No immunity! Lifestyle Rules!
Humans may never develop immunity against Covid-19, according to new research on antibodies by Chinese and American scientists.
Their conclusion was based on a study looking at whether hospital workers in Wuhan who were directly exposed to infected patients at the early stage of the outbreak had developed antibodies. Less than 3% showed long term antibodies against a second infection.
COVID-19 vaccines unlikely to be cure-all
While vaccines for COVID-19 are urgently needed, the public would do well to realize that vaccines will not simply prevent all infections. It’s unlikely that any vaccines developed will reduce the risk for contracting the disease and experiencing severe symptoms, according to a May 22, 2020 STAT article.
Michael Mina, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told STAT that previous research on human coronaviruses indicates that whatever immunity people develop after respiratory tract infections is not lifelong, and may only last for months, not years.
“If [infection with] natural coronaviruses doesn’t do it, I don’t think that we should necessarily expect or have the anticipation that we’ll be able to get there with the vaccine,” Mina said.
We know how the elderly, obese, hypertensive, diabetic, smokers (vaping), alcohol (daily usage) and poor sleepers are at a higher risk for developing severe symptoms with this coronavirus. But, what about other factors?
Scientists are discovering a number of individual factors which make Covid 19 a dreadful disorder for some.
GENETICS -In a genome-wide association study, variants in both the ABO blood group locus and a cluster of genes on human chromosome 3 are more common among COVID-19 patients with respiratory failure than in the general population. the general population. Genetic testing is now affordable and very personal. Get tested!
“It’s About Life Style”
SMOKING – The harms of tobacco use are well-established. Tobacco causes 8 million deaths every year from cardiovascular diseases, lung disorders, cancers, diabetes, and hypertension. Smoking tobacco is also a known risk factor for severe disease and death from many respiratory infections. In the COVID-19 pandemic, questions have been asked about clinical outcomes for smokers, and whether they are equally susceptible to infection, and if nicotine has any biological effect on the SAR-CoV-2 virus (the virus that causes COVID-19). Data shows that smokers and vapers are more than five times greater risk of having severe even life threatening effects when contracting COVID19, As of yet, COVID-19 patients haven’t been systematically studied to see how many of them vape. But doctors’ observations and much indirect evidence point to the possibility that vaping could raise the risk not only of catching the new coronavirus, but also getting very sick from it.
STRESS – The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn have negatively affected many people’s mental health and created new barriers for people already suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders. In a recent KFF poll, nearly half (45%) of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over the virus. My advice, don’t panic and don’t follow the news! As the pandemic wears on, it is likely the mental health burden will increase as measures taken to slow the spread of the virus, such as social distancing, business and school closures, and shelter-in-place orders, lead to greater isolation and potential financial distress. Though necessary to prevent loss of life due to COVID-19, these public health measures expose many people to experiencing situations that are linked to poor mental health outcomes, such as isolation and job loss. Additionally, feelings of anxiety are increasingly common, as people are fearful of themselves or loved ones falling ill and are uncertain of the repercussions of the pandemic. You may rely on stress reducing herbal formulations to prevent distress! Don’t panic! Take protective measures and you and your loved ones will be fine – 99% guaranteed!
Optimize your defenses
NUTRITION – The high rate of consumption of diets high in saturated fats, sugars, and refined carbohydrates (collectively called Western diet, WD) worldwide, contribute to the prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes, and could place these populations at an increased risk for severe COVID-19 pathology and mortality. WD consumption activates the innate immune system and impairs adaptive immunity, leading to chronic inflammation and impaired host defense against viruses. Furthermore, peripheral inflammation caused by COVID-19 may have long-term consequences in those that recover, leading to chronic medical conditions such as dementia and neurodegenerative disease, likely through neuroinflammatory mechanisms that can be compounded by an unhealthy diet. Thus, now more than ever, wider access to healthy foods should be a top priority and individuals should be mindful of healthy eating habits to reduce susceptibility to and long-term complications from COVID-19.
Zinc is known to be important for immune function. It has a role in antibody and white blood cell production and fights infections, while zinc deficiency increases inflammation and decreases the production of antibodies. High-dose zinc has also been found to reduce the duration of symptoms of the common cold. It is not yet clear whether zinc supplementation benefits patients with lower respiratory tract infections such as COVID-19. Because of its role in immune function and potential to decrease coronavirus replication, zinc is currently being investigated for the treatment of patients with COVID-19. Make sure your zinc status, from blood tests, is optimized!
Vitamin D deficiency is common, with lack of sun exposure, older age, corticosteroid use and darker skin associated with lower concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. This deficiency is associated with a higher incidence of acute respiratory infections. It is also hypothesized that there is a link between seasonal influenza and vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D supplementation has also been shown to decrease the incidence of acute respiratory infection. While it has yet to be studied for prevention of COVID-19 infection it should only be recommended to patients when blood levels are low. Some recent articles have recommended taking daily supplements to raise 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations to reduce infection risk. I have found this to be a most beneficial supplement for preventing a whole host of metabolic and infectious disorders. See my handout on the Vitamin D3 Report.
Ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, is an antioxidant, with a number of studies suggesting that vitamin C supplementation impacts the immune system. Additionally, studies in birds have shown that vitamin C might protect against avian coronavirus infection, with human trials finding that vitamin C may decrease susceptibility to viral respiratory infections and pneumonia. New clinical trials are underway in China and the United States to determine if vitamin C might be used as a treatment for COVID-19. Some early studies show that IV vitamin C may have a direct shunting effect of coronaviruses in general and has been shown to be effective in reducing infections in general. Doctors are encouraged to give IV vitamin C to hospitalized patients.
N-acetylcysteine is converted to glutathione, which is an antioxidant that is depleted due to oxidative stress or systemic inflammation. Administration in vitro and in vivo leads to anti-inflammatory effects and antioxidant effects in a number of pulmonary diseases, including viral pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Because patients with COVID-19 have evidence of systemic inflammation, often have their course complicated by acute respiratory distress syndrome, and may have respiratory mucus buildup limiting adequate airflow, systemic or aerosolized N-acetylcysteine (or both) may be beneficial in this specific patient population. At least one recent study strongly suggests that NAC can be very beneficial for people suffering severe symptoms of Covid19
There does not seem to be a role for N-acetylcysteine supplementation to prevent COVID-19. However, N-acetylcysteine administration may improve outcomes in patients with established COVID-19 and should be studied further.
What Else Should We DO?
Remember how it spreads
- There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- The best way to prevent illness is to maintain optimum health and avoid being exposed to this virus.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
- Be thoughtful of others!
Everyone Should Use Common Sense
Wash your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. I have followed good medical practice and learned to wash my hands between each and every patient contact. Doctors, nurses and staff have spread more diseases in hospitals when they are in a hurry or forget this most important step.
- It’s especially important to wash:
- Before eating or preparing food
- Before touching your face
- After using the restroom
- After leaving a public place
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After handling your cloth face covering
- After changing a diaper
- After caring for someone sick
- After touching animals or pets
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
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Avoid close contact
- Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
- Outside your home: Put 6 feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
- Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
- Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
- Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
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Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
- I have worn a mask when closely examining and treating ill patients for over 45 years and have never contracted a viral infection
- You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
- The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
- Everyone should wear a cloth face cover in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
- Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- Do NOT use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker. Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.
- Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
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Cover coughs and sneezes
- Again, I have worn a mask when closely examining and treating ill patients who were coughing, sneezing and running a fever for over 45 years and have never contracted a viral infection
- Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Clean and disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectantsexternal icon will work.
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Monitor Your Health Regularly
- Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
- Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
- Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
- Get tests and measure
- Early morning temperature
- White blood count
- C-reactive protein
- Lymphocyte white blood cell count
- Electrolyte and minerals
- Vitamin D3 blood levels
- Urine Vitamin C excretion
- Salivary nitric oxide
- Sleep quality (Sleep TIme(R) phone app)
There may be a lot of confusing and contradictory information floating around but sticking to the conservative facts and clinical experience of natural physicians with a track record of helping people restore their health and maintain high level wellness is now more important than ever. No one can afford the expense and discomfort of any preventable disease. I am sure this one will prove to be included in preventable ones as well.