Thanks, NICD

Yesterday, this from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, an organisation for whom I have a lot of time:

But while that’s good advice, the headline isn’t right. And I said so:

I thought that it had fallen upon deaf ears. But then, today, this:

Was it me? Was it not? Either way:

Thanks, NICD.

Oh, and (South African) reader: go and get your flu jab.

Fewer updates

Fewer because the NICD is stopping its daily Covid reporting, and moving to a weekly report instead:

And with that, Ridhwan Suliman’s daily reporting of the NICD’s daily reporting also comes to an end. Well done on a sterling effort throughout the last two (plus) years.

Why these things? Well, because Covid isn’t a big thing in SA at the moment. It has been a big thing in 5 very separate waves:

But it’s not anymore/at the moment.

There are some thick people out there asking where the next wave is now that the mask mandate has been removed in SA, but the fact is that the mandate was removed because there was virtually no Covid around. And while I don’t think there’s any question that we are in a low Covid moment right now, it’s worth noting that there’s likely still a great deal of under-reporting, given that the public don’t have access to Covid tests, and have to pay a few hundred Rands to get one.

No-one has any money and there’s very limited value in doing a test when you aren’t going to act on the results. If you are sick, you’re going to stay in bed anyway. If you aren’t sick, why are you getting tested (aside from the tiny, tiny number who require it for travel)? To spend hundreds on a test, when the result doesn’t matter… well, it’s no wonder that the case numbers are so low.

What next? Who knows… If this virus is going to become seasonal like we’re all being told, then I’d like to know when, exactly. At the moment, it’s still circulating, mutating, and working according to viral timeframes, rather than seasonal ones. And “we” are seemingly happy for that to happen, while it knocks off a 9/11 number each and every week in the USA with virtually no news coverage. Have “we” decided that that’s an ok situation? Are “we” content with that?

I’m not, because there is clearly more to this virus than just that week/fortnight long acute nastiness. We’re learning about more and more complications and long-term effects of Covid every day, and we don’t have anything in place to handle them or mitigate for them.

That’s not good.
And very possibly not sustainable, either.

A Lassa minute entry

We did Corona and Monkeypox and Salmonella and Polio the other day, but I bet that no-one had “imported case of Lassa Fever” on their microbiological bingo card, did they?

And yet…

Ding Dong!

Synopsis: Man falls ill in Nigeria, gets treatment, remains ill so flies to South Africa to get better treatment(!), ends up in hospital in KZN, sadly throws a seven.

Now 50 contacts are being traced and monitored, just in case. Nothing yet, so right now, it looks like we may have dodged a very nasty bullet.

Since Covid, it seems that the media and the public have been much more aware of viruses, microbiology and outbreaks and such – for better and for worse (everyone on social media is an expert) – Monkeypox is a good example. But this one has been in the NICD media releases for a while, and it doesn’t look like it was given much attention by anyone. That’s odd in the current climate, but it’s also quite welcome.