Good news: Oxford study indicates that millions may have already built an immunity to coronavirus

What needs to be done now is a lot of antibody testing to find out who may have contracted the virus, researchers say

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By Jon Dougherty @JonDougherty10

(TNS) Since most of the news surrounding the current pandemic that originated in China has been bad, we thought it would be productive to share a little coronavirus good news for a change.

According to a new study from the University of Oxford in England, millions of people around the world may have already built an immunity to the virus, which will help limit its spread, of course.

As reported by The Week and posted to Yahoo News:

A model predicting the progression of the novel coronavirus pandemic produced by researchers at Imperial College London set off alarms across the world and was a major factor in several governments’ decisions to lock things down. But a new model from Oxford University is challenging its accuracy, the Financial Times reports.

The Oxford research suggests the pandemic is in a later stage than previously thought and estimates the virus has already infected at least millions of people worldwide. In the United Kingdom, which the study focuses on, half the population would have already been infected. If accurate, that would mean transmission began around mid-January and the vast majority of cases presented mild or no symptoms.

Sunetra Gupta, head of the study and a theoretical epidemiologist at Oxford, said she still supports the government’s decision to shutter the country (because much of her institution’s funding comes from — anyone? — the government) even though her research indicates many are already safe.

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However, she adds that she’s not real supportive of work being done by the Imperial College team, noting, “I am surprised that there has been such unqualified acceptance of the Imperial model.”

If she’s right and her work is accurate, it means that a huge swath of the population has built resistance to the bug and, as a result, social restrictions (and work stoppages) could end soon.

What she said needs to be done now is a lot of antibody testing to find out who may have contracted the virus.

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“Her research team is working with groups from the University of Cambridge and the University of Kent to start those tests for the general population as quickly as possible,” The Week noted.

As for easing social restrictions and getting people back to work before our entire economy collapses, that seems to be what President Trump is leaning towards.

He said Wednesday about widespread ‘testing’ for the virus, “We don’t have to test the entire state in the Middle West or wherever they may be. We don’t have to test the entire state.

“I think it’s ridiculous. A lot of those states could go back [to work] right now, and they probably will,” he added.


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