Health & Fitness

Natural immunity against Covid-19 is a powerful weapon

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Summary

  • More than 15 studies have demonstrated the power of natural immunity acquired by previously having the virus.
  • A 700,000-person study in Israel three weeks ago found that those who had experienced prior infection were 27 times less likely to get a second symptomatic coronavirus infection than those who were vaccinated.

As my regular readers will recall, I recently contracted Covid-19 and I narrated my experience two weeks ago. With the benefit of hindsight, I now have a pretty good idea as to how I might have been exposed to the virus.

Towards the end of July, I had lunch with a gentleman (who will remain nameless) in Ruiru town. I noticed that he had a cough but since we were having lunch, we had to take off our masks and that is how I think I was exposed.

I got to know that the gentleman’s cough got worse, and he visited hospital for treatment, but he was not tested for the virus. He stayed at home for about three days, and used a lot of natural remedies such as lemon, ginger and honey. Within a week, he was fully recovered.

The gentleman is in his late 40s, and he has the very spare physique of a marathon runner. He lives in a rural environment where the dietary habits are very natural as opposed to more cosmopolitan diets. More on that later.

I also got to learn that his aunt and uncle, who lived in the same rural environment but were much older, succumbed to Covid-19 soon after our lunch. I suspect the gentleman may have been exposed to the virus by his relatives.

More than 15 studies have demonstrated the power of natural immunity acquired by previously having the virus.

A 700,000-person study in Israel three weeks ago found that those who had experienced prior infection were 27 times less likely to get a second symptomatic coronavirus infection than those who were vaccinated.

This confirmed an earlier Cleveland Clinic study of health-workers (who are often exposed to the virus), in which none who had previously tested positive for the coronavirus got reinfected.

The study authors also concluded that “individuals who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to benefit from Covid-19 vaccination.” And in May, a Washington University study found that even mild Covid-19 infection resulted in long-lasting immunity.

The emerging science suggests that natural immunity is better than vaccine-induced immunity.

While it is understandable to have an incorrect scientific hypothesis, when new data proves you wrong repeatedly, you have to adapt.

Unfortunately, many elected leaders and public health officials have held on far too long to the hypothesis that natural immunity offers unreliable protection against Covid-19, a contention that is rapidly being debunked by science.

Whether out of fear, being politically corrected and I strongly suspect, having vested interests in Big Pharma the myth is being perpetuated. And since we in Kenya take our cue from what is happening in the Western world, the same myth rules the roost here.

Downplaying the power of natural immunity has had deadly consequences in America. In the months of January, February and March this year, scarce vaccine doses were wasted on millions of Americans who previously had Covid-19.

If people who were already protected by natural immunity had been asked to step aside in the vaccine lines, tens of thousands of lives could have been saved.

One reason public health officials may be afraid to acknowledge the effectiveness of natural immunity is that they fear it will lead some to choose getting infected over vaccine.

That is a legitimate concern, no matter how convoluted it may sound. It is also a scientific fact that Covid-19 is less prevalent in children and younger people because of their much stronger natural immunity even without having contracted it.

Returning to my gentleman friend, I believe that the reason his symptoms were much less severe is because of his natural immunity being stronger, coming from an environment of natural fitness and dietary practice.

I have observed that Covid-19 is more prevalent in urban areas and even there, among the more affluent people. Those living within densely populated areas remain relatively unscathed and I believe their lifestyle affords them a better natural immunity.

Could a better natural immunity explain the lower incidence of Covid-19 in Africa north of the Limpopo and south of the Sahara?

Food for thought! Meanwhile, public health officials changing their position on natural immunity, after so much hostility to the idea, would go along way in rebuilding public confidence.