Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19); myths, facts and what you can do now to protect yourself and your family.
The Corona Virus has become a worldwide health concern. The danger with the virus has more to do with the time it takes to infect you rather than the actual danger of the virus itself.
This past week I had a conversation with a patient who works in a large pharmaceutical company and studied virology. According to her, viruses that are deadly do not spread like this virus did because people who are very ill do not leave their homes exposing others. In other words, Coronavirus (COVID-19) is not a deadly disease in most cases.
The problem with this virus is that mortality levels are higher for some who are immunosuppressed or elderly statistically and the levels of under 2%. Since it takes so long for an infected person to show symptoms, the spread has been rapid as those who are infected. Spreading it to others has been fast due to the latency period which can be 2-14 days before symptoms appear. Kaiser health news has a fact sheet that can be found here. The story on this virus continues to be reported.
Society has been here before, with fears of Sars, Zika, Mers and now Coronavirus (COVID-19). Is this a deadly pandemic? Probably not, however, there is news from Israel that a vaccine is a few weeks away from testing which may require an additional 90 days.
It is likely that the largest fear of this current pandemic is the effect on the world economy which is heavily dependent on China who shut down their entire country to contain the infection. This, of course, has affected the markets and may result in a worldwide recession, a concern for many political leaders who must respond properly to minimize the effect to the population as well as to their own respective economies.
What to expect if you are infected by COVID-19.
According to an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, the effect of Coronavirus may actually be more like severe seasonal flu with a low fatality rate of less than .1% You should expect respiratory symptoms if you become symptomatic since this is an upper respiratory infection.
According to the Centers for Disease control, it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. Symptoms of COVID-19 appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, runny nose and difficulty breathing.
How can you reduce your likelihood of contracting the virus?
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 15-20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Standard household cleaners and wipes are effective in cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Please note it is not helpful to wear a mask since most are ill-fitting and you are likely to transmit the virus by touching the mask. The mask can help you reduce exposure to others.
Also, note that a healthy functioning immune system may develop immunity quickly to this virus naturally. Overdoing it with hand sanitizers my actually reduce the effectiveness of your immune system that is constantly being exercised by being exposed to different viruses and bacteria. When most people were frequently using hand sanitizer a few years ago, people were contracting more infections, not less and the alcohol could dry out the skin and may irritate the eyes if it comes into contact with them. Use them sparingly and avoid germophobic behavior.
How can I build up my immunity and naturally improve my response?
Vitamin C – Can reduce the intensity and time of the infection. We usually recommend Vitamin C powder 5000 mg taken once every two hours. Stop if diarrhea occurs. Also, a more natural product from Natures Way called Live is an effective Vitamin C supplement that has a high potency with a lower dose per teaspoon while it is easier on the stomach. Apparently, there are reports that the Chinese are beginning to use this approach.
1) Three repeatedly confirmed vitamin C for COVID-19 research studies are going on in China now. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v16n12.shtml2) Confirmation has also been obtained that 50 tons (yes, tons) of vitamin C has been donated by a major C manufacturer and trucked to Wuhan.3) The concerned public is receiving only “be-scared-until-we-vaccinate-you” news.4) Sharing information on COVID-19 vitamin therapy research has now been systematically blocked by Facebook and other social media giants.5) The news media are not reporting on any of this. Therefore, I ask that you take it upon yourselves to do so and share all this with everyone you can.
Selenium– A deficiency of this important trace element can reduce your ability to fight off a virus such as Coronavirus. Studies show that selenium deficiency may be why some people are more likely to become infected while others naturally fight off infections. Supplementation with selenium can help improve your immune response. 200-400 micrograms of selenium daily can help you safely improve your immunity.
Still feeling ill?; see your doctor.