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Coronavirus Update! Two Important Reveals

22 May 2020

Belfast Plebeian

Two of the nagging questions surrounding the development of the coronavirus have been answered this week in so far as such queries can be cleared up.  The queries cover the extent of the spread of the viral infection through the general population and the extent to which a previously infected person has acquired immunity.

From the beginning of the outbreak it has been a contention of the ideological right-wing of science that a large section of the population had likely ‘experienced’ the virus without ever noticing it.  If itreally was the case that large numbers had already thrown off the infection and carried on regardless then one could well conclude that all of the strict public health measures related to lockdown are entirely unnecessary.  It was conjectured that many nations with high infection rates could get up to natural herd immunity very quickly, the virus could be left to just run its course.  Figures for how many people had already been infected were regularly projected with numbers as high as 40 to 50 percent being quoted.

As there had been no reliable anti-body testing done to confirm or refute the projected infection rates, everything being said was no better than mere opinion backed by prejudice.   Things have now changed and we now have anti-body testing data coming in from enough countries to settle the matter based on the facts.  The most comprehensive testing sample was conducted in Spain, data collection from other countries including France, Netherlands, the UK and Sweden confirm the proposition that the infection rate is very much on the low side of things.  In Spain the overall infection rate after comprehensive testing came to 5%, in France it came out at 4.9%, the infection rate in Sweden and Great Britain was higher but still low, rising to around 7%.  For all of the above countries, some of the big cities had higher rates, in London, Madrid and Stockholm the rate got up as far as 17%.  The preliminary data for Ireland puts the national infection rate at a very low 1%.

What this means is that no European country, including Sweden, is close to having developed what is known as natural herd immunity which is believed to be established at a minimum of between 60 and70 percent of population infected.  If a Government with this knowledge now available to them was toturn to a herd immunity strategy to deal with the coronavirus crisis it would be committing mass homicide.  We also happen to know that the case fatality rate for countries with advanced health care systems is about 0.7% of those infected. I will leave the reader to do the maths for their own town,region, or country with a fatality rate of 0.7%.

The second coronavirus story is the good news one.  The South Korean Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has been blazing the sky with the best science relating to the coronavirus.  On May 19th  the CDC published a study confirming how those patients who have once recovered from the infection really are immune afterwards, also they do not spread the infection on to others.  The confusion overimmunity after infection came about because some people who had already recovered when tested again had tested positive.  The explanation is that the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test used to detect the virus in the human body is so sensitive that it picks out fragments of the broken down ribonucleic acid (RNA) virus.  When the coronavirus is attacked by the human immune system it is literally ripped into shreds or fragments, however these smaller pieces remain in the body but they are inactive or dead fragments that cannot cause sickness, neither to the human host nor to anyone who makes contact with them.  So the good news is that those who have recovered from the infection are not being re-infected, nor are they passing it on to others.  The qualification to this is that the length ofthe immunity period is still unknown.   With some viruses immunity is for life, for other viruses immunity is for short periods of a year or two, only the passage of time will settle the question of for how long.

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