What a start to the new decade! In a mere matter of weeks a new virus, the so-called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), spread across the globe. The most common symptoms of infection are fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. Most people develop only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. In others it can lead to severe respiratory distress, an illness designated Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19). There is obviously no vaccine yet against this new virus, nor have any existing antiviral medications proven effective against it in randomized controlled trials. Right now we depend on our immune systems to save us if we catch the virus. Of course, our best defence is to avoid becoming infected in the first place.
dangerous is the virus?
has already claimed more than 200,000 lives worldwide. Since we do
not know how many people have become infected – we simply haven’t
been able to conduct the necessary tests – we don’t know yet what
percentage of infected people died or how many got seriously ill but
recovered. What we do know is that people with preexistng medical
conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension,
cancer, or chronic respiratory disease are at increased risk.
virus is mainly transmitted through aerosol droplets spread by
sneezing, coughing, or even just talking. These virus-carrying
droplets can remain airborne for several hours and be inhaled by
others. They can also land on surfaces like door knobs, railings, or
shopping carts where the virus can survive several days and can be
picked up when we touch them. If you then touch your face the virus
can enter your system through your eyes, nose or mouth. From there
the virus can pass through the windpipe into the lungs. If you were
out and about it is therefore important to thoroughly wash your hands
with soap and water or with an alcohol-based disinfectant as soon as
best way to avoid becoming infected is to avoid crowds. This has of
course become mandatory in many places where people are told to stay
home if at all possible, where schools are closed, all but essential
businesses are shuttered, and sporting events and concerts are
masks in public has also become mandatory in many places, but your
mask isn’t meant to protect you; it is meant to protect others from
you. If you become infected you can shed high concentrations of the
virus from your nasal cavities well before symptoms develop, i.e.
well before you yourself know that you are a carrier. Your mask is
meant to prevent or minimize the spread of the virus you may not even
know you are carrying.
your immune system
Since we depend on our immune system to fight the virus it makes sense to try and strengthen it as best as we can. The non-profit Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, an organization focusing on safe and effective nutritional therapies to fight illness, recommends the following supplement regimen for supporting your immune system:
mg vitamin C per day in divided doses
to 5,000 IU vitamin D3 per day
mg Zinc per day
mg Magnesium per day
mcg Selenium per day
course we are told that we can get all the micronutrients we need
from a healthy diet. But if a healthy diet were the norm we wouldn’t
have a thriving junk food industry. Supplementation isn’t meant to be
a quick fix. Supplements are meant for the long haul to support your
health, and they are affordable and safe. A healthy immune system is
the best defense against any invader.
happens if you do become infected?
the acronym SARS in SARS-CoV-2 implies, the virus can wreak havoc if
it gets into the windpipe and down into the lungs. The wind pipe (the
trachea) splits into two branches (the bronchi), one for each lung.
The bronchi divide into smaller and smaller branches, ending in tiny
air sacs. These air sacs are surrounded by very tiny blood vessels
called capillaries. When we inhale the air fills the sacs and oxygen
is transferred to the capillaries. Bound to hemoglobin in red blood
cells, the oxygen then gets distributed throughout the body.
the lungs become infected and inflamed, these air sacs fill up with
liquid and eventually can no longer transfer oxygen to the
capillaries. At this stage you will have difficulty breathing and
need to seek immediate medical attention. While medicine has no
proven cure yet, hospitals can support the lungs and in extreme cases
provide mechanical breathing with ventilators to keep the patient
alive until the immune system (hopefully) gets the better of the
is being done now?
dozens of research groups are in the race to develop a vaccine
against this virus. In fact, the first small-scale trials with
volunteers have already begun. Still, it is difficult to foresee if
and when a working vaccine will become available or if it will
provide long-term immunity. The more rapidly a virus can mutate, the
more often a new vaccine may be required.
antiviral drugs are also needed and time is of the essence, attempts
are made to repurpose drugs that were proven safe and effective for
other diseases. At the beginning of May the FDA announced that the
Ebola drug remdesivir can be administered to critically ill
hospitalised Covid-19 patients. Preliminary results
from a government-sponsored study showed that remdesivir shortens the
time to recovery. The drug will still have to undergo the usual
randomized controlled trials before final approval for this virus.
Another candidate is the
anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine. It has a 50 year safety record,
has already been shown to kill the Covid-19 virus in vitro (in the
test tube), and in small tests in France more than half of
Covid-19-infected patients tested negative six days after treatment.
The drug works by lowering inflammation, but it too will require
randomized controlled trials before final approval for this disease.
The use of convalescent plasma is another avenue that is being explored. The blood of people who recovered from Covid-19 should contain antibodies against the virus. Injecting their blood plasma into seriously ill Covid-19 patients should help them fight the disease. Preliminary results are promising, but proper clinical trials are still needed to be certain of success.
vitamin C therapy, possibly in conjunction with medications like
corticosteroids, is another promising approach. Vitamin C has
antiinflammatory, antioxidant and antiviral properties. It is known
to be effective against acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
The therapy has already been successfully applied against Covid-19 in
China as well as in some Americal hospitals. Vitamin C dampens
inflammatory immune system overreactions. The advantage of this
approach is that it would be useful against any virus.
can you find credible information on the subject?
can find reliable and regularly updated information about the
coronavirus on websites of public health organizations or medical
dealing with the cornavirus are freely accessible in these
care and stay safe!