Recall, I mentioned in an earlier blog, certain countries were hit harder – had more cases of this virus and more deaths. Yes, cities given their population density were postulated to have more cases just on that but now think mutations!
I also mentioned in a past blog there were a number of mutations postulated. Clearly now research shows that COVID-19 mutated early on in the pandemic to create a more transmissive strain: the ‘G clade’, which may also be associated with a higher viral load. Sure enough, that is what was found in patients in Italy. At ‘home’ NY residents had a high percentage of the ‘G clade’ than found in other states.
More news about this very complex virus is that its impact on the human body can last a very long time and leave many with permanent damage to organ function. Some individuals after as much as 50 days are struggling with symptoms. Children with COVID-19 can suffer an overwhelming inflammatory syndrome, a version unique to children, attacking the heart and causing death. Naturally, children with a predisposing condition are at greater risk.
I would like to take an offensive approach and after research internationally and in US literature I want to share a few recommendations that make sense to me. Many medical opinions suggest boosting your immune system in the case. To that end recommendations have included relatively benign supplements*:
Zinc -losenges best -75-100mg/day
Vitamin C -500mg twice a day
Vitamin D3- 1-4000 mg /day
Melatonin, slow-release begin with 3 mg. and increase as tolerated (at bedtime) increase to 6-12 mg daily
Quercetin 250-500 mg. twice a day – an antioxidant, antiinflammatory found in plants
Some individuals have started to monitor with an oximeter (very hard to find to buy as most made in China) to monitor their oxygen saturation. Recall you % drops before you get dry cough and pneumonia.
I have not mentioned in detail, to date, the Hydroxychloroquine drug but its use is for when you believe you are infected. Must be started ASAP, 400mg twice a day then 200 mg twice a day for 4 days. French pulmonologists from early in outbreak to date recommend this medication. Because of clotting seen in many COVID-19 patients, ASA 81-325mg a day is another recommended drug.
*check with your healthcare provider prior to taking any supplements
And more info:
- still no cure & no vaccine – please do not take false security when stay-at-home rules are lifted.
- compassionate use of different medications has occurred. Research continues around the globe into existing pharmacological ex. Pepcid into the vein at over 9 times higher dose than one takes for heartburn. Another is Remdesivir, an antiviral drug, many more but no definitive study has changed medical care.
- the virus attacks multiple organs in the body, stroke in 30-40-year-olds is emerging as caused by the virus as it forms clots in brain blood vessels
- after recovery, what lasting damage this virus leaves you with is still unknown.
- it has been reported to stay in a person’s stool for weeks after your test turns from positive to negative
- remember as you leave the home that the virus stays on many surfaces for days, up to 9 in some instances, also pollution -particulates suspends the virus in the air more than the typical 3 hours when it is coming from an infected person’s mouth.
- Perhaps pollution is why deaths are above trend in cities like Milan (worst pollution in EU) NY and the UK.
A definite level of uncertainty surrounds this pandemic, will there be a new normal? a second wave? Sorry, I do not have the answers for you at this posting. but I will continue to share responsibly what is known.
recall a virus is RNA protein needs host DNA to be activated, the protein takes on two different conformations—one before it infects a host cell, and another during infection
Its genome is made up of about 30,000 base pairs. Humans, by comparison, have more than 3 billion
SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
the virus is 30 Kbytes of info, size is .1 microns
severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) caused by a coronavirus -SARS-CoV
patients with confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) have COMMONLY reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms such as Fever, Cough, Shortness of breath
however, some individuals only get gastrointestinal symptoms other heart symptoms even heart attacks. Neurologic symptoms as well which may include central nervous system (CNS) manifestations such as dizziness, headache, impaired consciousness, acute cerebrovascular disease, ataxia, or seizure; vision impairment, or nerve pain; and skeletal muscle injury manifestations.
peripheral nervous system manifestations such as taste and smell impairment, loss of smell were noted in up to 30% of cases in China, South Korea, Italy and Germany
Many people who get COVID-19 experience only mild illness. That is why antibody testing is so important on many fronts
I have published in The Journal of EMS with colleagues on the response to the pandemic, if you have a chance please read and let me know your thoughts. Thank you in advance.
By now even if you do not watch news programs your friends have shared information they have gleaned from their reading and watching. Yes, it is time to recognize you are stressed, your sanity is being tested. Have I stepped into a Stephen King movie? It is real, after all, it is not just our government talking. Could all the numbers and pictures be manipulated images? Is the tail wagging the dog? ‘Wag the Dog‘, a great movie by the way!
Virus anxieties understandable will arise in dealing with the worst pandemic in 100 years (fear of getting sick/dying/job loss, etc). Serious inter-personal conflict is sure to follow.
It is especially hard for those in lockdown by themselves. Already in Germany, the Minister of Finance is believed to have committed suicide over his perceived failure to protect his country.
You need to prepare for dealing with the inevitable stress that is here.
Call To Action
-make a plan
- start by taking stock, where am I in all of this. Remember glass can be half full not half empty.
- Resources, safety, job security, finances
- have a backyard – plant!
-set area to improve during this time with good behaviors
-ID your stress dissect it talk it out. De-stressing Aids are numerous a few include:
- Yes, an App exists -actually many do ex. “Shine’
- plenty of meditation and well-being Apps ( check them out).
-stay socially connected -not just text at least once a day have at least a 15 min phone or better face to face (Facetime, Skype, Zoom) tete a tete. I let friends know the best time periods to see my face!
To stop infected people (some don’t even know) from expelling virus. Even if not sneezing or coughing simply talking sends droplets out.
To help remind you not to touch your face – the SARS-COVID-19 virus can enter your body through nose and mouth (yes and thru eyes). Once in ….
If you are going to get infected better to get it in a small dose – ‘start small’ a low inoculum. This gets your immune system going to stop the intruder-the virus. A small inoculum allows your body to mount a defense and start making antibodies to the virus.
As I read the COVID-19 medical literature, print and online, I am learning bits of info I think you all need to know. Remember all viruses including COVID-19 are RNA that degrade over varying time unless they get into a ‘live’ – DNA organism. I will continue to share what I learn to help you avoid being a statistic. It is not far fetched to believe this pandemic will last 18 months (mentioned in the previous blog), yes the time it usually takes to make an effective vaccine or a recurrence – the ‘second wave’.
– 8 different COVID -19 strains worldwide some less aggressive then original
– Spreads when individuals are not sick for 4-14 days before they become sick
– Definitely the young can die – documented deaths include that of a 1-year-old or 16 y.o. and not all elderly die -a 101 y.o. was discharged from hospital in Italy
– medical supplies are in shortage phase, SO stay in. Always wear a mask if you ABSOLUTELY have to go out, sanitize everything entering the home
- masks DO help – please wear one protect yourself and others from you
- make a mask with a vacuum bag filter, perfect blockage place in a sleeve and wear
- no microwaving masks to resterilize
– virus present in stool after a negative swab test
– 8 days is the average turning point of the illness either recovery or rapid worsening breathing
– mail can wait a few days in the garage
– this virus lasts 3 hours in the air, 24 hours on cardboard, 4 hours on copper since it is naturally antiseptic! 42 on metal steel, and on plastic 72 hours
– UV LIGHT on any object can break the virus protein
– viral molecules remain very stable in the external or artificial cold like air conditioners in homes and cars and live longer with darkness and humidity.
– according to CDC hand sanitizer has to be over 60% alcohol-so get the Vodka out of the freezer or Everclear (need 180 proof spirit which has 90% alcohol) MAKE YOUR OWN-add essential oil aloe vera gel -2 part alcohol (2/3 cup) 1 part(1/3 cup) aloe vera gel in a small bowl -as you like add 2-10 drops thyme, or cinnamon clove or tea tree oil. Bottle!
– at this posting are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or OTC (over-the-counter) preparations to treat or cure COVID-19
– the Discovery Study (multiple countries in the EU) of 3,200 patients with the virus is underway with 4 different treatments being studied
What is known today re: COVID-19
– highly contagious, not like the ‘flu’ those with other medical conditions as expected are more vulnerable
– contagious before becoming ill -prob. 4-5 days.
– this virus doesn’t discriminate – young and old succumb
– the virus is growing in your lungs well before dry cough and fever develop
– the virus is ‘killed’ at 145C and with >70% alcohol (WHO recommendations)
– your whole body feels fatigued, GI symptoms (sx) like diarrhea (seen in 1/3 of patients berry cough can occur. Those with GI sx appear to have the worst outcome.
– 1/3 US population will contract by July
– the death rate is approx. 3%
– duration of ‘outbreak’ likely 18 months
– vaccine development takes time approx. 18 months from onset
– decreasing exposure effects spread dramatically
– healthcare resources can’t treat everyone
– virus size is .1 micron N95 masks block .3 microns
– human coronavirus survives various times on inanimate surfaces for up to 5 days on metal, 1 day on paper. Recent info on COVID-19 revealed it was able to infect contact after 2 weeks on the Diamond Princess cruise ship
– there are not limitless health care resources for the expected number of seriously ill persons expected -yes healthcare rationing may occur
What you MUST do:
– stay well away from anyone, suspect everyone of being infected
– the virus has a different appearance in each person, some have extreme fatigue others who test positive yet feel fine
– wash hands frequently soap for at least 20 seconds, if you use hand sanitizer let them air dry *
– a mask is best but wearing a mask does have ‘some’ benefit, don’t forget your eye exposure -do not touch your face
– stay home – social distancing is critical
– wear a mask in public when going out – but only if you have do stay put!
– use known antiseptics for hands and surfaces, let air dry
– ask your healthcare provider if you should take Vitamin C and D3
*G.Kamp et al. Journal of Hospital Injection 104 (2020) 246-251
DocHandal shares symptoms, diagnosis and treatment essentials. The what if, what to do descriptions can save you from a preventable disease chronic disease
Health is always on our minds and having learned from my patients I continue to be a physician sharing knowledge and experiences. Some are rules that will make you realize that our bodies speak to us – we must listen! There are lessons you should not learn the hard way. There are rules that unless followed your body will revolt. The information in this compendium builds while respecting the individual’s intelligence to pay attention and recognize their bodies’ needs.
Many including myself take daily supplements more specifically Vitamins & minerals. Remember ‘vitamins’ by definition are substances our bodies need but do not produce. This blog briefly touches on vitamin A & D and the minerals Calcium & Potassium.
Certain vitamins are water-soluble. – that is why you can’t OD on it. Vit. C is an example, although you might get diarrhea. Other vitamins are fat-soluble thus too much can accumulate in the body and cause issues.
Excessive intake of vitamin D, or hypervitaminosis D, can result in weight loss, anorexia, polyuria, and arrhythmias. This derangement can also cause blood calcium levels to heighten, resulting in vascular and tissue calcification and heart, kidney, and blood vessel damage. Natural sources include sardines, salmon, mushrooms, eggs, and fortified milk for you to consider.
Too much Vitamin A results in headaches, nausea, and dizziness, but can also cause coma and death. High levels in pregnant women can lead to birth defects. Natural sources of vitamin A carrots raw or juiced, yams pumpkins, cantaloupe, mangos, turnips, and spinach to name a few.
Other supplements – minerals.
Calcium generally not toxic but can cause kidney stones and be harmful to those with kidney disease.
Potassium, a trace mineral (at times prescribed) in excess can heart irregularities.
As with all supplements it is best to not take a pill but a natural source.
A good source for calcium is skim milk, kale, non-fat yogurt, collard/mustard green,s salmon, sardines to name a few.
The best place to get potassium is from fruits and vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, spinach, bananas, and avocado.