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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are many reasons that I'm skeptical of the herd immunity argument for Covid-19. One of these is that, like influenza, the SARS-CoV-2 virus is capable of infecting a variety of animals, and mutates quite readily. This very interesting (IMO) article discusses the risks posed to wild populations of animals from infected humans, but also outlines how easily a mutated virus can be passed back to humans from the animals we infected.

Beware Of Humans: We — Not Animals — Are the Coronavirus Carriers Now
...reverse zoonosis is still a risk that isn’t taken as seriously as it should be, scientists told me. It’s probably more common for viruses to spread from humans to animals than we even know, said Kevin Olival, vice president for research at the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance. And a virus that does this is a virus you can’t eradicate. It becomes endemic, waiting patiently, changing in ways that can make it able to infect us again.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus has already evolved to infect new animals.
We can already see this happening. SARS-CoV-2 couldn’t infect mice when it was originally identified back in early 2020. But SARS-CoV-2 as it currently exists can. Somewhere along the line, the virus changed in such a way as to make mice susceptible.
Wild or semi-wild populations of animals give a virus plenty of new hosts — and new contacts to infect. Circulating in a population of wild animals, the virus will mutate. Then some of those mutations will make for a virus that can infect whole other species of animals that weren’t susceptible before. Viruses don’t just stay where you last set them down
 

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There are many reasons that I'm skeptical of the herd immunity argument for Covid-19. One of these is that, like influenza, the SARS-CoV-2 virus is capable of infecting a variety of animals, and mutates quite readily. This very interesting (IMO) article discusses the risks posed to wild populations of animals from infected humans, but also outlines how easily a mutated virus can be passed back to humans from the animals we infected.

Beware Of Humans: We — Not Animals — Are the Coronavirus Carriers Now


The SARS-CoV-2 virus has already evolved to infect new animals.
Well, duh! They wouldn't have done so well for so long if they weren't clever little thingies...sort of like very tiny cockroaches.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm taking articles relating to Covid herd immunity from other threads, and sticking them in this thread, so that they're all in one place.

How Elimination Versus Suppression Became Covid's Cold War - Article and Comments
Smallpox was successfully eradicated however it is unlike Sars-Cov-2 in a lot of ways. Firstly the estimates for asymptomatic cases and transmission were far lower in smallpox. There is also no animal vector or reservoir for smallpox; we know other mammals can both catch Covid-19 and spread it to humans, so to fully eradicate it we would need to eradicate it from these (wild) animal populations, too. The smallpox vaccine created sterilising immunity; once you had the vaccine you were yourself immune to the disease, but also couldn't pass it on to others. Currently we have vaccines which prevent severe disease rather than prevent transmission (although they do reduce it by a significant amount) making complete eradication much more difficult. My (admittedly limited) understanding is also that smallpox had a lower mutation rate than coronaviruses, meaning mutations which could escape vaccine immunity did not develop as quickly.
Sadly I don't see how Sars-Cov-2 can be successfully eliminated on a global basis.
New Covid Vaccines Needed Globally Within a Year, Say Scientists
The planet could have a year or less before first-generation Covid-19 vaccines are ineffective and modified formulations are needed, according to a survey of epidemiologists, virologists and infectious disease specialists.
The grim forecast of a year or less comes from two-thirds of respondents, according to the People’s Vaccine Alliance, a coalition of organizations including Amnesty International, Oxfam, and UNAIDS, who carried out the survey of 77 scientists from 28 countries. Nearly one-third of the respondents indicated that the time-frame was likely nine months or less.
NYT - Reaching ‘Herd Immunity’ Is Unlikely in the U.S., Experts Now Believe
The virus is here to stay, but vaccinating the most vulnerable may be enough to restore normalcy... If the herd immunity threshold is not attainable, what matters most is the rate of hospitalizations and deaths after pandemic restrictions are relaxed, experts believe.
The US Won’t Reach Herd Immunity This Year. So How Will It Live With Covid?
Daily life will vary depending on where you live, and how local officials decide to implement – or ignore – public health measures.
As professor Ali Mokdad from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington told the Guardian in February: “We’re not going to reach herd immunity, simply, we’re not going to reach it. It’s going to be seasonal, and it’s going to be like the flu, and we’re going to need to be ready for it.”
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Covid Could Become Seasonal Epidemic by Winter, Says German Expert

In the coming winter the expected rise in cases, particularly as the advantage of a “summer effect” is lost, “will likely be interpreted in future as having been the first endemic, normal winter effect”. Covid-19 would behave like more established coronavirus varieties that induce cold-like symptoms, he said.
“Probably it will especially be the older people who don’t react so strongly to the vaccine anyway, who will show a clear loss of immunity after half or a whole year, while young people are not so likely to do so,” he said.

By the autumn he expects to see an “increasingly competitive picture of immune escape variants because the population’s immune status will be more heterogeneous”. Currently, he said, all eyes are on the Delta variant, first discovered in India, which is spreading fast across the UK...
 

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I wouldn’t put too much stock into this guy. He’s been yelling from the roofs the worst case scenarios since Covid showed up... he doesn’t take data into accounts that doesn’t fit his worldview. The guy is pro Biontech for adolescents even when the German Stiko does not recommend it (only for severely ill kids, otherwise they do not see it medically nor ethically justified to vaccinate youngsters with an experimental vaccine). That says a lot...
I'd be anxious if I weren't confused.
 
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