China’s first laboratory for studies on highly contagious and fatal diseases was inaugurated in Wuhan, capital city of Hubei province on January 31, enabling scientists to research the live Ebola virus at home. (photo by Sun Wen)
Staff members celebrated during the completion ceremony of China’s first high level biosafety laboratory in Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei Province, Jan. 31, 2015.
Researcher has to put on a protective suit before entering the newly-completed P4 lab in Wuhan. (photo by Sun Wen) China completed its first high level biosafety laboratory in Wuhan on January 31 after more than a decade of construction.
The lab, based in Wuhan, capital of central Hubei Province, will be used to study class four pathogens (P4), which refer to the most virulent viruses that pose a high risk of aerosol-transmitted person-to-person infections.
Launched after the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003, the lab was jointly built by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Wuhan municipal government. Most of its technology and equipment was imported from France , which cooperated closely with China in its design.
The Wuhan P4 lab enables China to join just a handful of developed countries operating such facilities to help handle the most virulent pathogens.
The lab is important for China’s public health defense system, said CAS president Bai Chunli. “It will play a crucial role in enhancing the country’s ability to prevent and control new epidemics as well as to develop related vaccines,” he said.
The facility, designed with the highest-level biosafety standards, is an essential platform for research and development against highly contagious and infectious diseases such as Ebola.
“The laboratory filled the domestic void, providing conditions for research on the Ebola virus, and brought the frontier of fighting the virus from Africa to domestic laboratories,” said Li Bin, minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission.
Li Bin was well known for bringing home the bacon..so to speak.excuse me....So...hey Li!..where are we having lunch today? I hear the greasy spoon down the street has your favorite
From Thursday, all flights and passenger train services out of Wuhan have been stopped.
Bus, subway and ferry services all shut down from 10:00 local time (02:00 GMT).
A special command centre in Wuhan set up to contain the virus said the move was meant to "resolutely contain the momentum of the epidemic spreading".
Those living in Wuhan had already been told to avoid crowds and minimise public gatherings.
State news agency Xinhua said tourist attractions and hotels in the city had been told to suspend large-scale activities while libraries, museums and theatres were cancelling exhibitions and performances.
A Lunar New Year prayer-giving ceremony at the city's Guiyuan Temple, which attracted 700,000 people last year, has also been cancelled.
The hashtag "Wuhan is sealed off" was trending on Chinese social media website Weibo.
One user said worries about food and disinfectant made it feel like "the end of the world", while another said they were on the "verge of tears" when Chinese officials announced the shut-down.
The WHO's Dr Ghebreyesus described the latest measures as "very strong" and said they would "not only control the outbreak, they will minimise spread internationally".
Chinese officials said the country was now at the "most critical stage" of prevention and control.
"Basically, do not go to Wuhan. And those in Wuhan please do not leave the city," said National Health Commission vice-minister Li Bin in one of the first public briefings since the beginning of the outbreak.
Like shutting down London before Christmas
By James Gallagher, BBC health and science correspondent
Wuhan is starting to look like a city in quarantine.
Officials had already warned residents not to leave the city and visitors not to come.
Now the reported public transport ban - which includes flights - slams many of the routes in and out of the city shut.
Subways in Wuhan will be temporarily shut
It is a significant attempt to stop the spread of this new virus, which we now know can spread from person to person.
Limiting transport will cut the chance of the virus reaching other cities in China and other countries around the world.
This all comes just as millions of people are travelling across China for the week-long holiday that is Lunar New Year.
If you're struggling for context - imagine shutting down London in the week before Christmas.
The big question left is the roads - and whether any of Wuhan's 11 million inhabitants will be able to simply drive away.
What's the picture globally?
Officials in Hong Kong reported the territory's first two cases on Wednesday and one case was reported in the nearby city of Macau.
The patient in Macau is said to be a businesswoman who arrived from Wuhan over the weekend.
The first US case was confirmed on Tuesday. President Donald Trump said the situation was "totally under control" and that he trusted the information being provided by Chinese authorities.
There have been three cases in Thailand, one in Korea, one in Japan and one in Taiwan.
Although only about 500 cases have been confirmed, calculations by scientists at the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis at Imperial College London suggest there are 4,000 people sick with the virus in Wuhan.
I doubt it, but it would be a quick way of depopulation.
Edited to add Wuhan
Wuhan It is the largest city in Hubei and the most populous city in Central China, with a population of over 11 million, the seventh most populous Chinese city, and one of the nine National Central Cities of China.
11 million that's a good start.
A few years ago I was having an excited discussion with my very good friend Dr. Wong in my lab. Sy, a multiple Ph.D. scientist, who was born in Nanking China and who's father was one of the four bankers of China, a 'wealthy wheel' so-to-speak. Sy, was a member of the Chinese resistance when the Japanese invaded and occupied China prior to WW-II, and later, was sent to be educated in the US, he attended Princeton, Institute for Advanced Studies. His granduate math instructor was Albert Einstein and his lunch buddy & research colleague, was Dr. John von Neumann (Sy edified me, that the correct pronounciation is "NoyehMann").
He and I were discussing the pro-Democracy protest in 1989 (as I recall?) in Tiananmen Square, Beijing China.
My position in the discussion was that China must be moving more towards democracy as there were so many protesters in the square:
Sy chuckled,"you dumb ass Americans" (Sy was dyed-in-the-wool American in his heart and had resided here since 1922, he passed away in 2018).
"You Americans are so naive! That's like a few friends standing around on a street corner!"
I said, "There were a million protesters there!",
Sy then said, "Tiananmen Square was designed for 15 million people on an average day!"
My point being, is that a few million sick and dying Chinese is an excellent strategy to successfully guarentee US economic illness.
What's a few 'coolies' to a country government that until just recently ceased putting baby girls out on their back porch for the birds to eat, due to government mandated restriction of only two children per family because of their humongous over-population problem?
Compared to the western world Japan is/was a hugely over-populated country. Sy told me that when the Japanse soldiers were marching through Nanking cca 1937 ~ 1938 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rape_of_Nanking), that they, were horrified by massive numbers of Chinese. He said that he watched from an under-basement hiding place while Japanese soldiers were bayonetting both women who were holding children and that they had started piles of rubber tire fires into which they were tossing living babies. A few years ago before the US InterNet became censored I watched in China an old movie film of Japanese soldiers walking around with skewered babies raised on their bayonettes appearing like a shishkabob.
And thousands of women who had been raped, lying in the streets with their heads cut off, placed between their legs. There were thousands of them. It was disgusting to see. People have forgotten why we dropped the bomb on them.
But the point of this is that China population is beyond western cognition, as there are so many of them.
Ever see photos of what their beaches look like on a weekend or their huge public swimming pools? I have a few photos that I could upload. Its mind boggling.
Last Edit: Jan 23, 2020 11:25:54 GMT by plutronus: edt: add missing context & fix dates as I recall
"Many objects in the sky are UFOs, however, few UFOs are flying saucers. I study the latter and not the former", Stanton Friedman, Ph.D. Physicist
Oh look I beat ZH to the punch...Interesting that lab had let SARS escape somehow also..I just find it hard to believe they put it in the middle of a congested city, then again the CIA released theirs in subways at one time..the mindset of these folx is to say the least..extra-ordinary
Trevan says China’s investment in a BSL-4 lab may, above all, be a way to prove to the world that the nation is competitive. “It is a big status symbol in biology,” he says, “whether it’s a need or not.”
In the race to extinction..China may just have taken a healthy lead
i had sveral links of people dropping like flies....f it seems like every person who managed to escape Wuhan is carrying the virus, here's one possible explanation: the WHO estimated that the coronavirus has a Ro (a measure of how contagious a virus is) of 2, equivalent to the Spanish flu that sickened 500 million during the first half of the 20th century. The common flu, by comparison, has a Ro of 0.9..this variant is way faster than anything we have seen..very short incubation period...and from my old imunology notes..at any givin time ..20 percent of population are carriers....who can go on and infect the rest...this doesnt look like it just popped out of a soup bowl. Russians have been quiet busy killing off ebola pigs gone into the wild in the Siberian hinderland.. and would never admit publically its from a its friends lab.. I don't think China will be asking the US for help and if it did I see problems coordinating East-West med teams...Its a perfect storm
China virus: ten cities locked down and Beijing festivities scrapped
Residents in cities affected by coronavirus hoard supplies and isolate themselves at home
Wuhan in lockdown as residents barred from leaving Chinese city stricken by coronavirus – video
Chinese authorities have imposed lockdown measures on ten cities in an unprecedented effort to contain the outbreak of the deadly new virus that has made hundreds of people ill and spread to other parts of the world during the busy lunar new year travel period.
Authorities banned transport links from Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, on Thursday morning, suspending buses, subways, ferries, and shutting the airport and train stations to outgoing passengers. Later in the day, the nearby central Chinese cities of Huanggang and Ezhou announced similar measures. Travel restrictions were also placed on the smaller cities of Chibi and Zhijiang.
Starting at midnight, long-distance buses, the rapid transit system, and the train station in Huanggang would be shut, according to a notice from the local government. Cinemas, internet cafes and other entertainment venues would all stop operating. Residents should not leave the city, except for “special reasons”.
A government notice in Ezhou said the city’s railway would stop operating on Thursday evening. In nearby Chibi, authorities said buses and rural transport links would be halted. Officials also ordered tour operators to cancel operations and said no more large-scale cultural events were to be held.
On Friday, Huangshi in Hubei province also halted public transport. The People’s Daily newspaper said Xiantao, Enshi, Qianjiang and Xianning were also subject to travel restrictions.
There have been 830 confirmed cases in China of the coronavirus, from the same family of viruses that gave rise to Sars. Chinese authorities say 95 patients remain in a critical condition.
On Thursday, Hebei’s provincial health authority said an infected patient had died, marking the first confirmed death outside Hubei province, where the outbreak began. On Friday morning the official death toll rose to 25.
Cases have also been confirmed in the US, the UK, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore.
Officials worry the weeklong lunar new year holiday, which begins on Saturday and usually sees hundreds of millions of Chinese crisscross the country, will exacerbate an outbreak that has reached almost all of China’s provinces.
The state-run Beijing News said the capital had cancelled events including two well-known lunar new year temple fairs. The Forbidden City, the palace complex in Beijing that is now a museum, announced it will close indefinitely on Saturday.
The country’s railway operator, China State Railway Group, said passengers would be able to receive full refunds on tickets nationwide starting on Friday.
While sweeping measures are typical of China’s communist government, large-scale quarantines are rare around the world, even in deadly epidemics, because of concerns about infringing on people’s liberties, and the effectiveness of such measures is unclear.
“To my knowledge, trying to contain a city of 11 million people is new to science,” Gauden Galea, the World Health Organization’s representative in China, told the Associated Press. “It has not been tried before as a public health measure. We cannot at this stage say it will or it will not work.”
Late on Thursday Wuhan city authorities said that limits on car travel would be introduced for the first time at noon on Friday.
In Wuhan, supermarket shelves were empty and local markets sold out of produce as residents hoarded supplies and isolated themselves at home. Petrol stations were overwhelmed as drivers stocked up on fuel, exacerbated by rumours that reserves had run out. Local residents said pharmacies had sold out of face masks.
“When I saw the news when I woke up, I felt like I was going to go crazy. This is a little too late now. The government’s measures are not enough,” said Xiao, 26, a primary schoolteacher in Wuhan, who asked not to give her full name.
Barricades block access to the closed Hankou railway station in Wuhan.
Barricades block access to the closed Hankou railway station in Wuhan. Photograph: AP
Anxiety in Wuhan has been exacerbated by reports that hospitals are turning patients away because they do not have enough room. A hospital contacted by the Guardian on Thursday said it had between 500 and 600 patients and recommended patients go to a community health centre instead. Eight hospitals in Wuhan put out calls for donations of protective equipment, according to Chinese media.
Officials said they would build a new hospital in six days to accommodate patients, modelled after an isolation facility constructed in Beijing during the Sars outbreak.
The illnesses from the newly identified coronavirus appeared last month in Wuhan, an industrial and transportation hub in central China. The vast majority of cases in the mainland have been in the city.
Analysts have predicted the reported cases will continue to multiply. “Even if [the number of cases] are in the thousands, this would not surprise us,” Galea said. The number of cases was not an indicator of the outbreak’s severity, so long as the mortality rate remained low, he added.
The coronavirus family includes the common cold as well as viruses that cause more serious illnesses, such as the Sars outbreak that spread from China to more than a dozen countries in 2002-03 and killed about 800 people, and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome which developed from camels.
China is keen to avoid repeating mistakes with its handling of Sars. For months, even after the illness had spread around the world, China parked patients in hotels and drove them around in ambulances to conceal the true number of cases and avoid WHO experts.
In the current outbreak, China has been credited with sharing information rapidly, and President Xi Jinping has emphasised that as a priority.
On Thursday a WHO committee said the outbreak does not yet constitute a public health emergency of international concern. Previous emergencies have included Ebola and Zika.
Demonstrating their feigned cluelessness...Bats are not enough....enter the snake and in doing so may have tipped their hands Chinese Coronavirus Outbreak Traced Back To Snakes, Study Finds by John Anderer Share Tweet
WUHAN, China — The emergence of a new coronavirus strain in Wuhan, China last month has put the entire world on alert. Following the recent revelation that the virus can in fact be spread via human-to-human transmission, Chinese authorities have halted flights and trains departing the city and inhabitants have been advised not to travel. Meanwhile researchers have been working tirelessly to understand this new health risk, both its origins and nature, in order to formulate the best way to stop a full blown epidemic. Now, researchers appear to have zeroed in on how the virus, officially named 2019-nCoV by the World Health Organization, first spread to humans: exposure to snakes at a wholesale market.
The study concludes that the first human diagnosed with this strain of coronavirus had, in all likelihood, visited a market in Wuhan where a large assortment of wildlife were available for purchase, including snakes, bats, farm animals, poultry, and seafood.
A detailed genetic analysis of the virus was performed, in which it was compared to any available genetic information on other viruses from across the world and the animal kingdom. This work resulted in the conclusion that this new virus first formed due to the combination of a coronavirus strain usually found in bats with another coronavirus strain of largely “unknown origin.” The product of this combination was a new virus that featured a mix, or “recombination,” of a viral protein that recognizes and binds to host cell receptors. This ability to recognize and bind to host cells is effectively what allows viruses to enter new hosts, leading to infection and disease.
So, while the very beginnings of 2019-nCoV appear to be linked to bats, researchers also found evidence that the coronavirus at some point made its way into snakes before ultimately reaching human patient zero. It was this aforementioned ability to recombine within the viral receptor-binding protein that likely facilitated the virus’ cross-species transmission from snakes to humans.
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“Results derived from our evolutionary analysis suggest for the first time that snake is the most probable wildlife animal reservoir for the 2019-nCoV,” the study reads. “New information obtained from our evolutionary analysis is highly significant for effective control of the outbreak caused by the 2019-nCoV-induced pneumonia.”
An extra editorial accompanying the study adds that while it is very likely that new vaccines or anti-viral drugs will have to be developed to fight this suddenly infamous strain of coronavirus, pre-existing antiviral drugs should at least be tested out, as it is possible they may be effective in fighting it.
The study is published in the Journal of Medical Virology.
It is interesting to note a puzzling viral material in porcine ebola that never seen or found before..a helper adjunct as it were . I believe I posted that some time ago here in one of my cationary tales.
this is weaponized medium to help virii skip a few generations when mixing different strains..as labs can be very impatient..imo ..and sorry to say that...that's what it looks like
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“Results derived from our evolutionary analysis suggest for the first time that snake is the most probable wildlife animal reservoir for the 2019-nCoV,” the study reads.
Impossible to ignore this. It appeared from nowhere. Is it the reptilian agenda to depopulate.
I don't know.but somebody has an agenda...but if we are familiar with how digital viruses on a computer can reassemble itself from components delivered separately we have the analog in the organic world.
Not all virii have DNA..not all are one body some are all RNA and multipartite or segmented with each segment operating like a swiss knife in a cell or borderguard allowing only bundles or aid packages coming in. It would really take a super advanced lab to get it right..or a really serious botch up of lets mix it all up and see what happens..The chinese lab is only 5 years old..relatively new..
To maintain the integrity of multipartite viral genomes, there are two undecided possibilities. First, particles could massively penetrate cells with whatever probability independent of the identity of the contained segment. Second, multipartite viruses could somehow sort particles that enter a cell depending on the encapsidated segment and promote the selective entry of complete sets of the viral genetic information (interesting mechanistic discussion on this point is found in ). In the first scenario, the observed MOI values for the different segments should be related to their frequency within the viral population infecting an individual host (high for frequent segments and low for rare ones). In the second scenario, the MOI values might be low and should be non-correlated to the segment frequencies within the population. This understudied aspect would be very informative on the way of life of the multipartite viruses.
Ultimately, the most important view to be incontrovertibly verified is that all segments of a multipartite virus need to be together in the same host cell for the system to be functional. This dogmatic assumption forms the basis of the cost always attributed to the multipartite life-style. Surprisingly, it has never been experimentally verified. Experimentally assessing whether such viral systems could function with their different segments scattered in different cells is tempting because of recent progress in plant physiology. Many studies are reporting the capacity of specific proteins , and RNA [100–102] to traffic autonomously from cell-to-cell or long distance within host plants. Assuming that some RNA and/or proteins of multipartite viruses can traffic on their own opens the possibility for a viral function to efficiently act within cells devoid of the gene encoding it. In this view, the reduced chances to infect individual cells with all segments together would no longer be such an acute problem, (edit for the virus)and the angle with which the biology of multipartite viruses could best be conceptualized would be noticeably different.
edit to add
pre-existing antiviral drugs should at least be tested out, as it is possible they may be effective in fighting it. Someone is about to make a $$$ killing..maybe thats why WHO hasnt declared an international emergency...give itself time to sort things out