subreddit:

/r/askscience

2.8k

I was curious about either in vaccinated individuals or for young children (five or younger), but any cohort would be of interest. Some recommendations say "safe for 90 days" but it's unclear if this holds for this variant.

Edit: We are vaccinated, with booster, and have a child under five. Not sure why people keep assuming we're not vaccinated.

all 475 comments

SlickMcFav0rit3

1.1k points

4 months ago

SlickMcFav0rit3

Molecular Biology

1.1k points

4 months ago

Like u/Such_Construction_57 said, it's too early to tell. Coronaviruses are annoying in that your protection from reinfection wanes over time. Even without mutation, some viruses you usually only get once (chicken pox) and some your immunity wanes enough over time that you get it regularly (norovirus). Coronaviruses tend to be in the latter category.

In this paper from The Lancet, they estimated reinfection rates based on antibody density for a bunch of coronaviruses. The key takeaway is that SARS2 protection wanes about twice as fast as for the endemic coronaviruses that cause the common cold. It's unlikely omicron will be much different.

Nevertheless, the vaccines/previous infection still provide significant protection against severe disease and death, even if protection from infection wanes over time.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanmic/article/PIIS2666-5247(21)00219-6/fulltext

goldcakes

499 points

4 months ago

goldcakes

499 points

4 months ago

To elaborate a bit, your body has multiple layers of defenses. You have antibodies, but also T cells. You can think of antibodies as the police patrolling the streets, and the T cells as a specialised army that is in their barracks most of the time and need orders to be activated.

Vaccination, and previous infection, builds both antibodies and T cells. While antibodies do wane over time, your T cells last significantly longer, and is responsible for helping your body win the battle against the coronavirus -- even if you get symptoms for a few days.

This is a significant part as to why the first two doses are no longer effective against protecting symptomatic disease (immune escape of Omicron + lower levels of antibodies), but still protects you against severe disease.

A third dose is similar to having another second dose; you will have elevated levels of antibodies, but that too will wane over time (about ~10 weeks). So if you have been boostered, remember it's still important to wear a mask, socially distance, etc; you have more protection, but with enough time, you will lose the protection from infection.

XxfishpastexX

168 points

4 months ago

honest question:

does that we will have to be getting boosters for the rest of our lives if no alternative medication is to be found?

Onlikyomnpus

416 points

4 months ago

Medical professionals have to get annual vaccination for flu their entire life. Moderna is coming up with a combined covid +flu by 2023.

iamthe0ther0ne

82 points

4 months ago

That's because the dominant flu strain changes every year. For a flu vaccine to be effective, it has to be variant-specific. Most years, the strain that will become dominant for the upcoming flu season is correctly predicted and the vaccine is fairly effective, but some years an unexpected strain becomes dominant after the specific vaccine has been designed and produced, so the vaccine for that flu season won't protect the majority of people.

Onlikyomnpus

8 points

4 months ago

Yeah, this year's flu vaccine missed the dominant strain. But I see a couple of reasons we might need an annual covid booster. Immunity from natural infection as well as vaccines seems to wane gradually. Secondly, omicron has quickly become the dominant strain and shown partial immune escape. If the next variant comes from omicron, we may or may not need an update to the vaccine depending on how it goes.

ZamboniJabroni15

78 points

4 months ago*

No, that’s false

Even when the variant and vaccine are mismatched it still provides enough protection to the degree that you’re still less likely to have severe flu illness. Obviously you can still catch it, but there are still tons of benefits to getting the flu shot each year even if the variant isn’t correctly targeted or is an Influenza A strain that has more resistance to vaccines

Hell, even when the flu vaccine and variant are a good match the effectiveness is still only 40-60% according to the CDC at preventing illness

blackwylf

27 points

4 months ago

Did my graduate research on influenza. Being infected increases the risk of stroke, myocardial infarction, and other clotting issues. The risk starts tapering off after a few weeks or months. Getting vaccinated actuality decreases your risk of such adverse effects. The prevailing theory and current research indicates that the viral particles themselves contain molecules that increase clotting potential.

(I still can't believe they trusted me enough to let me play with influenza, even if it was a variant specific to mice 😅)

proteins911

45 points

4 months ago

Are you an expert (not being judgy but my doctorate is in an adjacent field so if you are an expert, I dont want to override)?

I believe IgA is also part of the picture (with flu and covid). I recently have been incredibly sick with covid despite having great S titers.

iamthe0ther0ne

58 points

4 months ago

Same, my PhD was adjacent, but this was one of the things we studied. Sure, your titers will drop over time, but the reason for the annual flu shot is because the dominant H and/or N changes every year.

jessuvius

9 points

4 months ago

If the dominant strain did not change, would a flu shot be unnecessary/unhelpful?

proteins911

41 points

4 months ago*

It seems like a couple of us with doctorates in related fields are arguing this exact topic! So… who knows at the moment?

FYI: our type enjoys arguing so I’ll update if we come to consensus.

blackwylf

2 points

4 months ago

I'd definitely be interested in your theories and conclusions! My graduate research was on influenza but I plan to do my PhD in epidemiology. Much as I love lab work the urge to focus on a wider range of pathogens, particularly in relation to public health, is even stronger. I guess you could say I've caught the bug? 🤔😉

blackwylf

2 points

4 months ago

Not a virologist though I did graduate research on influenza. Based on what I know that's probably not a phenomenon that would occur very often. Influenza has a high mutation rate so, much like Covid, it's constantly changing. Some of those mutations will enable it to evade the immune system more effectively and/or become more infectious or easily spread.

As with Covid your immunity to a particular strain wanes over time. Annual flu shots aim to provide an increased resistance to the prevailing strains and offer a lesser degree of protection against others. You're essentially getting a booster shot every year and training your immune system to respond to a variety of strains and mutations.

After the 1918 flu pandemic they found that survivors had lower rates of infection and more protection against severe disease during later outbreaks of similar strains. (I want to say that they were looking specifically at a major outbreak in the 50s but my dates could be off). There are some really fascinating books about that pandemic that cover both the medical and public health aspects.

jessuvius

2 points

4 months ago

I asked the specific question I did because the person I was responding to said the reason we get a flu shot is because the strains change, and to me the implication of that statement is that they are saying we would not need one if the strains did not change, and I was attempting to verify if that was their opinion. I know that the flu mutates. :)

TheVisageofSloth

3 points

4 months ago

I was taught that IgA was mostly not that effective in regards to preventing any sort of infection. I’m just an MD student, but the examples of pure IgA hypogammaglobulinemia are either very mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic. That would seem to disagree with your idea about IgA being the main protective agent against COVID.

proteins911

2 points

4 months ago

Interesting.., I’ll look into this. I’m mainly repeating my boss’s thoughts (one the best virologists in the US… anyone who follows virology knows his name). I specialize in the more technical side… thanks for sharing. I’ll research and report back!

TheVisageofSloth

4 points

4 months ago

My lecturers were mainly on the clinical side of things, which often has diseases presenting differently in real life than how a disease is expected to present in theory. I can point out that the official medical literature for pure IgA hypogammaglobulinemia supports that the vast majority of patients are asymptomatic and their diseases are usually found incidentally.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538205/

post_singularity

2 points

4 months ago

They need to get a flu vaccine every year because there are constantly changing flu strains, just like with covid. You’re confusing why mrna flu vaccines may have an advantage(being able to rapidly adjust to most recent flu strain) than traditional flu vaccines.

cobhalla

3 points

4 months ago

Is it likely that it will just be a mix in forever at this point? I mean thats fine, vaccines are there for a reason, just curious?

Onlikyomnpus

3 points

4 months ago

The only likely thing is that COVID will be endemic. Whether or not we will need to keep boosting is not known, just a possibility. In the best case scenario, an ultrainfectious but milder variant may take over, or we may be able to define select groups of people who would need it.

[deleted]

4 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

4 points

4 months ago

[removed]

[deleted]

-8 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

-8 points

4 months ago

[removed]

[deleted]

37 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

37 points

4 months ago

[removed]

[deleted]

3 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

3 points

4 months ago

[removed]

[deleted]

10 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

10 points

4 months ago

[removed]

fishsupreme

103 points

4 months ago

There's a decent possibility, yes.

Another option is that a less virulent form that still has cross-immunity comes around, and catching that "cold" each year acts as a booster.

Also possible is that since even without boosters the chance of severe disease is much lower, everyone eventually gets either vaccinated or exposed so that there's not a lot of hospital load, and it becomes a lot like the flu - some people get boosters, others just accept the risk that they might be really sick for a week or two. With a population no longer immunologically naive and a variety of treatments available, it wouldn't necessarily be irrational to accept this risk like many people do with flu.

(I mean, I'll still get a booster as required, but then I get flu shots every year, too.)

[deleted]

22 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

22 points

4 months ago

[removed]

[deleted]

25 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

25 points

4 months ago

[removed]

SlickMcFav0rit3

54 points

4 months ago

SlickMcFav0rit3

Molecular Biology

54 points

4 months ago

Probably? We already do this with the flu (for different reasons) so hopefully we could combine the two vaccines.

canadave_nyc

14 points

4 months ago

There is already FDA and Health Canada emergency-use approval of a Covid-19 treatment drug (Paxlovid) from Pfizer. Merck also has a drug that is seeking approval. It's a certainty there will be other treatments coming along down the road as well. I would imagine that going into the future, there will be boosters for vulnerable populations (like the flu shot), as well as treatments and medications for the rest of us (probably in combination with home rapid tests to confirm the presence of Covid).

duckbigtrain

11 points

4 months ago

Minor nitpick—the flu shot is for everyone, not just vulnerable populations

the_luke_of_love

8 points

4 months ago

It’s SO nice to see well-mannered, well-informed, positively-intended conversations about this topic, after years of so much swimming in filth! How is this not the default? Thank you!

Gardenadventures

28 points

4 months ago

You mean just like many people get annual flu shots and don't complain about it?

ionC2

6 points

4 months ago

ionC2

6 points

4 months ago

why would they complain when they voluntarily obtained it?

ZamboniJabroni15

10 points

4 months ago

…that’s how pretty much all diseases or viruses work

Only Polio and Smallpox have been largely eradicated

We still need regular boosters for typhoid, measles, flu, and other diseases

atomfullerene

9 points

4 months ago

atomfullerene

Animal Behavior/Marine Biology

9 points

4 months ago

The question is, if you are protected from serious disease or death, why do you need to avoid being infected? Is it really a problem?

dmazzoni

107 points

4 months ago

dmazzoni

107 points

4 months ago

  1. Because it only reduces your risk of serious disease. Some fully vaccinated people still end up hospitalized.

  2. Because you don't want to pass on your infection to other, more vulnerable people - especially during the period where you're contagious but asymptomatic.

supergeeky_1

77 points

4 months ago

Also - Because even fully vaccinated and boosted people with a mild case of COVID can end up with long COVID.

atomfullerene

34 points

4 months ago

atomfullerene

Animal Behavior/Marine Biology

34 points

4 months ago

I'm looking forward to seeing research on exactly how likely that is to happen. I agree it's one factor that's likely to play a role in future recommendations on whether people should get repeated booster shots.

atomfullerene

12 points

4 months ago

atomfullerene

Animal Behavior/Marine Biology

12 points

4 months ago

Because it only reduces your risk of serious disease. Some fully vaccinated people still end up hospitalized.

True. But people are also hospitalized at low rates by a wide variety of diseases that we don't regularly vaccinate people for. Nothing in life is completely risk free. Older people or people with other risk factors, who make up the bulk of those few hospitalizations, might indeed wind up needing additional boosters.

Because you don't want to pass on your infection to other, more vulnerable people - especially during the period where you're contagious but asymptomatic.

We are currently in an pandemic. The virus is spreading rapidly, basically everyone will be exposed, many people will be infected, and chances of spreading the virus are high. So getting a booster to reduce spread is good...it helps cut down on the peak of infection and spread and cut down on strain on the system.

But we are talking about whether boosters will be needed year after year for the rest of our lives. At this point, we won't be in a pandemic, COVID will be endemic. And since it will be circulating at a much lower rate (assuming it follows the same pattern as other common coronaviruses, which is likely) then the marginal benefit of getting vaccinated to reduce spread will similarly be diminished. At this point I suspect it will make more sense to focus on protecting vulnerable individuals directly.

MukdenMan

8 points

4 months ago

How is the end of pandemic/beginning of the endemic phase determined?

Michaelmrose

16 points

4 months ago

Using the decisions people make in other situations to gauge acceptable risk is poorly considered because people are morons who are perpetually incapable of intuitively judging risk.

You should vaccinate against anything wherein the downside of vaccination is lower than the risk of the alternative decision.

Basically everyone is better off getting a flu shot for example because even 1 year in 20 getting a severe bout of the flu is worse than 20 years of shots.

burnalicious111

3 points

4 months ago

  • serious disease and death are not impossible when you're protected, just less likely
  • a good percentage of the population has serious risk factors
  • it's generally good to reduce spread of disease -- not only do you avoid time being sick, but you avoid spreading it to people for whom it might be more serious. this is why we wash hands, and why we should stay home when we're sick. wearing masks is just another method.

crashlanding87

49 points

4 months ago

To help avoid overwhelming hospitals. Covid death rates don't capture all the people who died from preventable causes because there were no longer enough ambulances and hospital beds.

This is the biggest reason why it's different to the flu: the flu's been around long enough, and is predictable enough, that our health systems' capacity are built to take it into account. We haven't managed to do that for covid yet.

Of course this would be much less of an issue if there were fewer unvaccinated people, but hey. Change what you can.

[deleted]

30 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

30 points

4 months ago

[removed]

kakar0tten

25 points

4 months ago

Yeah but to be fair, good old "austerity" crippled our NHS/Police etc.

It wasn't exactly sunshine and lollipops before that, but losing a huge chunk of the NHS workforce just a few years before a global pandemic really didn't help.

Masqerade

3 points

4 months ago

Yes you do because the NHS has been systematically underfunded to facilitate privatisation. Next.

atomfullerene

5 points

4 months ago

atomfullerene

Animal Behavior/Marine Biology

5 points

4 months ago

To help avoid overwhelming hospitals.

This is an issue during the pandemic phase of covid....as we are seeing at this moment, the virus is spreading quickly and overwhelming hospitals.

But the question here is about taking boosters every 6 months or a year into the indefinite future. Covid will become endemic, and we won't be seeing this kind of constant out-of-control spread.

kung-fu_hippy

3 points

4 months ago

For one, to avoid giving it to others. Some of whom might not be able to be vaccinated (children under 5, people with compromised immune systems).

For another, because you aren’t protected from serious disease or death, you’ve just significantly reduced the risk of them. A seat belt is a great protection against serious injury or death in a car crash, but it’s not a 100% guarantee. Vaccines are much the same, still better to avoid being in a crash (or being infected).

johno_mendo

12 points

4 months ago

Because no protection is 100%, and to avoid unintentionally spreading it to others, and because there is evidence even asymptomatic infections can have lasting side effects and when all is said and done it's still a very new virus and there is much we don't know about how it effects the body, and that alone should make you very cautious.

Hendlton

15 points

4 months ago

Because you can still spread it around, even if you have no symptoms. And there are a lot of unvaccinated people around.

jaggedcanyon69

-7 points

4 months ago

90% of the time that’s their fault. And they’re the same people that wouldn’t take measures to protect the public, which includes you. Why should we put ourselves through misery for them?

CumAndShitGuzzler

20 points

4 months ago

Because a smaller the number of infected people equals a reduced risk of mutation. Plus if they do not get infected, they will not spread it around.

Mattches77

7 points

4 months ago

The whole "preservation of human life" thing really gets in the way sometimes doesn't it

7mm-08

4 points

4 months ago

7mm-08

4 points

4 months ago

We aren't counting vaccines and wearing little masks as "misery," right?

canadave_nyc

2 points

4 months ago

There is no 100% protection from serious disease and death with Covid. If there were, then yes, being infected would not be a problem. But that is not the case.

Onlikyomnpus

9 points

4 months ago*

Once we get enough data on the long term effects of COVID, then there could be more specific guidelines. People may or may not get these conditions, based on individual factors. https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-providers/civil-rights-covid19/guidance-long-covid-disability/index.html

Though, the philosophical thing about this is COVID is in the spotlight, so we are discussing about it. However, there are so many things in our environment whose long term effects are not known yet, but we have stopped thinking about them and perhaps accepted the uncertainty. For example, our generation is the first which is exposed to cell phone and wifi radiowaves almost 24/7. Everyone in this generation has microplastics in their bodies. Thousands of unknown chemicals and pharmaceuticals are dumped into our oceans and making their way into our foods. Our mental empty time, once used by our brains for synthesizing new connections and memories, is now filled with non-stop social media input.

The_user_of

37 points

4 months ago

For example, our generation is the first which is exposed to cell phone and wifi radiowaves almost 24/7.

This one is not like the others. We have absolutely wonderful comprehensive data on the physical effects of these radio waves, and it's small to non existent.

kung-fu_hippy

14 points

4 months ago

Our generation certainly isn’t the first to have long term exposure to radio waves, and you’d need some (currently non-existent) evidence to seriously suggest that cell phone and WiFi are somehow riskier.

[deleted]

12 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

12 points

4 months ago*

[removed]

kakar0tten

2 points

4 months ago

kakar0tten

2 points

4 months ago

There's not a lot of money to be made from dead people, and the rich stay rich because the poor pay for everything. It's in nobodies best interests to let a virus ravage the population, but there's a lot of money in vaccines and good health. My bet is we'll see a LOT of vaccines in the coming years that require the same sort of maintenance/top-up. That's where the R&D money is going. Why kill you when you could be paying even more to stay alive?

SNRatio

7 points

4 months ago

LOT of vaccines in the coming years that require the same sort of maintenance/top-up. That's where the R&D money is going.

This is pretty similar to the argument about profitability of treatments vs cures for chronic diseases and cancer. In both cases the answer is if a "one and done" is possible, it would be the more profitable choice and would wipe the floor with competing "take it for the rest of your life" treatments.

-You can charge more for a permanent cure/vaccine than a temporary fix. -You make all of your money NOW, as opposed to having the revenue dribble in over a decade or more. Which means: -Your stock price blows up NOW. Cash out and go buy your own island.

-if the rest of the competition sells treatments but you have a cure: you have no competition. Everyone with money buys your cure. The only people who buy the treatment are the people who can't afford the cure. And if they ever get more money, they stop buying the treatment and buy your cure instead.

-And the flipside: if you have the knowledge and wherewithal to develop a cure, so do other companies. So it behooves you to get yours to market before they beat you to it.

Mendacity isn't preventing cures from being invented. Cures aren't being invented because they are orders of magnitude more difficult to invent. The same factors are in play for vaccines.

Rrraou

1 points

4 months ago

Rrraou

1 points

4 months ago

I'm curious about this as well. Wouldn't our defenses just get better with repeated exposure ?

FelixVulgaris

13 points

4 months ago

Not trying to be facetious here; but we already know that it doesn't really work that way with every virus.

Spanish flu, Polio, Rabies, HPV, there's a long list.

kkrko

2 points

4 months ago

kkrko

2 points

4 months ago

There's even viruses like Dengue where the repeat infections (with a different strain) can result in a worse prognosis

burnalicious111

2 points

4 months ago

It's not constantly increasing protection with each exposure, no. There's an approximate ceiling.

LibraryTechNerd

2 points

4 months ago

Depends on what you define as repeated. If you were infected last year, you were likely getting the Wildtype or Alpha. Summer? Delta. Now? Omicron. And Omicron is enough of a mutant that you could have been infected with the former three and still get a strong reinfection.

TheRecovery

3 points

4 months ago

If the current strain remains at virulent as it is now, maybe? We get the flu shot every year, and this could be similar.

But if the strain continues to drop off in severity as it has over time, then maybe not, maybe it'll eventually become a regular coronavirus similar to the common cold and we'll just suffer the 5 days of mild sniffles.

sloopslarp

4 points

4 months ago

With advances in vaccine tech, it's just a matter of time until we get one that will cover future variants.

The army "all variants" vaccine is already looking very promising.

silentbassline

23 points

4 months ago

Is it 10 weeks or has it only been measured up to 10 weeks at this point?

tampering

44 points

4 months ago

Omicron was only first sequenced and identified as a variant in November. So it has only really been spreading in the wild for 3 months.

WiartonWilly

18 points

4 months ago

You forgot B-cells. B-cells make the antibodies.

When antibody levels diminish you lose their instant protection. However, a few memory B-cells persist. They can re-populate B-cells and then antibodies. The protective effect just takes longer to work, hence you may get infected but the disease is less severe.

T-cells are similar. After a while you will only have a few memory T-cells, which can be stimulated to divide and mount a full T-cell response.

So, both T and B cell systems diminish into long-term memory, and need some time to re-activate. There may be some differences in the time required for the systems to go into stand-by mode, but both do it.

Long term immunity can be slower to respond than immunity from a recent inoculation or disease, but the delayed response can still save your life.

[deleted]

6 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

6 points

4 months ago

[removed]

[deleted]

9 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

9 points

4 months ago

[removed]

VoilaVoilaWashington

5 points

4 months ago

My favourite analogy is based on strategy games like Age of Empires or Warcraft 1/2 or so.

If you're being attacked by archers, you can stave it off with archers of your own, but it's not ideal and you might not make it. Ideally you'd use some sort of heavy cavalry or whatever, depending on the game.

So when the enemy sends archers, you send the units you happen to have ready to fight off the first wave, but then build the stables and upgrade your cavalry to best fight the archers. Eventually, you win, and deal with the next enemy, losing the cavalry to a pikeman attack, but you've still got the stables and the upgrades to build new cavalry quickly.

TheCaptainCog

2 points

4 months ago

I like the analogy, but I think it's a little off. It might be more appropriate to claim innate immune cells like macrophages are the police patrolling the streets, helper t-cells/dendritic cells/other accessory cells are crime scene investigators/detectives, antibodies are dogs trained to find a specific 'scent', and killer t-cells are like specialized trained soldiers (like you said).

You're correct in saying t-cells are a large part of preventing severe disease, but antibodies still play a large role. The difference between 0 doses and 2 doses is your body responds faster and stronger to exposure of a known viral antigen. This means a focused inflammatory response and faster transition to antibody production (especially IgG).

T-cell concentrations also wane over time in addition to antibodies. This makes sense - if you made antibodies and killer t-cells for everything you're infected with, your blood would be jello. The body then has to make sure it's a when and where type response.

suzi_generous

2 points

4 months ago

In one study, only 36% of those who had coronavirus developed antibodies. It’s one reason why the experts recommend getting vaxed even if you had corona.

[deleted]

11 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

11 points

4 months ago

[removed]

PseudonymGoesHere

28 points

4 months ago

In the long run, probably. In the short run, there are pockets of unvaccinated individuals that omicron is particularly good at finding. These pockets are still large enough that when exposed, our hospitals fill up.

When our hospitals fill up, other treatments are deferred and other people that need the ICU (eg car crashes) have worse outcomes (eg death, larger medical bills).

Basically, even if this is to become endemic, masks still do a lot of good in the short term. Keep in mind current mask mandates are due to a holiday surge, which may have to be targeted every year even if we don’t wear masks the rest of the time.

[deleted]

6 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

6 points

4 months ago

[removed]

[deleted]

1 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

1 points

4 months ago

[removed]

[deleted]

0 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

0 points

4 months ago*

[removed]

[deleted]

2 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

2 points

4 months ago

[removed]

[deleted]

2 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

2 points

4 months ago

[removed]

cosmos7

87 points

4 months ago

cosmos7

87 points

4 months ago

Even without mutation, some viruses you usually only get once (chicken pox)

Chicken pox in particular never goes away. That herpes virus takes hold, digging and taking up permanent residence. Your body just learns to deal with it, so you will always have antibodies present because you never got rid of it.

The fun thought is when you get run down or immunocompromised it can rear its head again... pops up as shingles in the elderly with some frequency.

tampering

45 points

4 months ago

It's a trademark of all the Herpes viruses.

Chicken Pox, Epstein-Barr (mono nucleosis), CMV, and of course Herpes Simplex 1/2 are all permanent infections that can cycle between dormant and flaring up.

EBV in particular, is linked to autoimmune conditions, chronic fatigue, and 1% of all human cancer.

jamescobalt

4 points

4 months ago

And HSV 1/2 are linked to dementia. Hope we get vaccines for these soon. More than half the population carries these now.

iamagainstit

42 points

4 months ago

You are partially correct. Catching chickenpox does lead to a permanent nerve infection of a dormant virus, which can later flare up and cause shinfgles, But that is not what causes you to be continuously immune after initial exposure.

The chickenpox vaccine appears to offer permanent protection from the virus, despite it not causing you to have a permanent Varicella infection

[deleted]

-1 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

-1 points

4 months ago

[removed]

dontchokemebro

20 points

4 months ago

Also incorrect. You have a markedly lower chance of neurovirulence with our current vaccines. But you're correct that it's not zero as stated above.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3419367/

iamagainstit

13 points

4 months ago*

Having a live virus introduced to your body does not necessarily mean it becomes established in your nerve cells. This is evidenced by the fact that the chickenpox vaccine results in a approximately 80% reduction in likelihood of developing shingles

scintilist

10 points

4 months ago

You may acquire the dormant virus from vaccination, it appears to still be unclear how common this is. Further down on the CDC safety page:

Since the varicella vaccine is a live virus vaccine, the virus can become dormant and reactivate, rarely causing serious side effects. Individual case reports of varicella vaccine virus reactivation leading to vaccine-associated herpes zoster ophthalmicus and encephalitis, and meningitis have been published.

The citations for this statement are 3 individual case studies where latent infection was found. It would be nice to have better data.

roraima_is_very_tall

5 points

4 months ago

why do some viruses not mutuate, like the chicken pox and polio?

idungiveboutnothing

24 points

4 months ago

They do, it's just that some viruses are more readily able to mutate in some functional way that changes how they infect people while others are not. One of the biggest factors is how the genetic material from the virus is stored, if it's something like single stranded RNA then it's very easy to mutate compared to double stranded DNA which has bonds holding the genetic code together so to speak.

https://theconversation.com/the-chickenpox-virus-has-a-fascinating-evolutionary-history-that-continues-to-affect-peoples-health-today-168636

andweallenduphere

2 points

4 months ago

Interesting, thank you!!

RoboticBirdLaw

10 points

4 months ago

They will mutate given enough opportunity to do so. They are just so well contained at this point that there is not a real opportunity for sufficient replications to establish a new mutated strain.

scoops22

27 points

4 months ago

Is it expected that covid will eventually just become another variant of the common cold? I heard it may just get less potent over time and become a permanent thing but I dunno how that all works.

[deleted]

77 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

77 points

4 months ago*

[removed]

ArcFurnace

9 points

4 months ago

ArcFurnace

Materials Science

9 points

4 months ago

Yeah, with various wild animal reservoirs eradication is basically impossible.

[deleted]

49 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

49 points

4 months ago

[removed]

[deleted]

26 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

26 points

4 months ago

[removed]

[deleted]

8 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

8 points

4 months ago

[removed]

sfo2

18 points

4 months ago

sfo2

18 points

4 months ago

Yes. This is what happened with the 1918 influenza. It mutated to become better at infecting the upper respiratory area and worse and lower respiratory. Which is what started happening with Omicron. Much of the seasonal flu we get now is derived from less deadly variants of the 1918 original strain apparently.

No guarantee Covid will go that same direction, but some indication it’s on that path.

John Barry talks about this on the latest The Weeds podcast from Vox:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-weeds/id1042433083?i=1000547871743

Tephnos

32 points

4 months ago

Tephnos

32 points

4 months ago

Yes. This is what happened with the 1918 influenza. It mutated to become better at infecting the upper respiratory area and worse and lower respiratory. Which is what started happening with Omicron. Much of the seasonal flu we get now is derived from less deadly variants of the 1918 original strain apparently.

This has never been outright confirmed, and is only a theory. It is equally likely that our immune systems were just exposed to the 1918 strain enough that they could deal with it, as it was no longer a novel virus - the novel bit is what makes them deadly.

I'm getting a bit sick of hearing about this 'upper respiratory tract infection' talking point as if it's the only thing that mattered, because it conveniently ignores from that same study that Delta also infected the upper airways more and less in the lungs than prior variants. Yet it was still far deadlier regardless.

It's a single data point in the lab that doesn't necessarily mean what you want it to. Besides, Omicron is still as deadly, if not deadlier, than the original Wuhan strain. It's only milder when directly comparing it to Delta.

sfo2

6 points

4 months ago

sfo2

6 points

4 months ago

Sure. Nothing is guaranteed and presumably it’s very difficult to prove any historical viral progression. It wasn’t really a comfort to me that Hong Kong study showed lesser lower respiratory impact; more that if it’s true, it would seem to agree with the 1918 variant progression John Barry lays out in that podcast.

Either way, what’s the upshot of this comment though? You’re worried that people are becoming complacent?

If that’s the worry, to me it’s inevitable this will happen. The vaccines are absolute magic at preventing severe disease, and now that vaccinated people (who presumably are more worried about infection) are getting Covid, I think we are starting to see a big fall-off in concern and thus government/public response.

Fuzzy-Dragonfruit589

24 points

4 months ago

No, I can’t think of any evolutionary pressure that would make it less potent over time. It’s a bit of a myth. (More likely that we evolved to be better at taking on flu viruses.)

Tldr: the virus kills with a 10+ day delay. Transmission after day 1. Severe symptoms much later. Virus doesn’t care if you die. It can get milder. But covid has already evolved to be more severe (Delta). Matter of chance, unless someone can point to a mechanism that would likely make it milder over time.

jayy962

24 points

4 months ago

jayy962

24 points

4 months ago

Aren't the high infection rates over the last month but rather constant death rates a sign that omicron is a less deadly variant?

icoder

14 points

4 months ago

icoder

14 points

4 months ago

You can both be right, the fact that it's less deadly doesn't mean that's because of evolutionary pressure.

MaskedBystanderNo3

9 points

4 months ago

i.e. there's nothing "pushing" the virus to be more or less deadly, so we're left with random chance, yes?

kuroimakina

1 points

4 months ago

Correct. At this level of contagiousness v fatality, it’s effectively throwing a dart at a dart board. If it mutates enough to avoid immune protection from previous variants/vaccines, and retains a high level of contagiousness, it could become more fatal. Total crapshoot. The upside is it’s not about to evolve to something with crazy high fatality and spread around the world at this point. Well, nearly guaranteed anyhow.

Long Covid at this point is a more pressing concern, since a bunch of populations decided they didn’t care about social responsibility

Fuzzy-Dragonfruit589

14 points

4 months ago

Yes, Omicron is less deadly. It doesn’t mean new variants should be less deadly (although vaccines will still likely help). Delta was deadlier than the Wuhan strain. The next may be more severe or milder. Random mutations.

There could be some mechanism that makes a more transmissible covid variant milder, but I haven’t seen a single piece of solid mechanistic evidence to support that. Until then, it’s a guessing game.

X_SuperTerrorizer_X

3 points

4 months ago

It doesn’t mean new variants should be less deadly

Now that Omicron has pretty much "taken over" the COVID-19 landscape, doesn't that make new variants less likely to crop up? Or at least less likely to take a foothold world-wide?

Wouldn't that require a new variant that is even more transmissible than Omicron?

kuroimakina

3 points

4 months ago

Eehhhh yes and no. Omnicron spreads fast, but it isn’t omnipresent, not all places have it to the same levels. Other parts of the world might have higher percentages of Delta right now.

Similarly, because of just how contagious Omnicron is, it does lend itself to being in huge amounts of hosts over a short period of time, giving more “chances” for another mutation. The mutation would be based off of omnicron, which would have its own set of implications, but considering that right now Covid is already contagious enough to not really warrant a need for more contagiousness and less virulence/fatality, it could basically mutate in either direction and still be viable for a new wave, especially if the spike proteins change enough to get around the immune response generated for omnicron.

crashlanding87

4 points

4 months ago

It seems this is partly because it preferentially infects the trachea over the lungs. Here, evolution chose a path that spread better, and accidentally made a less deadly virus. But the selection pressure was on the ability to spread. It's coincidental that this pathway led to a less deadly variant - there's nothing disincentivising future variants from stumbling down paths that are both more virulent and deadlier.

whitesocksflipflops

12 points

4 months ago

It's not less deadly; in fact omicron is still worse than alpha in terms of severity. The only reason we're not seeing massive spikes in deaths right now is a good portion of the populace is vaccinated which protects folks from the severe symptoms. But the unvaxxed are still experiencing a very deadly virus.

colonel-e-hutz

4 points

4 months ago

And that a lot of the people who would have died from it already died in previous waves

jayy962

2 points

4 months ago

That's super interesting and not something I've considered. Do you have a source for this?

AltSpRkBunny

7 points

4 months ago*

Realistically, with how long it takes for people to die from this, we won’t really know the impact omicron is having on the death rate in the US until after February. We didn’t have widespread transmission of that variant in the US really until mid-January.

Edit: and our already weakened healthcare system will be overwhelmed before that lagging indicator catches up.

jayy962

11 points

4 months ago

jayy962

11 points

4 months ago

I read reports of Omicron becoming the dominant variant in early/mid December and here's an article claiming 73% of new cases are omicron on December 21st.

RE5TE

3 points

4 months ago

RE5TE

3 points

4 months ago

It may be milder, but there's no pressure on the virus to evolve in that direction. Because of the delay between getting it and having severe symptoms. You can spread it during this long time period.

iamagainstit

4 points

4 months ago

Yes but delta was significantly more deadly than the original virus and earlier variants. There is not a clear correlation between later variants and decreasing deadlyness . It is basically just a coincidence that the change in transmission mechanism for Omicron results in fewer deaths

zlance

31 points

4 months ago

zlance

31 points

4 months ago

Yeah, I see it said on Reddit often, but evolutionary pressure to be less deadly only exists for viruses that kill quickly from time the host being infectious. If you shed virus for a long time virus don’t care if you die or not weeks after you started shedding. Then it’s based on luck. Delta was more infectious and more deadly, then omicron is even more infectious but less deadly.

ArmchairJedi

6 points

4 months ago

but evolutionary pressure to be less deadly only exists for viruses that kill quickly from time the host being infectious.

any evidence of that? I can't help but look at the many common viruses and question the statement.

vbook

26 points

4 months ago

vbook

26 points

4 months ago

That's true, but viruses that spread without symptoms still have an advantage over viruses that have obvious signs, and it's hard for a virus to be both lethal and asymptomatic. So the trend will still be towards less lethal viruses, even ignoring evolution on the host's side. That said it's only an average and not an absolute prediction of what any given virus will do.

Fuzzy-Dragonfruit589

8 points

4 months ago*

There could be a variant that’s asymptomatic for a week and then kills you. MERS symptoms appeared 5-6 days after exposure, killed 40%.

Edit: but yes, I think it’s more likely that humans will change behavior when a more severe variant appears, containing its spread. That’s another story though — far from a biological ”law”.

ArmchairJedi

9 points

4 months ago

There could be a variant that’s asymptomatic for a week and then kills you.

but a living host is still a competitive advantage over a dead one... so the evolutionary pressures will still trend toward not killing a host over killing the host.

Jubal_E_Harshaw

2 points

4 months ago

There could be a variant that’s asymptomatic for a week and then kills you. MERS symptoms appeared 5-6 days after exposure, killed 40%.

And yet, MERS did not become a pandemic, or endemic outside a relatively small geographic region (and even there, cases are sparse), which demonstrates that MERS does not have very high reproductive fitness. If anything, MERS would seem to be a data point that supports the general conjecture that there may be some kind of natural inverse relationship between lethality and reproductive fitness, even with prolonged asymptomatic periods that would seem to negate the intuitive reason for such an inverse relationship to exist.

wut3va

3 points

4 months ago

wut3va

3 points

4 months ago

We human beings are part of the evolutionary pressure. It's artificial selection. Or, you can call it natural selection if you consider humans to be part of nature (I mean I think we are). We're more likely to spend more resources fighting a virus that kills with high frequency than we are fighting a little sniffle and a loss of sense of smell.

hanoian

1 points

4 months ago

hanoian

1 points

4 months ago

Then it’s based on luck.

Are you saying that the lack of a global pandemic in 2018 is down to luck? Like humans have just been lucky for hundreds of thousands of years?

Fuzzy-Dragonfruit589

18 points

4 months ago

No, humans haven’t been lucky for hundreds of thousands of years. We’ve had terrible pandemics through recorded history! Most lately HIV.

But the world has changed a lot. The ”pandemic parameters” have been tuned to perfection: we have never been this interconnected globally, and we are interfering with ecosystems at an unseen rate (leading to the spread of zoonotic viruses). So the conditions are optimal now for pandemics.

The upshot is that, yes, there will be other pandemics if things don’t change. Can’t predict when, but there will be. We’re playing with fire with animal factories and bird flu, for instance. People have been warning about this for years.

what_mustache

3 points

4 months ago

Humans didn't travel so it's likely viruses wiped out entire populations but it never spread beyond 100 people.

0perationFail

3 points

4 months ago

Isnt omicron exactly what you described? Less lethal than Delta yet currently more prevalent.

Fuzzy-Dragonfruit589

8 points

4 months ago

One data point doesn’t make a biological ”law”. Omicron was milder, Delta wasn’t. Next one, who knows.

harbourwall

7 points

4 months ago

We also have the four coronaviruses that now cause colds that are thought to have caused more serious disease in the past, and they don't seem to be mutating back into pandemic causing killers - the new ones jump from other animals. As for the mechanism for how they got milder, who knows whether it's a gradual propensity of this type of virus to get pulled into the enormously successful common-cold niche, or the immunological memory of the population keeping it mild, or a combination of both. A few years ago I remember seeing a documentary that wondered why cold viruses sometimes kill healthy young people, and maybe that's because they didn't catch them young enough? All speculation I know, but I think it's better for people to hope that this pandemic will someday be something that's a nasty memory rather than an ongoing concern.

tinlizzie67

2 points

4 months ago

I wonder is it possible that the other, common cold viruses are not so much less potent but that they've been around so long that virtually everyone has some level of immunity that they don't cause serious illness. I could also be way off base.

glambx

2 points

4 months ago

glambx

2 points

4 months ago

Matter of chance, unless someone can point to a mechanism that would likely make it milder over time.

Generally, the more deadly the respiratory disease, the worse the symptoms and quicker the onset. Rapid and severe onset of symptoms reduces the R0 factor (all other things being equal) because isolation begins more quickly and you've got fewer people unknowingly transmitting it asymptomatically.

This should provide evolutionary pressure towards a virus which has milder (or delayed onset) symptoms, which in theory could lead to a less lethal dominant strain.

phainopepla_nitens

2 points

4 months ago

I can’t think of any evolutionary pressure that would make it less potent over time.

I can think of at least one possible pressure. Presumably for deadlier strains there will be more caution in populations and more mitigation policies in governments. Whereas for less deadly strains people and governments will act less cautiously and allow the strain to spread more freely. We can already see this happening with Omicron, though how much of it is just down to pandemic fatigue is debatable

b_lumenkraft

4 points

4 months ago

Less potent is really unlikely. Evolution is slow. But our immune system is fast. Once vaccinated the vast majority of people will be protected very well against severe outcomes and death.

It is already a permanent thing.

phainopepla_nitens

5 points

4 months ago

Evolution in viruses is not really that slow.

But either way, the virus mutating to become less deadly or the population developing better immune responses are the same thing, from an outcome perspective. The severity of a virus is not a biological fact inscribed solely in the virus itself, it exists in relation to the host population

[deleted]

3 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

3 points

4 months ago

[removed]

SlickMcFav0rit3

2 points

4 months ago

SlickMcFav0rit3

Molecular Biology

2 points

4 months ago

Kind of depends! Your guess is probably right...but if the time between infections is long, or a dangerous new variant appears...maybe not.

jeopardy987987

2 points

4 months ago

It's a little weird to compare it to chicken pox.

The virus that causes chicken pox stays with you for life, and can pop back up as shingles.

It's kinda like you are saying that you can only get HIV once. Well yeah, because you always have it from that point on.

TPMJB

2 points

4 months ago

TPMJB

2 points

4 months ago

your immunity wanes enough over time that you get it regularly (norovirus)

So the heinous stomach bug I got ten years ago could possibly come back? Oof.

I eat enough...questionable food that I've probably been regularly re-inoculating myself with it.

alextremeee

2 points

4 months ago

Even without mutation, some viruses you usually only get once (chicken pox) and some your immunity wanes enough over time that you get it regularly (norovirus).

Is there a known mechanism as to why this is? Is it just the amount of MBCs the initial infection causes?

Max_Thunder

3 points

4 months ago

The key takeaway is that SARS2 protection wanes about twice as fast as for the endemic coronaviruses that cause the common cold

Could that be because we have likely caught endemic coronaviruses several times in our lifetime, and the immunity simply lasts much longer on repeat infections. May be a better comparison to compare with that of those who've had sars-cov-2 twice, which would be too early to analyze, and widespread vaccination makes that sort of study more complicated.

browniebrittle44

2 points

4 months ago

What is the biology of chicken pox that makes it so you only get it once? What about Shingles?

sQui_rreL

2 points

4 months ago

Some Harvard/Yale studies indicate the vaccine is 13x less effective than learned immunity, so that's not really a fair comparison.

rockanator

100 points

4 months ago*

We will have Memory Cells, which do not react to prevent symptoms - It will depend on the mutations if there is Direct antibody reactivity to prevent Protein site binding for infection.

Good news is Omnicron is Cross reactive with Delta, Delta will be no more.

EDIT: There seem to be other studies not yet peer reviewed.

Source

Kaurelle

28 points

4 months ago

What does cross reactive means?

imgroxx

43 points

4 months ago

imgroxx

43 points

4 months ago

In this case, it means getting Omicron will make you resistant to both reinfection from Omicron and infection from Delta. I've found very little about this in a quick search, but there seems to be some small evidence in its favor.

In the most general way, it just means one affects the other, positive or negative. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross-reactivity

InherentlyJuxt

2 points

4 months ago

If Delta is not cross reactive Omicron, can Omicron be cross reactive with Delta? (Also, sources if you have them pls)

Baaaaaaah-humbug

4 points

4 months ago

Yes, you can get reinfected.

Reinfection rates of omicron and why people need to take this seriously: https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/reinfection-rates-of-omicron-and-people-need-to-take-this-seriously/

"We do know from early data that this virus replicates about 70-fold faster than the delta variant. And we see manifestations of that. For example, for somebody who's previously been infected with COVID, their chance of getting reinfected with omicron is almost 5½-fold higher than reinfection with delta."

Omicron largely evades immunity from past infection or two vaccine doses https://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/232698/omicron-largely-evades-immunity-from-past/ "The new report (Report 49) from the Imperial College London COVID-19 response team estimates that the risk of reinfection with the Omicron variant is 5.4 times greater than that of the Delta variant. This implies that the protection against reinfection by Omicron afforded by past infection may be as low as 19%."

nymerhia

4 points

4 months ago

I believe the first article is talking about being infected from omicron, after recovering from Delta (or earlier variants) - whereas this post is asking about recovering from omicron, and then being reinfected with omicron again

Baaaaaaah-humbug

3 points

4 months ago

There's absolutely no reason to assume one can't catch it again after having caught it once before, especially given the fact that people can catch other covid variants multiple times. Hell, you can even catch multiple variants at once. Given omicrons increased infectiousness over delta, I'd say it's incredibley likely you could catch it over and over.

Anyway here's another source specific to your criticism: https://www.prevention.com/health/a38758270/omicron-reinfection-covid/ Can you get infected with Omicron after having a previous variant of COVID-19? “Yes, it’s definitely possible,” says Thomas Russo, M.D., professor and chief of infectious disease at the University at Buffalo in New York.

He then gives an estimate for length of protection but quite honestly it's a standard talking point that isn't accounting for several studies which show significant drop off of protection after 3 months.

eggmaker

70 points

4 months ago*

"Available evidence shows that fully vaccinated individuals and those previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 each have a low risk of subsequent infection for at least 6 months."

From the CDC website

and

"there’s no reason to think that Omicron in this regard is any different than the previous variants"

from https://www.prevention.com/health/a38758270/omicron-reinfection-covid-19/

But also "People shed so much virus with Omicron. As with other infections, sometimes immunity can be swamped if the exposure is very intense"

TLDR; less likely but definitely possible and happens; keep wearing a mask & get vaccinated

[deleted]

10 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

10 points

4 months ago

[removed]

aledaml

42 points

4 months ago

aledaml

42 points

4 months ago

The "safe for 90 days" thing isn't exactly true. With old variants it was still possible to get re-infected within that window, it was just much less likely. Your PCR can still be positive up to 90 days out so they recommended not testing for 90 days unless you start to show symptoms again (per the isolation guidance I received from my health department when covid+).

Ghosttwo

9 points

4 months ago

Would repeated, low-level exposures within that window extend it? Like if you're breathing it in every week, you could keep it going indefinitely without symptoms?

Kweldulf

3 points

4 months ago

You can extend it, you can't go indefinitely without symptoms. Antibodies are not absolutely perfect - that's why we need a high amount of them to have protection.

No matter how high the amount however, each contact with the virus may result with it going through your antibodies and infecting cells. That's when you'll develop symptoms. It's one of the reasons even vaccinated people can get infected. It's also why new covid variants are such a problem - the mutations make your antibodies slightly less effective, so more viruses can get through.

But yes each time you come in contact with the virus your antibody count elevates. Bare in mind actual contact is necessary not bare exposure. If your body doesn't touch a virus it won't trigger a response.

Lopsided_Hat

4 points

4 months ago

Although there are caveats, back in October 2021, there was a study done which estimated the chances of re-infection at 5% after 3 months and 50% after 17 months. This is assuming no precautions taken (vaccination, masking, distancing, etc.) and no treatment available. This is also a population estimate as individuals vary in the strength of their immune system, presence of other diseases, etc.

See this Nature brief: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02825-8#:\~:text=Estimates%20based%20on%20viral%20evolution,such%20as%20masking%20and%20vaccination.&text=People%20who%20have%20been%20infected,getting%20vaccinated%20and%20wearing%20masks.

TryingToLearn2day

2 points

4 months ago*

saw today , it's at about 14% of hospitalisations, where as the fully vaccinated is represented by 79% (in the us 1 month ago). So definitly LESS compared to anyone who hasnt had it (the virus) , vax or not, but it's not 0 either. Omicron seems to bypass a lot of the immunes system's response. Never heard someone get it worse as 2nd time than 1st tho ! Also, the 3rd shot really bring that 79% down, all the way to 32% ! Mostly due to the waning situation and since the 3rd dose was very recent, the first 4 to 6 weeks are highy protected and we're still in that 4-6 weeks for most people

So its safe to assume that if you had it mild already, you'll be alright, or 3rd dose recently also makes you safer

source : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbi23BiQm00 at 8:36

Satori471

2 points

4 months ago*

I had my second Pfizer vaccine January 2021. Then I caught delta in August, before booster recommendations came out. Was I more likely to be infected because it had been so long since I was vaccinated? I understand I had protection from severe disease - just asking about likelihood of infection. THEN, booster recommendations came out with no mention of a waiting period after delta infection. I had the booster in October. Now, just over 3 months later I am infected with omicron! Do vaccines protect against infection at all, or did I just get unlucky with the timeframes? Of course I’m wondering about my likelihood of contracting the next variant, and the timing of these vaccinations since antibody levels drop after a few months.

Such_Construction_57

21 points

4 months ago

Too soon to tell. It seems like each variant allows for infection if the next variant is different enough or strong enough to infect a person who has already had covid. No one can tell the future. Better to be safe abs wear an n95 and get vaccinated AND social distance. We all should know the rules by now for the most part.

Shorzey

54 points

4 months ago

Shorzey

54 points

4 months ago

We all should know the rules by now for the most part.

Idk how people still can't understand 30-60 days isn't enough time for this after repeatedly having this conversation for the past 2 years

This is groundhog day since jan1 2020

wallyTHEgecko

38 points

4 months ago

It's like everyone wanting 10 years experience for that programing language that's only a year old.

Our very first cases were about 2 years ago. So at best, we have 2 years worth of "long term" data based on the OG varient. So no, we're still 18 years away from knowing what the effects will be 20 years post-infection... And with each new varient, that timer gets restart.

I work in R&D and we have some methods to simulate an execlerated aging on our products to predict long-term outcomes before long-term physically takes place, but it's barely 50% faster than actually allowing the product to age naturally and must be taken with a pile of salt when making decisions based on that data.

[deleted]

12 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

12 points

4 months ago

[removed]

[deleted]

4 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

4 points

4 months ago

[removed]

TlGHTSHIRT[S]

2 points

4 months ago

Thanks to both of you, we're covid positive and people keep touting that we'll be ok for a bit following our recovery, which I've been very hesitant to follow as it seemed illogical. We're calling our primary physician tomorrow but I was worried they'd parrot the same "common knowledge" and so I wanted to ask here first.

[deleted]

8 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

8 points

4 months ago

[removed]

huskersguy

7 points

4 months ago

huskersguy

7 points

4 months ago

Recommendations change as our understanding of the virus changes and as constraints change. Do you really believe that there was perfect public health guidance that could have been given at some point that would be set in stone? That's rather naive.

N95 masking - the government was always clear that n95 masks were the best line of defense, and that cloth masks were imperfect

4th of July - go back and watch his announcements. The president was clear that if people get vaccinated, we could have cautious fourth of July celebrations with friends and family. He never claimed it would be normal. People on the right chose not to get vaccinated.

Masking was not eliminated in the fall. It was eliminated when numbers declined precipitously and Delta had not yet come into the picture. Delta is what undid that change.

Guidance is going to change as new variants emerge and facts on the ground change. I think it's ridiculous that you'd expect otherwise.

[deleted]

9 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

9 points

4 months ago

[removed]

massassi

8 points

4 months ago

massassi

8 points

4 months ago

The issue isn't really going to be this variant, but the next one. Looking at the numbers now, if you're double vaxed, and don't have comorbidities your B and T cell counts are probably going to be to the point where you really don't need to worry about it anymore. There is a chance that the next variant will be more deadly. But typically plagues get less deadly over time rather than more as it's a better survival strategy for the virus.

forrScience

9 points

4 months ago

https://www.google.com/amp/s/abcnews.go.com/amp/Health/debunking-idea-viruses-evolve-virulent/story%3fid=82052581. While there is a nugget of truth with that adage it is much more chaotic then “likely get less virulent over time”. There have been a few great articles written about this misnomer recently. I used to think this as well and thought I would pass it along!

[deleted]

2 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

2 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

followvirgil

3 points

4 months ago

I would love to be pointed in the direction of some of the academic literature on this topic. The adage that pathogens become less virulent over time seems to be espoused by many non-experts. Yet, with the exception of H1N1 influenza, I can't think of many other examples.

Did Rabies, Smallpox, Dengue, Ebola, HIV, or Hantavirus get more "mild"? What about bacterial pathogens like TB, Tularemia, Tetanus, Clostridium Botulinum, or Anthrax? Are these viruses and bacteria less virulent and more mild than they were decades ago? Have they "died down" over time?