Influenza, Marconi, President Nelson Mandela discussed on The World


They're facing a second wave. Germany, France, Italy and other nations are imposing the most severe restrictions since early spring. It leaves many of us wondering how long will this go on? And how will this pandemic end? This is something medical historian. Marconi's bomb has thought about a lot. He's the author of the Pandemic Century 100. Years of Panic, Hysteria and Hubris. You know, we all have High hopes that we won't only have one vaccine, but maybe multiple vaccine candidates, But I think it's very unlikely that we're going to have that vaccine at least you know. Ready to be deployed across populations much before the summer of 2021 on even when we do, it's most likely that you know it's not going to give you no long lasting or lifetime rather lifetime protection so we might need booster shots, so I don't think it's going to end. Cleanly with, you know, suddenly a miracle vaccine that does the job across populations. So what does that mean? It doesn't mean that we're going to have to adjust and learned to live with covert, and we've already seen that, to a certain extent. So let's take a historic perspective here. There have been many comparisons between Cove in 19 and the influence of 1918. How did that pandemic end? There were no vaccines against influenza in 1918 1919. And we don't have many treatment drugs, either. So officials had little choice but to let the pandemic running schools. It ended essentially because we assumed that enough people got the disease and recovered and then had immunity, so that meant there were no longer sufficient susceptible people of the population to continue transmitting the disease. On then, you know, come the summer of 1919 the flu, just dissipate religious background and joined a ll the other types of flu the Rory circulating between the southern and northern hemispheres. So are you saying the 1918 flew ended because of herd immunity? I mean, was that the plan? Well, I don't want to use that phrase herd immunity because for a very specific reason, I think it's really being misused in the present situation, so If you look through medical history, you know, the concept of herd immunity only starts be used in medicine in connection vaccines. We haven't actually reached herd immunity in any epidemic. In the absence of a vaccine is the vaccine that allows us to reach, you know, there's very light high levels of population immunity. In the case of influenza because everyone is exposed to influence influence. In some point in their life. There is always a background level ofthe community that we have, even if a new pandemics training comes along. The difference is that the covert 19 is a completely new pathogen in human populations. So when this whole thing started back in January, nobody anywhere in the world had any community to the pathogen. I know you've noted that even when the acute danger of a virus disappears the experience of living through a pandemic and have lasting political and cultural impact. I mean HIV when it first emerged, certainly an example of that. What about other examples that you've seen? So when people usually ask how the epidemics and they usually ask you for the medical point of view, right? But of course, there's also a sense in which epidemics may end because we choose To you. From a social point of view. I learned to live with the virus or no longer spreads. Faeroe Panic. HIV AIDS is still a medical issue is still very much a medical pandemic, but we no longer fetch of from a social point of view that probably ended, at least in the West. And you know the early Northern's Andi, you know the diseases eradicated History no longer present. Great for. So if you think of the 19th century color was a terrible disease that cools outbreaks in York and you know other cities and there was panic. But of course, we know have vaccines for cholera and unions and the treatable. So these are all ways in which the epidemic could end from a social point of view and no longer be a focus for you know this intense public health messaging and this's kind of narratives of fair Some people see it a slightly hysterical response. I don't share that. But I still think it's a very serious threat. There's a lot worse than you know. Seasonal for, or indeed, the 1957 68 pandemics. Marconi's bomb is a medical historian and author of the Pandemic, Century 100. Years of Panic, Hysteria and Hubris. He's been speaking with us from London. Thank you very much, Mark. Thank you very much for having me. Scientists are working around the clock to develop medicines for code 19, but better treatments. Even a vaccine won't end the pandemic, not of big parts of the world lack access to new products. This worry is sparing some countries to take unprecedented action to try and change the rules for how scientific knowledge is controlled and shared. The worlds. Alana Gordon has more At a recent closed council meeting of the World Trade Organization, South Africa and India. That's something that hadn't been done before. They asked the W T O to waive all patents and intellectual property rights for any covert 19 drugs, technologies and vaccines for the duration of the pandemic. Musta came to comma, South Africa's representative to the council and introduced the proposal. It is a limited time bound exception to the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the interests ofthe public health in the interest of saving lives and in the interest of the poorest and the most exposed to the ravages off this virus. Currently, when a company develops a drug. It gets all the rights, meaning it gets to control the price and production for many years. It determines what other companies are allowed to make the drug for whom and under what terms. The idea is to incentivize innovation, But the Gamma says this control can also limit production and access. And that can delay critical drugs from getting to communities that need them during a pandemic. The world just cannot afford that. We need to maximize the production capacity. We need to transfer no hind technology so that we can save lights. We need more people to produce, not less. Gamma has seen up close how the global patenting system through the W T O can fall short in times of need. By the early two thousands. Millions of people in Africa had died of AIDS because they were shut out from access to life saving drugs. I was a youth at that time. And I still recall the pandemonium in our communities. South African leaders tried to procure a cheaper supply of medicine, but we're challenged in court. These were resisted by a coalition of international pharmaceutical companies, which opposed Our health minister and head of state at that time was Nelson Mandela. Eggs today off Is claiming more lives. On the Somme. Family on floor. Former President Nelson Mandela spoke at the International AIDS Conference in the year 2000 most important step who must now take is to provide access to treatment..

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