Hemorrhagic Fever In China: Should U.S. Athletes Participate In Olympics?

Hemorrhagic Fever In China: Should U.S. Athletes Participate In Olympics?

In December, 2,657 cases of Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome (HFRS) were reported in Shanxi Province in China in advance of the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. HFRS “is a group of illnesses caused by hantaviruses,” and has been endemic to the province since 1995. The Global Times China reports that “human-to-human transmission is possible but rare, due to its weak viral transmission capability.”

The China CDC weekly discusses the number of cases as of December 19, 2021:

“In 2021, of the 2,657 cases reported in the 10 affected cities, 2,522 (94.92%) cases were from 4 cities: Xi’an (1,553, 58.45%), Weinan (475, 17.88%), Xianyang (293, 11.03%), and Baoji (200, 7.56%); and 2,062 (77.6%) cases were reported from 20 affected county-level jurisdictions and city districts.”

Shanxi Province, China

Radio Free Asia reported in December the lockdown of the city of Xi’an, a city with 13 million people. As a comparison, Los Angeles has a population of almost 4 million people. The lockdown was instituted amid an alleged “sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 cases and fears over a recent outbreak of epidemic hemorrhagic fever, local residents told RFA.” Per a December 23, Global times story, “only one family member of each household is allowed to leave the house to purchase daily necessities every two days. Other than special needs such as sickness or participating in anti-epidemic work, people are not encouraged to go outside.” 

Both mRNA developer Dr. Robert Malone, and national security expert, Frank Gaffney expressed their concerns over the dual outbreak in China on Monday’s War Room Pandemic with Steve Bannon. Gaffney believes that U.S. athletes will be put in harm’s way if they attend the Beijing Winter Games.

“Steve, we now are witnessing evidently some new terrible strain that is killing or is certainly jeopardizing the lives of large numbers of Chinese, hence this lockdown. At the very moment that they’re telling us, ‘Oh no-no. There’s no problem bringing those athletes here’. Those athletes, if they go, will be subjected, I fear, to mortal peril; maybe it’s not COVID … maybe it’s hemorrhagic fever which is if anything an even more horrible disease.”

Gaffney added that the U.S. would not want those athletes to return for fear of exposure to some unknown disease.

Malone discussed what he termed as an “Ebola-like hemorrhagic fever virus.” He refers to a connection with the Coronavirus because apparently, in its early stages, the hemorrhagic fever virus reportedly shares “a similarity in early-stage symptoms with COVID-19,” according to the Global Times China.

Malone’s main concern centers around the misguided policy of mass vaccination during a pandemic and his distrust of the Chinese Communist Party when it comes to protecting other countries from communicable diseases, given their track record in the very beginning of the pandemic. Citing vaccine expert and colleague Geert Vanden Bossche, Malone explains:

Vaccinating into a pandemic will drive the development of escape mutants that are resistant to vaccination. The CCP’s practice has mirrored that of the western world and has resulted in a perfect storm of environment for developing supervirus. They’re using the language that this is a hemorrhagic fever virus. If that’s the case, then it would be very odd that this would be something caused by a coronavirus. That terminology is usually used for viruses in the family of Marburg and Ebola. So this is something that many people have feared is the development of a rapidly spreading Ebola.”

Malone later clarified that he has no idea whether the alleged hemorrhagic fever illness is a mutation of coronavirus disease or not.

“This is something that many people have feared is the development of a rapidly spreading ebola like hemorrhagic fever virus, but we have no knowledge of whether that’s what’s going on here or not. So we don’t know if what we’re dealing with is a further mutation of the SARS COV-2 or related Coronavirus or is it a new threat that’s emerging in China.”

Malone reinforced Gaffney’s argument that China should be isolated and we should not send our athletes into unknown peril. He reminded listeners of how China failed to protect the international community at the beginning stages of the pandemic when the country knew it had an outbreak.

“[S]ending athletes and the whole entourage to China right now is madness as I said on Rogan, famously… It’s ‘Nucking futs’, and we’ll just leave it at that. We have to isolate this country politically and biologically. There’s no question in my mind that they did not drop the curtain on international travel when they knew that SARS-CoV-2 was ripping through Wuhan. They left the place open through the end of the Chinese New Year when everybody in China travels around, and they let the populists travel to the United States and the West; this has to be stopped. We’re dealing with a rogue regime that preys on its population and has no ethics.”

The U.S. has only declared a diplomatic boycott of the Olympics thus far. The Winter Olympics will take place from February 4 to February 20, and the Winter Paralympics will run from March 4 to March 13.

Fact Check On Hemorrhagic Fever

The Global Times of China, which allegedly has close ties with the CCP, states that “hemorrhagic fever is a common infectious disease in northern China. Starting from October every year, some areas of Shaanxi [of which Xi’an is the provincial capital] enter the high incidence season of hemorrhagic fever.”

Early symptoms of a hemorrhagic fever can mimic a cold or the flu. Experts in China have a mature grasp of the disease, its transmissibility, and its dangers because it is endemic in some regions of the country. Farmers are sometimes exposed to the disease because of rats in their fields. The Global Times writes:

“There are a couple of routes of transmission; the two main sources of infection are rattus norvegicus and apodemus agrarius. Neither is common in cities.

‘The disease has obvious regional and seasonal characteristics. People living in rural areas have more exposure to rats. People who live in urban areas are much less at risk of encountering hantavirus, have less need to panic, and have no need to kill their children’s pet rats,’ experts said.

Two peaks come every year—the spring peak from March to May and the winter peak from November to January.

Hemorrhagic fever can lead to renal failure and death but is rarely transmitted from human to human. According to data released by the China CDC, the number of epidemic hemorrhagic fever cases in China from January to August in 2020 was 4,359, and the death toll was 21.

In 2019, there were 9,596 cases and 44 deaths from the disease in China, with an average mortality rate of 0.4 percent.”

Experts in China believe that vaccination is an effective way to avoid the disease. The vaccine is given in three doses, with the first two doses spaced 14 days apart and the third at least six months later. However, the CDC.gov fact sheet on the diseases states, “with the exception of yellow fever and Argentine hemorrhagic fever, for which vaccines have been developed, no vaccines exist that can protect against these diseases.” Therefore, the best way to prevent the disease is to avoid contact with the host, which would be through infected rodents, their droppings, and other bodily excretions. Effective control of the rodent population greatly reduces the risk of contracting the disease.

A description from the above mentioned CDC fact sheet details the transmission pathways and is provided below:

Hemorrhagic Fever Fact Sheet/https://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/spb/mnpages/dispages/fact_sheets/viral_hemorrhagic_fevers_fact_sheet.pdf

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