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ARE WE GOING ABOUT COVID-19 THE WRONG WAY

Should we not be developing a vaccine that tells our immune systems to ignore the virus, not fight it. After all  the virus can't harm us, our own immune systems do that by cytokine storms and leaving infected part of the body to fight the virus that can't harm us any how.

we are festooned with viruses that have took millions of years for us to ignore.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Geoffrey Carr said:

ARE WE GOING ABOUT COVID-19 THE WRONG WAY

Should we not be developing a vaccine that tells our immune systems to ignore the virus, not fight it.

Is that possible? How do you do that?

This would be better placed in the covid 19 thread. 

Edited by Curious layman

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Seems like a reasonable idea.
After all we treat allergic reactions the same way; we treat the symptoms of an over-reacting immune system, instead of trying to 'control' the immune system to NOT over-react to essentially harmless substances.

It would take a lot longer, so not the way to go during a world-wide pandemic, but a better understanding of the human immune system, how it varies with different people, and methods to control immune reactions, might be an alternate mechanism in the future.

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4 hours ago, Geoffrey Carr said:

ARE WE GOING ABOUT COVID-19 THE WRONG WAY

Should we not be developing a vaccine that tells our immune systems to ignore the virus, not fight it. After all  the virus can't harm us, our own immune systems do that by cytokine storms and leaving infected part of the body to fight the virus that can't harm us any how.

we are festooned with viruses that have took millions of years for us to ignore.

First, that is a very incomplete reading of how SARS-CoV-2 affects our bodies. Damages are not exclusively to cytokine storms, and there has been some discussions whether it is really relevant to the observed damages. There seems to be an association with severity but then there is also the question of the triggers.

That being said, there are always interactions with the immune system  in vivo but it is not the sole source of damage. What is known is that the virus attacks several organs, including the brain stem and at in vitro studies show that cellular damages also occur. Moreover, there have been immunomodulating therapies which in some cases improve outcome, but as it turns out, it only works for a fraction of the folks. Others still die under that treatment (or get secondary infections and die from that). And very obvious examples are immunocomprised folks that die from COVID-19. In fact, they can also suffer severe consequences from otherwise fairly harmlesss viruses, so  no,  making the immune system blind to a virus is generally not a great idea. 

In addition, the viruses that we carry and which do not make us sick anymore often have mutations that reduces their virulence- our immune system has not changed in that regard (and again, except for inactive ones, they are generally only harmless if your immune system still works). As such an one-sided view that viruses do not harm us only our own immune system is simply wrong or at best misleading. It is like saying electricity does not kill us, it is the heart failure. Or the fall is harmless, just the landing happens to be lethal. To be clear, SARS-CoV-2 can be lethal for many folks and let it roam through your body without an immune system to keep it in check is pretty certainly deadly. 

 

3 hours ago, MigL said:

After all we treat allergic reactions the same way; we treat the symptoms of an over-reacting immune system, instead of trying to 'control' the immune system to NOT over-react to essentially harmless substances.

There is no evidence that rapidly proliferating viruses in your  bloodstream, organs and nervous system are in fact harmless.

 

3 hours ago, MigL said:

It would take a lot longer, so not the way to go during a world-wide pandemic, but a better understanding of the human immune system, how it varies with different people, and methods to control immune reactions, might be an alternate mechanism in the future.

Moreover, the immune system is easily one of the most complex regulatory system in our body. All mechanisms to modulate our immune system are blunt instrument, including vaccines. While many, many folks are working on it, precision modulation of the immune system is still science fiction. It is probably also the closest to a panacea that we could get, if we get it. As you mentioned, this is not the time for high-flying dreams. If folks are unable to the simple things to keep each other safe, a vaccine is really our only option. We (i.e. most countries and their population) failed to take it seriously and since this is not a movie, there won't be a sudden miracle cure delivered by Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

In fact, if we had taken it more seriously we would not have needed a vaccine. But obviously that was too much to ask. Folks are dying, and if folks would just keep their friggen distance instead of dreaming about sunshine, bleach or magic we would not be here.

Edit: if that sounds angry, it is because I am. A good friend lost a parent. I am afraid for my parents and things go exactly as everyone said it would if we are complacent and mess up. And now some folks are surprised and some are protesting the need to do the absolute minimum to protect your neighbour and community.

 Plus there are students that do not care because they are effing young and do not care that they potentially kill folks around them. 

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Sorry about your friend's parent, CharonY.
I was off of work, myself, for quite some time, and there hadn't been a single infection at my work.
On my second day back, we get notification that a female in the research department has tested positive, and several people ( not me ) who had been in contact with her, are now also isolating.
Unfortunately, I am one of the 'older' people there.

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1 hour ago, MigL said:

Sorry about your friend's parent, CharonY.
I was off of work, myself, for quite some time, and there hadn't been a single infection at my work.
On my second day back, we get notification that a female in the research department has tested positive, and several people ( not me ) who had been in contact with her, are now also isolating.
Unfortunately, I am one of the 'older' people there.

Keep safe, I hope you remain negative. The numbers in Canada are currently (and recently) rather awful.

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