Up & Coming Weekly

September 01, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 15 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM SEPTEMBER 2-8, 2020 UCW 15 What is 'herd immunity'? a STAFF REPORT Infectious diseases can strike at any time. Some of them cause relatively minor interruptions to daily life and often can resolve of their own accord when the body's immune system mounts a success- ful defense. Other diseases can cause serious, even life-threatening, symptoms or spread rapidly, which makes it essential for medical pro- fessionals to help slow down or stop the transmission. Herd immunity refers to the indirect protection from infectious diseases that occurs when a large percentage of the population has become immune to that disease. The term has taken on renewed significance as the world has been battling COVID-19. If enough people are resistant to the cause of a disease, whether it is a bacteria or virus, that disease has nowhere to go and the spread stalls, according to WebMD. There are two ways that herd immunity can occur. The first is when resistance develops natu- rally when the body is exposed to the virus or bacteria. At this point, the immune system will produce antibodies to fight off the infec- tion. After recovery, these antibod- ies are still circulating, and should exposure to the same disease occur again, the body can defend against another infection. Another way that herd immunity occurs is through vaccination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that when the majority of people are vaccinated, it creates the same disease lockdown, fewer people get sick and fewer germs are able to spread from per- son to person. Diseases are different and herd immunity is reached based on the pathogen's reproduction number, or R0 (R-naught). The R0 tells the average number of people that a single person with the virus can infect if those people aren't already immune. The higher the R0, the greater num- ber of people will need to be resistant to reach herd immunity. Measles, which is very contagious at an R0 of 12 to 18, requires 93 to 95% of the population to be immune for herd immunity to be reached. The World Health Organization estimates the R0 for COVID-19 to be between two and three. This means between 40 and 70% of the popula- tion will need to be immune to halt the spread. In the case of COVID-19, it's still unclear whether anyone can get re- infected, and whether antibodies pro- duced for one strain can fend off anoth- er strain of this novel coronavirus. This reinfection mystery is what makes herd immunity, both through a vaccine or through natural expo- sure, challenging for epidemiolo- gists in relation to COVID-19. Rock Without The Hard Edge for Fayetteville. And Local News updates throughout the day. In the era of coronavirus, outdoor adventu- res can offer a break for students and their parents. HEALTH Parents can take learning outdoors a STAFF REPORT Children who spend a lot of time outdoors benefit from exposure to nature in myriad ways, some of which may surprise even the most devoted outdoorsmen. According to a study published in the journal Human Dimensions of Wildlife, fifth graders who attended school at a local prairie wetlands where lessons in science, math and writing were integrated in an experi- mental way had stronger reading and writing skills than peers who attended more traditional schools. Another study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that holding a class outdoors one day a week significantly improved the daily cortisol patterns of students, reducing their risk of stress and improving their ability to adapt to stress. In the era of coronavirus, outdoor adventures can offer a break for stu- dents and their parents. Parents who want their children to reap the rewards of being exposed to the great outdoors can encourage educators to incorporate nature into school curriculums and also embra- ce these family-friendly outdoor activities. Nature treasure hunt: A treasure hunt can keep kids engaged on fami- ly hiking excursions and provide an excellent opportunity for parents to teach children about the assortment of plants, birds and wildlife that live in the parks and along the trails near their home. Outdoor art class: Families don't even need to leave their properties to spend quality time together outside. Pick a pleasant or mild afternoon and set up an outdoor painting station, encouraging everyone to paint what they see. Regular outdoor art sessions can add variety as each season can offer new landscapes and wildlife activity. Bonfire: Outdoor activities need not be limited to daylight hours. A post-dinner backyard bonfire can entice everyone outside, where families can tell scary stories as they make s'mores. Stargaze: Stargazing is another way families can spend time outdoors and learn a few things. Some blankets, a thermos and a chart of constellations can provide the perfect complement to a sky full of bright stars. If visibility is compromised in the backyard, find a local spot where everyone can get a clear view of the night sky. Fruit picking: Depending on the availability of farms in your area, fruit or vegetable picking can provide a fun and educational activity. Visit a local farm during its harvest season, tea- ching children about how the foods they love are grown and eventually make it to the family dinner table. Parents can expand on these ideas to offer outdoor learning even after students return to the traditional classroom. EDUCATION The higher the R0, the greater number of people will need to be resistant to reach herd immunity.

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