italy, Iran, China and the rest of the world 

According to CNN, Italy reported a 50% rise in coronavirus cases as of February 2, 2020.

Italy’s Civil Protection Authority reported the country had 1,694 confirmed coronavirus cases. It represents a rise from 1,128 confirmed cases from the week prior—thirty-four mortalities, documented as of said date. Italy has the most coronavirus cases of any country outside of Asia.

The epidemics seem not to obey any definite socioeconomic pattern; however, the organized approach is of utmost implication.

Corporations and coronavirus epidemics 

During the earlier fifty years, the multitude of pharmaceutical companies making vaccines has curtailed dramatically, and those that still make vaccines have reduced stocks to make new ones. Pharmaceutical corporations are deliberately vacating vaccines market merely because the research, development, testing, and manufacture of vaccines are costly. Furthermore, because the market to sell vaccines is much smaller than the demand for other drug commodities. 

Emerging infections, development of public urgency, and panic around various infectious outbreaks such as COVID-19 serve as a potential fiscal opportunity for the few oligopoly ridden drug firms.

But on a regular day, Top vaccine makers Merck and Pfizer have been Targeting China and older adults because it is more profitable. Does this mean emerging sonic from Wuhan, China is nothing more than coincidence?!

According to CNBC, Goldman Sachs has amended its earnings estimate for this year for U.S. companies to $165 per share, depicting 0% growth in 2020. Goldman Sachs estimation is a dramatic windfall from the consensus prediction of Wall Street, which still calls for earnings to climb 7% this year. It is the prevailing prediction that curtailed profit forecasts reflect the drastic decline in Chinese economic activity in the first quarter. Furthermore, it predicts lower end-demand for U.S. exporters, the outburst of the supply chain for many U.S. firms, a downshift in the U.S. economic activity, along with high industry skepticism.

The politics of disease epidemics

A systematic review of the politics of three different outbreaks in three different social-economic circumstances revealed that the politics of epidemics are somewhat omnipresent. However, how politics played out varies by the earnings framework. The political principles uniquely portrayed upon during the SARS outbreak in Toronto, the Zika outbreak in Brazil, and the Ebola outbreak in Liberia.

The most omnipresent of all was the role of social and economic unevenness, including poverty during the given epidemic. Irrespective of the national wage-setting, minority and marginalized communities are the most overwhelmed by emerging infections. Governments and institutions are to react to these individuals and neighborhoods appropriately. Doing so, they must concomitantly represent novels of the most vulnerable to an epidemic. Specifically, they should serve poor communities in the mainstream media as well as in the peer-reviewed published literature. Notably, they must support epidemiological and medical research that tends to influence health programming and policy-making.

The Scale Politics of Emerging Diseases

For decades, The concept of scale politics has offered historians a practical shell. It has helped them analyze the connections between the environment and health. Scale politics has enabled them to examine the public health campaign around emerging diseases during the 1990s. The latter is particularly true as to how different players employed scale in geographic and political expressions.

Additionally, it empowered them as to how they configured to result in, consequence, and intervention at different scales. And How the moments at which they shifted between different levels in the presentation of their statements. Biomedical scientists, the mass media, public health, and national security experts contributed to this campaign. They have utterly exploited Americans’ ambivalence about globalization and the role of modernity in the production of new risks. They have also inevitably framed them in terms that made particular interventions appear necessary, logical, or practical.

People panic 

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) prompts us against fear while advising for taking necessary precautions. The agency exemplifies that the SARS pandemic, which hit in February 2003, also was a coronavirus that emerged in Asia. Accordingly, by the time SARS rode its course by July 2003. Then, it had already spread to 29 nations, infected approximately 8,000 people, and claimed about 775 lives. The vast bulk of those who expired was elderly or had severe pre-existing conditions. 

Patients suffer 

Amidst all the political and economic chaos around emerging pandemics, the main hardship is eventually on the patients. The negative fallouts of politicizing coronavirus are swift. However, the monopoly of corporate business is probably more flying than the pathogenic consequence of the actual virus. The emerging infections have always prevailed throughout the centuries. Nevertheless, they have merely contended if perceived as a money-making tool for corporations or vote-winning apparatus for politicians when perceived feasible. Public panic is the ideal strategy and not a consequence.

It is apparent to feel a sense of urgency, but panic is one aspect that must be averted at all costs. Panic and chaos will unfailingly invite further undue burden to physicians, healthcare stakeholders, and, most importantly, to patients. The socioeconomic downfall is considerable, benefiting a few corporations and plopping the majority at an impediment.

http://www.datadriveninvestor.com/2019/12/13/nordic-social-program-to-welfare-state-capitalism-two-resorts-distant-from-free-market-capitalism/

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Adam Tabriz, MD
Dr. Adam Tabriz is an Executive level physician, writer, personalized healthcare system advocate, and entrepreneur with 15+ years of success performing surgery, treating patients, and creating innovative solutions for independent healthcare providers. He provides critically needed remote care access to underserved populations in the Healthcare Beyond Borders initiative. His mission is to create a highly effective business model that alleviates the economic and legislative burden of independent practitioners, empowers patients, and creates ease of access to medical services for everyone. He believes in Achieving performance excellence by leveraging medical expertise and modern-day technology.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hi, this article about Coronavirus epidemic; beyond Socio-political rhetoric
    is very useful and inspirational.
    Great success with this site!

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