Why do some countries have very few COVID-19 serious illnesses and deaths??

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Why do some countries have very few COVID-19 serious illnesses and deaths??

Post by FlashDaddy » Sun May 03, 2020 7:23 am

Some countries have drastically few COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths. Is it geography, temperature, genetic differences, a higher percentage of younger citizens, early lockdowns, or, so far, is it just luck? This free article deftly delineates differing depths of deaths.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/03/worl ... e-why.html
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Re: Why do some countries have very few COVID-19 serious illnesses and deaths??

Post by MPMalloy » Sun May 03, 2020 9:07 am

FlashDaddy wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 7:23 am
This free article deftly delineates differing depths of deaths.
Good play Sir.

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Re: Why do some countries have very few COVID-19 serious illnesses and deaths??

Post by SCBrian » Sun May 03, 2020 9:37 am

Something that's not being touched much on because of ?politics? maybe is WHICH countries are reporting what. This quote gives a perfect example:
The Dominican Republic has reported nearly 7,600 cases of the virus. Just across the border, Haiti has recorded about 85.
You have a developed country reporting 7600 cases, and a country that hardly has safe running water reporting 85, on the same island, with from what I've discerned - porous borders.
Look at the countries reporting very minimal cases and most of them are either impoverished countries, or countries with regimes that will not lose face at any cost. Does N. Korea report any yet?
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Re: Why do some countries have very few COVID-19 serious illnesses and deaths??

Post by raptor2 » Sun May 03, 2020 10:53 am

Interesting article, but it seems to be preaching that social distance is the only way to deal with the disease.

It points out the many anomalies, but at the same time preaches that social distancing is the only proven solution. It almost seems like the author is trying convince himself.

That criticism notwithstanding it is an interesting article was very interesting in pointing out the death disparity in the Dominican Republic vs Haiti.

That and Iran vs iraq.
They are truly interesting anomalies.

I can think of several reasons for each instance cited but as the article points out the data neccessary for a definative answer is missing.

My swag is that genetics play a large part in this anomaly. That and the virus (or a very close relative) has been in widespread circulation for a while and may be greater immunity(partial or otherwise) than realized.
Again that is a swag...time will tell the truth...hopefully anywsy.
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Re: Why do some countries have very few COVID-19 serious illnesses and deaths??

Post by Stercutus » Sun May 03, 2020 12:58 pm

All of the hot dry places with young skinny people seem to be doing well. The cool wet places with old fat people are not. IDK why the NYT can't figure this out, doesn't seem that hard to me.

Peru is in winter currently. Peru has an obesity rate that is 50% higher than that of the US (39% vs. 58%). This is impressive considering how fat Americans are.

They said Indonesia was having a major outbreak. Not so sure about that. They have a population of about 81% of the US and their number of cases is about .9%, with fatalities about 1.2%. If that is a major outbreak then I guess the world has ended here.

Iraq and Iran are very different topographically with Iran being much cooler and wetter and the median age in Iraq being eleven years younger than Iran. Lots of ignorant people think the countries are the same. They are not.

While true that the Amazonas region of Brazil is tropical year around, the ground gets little sunshine since it is a rainforest after all and the UV light does not hit the ground much. Obesity is about 40% higher than the US and sanitation conditions are abysmal in that region. PPE, proper medical equipment and healthcare are practically non-existent. Forget about hand sanitizer, half the region does not have clean water to wash with.

The true outlier seems to be Japan. Cool and wet, older population, lots of diabetes (higher than the US) but still low rates of COVID. However their CHD and obesity rates are a fraction of the US at 1/5th and 1/10th respectively. Not sure, maybe it is social distancing as part of their society? They also tend to take pains to ensure proper personal hygiene.
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Re: Why do some countries have very few COVID-19 serious illnesses and deaths??

Post by raptor2 » Sun May 03, 2020 5:28 pm

You bring up some good points. Any thoughts on Haiti vs. The Dom Rep?
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Re: Why do some countries have very few COVID-19 serious illnesses and deaths??

Post by woodsghost » Sun May 03, 2020 5:29 pm

Stercutus wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 12:58 pm
All of the hot dry places with young skinny people seem to be doing well. The cool wet places with old fat people are not. IDK why the NYT can't figure this out, doesn't seem that hard to me.
The truth is often difficult to get people to swallow. It can also be inconvenient for those who don't want to waste a crisis.
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Re: Why do some countries have very few COVID-19 serious illnesses and deaths??

Post by Stercutus » Mon May 04, 2020 1:02 am

raptor2 wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 5:28 pm
You bring up some good points. Any thoughts on Haiti vs. The Dom Rep?
Just a guess but I think the DR imported their problem. Chinese visitors to the country nearly tripled last year. They are the most visited country in the Caribbean and get many times the visitors that Haiti gets. On top of that Haiti cancelled Carnival this year due to civil unrest which really lowered their visitation numbers (both the civil unrest and the cancelling of Carnival). The DR did not close their borders until they had a problem. Haiti closed before they had any cases.
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Re: Why do some countries have very few COVID-19 serious illnesses and deaths??

Post by lailr » Mon May 04, 2020 8:22 am

woodsghost wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 5:29 pm
Stercutus wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 12:58 pm
All of the hot dry places with young skinny people seem to be doing well. The cool wet places with old fat people are not. IDK why the NYT can't figure this out, doesn't seem that hard to me.
The truth is often difficult to get people to swallow. It can also be inconvenient for those who don't want to waste a crisis.
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Re: Why do some countries have very few COVID-19 serious illnesses and deaths??

Post by raptor2 » Mon May 04, 2020 11:12 am

Stercutus wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 1:02 am
raptor2 wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 5:28 pm
You bring up some good points. Any thoughts on Haiti vs. The Dom Rep?
Just a guess but I think the DR imported their problem. Chinese visitors to the country nearly tripled last year. They are the most visited country in the Caribbean and get many times the visitors that Haiti gets. On top of that Haiti cancelled Carnival this year due to civil unrest which really lowered their visitation numbers (both the civil unrest and the cancelling of Carnival). The DR did not close their borders until they had a problem. Haiti closed before they had any cases.
Haiti and Japan both seem to be unusual. The one thing they both have in common is a relatively closed gene pool. I say that not derisively but rather note that the historical tendency for both populations to remain within their borders (with a few notable historic exceptions in 1801 & 1894/1937 respectively). I would also note that the genetic makeup of the DR is very different from Haiti. They may also have a possible genetic 'immunity/resistance". I would note the high average life expectancy of Japanese citizens may have some relationship. https://www.agewatch.net/secrets-of-lon ... longevity/



I agree the key to the spread in many cases is the travel by PRC citizens. Iran has/had a LOT of travel to and from the PRC by citizens of both nations. Iraq on the other had very little such travel. Italy was/is a huge travel hub from the ME & Asia to the EU & USA. NYC has/had large rates of international travel.

Still all of this on my part at least is a SWAG. The real data is not available yet.

That said I am pretty confident that 95F summertime heat & UV will make life impossible for any virus exposed to it for very long. That cannot help but reduce the probability of transmission from surfaces exposed to these elements. For instance shopping carts rapidly become self sanitizing when left in the sun.
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Re: Why do some countries have very few COVID-19 serious illnesses and deaths??

Post by flybynight » Tue May 05, 2020 12:55 pm

http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/health- ... &ocid=iehp

Scientists have identified a new strain of the coronavirus that has become dominant worldwide and appears to be more contagious than the versions that spread in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study led by scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
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Re: Why do some countries have very few COVID-19 serious illnesses and deaths??

Post by Stercutus » Thu May 07, 2020 5:54 pm

So as it turns out Japan does not herd their elderly in to nursing homes to be forgotten like people in civilized countries do. Given the super high mortality of nursing home patients this actually explains a lot. The rate of occupation for nursing homes is 5 times higher in the US which have counted for huge percentages of COVID death (20-50% depending upon state).
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Re: Why do some countries have very few COVID-19 serious illnesses and deaths??

Post by raptor2 » Fri May 08, 2020 11:07 am

As a microcosm NOLA provides some interesting disparities.
This map shows the virus by census tract.

The areas of the city with assisted living facilities like the "Black Pearl", CBD (lots of dense residential in older buildings with poor HVAC) and NO East all have higher rates of infection. The workers at these facilities would tend to live nearby.
The health departments’ data shows that in some neighborhoods, more than 3% of the population has tested positive for the coronavirus. That includes Black Pearl, where the coronavirus has ravaged the Lambeth House retirement community, and the Central Business District.

Relatively high infection rates of more than 2% are also being reported in New Orleans East and Gentilly.

At the same time, many neighborhoods have seen virtually no confirmed cases. Lakeview-area neighborhoods all have a rate of less than 1% as do many Uptown neighborhoods including the Lower Garden District and Irish Channel.
https://www.nola.com/news/coronavirus/a ... f7173.html
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Re: Why do some countries have very few COVID-19 serious illnesses and deaths??

Post by 3cyl » Fri May 08, 2020 12:53 pm

Medicare pays 15% more if Corona is listed on the forms.
If the common Flu paid 15% more than Corona what do you think would be on the form

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Re: Why do some countries have very few COVID-19 serious illnesses and deaths??

Post by raptor2 » Fri May 08, 2020 1:27 pm

3cyl wrote:
Fri May 08, 2020 12:53 pm
Medicare pays 15% more if Corona is listed on the forms.
If the common Flu paid 15% more than Corona what do you think would be on the form
Actually it is 20% of the Medicare DRG (Diagnosis Related Group) payment.
This not for all cases and the whole bill, just the segment of the medicare payment for those patients covered by medicare. the CARES Act passed by congress added that to Medicaid payments. There are a lot of other incentives to the CARES Act which may also be motivation.

https://www.aha.org/special-bulletin/20 ... -cares-act

Still I am not sure that is a cause of the disparity in the US. I would note that the US lags other countries in death rates. Those countries are not affected by the CARES Act.

That said it sure seems like an incentive in those instances of doubt as to what caused the death.

In which case the question of "Was diabetes/high blood pressure the primary cause or simply a contributing cause of death to that Covid case?" may have some incentive to claim COVID-19.
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Re: Why do some countries have very few COVID-19 serious illnesses and deaths??

Post by PistolPete » Fri May 08, 2020 3:31 pm

I think a lot comes down to two factors- politics and maturity of medical systems that do the reporting.

The CDC guidelines that are used to quantify the covid deaths are exceedingly broad, more broad than at any other time in history. Anyone with covid as a morbity factor is being listed as a covid death. This isn't how it's done normally. And in NYC as of a couple weeks ago, 3,700 deaths were counted as covid when the person didn't have a positive test. Since covid symptoms are very close to things like flu and pneumonia it's quite possible some of those folks were miscounted. How often is this happening? Heck, even one blogger I follow lost his wife to a heart attack and was given reason to believe the hospital counted it as covid. One may speculate at the political reason this is being done. Well, not speculate here. But quietly to yourself. :-)

The second reason is some countries just keep better stats than others. The US has a robust mechanism to report cause of death, less advanced countries not so much.
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Re: Why do some countries have very few COVID-19 serious illnesses and deaths??

Post by raptor2 » Sat May 09, 2020 10:32 am

Interesting document at this link. It shows nursing home deaths in the US. Looks like a large % of US deaths were in nursing homes.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... 1664960286
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Re: Why do some countries have very few COVID-19 serious illnesses and deaths??

Post by flybynight » Sat May 09, 2020 11:03 am

The threat of death has never been my biggest fear. If you die it's over and your worries are also over. The much bigger fear is getting sick and spending 1-3 weeks in ICU with the resulting crushing six figure debt that will have to be paid
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Re: Why do some countries have very few COVID-19 serious illnesses and deaths??

Post by TacAir » Sat May 09, 2020 11:23 am

Co-morbidity issues related to Covid-19 deaths:

Age
Obesity
Vitamin D deficiency
Asthma/lung disease (COPD etc)
smoker
kidney disease
and the biggie - compromised immune system ( HIV/AIDS/cancer treatment/etc) - tho I not seen any specific numbers on this.

Oddities
Folks taking low-dose Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) as part of a Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment seem to be absent in the death stats.

as has been pointed out, places with more sunshine = fewer cases. Better Vit D levels?
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Re: Why do some countries have very few COVID-19 serious illnesses and deaths??

Post by Langenator » Mon May 11, 2020 3:40 pm

Interesting article on quarantine, as practiced until relatively recently. This is centralized quarantine, as described in Leviticus 13 and 14, (and who knows, quite possibly practiced around the same time in China), not this self-isolation lockdown thing we've been doing.

The most interesting point in the article, to me, is that, had this happened 50 years ago, when the memory of both people and the .gov of dealing with contagious diseases (remember, the generation then running the .gov grew up before there were vaccines for polio, the measles, etc) was still recent and living, this probably would have been dealt with much more swiftly and better.

https://thedispatch.com/p/what-if-we-tr ... quarantine
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Re: Why do some countries have very few COVID-19 serious illnesses and deaths??

Post by Gorgonzola » Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:22 pm

I think it is because they acted quickly and prevented the spread of the virus.
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