Well, here we will now read about basic concepts of herd immunity and whether it will protect us from COVID-19 transmission. These days there has been a lot of talking about this particular issues, even in news media across the globe. So lets begin!
What herd immunity is and why it is important from public health perspective?
Herd immunity occurs when an outsized portion of a community (the herd) becomes resistant to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. As a result, the entire community becomes protected — not just those that are immune.
Often, a percentage of the population must be capable of getting a disease so as for it to spread. This is often called a threshold proportion. If the proportion of the population that’s resistant to the disease is bigger than this threshold, the spread of the disease will decline. This is often referred to as the herd immunity threshold.
SO you may want to know what percentage of a community must be immune so as to realize herd immunity? It varies from disease to disease. The more contagious a disease is, the greater the proportion of the population that must be resistant to the disease to prevent its spread. For instance , the measles may be a highly contagious illness. It’s estimated that 94% of the population must be resistant to interrupt the chain of transmission.
In case of Measles, it’s estimated that 94% of the population must be resistant to interrupt the chain of transmission.
Does this mean all most all of us should get infected, at least once? Oh! No! Direct infection is not just the one way of transmission. Now lets know about
How is herd immunity achieved?
There are two paths to herd immunity for COVID-19 — vaccines and infection. Vaccines create immunity without causing illness or resulting complications. This is probably the best way!
A vaccine for the virus that causes COVID-19 would be a perfect approach to achieving herd immunity. Vaccines create immunity without causing illness or resulting complications. Herd immunity makes it possible to guard the population from a disease, including those that cannot be vaccinated, like newborns or those that have compromised immune systems. Using the concept of herd immunity, vaccines have successfully controlled deadly contagious diseases like smallpox, polio, diphtheria, rubella and lots of others.
Reaching herd immunity through vaccination sometimes has drawbacks, though. Protection from some vaccines can wane over time, requiring revaccination. Sometimes people aren’t getting all of the shots that they have to be completely shielded from a disease.
In addition, some people may object to vaccines due to religious objections, fears about the possible risks or skepticism about the advantages . People that object to vaccines often sleep in an equivalent neighborhoods or attend an equivalent religious services or schools. If the proportion of vaccinated people during a community falls below the herd immunity threshold, exposure to a contagion could end in the disease quickly spreading. Measles has recently resurged in several parts of the planet with relatively low vaccination rates, even in developed nations like US . Opposition to vaccines can pose a true challenge to herd immunity.
There are some major problems with counting on community infection to make herd immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19. First, it is not yet clear if infection with the COVID-19 virus makes an individual resistant to future infection.
Herd immunity also can be reached when a sufficient number of individuals within the population have recovered from a disease and have developed antibodies against future infection. For instance , those that survived the 1918 flu (influenza) pandemic were later resistant to infection with the H1N1 flu, a subtype of influenza A. During the 2009-10 flu season, H1N1 caused the respiratory tract infection in humans that was commonly mentioned as swine influenza .
However, there are some major problems with counting on community infection to make herd immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19. First, it is not yet clear if infection with the COVID-19 virus makes an individual resistant to future infection.
Research suggests that after infection with some coronaviruses, reinfection with an equivalent virus — though usually mild and only happening during a fraction of individuals — is feasible after a period of months or years. Further research is required to work out the protective effect of antibodies to the virus in those that are infected.
Even if infection with the COVID-19 virus creates long-lasting immunity, an outsized number of individuals would need to become infected to succeed in the herd immunity threshold. Experts estimate that within the U.S., 70% of the population — quite 200 million people — would need to get over COVID-19 to halt the epidemic. If many of us become sick with COVID-19 directly , the health care system could quickly become overwhelmed. This amount of infection could also cause serious complications and many deaths, especially among older people and people who have chronic conditions.
Experts estimate that within the U.S., 70% of the population — quite 200 million people — would need to get over COVID-19 to halt the epidemic. Taking this math, over 20 million population in Nepal should get infected at least once to achieve herd immunity.
We can conclude that achieving herd immunity will take more longer and vaccine is the best option considering various things.
So as a individual we have some role to slow COID-19 transmission until vaccine is available
How can you slow the transmission of COVID-19?
Until a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, it’s crucial to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus and protect individuals at increased risk of severe illness, including older adults and other people of any age with underlying health conditions.To reduce the danger of infection:
- Avoid large events and mass gatherings.
- Avoid close contact (within about 6 feet, or 2 meters) with anyone who is sick or has symptoms.
- Stay home the maximum amount as possible and keep distance between yourself et al. (within about 6 feet, or 2 meters) if COVID-19 is spreading in your community, especially if you’ve got a better risk of great illness. confine mind some people may have the COVID-19 virus and spread it to others, albeit they do not have symptoms or do not know they need COVID-19.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains a minimum of 60% alcohol.
- Wear a cloth face covering publicly spaces, like the grocery , where it’s difficult to avoid close contact with others, especially if you’re in a neighborhood with ongoing community spread. Only use non-medical cloth masks — surgical masks and N95 respirators should be reserved for health care providers.
- Cover your mouth and nose together with your elbow or a tissue once you cough or sneeze. Throw away the used tissue.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Avoid sharing dishes, glasses, bedding and other home items if you’re sick.
- Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces, like doorknobs, light switches, electronics and counters, daily.
- Stay home from work, school and public areas if you’re sick, unless you are going to urge medical aid .
- Avoid public transportation, taxis and ride-sharing if you’re sick.
Thanks for reading!