Monday, 25 July 2022

Welcome to the global pandemic that does what big pandemics do, just go on and on and on....


CSSE: Global COVID-19 Infections in the 28 days ending 2:20am
on 24 July 2021


When thinking of global pandemics there are two historical events which spring to mind, spaced a little over five centuries apart – the Bubonic Plague which included an infection wave known as “The Black Death” and the Influenza Global Pandemic known at the time as “The Spanish Flu”.

When the Bubonic Plague first manifested itself across the Northern Hemisphere it lasted approximately three years in the mid-14th Century and became an unwelcome infectious presence during another four episodes of closely spaced, similar time periods before that century ended. By which time it was thought to have caused the deaths of at least 75 million men, women and children, around one third of the Northern Hemisphere population.

Bubonic Plague never went away as a highly infectious disease capable of reaching epidemic proportions and killing tens of thousands of people during outbreaks, however a better understanding of plagues and modern medicine has kept it relatively contained in recent centuries.

The Influenza Global Pandemic of 1918-1920 caused by the 1918 Influenza H1N1 virus was of shorter duration than the plague but appears to have come in three waves across the one event. It is estimated that about 500 million of the world’s population became infected with this virus resulting in est. 50 million deaths. There are similar Influenza A(H1N1) viruses in existence today.

Right now in 2022 the world is halfway through the third year of the COVID-19 Global Pandemic and, due to four significant and increasingly infectious variants of SARS-CoV-2 developing and spreading around the world, there appears no end in sight to its pandemic status in the near future.

According to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore USA, as of 4:20pm on Sunday 24 July 2022 there were 25,973,159 new COVID-19 cases recorded world-wide in the last 28 days with 55,140 deaths caused by the virus in the same period. That brings the total global cumulative infection count to est. 569,644,897 men, women and children including 6,383,484 deaths.

Again, according to CSSE, Australia recorded 1,103,009 new COVID-19 cases in the 28 days up to 4:20pm on Sunday 24 July 2022 with 1,490 deaths caused by this viral disease in the same period. That brings Australia’s cumulative infection number since 25 January 2020 to est. 9,103,321 men, women and children including 11,172 deaths.

When it comes to New South Wales, in the 28 days up to 4pm Friday 22 July 2022 NSW Health had recorded 157,460 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases (a deliberate under reporting as it only includes diagnoses by PCR omitting reported RAT results) including est. 497 deaths caused by this viral disease. Bringing the total cumulative infection number since 25 January 2022 to 3,091,157 men, women and children across the state, including 3,996 deaths.

Currently health authorities around Australia are warning that another wave of COVID-19 infections underway which is driven by the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants and, mainstream media is reporting that almost half a million people who had been infected with COVID-19 recently will possibly develop a post COVID-19 condition aka “Long Covid” in the coming months.

So when will this particular global pandemic end? When WHO identified the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant B.1.1.529 in November 2021 the world seemed to feel quite confident that  we might see an end to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2023.

However, not only did Omicron spread swiftly it began to produce subvariants, including BA.1, BA.2, BA.3, BA.4, BA.5 and descendent lineages. The Omicron variant group also includes BA.1/BA.2 circulating recombinant forms such as XE. WHO emphasizes that these descendant lineages should be monitored as distinct lineages by public health authorities and comparative assessments of their virus characteristics should be undertaken

Given Australian federal and state governments appear to have lost the will to keep in place all public health measures which actively resist the spread of Omicron & its subvariants which now dominate the infection pool, it is difficult to be optimistic about any timeline for an end to the pandemic within Australian borders.

In the 28 days up to 4pm on 23 July 2022 a total of 2,721 people living across the 7 local government areas within the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD) have been diagnosed with COVID-19. This is a significant under reporting as it only includes diagnoses by PCR omitting reported RAT results.

This aforementioned figure includes positive diagnoses by PCR testing in:

Tweed Shire – 1,104 cases

Ballina Shire – 613 cases

Lismore City – 347 cases

Clarence Valley – 293 cases

Byron Shire – 177 cases

Richmond Valley – 120 cases

Kyogle Shire – 35 cases

Tenterfield – incidence where there is a shared postcode which includes some Tenterfield residents within NNSWLHD not reported in relevant NSW Health statistical table for this period.

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