Saudi Health authorities have announced a possible breakthrough in the development of a treatment for the Covid-19, saying that people already infected with the well-known Camel Herpes virus could be immune to the pandemic.
The Arab kingdom has reported barely 1100 cases since the beginning of the pandemics despite allowing religious pilgrimages to continue until recently.
According to the country’s health authorities, these surprisingly low numbers could be linked by the widespread Camel Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV-Ag1) which afflicts 17% of the kingdom’s population.
Doctors have observed that this virus seems to fight the Covid-19 virus and give infected people a kind of natural immunity, even when directly exposed to the virus.
Saudi Health Minister, Dr. Tawfig AlRabiah, says doctors throughout the kingdom have been reporting that several patients infected with the Covid-19 had directly exposed their families to the virus, but had contaminated only those not already infected by the HSV-Ag1.
“We have received several reports of families only partially infected by the Covid-19, and in all cases, those who were spared were those already infected with Camel Herpes.”
According to Dr. AlRabiah, further clinical studies need to be done to determine if this could lead to a possible cure or vaccine for the Covid-19 virus.
“We could probably get a real vaccine in a year or two, but it would be much faster to give Camel Herpes to 50% or 75% of the world’s population to protect them. It’s a minor disease, after all, it mostly causes itching and occasional genital rashes.”
The Saudi Health Ministry announced an investment of 2 Billion Riyal (USD 530 million) in research to analyze the efficiency of the HSV-Ag1 virus in fighting the Covid-19 and explore possible medical applications.
According to experts, this could be a promising idea for an eventual cure, but several other countries and pharmaceutical companies are already exploring other more promising possible treatments.