By now we are all aware that we are in the midst of a “global public health emergency” due to a novel coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease COVID-19. The “novelty” of this virus only refers to the fact that it is new; this is not a romantic title for a deadly virus. In all seriousness, the virus that arose late last year in Wuhan, China has now spread to over 25 other countries and has killed, on average, at least 2.3% of the > 90,000 people it has infected (fatality rate increases in older populations; 8 to 14.8 %). As a result scientists and doctors are racing to catch pace with the virus, not only to develop a vaccine, but to characterize how this coronavirus behaves in its victims.
Recently, the media has caught wind of some of the reports coming out of the laboratories and clinics, and in what appears to be a hast of misunderstanding have produce more fear and misinformation. The news media has reported that some people who had COVID-19 were re-infected with SARS-CoV-2 after recovering and being discharged from the hospital. Given that there is no precise treatment or approved vaccine, the idea that one could contract the virus again, after just having it, portends that SAR-CoV-2 is insidious; and has sent many people into a panic as its characterizes the virus as being monsterous and unstoppable. It would also mean that SARS-Cov-2 is operating beyond the conventions of virology and immunology.
However, that is not the case and here is why: Continue reading