The uncertainty and questions related to coronavirus pandemic answered!
Since the coronavirus pandemic has shook the world, scientists and people have a lot of queries. The virus has created awe in the minds of people worldwide and they are not sure of when things would normalize. How long would it take? Will we be leaving forever in a changed world after the pandemic subsides? Will the pandemic recur? So what is the solution?
The coronavirus pandemic – new uncertainty and questions
The world is struggling with the coronavirus pandemic. The virus is not only deadly but also unpredictable. It has created havoc in the world and is continuing to affect people and take away innocent lives. People have a lot of questions for which they are seeking answers.
Can a person catch the virus again after one infection? Why are some people more sick than others with the virus? When will the pandemic go away? Will it cone back every year during winter like the flu virus? When will the coronavirus vaccine be ready? Will the vaccine be effective in preventing the disease in the vaccinated individuals? Will immunity passports help? How to manage this deadly virus in the long run?
The answers to these questions – immunity post coronavirus infection
At the core of all these questions is human immunity. But the problem is that researchers yet know very little about it. One does know that during any infection, there are two types of immune defense that comes into play. The first one is the non-specific innate immunity and the second is adaptive immunity.
In innate immunity, there is enhanced recruitment of body immune cells and inflammation. This non-specific response involves immune cells and their released chemicals. It might or it might not help against coronavirus.
Additionally, there is no memory stage of this immunity type and hence it gives no immunity to the person against reinfection. If a person gets reinfected, this virus will restart its immune response since it has no memory in it of the past event.
In the second adaptive immunity, the body produces targeted antibodies against the coronavirus. It comes into play after 7-10 days of getting the infection. This response is capable of memory and can help in protection against subsequent attacks of the virus.
But the problem is that researchers are still studying this aspect of coronavirus. They are unsure whether the people with no or mild symptoms have an adaptive response and hence antibodies.
How long does coronavirus immunity last?
Besides whether coronavirus infection leaves a person immune or not, there is another question. It is on how long would the immunity if any lasts. Paul Hunter, a professor in medicine at the University of East Anglia states:
“The question is not whether you become immune, it’s how long for,”
“It almost certainly will not last for life.
“Based on antibody studies in Sars it is possible that immunity will only last about one to two years, though this is not yet known for certain.”
In coronavirus, some individuals who came out of the infection again tested positive for it. Therefore were these, cases of reinfection, reactivation, or improper testing. The latter is plausible since some may have been incorrectly labeled as coronavirus free though they still had it.
Are immunity passports recommended after coronavirus pandemic?
In China, 30% of recovered patients had very low levels of antibodies. Cellular part of this adaptive immunity is equally important. But even if a person has antibodies, chances of the person getting infected might be low. But the same individual can pass on the infection to others. Therefore immunity passports to enter a country may not play a useful role there. Therefore immunity passports are not an answer to this infection. WHO is also nervous about immunity passports to come out of the lockdown.
Will vaccines help? With so less knowledge about immunity after a natural infection, an effective and safe vaccine might also be difficult to produce in a short time. More studies to understand the immune response in these cases-natural or by immunization will provide answers to the questions.
Source: BBC news