Monday, June 22, 2020

Earlier than we thought

Italy's National Institute of Health recently announced that analysis of sewage water sampled on 18 December 2019 showed traces of the COVID-19 virus.  That was two months before the first identified cases of the virus in Italy and about the same time virus cases were first identified in Wuhan in China.

Crowds on the Terrigal beach this wintry afternoon
These findings are consistent with analysis from Spain showing genetic virus traces in their sewage from mid-January, 40 days before their first identified case, and findings in Washington state in the US that two patients who had COVID-19 symptoms in December 2019, but were not identified as virus cases, were later found to have COVID-19 antibodies in their systems.

None of these instances is proof that the current pandemic cases in those countries was sourced from those early cases, but it is fairly conclusive evidence that the virus was around months before the authorities knew of its existence.

It would be interesting to see historic analysis of sewage for Wuhan to determine how long it was before the Chinese first recognised that there was a new virus circulating.  I suspect it was months.  There may have been a subsequent Chinese cover-up, but given the virus was present in other countries months before it was identified as such, I think it is safe to assume that it also took the Chinese some time to realise what they were dealing with, by which time the virus had taken hold.

I did a 30-minute session on the bike trainer this morning without much hip flexor pain.  Later, I limped around the block feeling very sore.  Walking clearly causes more pain than cycling.  During that limp, I filled a prescription for anti-inflammatories that was given to me by my GP prior to our aborted Continental Divide Trail hike.  I'm not going to start taking them yet, because the discomfort is tolerable, but will take them when we start the cycling trip if I really need them.

I used many kinds anti-inflammatories during my running prime with mixed results.  I have come to the view that inflammation is the body's way of repairing injuries and that anti-inflammatories may slow that healing process.  I also know, from bitter experience, the pain-masking attributes of anti-inflammatories can entice you to cause more damage to the injured tissue.  Better to feel the pain and know how you are going, unless it is intolerable and there are things that must be done.

No comments:

Post a Comment