Tag Archives: Disease Control

Why COVID-19 might never be eradicated | Instant News

Compared to many other countries in the world, Australia and New Zealand have done an extraordinary job controlling COVID-19.

There are 738 active cases of COVID-19 in Australia. Only 62 were in the hospital.

The situation in New Zealand is similar, with 136 active cases, only two of them in hospital.

If we continue on this path, can we eliminate COVID-19 from Australia and New Zealand?


To answer this question, we first need to understand what elimination means in the context of disease, and how it differs from control and eradication.

Disease control is when we see a reduction in disease incidence and prevalence (new cases and current cases) as a result of public health action. Reduction does not mean zero cases, but rather to an acceptable level.

Unfortunately, there is no consensus on what is acceptable. This can differ from disease to disease and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

For example, there were only 81 cases of measles reported in Australia in 2017. Measles is considered controlled in Australia.

In contrast, measles is not considered to be controlled in New Zealand, where there was an outbreak last year. From 1 January 2019 to 21 February 2020, New Zealand recorded 2,194 cases of measles.

For disease elimination, there must be zero new cases of disease in a given geographic area. There is no specific period to be maintained – usually depends on the incubation period of the disease (the time between exposure to the virus and the onset of symptoms).

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For example, the South Australian government sought 28 days of no new cases of the corona virus (twice the incubation period of COVID-19) before they considered removing it.

Even when a disease has been eliminated, we continue interventions such as border control and surveillance testing to ensure it does not return.

For example, in Australia, we have succeeded in removing rubella (German measles). But we maintain an immunization schedule and disease control program.

Finally, eradication of disease is when there is no worldwide incident of an illness after a deliberate attempt to eliminate it. In this scenario, we no longer need intervention.

Only two infectious diseases have been declared eradicated by the World Health Organization – smallpox in 1980 and rinderpest (disease in cattle caused by paramyxovirus) in 2011.

Polio is nearing eradication with only 539 cases reported worldwide in 2019.

Guinea worm disease is also close to a total of only 19 human cases from January to June 2019 in two African countries.


In Australia and New Zealand, we have controlled COVID-19.

What’s important, in Australia, effective reproduction amount (Reff) close to zero. Reff’s estimate comes from mathematical modeling, which has not been published for New Zealand, but Reff is likely close to zero in New Zealand too.

Reff is the average number of people infected by each infected person. So an average of 2 means on average, everyone with COVID-19 infects two other people.

If the Reff is greater than 1, the epidemic continues; if Reff is equal to 1, it becomes endemic (that is, it grumbles permanently); and if the Reff is lower than 1, the epidemic is gone.

So we can be on the road to elimination.

In both Australia and New Zealand we have found almost all cases of imports, quarantined them, and traced contacts. Based on extensive community testing, it also seems that there are very few cases obtained by the community.

The next step in both countries is sentinel surveillance, where random testing is carried out in certain groups. Hopefully in time these results will be able to show us that COVID-19 has been removed.


To be eradicated, a disease must be preventable and treatable. At present, we do not have anything to prevent COVID-19 (such as vaccines) or proven treatments (such as antivirals).

Even if a vaccine is available, SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) is easily mutated. So we will be in a situation like we are with influenza, where we need annual vaccinations that target circulating strains.

Another factor that makes COVID-19 very difficult if not impossible to eradicate is the fact that many infected people have few or no symptoms, and people can still be transmitted even without symptoms. This makes detection of cases very difficult.

At least with smallpox, it’s easy to see if someone is infected, because their body is covered in pustules (fluid-filled swelling).

So, even though we may be on the path to elimination in Australia and New Zealand, eradication is a different ball game.

This article originally appeared on Conversation and republished with permission


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Why is Georgia Reopening Amid Coronavirus Pandemic? | Instant News

Georgia’s health infrastructure makes Kemp’s choice very dangerous. Girtz is worried about the state hospital. His county has two, but because of the closure of rural hospitals, he said they were expected to provide services not only to residents of Athens-Clarke County, but to the entire 17-county area around them, home to around 700,000 people. “A city like Elberton, 35 miles from us, or Commerce, is only 25 miles on the road – that’s a place where, a generation ago, you could have a baby,” he said. “That’s no longer true, and it’s also true they don’t have ICU beds there.”

View of Plaza Theater with a tent sounding
(Parris Griffin / Getty)

Few people in Georgia are eager to be a case study in an exception pandemic, but many have no choice. Jillian Yeskel, a stylist at Roswell, whose parents who supported Trump voted for Kemp, said that he had had conversations with them in the past week that he could not have dreamed of several months ago. “I suspect they will support whatever Kemp says,” he told me. “I talk to my mother every day, and we are both very upset with her.” There are no polls available about how Georgians feel about social actions that alienate in general, but Yeskel’s experience with his parents follows a national trend: A the election conducted in mid-April by Morning Consult and Politician found that even the majority of respondents who said they looked at Trump very well or voted Republicans in the 2018 midterm elections wanted to continue social distance as long as needed.

What the Georgians can do now is try to protect themselves as best they can. If social distance is reduced because many businesses are reopened, a massive flood of COVID-19 cases can be avoided. Because infections tend to develop, maybe two or three weeks before the hospital sees a new wave of people whose lungs look like they are sprinkled with earth glass in X-rays. At that time, no one knew how many more people could bring the disease to the nail salon or tattoo salon, living their daily lives because they were told they could do it safely.

Meanwhile, local leaders whose city outages have been rejected by state law rely on other methods to maintain the security of their communities: disseminating information about testing, finding funding for food banks, creating grant programs to get a little money for local businesses in need. For some people, that includes official and unofficial duties. On his way home from the town hall last week, Girtz said, he met his neighbor, a group of student roommates, enjoying a warm spring day. He had lived in Athens for a long time, and was worried that in a city known as debauchery, some people partying outside could turn out to be many people partying outside. “They drink beer on the side of the road,” he recalls. “I just have to say, ‘You guys, enjoy your time as far as you can, but at least go up to the damn terrace.'”

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Amanda Mull is a staff writer at Atlantic.


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Black People Cannot Be Blamed for Death due to COVID-19 | Instant News

HIver the past two weeks, each answer leads to a new question. Should the state collect racial data? Yes Does the data show racial differences? They do it. And that leads to a question that has been debated by Americans since the beginning of the republic: Why racial differences? Why did black people generally become infected and die at a higher rate than other racial groups? This is the current question. And too many Americans answer this new question in the old, familiar way. They blame poverty, but refuse to recognize how racism distinguishes black poverty from white poverty, and makes black poverty more vulnerable to lethal transmission.

And Americans blame black people. To explain the difference in mortality rates, too many politicians and commentators note that black people have more basic medical conditions but, most importantly, no explain why. Or they blame the choices made by black people, or poverty, or obesity – but not racism.

“Now, if you suffer from diabetes, obesity, hypertension, African-Americans will have more of these receptors,” coronaviruses like to attack, Senator Bill Cassidy the word at NPR Morning Edition. “Now, as a doctor, I would say we need to overcome the obesity epidemic, which disproportionately affects African-Americans. That will reduce the prevalence of diabetes, hypertension. “

When pressed whether this “underlying health condition” “has its roots in systemic racism for years,” Cassidy replied: “That’s rhetoric, and maybe so. But as a doctor, I see science. “

Without doubt, African-Americans suffer disproportionately from chronic diseases such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, lung disease, obesity, and asthma, which makes it more difficult for them to survive with COVID-19. But if Cassidy is studying science, then he will also ask: Why do African-Americans suffer more from this chronic disease? Why African-Americans more possible be fatter than Latinos and whites?

Defending Cassidy, Rod Dreher, a senior editor at American Conservatives, argues that “in the South, country white people and country black people eat the same type of food.” wonder “The extent to which black people throughout the country still eat a traditional soul food diet with lots of fat, salt, pork, sugar, and carbohydrates.” In response to one of Dreher’s readers: “I am particularly amused by the implication that racist conspiracies keep Brussels sprouts and kale from the black environment. If people want fresh vegetables, salads, and tofu, the store will provide them. “If there is a desert of food, apparently, then black people are to blame.

If black people receive less care from hospitals and doctors, are black people to blame? If black people are less likely to be insured, are black people to blame? If hospitals in black majority countries are overloaded with coronavirus patients, are black people to blame?


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