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Benm

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That would depend on the pathogen obviously. A pathogen can do significant damage yet not kill you, think of something like polio. It will make you stronger in the sense that you'll have increased immunity if exposed again in the future, but also crippled.

As for pathogens with 100% mortality: they could exist, but not for very long as they'd kill all of their host population off and then have nothing left to infect. Such event would wipe out both the population of pathogen and host, and it's hard to tell if this has ever happened or not.

Then again some pathogens can infect various hosts, rabies being a decent example of one that can use most mammals, as well as some birds and reptiles. If it were 100% mortal there would not be any mammals left on earth in the long run, but since we have vaccines now and even moderately effective treatment for unvaccinated people being exposed nowadays this will not happen.

The most successful viruses, if you use population size, are actually the ones that cause little to no problem for the host, and certainly not in the short term. At this point i'd say that HPV is the most successful virus in humans, infecting a majority of the population. In most cases it doesn't harm the host noticeably, but it does increase the risk of cervical cancer and such so we started vaccinating anyway (at least in western europe).
 



paul1598419

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That would depend on the pathogen obviously. A pathogen can do significant damage yet not kill you, think of something like polio. It will make you stronger in the sense that you'll have increased immunity if exposed again in the future, but also crippled.

As for pathogens with 100% mortality: they could exist, but not for very long as they'd kill all of their host population off and then have nothing left to infect. Such event would wipe out both the population of pathogen and host, and it's hard to tell if this has ever happened or not.

Then again some pathogens can infect various hosts, rabies being a decent example of one that can use most mammals, as well as some birds and reptiles. If it were 100% mortal there would not be any mammals left on earth in the long run, but since we have vaccines now and even moderately effective treatment for unvaccinated people being exposed nowadays this will not happen.

The most successful viruses, if you use population size, are actually the ones that cause little to no problem for the host, and certainly not in the short term. At this point i'd say that HPV is the most successful virus in humans, infecting a majority of the population. In most cases it doesn't harm the host noticeably, but it does increase the risk of cervical cancer and such so we started vaccinating anyway (at least in western europe).
There are vaccines for rabies in humans. We just don't use them because they are extremely painful and protracted and unnecessary unless you have been exposed. HPV causes venereal warts which are passed through $exual activity. That is why women don't get PAP smears until they reach the age of $exual activity. As I recall, Flagyl is used to treat warts caused by HPV. Also, the cancer causing effects of this infection are not limited to women. While the vaccine for HPV provides immunity for the four or five most active stains of HPV it doesn't provide immunity to all of them. It is still a fairly expensive vaccine too. Would be nice if the drug company that is pushing this vaccine would also drop the price of it.
 

Benm

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The list of things that make you weaker insteadof stronger, but not kill you, is probably endless. My usual counter-argument for it is: go ask someone that has his legs blown off by a landmine - i doubt they're better off due to that experience in general.

While the vaccine for HPV provides immunity for the four or five most active stains of HPV it doesn't provide immunity to all of them. It is still a fairly expensive vaccine too. Would be nice if the drug company that is pushing this vaccine would also drop the price of it.
HPV vaccination was added to the national vaccination program in the Netherlands several years ago, as was hepatitis B. These vaccinations are provided free of charge at appropriate ages.

As far as cost goes: i'm sure a national or even european program adds some benefit in purchasing power and hence negotiating the price down considerably.

Contrary to the US health insurance companies here have managed to get the price of generic medication down by enormous amounts, sometimes over 99% cost reduction. If a generic is available the insurance will only cover the cheapest one on the market. Generics here are equal to brand names so there is no reason not to do this.

With some medications this has come to a point where they are available for free to the patient, such that the insurance company and supplier do not have to make the actual price public: There is a deductible in health care insurance here, so people would know and possibly communicate the actual cost, even if it was 1 cent.
 

paul1598419

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That is one thing that the politicians here won't do. We cannot use our large buying power to negotiate prices in the US. It is because big Pharma is a huge lobbying group and has kept this kind of legislation at bay to this day. It isn't even a Republican or Democrat issue. Though, more Democrats have tried to get legislation passed than Republicans have. But, I have seen Democrats vote against it especially in Maryland where there are a lot of big pharma groups.
 

Benm

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Yeah, that's a big problem in the US indeed.

It's also why you see a lot of medication listed on darknet markets, things that have no use as a recreational drug at all, but just treat a real medical condition. When looking at some vendors they actually make most of their sales on uncontrolled substances (well, Rx, but not drug scheduled otherwise).

Firstly i wondered why those things were selling at all, since the price is 10 times that of getting a script and collecting the tablets from a pharmacy here... and then i figured out some of them were over 10 times the price of the darknet from US pharmacies. It's literally possible for the exact same tablet to cost $0.02 here and $2.00 in the US.

I guess that also explains why the US is more or the less per capita top spender on healthcare, yet see's little to no return in life expectancy. Basically the US spends 10 times as much (PPP) a per capita compared to a country like turkey, but basically gets the same result.

Japan spends about the half the US does, but people live an average of 6 years longer there... and that's not because of the nice clean air, absence of natural disasters, or lack of molten down leaking nuclear power plants either :D
 




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