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Geneva Seroprevalence: ~5.5%
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From a press release in French via Google Translate:

COVID-19 SEROPREVALENCE: FIRST ESTIMATE OF THE PREVALENCE OF ANTI-SARS-COV-2 IGG ANTIBODIES IN THE GENEVA POPULATION

Wednesday April 22, 2020
• First estimate of the prevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in the Geneva population • First validation of an automated platform for serological tests against the new coronavirus

I’m vague on the methodological details because the original report is in French. I gather they used an existing representative sample of the public, which is a good idea. Here in the U.S. we have many long term tracking projects like The Bell Curve’s National Longitudinal Study of Youth 1979, which is still going after 40 years. We know a huge amount about those people so getting a few thousand of them to volunteer to have blood tests would be more informative than building a new sample from scratch.

The University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG), more particularly the Population Epidemiology Unit of the Primary Care Medicine Service, the Center for Emerging Viral Diseases and the Laboratory Medicine Service, have conducted a study to estimate the prevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies in a representative sample of the Geneva population. The minimum overall seroprevalence of 5.5% suggests that on April 17, 2020, approximately 27,000 people were exposed to SARS-CoV-2 in the canton of Geneva.

The (French-speaking) canton of Geneva officially has had 178 CV deaths. 178/27000 would be an infection fatality rate of 0.7%, although deaths lag infections so it is likely to get higher over time. Prevalence was estimated to be 3.5% on April 6-10, so that might suggest an IFR around 1%.

For whatever reason, deaths have been higher in Romance-speaking parts of Europe (other than Portugal) than in Germanic-speaking places.

Fortunately, though, daily deaths in Switzerland have been more or less declining over the last couple of weeks.

I presume medical care in Geneva is pretty good.

Previously, the HUG conducted a study to validate the performance of a high-throughput serological test platform that measures type G immunoglobulins (IgG) directed against SARS-CoV 2. It is the only facility to broadband (200 tests / hour) available today. The results of the study indicate that this test reliably confirms exposure to SARS-CoV-2 twenty days after the onset of symptoms. The platform is used for the aforementioned population study.

Seroprevalence surveys based on the detection of specific immunoglobulins type G (IgG) are of the utmost importance to know the proportion of the population that has already been exposed to the coronavirus. The presence of these immunoglobulins (antibodies) in the blood confirms that the person has been exposed to the virus. On the other hand, it does not allow the conclusion of total or partial immunity against the latter. Indeed, in the current state of knowledge, we know neither the rate of protection that this immunity confers against a new infection nor its possible duration. For this reason, the test is not yet accessible to the entire population.

In order to assess the seroprevalence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the canton of Geneva, the HUG launched a survey of a representative sample of the population. People who have already participated in the Bus Santé study (annual health survey of the canton’s population) were randomly selected and invited with their families to take a blood test and fill out a questionnaire. The study started on April 6, 2020 and continues until the end of May.

Preliminary results are based on the first 760 participants, i.e. 343 (54% women, 46% men, 87% adults and 13% minors) between April 6 and 10 and 417 participants (53% of women, 47% men, 87% adults and 13% minors) for the week of April 14 to 17, 2020.

These first data show a seroprevalence in the population estimated at 3.5% (possible variability from 1.6% to 5.4%) for the first week and 5.5% (possible variability from 3.3% to 7, 7%) for the second. This sample, as well as the period studied, is too small to deduce with certainty the percentage of weekly increase, but a significant increase was observed between the two weeks.

The overall seroprevalence of 5.5% suggests that nearly 27,000 people were exposed to SARS-CoV-2 in the canton of Geneva. This is a minimum estimate, probably linked to multiple uncertainties, including the time required to develop immunity and the dynamics of the epidemic. It is expected that this seroprevalence in the population will increase in the coming weeks due to the recent increase in the number of cases in the canton.

Here’s the rough draft (in French) of the paper.

 
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  1. Interesting, although not clear why the rough draft is dated April 2nd, almost three weeks ago. From what I hear, folks in Geneva area are not taking this shutdown very seriously – most people treat it as a vacation and go about hiking, barbecuing, etc. Maybe the difference in attitude leads to higher infection rates ?

    I do know of one ~40 year-old relatively young and fit CERN physicist who died from the virus a week ago after returning from Geneva, probably one of the only reasons I am still taking this seriously. His wife seems to be OK though.

    • Replies: @Hypnotoad666
    I would recommend that Trump fire Fauchi and appoint Bill James as the new Corona Czar. James could evaluate all the data and do a Sabermetrics/Moneyball analysis that rates the net value of each public policy choice according to its "wins above replacement."

    "Wins" in this case would equate to total years of quality life saved.* Thus, saving an 85 year-old is less valuable than saving a 25 year-old. If you looked at our lockdown policy as a potential free agent acquisition with a contract price of about $5 Trillion, you could evaluate whether the cost is justified by its "wins above replacement." The potential replacement are:

    1. Social distancing and common sense mitigation but no lockdown (Sweden); and

    2.. Doing absolutely nothing (Brazil, the Third World generally)

    James would probably figure out immediately that choosing Lockdown over mere Social Distancing is about as smart as the Red Sox trading Babe Ruth to the Yankees. It's going to kill our franchise for decades.


    * One data point: "Under the health insurance “dialysis” standard, the average value per year of quality life is about $72,000." https://junkscience.com/2020/04/cost-benefit-analysis-for-the-covid-lockdown/
  2. What is the false positive rate on the test and now was it measured?

    • Replies: @utu
    0.5% - Chinese test used in Stanford study of Santa Clara county.
    , @GermanReader2
    I do not know, what they are doing in Geneva, but a similar study is going on in Munich as well. Here, they want to test blood samples donated in September last year in order to get the rate of false positives (since the virus only started going round later, none of the blood samples donated in September should test positive)
  3. OT: this is alarming:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-22/tyson-foods-to-indefinitely-suspend-waterloo-operations-k9bbgnr9

    I’ve always said the supply chain interruptions and panic from the virus will be worse than the virus itself. Looks like I sadly may be proven right again in the next few weeks.

    If anyone has an extra freezer or refrigerator, now’s a good time to buy a few extra weeks of beef.

  4. OT: New York State’s new policy for dealing with cardiac patients during the pandemic – just let them die:

    https://nypost.com/2020/04/22/new-york-scraps-do-not-resuscitate-order-during-coronavirus-pandemic/

    #Deadtogether

    Fortunately, they rescinded it………….after they got caught.

    Remember, this is all about keeping us safe.

  5. https://forward.com/culture/444275/how-trump-uses-blood-libel-rhetoric-against-invisible-enemy/

    seen that?

    the guilty flee when no man pursueth.

    projection city.

    very telling.

  6. @James Bowery
    What is the false positive rate on the test and now was it measured?

    0.5% – Chinese test used in Stanford study of Santa Clara county.

    • Replies: @Znzn
    I thought the Chinese found 2 percent prevalence in Wuhan?
    , @James Bowery
    Of the Stanford study's false positive rates, From @arguablywrong:

    "You will note that high false positive rates are perfectly likely with all of these datasets."
  7. GermanReader2 [AKA "GermanReader2_new"] says:
    @James Bowery
    What is the false positive rate on the test and now was it measured?

    I do not know, what they are doing in Geneva, but a similar study is going on in Munich as well. Here, they want to test blood samples donated in September last year in order to get the rate of false positives (since the virus only started going round later, none of the blood samples donated in September should test positive)

  8. @utu
    0.5% - Chinese test used in Stanford study of Santa Clara county.

    I thought the Chinese found 2 percent prevalence in Wuhan?

  9. Minor nitpick:

    For whatever reason, deaths have been higher in Romance-speaking parts of Europe (other than Portugal) than in Germanic-speaking places.

    Romania is a Romance speaking country, it has half of Portugal’s infections and two thirds of its deaths in twice the population.

    Interestingly, we have two major sources of infection – a retired colonel going with his mistress on vacation to Israel and then lying about it when he returned (early on, 80% of infections were because of him, including his nephew who went and bought flowers and chocolates for the women at work for the March celebrations) and a lot of Romanian seasonal workers, illegal labor and pretty criminals who came back from abroad, mostly from Italy and Spain.

    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Interestingly, we have two major sources of infection – a retired colonel going with his mistress on vacation to Israel and then lying about it when he returned (early on, 80% of infections were because of him
     
    Why Israel? Is he Jewish? I thought Israel had closed its borders to foreigners.
    , @Anonymouse
    >illegal labor and pretty criminals who came back from abroad, mostly from Italy and Spain.

    LOL
  10. Geneva canton has a population of approximately 500 000, calculating 5,5% of 500 oo0 you get 27500. But we not only have to control for the death lag but also the antibody lag which also take around 2 weeks to start forming so they might cancel each other out. An IFR of 0,7% might therefore be reasonable.

  11. Is the study good news or bad news?

    The results of the study indicate that this test reliably confirms exposure to SARS-CoV-2 twenty days after the onset of symptoms.

    Twenty days is a long time.

  12. @Romanian
    Minor nitpick:

    For whatever reason, deaths have been higher in Romance-speaking parts of Europe (other than Portugal) than in Germanic-speaking places.
     
    Romania is a Romance speaking country, it has half of Portugal's infections and two thirds of its deaths in twice the population.

    Interestingly, we have two major sources of infection - a retired colonel going with his mistress on vacation to Israel and then lying about it when he returned (early on, 80% of infections were because of him, including his nephew who went and bought flowers and chocolates for the women at work for the March celebrations) and a lot of Romanian seasonal workers, illegal labor and pretty criminals who came back from abroad, mostly from Italy and Spain.

    Interestingly, we have two major sources of infection – a retired colonel going with his mistress on vacation to Israel and then lying about it when he returned (early on, 80% of infections were because of him

    Why Israel? Is he Jewish? I thought Israel had closed its borders to foreigners.

    • Replies: @Romanian
    This was early on, before they did so. He was among the first infected in my country.

    He isn't Jewish. Neither was his mistress. Israel is an important vacation destination, both for seaside fun, partying and for religious reasons. I know people who are casual anti-Semites who go to Israel on vacation. It's also an important economic partner. Flights to and from Tel Aviv (and a few other cities) connect every major city in Romania, as well as Bulgaria, Hungary, the Republic of Moldova (lots of Israelis descend from Romanian Jews, including random people I have met for work). Can't speak for the other Balkans.

  13. For whatever reason, deaths have been higher in Romance-speaking parts of Europe (other than Portugal) than in Germanic-speaking places.

    A similar pattern was observed during the 1917/1918 Fort Riley – Spanish Influenza.

    Steve, if you are reading seroprevalence studies from Geneva, you need to take a break and go outside and get some fresh air and sunshine. It will be better for your physical and mental health.

  14. @Romanian
    Minor nitpick:

    For whatever reason, deaths have been higher in Romance-speaking parts of Europe (other than Portugal) than in Germanic-speaking places.
     
    Romania is a Romance speaking country, it has half of Portugal's infections and two thirds of its deaths in twice the population.

    Interestingly, we have two major sources of infection - a retired colonel going with his mistress on vacation to Israel and then lying about it when he returned (early on, 80% of infections were because of him, including his nephew who went and bought flowers and chocolates for the women at work for the March celebrations) and a lot of Romanian seasonal workers, illegal labor and pretty criminals who came back from abroad, mostly from Italy and Spain.

    >illegal labor and pretty criminals who came back from abroad, mostly from Italy and Spain.

    LOL

    • Replies: @Romanian
    Point taken :), but some of them definitely are. But it does underscore a point. Legal immigration is not an elimination of illegal labor, because there is money to be made circumventing minimum wage laws, health and safety regulations in the workplace etc. The current crisis of the day is that Romania, along with other countries, has accepted German calls to allow seasonal workers to leave to pick the asparagus rotting in the fields (despite having been housed for 14 days at the taxpayer's expense when they came previously in, for corona reasons). Supposedly, the conditions in which they are housed in Germany are awful, especially for people who proclaim to have pandemic concerns (dozens to a barrack and so on).
  15. anon[227] • Disclaimer says:

    This doesn’t seem to be getting enough attention and/or investigation. We seem to have a perfectly encapsulated herd immunity to look at. Two thousand corona cases (80% of total population) at Marion Correctional Institute in Ohio. Two deaths so far. (I think someone in their 70’s and one in their 50’s). Vast majority asymptomatic. https://abc6onyourside.com/news/local/state-prison-in-marion-now-nations-top-coronavirus-hot-spot

    • Thanks: GalenMD
  16. Good fences make good neighbors.

    British Columbia has a similar population to Washington State, Vancouver is similar in size to Seattle, and yet there are far few cases of COVID-19 infections and deaths on the Canadian side of the border.

    Everywhere you go, you find these anomalies with this disease. Florida is supposed to be a major center of the epidemic, and yet in the county where I live our last and 17th new case was on April 10th, almost 2 weeks ago.

    Previously I had praised Alachua County Florida, home of the University of Florida hospitals, for its zero deaths total (now 1 death), but yesterday I spoke to someone who has a family member who works in ICU there who told me that they are having plenty of deaths, but are not reporting them as COVID-19 to avoid additional investigations and paperwork, and to another person who has a friend who is a respiratory therapist there, who says that they have very few cases and that all are doing well.

    There must be such diversity in reporting between different hospitals in the same city, different counties in the same state, different states, different countries and so on, that it is very hard to draw any conclusions.

    The Florida curve seems to be heading sharply downwards, but maybe it is all an illusion and really it is heading sharply upwards, but we just don’t know it yet.

    • Replies: @Polynikes
    I have mentioned Vancouver a couple times, as well. It is the case that stands out to me as the most confusing. It is next to Washington state (although, I have no idea what border crossing traffic is) and full of Chinese. I would think out of N. America cities, Vancouver would be in the top 10 for travel back and forth to China. It is also a hub for skiers heading to Whistler and other ski resorts in the area. Yet....relatively nothing.

    --

    On a side note regarding IFR: the top Swedish doc posted a few days ago mentions that it should go down as time goes on. This is because this disease sweeps through the old and vulnerable first. We can see that as the number of deaths in some places are from nursing homes in the 25-50% range. So as the number of people under 50 rises--and that's what we need to break this disease--and we get better at protecting the old and vulnerable, the death toll should not increase as rapidly as the infection rate. Of course, (assuming we can trust) the numbers out of places like NYC will still pull the national average up, but their rates of 0.5 to 1.0% will come down.
    , @Anonymous

    Everywhere you go, you find these anomalies with this disease.
     
    Could they be attributable, at least in part, to differences in the methodologies used in counting and in the criteria used in classification?
    , @George
    The economist wrote an article about tracking 'excess deaths' as an alternative to the Covid stats provided by 'authorities'.

    Tracking covid-19 excess deaths across countries
    Official covid-19 death tolls still under-count the true number of fatalities

    https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/04/16/tracking-covid-19-excess-deaths-across-countries
  17. Nursing homes

    A survey from the WSJ has found at least 10,700 COVID-related deaths at long-term care facilities among more than 35 states that either report data online or responded to requests for information. That’s almost a quarter of all U.S. deaths, with the virus hitting at least 4,800 facilities nationwide. Currently, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requires nursing homes to tightly restrict who can enter, though limited testing and asymptomatic cases means staffers could have brought infections inside [Clipped from Seeking Alpha]

    If we could just abolish nursing homes, prisons, cruise ships, airports, sports stadia, and Congress, we would be well on the way to defeating this unAmerican virus and restoring the rule of freedom.

    • LOL: BB753
  18. There is a strong possibility that this seroprevalence systematically underestimates the numbers that have been infected.

    Not via the inaccuracies of the test, but rather from the fact that children- and many young adults – do not produce antibodies in detectable quantities.

    Children who have lived in homes surrounded by COVID-19 cases often display no antibodies – at all

    Many young adults who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 via PCR tests also show up negative on antibody tests.

    It’s speculated that this is due to the fact that theirimmunse system fought off the virus via NK (natural killer) cells, before antibodies were needed in any quantity. The observation seems to be that the easier the case, the fewer the antibodies.

  19. @Jonathan Mason
    Good fences make good neighbors.


    British Columbia has a similar population to Washington State, Vancouver is similar in size to Seattle, and yet there are far few cases of COVID-19 infections and deaths on the Canadian side of the border.

    Everywhere you go, you find these anomalies with this disease. Florida is supposed to be a major center of the epidemic, and yet in the county where I live our last and 17th new case was on April 10th, almost 2 weeks ago.

    Previously I had praised Alachua County Florida, home of the University of Florida hospitals, for its zero deaths total (now 1 death), but yesterday I spoke to someone who has a family member who works in ICU there who told me that they are having plenty of deaths, but are not reporting them as COVID-19 to avoid additional investigations and paperwork, and to another person who has a friend who is a respiratory therapist there, who says that they have very few cases and that all are doing well.

    There must be such diversity in reporting between different hospitals in the same city, different counties in the same state, different states, different countries and so on, that it is very hard to draw any conclusions.

    The Florida curve seems to be heading sharply downwards, but maybe it is all an illusion and really it is heading sharply upwards, but we just don't know it yet.

    I have mentioned Vancouver a couple times, as well. It is the case that stands out to me as the most confusing. It is next to Washington state (although, I have no idea what border crossing traffic is) and full of Chinese. I would think out of N. America cities, Vancouver would be in the top 10 for travel back and forth to China. It is also a hub for skiers heading to Whistler and other ski resorts in the area. Yet….relatively nothing.

    On a side note regarding IFR: the top Swedish doc posted a few days ago mentions that it should go down as time goes on. This is because this disease sweeps through the old and vulnerable first. We can see that as the number of deaths in some places are from nursing homes in the 25-50% range. So as the number of people under 50 rises–and that’s what we need to break this disease–and we get better at protecting the old and vulnerable, the death toll should not increase as rapidly as the infection rate. Of course, (assuming we can trust) the numbers out of places like NYC will still pull the national average up, but their rates of 0.5 to 1.0% will come down.

  20. Anonymous[345] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jonathan Mason
    Good fences make good neighbors.


    British Columbia has a similar population to Washington State, Vancouver is similar in size to Seattle, and yet there are far few cases of COVID-19 infections and deaths on the Canadian side of the border.

    Everywhere you go, you find these anomalies with this disease. Florida is supposed to be a major center of the epidemic, and yet in the county where I live our last and 17th new case was on April 10th, almost 2 weeks ago.

    Previously I had praised Alachua County Florida, home of the University of Florida hospitals, for its zero deaths total (now 1 death), but yesterday I spoke to someone who has a family member who works in ICU there who told me that they are having plenty of deaths, but are not reporting them as COVID-19 to avoid additional investigations and paperwork, and to another person who has a friend who is a respiratory therapist there, who says that they have very few cases and that all are doing well.

    There must be such diversity in reporting between different hospitals in the same city, different counties in the same state, different states, different countries and so on, that it is very hard to draw any conclusions.

    The Florida curve seems to be heading sharply downwards, but maybe it is all an illusion and really it is heading sharply upwards, but we just don't know it yet.

    Everywhere you go, you find these anomalies with this disease.

    Could they be attributable, at least in part, to differences in the methodologies used in counting and in the criteria used in classification?

  21. “although deaths lag infections so it is likely to get higher over time.” but IgG lags too. The article says 20 days which is probably a little longer if anything than the average time from symptom onset to death. So it will likely get lower over time.

  22. @utu
    0.5% - Chinese test used in Stanford study of Santa Clara county.

    Of the Stanford study’s false positive rates, From @arguablywrong:

    “You will note that high false positive rates are perfectly likely with all of these datasets.”

  23. OT: French doctors are now trying nicotine patches to treat COVID-19 patients. Although having been a smoker is a risk factor for getting a bad case of the disease, currently being a smoker seems to offer some immunity or at least prevent the progression of the disease.

    There are now also reports of people developing hypoxia, possibly from blood clots, because of corona virus. There are probably a lot of people who normally don’t take any deliberate exercise, and the only physical activity they get is from going to work. With these people now idled at home, eating, drinking and watching TV all day, could it be that their all of a sudden completely sedentary lifestyle is causing blood clots?

    • Replies: @Black-hole creator
    "Although having been a smoker is a risk factor for getting a bad case of the disease, currently being a smoker seems to offer some immunity or at least prevent the progression of the disease."

    I have not seen any stats that former smokers are at risk. The only stats available are for age and BMI as risk factors. Oh, and the new stats from both China and France that smokers have an 80% smaller chance of ending up in the hospital. The rest is probably just smoke and mirrors. Btw, the current recommendation is still that smokers should quit asap to save themselves from the corona. I wonder how many people have already died because of that trope.

  24. So what vaccine did Eastern Bloc people get as youths that Westerners didn’t? That my be helping them against the SARS2 Chinese virus?

    I’m thinking smallpox.

    I remember when London old Victorian graveyards were dug up, usually to provide space for a new Muslim graveyard, that the workers were all recruited from Eastern Europe because they were vaccinated against smallpox. This was years ago before the end of British workers in such jobs.

    • Replies: @The Dude
    I believe the answer is TB.
  25. @Jonathan Mason
    Good fences make good neighbors.


    British Columbia has a similar population to Washington State, Vancouver is similar in size to Seattle, and yet there are far few cases of COVID-19 infections and deaths on the Canadian side of the border.

    Everywhere you go, you find these anomalies with this disease. Florida is supposed to be a major center of the epidemic, and yet in the county where I live our last and 17th new case was on April 10th, almost 2 weeks ago.

    Previously I had praised Alachua County Florida, home of the University of Florida hospitals, for its zero deaths total (now 1 death), but yesterday I spoke to someone who has a family member who works in ICU there who told me that they are having plenty of deaths, but are not reporting them as COVID-19 to avoid additional investigations and paperwork, and to another person who has a friend who is a respiratory therapist there, who says that they have very few cases and that all are doing well.

    There must be such diversity in reporting between different hospitals in the same city, different counties in the same state, different states, different countries and so on, that it is very hard to draw any conclusions.

    The Florida curve seems to be heading sharply downwards, but maybe it is all an illusion and really it is heading sharply upwards, but we just don't know it yet.

    The economist wrote an article about tracking ‘excess deaths’ as an alternative to the Covid stats provided by ‘authorities’.

    Tracking covid-19 excess deaths across countries
    Official covid-19 death tolls still under-count the true number of fatalities

    https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/04/16/tracking-covid-19-excess-deaths-across-countries

  26. 21+% NYC already have antibodies. Not surprising since three weeks went by before lockdown. Despite Cuomo’s talk of “at home” deaths uncounted, the rate is very low.

    • Replies: @gabriel alberton
    Currently, the Johns Hopkins University counter returns around 15k deaths for NYC. The 1point3acres counter returns over 16k deaths. Both of them include the ~3.5k to ~4.5k extra probable deaths added days ago. NYC has around 8.4 million people, so if those counts are correct, just under 0.2% of the city's total population has died of covid-19 so far. 1point3acres returns just over 500 people had died of covid-19 there yesterday, and around 3600 new cases were confirmed.
  27. I would think this result:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20200423171303/https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/494324-27m-new-yorkers-have-had-coronavirus-preliminary-data-shows

    is a much much bigger deal than anything we’ve heard out of Santa Clara, parts of Bergamo, Sud Tyrol, or anything else so far.

    If you add into this the methodology of the study (they sampled people out at grocery stores–people far more likely to have been healthy recently), and that antibody development lags infection by a while, it’s probably a significant underestimate.

    Now add in the fact (from basic high school science but which no one seems to remember) that for a very large chunk of the population (including probably everyone under 25 and tailing off very slowly as you go up in age) their Innate Immune system takes care of the virus before their Acquired Immune System even has to worry about developing antibodies, you can probably see why the Swedish and German scientists that everyone in Cassandraland liked to ridicule said that many places (including NYC) are probably already at 50% exposure.

    And so again, what did the lockdowns accomplish? You have to think a huge chunk of these exposures were before any lockdowns happened at all.

    • Replies: @candid_observer
    It'll be important to see how well the numbers reported in this study hold up.

    One potentially key finding is that the test found only 3.6% of upstate New Yorkers tested positive. They are 30+% of the state, and so, presumably, an equivalent number of the supposedly representative sample chosen, which was over 3,000 in size. That would put a pretty hard cap on the rate of false positives. That means that we can trust the 21% figure for positives in NYC much better than in other studies -- subtract even 3.6% from 21% and you've still got a substantial number.

    But it's also true that the subjects were chosen from supermarkets. This may be dominated by people who don't consider themselves vulnerable, and may well be more likely to have the virus.

    Still, it would seem to be an informative study, unless the numbers have been manipulated in some way not yet reported.
  28. That is not a draft of the paper — that is the proposal for the study. Studies need ethical approval before they are done, perhaps also external funding, etc. The proposal outlines the methodology, the need for the study, and any ethical considerations (it also includes the information given to participants, how informed consent is documented, how personal integrity is respected, etc.)

  29. @Mr. Anon
    OT: French doctors are now trying nicotine patches to treat COVID-19 patients. Although having been a smoker is a risk factor for getting a bad case of the disease, currently being a smoker seems to offer some immunity or at least prevent the progression of the disease.

    There are now also reports of people developing hypoxia, possibly from blood clots, because of corona virus. There are probably a lot of people who normally don't take any deliberate exercise, and the only physical activity they get is from going to work. With these people now idled at home, eating, drinking and watching TV all day, could it be that their all of a sudden completely sedentary lifestyle is causing blood clots?

    “Although having been a smoker is a risk factor for getting a bad case of the disease, currently being a smoker seems to offer some immunity or at least prevent the progression of the disease.”

    I have not seen any stats that former smokers are at risk. The only stats available are for age and BMI as risk factors. Oh, and the new stats from both China and France that smokers have an 80% smaller chance of ending up in the hospital. The rest is probably just smoke and mirrors. Btw, the current recommendation is still that smokers should quit asap to save themselves from the corona. I wonder how many people have already died because of that trope.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    If you stop smoking and put on weight, do your risks go down or up?
  30. @Anonymouse
    >illegal labor and pretty criminals who came back from abroad, mostly from Italy and Spain.

    LOL

    Point taken :), but some of them definitely are. But it does underscore a point. Legal immigration is not an elimination of illegal labor, because there is money to be made circumventing minimum wage laws, health and safety regulations in the workplace etc. The current crisis of the day is that Romania, along with other countries, has accepted German calls to allow seasonal workers to leave to pick the asparagus rotting in the fields (despite having been housed for 14 days at the taxpayer’s expense when they came previously in, for corona reasons). Supposedly, the conditions in which they are housed in Germany are awful, especially for people who proclaim to have pandemic concerns (dozens to a barrack and so on).

  31. @Anonymous

    Interestingly, we have two major sources of infection – a retired colonel going with his mistress on vacation to Israel and then lying about it when he returned (early on, 80% of infections were because of him
     
    Why Israel? Is he Jewish? I thought Israel had closed its borders to foreigners.

    This was early on, before they did so. He was among the first infected in my country.

    He isn’t Jewish. Neither was his mistress. Israel is an important vacation destination, both for seaside fun, partying and for religious reasons. I know people who are casual anti-Semites who go to Israel on vacation. It’s also an important economic partner. Flights to and from Tel Aviv (and a few other cities) connect every major city in Romania, as well as Bulgaria, Hungary, the Republic of Moldova (lots of Israelis descend from Romanian Jews, including random people I have met for work). Can’t speak for the other Balkans.

    • Replies: @BB753
    Many Christians visit the Holy Land. It's not an endorsement of Israel.
  32. @Gordo
    So what vaccine did Eastern Bloc people get as youths that Westerners didn't? That my be helping them against the SARS2 Chinese virus?

    I'm thinking smallpox.

    I remember when London old Victorian graveyards were dug up, usually to provide space for a new Muslim graveyard, that the workers were all recruited from Eastern Europe because they were vaccinated against smallpox. This was years ago before the end of British workers in such jobs.

    I believe the answer is TB.

    • Replies: @Gordo
    Yes you are right, I must have had it then.
  33. Geneva Seroprevalence

    I remember her– she taught me the words to “Volare” while we processed crab together. Should have asked her out…

  34. @Romanian
    This was early on, before they did so. He was among the first infected in my country.

    He isn't Jewish. Neither was his mistress. Israel is an important vacation destination, both for seaside fun, partying and for religious reasons. I know people who are casual anti-Semites who go to Israel on vacation. It's also an important economic partner. Flights to and from Tel Aviv (and a few other cities) connect every major city in Romania, as well as Bulgaria, Hungary, the Republic of Moldova (lots of Israelis descend from Romanian Jews, including random people I have met for work). Can't speak for the other Balkans.

    Many Christians visit the Holy Land. It’s not an endorsement of Israel.

    • Replies: @Romanian
    Of course. I meant people who go for non-religious reasons, like beach life and clubbing, but are basically anti-Semites, which I found funny. By that token, many people go to Mecca who are not on friendly terms with the Saudis, like Iranians and other Shiites.
  35. @Black-hole creator
    "Although having been a smoker is a risk factor for getting a bad case of the disease, currently being a smoker seems to offer some immunity or at least prevent the progression of the disease."

    I have not seen any stats that former smokers are at risk. The only stats available are for age and BMI as risk factors. Oh, and the new stats from both China and France that smokers have an 80% smaller chance of ending up in the hospital. The rest is probably just smoke and mirrors. Btw, the current recommendation is still that smokers should quit asap to save themselves from the corona. I wonder how many people have already died because of that trope.

    If you stop smoking and put on weight, do your risks go down or up?

    • Replies: @Black-hole creator
    Nobody knows, because nobody wants to touch the subject of smoking being potentially good for you. I did put up some weight after I quit smoking, then shed those extra 10-15 lbs via walking and moderate dieting. Gaining those pounds back though b/c of the shutdown.
  36. @Steve Sailer
    If you stop smoking and put on weight, do your risks go down or up?

    Nobody knows, because nobody wants to touch the subject of smoking being potentially good for you. I did put up some weight after I quit smoking, then shed those extra 10-15 lbs via walking and moderate dieting. Gaining those pounds back though b/c of the shutdown.

  37. @Deckin
    I would think this result:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20200423171303/https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/494324-27m-new-yorkers-have-had-coronavirus-preliminary-data-shows

    is a much much bigger deal than anything we've heard out of Santa Clara, parts of Bergamo, Sud Tyrol, or anything else so far.

    If you add into this the methodology of the study (they sampled people out at grocery stores--people far more likely to have been healthy recently), and that antibody development lags infection by a while, it's probably a significant underestimate.

    Now add in the fact (from basic high school science but which no one seems to remember) that for a very large chunk of the population (including probably everyone under 25 and tailing off very slowly as you go up in age) their Innate Immune system takes care of the virus before their Acquired Immune System even has to worry about developing antibodies, you can probably see why the Swedish and German scientists that everyone in Cassandraland liked to ridicule said that many places (including NYC) are probably already at 50% exposure.

    And so again, what did the lockdowns accomplish? You have to think a huge chunk of these exposures were before any lockdowns happened at all.

    It’ll be important to see how well the numbers reported in this study hold up.

    One potentially key finding is that the test found only 3.6% of upstate New Yorkers tested positive. They are 30+% of the state, and so, presumably, an equivalent number of the supposedly representative sample chosen, which was over 3,000 in size. That would put a pretty hard cap on the rate of false positives. That means that we can trust the 21% figure for positives in NYC much better than in other studies — subtract even 3.6% from 21% and you’ve still got a substantial number.

    But it’s also true that the subjects were chosen from supermarkets. This may be dominated by people who don’t consider themselves vulnerable, and may well be more likely to have the virus.

    Still, it would seem to be an informative study, unless the numbers have been manipulated in some way not yet reported.

    • Replies: @Deckin
    I'm pretty sure Cuomo stated that they purposely only sampled adults, so kids were left out on purpose--as were the too sick to leave the house. So unless you think the kids are less likely to have been exposed than the adults who tested + for antibodies (and remember, there will be many, inversely correlated with age, who don't test + for antibodies but who have been exposed but whose Innate Immune system handled the virus without antibodies forming), this must be a low end of exposure rate. Not everybody who's exposed to a virus (even a new one) gets infected to the extent that they develop antibodies to it. The performance of young people during this whole episode reinforces what has generally been known to be a commonplace. They're not immune to it in the sense that they have antibodies to it, they're immune to it in the sense that we're immune to bijillions of things--our Innate Immune systems just kill them.
  38. @BB753
    Many Christians visit the Holy Land. It's not an endorsement of Israel.

    Of course. I meant people who go for non-religious reasons, like beach life and clubbing, but are basically anti-Semites, which I found funny. By that token, many people go to Mecca who are not on friendly terms with the Saudis, like Iranians and other Shiites.

    • Replies: @BB753
    Tourists who visit a country for its beaches and clubbing seldom care at all for the natives. Xenophobia, I've found, is the default setting for human minds.
  39. @Black-hole creator
    Interesting, although not clear why the rough draft is dated April 2nd, almost three weeks ago. From what I hear, folks in Geneva area are not taking this shutdown very seriously - most people treat it as a vacation and go about hiking, barbecuing, etc. Maybe the difference in attitude leads to higher infection rates ?

    I do know of one ~40 year-old relatively young and fit CERN physicist who died from the virus a week ago after returning from Geneva, probably one of the only reasons I am still taking this seriously. His wife seems to be OK though.

    I would recommend that Trump fire Fauchi and appoint Bill James as the new Corona Czar. James could evaluate all the data and do a Sabermetrics/Moneyball analysis that rates the net value of each public policy choice according to its “wins above replacement.”

    “Wins” in this case would equate to total years of quality life saved.* Thus, saving an 85 year-old is less valuable than saving a 25 year-old. If you looked at our lockdown policy as a potential free agent acquisition with a contract price of about $5 Trillion, you could evaluate whether the cost is justified by its “wins above replacement.” The potential replacement are:

    1. Social distancing and common sense mitigation but no lockdown (Sweden); and

    2.. Doing absolutely nothing (Brazil, the Third World generally)

    James would probably figure out immediately that choosing Lockdown over mere Social Distancing is about as smart as the Red Sox trading Babe Ruth to the Yankees. It’s going to kill our franchise for decades.

    * One data point: “Under the health insurance “dialysis” standard, the average value per year of quality life is about $72,000.” https://junkscience.com/2020/04/cost-benefit-analysis-for-the-covid-lockdown/

  40. @Obee
    21+% NYC already have antibodies. Not surprising since three weeks went by before lockdown. Despite Cuomo’s talk of “at home” deaths uncounted, the rate is very low.

    Currently, the Johns Hopkins University counter returns around 15k deaths for NYC. The 1point3acres counter returns over 16k deaths. Both of them include the ~3.5k to ~4.5k extra probable deaths added days ago. NYC has around 8.4 million people, so if those counts are correct, just under 0.2% of the city’s total population has died of covid-19 so far. 1point3acres returns just over 500 people had died of covid-19 there yesterday, and around 3600 new cases were confirmed.

  41. @candid_observer
    It'll be important to see how well the numbers reported in this study hold up.

    One potentially key finding is that the test found only 3.6% of upstate New Yorkers tested positive. They are 30+% of the state, and so, presumably, an equivalent number of the supposedly representative sample chosen, which was over 3,000 in size. That would put a pretty hard cap on the rate of false positives. That means that we can trust the 21% figure for positives in NYC much better than in other studies -- subtract even 3.6% from 21% and you've still got a substantial number.

    But it's also true that the subjects were chosen from supermarkets. This may be dominated by people who don't consider themselves vulnerable, and may well be more likely to have the virus.

    Still, it would seem to be an informative study, unless the numbers have been manipulated in some way not yet reported.

    I’m pretty sure Cuomo stated that they purposely only sampled adults, so kids were left out on purpose–as were the too sick to leave the house. So unless you think the kids are less likely to have been exposed than the adults who tested + for antibodies (and remember, there will be many, inversely correlated with age, who don’t test + for antibodies but who have been exposed but whose Innate Immune system handled the virus without antibodies forming), this must be a low end of exposure rate. Not everybody who’s exposed to a virus (even a new one) gets infected to the extent that they develop antibodies to it. The performance of young people during this whole episode reinforces what has generally been known to be a commonplace. They’re not immune to it in the sense that they have antibodies to it, they’re immune to it in the sense that we’re immune to bijillions of things–our Innate Immune systems just kill them.

  42. And now this:

    https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6917e1.htm?s_cid=mm6917e1_w

    66% + for CoVid antibodies in SF homeless shelter. They put the community rate as only 5.7% but one has to wonder at that estimate. It could be that the homeless (by our diligent efforts!) are very socially distanced from the rest of us, but not each other. Either way, with SF’s number of cases, even this 5.7% brings all fatality rates way down.

  43. The unintended benefits of being homeless in SF – no need to worry about the virus, no mortality was reported so I presume it was low enough to ignore. Not clear why Seattle is such a laggard, maybe it was not windy enough.

  44. @Romanian
    Of course. I meant people who go for non-religious reasons, like beach life and clubbing, but are basically anti-Semites, which I found funny. By that token, many people go to Mecca who are not on friendly terms with the Saudis, like Iranians and other Shiites.

    Tourists who visit a country for its beaches and clubbing seldom care at all for the natives. Xenophobia, I’ve found, is the default setting for human minds.

  45. @The Dude
    I believe the answer is TB.

    Yes you are right, I must have had it then.

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