Covid-19 variants, mu surveillance, delta threats: Ask your questions

Covid-19 variants, mu surveillance, delta threats: Ask your questions

Lots of basic questions!

A quick shortcut can make one think that a virus evolves towards a less virulent, because if it kills its host it is no more transmitted. But the viruses responsible for diseases such as AIDS or the flu exhibit the opposite. For SARS-CoV-2, this argument of a potential reduction in virulence is not correct because it is transmitted before the most harmful effects to the host. And, conversely, it seems that the delta virus is more lethal than its predecessors.

Another distinguishing feature is transmission, which increases and pushes back the level that must be reached for mass immunity. This has led some experts to say that this extent cannot be reached without drawing conclusions about the lack of interest in vaccination, which proves its effectiveness for the most severe forms every day.

This is all to answer the beginning of your question: yes, among the possible evolution of the virus, something can be chosen that will make this virus go away with antibodies. And vaccination is one way to increase this selection pressure. For now, the stock of people who are infected is still quite large, rather it is better transmission that is preserved in viral evolution. This would explain, for example, why beta and gamma versions remain in the minority ahead of Delta in France.

David Laroussery

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