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Sun, 23 Jan 2022
The World for People who Think

Plagues

Biohazard

New bird flu strain H5N8 detected in humans, 7 poultry workers in Southern Russia were infected

Hens
© Sputnik
FILE PHOTO. Hens at a poultry farm in the Moscow Region.
A new strain of avian flu, similar to the infectious virus that has triggered past pandemic fears, has been discovered by scientists in Russia after an outbreak of a previously unknown disease in the country's south.

On Saturday, Anna Popova, the head of health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor told journalists that experts at the Vector Institute in Siberia had "isolated genetic material" from a new influenza variant.

The samples they tested came from seven employees of a poultry farm in southern Russia, which registered a bird flu outbreak in December last year.

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Bizarro Earth

31 dead in DR Congo bubonic plague outbreak

plague congo
© AFP/File/John WESSELS
The outbreak is DR Congo's 11th since Ebola was identified in 1976.
Thirty-one people have died in an outbreak of plague that erupted in northeastern DR Congo three months ago, health officials and experts said on Friday.

"We have more than 520 cases... of which more than 31 have been fatal," Patrick Karamura, health minister in Ituri province, where plague is endemic, told AFP.

The cases are the bubonic form of the disease, except for five cases of pneumonic plague and two of septicaemic plague, he said.

Comment: This comes amidst reports that eight people tested positive for Ebola in Guinea, which is the first resurgence in the country since world's worst outbreak in 2016.


Attention

How deadly is COVID19? - Infection vs case fatalities

Vaccin ARNm anti-Covid-19
© Inconnu
I have spent large chunks of my life trying to untangle medial data and research. COVID19 has long since defeated me. I have been unable to make any sense of the information we are bombarded with daily. So, I decided to go back to basics.

At the start of the COVID19 saga, I was interested to know what the infection fatality rate (IFR) was likely to be. I felt I could then have a go at comparing it to other diseases, primarily influenza.

The infection fatality is the number of people infected with the virus who then die. This is very different to the case fatality rate (CFR), which is the number of people infected with the disease who become unwell enough (sometimes, but not always) to be admitted to hospital - the 'cases'. Who then die.

Before COVID19 appeared, there used to be a reasonably clear distinction between the infection fatality rate (IFR), and the case fatality fate (CFR) and it is important that they should not get mixed up. Because the case fatality rate is almost always far higher than the infection fatality rate - as you would expect. People who are ill enough to go into hospital are far more likely to die than people who do not suffer any symptoms. Bear this in mind

Another thing to bear in mind is that, at the start of any epidemic it is simpler to establish the case fatality rate, because most people who are seriously ill end up in hospital and/or will have tests to see if they have the disease in question. Those with no symptoms may never cross the path of a medical professional and are very unlikely to be tested.

What is the ratio between the two? It depends on the virus. With Ebola the infection fatality rate and case fatality rate are closely matched - more than fifty per cent of people who are infected, die. With the common 'coronavirus' cold, the spread is far wider, maybe a hundred to one, or a thousand to one - perhaps more.

Arrow Down

Jacinda Ardern calls to nuke New Zealand after UK variant found - 'It's the only way'

Jacinda Ardern
© Waterford Whispers
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has ordered the army to source nuclear bombs from somewhere and detonate them in key locations in a last-ditch attempt to wipe out covid-19 for good, WWN has learned.

The new measure comes after three people were found to be infected with the highly contagious UK variant, initially forcing the PM to call a 72-hour lockdown, before then issuing an all-out nuclear strike.

"It's the only way to beat the virus," the 40-year-old leader told citizens in an emotional televised address, showing a map where strategically placed nuclear weapons will have to be detonated. "This will be quick and painless for all of us, but more importantly, it will stop covid-19 for good which will be a massive win for us in the long run".

Calendar

Eight people test positive for Ebola in Guinea, first resurgence in the country since world's worst outbreak

Ebola
© REUTERS/Misha Hussain
A French Red Cross team picks up a suspected Ebola case from the centre of Forecariah on January 30, 2015.
Eight people have tested positive for the Ebola virus in southeastern Guinea and three of them have died, Guinean health authorities said, the first resurgence of the disease there since the world's worst outbreak in 2013-2016.

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Camera

Ways biometric security can be spoofed

Remember when you were a kid and you tried to imagine what the world was going to look like in the far off, sci-fi sounding year of 2021? What did you imagine? Weekend holidays to the moon? Flying cars and jetpacks to take you around the elevated cities? Robot butlers? The end of all diseases? Star Trek-style replicators and holodecks?

Well, snap out of it, kid. This is what 2021 really looks like:
Facial Recognition
© Corbett Report
Sheeple lines up for the slaughter.
In case you didn't know, that's the handy-dandy contactless facial recognition gate from NEC. Yes, you don't have to worry about fiddling with your mask to allow your algorithmic overlord to scan your face and allow you entry to a building, terminal or security perimeter anymore! Thanks to the good folks at NEC, you can now maintain your social distancing and be electronically tracked and herded like the pliable tax cattle you are without even taking your mask off!

"But what about those poor souls living in third world nations?" I hear you asking. Never fear! Thanks to the non-profit Simprints Technology (in partnership with Gavi, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAid and other benevolent philanthropic institutions), there are contactless biometric scanners for them, too! Simprints' biometric solution allows governments to more effectively tag and track their human property, issue them an electronic brand, and make sure they get processed through the system all without having to come within six feet of another human being!

But there's just one little thing to consider in this headlong rush to get the entirety of the human species' biometric details entered into the computer matrix: biometric systems are notoriously buggy, hackable and open to spoofing. But why let a little identity theft get in the way of the New Biometric Normal, eh?

Still, for those who insist, here's a break down of just five of the ways that this biometric scanning technology can be hacked, gamed, spoofed or tricked.

Smiley

Next stimulus bill will give every American $2,000 worth of masks

Boxes of Mask
© Babylon Bee
Washington, D.C. — Congress has finally come to an agreement on the stimulus bill: every American will be sent $2,000, but instead of cash, the payment will be made in roughly $2,000 worth of masks.

People across the country breathed a sigh of relief as Congress finally got its act together and compromised to make the mask payments happen.

Microscope 2

Chimp deaths at Sierra Leone sanctuary linked to a bacterium

chimps
© CC0 Public Domain
An international team of researchers has found what they believe to be the pathogen that has been killing chimpanzees at a Sierra Leone sanctuary for approximately 15 years. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the group describes their study of multiple samples of chimp tissue retrieved from some of the dead chimps and what they have found thus far.

Approximately 15 years ago, workers at Sierra Leone's Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary began to see chimps in their sanctuary become ill from a new and mysterious ailment — alarmingly, every chimp that became ill died. In the beginning, the team thought that they had more than one pathogen on their hands because, for some chimps, the main symptoms were gastrointestinal stress while, for others, symptoms were clearly neurological. Over time, the team became convinced it was a single pathogen as they saw increasing numbers of chimps with both types of symptoms.

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Attention

Redefining death and the big lie

The Big Lie
© EricPetersAuto

The biggest lies go down easiest - because most psychologically normal people have trouble believing
anyone could lie on a scale like that. This is why psychopaths get away with lying on an epic scale. It is literally unbelievable.

It is why people working 60 hours a week for $15 an hour believe in TV evangelists who live in multimillion dollar homes and travel in private jets.

And it is why people believe that "400,000" have died Because Corona. They hear the sermons - which like those of the TV evangelist are full of fire and brimstone, death - and promises of salvation. Now send in $100.

Or wear "your" mask.

Accept a life of perpetual diminishment, personal and economic. Subservience eternal - as the price of your salvation.

But maybe hold off on sending in that $100 and consider some simple division.

We're told that - as of the end of 2020 - about 315,00 people died Because Corona. The problem is, almost no one died of anything else.

The CDC said - in late December - that the total number of deaths from all causes in the U.S. over 2020 was about 2.9 million. If you subtract the number of asserted deaths Because Corona, you end up with fewer total deaths than in any years since 2014.

Arrow Down

Oh sh*t. 'Anal swabs for COVID more accurate,' sez Chinese expert

COVID Testing
© Stringer, Reuters/file
People line up for nucleic acid testing at a makeshift testing site in a park following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, on a polluted day in Daxing district of Beijing, China January 26, 2021.
More than a million Beijing residents undergoing coronavirus testing amid a fresh outbreak have been administered anal swabs, which are considered more accurate and raise the chances of detecting COVID-19, said a Chinese disease specialist.

The key districts of Daxing and Dongcheng began a mass testing drive on Friday after a nine-year-old boy tested positive for the more virulent strain of the virus, first discovered in London and the southeast of England last month.

Health authorities in the Chinese capital said they were aiming to screen more than two million people in 48 hours. Among them, around 1.6 million inhabitants in Daxing were to be given antibody tests, as well as throat, nasal and rectal nucleic acid swabs.

Anal swabs have been in use since last year, including in the major port city of Shanghai, but the method is so far reserved for individuals in potential COVID-19 hotspots, according to an infectious disease expert quoted by China's state broadcaster CCTV on Saturday.

"Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, we've tested for the virus using mainly throat swabs. Its characteristics are convenience and speed, so it's suitable for large-scale testing," said Beijing You'an Hospital's Li Tongzeng. "Nasal swabs are more accurate than throat swabs, but nasal swabs can be uncomfortable.

"He added: "In some asymptomatic cases or in individuals with mild symptoms, they tend to recover from the illness very quickly. It's possible that there will be no trace of the virus in their throat after three to five days.

"What we've found is that in some infected patients, the coronavirus survives for a longer period of time in their digestive tract or excrement than in their respiratory tract."