Curing the common cold

Not exactly on the forefront of our minds at the moment, but we may be closer to defeating Covid 19’s  less deadly cousin – the common cold.  A vaccine that protects against one of the most common cold viruses could be available as soon as 2024, after it has proved safe and effective in clinical trials. 

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is so contagious that more than 90% of people have experienced their first infection by the age of two. While it typically causes mild cold symptoms, it can cause severe illness in the very young and elderly, with at least 70,000 people around the world dying every year after catching the virus.

The vaccine developed by Bavarian Nordic can triple the levels of RSV-fighting antibodies in the blood. The immune response was shown to last for six months – enough to cover a winter cold season – and was restored with a booster shot after 12 months. US company Moderna, known for its Covid-19 work, is also developing a combined vaccine to protect children against other cold and influenza strains.  (Athens Week 22 Aug 2020)

My comment:  Oh, how I wish the politicians would respect the scientists!  One can only assume that they had zero science in school, and the subject seems too difficult to comprehend, like learning Chinese.  What you don’t understand you are fearful of.  Regrettably, it’s a human failing, which, when a covid 19 vaccine comes onto the market, is quite probably going to guarantee that only part of the population, proportion unknown but too high, is going severely reduce the number of beneficiaries.

Moral: Too much of American schooling (can’t say “education”) is inadequate.

I was taught science as a teenager by the same man who taught my father! But, poor though my science is, I am in awe of the subject and deeply respect the professionals.  Why do too many people treat it as voodoo?

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