•   
  •   

US News The coronavirus cruise ship quarantine is a scary public health experiment

03:55  14 february  2020
03:55  14 february  2020 Source:   vox.com

Coronavirus 'serious and imminent threat' to British public

  Coronavirus 'serious and imminent threat' to British public The spread of coronavirus is a "serious and imminent threat" to the British public, the health secretary has said. The announcement by Matt Hancock gives the government additional powers to fight the spread of the virus, which originated in Wuhan, China and has been confirmed in four people in the UK.A Department of Health statement said: "The Secretary of State has made regulations to ensure that the public are protected as far as possible from the transmission of the virus.

The cruise ship quarantine is not just a human rights or justice issue, though; it’s a public health problem, too. In this case, people who aren’t yet sick and who may not have been exposed to the new coronavirus are being held together in close proximity with people who may already have the disease.

The novel coronavirus outbreak presents an immense challenge for global health . But it’s also part of a larger pattern: Viruses that circulate in animals keep jumping over to infect humans. The coronavirus cruise ship quarantine is a scary public health experiment .

a large ship in a body of water: The Diamond Princess cruise ship sails out of Japan’s Yokohama Port to undergo procedures at sea before returning to Daikoku Pier, where it will continue to be resupplied and screened for new coronavirus cases. © Carl Court/Getty Images The Diamond Princess cruise ship sails out of Japan’s Yokohama Port to undergo procedures at sea before returning to Daikoku Pier, where it will continue to be resupplied and screened for new coronavirus cases.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

It’s a hypochondriac’s worst nightmare and a startling public health crisis: The largest coronavirus outbreak outside of mainland China is currently floating in Japanese waters, on a cruise ship owned by Princess Cruises.

Department of Health issues statement after two Irish citizens test positive for coronavirus

  Department of Health issues statement after two Irish citizens test positive for coronavirus Experts insisted that Ireland is prepared for any outbreak of the disease .Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said: “We are continuing to monitor the situation globally.“While the overwhelming majority of cases to date have been reported in China, we continue to advance preparedness plans here in Ireland."We remain in a Containment Phase, and our actions are in line with guidance from European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the World Health Organisation.

The cruise ship quarantine " is not what we would call an ideal circumstance," as the virus probably continues to be transmitted to those aboard, said Dr Most quarantines for this new coronavirus , including the cruise ship quarantine , have been for 14 days. That 's because research has

The coronavirus cruise ship quarantine is a scary public health experiment . Right now, US public health officials and health care providers are focused primarily on identifying serious cases and treating those who become ill, which is exceptionally important.

The outbreak was first detected when an 80-year-old passenger tested positive for the virus on February 1, a week after disembarking in Hong Kong. By February 4, the remaining 3,700 passengers and crew of the Diamond Princess — currently docked at the port city of Yokohama, Japan — were asked to stay on the ship under quarantine orders.

Since then, the number of passengers and crew aboard the Diamond Princess with the disease — known as COVID-19 — has surged to 175. While those who’ve tested positive are allowed to leave the ship for treatment, the rest have to remain there until at least February 19. 

They’re not the only ones stuck aboard a cruise ship in Asia. Thailand just became the most recent of three other countries to bar another cruise liner — Holland America’s cruise ship MS Westerdam — from disembarking, even though the ship has no confirmed coronavirus cases. And the cruise ship drama is unfolding in the context of the worsening outbreak: As of February 11, there were more than 45,000 cases of the disease and 1,100 deaths, mostly in mainland China.

‘Excellent news!’– Irishman in coronavirus quarantine for two weeks gets the all-clear

  ‘Excellent news!’– Irishman in coronavirus quarantine for two weeks gets the all-clear An Irish teacher who was airlifted from Wuhan and quarantined in Britain for two weeks has revealed he is able to return home to Kildare today. Ben Kavanagh – who documented his time in quarantine in Liverpool on Instagram – tested negative for coronavirus yesterday and was given the all-clear. Mr Kavanagh, who has been […]Ben Kavanagh – who documented his time in quarantine in Liverpool on Instagram – tested negative for coronavirus yesterday and was given the all-clear.

Health officials announced that more than 1,350 people were confirmed dead, all but two of whom were in mainland China. But they also said the number (MORE: Daily Life for Passengers on Quarantined Cruise Ship ). The U.S. reported its 13th case of the coronavirus late Monday, not including those

The cruise ship terminal has been closed to the public .Credit Carl Court/Getty Images. The ship already has the largest number of coronavirus cases outside the epicenter in China, where While the virus is a serious public health concern, the risk to most people outside China remains very low

As a wave of coronavirus panic sweeps the cruise industry, more questions are being raised about whether quarantining people onboard is a safe, or even ethical, strategy to contain the virus. Chief among them: Is it doing more harm than good? Let’s walk through what we know.

1) What does cruise ship quarantine mean?

Diamond Princess Cruise Ship Remains Quarantined As Coronavirus Cases Grow © Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images Diamond Princess Cruise Ship Remains Quarantined As Coronavirus Cases Grow

Since the 80-year-old passenger tested positive for the virus, the Diamond Princess cruise ship has transformed into a mass public health experiment. Passengers who have tested positive for the virus have disembarked and been admitted to hospitals in the Yokohama area, according to the World Health Organization. The others have been held in quarantine onboard at the order of the Japanese Ministry of Health.

For a week now, the passengers on the ship have been asked to stay in their rooms, wear masks, and only walk on the deck for a couple of minutes each day, keeping at least six feet of distance from other passengers. They’re having meals delivered to their room, and have plenty of TV, movie, and newspaper options to keep them busy.

China coronavirus death toll rises to 722 with 34,546 cases

  China coronavirus death toll rises to 722 with 34,546 cases A British passenger on a cruise ship has been confirmed to have coronavirus.The death toll in the coronavirus outbreak in mainland China has risen to 722, while new cases jumped to 34,546.

The World Health Organization says the virus is “ public enemy number one” and poses a greater threat than terrorism. WHO chief Tedros Adhanom A global index of leading stocks hit a record high on Tuesday, helped by China’s senior medical adviser suggesting the coronavirus may be over by April.

Passengers on Diamond Princess face at least another nine days in quarantine .

Officially, the objective of this quarantine is to prevent further spread of the virus onshore, particularly ahead of the Summer Olympics, which begin in Tokyo in July.

“In this unprecedented situation, the Japanese Ministry of Health authorities are working with us collaboratively on additional enhancements and approving new procedures as we adapt our process to the unique challenges of this situation,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises, in a statement.

On the other hand, “The Japanese government is probably valuing stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus to their country more than the higher risk of harm to passengers from this mass cruise ship quarantine,” said Steven Hoffman, director of the Global Strategy Lab and a professor of global health at York University.

The quarantine is supposed to end on February 19, according to Princess Cruises, “unless there are any other unforeseen developments.” So it’s not yet clear whether it will end then. And that’s a source of worry for reasons we’ll get to next.

Watch: Captain announces an additional 44 new coronavirus cases on board Diamond Princess (Reuters)

Abandoned 'ghost ship' runs aground on Cork coast

  Abandoned 'ghost ship' runs aground on Cork coast Abandoned 'ghost ship' runs aground on Cork coastThe 80 metre (240ft) vessel was driven ashore east of Ballycotton in east Cork by raging seas and left wedged on rocks by the high tide.

It’s no wonder that cruise ships have become a B-plot in the coronavirus outbreak: Nothing stands to help germs spread quite like hundreds and hundreds of people stuck together on a boat What would you do if you were a cruise doctor now, and it seemed like someone might have the new coronavirus ?

Coronavirus is an airborne virus, spread in a similar way to colds and the flu. Royal Caribbean BANS all Chinese citizens from cruise ships over coronavirus . RAPID SPREAD. The Dept of Health later tweeted to say that the risk to the public had not changed and remains at "moderate".

2) Could the quarantine lead to more coronavirus infections?

Doctors and health researchers are increasingly skeptical of this quarantine for exactly that reason. “They’ve basically trapped a bunch of people in a large container with [the] virus,” said University of Toronto epidemiology professor David Fisman, over email. “So [I’m] assuming ‘quarantine’ is generating active transmission.”

For the same reason, Michael Mina, another epidemiologist at Harvard University, called the quarantine unethical on Twitter:

Their concern is driven by the details emerging from the ship, which paint an alarming portrait. According to a must-read New York Times report, as of February 10, Japanese officials had only tested 439 of the 3,700 passengers onboard for the coronavirus, citing shortages of testing supplies. This means that at least a fraction of the remaining thousands onboard may have the virus and not know it.

Gardaí in Cork investigating 'unexplained death' of woman in her 50s

  Gardaí in Cork investigating 'unexplained death' of woman in her 50s The woman’s death occurred at a house in the Brookdale area of Riverstick yesterday at around 3pm.Gardaí said the “unexplained death” occurred at a house in the Brookdale area of Riverstick on Saturday at around 3pm.

Another cruise ship where dozens of cases have been confirmed remains in quarantine off Japan. The outbreak has killed 910 people, all but two in mainland China. In the Chinese province of Hubei alone, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, more than 800 people have died, according to

The Diamond Princess cruise ship has been in quarantine off the coast of Yokohama, Japan, since What is a Coronavirus ? It is a novel virus named for the crown-like spikes that protrude from its surface. Given that passengers had expected to disembark last Tuesday, many with chronic health

Among those who’ve tested positive recently are 10 crew members. “And according to employees, the infected crew members identified on Sunday had been eating in the mess hall alongside their co-workers,” the Times reports.

On Wednesday, a Japanese health official who was checking in on passengers on the ship also tested positive for the virus.

Given the risk of further spread among the crew, and to the passengers they’re trying to serve, the quarantine on the Diamond Princess increasingly seems to pose an “unacceptable risk,” as Mina said.

Gallery: Coronavirus outbreak (Photos)

3) How are the people on the ship doing?

You can hear from them directly: Passengers and crew are sharing their experiences of the quarantine through tweets and videos. And they’re reporting more fear and anxiety every day as more people are diagnosed:

4) How can the cruise company just lock these people up?

It’s not the cruise company quarantining people; it’s the Japanese government.

People on the ship “are in Japanese waters, and this is being managed by public health officials in Japan,” said Isaac Bogoch, a professor at the University of Toronto. So the passengers onboard the ship, as visitors of Japan, are subject to Japan’s quarantine protocols, he added. According to the cruise company, the passengers hail from all over the world: America, Australia, Canada, and Japan, among other countries.

Watch: WHO update on COVID-19 (PA)

5) Is this quarantine ethical?

Quarantines can be effective tools for containing the spread of disease — but only when you’re dealing with people who are already sick. “All the evidence we’ve got to go on is based on quarantining people who are infected,” said Mark Eccleston-Turner, a global health law researcher at Keele University in England. When quarantines are done arbitrarily, with no scientific basis, he added, they’re “not in line with human rights obligations.”

The cruise ship quarantine is not just a human rights or justice issue, though; it’s a public health problem, too. In this case, people who aren’t yet sick and who may not have been exposed to the new coronavirus are being held together in close proximity with people who may already have the disease. Layer on top of that the fact that we don’t yet know exactly how this virus spreads; all we know is that respiratory viruses like it — MERS and SARS — spread mainly through exposure to droplets, from coughing or sneezing.

But like SARS, there’s already some suggestion that the new coronavirus may be able to spread long distances through pipes in buildings, and potentially via feces, too.

It’s also possible the virus could spread through the cruise ship’s ventilation systems, though in a letter to passengers and crew, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it has no evidence of that yet.

A CCTV reporter stands near the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in Yokohama, near Tokyo. Life on board the luxury cruise ship, which has dozens of cases of a new virus, can include fear, excitement and soul-crushing boredom, according to interviews by The Associated Press with passengers and a stream of tweets and YouTube videos. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) © AP A CCTV reporter stands near the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in Yokohama, near Tokyo. Life on board the luxury cruise ship, which has dozens of cases of a new virus, can include fear, excitement and soul-crushing boredom, according to interviews by The Associated Press with passengers and a stream of tweets and YouTube videos. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

6) What does this cruise ship situation reveal about the larger outbreak?

Though the cruise ship situation is unfortunate, it could be helpful for understanding the new coronavirus. “It may shed light on the incubation period [for this disease], transmission dynamics, the clinical spectrum of illness,” said Bogoch.

Marion Koopmans, who studies emerging infectious diseases and heads the department of virology at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, thinks we can learn a lot about how the disease spreads when we know exactly how the virus began spreading on the ship. “Cruise ships have these shows, several restaurants with joint dinners — so was there a close contact situation that involved a sick person with many people around him or her?” she wondered.

There’s also the question of how the quarantine worked: whether the passengers and crew would have acquired the new coronavirus with or without being forced to stay on the ship. “Are these truly new infections acquired after quarantine, or would these people have already acquired [the virus] and it’s just the regular incubation period?” Bogoch asked. Once we get answers to these questions, they might shed light on the larger outbreak.

A passenger waves a jacket towards a woman (not pictured) on land as they communicate via phone at the balcony of a cabin on the cruise ship Diamond Princess, as the vessel's passengers continue to be tested for coronavirus, at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan February 13, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon © Reuters A passenger waves a jacket towards a woman (not pictured) on land as they communicate via phone at the balcony of a cabin on the cruise ship Diamond Princess, as the vessel's passengers continue to be tested for coronavirus, at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan February 13, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

7) Given the potential for outbreaks like this, should cruises be banned?

There is indeed a surprisingly robust science of disease spread on cruise ships — in particular, from norovirus, the highly contagious bug spread by ingesting the stool or vomit of an infected person, often through food or touching a contaminated surface.

Koopmans said she wasn’t sure if that’s because of “surveillance bias” — we’re more likely to hear about what happens on a massive cruise ship than in a small hotel or restaurant — or because there’s something inherently risky about cruise ships.

She has studied norovirus outbreaks on cruises extensively and came to a striking finding in one paper: The researchers looked at norovirus outbreaks over time and found that whenever a new, fast-spreading variant was emerging, it was often accompanied by a big wave of outbreaks on cruise ships. In other words, what happened aboard was a signal that there was a larger outbreak on the ground. “For a virus that likes to spread in groups of people, cruise ships are notorious,” Koopmans added.

Urgent boil water notice issued for Whitegate area of Cork after 'inadequate disinfection' at plant .
Water from the Whitegate Regional Public Water Supply system has been deemed 'unsafe'Water from the Whitegate Regional Public Water Supply system has been deemed "unsafe" and a boil water notice was issued for the area, which is in the eastern part of the county, for an indefinite period.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 4
This is interesting!