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nCov (General)

by dulan drift, Tuesday, February 11, 2020, 11:44 (176 days ago) @ dan

On February 7, the Taiwan Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) sent out an alert containing a map (http://bit.ly/2SpSxeT) of the locations in Taipei City, New Taipei City and Keelung City visited by passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship on which cases of the novel coronavirus have since been confirmed. The CECC advises those who visited the same locations on the map on Friday, January 31 from 6 AM to 5:30 PM to monitor their health for fever and respiratory symptoms until February 14.

That's interesting - quite a lot of places! You'd think there would have been some transmission there.

Regarding the mutation thing:

Could the virus mutate?
Tests so far suggest that the coronavirus is relatively stable but as it is passed from human to human the virus will become more adapted as a human disease. This is not necessarily a bad thing, though. “In Darwinian terms, the virus wants to survive,” said Smith. “And to do that it’s generally not a sensible idea for a virus to kill people. The most successful viruses infect a lot of people and cause relatively little pathology.”

It’s worth noting that coronaviruses do not undergo the same type of genome shuffling that leads to the constantly shifting variety of flu strains in circulation. It is this genetic drift that means new flu vaccines have to be created each year and that means getting the flu once does not mean you’ll be immune next time it comes around. The coronavirus is not expected to mutate this rapidly and so once a vaccine is here, it should continue to work far into the future.

My sister would argue with Prof Smith about the 'virus wanting to survive' (as she does with me). According to her it doesn't want to do anything - it just randomly mutates and one/some of those mutations mean that it is better suited to survive. Not sure i agree - it boils down to a question of science V philosophy.


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