According to researchers from Columbia University in Manhattan, some people are developing multiple instances of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) which, if true, means that immunity to the virus is only temporary at best.
Beginning in the fall of 2016 and continuing on into 2018, scientists from the school began collecting nasal swabs from 191 children, teachers and emergency workers. Participants were asked to record every time they sneezed or had sore throats in order for those running the study to be able to create a map tracking common respiratory viruses and their symptoms, as well as how long people who recovered stayed immune to each one.
Four different coronaviruses, including HKU1, NL63, OC42, and C229E, were all included because these are common coronaviruses that circulate every year. You read that correctly: Coronaviruses are nothing new in society, and many people have them, often without even knowing it.
The new Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), or SARS-CoV-2, is said to be in the same family as these other coronaviruses, which would explain why most people develop only mild symptoms, or no symptoms at all. But some are reportedly developing much more serious symptoms and are even dying, which is prompting questions about how this novel virus behaves.
Based on a preliminary report of this earlier study at Columbia, it appears as though the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) can re-infect the same person multiple times in the same year – and sometimes even more than once. If this is the case, then it may not be possible to develop true immunity to it, which means any attempt to create a vaccine is futile.
"Over a year and a half, a dozen of the volunteers tested positive two or three times for the same virus, in one case with just four weeks between positive results," reports Technology Review.
Listen below to The Health Ranger Report as Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, talks more about the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) death rate:
Keep in mind that this analysis was conducted based on other coronavirus strains, seeing as how the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) was not yet on people's radars. The assumption is that all coronavirus strains behave similarly and have the ability to re-infect people over and over again.
With that said, the researchers concluded that coronaviruses do not follow the same pattern as chicken pox or measles, both of which provide permanent immunity after a person becomes naturally infected. For coronaviruses, in other words "immunity seems to wane quickly," to quote the words of Jeffrey Shaman, who along with Marta Galanti conducted the study.
While, again, these results do not necessarily apply to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), the researchers are emphasizing it in light of growing commentary that society has gotten "past the peak" of infection. This could be true or it could not be true, and caution may be necessary.
"What I have been telling everyone – and no one believes me, but it's true – is we get coronaviruses every winter even though we're seroconverted," contends Matthew Frieman, a virus researcher at the University of Maryland. "We really don't understand whether it is a change in the virus over time or antibodies that don't protect from infection."
At the end of the day, immunity is what truly counts, rather than social distancing, masks and other societal measures. Determining how immunity to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) works and how easy it is to obtain will be the next steps in overcoming this crisis.
To keep up with the latest news about the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), be sure to check out Pandemic.news.
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