Why The World Health Organization Are Not Calling COVID19 A Pandemic

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SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 21: A medical professional is seen at a preliminary testing facility at the National Medical Center where patients suspected of contracting coronavirus (COVID-19) are assessed on February 21, 2020 in Seoul, South Korea. South Korea reported 52 new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) bringing the total number of infections in the nation to 156, with the potentially fatal illness spreading fast across the country. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Source: Science20

This is puzzling many people. COVID19 is now in every continent. So why don’t they call COVID19 a pandemic? You are right, if a flu outbreak got this far, the WHO would say it is a pandemic, for sure, indeed they would have called it a global pandemic weeks ago.

Definition: a pandemic (as the WHO use the word) is a disease that is spreading by community transmission throughout the world with no possibility of stopping it by quarantine. A viral pandemic can only be stopped with vaccines. Meanwhile you do your best to protect the most vulnerable from it.

But this is not spreading like a pandemic. Take India: India has 3 cases, all recovered, If this was a flu pandemic India would have tens of thousands of cases by now, for sure. It doesn’t fit the same picture. Something is different.

Take for example the 2009 flu pandemic in India – it had 44987 lab confirmed cases and 2728 deaths. This has not happened yet with COVID19 and so far there is no sign that it will. Something is different about COVID19. Most countries are managing to stop it very quickly with the first few cases.

Look at say Seattle – one of the first cases in the US was there. One case, recovered, no other cases in Seattle or Washington State.

This is a common pattern in countries once they put the precautions in place.

Egypt has one case also recovered, with no new infections – this was the first case in Africa.

The second case in Africa is in Algeria, and again it is only one case, and the patient there is also in isolation.

Brazil has 1 case. But this may well be its only case,He is now under isolation at home, and in stable condition after being treated

The UK has 13 cases, and 8 have already recovered.

You can explore the map here, the situation is the same for most of the countries with cases:

If the cases are detected early and quarantine put in place promptly then it often just stops right away. This is just not what you expect for a pandemic.

Many people with COVID19 don’t pass it on to anyone, while a few pass it on to many, the so called “superspreaders” just because of habits, e.g. very social, lots of friends, and the situation they are in. This is what we are seeing with the countries. Some just have 1 case – they were not infected by a superspreader. Others get a big cluster and that seed was started by a superspreader.

Italy, and Iran were not prepared enough for immediate fast response. They were also a bit unlucky, Italy had a superspreader who infected many and had no obvious connection with China. They missed the patient 0 who maybe had only mild symptoms, and clearly never knew they had it. Iran’s case may be similar – the details are not clear yet.

South Korea is a special situation with a church where there was a lot of close contact, hugging and singing together, leading to a lot of community transmission but just within the church.

Italy and South Korea are working on containing COVID19 following the Chinese model.

Iran stopped religious gatherings because they found that they were the main cause of the spread. I don’t know what else the have done, but the WHO are there today. We will hear what they are doing soon, probably with the next WHO press conference.

This is another article I’m writing to support people we help in the Facebook Doomsday Debunked group, that find us because they get scared, sometimes to the point of feeling suicidal about it, by such stories.

Do share this with your friends if you find it useful, as they may be panicking too

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