Tag: immunity

What is herd immunity and when will we get there for coronavirus?

What is herd immunity and when will we get there for coronavirus?

It’s almost amusing to think of humans as part of a “herd” — a term that usually conjures up images of hoofed animals grazing in a field.

Yet herd immunity is an important concept when it comes to stopping the spread of disease among people. It’s also become the focus of intense debate during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sweden is hoping to achieve herd immunity before there’s a vaccine for COVID-19, resisting the kind of severe lockdowns other countries implemented as a way to slow down the virus.

Critics say Sweden is paying a high price for that decision with one of the highest coronavirus mortality rates in the world. The approach is also slow going: Only 7% of people in Stockholm developed antibodies to the disease by the end of April, a study found.

So what is herd immunity and what’s the best way to achieve it?

TODAY asked Dr.

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When Will Herd Immunity Against Coronavirus Happen? Doctors Explain

When Will Herd Immunity Against Coronavirus Happen? Doctors Explain

There’s one phrase that regularly comes up in the discussion about life in a post-coronavirus world: herd immunity. After all, this form of mass protection has been essential in slowing and squashing the spread of various contagious diseases in the past, including polio, measles, chicken pox, and mumps, says Susan Besser, M.D., a primary care physician at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

A community gains herd immunity when a significant portion of the population (the “herd”) becomes immune to an infectious disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A person can achieve that immunity through vaccination or building an immune response due to prior infection, making person-to-person spread of the disease unlikely.

But when it comes to COVID-19, the road to herd immunity isn’t simple. Here, experts break down what we know so far, and how far we left to go.

How does herd immunity work,

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Recovered coronavirus patients test positive again in blow to immunity hopes

Recovered coronavirus patients test positive again in blow to immunity hopes

South Korea reported on Friday that 91 recovered coronavirus patients have tested positive for the disease again, raising questions over health experts’ understanding of the pandemic.

The prospect of people being re-infected with the virus is of international concern, as many countries are hoping that infected populations will develop sufficient immunity to prevent a resurgence of the pandemic.

The reports have also prompted fears the virus may remain active in patients for much longer than was previously thought.

Korean health officials reported Friday that 91 patients thought to have been cleared of the virus had tested positive again, up from 51 people on Monday.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) announced it had sent a team to the city of Daegu, the worst hit area, to investigate why patients there were testing positive again.

South Korea's early and widespread testing was held up as an example for the rest of the world - Ahn Young-joon /AP
South Korea’s early and widespread testing was held up as an example for
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Studies track immunity to coronavirus over time with new blood tests

Studies track immunity to coronavirus over time with new blood tests

Penn Medicine and the Mayo Clinic are working on tests that detect prior exposure to the novel coronavirus in healthcare workers.

Two in a recent flood of efforts to grapple with immunity to a disease that’s quarantined millions, the projects use “serology screening,” or tests that detect antibodies in blood, to measure if people have been exposed to the virus at some point in the past — even in the absence of symptoms.

Widespread serology testing essentially has the potential to figure out who’s likely immune to the virus and let people return to work. Healthcare workers with antibodies could go back to the front lines with less worry about being infected. And government officials could obtain needed data on the spread of the disease in communities, helping them make tough decisions about lockdowns and other measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“These antibody tests are very important

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What is herd immunity and is it a possibility for the UK?

What is herd immunity and is it a possibility for the UK?

The global spread of the coronavirus – which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) – has left many people wondering when and how the outbreak may subside.

Earlier this month, it was claimed that the British government was hoping to reduce the impact of the virus by allowing it to “pass through the entire population so that we acquire herd immunity”.

Although Matt Hancock later denied this was the case, a spokeperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said that “herd immunity is a natural by-product of an epidemic”.

But what exactly is herd immunity and is it a possibility amid the coronavirus outbreak? Here is everything you need to know.

What is herd immunity?

When enough people in a community are vaccinated against a disease, this can make it more difficult for the disease to spread to susceptible individuals who have not

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U.S. companies, labs rush to produce blood test for coronavirus immunity

U.S. companies, labs rush to produce blood test for coronavirus immunity

By Chad Terhune, Allison Martell and Julie Steenhuysen

(Reuters) – As the United States works overtime to screen thousands for the novel coronavirus, a new blood test offers the chance to find out who may have immunity – a potential game changer in the battle to contain infections and get the economy back on track.

Several academic laboratories and medical companies are rushing to produce these blood tests, which can quickly identify disease-fighting antibodies in people who already have been infected but may have had mild symptoms or none at all. This is different from the current, sometimes hard-to-come-by diagnostic tests that draw on a nasal swab to confirm active infection.

“Ultimately, this (antibody test) might help us figure out who can get the country back to normal,” Florian Krammer, a professor in vaccinology at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine, told Reuters. “People who are immune could be the

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