Coronavirus good news – All numbers inaccurate
Islamabad:18th April 2020 (GNP): World-renowned virologist Professor Dr. Muhammad Mukhtar, Vice Chancellor National Skills University Islamabad commenting on recent news, considers inaccuracy in the number of corona infection a blessing in disguise. According to a report appearing in one of the world’s top-ranked journal Nature on 17th April 2020, “Antibody tests reveal that coronavirus infections vastly exceed official counts.”
Across the world, the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction is being used to test and confirm cases of coronavirus. In this test, infecting virus samples are collected from the patient nose or throat and subjected to viral genetic material ribonucleic acid isolation followed by its assessment for coronavirus as par defined protocol. As such, the test is based on the presence of active infection and viral presence. It never tells if the person has a lower number of viruses or previously got the infection.
A serological test based on the presence of antibodies was being waited for COVID-19 infection caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2). Recently several companies in the technology savvy world, mainly the USA has developed this antibody test capable of testing infected as well as people who got the infection and recovered through getting a drop of blood from a finger prick.
A study published in the world’s top-ranked journal describes an intriguing difference in coronavirus prevalence data from a small town in the United States of America the Santa Clara of California. The county estimates based on the polymerase reaction showed the number of people suffering from coronavirus around 1000. However, by utilizing epidemiological/public health methodologies when random testing was conducted through antibody testing, the number rose to 48,000 – 82,000. Such a high number of coronavirus positive people are supposed to have a major fraction of those acquiring the infection and recovering without any knowledge to the government and organizations managing the numbers. It is quite possible that across the world, people might be getting autoimmune by acquiring infection and recovering. How long this immunity lost still needs to be explored.
Professor Mukhtar believes this could be excellent news for the world scrambling to develop a vaccine, although such high transmissibility of virus could be a challenge to be circumvented. Presently, corona has inflicted enough losses, but the people once acquiring infection and recovering might be potentially immune to reinfection with this virus. Importantly, the opening of the Chinese city of Wuhan manifests the outcome of such auto immunization, although evaluating their antibodies against coronavirus will be quite interesting to study.