Indians immune to Covid virus?

Emerging health reports have made researchers wonder whether Indians are immune to the Covid virus. India being a developing country has many rural regions. Many of the rural regions even lack basic handwashing facilities. The WHO has time and again asserted the importation of proper sanitation, hygiene, and safe water facilities to tackle Covid transmission.

According to Shekhar Mande, director-general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), “Typically access to healthcare facilities, hygiene and sanitation are poorer in these countries. It is often, the contributing factor to a higher incidence of communicable diseases there”

However, India has one of the low Case Fatality Rates in the world. In fact, new research posits that India’s unsanitary conditions might have empowered it with a low CSR. The CSR is in comparison to developed countries. The researchers argue that Indians have sturdier immunity towards Sar-Cov-2 due to their continuous exposure to pathogens from childhood. The immunity system of Indians holds the greater capacity to wend off potential infections.

Dr. Mande, who co-authored one such study, opined, “People in poorer, low-income countries seem to have a higher immunological response to the disease compared to high-income peers”. This has lead researchers to opine whether Indians are immune to corona virus.

Other experts, including, Praveen Kumar and Bal Chander from Dr. Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College, opine that CFR is comparatively low for countries whose populations had extensive exposure to gram-negative bacteria.

According to Dr. Chander, “So far, the existing predictive models for Covid-19 have not taken into account the immune status of populations caused by microbiome or environmental microbial exposure”.

Researchers Caution False Practices

However, Dr. Mande cautions against the adverse implications of the study. He said, “this should not be inferred as our advocating a move towards weaker hygiene practices for handling future pandemics”

Even Krutika Kuppalli, an assistant professor in infectious diseases at the Medical University of South Carolina, opines the same. She said, “They are more hypothesis than scientific fact

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