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Virus question (COVID scenario, or any other virus)
Posted by: space-time
Date: September 08, 2021 09:22PM
Is the goal of a virus to kill the host? probably not, the end goal would be to spread as much as possible, I would think.

So, it is possible that this Covid (or another virus) develops a mutation that is very contagious but not harmful to humans? say 100x more contagious than current Covid, but 1/100 death rate of the flu. Then everyone would get it and we would gain herd immunity but we would not die form it. And once we get this form we would gain immunity from the current variants that are very dangerous.

I would think there are many viruses that we carry but don't kills us, maybe something like this happens to Covid eventually? what happened to the Spanish Flu 100 years ago, is that virus gone or is it still among us but we gained immunity?

Thanks
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Re: Virus question (COVID scenario, or any other virus)
Posted by: p8712
Date: September 08, 2021 09:28PM
Might help

Quote

At one time, some biologists argued that pathogens would tend to evolve toward ever decreasing virulence because the death of the host (or even serious disability) is ultimately harmful to the pathogen living inside. For example, if the host dies, the pathogen population inside may die out entirely. Therefore, it was believed that less virulent pathogens that allowed the host to move around and interact with other hosts should have greater success reproducing and dispersing.

But this is not necessarily the case. Pathogen strains that kill the host can increase in frequency as long as the pathogen can transmit itself to a new host, whether before or after the host dies. The evolution of virulence in pathogens is a balance between the costs and benefits of virulence to the pathogen. For example, studies of the malaria parasite using rodent[1] and chicken[2] models found that there was trade-off between transmission success and virulence as defined by host mortality.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/08/2021 09:29PM by p8712.
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Re: Virus question (COVID scenario, or any other virus)
Posted by: space-time
Date: September 08, 2021 09:47PM
good starting point. Thanks
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Re: Virus question (COVID scenario, or any other virus)
Posted by: Marc Anthony
Date: September 09, 2021 07:26AM
Viruses don't really have goals, as they aren't what we classify as life. They are strings of foreign code that your own cells mistakenly replicate. Random mutations are frequently introduced; the more infectious variants succeed in continued transmission through hosts, while the less successful variations are eliminated.



Le poète doit vivre beaucoup, vivre dans tous les sens. - Verlaine
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Re: Virus question (COVID scenario, or any other virus)
Posted by: pdq
Date: September 09, 2021 08:16AM
Quote
Marc Anthony
Viruses don't really have goals, as they aren't what we classify as life. They are strings of foreign code that your own cells mistakenly replicate. Random mutations are frequently introduced; the more infectious variants succeed in continued transmission through hosts, while the less successful variations are eliminated.

^this.

Viruses aren’t out to kill us, since they have no intent. Natural selection will increase strains that spread more easily and widely (so we get Delta). Whether or not they become more deadly to us only enters into it if by becoming more deadly, the spread is decreased. (Like, say, Ebola, which is often deadly, but because it infects humans, who can think, we usually manage to avoid it…like the plague.)

Unfortunately for us, politics is a new factor in natural selection. And karma is brutal.
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Re: Virus question (COVID scenario, or any other virus)
Posted by: neophyte
Date: September 09, 2021 08:57AM
Viruses also evade herd immunity by mutating. We all have antibodies against influenza viruses, but we are still vulnerable to flu outbreaks due to mutations we have not yet encountered.
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Re: Virus question (COVID scenario, or any other virus)
Posted by: davester
Date: September 09, 2021 04:32PM
Not only is continuous mutation an issue, but your post seems to suggest that there is only one virus which is mutating/evolving along a single pathway. This is an incorrect view. Every single mutation in every virus has the potential to become viable. It's just that the ones that result in successful adaptations become dominant in the ecosystem. That may end up being many more than a single strain.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Virus question (COVID scenario, or any other virus)
Posted by: space-time
Date: September 09, 2021 09:06PM
but your post seems to suggest that there is only one virus which is mutating/evolving along a single pathway

Sorry for the confusion but I didn't mean that.
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Re: Virus question (COVID scenario, or any other virus)
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: September 13, 2021 09:02PM
Sorry for the confusion but I didn't mean that.

I didn't get that from your post.





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