What we still don’t know about Covid-19
How deadly it really is for Indians?
Until we know how many cases there have been, it is impossible to be certain of the death rate. At the moment the estimate is that around 1% of people infected with the virus die. The common flu which we all get usually has a death rate of 0.1%. So, Covid-19 is ten times more deadly than the common flu. Importantly, the problem is with infectivity rates which is far higher with the new virus.
How many people have been infected in India?
It is one of the most crucial information to understand how far or how easily the corona virus is spreading. The world experience suggests rapid spread, the figures are further confused by an unknown number of asymptomatic cases. Once an antibody test is developed, will give us clue to assess the extent of herd immunity we may have developed.
Whether there will be fewer cases in summer. ?
Colds and flu are more common in the winter months than in the summer, but it is not yet known whether the warmer weather will alter the spread of the virus. If there is a seasonal effect, with Indian summer we may come out lucky.
Why some people get much more severe symptoms.
Covid-19 is a mild infection for most. However around 20% go on to develop more severe disease, this remains puzzling and can be linked to a person’s immunity status, and there may be some genetic factor too. This crucial information is lacking at present.
If already infected with the virus can we get it again? How long immunity lasts?
The question of immunity is vital for understanding what will happen in the long term. Though it is possible that most patients must have built up an immune response but no one knows long term impact.
Whether the virus will mutate.
Viruses mutate all the time, and are less deadly in the long run, however the concern is then the immune system no longer recognizes it and vaccine no longer works as happens with the common flu vaccine.
Are Indians at greater or lesser risk from COVAD-19
|LESSER RISK||HIGHER RISK|
|Common flu amongst Indians is far less common and severe compared to the Caucasians or the Chinese, So, if lucky this Covid-19 too may be less harmful for Indians, a wishful thought at present.
|Huge population and overcrowding with less literacy.|
|Indian Summer may come to our rescue.||Hygiene levels are generally poor amongst Indian poor.|
|Indians are outdoor society so less exposed compared to the indoor western societies.||Healthcare system in India is not funded adequately.|
|India is predominantly young population so risk may be less.||Freedom for Indians is far more than the rest of the World.|