Clinical

How the Covid-19 Pandemic could finally end.

We have all suffered the past few months social distancing as well as making sure to keep our masks on. Without it, we would probably be in a worse situation than we started. Although it is so hard to live in this type of situation, how should we all act to finally put a stop to this virus.

According to scientificamerican.com, “Viruses are constantly mutating. Those that trigger pandemics have enough novelty that the human immune system does not quickly recognize them as dangerous invaders. They force the body to create a brand-new defense, involving new antibodies and other immune system components that can react to and attack the foe. Large numbers of people get sick in the short term, and social factors such as crowding and the unavailability of medicine can drive those numbers even higher. Ultimately, in most cases, antibodies developed by the immune system to fight off the invader linger in enough of the affected population to confer longer-term immunity and limit person-to-person viral transmission. But that can take several years, and before it happens, havoc reigns.”

Containment. The severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic of 2003 was caused not by an influenza virus but by a coronavirus, SARS-CoV, that is closely related to the cause of the current affliction, SARS-CoV-2. Of the seven known human coronaviruses, four circulate widely, causing up to a third of common colds. The one that caused the SARS outbreak was far more virulent. Thanks to aggressive epidemiological tactics such as isolating the sick, quarantining their contacts and implementing social controls, bad outbreaks were limited to a few locations such as Hong Kong and Toronto. This containment was possible because sickness followed infection very quickly and obviously: almost all people with the virus had serious symptoms such as fever and trouble breathing. And they transmitted the virus after getting quite sick, not before. “Most patients with SARS were not that contagious until maybe a week after symptoms appeared,” says epidemiologist Benjamin Cowling of the University of Hong Kong. “If they could be identified within that week and put into isolation with good infection control, there wouldn’t be onward spread.” Containment worked so well there were only 8,098 SARS cases globally and 774 deaths. The world has not seen a case since 2004.”

With better containment and understanding of the mutations we can slow the spread.

Sources: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-the-covid-19-pandemic-could-end1/

Categories: Clinical