1 Is it necessary to eradicate the novel coronaviruses in order to end the epidemic?
It is true that a person’s immunity to the novel coronaviruses is only a few months to a few years. The two other coronaviruses of this century, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, were contained, although not technically eradicated. The other four human coronaviruses, HCoV-229E, -NL63, -OC43, and -HKU1, are endemic. The viruses that have been around longer than the other three cause no more symptoms than the common cold.
Humans can become immune to a pathogen after being exposed to it. immunity can last a lifetime or be short-lived depending on the disease and vaccine as well as host characteristics. immunity is not a process of either or. Our immunity doesn’t just switch off when we get different pathogens. It fades over time.
With possible exception to geographically isolated locations like New Zealand and Iceland, the coronaviruses are on a path to becoming endemic. Since March, most regions have stopped using containment as a strategy for managing the outbreak. The reason that Covid-19 was able to be contained was due to the fact that the fatality rate for the two diseases was higher. Patients with the disease were more likely to develop more severe symptoms and had a shorter period of time between exposure and the start of symptoms, so contacts were more easily traced, and further spread was prevented through quarantining.
The four endemic coronaviruses are thought to have been the cause of epidemics in the past. It would have been a long time ago that people didn’t know what a coronaviruses was. Older coronaviruses are still present among the population. The vast majority of children have no symptoms or a respiratory infections when exposed at a young age. Every few years our immune systems are exposed and given a course on how to kill the viruses, even though immunity to these viruses decreases over time, because they are endemic and continuously circulate through the population.
While contact tracing and quarantining strategies are important during the Covid-19 pandemic, they are not intended to eradicate the virus. It is not possible to eliminate the disease worldwide at this point. Eradicating the four endemic coronaviruses was not required for the pandemic to end.
Was this helpful?
0 / 0