Reply To: SARS cov2 and Covid 19

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Also there is another fallacy, that building up immunity with vitamins and sunshine is the answer to Covid-19. This is based on a very basic misunderstanding of what is the cause of the severe disease. To explain this: there are two factors at play: one factor is who gets severe disease and who gets mild or asymptomatic infection, and the second one is who dies from the disease. The first factor appears not to be related to the properties of the virus itself, but in the host’s response to the virus which affects about 20% of those infected. This is a delayed reaction which is caused by the the immune response to the virus. The normal response is to produce antibodies, which kill the virus and get rid of it with minimal damage to the person. The second type of response is an exaggerated inappropriate response characterized by what is known as a ‘cytokine storm’ causing a specific type of lung injury and possibly also injuries to other organs. This response is not age related and can affect anyone of any age, above 20 years. Not enough is known as to why some people get this response, but there is a suggestion that it is genetically determined as there are genetic factors that determine response to infections and this has been shown in other infections. The main factors that determine whether someone will die from the infection are age and co-morbidities. So if 100 young people get the serious form of the infection, they will still go to hospital, may even be ventilated, but say 99% of them will survive. However if 100 individuals who are old or have comorbidities get the serious form, more of them will die say 10-20. And this is why the various causes a serious problem, because the serious illness is not limited to the elderly.