No_Mind wrote: ↑Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:46 am
What the doctors mean by herd immunity (as far as I understood) ....
This is not really herd immunity as it is commonly used. Please refer to my earlier post.
There is not yet evidence that those infected who do fight it off will not be reinfected by the same virus although that is a good guess. In any case, a new strain (like the flu) could almost certainly infect.
Recurrent fatal epidemics are a feature of human and animal history. Look at tuberculosis. It Is better to say that viruses that do not immediately kill all their hosts have a better chance of reproducing over time. That mutation will probably win the evolution sweepstakes. So the common cold may have evolved out of a killer disease over millennia. Ebola was not a successful virus because the method of transmission in humans was so difficult and it killed the human host too quickly. The transmission chain could be broken. The Black Death was defeated in Europe after nearly collapsing European civilization because it killed its hosts, and broke the transmission chain. We still have annual cases in Navaho land in the US (wild animal fleas to human transmission).
The coronavirus apparently lived in bats or other animal hosts before without quickly killing the host. It has not evolved to do so in humans. It appears not to have mutated to live in humans, but rather was presumably spread by bats butchered in a Wuhan wet market (or rather by the spread of fluids from the bats onto various surfaces. By the way, wild bats have a huge variety of viruses that do not kill them, but can spread to humans. They will kill the new hosts because neither have evolved together over millennia. In this case,
Since there is no vaccine or direct cure at the moment, the weapons we have are isolation and good sanitation. They are crude, but effective.
Chloroquine, most commonly used to weaken malaria parasites, has very dangerous effects and has no proven effect on this virus. It, like other drugs, is being studied because of anecdotal stories. Frankly, it is unlikely that we will randomly stumble on an existing drug that works on this. You might as well do controlled studies, more or less at random,but don’t get excited. It should never be taken for any purpose without supervision. As a former user, I can tell you do not mess around with this or any other powerful drug without competent medical supervision.
Most likely, once we understand the virus structure better we can come up with a new vaccine and treatment. We are making progress on that because it belongs to a well studied virus family.