The Coronavirus (Covid19) infection has affected many of our lives, with school and college closings, concerts and other social gatherings being canceled or postponed.
This is uncharted territory for the United States and many other countries. The idea of self-quarantine and social distancing is to reduce the spread of the infections which can range from mild to severe depending on your health. The reason behind the quarantine is to slow the rate of infection so our healthcare system can be capable of caring for those who are needing care. You can find out more on the CDC website here.
Initially, it was suggested that people 60 and older with other existing health problems were most at risk, now we are hearing from physicians on the front lines that this is not necessarily true, as many older people are recovering well while others who can be in their 20’s and 30’s may also be some of the worst cases requiring a respirator. Oddly, young children seem to be relatively unaffected by the virus.
Please realize that hospitals are seeing the worst cases and the data is only of those being tested. Statistically speaking, we may never have a true accounting of how many people carry this and transmit it. What we do know is that if you have shortness of breath, you may be developing a more severe case of the virus.
3/28/2020 Just in, Abbot labs as reported by cnbc now has a test that can detect the covid19 virus in 5 minutes. Read more here.
I watched a video where Ph.D. Researcher Judy Mikovits and Expert on Viruses Explains the Coronavirus and how it was transmitted to humans. What she tells us is surprising and shocking, and maybe why so many of us now get other diseases people did not experience years ago. Worth watching the video since she was part of the research community. It is relevant because she offers an understanding of why coronaviruses such as covid19 were able to infect us from the animal kingdom. Check out the video using the link below
Symptoms of Corona Virus (covid19)
WebMD has a good summary of Covid19 symptoms compared to a common cold or flu.
According to WebMD, there was a recent World Health Organization analysis of more than 55,000 confirmed cases in China. Here are the most common symptoms and the percentage of people who had them:
Dry cough: 68%
Coughing up sputum, or thick phlegm, from the lungs: 33%
Shortness of breath: 19%
Bone or joint pain: 15%
Sore throat: 14%
Nausea or vomiting: 5%
Stuffy nose: 5%
Coughing up blood: 1%
Swollen eyes: 1%
COVID-19 is a lower respiratory tract infection, which means that most of the symptoms are felt in the chest and lungs. That’s different from colds that bring on an upper respiratory tract infection, where you get a runny nose and sinus congestion. Those symptoms seem to be mostly absent for people with COVID-19, though they’re not unheard of.
The good news is that in China, most people who have gotten sick — about 80% — have had mild to moderate symptoms.
You can read more here.
Other symptoms that have been in the news lately are a loss of taste and sense of smell. While this could be with many types of viral colds, this seems to be a symptom even those with mild or no other symptoms re now having. For more info, check out Time Magazine. Added 3/25/2020
Advice from a doctor on the front lines of treating patients with Covid19
Someone sent me this video which you should watch. Dr. David Price from NY Cornell Medical Center is on the front lines and he offers some awesome advice. Don’t watch the media that is just there to scare us. Watch him instead. Click on the watch on Vimeo button and it will play the video
Some updated recommendations from the ANJC, our state chiropractic association include
- Typical Symptoms – Cough, fever, and shortness of breath may appear 2-14 days after exposure.
- Voluntary Home Isolation – Stay home when you are sick with respiratory disease symptoms. At present, these symptoms are more likely due to influenza or other respiratory viruses than to Covid-19.
- Respiratory Etiquette – Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it in the trash can.
- Hand Hygiene – Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you first come in from public spaces, after going to the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60-95% alcohol.
- Environmental Health Action – Routinely clean/disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects.
General Recommendations for patients and health professionals from the World Federation of Chiropractic
– Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand
– Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
– Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
– Follow good respiratory hygiene. Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or
tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the used tissue immediately.
– Clean surfaces with disinfectant.
– Avoid unprotected contact with farm or wild animals.
– Within health care facilities, enhance standard infection prevention and control practices
in hospitals, especially in emergency departments.
– If you feel unwell, stay at home and isolate for at least 14 days.
– If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this
may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Call in advance and tell
your provider of any recent travel or contact with travelers.
– Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow the advice given by your
healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on
how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
Most of the numbers we hear lately are based on who has been tested in the USA which at this time are only those who are the illest. We can learn from other countries who are already affected. The country that is battling the infection right now is Italy whose population is generally older than the USA and is most likely to be at higher risk.
The infection has likely been with us for months now, without being noticed since it may have mimicked a typical virus for many people earlier this year.
The effect of covid19 is upper respiratory and the pneumonia cases are more common in those who were already ill or have compromised immune systems.
You can be proactive, as we are by doubling down on sanitizing surfaces between patients and doing our part to make sure that our offices are safe environments for chiropractic health care.
Being proactive for your health is simply good practice. While sanitizing can reduce the possibility of infection, it is important to know that overdoing it reduces the response of your immune system as well. Exposure exercises and strengthens your immune system and its response to all sorts of viruses and bacteria which helps you fight infection. For now, be vigilant but do not make over sanitization a lifestyle when this problem has abated.
Also, realize as spring materializes, so do allergies which may also affect how you feel. There are also many other viruses that may make you feel ill but have different symptoms and are of shorter duration than most covid19 infections.
Should you take Advil, otherwise known as Ibuprofen for a fever that may be due to covid19? (added 3/29/2020)
Numerous sources have suggested that people who have taken Advil, or its generic ibuprofen to reduce the fever from the virus are more ill from taking it and are more likely to have other complications due to the way the drug works. A blog post recently offered proof that this is not scientifically based. You can read the post here. Another post offers these conclusions from US News and World Report. Harvard also had this to say. Advil is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory safe for most people taken short term. Long term it can cause kidney and liver problems. Some sources are recommending you take acetaminophen instead.
There are other ways to reduce fever and with it aches including a shower or cool bath which has been used for years and of course aspirin. Since there is conflicting information that is not evidence but anecdotally based (based on people telling others or an internet video), since there are other choices, consider those options first. We may find out later that the anecdotal reports are scientifically based but as of now, they are not.
Things you can do naturally to help your immune system fight infection can include;
- Vitamin C fights the effects of viruses and may shorten infections. This is now being used by a doctor at Northwell Health in NYC as reported by the NY Post. (updated 3/26/2020)
- Vitamin D – many people are deficient in this important vitamin. A chewable is more likely to be absorbed. Most people will do well with a dosage of 5000.
- Selenium is important for a properly functioning immune system. A safe upper limit is 400 micrograms.
- Reducing inflammation which is itself a recognized cause of disease and taxes the immune system. The Deflame pack available in our office taken daily can help reduce inflammation through turmeric, ginger and omega 3 supplementations. The packet makes this easy although you can find these elements elsewhere.
- Fever reduction. Avoid ibuprofen which makes this worse. a cool bath or shower is another proven method. Acetaminophen appears to be safe
- Deep Breathing; If you do become infected, the virus makes it more difficult to breathe. Taking slow deep breaths during any upper respiratory infection can help improve how we oxygenate the body. It will also help reduce secondary infections that normally sit in the lower parts of the lungs. Deep slow breathing is also less likely to make you cough.
- K-pax mitonutrients which can help the cell resist and shut down the viral infection. This is made by Integrative therapeutics as well as other manufacturers.
- CBD oil that is dosed sublingually– This is a powerful antioxidant and can help reduce inflammation, which may improve a viral infection. Consider taking this if you begin to feel ill.
While these are not clinically proven cures, they have anecdotally been used to shorten the duration of a viral cold and may help you resist viral infection. Do these things proactively and improve your ability to fight viruses and other colds naturally.
Sneezing into the elbow can help reduce the transmission however, we do understand that many people will quickly develop immunity and fight off the virus. Until a vaccine or a proven treatment comes along, strengthening our immune response for our families is smart medicine.
While this moment is scary for all of us, be smart, be proactive and while the CDC has developed its protocols for reducing transmission (see our state associations official position which is based on the CDC above, you can adapt your additional measures to reduce the likelihood that you or a member of your family will become ill.
There are tons of viruses we are exposed to daily, but few can reach pandemic proportions as this one does because of how asymptomatic people may infect others. Worse, t is zoonotic which means it came from the animal kingdom. The work that was done by Dr. Judy Mikovits who you can explore earlier in this blog may offer an explanation as to why this has occurred creating this novel (new) virus.
Things we are doing in both of our offices to improve hygiene and reduce the spread
Chiropractors in NJ are considered essential services. We are taking extra precautions while treating those in need in our offices which include:
- Using gloves
- disinfecting all surfaces.
- Separating patients by the recommended 6 feet as best as possible in the offices.
- Spraying and cleaning all surfaces including treatment tables between patient visits and sanitizing chairs, etc.
- Asking anyone who has a fever or any typical symptoms to stay home.
- Checking your temperature when you visit the offices.
- As of now, we have reduced hours and have individual appointments available in our Scotch Plains office.
By practicing proper hygiene, and making sure your body is functioning optimally, you and your loved ones will stay healthy through all of this and it will be one for the history books later this year.
As always, we are here to help from a chiropractic perspective and I am always available to you, our patients.
William D. Charschan D.C., I.C.C.S.P.
P.S. Some new approaches that are being explored include the use of vitamin C as mentioned in the Things you can do naturally section. The doctor who used a similar approach to the one used in China says there were improvements with patients who were given high dosages of the vitamin, something we have recommended for years to shorten the course of an illness. Governor Cuomo in his address to the state suggested the idea of developing an antibody test for those who are well to see who is immune and send them back to work which was reported in MDLinx, an online newsletter. The article also mentions other treatments and vaccinations that are being evaluated to treat or prevent infection. (updated 3/26/2020)