#COVIDMS Coronavirus COVID-19 – a new era?


Johns Hopkins (see below) have helpfully provided a world map of Coronavirus COVID-19 cases real-time (https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6) – join the dots…

Despite the UN refusing to call it a PANDEMIC (defined as an epidemic occurring worldwide), scientists and health professionals agree it is just this. This concept of pandemic pandemonium caused by viruses is not new; in fact the record for the most number of fatalities attributed to a virus goes to the Spanish flu back in 1918-20 that took out an estimated 50-100 million people world wide (I kid you not!!).

Figure: Arcgis.com COVID-19 real-time feed

But, there are several learning points to take away from this event; 1) Government officials are often slow to respond (China first and now Italy), 2) current Health care systems do not have the capacity to cope with pandemics; 3) Transport officials have no process in place to obviate the spread of infections.

It pays to do due diligence in this, even if the same plans are at the cost of the local economy – protectionism should not be at the cost of the mass.

The projected world population by 2030 is 8.5 billion, this is a staggering statistic and one in which will encourage similar pandemics to occur closer and closer together (you’re looking at 6 meters for infections that spread by droplet spread). The human genome already has a staggering amount of genomic sequences from viruses and bacteria, which are recruited for immune defense mechanisms. For example, transposable elements and endogenous retrovirus sequences have been shown to modulate IFN response genes constituting an antiviral defense mechanism. It is probable that this process will lead to additional immune system functions (the next evolutionary milestone in immune system development).

About the author

Neuro Doc Gnanapavan


  • I love this blog. Truly. But it’s Johns Hopkins. No apostrophe. (My neurologist is there.)

  • Problem with this one is we’ve had so many before, where it’s been whipped up into hysteria that when this one started we were only half listening and thinking “yeh right”.

  • I am a big fan of this blog and the bloggers. I appreciate the work you guys and gals do. Thank you.

    I am NOT a fan of the format and how to find anything, first you have to scroll through pages and pages of old posts and then again finding an update from a specific neuro or finding out NEW relative information is painful!

    Given the coronavirus is the hot topic and main concern for all us on DMTs, and those of a certain age or with other risk factors.

    Is it possible to make a blog section that deals with the current facts of the situation and recommendation per DMT and the relative risk associated with them.

    To allow us to mange us risks, we need to know what those risks are. I.e. if you take drug X you have a Y risk associated with then virus.

    Given the constant changes to news, having the blog I describe as the default rather than the Q&A section it might make things easier to find.

    • We will post on the neurology guidelines for COVID-19 from the British Association of Neurologists once it has been finalised. It is difficult to predict every viral risk, but we’ll get one of our bods on to this.

      I’ve noticed that the search capacity on this site isn’t great. We’ll probably need to search for another platform to improve this.

      • told today I can’t start Ocrevus within the next month because of Corona Virus.
        Until they see how many are seriously affected by it and need hospital beds as well as it would leave me a bit immuno-supressed I suppose?

      • Yes the search function is sh1. iseems that is a problem of the app generation. Windows 10 is sh1 for searching.

        The old wee

  • The London school of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, have a COVID-19 online free course due to start via the Futurelearn website. Might be interesting …

  • Dear NDG,

    Something happened recently that I wanted to post to you. As you may recall I’m based on the other side of the Atlantic now. Bought new trousers recently, tried them on after alterations. They were far too short. I said ‘hmm, people will think that my cat is dead!’ Completely confused looks all around.

    • I don’t think a closed environment matters, if you’re near someone who is infected you’ll also be at risk. Precautions like staying away from hotspots, non contact and filtered masks all help in reducing the risk of infection.



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