Coronavirus will last forever here is why?


How solving this medical mystery saved lives What do milk, sheep, and vaccines have in common? Louis Pasteur. Learn how he helped prove to the world that germs cause disease and usher in an unprecedented era of medical breakthroughs.

Complicating matters, the perceived threat varies from neighborhood to neighborhood, let alone country to country. Much depends on the severity of local outbreaks and the effectiveness of testing, contact tracing, social distancing, hospital systems and public-health messaging that is free of political shading.

Prof. Ian Jones, a professor of virology at the University of Reading, U.K., stresses the importance of “good fortune” in vaccine research. Even if scientists produce a vaccine “sooner rather than later,” he says, “his doesn’t necessarily mean that there will be enough doses for everyone to be vaccinated immediately, but with luck and commitment, this may be possible earlier than the often quoted 18-month-plus timetable.”

Despite the viruses’ similarities, however, Perl says the world is very different today than it was nearly two decades ago, during the SARS outbreak. “Eighteen years ago, the infrastructure and the travel into China was much less,” Perl says. “How does a much more sophisticated infrastructure, all these global flights going in day in and day out, how has that factored into all of this?”

For lasting change in areas such as reimbursement and the ability to offer telehealth across state lines, an act of Congress will be required, and on the surface this seems like a tall order. Partisan gridlock has become a staple in American governance, and healthcare has been a particularly contentious topic. The Affordable Care Act has been strained by a legislative tug-of-war, and intraparty squabbles have erupted over the best method for healthcare reform.

After achieving a sustained decline in the Rt and bringing the number of daily new cases down to an acceptable baseline thanks to stringent physical distancing, a society can consider relaxing some measures (say, reopen schools). But it must be ready to reimpose drastic restrictions as soon as those critical figures start rising again — as they will, especially, paradoxically, in places that have fared not too badly so far. Then the restrictions must be lifted and reapplied, and lifted and reapplied, as long as it takes for the population at large to build up enough immunity to the virus.

If a reversion to pre-pandemic reimbursement levels creates a kind of limbo for providers, Jospe envisions a scenario in which remote monitoring becomes a bigger part of hospital care. A combination of home health aides, visiting nurses and straightforward video interactions could provide an interim way forward, at least until Congress acts on something more lasting.

To test for live viruses, researchers must grow them from samples in cell culture flasks or petri dishes. That’s not easy; nasal swabs can dry out too much, or they can miss grabbing an infected cell. In other cases, the sample may not hold enough virus particles to seed growth. What’s more, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise that the SARS-CoV-2 virus should only be isolated and studied in secure laboratories with a biosafety level of 3 or higher.

An Rt of 1 might be acceptable in a place with 10 million people if, say, no more than a couple of dozen new infections are confirmed every day. But it wouldn’t be if an epidemic were raging there and several hundred or thousands of new cases occurred daily. In the face of an explosive outbreak, the authorities would first need to take a sledgehammer to the Rt to knock it down to a very low level — 0.1 or 0.2 — and maintain it there for as long as it took to bring the daily case count down to a manageable figure.

Less reassuring here is that scientists have observed that antibody levels for other coronaviruses (there are four strains that infect people as the common cold) can wane over a period of years. However, even if you lose the antibodies, it doesn’t mean you are again completely susceptible to the virus. Yes, none of this is simple. More on that here.

Well, let me try. You are saying it could last forever (which is possible, we can’t be certain it won’t) but you are assuming that we won’t adapt.

“First, there is the need to manufacture the vaccine for clinical studies under tightly controlled conditions, certified and qualified — we need ethical approval and regulatory approval. Then, the clinical trial can start with 500 people in phase I.”

level 13 points · 3 months agoMasking and social distancing will likely be mandatory nationwide at some point this summer. Antibody treatments will be here before vaccines, so the death rate will probably plummet by year's end, but the virus will still be here. For how long, hard to say.

Even if the virus were somehow eliminated from the human population, it could keep circulating in animals—and spread to humans again. SARS-CoV-2 likely originated as a bat virus, with a still-unidentified animal perhaps serving as an intermediate host, which could continue to be a reservoir for the virus. (SARS also originated in bats, with catlike palm civets serving as an intermediate host—which led officials to order the culling of thousands of civets.) Timothy Sheahan, a virologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, wonders if, with SARS-CoV-2 so widespread across the globe, humans might be infecting new species and creating new animal reservoirs. “How do you begin to know the extent of virus spread outside of the human population and in wild and domestic animals?” he says. So far, tigers at the Bronx Zoo and minks on Dutch farms seem to have caught COVID-19 from humans and, in the case of the minks, passed the virus back to humans who work on the farm.

It's not like I want that, but I think it's very conceivable. It is conceivable that in some places, for example, different practices will develop back and forth, and in the treatment, improvement of the condition of patients and prevention. Think of tuberculosis, for example: there is a vaccine, there are cures, but we have not been able to eradicate this infectious disease. I think if Covid-19 has an eternal lesson, it is to raise awareness that infection is still a very serious problem that needs to be taken seriously. No one is completely safe.

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