To the Editor:

The Farm and Food File column speaking of herd immunity in livestock in the July 26 issue, deserves further discussion.

As a farm veterinarian of 40 years, I have seen many instances where all we have to depend on is herd immunity until vaccines become available. The best outcome for livestock varies with the disease involved.

Many of us older individuals remember how herd immunity was important for the childhood diseases of mumps and chicken pox before vaccines were available. Sadly, polio was a severe disease for some people before the vaccine was widely used.

When considering covid in people, three things come to mind.

1. Vaccines won’t be available before school starts and before the winter flu season begins.

2. Most flu and cold viruses increase after schools open. I suspect COVID will do the same.

3. Spikes in COVID on top of a flu season peak could overwhelm our hospitals.

I view every young, healthy person that contacts COVID this summer and recovers as a good thing. We are building herd immunity. We need as much of this immunity as possible.

— Dr. Art Reuck, Buckman

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