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3 ways to end a virus

TED-Ed2022-12-22
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đź’« Short Summary

The Delta variant of the coronavirus quickly outcompeted the Alpha variant in 2021, infecting the entire population before Alpha reached 6%. Viruses can go extinct if they run out of hosts, cause severe diseases, or are outcompeted. Vaccination campaigns have led to the extinction of viruses like smallpox. SARS-CoV-2 can hide out in animals, making extinction challenging, and current vaccines protect against severe illness but not all infections. Working towards a universal vaccine to prevent all SARS-CoV-2 infections is crucial for the species' survival.

✨ Highlights
đź“Š Transcript
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The dominance of the Delta variant over the Alpha variant in spring 2021 was due to its higher transmissibility.
01:05
A simulation demonstrated that Delta infected the entire population before Alpha could reach 6%.
Viruses can go extinct if they run out of hosts, cause severe diseases, or are outcompeted by other variants.
The myxoma virus evolved to become less deadly when released to control the European rabbit population.
Vaccination campaigns have successfully led to the extinction of viruses like smallpox, showing the importance of immunization.
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Challenges in driving SARS-CoV-2 to extinction.
05:24
SARS-CoV-2 can hide in animals, making extinction difficult.
Current vaccines protect against severe illness but not all infections.
Two ways for SARS-CoV-2 to become extinct: cataclysmic disaster or a universal vaccine.
Importance of developing a universal vaccine to prevent all SARS-CoV-2 infections.