This virus is dominating the news and captivating everyone who is planning to travel, has elderly parents, or who is reliant on supplies for their business coming from China. My phone is busy buzzing all day long with friends and family checking in to see what they can do to prevent becoming infected. They are contacting me because the media is spreading fear and statistics rather than sound prevention strategies. People are feeling like sitting ducks.
A little background:
There are about 6 different coronaviruses that circulate annually, mostly in elementary school aged children. This may account for why children are not getting this virus— their immune system has seen something similar before now and they are not contracting Covid19. This is one of the reasons that the majority of cases are diagnosed in 30-79 year olds: the adult immune system has forgotten how to respond.
Elderly Chinese men, who are smokers, and people with significant medical issues are at the highest risk of dying, and we are basing the findings of what we know about this virus on the study of about 45,000 Chinese people who have been infected. These people have lower immune systems due to their polluted environment and limited diets, smoking and over crowded living situations. There are over 11 million people in the Wuhan province, which makes it a perfect place for an epidemic to start.
This virus attaches to a receptor deep in the lungs; thus, the presenting symptom is pneumonia. The statistics available represent these Chinese patients only, and from this data we know that 80% of those infected will have a mild illness, 20% serious illness, and 2.3% fatal outcomes. So, statistically if you get this virus you will likely be fine, but there are some things we can all do to increase our chances of sailing through this epidemic.
At the time of writing this post, this virus has a 2.3% infection rate, which is high, but out of 100 people who get the virus over 97 will survive. Let’s keep that in mind. The stronger your immune system, the less likely you will suffer a serious illness if exposed.
The seasonal flu has a 0.1% fatality rate, which is based on the number of cases every season.
No one can explain why the virus attaches to specific receptors in the lungs, but it is a novel virus, which means it has not been seen or studied before now. If you are exposed to poor air quality, smoke, have lowered immune function, or are elderly, your lung tissue is more susceptible than someone whose doesn’t have these cards stacked against them.
Main source of transmission:
The main source of transmission comes from being exposed to an infected person, who is coughing or sneezing. When we touch the surfaces that have been sneezed on and touched by an infected person and then touch our own mucus membranes, we will likely transmit the virus to ourselves. The virus can also potentially be spread through ventilation systems. No one knows what the incubation period is: how long from the time you are exposed until the time you get sick, and meanwhile, while you are developing the illness, you are going about your daily lives exposing others to the virus, albeit innocently.
“Nothing prevents or cures this virus” is the message from the media, but I disagree wholeheartedly.
What is different from the previous pandemics and epidemics we have watched to this epidemic is that we have modern medical care now–antibiotics to treat secondary infections that result from lung infections from Covid19, ventilators, public health measures that we did not have in place before, and technology has helped share information among countries and agencies to help take proactive measures quickly.
Modern medicine’s constant refrain is: “We cannot treat a virus.” This is simply not true.
There are herbs, high dose vitamin C, and nebulized treatments that can strengthen the immune system and lung tissue, making it more resilient. Have these been studied in large population-based studies of patients infected with Covid19? No, they have not, but this does not mean that they don’t work. What we can rely on as alternative practitioners for decades is watching what works in our clinics. Conventional medicine is exploring off-label use of pharmaceutical treatments: they are looking at pharmaceutical anti-virals, anti-malarial drugs, HIV drugs, “experimental drugs,” but this will all take a long time to evaluate as effective and proven to be safe. Can you wait that long? And what if they are ineffective?
This is simply grasping for straws. This will take up to 18 months and will require many safety tests to prove their efficacy. As any virus does, this virus will be different next year to this year. The flu vaccine is ineffective against Covid19. So, will the recommendation be to get a flu shot and a Coronavirus vaccine as well?
There is an absolute lack of conversation about preventive measures and how to boost your immune system rather than looking to pharmacuetical companies to save the day. Your body is wise. Let’s not forget that. Nothing can replace a healthy diet, especially an emphasis on fruits and vegetables. Avoid sugary, processed foods, as they offer nothing to your immune system.
Since modern medicine doesn’t address prevention, let’s explore a few things that you CAN do:
Prepare: How do we prepare for this?
1. Self-quarantine if you have been exposed, and observe travel restrictions (www.cdc.gov).
2. Business – Assess how this might affect your industry or business, plan accordingly, and communicate with co-workers and employees.
3. Food storage – not a bad idea to purchase a few more items at the store if you are potentially facing quarantine.
4. Meds storage – have more prescription medication refills on hand as a precaution.
5. Stay calm – 97% of people infected WILL survive.
We can take great comfort in knowing we DO have anti-viral herbs and other treatments that can help create a robust immune response:
1. Vitamin D 5000 iu per day with food
2. Vitamin C 1000 mg 1-2 x per day
3. Anti-Viral herbs such as raw garlic, oregano oil, quercitin, Isatis, Houttynia, elderberry, olive leaf and licorice all have been shown to have broad yet powerful anti-viral activities.
4. Take a strong probiotic (100 billion organisms) and address leaky gut if you have this. Your gut is a major player in your immune response and now is the time to work on getting it healthy again.
5. Washing hands – #1 importance – don’t touch your face, your eyes, your nose or mouth with your hands. Wash longer than you normally would.
6. Avoid the things that lower immune function: Sugar, processed/packaged foods, stress, lack of sleep, and stop smoking.
7. Stay focused on eating 7-9 fruits and vegetables per day. Food is medicine.
Not sure what we can do? There is always something we can do.
Call Holistica if you need immune support. We can help rebuild your immune system or provide support if you are worried about you or your family’s health.