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Bill

1918 flu - 50-100 million killed

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I've taken the liberty of starting a seperate thread as I strongly feel that this short video from 18 months ago needs to be seen by as many as possible.

And also perhaps it will serve as a wake up call to the 'tea leaf'gazers' who seem to think that it's spread or even understanding can be predicted and grasped by a few basic numbers alone.

What happened then should be a better guide to the future of this virus than what is being guessed at now.

I would also suggest that anyone with an interest and an hour or two to spare have a watch or read up further on that pandemic (below)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48Klc3DPdtk

a more in depth/scientific lecture

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48Klc3DPdtk

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I saw a bbc documentary on this from it’s original source, the poultry farm in central USA, through the spread when the guy was conscripted to the army, the training camp and the deployment, at each stage it could have been stopped, but wasn’t.

To be honest as bad as this might sound but 100 million out of a population of 7 billion is not even a scratch on the surface of this over population issue! Nature has a way of trying to control numbers.

Certainly an interesting thing to compare the current issues with a100 years ago.

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10 minutes ago, Uncle Fred said:

They didn’t have 5g masts then though 

They were blaming morse code and telegrams then.😉

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Cannot really compare the spread to 100 years ago as travel between countries was slow in those days. You can be the other side of the world in 24 hours now.

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The spread I’d agree we can’t predict just based on numbers. 

The mortality rate though you can to an extent. Whenever we’re comparing to something like the Spanish flu (estimated 17-100 mil deaths over the course of 2-3 years), it’s worth remembering that we’ve had around 160,000 deaths reported from coronavirus in 5 months. Extend that over three years and bump up for unreported deaths and you’re still looking at maybe 1-2 million deaths - if we don’t get a vaccine sooner. And some estimates suggest there are up to 600,000 deaths a year from “normal” flu in some years. 

So yes coronavirus is bad, and yes we can’t just assume the spread will happen in a certain way based on a specific stat or other, but at the same time, we need to remember it’s far, far closer to “normal” flu than it is to the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-20 and many other pandemics throughout history as well.

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2 hours ago, Aggy said:

it’s far, far closer to “normal” flu than it is to the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-20

Except of course that we have no vaccine yet, like we do for "normal flu."

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56 minutes ago, Badger said:

Except of course that we have no vaccine yet, like we do for "normal flu."

So if we don’t develop a vaccine in the next two years, you think we will by the end of 2022 (a three year period as per Spanish flu) have had nearer to 17-100 million deaths than 1.5 million deaths?

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3 hours ago, Herman said:

They were blaming morse code and telegrams then.😉

Pigeons were not popular

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14 minutes ago, Aggy said:

So if we don’t develop a vaccine in the next two years, you think we will by the end of 2022 (a three year period as per Spanish flu) have had nearer to 17-100 million deaths than 1.5 million deaths?

I certainly hope that it is closer to the lower figure!

The point I was making is that the lack of a vaccine makes it fundamentally different to the "normal" flu when we carry on "normally." Until we get a vaccine, it's infection rate falls to very low levels because of prolonged distancing or the virus mutates in a beneficial way, I don't think that we will return to "full normality."

 

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22 minutes ago, Aggy said:

So if we don’t develop a vaccine in the next two years, you think we will by the end of 2022 (a three year period as per Spanish flu) have had nearer to 17-100 million deaths than 1.5 million deaths?

We have yet to see the effects in Africa, and I doubt we will ever know the full amount either given the rudimentary medical services in many part of that continent.

But this is not a sporting event where numbers are counted as some sort of measure of value. It is about better understanding of how this started, and what can be done to lessen any future risk.

That needs folks to better grasp what it i, rather than attacking 5G masts orntrying to defend incompetence of of some bizarre sense of loyalty,

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3 minutes ago, Badger said:

I certainly hope that it is closer to the lower figure!

The point I was making is that the lack of a vaccine makes it fundamentally different to the "normal" flu when we carry on "normally." Until we get a vaccine, it's infection rate falls to very low levels because of prolonged distancing or the virus mutates in a beneficial way, I don't think that we will return to "full normality."

 

Don’t dispute that but my post was about mortality. 

Spanish flu killed (low disputed estimate) 17 million up to possibly 100 million in three years. You have peaks and troughs but 17 million deaths in three years is on average 472,000 deaths a month. 50 million deaths is 1.3 million deaths a month. 100 million deaths is 2.75 million deaths a month. 

WHO estimates “normal” flu kills c.290,000-650,000 annually. That’s about 25,000-54,000 deaths a month. With vaccines. 

We’ve had 160,000 confirmed deaths in four months from coronavirus (some reports now saying possibly as early as November in China so possibly 5 months). Even if you double it to account for unreported deaths, that’s c.80,000 deaths a month.

80,000 is much closer to 54,000 than 472,000 (never mind 2.7 million). 

 

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Posted (edited)

The troubles are starting to raise their ugly heads, after the 1918 pandemic came a brief rest bite before the Great Depression which lead to WWII, we are slowly seeing history repeat itself, mass unemployment, mass global debt, far right nationalistic uprising.....well in the US division is starting with large factions stating this lockdown is unnecessary and in breach of their civil liberties, with 20 million unemployed .....in Hungary, Russia and Poland the hardline leadership is trying and successfully instigating special measures meaning total rule for their ruling parties and even here people are starting to get antsy with the lack of a exit strategy, lockdown can only be successful if there’s a perceived end game.

Edited by Indy

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1 hour ago, Aggy said:

Don’t dispute that but my post was about mortality. 

Spanish flu killed (low disputed estimate) 17 million up to possibly 100 million in three years. You have peaks and troughs but 17 million deaths in three years is on average 472,000 deaths a month. 50 million deaths is 1.3 million deaths a month. 100 million deaths is 2.75 million deaths a month. 

WHO estimates “normal” flu kills c.290,000-650,000 annually. That’s about 25,000-54,000 deaths a month. With vaccines. 

We’ve had 160,000 confirmed deaths in four months from coronavirus (some reports now saying possibly as early as November in China so possibly 5 months). Even if you double it to account for unreported deaths, that’s c.80,000 deaths a month.

80,000 is much closer to 54,000 than 472,000 (never mind 2.7 million). 

 

Correct .. but this is with most of the world under some degree of lock down, which we don't have with "normal" flu. In other words, without the precautions that have been taken, I think its safe to assume that the mortality rate would be much higher than it is at present.

As you say, the estimate of "normal" flu is 290-000 to 650,000 - I suspect that if we had not had lock down, the figures would have been much, much higher than this. We will be able to be more certain when we have more reliable data on the number of deaths and more reliable estimate of the mortality rate of those infected.

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1 hour ago, Aggy said:

Don’t dispute that but my post was about mortality. 

Spanish flu killed (low disputed estimate) 17 million up to possibly 100 million in three years. You have peaks and troughs but 17 million deaths in three years is on average 472,000 deaths a month. 50 million deaths is 1.3 million deaths a month. 100 million deaths is 2.75 million deaths a month. 

WHO estimates “normal” flu kills c.290,000-650,000 annually. That’s about 25,000-54,000 deaths a month. With vaccines. 

We’ve had 160,000 confirmed deaths in four months from coronavirus (some reports now saying possibly as early as November in China so possibly 5 months). Even if you double it to account for unreported deaths, that’s c.80,000 deaths a month.

80,000 is much closer to 54,000 than 472,000 (never mind 2.7 million). 

 

Well said that man, voice of common sense

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1 hour ago, Bill said:

We have yet to see the effects in Africa, and I doubt we will ever know the full amount either given the rudimentary medical services in many part of that continent.

But this is not a sporting event where numbers are counted as some sort of measure of value. It is about better understanding of how this started, and what can be done to lessen any future risk.

That needs folks to better grasp what it i, rather than attacking 5G masts orntrying to defend incompetence of of some bizarre sense of loyalty,

Nobody is suggesting it is a measure of value. You suggested in your opening post that analysing Spanish flu was a better way of predicting how coronavirus will spread than by using isolated numbers as people are doing now. And in terms of spread, I’d largely agree (although with the caveat that methods of transport are different now etc. probably even easier to spread nowadays than back then, so models taking into account current technology will have some use).

However, in terms of numbers of death/deadliness, comparisons with other infections isn’t a better way of “guessing” what will happen with coronavirus than looking at numbers. Different diseases are more or less deadly. You can only figure that out by looking at the numbers - numbers of cases vs numbers of deaths. 

Spanish flu was one of the most deadly pandemics in human history. That wasn’t just because it spread a lot, it was also because it was particularly deadly. Estimates suggest up to 1 in 5 people who had it died. (Up to 500 million infections up to 100 million deaths.)

Any comparison between coronavirus and one of the most deadly pandemics in human history should be put in context so as to avoid hysteria. While stats and numbers won’t tell you everything about how a disease will spread, they are about the only thing that tells you how deadly a disease is in terms of infections vs deaths - and coronavirus is nowhere near 1 in 5 people who catch it dying.

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25 minutes ago, Badger said:

Correct .. but this is with most of the world under some degree of lock down, which we don't have with "normal" flu. In other words, without the precautions that have been taken, I think its safe to assume that the mortality rate would be much higher than it is at present.

As you say, the estimate of "normal" flu is 290-000 to 650,000 - I suspect that if we had not had lock down, the figures would have been much, much higher than this. We will be able to be more certain when we have more reliable data on the number of deaths and more reliable estimate of the mortality rate of those infected.

Agreed. The flip side of that though is we have a vaccine for “normal” flu and 290,000-650,000 still die. Which is sort of the whole point of having the lockdown. Lockdown is effectively the alternative to a vaccine until we have one. 
 

 But you can’t say without lockdown there would be more coronavirus deaths without also acknowledging that without a vaccine there’d be more deaths from “normal” flu.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Aggy said:

Agreed. The flip side of that though is we have a vaccine for “normal” flu and 290,000-650,000 still die. Which is sort of the whole point of having the lockdown. Lockdown is effectively the alternative to a vaccine until we have one. 
 

 But you can’t say without lockdown there would be more coronavirus deaths without also acknowledging that without a vaccine there’d be more deaths from “normal” flu.

Aggy we may differ on our opinions on other things but pretty much spot on with this thread..👍

Edited by Indy

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1 hour ago, Aggy said:

But you can’t say without lockdown there would be more coronavirus deaths without also acknowledging that without a vaccine there’d be more deaths from “normal” flu.

Agreed. I did a bit of research on this just now and found this from the World Economic Forum, a reasonably reliable source:

"There is a misconception that COVID-19 is no different from common seasonal influenza... COVID-19 is also more deadly than seasonal influenza. The crude mortality rate for COVID-19, based on confirmed cases to date, is currently estimated by the WHO to be between 3-4%, with seasonal influenza sitting well below 0.1%. However, it is important to note that these figures are heavily influenced by the availability of quality healthcare, and by case data.

If this is accurate it would make the mortality rate it would make the mortality rate 30 to 40 times higher than seasonal flu. However, as you say, we have a vaccine for flu and not (yet) for Covid 19. Had Spanish flu happened today, I'm certain that the mortality rate would have been much lower, because we know so much more about science. 

I read an article recently, that I can't find now, but identifies factors that would have caused Spanish flu numbers to have been much lower today - better understanding of virus transmission; antibiotics (for secondary infection), antivirals, pneumonia injections and healthcare generally; better diets (for many) + of course, lockdown until we had a vaccine.

What Covid 19 and Spanish flu have in common is that they are both classified as a novel virus - not seen before. In this respect, they differ from seasonal flu.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/coronavirus-covid19-flu-influenza/

https://www.livescience.com/new-coronavirus-compare-with-flu.html

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33 minutes ago, Badger said:

Agreed. I did a bit of research on this just now and found this from the World Economic Forum, a reasonably reliable source:

"There is a misconception that COVID-19 is no different from common seasonal influenza... COVID-19 is also more deadly than seasonal influenza. The crude mortality rate for COVID-19, based on confirmed cases to date, is currently estimated by the WHO to be between 3-4%, with seasonal influenza sitting well below 0.1%. However, it is important to note that these figures are heavily influenced by the availability of quality healthcare, and by case data.

If this is accurate it would make the mortality rate it would make the mortality rate 30 to 40 times higher than seasonal flu. However, as you say, we have a vaccine for flu and not (yet) for Covid 19. Had Spanish flu happened today, I'm certain that the mortality rate would have been much lower, because we know so much more about science. 

I read an article recently, that I can't find now, but identifies factors that would have caused Spanish flu numbers to have been much lower today - better understanding of virus transmission; antibiotics (for secondary infection), antivirals, pneumonia injections and healthcare generally; better diets (for many) + of course, lockdown until we had a vaccine.

What Covid 19 and Spanish flu have in common is that they are both classified as a novel virus - not seen before. In this respect, they differ from seasonal flu.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/coronavirus-covid19-flu-influenza/

https://www.livescience.com/new-coronavirus-compare-with-flu.html

I know there are a million different views on this Badger, for example I have just read this :

Overview

  1. According to data from the best-studied countries such as South Korea, Iceland, Germany and Denmark, the overall lethality of Covid19 is between 0.1% and 0.4% and thus up to twenty times lower than initially assumed by the WHO.

So, I guess you agree with whatever data fits how you are feeling that day  🙂

For me, the whole truth will come out once this is all over, I try to keep a balanced view which is why I think this thread that is designed to make people think that the current outbreak is likely to be as bad as the worst pandemic that has ever hit the world is unproven hysterical nonsense 

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21 minutes ago, Mark .Y. said:

I know there are a million different views on this Badger, for example I have just read this :

Overview

  1. According to data from the best-studied countries such as South Korea, Iceland, Germany and Denmark, the overall lethality of Covid19 is between 0.1% and 0.4% and thus up to twenty times lower than initially assumed by the WHO.

So, I guess you agree with whatever data fits how you are feeling that day  🙂

For me, the whole truth will come out once this is all over, I try to keep a balanced view which is why I think this thread that is designed to make people think that the current outbreak is likely to be as bad as the worst pandemic that has ever hit the world is unproven hysterical nonsense 

Nobody knows Mark, nobody will really know how bad it is till its over. We are lucky to have the benefits of medical, scientific and technical  expertise that our forefathers lacked.

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1 hour ago, Mark .Y. said:

So, I guess you agree with whatever data fits how you are feeling that day  🙂

 

I know that isn't really your point! 😀

I agree that we will not know for (anything like) sure until we have much better information and would predict that it is never completely agreed. Nevertheless I'd be interested in the source of 0.1 to 0.4% estimate, which seems to be an outlier with everything that I have read.

I don't think the number of deaths will be anything like that from Spanish flu; nor do I believe that Spanish flu would have anything like the same number of deaths today. I suppose that the biggest fear is that we have a virus with a very high fatality rate, like MERS, which is also easily transmissible which becomes very much more imaginable now.

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Even the 0.1 per cent for “normal” flu is only a best guess - simple fact is that without testing literally everyone in the whole world you can’t give a definite number for anything. But you’ve got to use the rough figures as a comparator. 

Coronavirus certainly seems to be more deadly than “normal” flu, but then we don’t really have a clue about how many people have actually had it yet. I read an article (admittedly the sun or one of those, I can’t remember which) earlier in April which suggested that possibly 2-3 million Brits (which is only 3-4 per cent of the population) and 7-8 million in Spain had already had it. If that’s true, then worldwide you could easily be looking at 40-50 million who have already had it, probably more. And there will obviously be unreported deaths to add to the official figures of c.160k but you'd still probably be around 1-2 per cent mortality rate, if not lower. My guess purely on official stats and a completely uneducated guess at roughly how many have probably had it already, is that it will be around 2 per cent (maybe 1-3ish) when we have better data. If we develop a vaccine then possibly down to those 0.1-0.2 type figures eventually. 

I think you’re probably right Badger re Spanish flu being less devastating if it happened nowadays for various reasons, although I still think it would have led to more deaths than coronavirus and “normal” flu. One of the things with Spanish flu is that an unusually high number of young people died - ive read that around 50 per cent of those who died were 25-40, and something close to three quarters were under the age of 65. Whilst we’ve got some younger healthier people dying from/with coronavirus, it seems to be a bit more like “normal” flu in that respect, in that it predominantly kills those who are elderly or with underlying issues, which suggests it would have a lower mortality rate than something which kills young and old equally. 

 

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1 hour ago, Badger said:

I know that isn't really your point! 😀

I agree that we will not know for (anything like) sure until we have much better information and would predict that it is never completely agreed. Nevertheless I'd be interested in the source of 0.1 to 0.4% estimate, which seems to be an outlier with everything that I have read.

I don't think the number of deaths will be anything like that from Spanish flu; nor do I believe that Spanish flu would have anything like the same number of deaths today. I suppose that the biggest fear is that we have a virus with a very high fatality rate, like MERS, which is also easily transmissible which becomes very much more imaginable now.

Here is a quote from one source :

We could make a simple estimation of the IFR as 0.36%, based on halving the lowest boundary of the CFR prediction interval. However, the considerable uncertainty over how many people have the disease,  the proportion asymptomatic (and the demographics of those affected) means this IFR is likely an overestimate.

In Swine flu, the IFR ended up as 0.02%, fivefold less than the lowest estimate during the outbreak (the lowest estimate was 0.1% in the 1st ten weeks of the outbreak). In Iceland, where the most testing per capita has occurred, the IFR lies somewhere between 0.01% and 0.19%.

Taking account of historical experience, trends in the data, increased number of infections in the population at largest, and potential impact of misclassification of deaths gives a presumed estimate for the COVID-19 IFR somewhere between 0.1% and 0.36%.*

Data from COVID deaths in Gangelt, Germany, suggests an IFR of 0.37%.  A random sample of 1,000 residents of  Gangelt found that 14% were carrying antibodies (2% were detected  cases), which led to  the lowering of the IFR estimates

I'm honestly not pretendintg that one source is correct as there seems to be such a wide variety of views, but this is from the website of The Centre for Evidence Based Medical Research in Oxford University so I would hope that they would have at least a degree of credibility, their website is hyperlinked below

CEBM

 

 

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13 hours ago, Mark .Y. said:

I'm honestly not pretendintg that one source is correct as there seems to be such a wide variety of views, but this is from the website of The Centre for Evidence Based Medical Research in Oxford University so I would hope that they would have at least a degree of credibility, their website is hyperlinked below

CEBM

Thanks for the link and yes, I agree that they have credibility. Incidentally, they give the CFR as 2.16 for South Korea.

I don't know if it was to you but I remarked to someone earlier that these estimates  bears the hallmark of perfect mathematical modelling upon inadequate data and spoke of the difficulty in obtaining reliable data sources. I think we agree (with Aggy as well) that the figures we are obtaining at present are not a fully accurate representation of the true picture and that it will take some time to obtain this. Even then, imo, the best estimates are likely to come from inferences from population data rather than any record of death - which suffer from issues of reliability of diagnosis amongst other issues. 

Equally, tbh, I'm not sure how reliable the Spanish flu estimates either, although it was obviously a disastrous pandemic. I read somewhere that many millions died through aspirin poisoning, which was the main form of treatment as well as from secondary infections rather than the flu itself.

What is particularly relevant about the comparison with Spanish flu is the fact that it too was a novel virus. We have had some warnings of this with SARs MERS etc and now we have a version of a novel virus that is more easily transmittable. the frightening this, is that the evidence suggests that the CFR of Covid 19 is much lower than both SARs and MERs. The real fear is that we get something that is both easily transmittable and with a very high fatality rate. This should be the focus of future policy planning after this immediate crisis is over.

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Posted (edited)

Not unsurprisingly the tea hat thleave gazers have merely leapt from the other thread to this one.

The irony being that the  OP was intended to point out the fallacy in their posts. Rather like setting up an astronomy thread, to then have it swamped by astrologists. So back on track and away from the 'tipsters' the notable point about the 1918 virus was that so many of it's victims were young and healthy - being killed as their immune system sought to fight the virus. Death was also far quicker than it is now. It is the nature of this virus as opposed to what it was in 1918 that I set out to stimulate discussionabout.

So could I ask the palmists, fortune tellers and horoscope writers to please take themselves and their charts back over the the main virus thread and leave this one to discussion about what this virus is and how it works etc.

thank you

Edited by Bill

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You want this thread to be about what this virus is and how it works. 

Yet you entitle the thread '1918 flu -50-100 million killed'

Which suggests you want to discuss the 1918 pandemic. Which is fine bcz we have the main thread to discuss the current virus and how it works. 

So let's keep this thread to discuss 1918

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It will be interesting to see how the numbers swing should this properly get into somewhere like the Indian slums where there is no chance for self isolation and little to no availability of decent healthcare, that would give a far more relevant comparison to the Spanish flu in terms of lethality...

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1 hour ago, Bill said:

Not unsurprisingly the tea hat thleave gazers have merely leapt from the other thread to this one.

The irony being that the  OP was intended to point out the fallacy in their posts. Rather like setting up an astronomy thread, to then have it swamped by astrologists. So back on track and away from the 'tipsters' the notable point about the 1918 virus was that so many of it's victims were young and healthy - being killed as their immune system sought to fight the virus. Death was also far quicker than it is now. It is the nature of this virus as opposed to what it was in 1918 that I set out to stimulate discussionabout.

So could I ask the palmists, fortune tellers and horoscope writers to please take themselves and their charts back over the the main virus thread and leave this one to discussion about what this virus is and how it works etc.

thank you

That's not what your original post said though.

Your intention was clearly to directly compare Covid-19 with the Spanish Flu pandemic when you have no idea of transmission rates etc. 

Feel free to crown yourself "King Tea Leaf Gazer"

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