Since late last year, the novel coronavirus has been surrounded in mystery. Public health experts have searched for answers about how the virus infects people, and why it infects some more than others.
Finding answers to those mysteries may come from a vaccine and reviewing asymptomatic patients, experts recently told CNN.
Specifically, experts wonder why some people suffer from the virus so greatly while others show no signs at all. Part of it due to immune training, which is essentially preparing your immune system to deal with diseases and viruses.
“When we looked in the setting of COVID disease, we found that people who had prior vaccinations with a variety of vaccines — for pneumococcus, influenza, hepatitis and others — appeared to have a lower risk of getting COVID disease,” Dr. Andrew Badley, an infectious disease specialist at Mayo Clinic, told CNN.
Experts told CNN that vaccines may hold answers, too. People can ingest the virus in a number of ways, which might impact how you react to it. Getting a vaccine dose could show public health officials what it means when someone is injected with the virus.
Masks, though, can help reduce how much of the virus you bring into your body, limiting the risk of how badly the virus hurts you.
There have been more than 163,000 deaths from the coronavirus.
It wouldn’t be surprising if experts look deeper into asymptomatic patients, though. Close to 40% of infected patients didn’t show any symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Researcher Monica Gandhi said reviewing those who shows no symptoms might be a good thing for helping end the pandemic, according to The Washington Post.
“A high rate of asymptomatic infection is a good thing,” Gandhi, an infectious-disease specialist at the University of California at San Francisco, told The Washington Post. “It’s a good thing for the individual and a good thing for society.”
Those asymptomatic patients might be carrying proper memory T-cells — which have battled other coronaviruses before — that could help lead to the end of the pandemic.
“This might potentially explain why some people seem to fend off the virus and may be less susceptible to becoming severely ill,” National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins said in a blog post last week.