When we reach a COVID-19-herd immunity?
In the discussion of the Coronavirus pandemic is often spoken of the concept of herd immunity. What is meant is that a sufficient proportion of the population is against an infectious disease immune and it is so for the Individual will be less likely to become infected with the disease. When can be expected COVID-19 with such a herd immunity?
Dr. Gregory Poland is an expert on infectious diseases at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in the United States. He is the Director of a vaccine research group, which is searching for a vaccine against COVID-19. In a recent communication from the clinic, he explains the principle of herd immunity, and when a General protection of the population.
What herd immunity is?
Dr. Poland explains the herd immunity of a simple example. If hundreds of people act on a narrow space interact with each other and one has a new Virus, then every interaction is fraught with the Infected, a risk of Infection. In a short time, the Virus is transferred to other people within the group. This will get sick and develop antibodies against the Virus.
At the next contact with an infected Person, those who were already sick and not sick. If the percentage of Recovering is high enough, the risk of Infection is reduced for those who have not yet come in contact with the Virus, since it is less likely, with a potential Carrier to interact, gives the Virus more. “It is even more unlikely that the Virus can infect someone, the more immune individuals to susceptible people around,” explains Poland. The Convalescent to act as a shield for the Vulnerable.
How to acquire a herd immunity?
According to Dr. Poland, there are two main approaches which herd immunity can be acquired. The first way is that as many people as possible develop the corresponding infection. “In connection with COVID-19 that means that you have to be willing to take a lot of serious illnesses and even deaths to get there,” explains the expert for infectious diseases.
Another strategy is to use a vaccine or antibody therapy to bring the body to believe that he’s already come in contact with the Virus. So the immune system is stimulated to produce its own antibodies against the Virus, without that one is actually ill, explained Poland.
Until a suitable therapy is available, it can only be the first of a two-way process. In this case, however, it is crucial how quickly the infection is spreading. If there are too many people fall ill at once, it could collapse the healthcare system, which could have drastic consequences for all diseases, accidents, births, or similar events in which the health system plays an important role.
How many people have antibodies?
“We know that in the case of a flu, about 60 percent of the population must be immune in order to have a herd protection,” says the Professor. In the case of measles, it must be even 95 percent, because it is a highly contagious infection. According to the present knowledge, must in the case of SARS-CoV-2, about 70 percent of a population in contact with the Virus have been reported in Poland.
How long does it take in Germany?
From a recently published joint opinion of the Fraunhofer Institute, the Helmholtz-Institute, Leibnitz society, and of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft shows that it would take several years for herd immunity in Germany. To Achieve such an immunity over the whole period, restrictive measures should be maintained, so that there is no Overload of the health system. (vb)