Knowing that the normal entry points of the virus to the body are the nose, mouth and eye:


would it be possible to purposely administer the virus to someone so that it will only result in mild symptoms? Maybe even infecting other areas inside the body (by let's say injection) where it cannot spread too much. It can be useful in situations where the probability of catching the virus in the long run is very high. For example one may prefer to infect the eye and protect the other entry points if possible.

In the same line of thought, maybe infect and then being knowledgeable about the infection one can start the treatment even before the first symptoms or at the first symptoms and aim for later immunity.

The general strategy involves trying to choose the entry point, "inventing" a new entry point and/or choosing the moment of infection to have the optimal conditions for the treatment applied to covid-19. This cannot be worse for someone compared with becoming infected "naturally" and it can make sense when there is a state of big urgency and no time for a vaccine.

  • Thank-you for asking the question, others may have been thinking the same thing. Kudos for the unique idea, keep on being creative. Some have down-voted but I believe that is not in the spirit of this community. Apr 4 '20 at 8:12
  • I think that a possible reason for down-votes can be that the way I formulated the question sounds like self treatment. Do you think that it would be better to reformulate the question using "Administering" instead of as "Catching" in both the title and the body of the question?
    – yoneru
    Apr 4 '20 at 9:54
  • One of the downvotes is mine. I downvoted because you can't give yourself a "small dose" of SARS-CoV-2 or give it by a safe route. Viruses replicate, so that "small dose" will quickly become a large dose in a susceptible person. Also, the eyes, nose, mouth and throat are all interconnected. Put the virus in any of them and it can end up in the others. It can also end up in the bloodstream where it will travel everywhere. With a disease that has a 3% death rate (12% in Italy), infecting yourself with the virus would be foolhardy for the young and tantamount to suicide for the elderly.
    – Carey Gregory
    Apr 4 '20 at 22:19
  • Yoneru Yes I think the idea of self treatment is a problem. @Carey Gregory Yes most of us know those things are true, but the question serves as a way for us to educate those who don't. I think it is wrong to discourage questions and learning when you can provide the same information while being supportive. Apr 4 '20 at 23:57
  • @CareyGregory I've edited but I'm not sure how to formulate the question to fully convey the idea that it's not about self treatment. Maybe indeed it is difficult to find a situation where it is worth trying this strategy. The closest I can think of is a situation where the isolation is impossible, not enough protective gear and a vaccine not yet available.
    – yoneru
    Apr 5 '20 at 4:33

There is no known way to infect yourself with a "safe" dose of SARS-CoV-2. The eyes are listed as a portal of infection which is why health workers wear eye protection (goggles, face shields ).

Once the virus infects human cells it starts to replicate creating more virus. At some stage the immune system will ramp up and detect the virus but this takes time. Even if you find a dose of the virus to infect yourself, how are you going to count a few hundred or a few thousand virus particles and make sure you don't exceed the infectious dose? And that may depend also on host factors.

The average number of viral particles needed to establish an infection is known as the infectious dose. We don’t know what this is for covid-19 yet, but given how rapidly the disease is spreading, it is likely to be relatively low – in the region of a few hundred or thousand particles, says Willem van Schaik at the University of Birmingham, UK.

Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2238819-does-a-high-viral-load-or-infectious-dose-make-covid-19-worse/#ixzz6IUiniq2D

  • To clarify my question, let's say we know the hospitals will be overwhelmed and we need volunteer hospital workers to be ready for the next wave. If a big percentage of volunteers will catch the virus in hospital some of them could prefer to catch it at the beginning in controlled settings. For example, if lung spread is the most dangerous, one can infect some remote area (eye), monitor closely for antibodies and then start the treatement fast knowing already it is covid-19. If antibodies but no symptoms also great, the person is probably safe around sars-cov-2.
    – yoneru
    Apr 3 '20 at 5:36
  • It is true that if enough persons in the general population will catch the virus it may be easier to simply offer a free antibodies test and select persons who have already gone through the disease with mild or no symptoms.
    – yoneru
    Apr 3 '20 at 5:41
  • Maybe this reported method is a similar approach? upmc.com/media/news/040220-falo-gambotto-sars-cov2-vaccine If I understand correctly it uses fragments containing the spike protein instead of the virus but shouldn't the virus work also? Can the infection spread from the place under the skin where the virus was injected?
    – yoneru
    Apr 3 '20 at 10:24
  • Comments are not for questions. Ask another question. Apr 4 '20 at 10:06
  • I put the comment wandering if it brings something new worth including in your answer because if we replace the spike protein with the virus it seems a method similar with what I've described (injecting the virus somewhere "far away from the critical areas" for immunity).
    – yoneru
    Apr 4 '20 at 15:45

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