Naked Science Forum

Life Sciences => Physiology & Medicine => COVID-19 => Topic started by: nudephil on 08/07/2020 17:48:59

Title: Why was the UK late to discussing asymptomatic cases?
Post by: nudephil on 08/07/2020 17:48:59
We've had this question in from Robert:

We heard experts talking about a significant number of COVID-19 cases being asymptomatic in New Zealand in March and April, including Dr Chris Smith on Radio NZ on 11 April (very informative). It seems strange that with 40 experts on the SAGE committee, no-one in the UK was aware of this aspect until much later. Can you clarify this please?

What do we think?
Title: Re: Why was the UK late to discussing asymptomatic cases?
Post by: Bored chemist on 08/07/2020 18:12:19
The problem is that the UK elected the man who hid in the fridge.
He is, of course, a liar.
He's lying about what SAGE said.
Title: Re: Why was the UK late to discussing asymptomatic cases?
Post by: alancalverd on 08/07/2020 19:50:07
Who "no-one"? The first asymptomatic carrier in the UK was widely reported in the press in January but President Cummings decided his future was better protected by negligently killing 50,000 civilians and now pretending it is all someone else's fault.
Title: Re: Why was the UK late to discussing asymptomatic cases?
Post by: set fair on 08/07/2020 22:06:44
The BBC was actively denying asymyomatic spread well into march - I know that for a fact, I'm not sure how much later it was before they stopped lying about it. My guess was that they agreed a government embago. Whatever the government told the BBC to keep them quiet, my guess is that the real reason they wanted it kept quiet, was so that they could empty hospital beds of oldies and tip them into care homes.
Title: Re: Why was the UK late to discussing asymptomatic cases?
Post by: Petrochemicals on 08/07/2020 23:11:47
Come on Chris, whats the lowdown ?
Title: Re: Why was the UK late to discussing asymptomatic cases?
Post by: alancalverd on 09/07/2020 20:54:43
Apologies - sort of. The first diagnosed cases in the UK were Chinese nationals visiting York in January. The first Brit was diagnosed on 6 February, but by then he had asymptomatically infected a number of friends on a skiing holiday in Switzerland in late January. All these cases were fully reported at the time by BBC, ITV/Channel 4 and Global News - unless I'm psychic. Pity that politicians and senior government advisers are too far up themselves to listen to the radio or admit to having a TV licence. 
Title: Re: Why was the UK late to discussing asymptomatic cases?
Post by: Bored chemist on 09/07/2020 21:12:16
All these cases were fully reported at the time by BBC, ITV/Channel 4 and Global News - unless I'm psychic.
They were reported, which rather undermines this:
The BBC was actively denying asymyomatic spread well into march - I know that for a fact,
Title: Re: Why was the UK late to discussing asymptomatic cases?
Post by: set fair on 09/07/2020 22:14:38
All these cases were fully reported at the time by BBC, ITV/Channel 4 and Global News - unless I'm psychic.
They were reported, which rather undermines this:
The BBC was actively denying asymyomatic spread well into march - I know that for a fact,


You might well think so, but both are true. Having reported the case of the well travelled man and of a Chinese child before that, the BBC adopted a position of denying asymptomatic spread.
Title: Re: Why was the UK late to discussing asymptomatic cases?
Post by: alancalverd on 09/07/2020 22:58:40
Please supply a reference to a BBC transmission (other than a phone-in or interview with an idiot posing as a politician) that denied asymptomatic infectivity.
Title: Re: Why was the UK late to discussing asymptomatic cases?
Post by: Bored chemist on 09/07/2020 23:11:33
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51800707
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000h0vn
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-52015486



Having reported the case of the well travelled man and of a Chinese child before that, the BBC adopted a position of denying asymptomatic spread.
I'd be interested to see your evidence.
Title: Re: Why was the UK late to discussing asymptomatic cases?
Post by: Colin2B on 10/07/2020 06:42:04
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51800707
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000h0vn
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-52015486



Having reported the case of the well travelled man and of a Chinese child before that, the BBC adopted a position of denying asymptomatic spread.
I'd be interested to see your evidence.

They were reporting asymptotic transmission back in January Back then information was only just emerging from data in China and it was thought that main asymptotic transmission was before symptoms developed, insufficient numbers or tests to show that some carriers remained asymptotic throughout their infection.
Title: Re: Why was the UK late to discussing asymptomatic cases?
Post by: chris on 10/07/2020 10:27:00
The BBC was actively denying asymyomatic spread well into march - I know that for a fact, I'm not sure how much later it was before they stopped lying about it. My guess was that they agreed a government embago. Whatever the government told the BBC to keep them quiet, my guess is that the real reason they wanted it kept quiet, was so that they could empty hospital beds of oldies and tip them into care homes.

This is rubbish. I was on national radio and TV most days (much to many people's chagrin ;)) and we just reported the facts as they were known or were emerging. No one told me what I could and could not say.

While we suspected that some people were asymptomatic or trivially infected with the virus, no one in the world had any idea what the true number was because how would we measure something invisible?

In fact, we published a paper from Addenbrooke's Hospital screening staff and found that 5% of healthcare workers were infected and at work - https://elifesciences.org/articles/58728; prior to this we had very limited data.

Now we have more information and cases to look at, and people have done further studies, we know that a significant proportion of those infected have very few symptoms yet can be infectious. But no one ever denied asymptomatic spread and certainly not in some sort of conspiratorial way.
Title: Re: Why was the UK late to discussing asymptomatic cases?
Post by: alancalverd on 10/07/2020 10:32:57
You are too modest, Chris. I recall one broadcast tour de force in which you not only discussed asymptomatic infectivity but also managed to answer questions about the President of the USA without saying "dangerous idiot". The Foreign Office has vacancies for such polished diplomats.
Title: Re: Why was the UK late to discussing asymptomatic cases?
Post by: set fair on 10/07/2020 23:39:19
Please supply a reference to a BBC transmission (other than a phone-in or interview with an idiot posing as a politician) that denied asymptomatic infectivity.

Any answers 7th March
Title: Re: Why was the UK late to discussing asymptomatic cases?
Post by: Bored chemist on 10/07/2020 23:57:06
Any answers 7th March
Would you like to expand on that?
A time, perhaps?

A couple of days later the news was clear. Asymptomatic transmission is a thing.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51800707
Title: Re: Why was the UK late to discussing asymptomatic cases?
Post by: alancalverd on 11/07/2020 00:35:54
Please supply a reference to a BBC transmission (other than a phone-in or interview with an idiot posing as a politician) that denied asymptomatic infectivity.

Any answers 7th March
Since when has "Any Answers" been a mouthpiece for BBC policy? It's a live phone-in with a moderator trying to keep a balance between ranting conspiracy theorists and apologists for Her Majesty's Incompetent Government. The only policy  directive seems to be "Remember this is Radio 4, dear."
Title: Re: Why was the UK late to discussing asymptomatic cases?
Post by: Colin2B on 11/07/2020 08:35:45
Any answers 7th March
That is a ridiculous response to your claim:
The BBC was actively denying asymyomatic spread well into march - I know that for a fact, I'm not sure how much later it was before they stopped lying about it.
As Alan says, that programme is a phone in where anyone can express an opinion. You have shown no evidence of ‘actively denying’ whereas we have shown they were actively reporting asymptomatic spread since January.
Please stop spreading false news.