Coronavirus: Eine beunruhigende Mail aus China…

Erschienen am 29. Februar 2020

Unten finden Sie eine Mail von einem Freund aus China, die ich heute bekommen habe, Dr. Chengzhan Zhuang aus Shanghai.

Es ist natürlich als Laie schwer, die Risiken zu beurteilen. In der Vergangenheit habe ich die Panik bei Themen wie BSE etc. niemals Ernst genommen – und damit stets richtig gelegen. Wie es in diesem Fall ist, ist schwer zu sagen. Für mich persönlich mache ich mir keine Sorgen, aber nachdem ich von der vergleichsweise sehr hohen Todesquote bei Menschen über 85 Jahren gelesen habe, habe ich meine Eltern angerufen, die kommende Woche beide 87 bzw. 91 Jahre alt werden. Beide sind sehr gesund, und das soll auch so bleiben.

Ich selbst habe allerdings vorsichtshalber 30 kg Müsli und viele Kilo Magermilchpulver gekauft. Denn egal, wie die Sache weitergeht: Wie an der Börse muss man ja auch mit der zweiten, dritten und vierten Ableitung rechnen: Was nützt es, wenn Sie die Sache als harmlos einschätzen und ihre panischen Mitmenschen kaufen die Regale leer?

Sehr interessant fand ich übrigens dieses Dokument (ab Seite 55).

Und diese Analyse zeigt, dass Deutschland viel schlechter vorbereitet ist als z.B. die USA.

Die FAZ bringt dennoch einen großen Artikel ausgerechnet darüber, wie schlimm die ganze Sache insbesondere für die USA würde.

So, nun die Mail von meinem Freund Dr. Chengzhan Zhuang aus Shanghai:

Dear Rainer,

I read, the Coronavirus Sars-Cov-2 had already arrived in Germany. The damages of this virus, we definitely could not underestimate.

Here I write down some of the experiences that I have gained from Chinese Media and the voices of Chinese experts, since I am reading the updates every day. Some information might not already be reported in English until now. Overall, the virus is very deceitful and intractable:

1. The incubation period for this virus can be very long. There is a case in Henan Province. After a man from Wuhan returned to Henan Province, it took up to 34 days, that he was confirmed positive for the new coronavirus. He has done three viral nucleic acid tests. The first two times were negative.
According to an official report on February 23, a case appeared in Guangzhou that deserves more attention. On January 22, one day before Wuhan closed the city, a family of six returned from Wuhan to Guangzhou. By February 21, almost a month later, one man of this family and his son-in-law were diagnosed with new coronavirus. The next day, his wife and grandson were diagnosed as well.

Prof. Zhong Nanshan, Anti-SARS hero in 2003 and member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and his team published a paper that examined 1,099 patients with new coronary pneumonia. The mean incubation period was 4 days, the majority were 2-7 days and the longest could be up to 24 days.

2. Patients with new Coronavirus pneumonia often do not have a dangerous start in the early stages, but suddenly accelerate in the later stages, trigger an “inflammatory storm” in the body and enter into a state of failure of several organs, Zhong Ming said to Media. He is deputy director of the intensive care unit at Fudan University’s Zhongshan Hospital, and the first expert went from Shanghai to assist Hubei Province.

From February 16 to 24, the Huazhong University of Science and Technology’s pathology team, led by Liu Liang and Professor Wang Guoping from the Pathology Department of the affiliated Tongji Hospital, performed an autopsy of 9 cases. The research team pointed out that The lungs of the deceased were obvious, and the macroscopic view of the lungs was patchy. Gray-white lesions and dark red bleeding were seen. A large number of sticky secretions overflowed from the alveolar section. It suggested that the new coronavirus mainly causes inflammatory reactions characterized by deep airway and alveolar damage. In addition, some front-line doctors have reported that the virus can also seriously hurt patients‘ hearts. But this is all under further study.

3. The cost of treating critically ill patients with new coronavirus virus is very high
Lu Hongzhou, director of the Shanghai Public Health Center, said that the critically ill patients with new Coronavirus virus had to use the ventilator and ECMO. According to his experience, ECMO has a higher success rate among adolescents and younger children with better organ function. The senior patients, who more complications have, the lower the success rate for them would be. In the past, there was no ECMO at SARS time.
ECMO (Extra-corporeal membrane Oxygenation) plays a role to provide the human body with an „artificial heart and an artificial lung“ in vitro in order to gain valuable time for the treatment of the other diseases of critically ill patients.

At the same time, the cost of using ECMO in China was extremely high. In general, the costs for starting this machine in China are 5,000 euros and the daily usage fee is around 1,200 euros, because the ECMO device itself is very expensive. One device often costs more than 150,000 euros and the purchase of other disposable items is even larger. According to statistics, the average price of 74 ECMO devices, which were bought by some Chinese hospitals from 2010 to 2020, at least 100,000 euros and at most 450,000 euros. However, the Chinese government has decided to waive all medical costs for all patients with the new coronavirus. Some other developing countries may not be able to fully cover such huge costs for each patient.

However, due to the total amount limit, the total number of ECMOs in China from January to early February could not meet all the needs of seriously ill patients. The situation has now eased a bit.

Still some other experts believe, ECMO could bring a trauma to the human body, and the use of ECMO is very prone to medical complications, because of the operating process of ECMO. The principle of ECMO device is to drain blood from the human circulation to the outside of the body, and the instrument undertakes the gas exchange function, so that the blood is fully oxygenated outside the body and then returned to the body.

4. On February 25th in Guangzhou, the nucleic acid test of 13 cured patients showed positive again. The experts in Guangzhou are still studying the corresponding countermeasures.

5. Till now, there is no evidence that there is a correlation between this virus and temperature, and there is no evidence that it will, like SARS, disappear after temperature rises.

6. The spread of the virus cannot be underestimated, especially Super-spreader. The case in South Korea is actually the Super-spreader. Perhaps time could tell, the measures taken by Wuhan to close the city have given some other countries some preparation time. I hope that all European governments are already fully prepared.

To sum up, this new coronavirus is extremely deceitful and intractable, so the most important thing is to protect yourself.
From the perspective of self-protection, combined with a large number of cases in China, it is just very personal suggestion below,

  1. Don’t go to crowded places, parties, concerts, carnivals, etc. in the future one month. The best option is to stay at home as many as possible.
  2. Keep warm and don’t catch a cold during this time. Because once you have a cold, you need to see the doctor for treatment, and the probability of contracting new coronavirus in the hospital might be largely increased.
  3. If you have to go to public places, perhaps it might be a good idea to wear masks and disposable gloves.
  4. If I live in Europe, I would plan to have enough food at home for 14-28 days. The next 14-28 days will be a very big test for Europe.
  5. Be wary of paper currencies, it’s better to use a credit card recently, and disinfect it after each use.
  6. Do not be panic about the virus, but also do not underestimate it. With regard to infection rates, don’t get too entangled. Because if you are infected with this virus, it is 100% for you personally. And you are a person, you belong to a family, you don’t want to be a number among the infected.

Again, those are only my personal suggestions from my readings about the experience in China. The medical experts in Europe might know this issue better than me.

I wish you all the best and keep healthy!


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Dr. Rainer Zitelmann

Über den Autor

Rainer Zitelmann ist einer der führenden Immobilienexperten und -netzwerker in Deutschland.