Herd Immunity - CV

HamiltonGardener

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/615375/what-is-herd-immunity-and-can-it-stop-the-coronavirus/


I'm betting nature will outpace vaccine research to the herd immunity finish line. It seems to be a fast moving virus and I'm starting to believe there have been a lot more asymptomatic people than we know.

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Kathy

I’m thinking like you HamiltonGardener. This virus is spreading extremely fast compared to others we have seen in our recent past.

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Iris GW

Mother Nature says there are too many people on the planet ...

It's nature's way of telling you something's wrong


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dirtygert(5-NY)

Thanks for the link, HG. What an interesting article.

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Ziemia(6a)

We'll basically all get it eventually. Most will be fine with having it. It's just that this initiation process is so deadly that the huge numbers are overwhelming the hospital.

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jerzeegirl (FL zone 9B)(9b)

Very interesting article. However, I have read that some people, having gotten COVID19, got it again. What are the chances that having the disease does not confer immunity, or it mutates so quickly that any vaccine will not be effective as new strains emerge.

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lurker111

It will vanish. Just like all coronaviruses. We won't see it again until another human gets it from a wild animal.

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HamiltonGardener

Jerzee,

People with compromised immune systems may easily get it again, and I read one that said you must be completely over the illness, some people are not completely over it when they go downhill again.

That's why it's so important with vaccines that we have a high herd immunity, because those with compromised immune systems can't gather the immunity to fight it themselves.

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lurker111

Isn't Italy practicing the herd immunity concept?

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heri_cles



Herd immunity was a disaster in the UK. It was a fools mission.

People have to get on board with "Flatten the Curve" . It's not that hard to understand:





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heri_cles

Herd Mentality:

Musk Oxen in defensive phalanx position to protect the herd:



When under attack, these awesome arctic animals return to the phalanx position, back to back, until only two remain. They freegin' stick together until the end.

Humans have a lot to learn from animals.

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foodonastump

Heri - Read the article. Herd immunity is a scientific concept not a policy. Flattening the curve is not in conflict with building up immunity. “ Slowing it down would mean health systems could be spared and lives saved, but ultimately the result could be the same.“

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patriciae_gw(07)

Obviously over time as more people get this and if in fact you gain immunity from having it which isn't certain though probable, the disease occurrence will flatten out to a degree. What percentage of the present population are you willing to sacrifice in order for this disease to not be an inconvenience for those who are least likely to die from it so don't mind contracting it? People like me end up dead so you can go on about your shopping and eating out. You aren't going to know how very valuable I am to world order and peace until I am gone so go down that road and the apocalypse will happen anyway. Just saying. You had better buy more toilet paper.

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HamiltonGardener

Heri, lurker,

please read the article.

Heri,

Flattening the curve IS herd immunity...at a slower pace so the health care resources don't get overwhelmed. Please read the article.

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heri_cles

Heri - Read the article. Herd immunity is a scientific concept not a
policy. Flattening the curve is not in conflict with building up
immunity. “ Slowing it down would mean health systems could be spared
and lives saved, but ultimately the result could be the same.“

Read my post. It is a fraudulent scientific concept as pertains to CV19 and was a disastrous policy in the UK. Now the UK reversed course and joined the US and other countries seeking to flatten the curve,.

Here:

https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/03/17/britain-uk-coronavirus-response-johnson-drops-go-it-alone/



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foodonastump

Can’t read your link without spending $15.99 a month.

A policy to allow the disease to run rampant would of course be disasterous as it would overwhelm the healthcare system, and not allow for time needed to learn/develop treatments. Please cite why it’s a “fraudulent scientific concept as pertains to CV19.”

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terezosa / terriks

I think that the UK came out with this "policy" that they were going to go for herd immunity without thinking through how to accomplish it at a slower pace than would happen if people went about their daily activities as normal, so as to not overwhelm the health care system, and did a p!ss poor job at communicating.

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heri_cles

I'm betting nature will outpace vaccine research to the herd immunity finish line.

Boris Johnson already lost that bet.

CV19 is highly contagious and deadly. If you let it spread and wait for "herd immunity" there will be a culling of the population not experienced since the Black Plague.

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Jonnygun(zone 7)

"Flattening the curve" is a response to help limit the stress on healthcare as we work towards "herd immunity".


For all the success of S Korea I am concerned that they are a ticking time bomb regarding reinfection. Because they isolated themselves so well they will have statistically less "herd immunity" than Italy for example. Hopefully they can remain virus free long enough for treatments and vac to be developed.

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HamiltonGardener

I think I know where the misunderstanding is.

Heri,

Take a look at the "curve" graphs. If you notice, the same number of people get COVID in both scenarios. This is what provides the herd immunity.

The difference between the two scenarios is the length of time which it takes. When 1 million people get it over the course of a month, the health care system doesn't have enough resources to treat everyone at the same time, so more people die.

When 1 million people get it over the course of 6 months, the health care system has enough resources to cope, thus saving lives. This is what they call "flattening the curve".

The "Flattening the Curve" strategy is relying on herd immunity, but taking out the risk of overwhelming resources.

Italy got overwhelmed. They had to make decisions of who got a life-saving ventilator and who had to go without.

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heri_cles

Text from the link I posted:


Britain Drops Its Go-It-Alone Approach to Coronavirus


Johnson government admits its strategy of
allowing the virus to spread and build up immunity was a failure but
stops short of mandatory controls.

By
Owen Matthews March 17, 2020, 4:56 PM

While continental Europeans were
closing schools and putting soldiers on the streets to enforce strict
quarantine rules, the British government’s official advice to its
citizens was, essentially, just to keep calm and carry on. Schools,
restaurants, theaters, clubs, and sporting venues remained open; only
the over-70s and those with flu-like symptoms were advised to stay at
home. The low-key British response was driven by a controversial theory
embraced by the U.K. government’s top scientists: that the best way to
ease the long-term consequences of the coronavirus pandemic was to allow
the virus to spread naturally in order to build up the population’s
herd immunity.

On Monday night, that theory collided
with the facts. A new analysis by immunologists at Imperial College
London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine of the
impact of the coronavirus in Italy suggested that up to 30 percent of
patients hospitalized with the virus would require intensive care
treatment. Those numbers, if repeated in the U.K., would quickly
overwhelm Britain’s state-run National Health Service.


Within hours of the report, U.K. Prime
Minister Boris Johnson appeared at a daily briefing at No. 10 Downing
St. to reverse the herd immunity policy. Acknowledging that “drastic
action” was required, Johnson announced that from now on Britons should
try to work from home and voluntarily refrain from unnecessary travel
and social contact.

Several top British doctors had questioned the scientific rationale behind Johnson’s herd immunity policy, urging the government to
publish evidence for its refusal to follow the rest of Europe into
immediate lockdown. “We have a small window of opportunity to protect
our nation, to learn about this new emerging virus and to deal with this
unprecedented threat to global health,” wrote
Arne Akbar, the president of the British Society for Immunology. On a
less rational level, the hashtag #ToryGenocide trended on Twitter, with
users accusing Johnson and his Conservative Party of deliberately
allowing the sick and the elderly to die."






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foodonastump

I'm betting nature will outpace vaccine research to the herd immunity finish line.


Boris Johnson already lost that bet.


^^^^

No one has won or lost that bet yet because neither a vaccine nor herd immunity has ended this crisis.

ETA - thanks for posting the text. I don’t take issue with any of it. It doesn’t contradict anything any of us are saying.

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heri_cles

There is no proven "herd immunity" for CV 19, period.

Letting the virus spread and waiting for herd immunity , which would likely never come, would wipe out MILLIONS of people.

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heri_cles

Boris lost that bet, and he admitted as much.

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foodonastump

You’ve been led to water. I’m done.


Welcome back, by the way.

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Ziemia(6a)

Relying on herd immunity at this initial exposure is devastating. Boris Johnson et al made this horrible decision.

***Eventually, herd immunity - via exposure and immunizations will ***likely (hopefully) make this not such a big problem in some future time.

Saying "There is no proven "herd immunity" for CV 19, period." is problematic. As it makes no mention of time frame. And time is always a consideration with herd immunity.

Adding a "yet" changes the meaning.

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HamiltonGardener

Just a question, why would immunity likely never come?

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patriciae_gw(07)

There have been diseases in the past that the people who got did not acquire immunity to. It is always a possibility. Researchers think this unlikely but still possible. I have referenced something called Sweating sickness from the sixteenth century that fit that scenario. It sounds remarkably like a Coronavirus in its symptoms.

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Kathy

Are we immune to Mers, HIV, Flu? No, but we have treatment although not completely successful. It may be the best we can hope for with Covid-19.

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lurker111

There are cases of reinfection. Herd immunity is wishful thinking.

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foodonastump

I don’t think we know that. First off, I’ve not seen that there’s clear evidence that the “reinfections” are with people who were fully over it. Secondly, immunization is not 100% anyway. Think chicken pox. “Most” people won’t get it twice.

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patriciae_gw(07)

Food is right. Most people acquire immunity (although sometimes only temporarily) when they get something but not always. It has to do with your immune system response. I have been trying to keep up with the latest opining about whether or not people are reinfecting but the jury is still out on that but they do not believe most people will. But they aren't totally sure. And you never know. But probably not. And the early testing was not as good. And they have had people test negative who actually had it and vice versa.

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HamiltonGardener

Wanted: A coronavirus test to identify people who were infected and then recovered


https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-03-25/coronavirus-test-infected-recovered-covid19


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foodonastump

That would be wonderful of course. The possibilities would be endless if people could assume immunity if antibodies are found.

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Kathy

They said it takes 6 months for lungs to recover from the virus. We should know if we have/had it if that’s the case. Unfortunately I doubt that will be possible as many have most likely already seemingly recovered.

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foodonastump

if you have the symptoms. If you don’t and it’s passed through you without knowing, then you’re potentially wasting your time social distancing when you could be doing something for society.

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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

I am living through the supposed 'disaster' mentioned above and I have to say that that is not what it has been like on the ground. Bearing in mind that the linked articles are all at least 10 days old they are very wide of the mark in their descriptions of what is happening here. The Owen Matthews article is a week old and already well out of date. Policy has changed over time but to represent that change as 'disastrous' is misleading. The measures put in place have been introduced in a phased way over a short period of time and I am amazed at how quickly the new normal has been accepted. This disease is a massive challenge for every country and every health system. Nobody knows enough about it to say with certainty which approaches are the right ones. Everyone is learning.

Btw I have no time at all for Boris but I do rate his advisors and the academic institutions of this country which are working on the issues.

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HamiltonGardener

Floral,

The UK has already ordered 3.5 million antibody tests.

You guys are well ahead of the game.



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Kathy

FOAS, I’m way over 70 and have asthma as well as other recent health problems and surgeries. If I had CV it was mild. If I didn’t I am still susceptible. I just wouldn’t want to pass it on being asymptomatic. I don’t meet any criteria for testing. I’m sure I am not the only one walking around with this predicament. Unless we have tests we are just whistling in the dark.

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Kathy

Hopefully they will eventually be in US. Quest diagnostics have ramped up their testing labs in US.

Think how many have tested positive and have no symptoms.

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foodonastump

Kathy I’m not sure your point as it relates to my point. Of course CV testing is useful for tracking, possibly for treatment, etc. But when the conversation turned to antibody testing I just meant it would be a very helpful thing to test for.

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maifleur03

I have thought for about a month in looking at comments on line from people who have had remarkably similar health problems that some form of the virus has been in the world but mostly in the US since 2018. There have simply been too many people reporting. I have only seen a few in Europe, Holland and Norway. Some scientist have mentioned that the virus has already mutated into at least two strains that are known.

The antibody testing comes in handy to rule out future infections if this mutates again.

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Lisa

I read the title and could not understand what someone's resume had to do with herds.

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heri_cles

I think it is borderline irresponsible to promote "herd immunity" or to equate the coronavirus infection with something like measles, where once you get it, your body develops a lasting immunity to reinfection. Speculation is not helpful and mighty be harmful, like the Trump suggestion that a drug used ti cure aquarium fish might be effective against CV19.

Wanted: A coronavirus test to identify people who were infected and then recovered

There are statistics in the US and worldwide that track those who were infected and those who perished or recovered. There isn't any definitive scientific study that a recovered patient develop long lasting immunity and would not be susceptible to reinfection.

" There are other coronaviruses circulating among humans and although
they induce immunity, this doesn’t last. “Some other viruses in the
coronavirus family, such as those that cause common colds, tend to
induce immunity that is relatively short-lived, at around three months,”
says Peter Openshaw at Imperial College London."

“There is some anecdotal evidence of reinfections, but we really don’t know,” says Ira Longini at the University of Florida. “For ordinary coronavirus infections, you do not get lasting immunity,”
says Longini. “You can be infected over and over, and we really don’t
know for this novel coronavirus if that’s also true.”

We don’t have enough evidence yet to know if recovering from covid-19 induces immunity, or whether any immunity would give long-lasting protection against the coronavirus

How many deaths are acceptable for the surviving herd? 1% of 300 Million people in one year? 2% ....3%.

I always revered older people since I was raised by a grandmother.

It sickens me to hear some throw out irresponsible, unproven theories or the suggestion that culling the herd of our elders is a strategic alternative to deal with this pandemic.

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Zalco/bring back Sophie!

Does herd immunity work with AIDS, SARS, MERS? Those are corona viruses too.

CORRECTION HIV, which gives AIDS is not a corona virus.

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maifleur03

It could also be similar to measles that not everyone develops an immunity. I spent a long time in the hospital when I was a teen with the long form after having it when I was 5.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

heri_cles “herd immunity” is not necessarily something that can be “promoted” in the sense that you are using the word.

It is a natural or artificial phenomenon that occurs when such a high percentage of the population (“herd”) is immune to the disease that the disease can’t move through the community because there aren’t enough hosts.

If it is possible to develop immunity to this virus, there will possibly eventually be herd immunity, either because everyone has had it (it moves really fast) or because there is a vaccine made and people avail themselves of it.

I think it’s 85% for the threshold for herd immunity; when 85% of a community has developed an immunity to a disease, the disease can’t move through that population because there aren’t enough hosts. I’m disinterested in googling for the precise % as I don’t think the exact number changes the point of my post.

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HamiltonGardener

Miss Lindsay,

The first article demonstrates it well. The percentage of population needed for herd immunity depends on how easily transmitted it is.

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miss lindsey (stillmissesSophie,chase,others)(8a)

I have to be totally honest HG, I pretty much agreed with every word of your OP so I didn’t read the article :)

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HamiltonGardener

When do we reach immunity?

The point at which we reach herd immunity is mathematically related to the germ’s propensity to spread, expressed as its reproduction number, or R0. The R0 for the coronavirus is between 2 and 2.5, scientists estimate (pdf), meaning each infected person passes it to about two other people, absent measures to contain the contagion.

To imagine how herd immunity works, think of coronavirus cases multiplying in a susceptible population this way: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, and so on. But if half the people are immune, half of those infections won’t ever happen, and so the spreading speed is effectively cut in two. Then, according to the Science Media Centre, the outbreak simmers along like this instead: 1, 1, 1, 1 … The outbreak is snuffed out once the infection rate is less than 1.

The current germ’s rate of spread is higher than that of the ordinary flu, but similar to that of novel emergent influenzas that have occasionally swept the globe before. “That is similar to pandemic flu of 1918, and it implies that the end of this epidemic is going to require nearly 50% of the population to be immune, either from a vaccine, which is not on the immediate horizon, or from natural infection,” Harvard University epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch told a gathering of experts on a video call this weekend.

The more infectious a virus is, the more people need to be immune for us to achieve herd immunity. Measles, one of the most easily transmitted diseases with an R0 over 12, requires about 90% of people to be resistant for unprotected people to get a free ride from the herd. That’s why new outbreaks can start when even small numbers of people opt out of the measles vaccine.

Similarly, if the coronavirus spreads more easily than the experts think, more people will need to get it before herd immunity is reached. For an R0 of 3, for example, 66% of the population has to be immune before the effect kicks in, according to the simplest model.

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foodonastump

Heri - It seems to me you still think this conversation is about letting the virus run rampant until herd immunity resolves the issue. That wasn’t the case five days ago, and it’s not correct today. No one here here suggested that. No one.

Zalco - HIV a coronavirus?

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queenmargo

Can't sleep?

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HamiltonGardener

A bit of back pain keeping me up.

FOAS is right. As mentioned above, “Flattening the Curve” is about herd immunity at a slow pace so medical resources don’t get overwhelmed.

Immunity can be achieved through vaccines or natural infection. If a vaccine can be developed soon, great.

I suspect we will achieve a large measure of natural herd immunity before they can get a vaccine.


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Zalco/bring back Sophie!

Foas, I am probably wrong about that. I just did a quick search and came up empty. I am super tired and will see if I can figure out why I thought that/where I heard it and report. In the meantime I will note the misinformation on my comment.

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colleenoz

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing guys.

Thing is, you don’t get herd immunity with viruses as they are highly mutable unlike bacteria, which mutate slowly.

Think about it. Colds come from rhino viruses. You don’t get immune to colds, you just keep on getting them because every time it comes around it’s a little different. Why do you need a flu shot every year? Because the flu virus mutates and shows up as a different version every year.

The other issue to do with the virus being so mutable is that if we allow most of the population to get it, even if most of them live, the virus has so many more millions of opportunities to mutate- and one of those mutations might be one which has a 100% fatality rate. There’s a scary thought.

Flattening the curve is not about herd immunity, it’s about keeping the numbers of those requiring heroic medical intervention- intensive care, ventilators, hospital care etc- low enough that our health systems can cope until a vaccine can be developed.

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Kathy

It has mutated and they expect it to mutate again. I’m not knowledgable about it but I did read that. There are already two possible strains.

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foodonastump

Thing is, you don’t get herd immunity with viruses


The article references the Zika virus as an example.

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heri_cles

Collenoz stated (Five Star post):

"Thing is, you don’t get herd immunity with viruses as they are highly mutable unlike bacteria, which mutate slowly.

Think about it. Colds come from rhino viruses. You don’t get immune
to colds, you just keep on getting them because every time it comes
around it’s a little different. Why do you need a flu shot every year?
Because the flu virus mutates and shows up as a different version every
year.

The other issue to do with the virus being so mutable is that if we
allow most of the population to get it, even if most of them live, the
virus has so many more millions of opportunities to mutate- and one of
those mutations might be one which has a 100% fatality rate. There’s a
scary thought.

Flattening the curve is not about herd immunity, it’s about keeping
the numbers of those requiring heroic medical intervention- intensive
care, ventilators, hospital care etc- low enough that our health systems
can cope until a vaccine can be developed."

------------

HG said:

FOAS is right. As mentioned above, “Flattening the Curve” is about
herd immunity
at a slow pace so medical resources don’t get overwhelmed. Immunity can be achieved through vaccines or natural infection.

Not with this virus. Please read Colleen's post.



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foodonastump

I have no expertise in this, not even a passing knowledge. Just reading.


The second is that the virus does what past flu pandemics have done: It burns through the world and leaves behind enough immune survivors that it eventually struggles to find viable hosts.


https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/03/how-will-coronavirus-end/608719/


It will almost certainly take herd immunity to end the pandemic.

Most experts say we’re past the point of containing the virus, like we did with SARS and MERS. That means that COVID-19 is here to stay, and the pandemic will end only with herd immunity.

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-51963486

(From the OP)

If the virus keeps spreading, eventually so many people will have been infected and (if they survive) become immune that the outbreak will fizzle out on its own as the germ finds it harder and harder to find a susceptible host. This phenomenon is known as herd immunity.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/615375/what-is-herd-immunity-and-can-it-stop-the-coronavirus/

So, how will this story wrap up? Experts say one possibility is that cases of the disease will start decreasing when enough people develop immunity, either through infection or vaccination. Another possible scenario is that the virus will continue to circulate and establish itself as a common respiratory virus.

https://www.livescience.com/coronavirus-outbreak-end.html

Each of these routes would reduce the ability of the virus to spread.

Vaccines - at least 12-18 months away

A vaccine should give someone immunity so they do not become sick if they are exposed.

Immunise enough people, about 60% of the population, and the virus cannot cause outbreaks - the concept known as herd immunity.


https://www.sciencenews.org/article/covid-19-when-will-coronavirus-pandemic-social-distancing-end


A buildup of population immunity will also moderate the yearly impact of the novel coronavirus in less obvious ways. Epidemics are like fires: When fuel is plentiful, they rage uncontrollably, and when it is scarce, they smolder slowly. Epidemiologists call this intensity the “force of infection,” and the fuel that drives it is the population’s susceptibility to the pathogen. As repeated waves of the epidemic reduce susceptibility (whether through complete or partial immunity), they also reduce the force of infection, lowering the risk of illness even among those with no immunity. This simultaneous reduction in the number of people susceptible to illness and the force of infection is why the same strain of influenza that causes a devastating pandemic will later produce mild seasonal epidemics. Vaccination campaigns, even when inadequate to eliminate disease, will have a similar effect.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/coronavirus-pandemic-immunity-vaccine/2020/03/12/bbf10996-6485-11ea-acca-80c22bbee96f_story.html


“It is conceivable and maybe likely that when we get to the next season, we may see another blip of this, but it would really be different. And I’ll tell you why it’s different because a certain percentage of the population will already have been immune. A bit of what we call herd immunity. We likely, by that time, we’ll have tested a number of drugs opefully some of them will be effective in treatment. And as I mentioned, just a couple of days ago, we started a vaccine trial and we hopefully within a year to a year and a half, would have a vaccine.” - Fauci


https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2020/03/20/dr-fauci-coronavirus-could-come-back-next-season/

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lurker111

It burns through the world and leaves behind enough immune survivors that
it eventually struggles to find viable hosts.

lol! Sounds like an intelligent, determined virus.

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Annie Deighnaugh

I may be out of date but I thought there was still a great deal of mystery around why a particular strain will become so virulent and then seem to disappear. Is it herd immunity? Or is it something else like the virus continues to mutate into something less contagious or deadly? I'm thinking of the plagues or the spanish flu, both of which are still around yet seemingly more benign.

Though the herd immunity makes sense if we think of the europeans coming over being largely immune to small pox, but not the Native Americans who were decimated by it.

As with small pox, though, is the possibility that the virus could be wiped out with proper vaccination. And that's hopeful for the long term...though we have to go through hello to get there.

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heri_cles

I may be out of date but I thought there was still a great deal of
mystery around why a particular strain will become so virulent and then
seem to disappear. Is it herd immunity?
....the herd immunity makes sense if we think of the europeans coming over
being largely immune to small pox, but not the Native Americans who were
decimated by it.

No mystery...It killed the weakest of the herd. ..a lot of them.

The young and healthy sailed on to brighter shores.

" Smallpox ...was a continuous presence in Europe for 2,000 years, and almost everyone was exposed by direct person-to-person contact. Most people were infected before the age of 10, with the disease's 30 percent mortality rate killing off a large part of the population before reproductive age. When you remove children from a population, you remove more of the reproductive potential for the species, compared to losing older people, who are not reproducing,"

Culling of the herd, survival of the fittest, or as some here like to call the end result "herd immunity"

What is a gene mutation and how do mutations occur?




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foodonastump

Culling of the herd, survival of the fittest, or as some here like to call the end result "herd immunity"


I misinterpreted that when I wrote my first response which I quickly deleted. My hope would be that with the modern state of health, medicine, science, and communication we can minimize the deaths, make the most people “fit”, get the majority immunized to varying degrees, and have more successful treatment of those who are infected.


You can use dark terms like “culling” and “survival of the fittest” if you’d like, just don’t confuse a result which we hope for, with a dreadful policy that none of us would support.

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Stan Areted

Interesting and good discussion, will go back and read in depth.

Thank you.

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HamiltonGardener

In a topic on another forum that is being flooded by anti-vaxxers promoting the same idea.

Immunity is a myth, viruses will only mutate, therefor vaccines are useless.

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foodonastump

An article discussing antibodies and immunity:

https://www.axios.com/coronavirus-immunity-blood-test-a8e252da-752a-45b4-8ca1-d27d96d6e636.html

It’s early, but mildly encouraging. It links to a WaPo article that discusses mutation:

The coronavirus is not mutating significantly as it circulates through the human population, according to scientists who are closely studying the novel pathogen’s genetic code. That relative stability suggests the virus is less likely to become more or less dangerous as it spreads, and represents encouraging news for researchers hoping to create a long-lasting vaccine.

All viruses evolve over time, accumulating mutations as they replicate imperfectly inside a host’s cells in tremendous numbers and then spread through a population, with some of those mutations persisting through natural selection. The new coronavirus has proofreading machinery, however, and that reduces the “error rate” and the pace of mutation. It looks pretty much the same everywhere it has appeared, the scientists say, and there is no evidence that some strains are deadlier than others.

[...]

There are only about four to 10 genetic differences between the strains that have infected people in the United States and the original virus that spread in Wuhan, he said.

“That’s a relatively small number of mutations for having passed through a large number of people,” Thielen said. “At this point, the mutation rate of the virus would suggest that the vaccine developed for SARS-CoV-2 would be a single vaccine, rather than a new vaccine every year like the flu vaccine.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/the-coronavirus-isnt-mutating-quickly-suggesting-a-vaccine-would-offer-lasting-protection/2020/03/24/406522d6-6dfd-11ea-b148-e4ce3fbd85b5_story.html

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