In the midst of an outbreak of Coronavirus infection (COVID-19), the term herd immunity emerged that said it could help suppress the spread of this virus. What is herd immunity and how effective is it to prevent transmission?
Coronavirus infections occur in almost all countries. Each country performs various ways to suppress the rapid transmission rate of Coronavirus, from lockdown to rapid test in bulk.
Amid the information about the COVID-19, the term ‘”herd immunity”‘ was reported to be able to end this pandemic. The term is actually not a new term in the medical field, but it is rarely known to the lay community.
The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend any country implementing herd immunity and loosening lockdowns. Reason according to WHO, herd immunity and loosen lockdown is not the right way to break the spread of COVID-19 or Corona.
The WHO assesses the way of gaining a herd immunity with a community targeting infected by corona viruses as dangerous.
What Is Herd Immunity?
Herd immunity is an attempt to stop the rate of virus spreading by letting the body’s natural immunity. Therefore, the endurance or immunity is expected to emerge and the virus will subside on its own.
However, not all people of productive age have good immunity. This group is also not separated from the risk of possible worsening is Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).
In fact, Covid-19 caused by Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 can be fatal to that age.
Based on data up to April 2020, 60 percent of Covid-19 patients in some regions of the world are in productive groups. Among others in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Tens of thousands died, 5 percent immune
Research in Spain and France shows that no more than 5 percent of the population has developed a COVID-19 antibody.
William Hanage, an epidemiologist at Harvard, said, “Great outbreaks and excessive death do not produce meaningful herd immunity.”
In the United States, nearly 85,000 people die, the prospect of herd immunity is no better. In April 2020, a researcher in the Santa Clara Country, California estimated that between 2.5 percent and 4.2 percent of the population there had antibodies.
A study in Los Angeles Country made a similar estimate of 2.8 percent to 5.6 percent “seroprevalence” which is a term for the percentage of people who have antibodies in their blood.
A New York antibody study found that 13.9 percent of New York state residents had been infected with the Coronavirus. In New York City, Seroprevalency is as high as 21.2 percent, but it is among people who are looking for tests (meaning they may think the body has symptoms). It’s still far from the number 50-70.
This is not a good sign for other parts of the United States, which hasn’t faced a devastating surge of infection like kil**ling 27,500 people in New York.
Why is Herd Immunity at high risk?
After knowing about What Is Herd Immunity, Here are The Reasons Why is It at High Risk:
It is still unclear how contagious this new coronavirus is and how severe it can affect different demographics.
Scientists do not know enough about such viral science and not long enough in the human population.
So scientists have not been able to confirm what Coronavirus does to the body’s immune.
Including the possibility of someone who has recovered can transmit the disease again. If this happens, the herd immunity cannot work.
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It can cause death
By making many people infected, the likelihood of increasing mortality rates is also high.
For example, it takes 70 percent of the total population to be deliberately infected. Of these numbers, not all are young. There are also elderly people. But the elderly are vulnerable.
According to WHO, older people or people with pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes or lung cancer are susceptible to being infected by coronaviruses.
The elderly are severely at risk of getting infected. It is because of their lower immunity than any other age group.
It’s possible to become a seasonal disease
There is currently no chance of immunity against a herd of Coronaviruses.
As a new virus, nobody has immunity against it. So every human is susceptible to viruses.
Herd Immunity will only take effect after most people have it and survive, so their body creates antibodies against viruses.
Requires medical readiness
Currently, various countries are reporting the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) and lack of space to care in hospitals.
If more people are infected in a country, it needs medical readiness as well.
Poor countries such in Africa will be severely hit, as they cannot fulfill it if it runs a herd immunity scenario.
With an estimate of about 10 percent of the total population hospitalized, it would have a big implications for the country.
Video: What Is Herd Immunity?
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