Coronavirus Update 3/6/20

Handwashing

This is an update to our previous Coronavirus (COVID-19) article.  Let’s first address the unfounded insanity that is currently being spread throughout the media.  Please remember that fear sells and it inspires people to return to the original source of the information in order to stay updated.  This is another rendition of the old news saying, “If it bleeds, it reads!” It is a better option to fight fear with knowledge. 

The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).

SARS-CoV-2 is a novel virus, meaning this is the first time we have seen this particular strain in the human population.  We have encountered other novel coronavirus infections such as SARS and MERS in the past, but there is a lack of direct knowledge of this specific virus.  We are able to somewhat extrapolate information from these past outbreaks to aid in the treatment of coronaviruses in general. Coronaviruses are seen regularly and account for 20% of yearly colds. 

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently said:

… We’re not just fighting an epidemic; we’re fighting an infodemic …

This is a time for facts, not fear.

This is a time for rationality, not rumours.

 Please remember that google is not your doctor and that the news and other media sources do not necessarily have your best interest in mind.  The best way to protect yourself and your family is being aware of how this infection spreads and by taking steps to minimize exposure.  

This virus is spread within large respiratory droplets via coughing and/or sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you, but all surfaces where these droplets have landed can be potentially infectious for about 1 week on average.  Basically, you will not become infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon by an infected person, or if you contact a surface that has been contaminated by an infected individual and proceed to touch your nose, mouth, and/or eyes. This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs).  

One of the most important preventative steps you can take is to avoid touching your mouth, nose and/or eyes while you are out in public places.  Second, be sure to vigorously wash your hands several times a day for at least 30 seconds per time in order to promote removal of any viruses. The length of hand washing combined with scrubbing have been shown to be the two most significant factors involved.  Wearing latex gloves while out in public will also add another layer of protection and prevention. To reduce your risk of acquiring the virus, avoid such “high-touch surfaces” as doorknobs, handles, stair rails, pens, keypads, touch screens, point of sale terminals, etc. Use your knuckle to push bush buttons and antimicrobial wipes to hold handles and clean your phone, and/or use gloves. 

The incubation period is thought to be 2-14 days, though some researchers say it could be up to 21 days before symptoms emerge. 

Is there a vaccine for COVD-19 infection? How can we prevent an infection? 

To date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-2019. However, those affected should receive care to relieve symptoms. People with serious illnesses should be hospitalized. Most patients recover thanks to supportive care.

The best way to prevent an infection is a balanced immune system. We have two supportive immune formulas specific to encapsulated viruses, such as coronaviruses.  See the prior Coronavirus article for immune support ideas. 

What is the mortality rate of infection with COVD-19? 

So far, the highest mortality in adults over 65 yrs of age.  Certain populations seem to be more at risk for infection and for death. Increasing age seems to be the most important factor, and as mentioned above, children appear relatively spared. 

While information so far suggests that most COVID-19 illness is mild out of China suggests serious illness occurs in 16% of cases. Older people and people with certain underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, for example, seem to be at greater risk of serious illness.

"Globally, about 3.4 percent of reported COVID-19 cases have died," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. This number includes cases in China, which seem to have a higher death rate than other countries.

Interestingly, South Korea has been very proactive with testing its population, which has been extremely effective.  Journalist Kim Kyung-Hoon reported in Reuters on 3/5/20 that: 

  • South Korea has tested more than 140,000 people for the new coronavirus and confirmed more than 6,000 cases. Its fatality rate is around 0.6%. This is lower than the yearly flu fatality rate at .78%
  • This suggests that, as many health experts have predicted, the virus' fatality rate seems to decrease as more cases are reported.
  • That's because more widespread testing leads more mild cases to be included in the count.
  • The US, by contrast, has tested around 1,500 people. The country has 221 confirmed cases and 12 deaths, suggesting a death rate of 5%.
  • The US' testing capacity has been limited.
How do I get tested for COVID-19?

COVID-19 is tested through nasal secretions, throat swab, and/or sputum for genetic material of COVID-19.  In the US, test kits are NOT currently available through your doctors office, but it looks like testing will be available through Quest Diagnostics as early as next week for patients who are symptomatic. If you have had direct contact with someone traveling from China, with a proven case of COVID-19, then you should go to your local public health department for testing. 

Prevention Plan
  1. Get adequate sleep
  2. 30 minutes of outside movement each day.  This will activate lymphatic flow in the body, which will increase immune function.
  3. Wash your hands multiple times a day.  Use vigorous scrubbing and make sure that you wash your hands for at least 30 seconds.  
  4. Avoid sugar as much as possible.  Sugar has been shown to lower your immune function for 7 hours after ingestion of even a small amount.  
  5. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables in the rainbow of variety.  The colors and flavors help protect different organs. We take a wide variety plant concentrates every day and in this season we are taking a double dose to support our immune system
  6. Check to make sure that your vitamin D3 level is optimal.  A simple blood test can be ordered to ensure that your levels are between 60-80 for optimal protection of your immune system.
  7. Licorice and elderberry are two good herbs for anti-viral immune support.  Licorice has been shown in research to be effective against coronaviruses. We have a coronavirus specific herbal tincture available at the clinic for your support during this emerging outbreak. 
  8. If you are over 65, and are immunocompromised, you may want to consider adding S-Acetyl Glutathione or Liposomal Glutathione to your prevention plan at a dose of 100mg twice per day.  
COVID-19 News Sources:

Thursday afternoon in San Jose it was announced that there were six new cases of COVID-19 in Santa Clara County, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the South Bay to 20, according to the county’s Public Health Department. Santa Clara County public health officials are now recommending employers: suspend nonessential travel; minimize or cancel large in-person meetings/conferences; urge sick employees to stay home and not require a doctor’s note; and consider telecommuting options for appropriate employees.

“It’s good to remember that when H1N1 influenza came out in 2009, estimates of case fatality were 10 percent,” David Fisman, an epidemiologist at the University of Toronto, told Reuters last month. The actual mortality rate turned out to be well under 1 percent when all the data was in.