Herd immunity is the peak of the curve

Epidemiologist, Dr. Harvey Risch, MD, PhD, shares more math detail about herd immunity in a video about the Covid epidemic and Hydoxycloroquine and its friends. Herd immunity occurs, in epidemiological definition, at the peak of the epidemic case rate graph and helps the rate start dipping downward. He states that herd immunity can help – did help at that peak point, but it can never be expected to ~ make an infection outbreak stop altogether. Treatment is still needed for those who are still getting sick – even though the outbreak is almost over. Infectious microbes tend to mutate to become a milder illness, because they want a surviving host, not a dead one.

Hydroxychloroquine does help CoV patients if it is used very early, for outpatient treatment, within the first week of symptoms when it is mild cold like or headache/diarrhea/nausea, etc. It is given along with zinc ideally, one of the “friends” and antibiotics. SARS-CoV-2 can also infect bacteria, so the antibiotic knocks out any infected bacteria also. Otherwise the virus replicates within the bacterial cell and bursts out of it in large number which may then infect many more of the patient’s cells in addition to other bacteria.

Another friend mentioned is Ivermectin, Dr. Hirsch states that the hydroxychloroquine helps but not enough on its own – the Ivermectin can help too (so can many other nutrients and plant phytonutrients). Background info – the SARS-CoV-2 virus can get into cells by other methods than entry at the ACE2 receptor, and inflammation reactions need to be controlled by immunomodulators and antioxidants – which would include many potential therapeutic phytonutrients and vitamins such as vitamin C and E.

Dr. Hirsch discusses legal issues regarding drug approval, randomized clinical trials, and the ethics problems in conflicts of interest in published research. Causality, efficacy – does a drug help or harm? Bad study design can make a drug seem dangerous – give the wrong dose, at the wrong stage of illness, or to more at risk patients than people who had average health prior to infection, or to make a study look safe – have an “inert” placebo that is not really inert, instead also causes side effects similar to any expected from the experimental treatment… there are many ways to modify the

Hydroxychloroquine and its friends, Dr. Harvey Risch, MD, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology, Yale University. 24 June 2021

More on the math and history of “herd immunity” in the epidemiologic study of clinical infectious disease:

Abstract: “The term “herd immunity” is widely used but carries a variety of meanings [1–7]. Some authors use it to describe the proportion immune among individuals in a population. Others use it with reference to a particular threshold proportion of immune individuals that should lead to a decline in incidence of infection. Still others use it to refer to a pattern of immunity that should protect a population from invasion of a new infection. A common implication of the term is that the risk of infection among susceptible individuals in a population is reduced by the presence and proximity of immune individuals (this is sometimes referred to as “indirect protection” or a “herd effect”). We provide brief historical, epidemiologic, theoretical, and pragmatic public health perspectives on this concept.” (Fine, et al, 2011) Full text article (1)

The opening line says a lot: Though coined almost a century ago [8], the term “herd immunity” was not widely used until recent decades, its use stimulated by the increasing use of vaccines, discussions of disease eradication, and analyses of the costs and benefits of vaccination programs.”

Herd immunity was about herds of animals that got sick, and then got better.

The immune system works when given the nutrients that it needs in a timely fashion. Rest is also important, hydration, lack of light at night, a healthy microbiome, and other things. Health is not a “right” as much as it is a goal that we have to work towards every day with our choice of habits.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

Reference List

  1. Paul Fine, Ken Eames, David L. Heymann, “Herd Immunity”: A Rough Guide, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Volume 52, Issue 7, 1 April 2011, Pages 911–916, https://doi.org/10.1093/cid/cir007 https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/52/7/911/299077