Coronavirus Outbreak in a Nursing Home

A Nursing Home in British Columbia, Canada, had 160 staff members and 142 residents. 53 of the staff (33%) experienced symptoms of respiratory infection but none of them died. 95 of the residents (67%) experienced symptoms of respiratory infection and eight of them died.

It turned out to be an infection with Human Coronavirus OC43, a strain that has been circulating amongst us since at least the 1880s. Usually associated with the common cold, it can cause more severe disease in susceptible people.

This outbreak occurred in 2003. Initial testing confused it as being a SARS outbreak which had caused global pandemic concern that year. Confirmatory testing identified the OC43 strain. Survivors demonstrated cross-reactive immunity against SARS-CoV1.

Details are found at this 2006 article in the Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology which concludes The present investigation underscores the fact that laboratory testing is but one way to form inferences on the etiology of outbreaks, and cannot replace scrupulous clinical and epidemiological observation. When these different approaches lead to inconsistent observations, it is important to remain open to all possible explanations.

As Doctor Clare Craig who shared the article states: Coronaviruses have killed vulnerable old people in care homes long before COVID.

Dr Craig, a British diagnostic pathologist, is one of few people calling for more scrupulous clinical and epidemiological observations in today’s crisis. For now, unfortunately, all you need is a positive PCR test to be labelled a “case” and assumed “infectious”. This practice is prone to all manner of errors, and helping to maintain irrational fear and ongoing support for harmful policies in populations globally.

Dr Craig and Dr Jonathan Engler have suggested UK citizens ask the below 20 questions to their Members of Parliament, who are persisting with enforced lockdown policies. Question 4 particularly appeals to my interest in what has happened in Asia. I am also curious as to how many politicians – those wielding so much power through this crisis – would be able to even hazard a guess at answering any of these questions.

  1. Why are SARS-CoV-2 antibody levels flat or dropping across all age groups since May if the pandemic is still going?
  2. What percentage of the population is assumed to have had prior immunity to SARS-CoV-2 in the SAGE forecasting models?
  3. Why do 50% of household members not catch SARS-CoV-2 from infected persons with whom they live? 
  4. Why have Japan and South Korea not had any serious outbreak if the human species has no prior immunity to SARS-CoV-2?
  5. What percentage of the population of the UK is assumed to be immune to COVID-19 (including prior immunity) as of this date?
  6. What percentage of those diagnosed with COVID-19 since July have developed antibodies to COVID-19, confirming the diagnosis? 
  7. If 90%+ (SAGE Minutes: 21/09/20) of the population is still susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, why did the virus case numbers and deaths not double every 3-4 days throughout June, July and August, and indeed throughout the Autumn?
  8. Why have positive test results rocketed while numbers of symptomatic patients in the community and NHS triage data show they have flatlined since mid-September?
  9. Why are acute respiratory admissions through Accident & Emergency significantly below the normal for the time of year if the pandemic is still raging?
  10. Why are total hospital admissions, ITU occupancy and hospital oxygen consumption at or below normal levels for the time of year? 
  11. What percentage of deaths labelled as being due to COVID-19 have had the diagnosis confirmed at post-mortem since July?
  12. Why are the regions of the country that have had excess deaths not the same regions that have supposed COVID-19 deaths, unlike in spring? 
  13. Why has Liverpool testing by the Army failed to find COVID-19 in the community when they are supposedly at the centre of the alleged “second wave”?
  14. How is a 0.22% rate of diagnosed infection in the public in Liverpool to be reconciled with the ONS prediction of 2.3% infection rates in Liverpool on 11th November based on PCR testing?
  15. Why are much quicker lateral flow tests not being prioritised for hospital admissions to prevent the standard 24-48 hour delay with PCR results and ensure that those who are positive can be isolated to prevent hospital spread?
  16. Why aren’t all staff being tested by the lateral flow test to prevent the staffing crisis being caused by false positive PCR results?
  17. Do positive PCR tests for asymptomatic and symptomatic NHS staff, or anyone else, which result in them being required to self-isolate have confirmatory re-tests performed?
  18. Why is the country in lockdown when there are no excess hospital admissions, no excess intensive care bed use and no excess death rates (by date of occurrence) in the midst of an allegedly out of control, raging pandemic?
  19. Why are we in lockdown when the Government’s own Operation Cygnus pandemic plan stated that lockdown could only delay deaths by a few weeks at most? 
  20. What evidence is there that lockdown has prevented more deaths than it has caused?

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