News

Alameda County health officials confirm first local case of coronavirus

Patient is currently under home quarantine awaiting test results, according to ACPHD

In addition to several more newly identified cases in the Bay Area, public health officials confirmed the first presumptive positive case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Alameda County this weekend.

The patient is currently in isolation at home and awaiting test results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the Alameda County Public Health Department.

A presumptive positive case is a patient who has tested positive by a public health laboratory and pending confirmation by the CDC. Reported to be a healthcare worker at NorthBay VacaValley Hospital in Vacaville, ACPHD said the patient was exposed to the community-acquired case at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. Another healthcare worker at the same facility who lives in Solano County was also exposed to the same case and is now under home quarantine as well.

“The health risk from novel coronavirus to the general public remains low, and while COVID-19 has a high transmission rate, it has a low mortality rate,” ACPHD said in a statement issued on their website. “Alameda County continues to monitor the community for possible cases, and it is likely that there will be more cases identified in the Bay Area, and person-to-person spread could occur.”

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common among humans and animals, causing mild to moderate respiratory illness. The novel coronavirus that has been circulating for more than a month is a newly discovered strain that was previously undetected in animals and people.

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Symptoms are very similar to the flu and include fever, coughing and shortness of breath, appearing to cause less severe illness in younger people. In some rare cases, coronavirus can cause severe illness or even be fatal, particularly for older individuals with existing medical conditions, but most people with common coronavirus infections usually recover on their own, according to the CDC.

According to the California Department of Public Health, there are a total of 40 positive cases in the state as of Sunday including three new cases announced that same day in Santa Clara County. Of those 40 cases, 24 are from repatriation flights; the other 16 confirmed cases include nine related to travel, two caused by person-to-person exposure from family contact, another two from person-to-person exposure in a healthcare facility and three from unknown sources.

Around 300 people in California have been tested to date; ACPHD said they are working closely with other public health agencies and “preparing for an increase in disease investigation, monitoring, mitigation, and community outreach and education activities.”

The cities of Pleasanton, Dublin and Livermore also continue to receive regular updates while sending reminders and educating the public about preventing the spread of COVID-19. Pleasanton Unified School District is also taking extra sanitary precautions for all 15 of their school sites.

“As a preventative measure, the district’s custodial staff will provide additional cleaning, disinfecting on high touchpoints around our schools like doorknobs, elevator buttons, countertops, student desks and handrails,” said Superintendent David Haglund in a message to the community.

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“The district will ensure that all soap and hand sanitizer dispensers remain full for all students and staff to use regularly" he continued. "We will continue to keep staff, students and families updated with new information that we receive related to the health and safety of our district students and staff.”

On Friday, the state Department of Public Health announced that new CDC test kits used to detect COVID-19 are now available in California to do community diagnostic testing, helping to better protect public health by identifying and treating cases and tracing locations of possible exposure.

The state will receive another shipment of kits to test upwards of 1,200 people; California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sonia Angell said, "The availability to test at California's public health laboratories is a significant step forward in our ability to respond rapidly to this evolving situation.”

Health officials including the World Health Organization (WHO) are reminding people that wearing surgical and N95 masks are not effective against the transmission of COVID-19, and that the virus does not survive long on objects such as letters or packages.

Officials are advising people to do the following:

* Wash hands with liquid soap and water, and rub for at least 20 seconds.

* Avoid touching your face including eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

* Stay home if you are sick.

* Cover your cough or sneeze.

* If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

ACPHD also has regular updates on its website including from the CDC, WHO and CADPH: http://www.acphd.org/2019-ncov/resources.aspx.

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Julia Baum is a staff writer for the Pleasanton Weekly. Reach her at [email protected] or 925-600-0840, ext. 111.

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Alameda County health officials confirm first local case of coronavirus

Patient is currently under home quarantine awaiting test results, according to ACPHD

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Mon, Mar 2, 2020, 3:15 pm

In addition to several more newly identified cases in the Bay Area, public health officials confirmed the first presumptive positive case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Alameda County this weekend.

The patient is currently in isolation at home and awaiting test results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the Alameda County Public Health Department.

A presumptive positive case is a patient who has tested positive by a public health laboratory and pending confirmation by the CDC. Reported to be a healthcare worker at NorthBay VacaValley Hospital in Vacaville, ACPHD said the patient was exposed to the community-acquired case at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. Another healthcare worker at the same facility who lives in Solano County was also exposed to the same case and is now under home quarantine as well.

“The health risk from novel coronavirus to the general public remains low, and while COVID-19 has a high transmission rate, it has a low mortality rate,” ACPHD said in a statement issued on their website. “Alameda County continues to monitor the community for possible cases, and it is likely that there will be more cases identified in the Bay Area, and person-to-person spread could occur.”

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common among humans and animals, causing mild to moderate respiratory illness. The novel coronavirus that has been circulating for more than a month is a newly discovered strain that was previously undetected in animals and people.

Symptoms are very similar to the flu and include fever, coughing and shortness of breath, appearing to cause less severe illness in younger people. In some rare cases, coronavirus can cause severe illness or even be fatal, particularly for older individuals with existing medical conditions, but most people with common coronavirus infections usually recover on their own, according to the CDC.

According to the California Department of Public Health, there are a total of 40 positive cases in the state as of Sunday including three new cases announced that same day in Santa Clara County. Of those 40 cases, 24 are from repatriation flights; the other 16 confirmed cases include nine related to travel, two caused by person-to-person exposure from family contact, another two from person-to-person exposure in a healthcare facility and three from unknown sources.

Around 300 people in California have been tested to date; ACPHD said they are working closely with other public health agencies and “preparing for an increase in disease investigation, monitoring, mitigation, and community outreach and education activities.”

The cities of Pleasanton, Dublin and Livermore also continue to receive regular updates while sending reminders and educating the public about preventing the spread of COVID-19. Pleasanton Unified School District is also taking extra sanitary precautions for all 15 of their school sites.

“As a preventative measure, the district’s custodial staff will provide additional cleaning, disinfecting on high touchpoints around our schools like doorknobs, elevator buttons, countertops, student desks and handrails,” said Superintendent David Haglund in a message to the community.

“The district will ensure that all soap and hand sanitizer dispensers remain full for all students and staff to use regularly" he continued. "We will continue to keep staff, students and families updated with new information that we receive related to the health and safety of our district students and staff.”

On Friday, the state Department of Public Health announced that new CDC test kits used to detect COVID-19 are now available in California to do community diagnostic testing, helping to better protect public health by identifying and treating cases and tracing locations of possible exposure.

The state will receive another shipment of kits to test upwards of 1,200 people; California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sonia Angell said, "The availability to test at California's public health laboratories is a significant step forward in our ability to respond rapidly to this evolving situation.”

Health officials including the World Health Organization (WHO) are reminding people that wearing surgical and N95 masks are not effective against the transmission of COVID-19, and that the virus does not survive long on objects such as letters or packages.

Officials are advising people to do the following:

* Wash hands with liquid soap and water, and rub for at least 20 seconds.

* Avoid touching your face including eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

* Stay home if you are sick.

* Cover your cough or sneeze.

* If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

ACPHD also has regular updates on its website including from the CDC, WHO and CADPH: http://www.acphd.org/2019-ncov/resources.aspx.

Julia Baum is a staff writer for the Pleasanton Weekly. Reach her at [email protected] or 925-600-0840, ext. 111.

Comments

Michael Austin
Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 2, 2020 at 4:37 pm
Michael Austin, Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 2, 2020 at 4:37 pm

As stated in this article, the U.S. Surgeon General has stated as well, he took it a step further, and stated, people purchasing surgical masks are eliminating the supply needed for doctors and health care workers.

The U.S. Surgeon General also stated as in this article that surgical masks do not protect against the virus.

If surgical masks do not protect against the virus, why are doctors and health care works using them. How is using a mask no better then nothing at all? I for one will exercise my freedom to use surgical masks when I may deem it necessary to do so.


Wombat
Downtown
on Mar 2, 2020 at 5:28 pm
Wombat, Downtown
on Mar 2, 2020 at 5:28 pm

Everyone keep an eye out for Michael. He'll be the guy walking down Main Street wearing his surgical mask and carrying his low particle emission wood burning stove.


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Vintage Hills
on Mar 2, 2020 at 5:58 pm
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
on Mar 2, 2020 at 5:58 pm

It’s an interesting question though, Wombat. Why is there a shortage? We’ve seen this coming from 6,000+ miles and many weeks away and didn’t prepare on many levels (testing), which caused exposure to the many rather than the few.


Terrylynne Turner
San Ramon
on Mar 2, 2020 at 7:01 pm
Terrylynne Turner, San Ramon
on Mar 2, 2020 at 7:01 pm

Surgical masks are used to keep you from touching your face accidentally transmitting the virus from your hands. The average human touches their face 90/100 times per day. Wear gloves when out in public as well includng at the gas station.


Kiko
Val Vista
on Mar 2, 2020 at 7:34 pm
Kiko, Val Vista
on Mar 2, 2020 at 7:34 pm

I'm more concerned about the flu than I am about the coronavirus...according to the CDC map it's still at the highest level and widespread in CA and most of the US. If everyone was as concerned about the flu as they are about this virus then maybe more would get yearly shots and help stem the tide. Did you all forget about the swine flu in 2009/10...millions were infected and thousands died before the Obama administration acted. Think about that.


Nick
San Ramon
on Mar 2, 2020 at 8:55 pm
Nick, San Ramon
on Mar 2, 2020 at 8:55 pm

A doctor said we should be more concerned about the flu. I totally agree. The overblown hysteria and buying out all the toilet paper is ridiculous. You have a better chance of being struck by lightening or winning the lottery. Keep it in perspective, take the same necessary precautions you would take towards any disease, and quit panicking.


DKHSK
Bridle Creek
on Mar 2, 2020 at 10:08 pm
DKHSK, Bridle Creek
on Mar 2, 2020 at 10:08 pm

"surgical masks do not protect against the virus."

Basically if someone infected sneezes in close proximity the germs can enter through your eyes.

Dan



DKHSK
Bridle Creek
on Mar 2, 2020 at 10:14 pm
DKHSK, Bridle Creek
on Mar 2, 2020 at 10:14 pm

"We’ve seen this coming from 6,000+ miles and many weeks away and didn’t prepare on many levels (testing), which caused exposure to the many rather than the few."

Are you serious?

We closed off travel back in January, which caused the democrats to basically call trump a racist, now, you're saying he didn't do enough?

Basically we did what nobody else in the world had the guts to do, but its just NEVER enough for you sufferers of TDS.

"He didn't have all the solutions on day 2 so ORANGE MAN BAD!"

...says every no-nothing Democrat.

Enjoy the next 4.5 years of Trump.

Dan


DKHSK
Bridle Creek
on Mar 2, 2020 at 10:17 pm
DKHSK, Bridle Creek
on Mar 2, 2020 at 10:17 pm

Remember SARS?
Remember H1N1?
Remember Ebola?

Go back and look at the hype and timing of past government response.

I can't do all your homework for you, Democrats.

Wash your hands, stay away from nursing homes and airports/airplanes. Just generally take care of yourself.

This too shall pass.

Dan


Jake Waters
Birdland
on Mar 2, 2020 at 10:43 pm
Jake Waters, Birdland
on Mar 2, 2020 at 10:43 pm

Thumbs up Dan!

You expressed everything I would have written here.


Fred
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2020 at 5:36 am
Fred, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2020 at 5:36 am

[removed]

Here's a newsflash: not everything revolves around the guy in the White House. Maybe some of us are earnestly concerned about a virus that has a higher fatality rate than the flu (which kills thousands every year), particularly among the elderly?


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Vintage Hills
on Mar 3, 2020 at 6:53 am
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
on Mar 3, 2020 at 6:53 am

Dan, I mentioned testing, not Trump. Don’t cherry pick my comments for your rant.


DKHSK
Bridle Creek
on Mar 3, 2020 at 7:32 am
DKHSK, Bridle Creek
on Mar 3, 2020 at 7:32 am

Kathleen,

So tell me, WHO exactly is the WE that didn’t see this coming ?

Dan


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Vintage Hills
on Mar 3, 2020 at 8:13 am
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
on Mar 3, 2020 at 8:13 am

I would start with CDC, Dan. Sending all testing to Atlanta cost time and lives in Washington.


Respect the Virus and Get Ready
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2020 at 8:14 am
Respect the Virus and Get Ready, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2020 at 8:14 am

@Dan -

The "We" that didn't see this coming includes:

(1) CDC for not multi-sourcing production of test kits in sufficient quantities to deal with a clear pandemic threat. The single-source flubbed it and we've been flying blind while literally thousands of cases have seeded themselves around the country. As a result, there's no way to catch and quarantine them all at this point. All the public health officials are making it clear that it's going to spread nationwide. The lead epidemiologists say that 40-70% of the population will get sick unless extreme measures are taken.

(2) Everyone who claims the flu is worse than this disease and has therefore stuck their head in the sand. Flu is endemic, we have it every year, it's a known risk, and it doesn't hit half the nation. Coronavirus is new, far more contagious and far more lethal than the flu according to all available data, capable of further mutation, and growing exponentially because almost NO ONE is taking adequate precautions yet. You could say that flu kills more people than incoming asteroids -- but when NASA finds an asteroid heading our way, it'd be the greater threat, right? Coronavirus is the same. It's unstoppable unless everyone stays home, and with more people infected and higher mortality rate, coronavirus will massively exceed flu in lives lost before it's over.

(3) Everyone who isn't making a serious effort to reduce exposure risks throughout their community, once the virus appears among us. China showed the whole world what it takes to stop this thing ... and too many people ignored the lesson they learned and decided to try the Wuhan "let's wait until it blows up on us" approach instead. The price will be paid in millions of lives lost when the infection rate surpasses the ability of the medical care system to provide treatment. You do realize there are not nearly enough hospital beds to go around when this thing hits in force here, right? And that without hospital care, the fatality rate spikes up by a factor of 5 to 10 more? In Wuhan very few of the early dead were counted, because they couldn't be tested, and therefore got marked as "pneumonia" death instead of coronavirus. So don't believe the death tally you see online from China.

I'm going to make a few predictions:
1) First confirmed case in Pleasanton within the next 3 weeks. This prediction is trivial math based on the number of known community cases in the Bay Area and what they imply in terms of undiagnosed infectious people currently spreading the illness. The only real uncertainty is whether the case gets properly confirmed with a test.

2) After a case or two shows up in Pleasanton, anything nonessential will shut down for 2-3 months, just like in China. Because that's the only way to keep the hospitals from getting overwhelmed and costing millions of lives. It might take a few other idiot cities to miss this point and replay the disaster of Wuhan before everyone else gets the message, but I'm hoping Pleasanton is smarter than that.

3) PUSD schools shut down in March or April and finish the school year with online learning. Sports shut down before then as a risk-reduction measure.


Nancy Messonier, CDC
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2020 at 8:24 am
Nancy Messonier, CDC, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2020 at 8:24 am

“We are asking the American public to work with us to prepare for the expectation that this could be bad,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

Schools should consider dividing students into smaller groups or close and use “internet-based teleschooling,” she said.

“For adults, businesses can replace in-person meetings with video or telephone conferences and increase teleworking options,” she added.

(No need to panic, just be mentally ready for the unusual course this year will be taking.)


Grumpy
Vineyard Avenue
on Mar 3, 2020 at 9:10 am
Grumpy, Vineyard Avenue
on Mar 3, 2020 at 9:10 am

Much of disease response is at the county level, not the city.

I don’t think we’ll have massive shutdown orders. Given that this seems to be mostly a risk to the elderly, people with preecxisfing conditions, and health care workers, we’ll probably see senior centers closed, nursing home visits ended, and mandatory masks for all patients visiting doctors or hospitals without regard to symptoms.

The problem is that this will likely become seasonally recurring and then your lifetime risk of getting it jumps to 100%. So I can’t tell if it’s better to just get it now or later—getting it earlier might lead to less likelihood of future problems, but of course there’s ZERO data on annual reinfection to know for sure.

I don’t think the school district is ready for this. Schools were sending out information appropriate to norovirus and not coronavirus just a couple days ago. They should at least make it clear that fever means staying home. And they should start making provisions for certain high-risk children to stay home anyway.

As for Trump, let’s ignore him. He isn’t the CDC, isn’t the county, and is just trying to protect his re-election chances. There’s nothing more to it than that. Presidents don’t cause outbreaks, and can’t do much about them.


Kathleen Ruegsegger
Vintage Hills
on Mar 3, 2020 at 9:29 am
Kathleen Ruegsegger, Vintage Hills
on Mar 3, 2020 at 9:29 am

Wombat, blame is always easy to spread around isn’t it? Where I started (CDC) isn’t where I might end.


Kiko
Val Vista
on Mar 3, 2020 at 9:29 am
Kiko, Val Vista
on Mar 3, 2020 at 9:29 am

Flu: @14,000 Deaths
@ 250,000 Hospitalized
@ 26 M Cases

Coronavirus: 106 confirmed cases
6 deaths

Does anybody else see this? Regardless of the numbers you all can see where the real threat is...PANIC.


DKHSK
Bridle Creek
on Mar 3, 2020 at 9:34 am
DKHSK, Bridle Creek
on Mar 3, 2020 at 9:34 am

Respect...

Your predications are duly noted. We shall see.

"CDC for not multi-sourcing production of test kits in sufficient quantities to deal with a clear pandemic threat."

Here's a good breakdown of the nature of Corona Virus from back in the early days: Web Link

When I said "He didn't have all the solutions on day 2 so ORANGE MAN BAD!" Given the article posted, you'll know why I said this and to whom it was directed. If you can't figure out, I'll give you a hint:

YOU.

How long is it supposed to take to gear up for something like this? Go ahead, anyone tell me? What does the process say?

Some of you are just harpies looking for something to whine about. Others just want to play politics and the rest look at the facts and stats and act accordingly.

Which do you fall under?

Dan


DKHSK
Bridle Creek
on Mar 3, 2020 at 9:47 am
DKHSK, Bridle Creek
on Mar 3, 2020 at 9:47 am

This is what will likely happen:

1. The amount of infections will go up.
2. The amount of deaths will go up.
3. The government acts
4. The amount of infections reduce
5. The amount of deaths reduce
6. The government is either praised/not praised due to what side of the political aisle you belong.

Quad erat demonstrata.

There can't be ANY other explanation for the course of the infection or event. It always has to be because Government did/did not do something.

So damned tedious.

Dan


Fred
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2020 at 10:00 am
Fred, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2020 at 10:00 am

Kiko,

It's naive to expect that a disease which has not really come ashore in earnest can't or won't have a similar infection or mortality rate as the flu, which is endemic. After all, one of the chief long-term risks is that it becomes endemic, like the flu. Infection and mortality rates in other countries, and the fact that the disease is communicable prior to symptoms showing, tell us that this is a serious potential risk that should be treated with a thorough and serious response. I think you are right to tell people not to panic, as it doesn't help and can, in many cases, harm the organized response to contain or ameliorate the outbreak.


TT
Mohr Park
on Mar 3, 2020 at 10:02 am
TT, Mohr Park
on Mar 3, 2020 at 10:02 am

Now we all know why the number is so low before ... it's because local labs don't have enough test kits to do more testings. We have more than a month to prepare for this but CDC's response is so slow.


Fred
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2020 at 10:05 am
Fred, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2020 at 10:05 am

Dan,

This might surprise you, but one of the responsibilities we've charged our government with is responding to potential and existing health crises. It's entirely appropriate to evaluate the government's response to an outbreak, or any other kind of crisis. If it bothers you, why not trundle off elsewhere?


Wombat
Downtown
on Mar 3, 2020 at 10:16 am
Wombat, Downtown
on Mar 3, 2020 at 10:16 am

Don't worry, everyone. With our great President on the job and struggling every waking moment to deal with this crisis and America's other problems, we can rest easy knowing that this crisis is the target of intense focus by the greatest, most mature intellect of our times.

- - - - - - -

Donald Trump (on twitter, 6:30am, March 3, 2020):
"Mini Mike Bloomberg can never recover from his incompetent debate performances. Also, as mayor he was very bad under pressure - a choker!"

- - - - - - -


Dan
Downtown
on Mar 3, 2020 at 10:44 am
Dan, Downtown
on Mar 3, 2020 at 10:44 am

Masks and comparing to flu.
Masks may cause more of a risk for exposure due to one reason, our hands. Health care workers are trained to wash and sanitize their hands before removing or making adjustments. Masks feel strang so people have been shown to touch their noses and mouths more when using them, usually without washing hands.
As for comparing to fly, both are cause for concern. But mortality rate for flu is 0.1% and for novel corona virus its 2%!


DKHSK
Bridle Creek
on Mar 3, 2020 at 10:49 am
DKHSK, Bridle Creek
on Mar 3, 2020 at 10:49 am

Fred,

The government didn’t have near the amount of information early on to do any kind of testing. Why? Because China was not forthcoming with enough info.

All you Monday morning quarterbacks have NO IDEA what goes into ramping up a supply chain, especially for something as complex as a virus epidemic.

Absolutely ridiculous.

Dan


Dan 2
Downtown
on Mar 3, 2020 at 11:30 am
Dan 2, Downtown
on Mar 3, 2020 at 11:30 am

The following was posted by a different Dan, sorry about that, fist Dan.

Masks and comparing to flu.
Masks may cause more of a risk for exposure due to one reason, our hands. Health care workers are trained to wash and sanitize their hands before removing or making adjustments. Masks feel strang so people have been shown to touch their noses and mouths more when using them, usually without washing hands.
As for comparing to fly, both are cause for concern. But mortality rate for flu is 0.1% and for novel corona virus its 2%


Respect the Virus and Get Ready
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2020 at 12:00 pm
Respect the Virus and Get Ready, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 3, 2020 at 12:00 pm

Dan, it's to be expected that when a new threat emerges there will be a range of human reactions.

But the CDC's job is to protect us against worst-case scenarios. For that, a proper risk-mitigation approach would have been to use multiple product sources for every single component of the test kits, so that if any individual source ran into an unexpected issue, the project as a whole would still succeed. Instead they got bottlenecked. That was the main mistake I've seen so far.

Other than that I think the CDC and the government in general have done about as well as we could expect. The early travel ban was extremely valuable.

The next step is to get local communities ready for community spreading and possible epidemic conditions. Fauci and the CDC are leading on this, but there's too much resistance from people who aren't prepared for the amount of disruption their life is about to have. Disbelief is an understandable reaction, since this is such a rare scenario, but we have to get people past that or they're going to end up dying in droves in overwhelmed hospitals. Hopefully we avoid that scenario but so far the only positive examples are China (lockdowns) and Singapore (thorough testing of suspect cases and rigorous quarantines of all known contacts). CDC's error cost us a shot at the Singapore solution so now we're going to have to get ready for mass outbreaks.


Punky
Danville
on Mar 3, 2020 at 2:22 pm
Punky, Danville
on Mar 3, 2020 at 2:22 pm

This is far worse than the Flu so don’t make it sound like the flu is worse. We don’t have a vaccine for this. If the Flu kills 500k at .1% this will kill 20x that at 2%, if the same of people get infected that is 10 Million death. This spreading fast even w all the preventive measures.


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