Canada Bends the Curve April 15 Update

Kung Flu in Canada is reported at Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

The image presents coronavirus data as of the latest week 14 statistics complete April 14, 2020. From the underlying data we can see that this covid 19 outbreak started toward the end of the annual flu season. Here are the daily reported tests, cases, and deaths smoothed with 7 day averaging.
The graph shows that the number of cases has flattened, averaging 1287 the last 3 days after peaking at 1380 on April 8.  ( All daily figures are averages of the 7 day period ending with the stated date.) Tests also peaked at 17,800 on April 4, and are averaging 14,500 presently.

The cumulative graph shows how the proportions held during this period.
Out of a total 454,983 tests, 27,046 (6%) cases were detected, and 903 died (3% of cases).

Background from Previous Post

With coronavirus sucking all the air out of room globally, I got interested in looking at how the Canadian national flu seasons compare with the new Wuhan virus. The analysis is important since there are many nations at higher latitudes that are in equilibrium relative to infectious diseases, but vulnerable to outbreaks of new viruses. Where I live in Canada, we have winter outbreaks every year, but are protected by a combination of sanitary practices, health care system and annual vaccines, contributing to herd immunity.

For example, 2018-19 was slightly higher than a typical year, with this pattern:
The various flu types are noted, all together making a total of 48,818 influenza detections during the 2018-19 season. A total of 946 hospitalizations were reported by CIRN-SOS sentinels that season (age = or >16).  Source:  Annual Influenza Reports

A total of 137 (14%) ICU admissions and 65 (7%) deaths were reported.  The seasonality is obvious, as is the social resilience, when we have the antibodies in place.

For further background, look at the latest Respiratory Virus Report for week 13 ending March 28, 2020. [In this Respiratory Virus Report, the number of detections of coronavirus reflects only seasonal human coronaviruses, not the novel pandemic coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) that causes COVID-19. Kung Flu statistics are above at the beginning.]

For the period shown in the graph, 320560 flu tests were done, resulting in 32751 type A positives and 22683 type B positives. That is a ratio of 17% of tests confirming conventional flu infection cases. Public Health Canada went on to say in reporting March 22 to 28, 2020 (week 13):
The percentage of tests positive for influenza fell below 5% this week. This suggests that Canada is nearing the end of the 2019-2020 influenza season at the national level. [Keep that 5% in mind]

Summary:  It’s true that total cases and deaths are still rising, and everyone should practice sanitary behaviors and social distancing.  But it appears that we are weathering this storm and have the resources to beat it.  Let us hope for reasonable governance, Spring weather and a return to economic normalcy.

Postscript:  Good News from Calgary and Hamilton

The Calgary Herald reports U of C researchers to begin hydroxychloroquine trial on COVID-19 patients.  Excerpts in italics with my bold.

A provincewide clinical trial led by the University of Calgary will test the effectiveness of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine on COVID-19 patients, with the goal of reducing pressure on hospitals and preventing further infections.

“There is minimal evidence for use of hydroxychloroquine to use it, but there is enough (evidence) to study it,” said Metz, the acting facility medical director at Foothills Medical Centre and a professor in the department of clinical neurosciences at the Cumming School of Medicine.

“It just has to be done. If this drug does, indeed, reduce the severity and help people get better faster, it can help us in flattening the curve.”

The “HOPE” trial, to begin April 15, will target 1,600 Alberta outpatients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are at risk of developing severe symptoms. The study will determine if hydroxychloroquine can prevent hospitalization for those at highest risk of developing a severe illness.

Participants will give their permission to Alberta Health Services after testing positive for COVID-19 and provide their contact information to U of C researchers. They’ll then be screened for safety and eligibility through a telephone interview and review of their electronic health record.

Those patients accepted will be sent hydroxychloroquine to their homes and will be required to take the drug over a five-day period. Researchers will follow up with participants seven and 30 days after starting the treatment.

Metz said timing of the trial is crucial and must begin within 96 hours of confirmation of a positive COVID-19 result, and within 12 days of symptom onset.

Should the drug prove effective, it may reduce the pressures that COVID-19 is expected to put on the health-care system.

“If we can keep more people out of hospital, then we’re not going to have that huge rise in hospitalizations and more people can get better at home,” she said. “Our system will get back to normal life or whatever we choose to move to in the future.

“We’ll be able to get there if we find this works.”

Hamilton Health Services starting an Anti-Covid19 study this month

Title: Anti-Coronavirus Therapies to Prevent Progression of COVID-19, a Randomized Trial

The ACT COVID-19 program consists of two parallel trials evaluating azithromycin and chloroquine therapy (ACT) versus usual care in outpatients and inpatients who have tested positive for COVID-19. The trial is an open-label, parallel group, randomized controlled trial with an adaptive design. Adaptive design features include adaptive intervention arms and adaptive sample size based on new and emerging data.

Experimental: Azithromycin and Chloroquine Therapy (ACT)
Chloroquine (Adults with a bodyweight ≥ 50 kg: 500 mg twice daily for 7 days; Adults with a bodyweight < 50 kg: 500 mg twice daily on days 1 and 2, followed by 500 mg once daily for days 3-7), plus Azithromycin (500 mg on day 1 followed by 250 mg daily for 4 days)  Source:

Some coronavirus humor.



  1. Raymond · April 16, 2020

    (Only in German, but you have to start somewhere)

    Professor Klaus Püschel

    Hi Ron
    I just watched this video from Germany concerning the corona virus and the post-mortem examination of patients that where exposed to the virus or assumed to have been exposed to the virus.

    Professor Klaus Püschel is the medical examiner Hamburg. Hamburg is the only city in Germany that is preforming autopsies on every body that could or might have been exposed to the virus. The professor’s findings are conclusive that all patients who died, died due to pre-existing serious health problems. Any virus could have caused their deaths due to these serous health problems. Often people die to health problems or sickness they don’t even know they have. Heart conditions that haven’t been diagnosed or other problems. The died due to these conditions and not the virus. They might have had the virus in them but this didn’t cause the death. Patients over 75 years are at the moment those that are at the greatest risk. However here to the health situation plays a major on how bad the virus might affect these people.

    Again, no one carries out a representative screening and the people who have died are not subjected to an autopsy. Most countries do not perform autopsies because they do not want to transmit the virus. But if we do not do these autopsies, we will never know how many people have actually died from the virus and how many have just had the virus.

    This specialist doesn’t understand why the other cities aren’t performing autopsies. This would be a real help in better understanding the virus and just burring the bodies without doing the necessary examinations we are missing a chance to learn mover about this virus. The idea they couldn’t perform these autopsies is also something he doesn’t understand since autopsies are performed on other viruses that are much more dangerous.

    Ok, that’s my two cents worth on the top. I’ve been saying all along since over 2 months the numbers are too high and that there hasn’t been enough representative screening worldwide on the virus. We just don’t know how many had it and how many are really effected by it. This is all due to the mass panic and overhyped media that’s having a field day with this. I don’t think the truth will be coming out in any time soon. We are the few how have keep clear heads on this one. But that won’t help if everyone else jumps off the cliff.


  2. Ron Clutz · April 16, 2020

    Thanks Raymond. Yes we are not well served by media crying wolf all the time about everything. When something dangerous does appear it is lost in the shuffle. Also policy makers are not able to discern real from imaginery threats. As for your great point about covid and death rates, the Italians (and others) are also making efforts to sort out dying with as opposed to dying from the virus. Some info here:
    or perhaps better the original source


    • Raymond · April 16, 2020

      Hey cool links, thanks. I was trying to find out about the lockdown in Canada. Here we are not supposed to gather more than 5 people and all events and shops are closed. All flights have been stopped other than repatriation of Swiss who want to come back. I work from my office here in Zurich, but we are only two people in a very big studio. I have to get out of the house because it has been taken over by someone else who is now officially forced to work from home. 😉 Two in a small, cramped home office is two too many.
      From what it looks, the lockdown should be loosened on the 27th of April. That will allow some businesses to open. I haven’t got all the details since I’ve been busy flying with my drone, the weather has simply been to nice to stay indoors today. I can now fly without having people disturbing me all the time with all kinds of questions on flying drones.

      Here’s a nice video of Zürich done with my DJI Spark drone.

      Cheers from little Switzerland!!! Ray


    • Raymond · April 16, 2020

      Hey cool, there’s a preview of my video in the link! WoW, is that a new feature?


      • Ron Clutz · April 16, 2020

        Great video. Obviously a professional production. Since you are the first to put a video in a comment, the feature may have been there all along.


      • Raymond · April 16, 2020

        Thanks, it’s semi professional since I’m doing this as a hobby. The drone I have is very small. I’ve already lost one drone due to technical failure. It decided to land in the middle of the lake due to a system failure. Had I not been over water it would have landed in the grass. Shit happens, especially when the planet goes nuts about a virus. I lost my drone in the first week of the shutdown, my glasses in the second week and I put my back out as well. As they say never two without three. You have a nice early spring day in Canada. We’re warming up and already in the spring of it!!!!!


  3. Ron Clutz · April 16, 2020

    I read recently: “Remember, political leaders are ousted for being immoral, not for incompetence.” Thus is the case for political herd immunity. It may not be completely true: Incumbent US Presidents get re-elected if the nation is at peace and the economy sound. Of course, thanks to coronavirus, many nations are now on a wartime footing with busted economies. All bets are off.


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