How Not to Get Sick From Coronavirus

Overview: Information regarding the origin of the virus and how it is spread through the consumption of animal protein as discussed in the video may be warranted along with information on how to strengthen the immune system by not damaging the gut microbiome/GI function through diet (i.e, animal protein, sugar, bread, alcohol, coffee, etc) and drugs such as antibiotics, NSAIDs, PPI's, OCPs, etc. For our recent talk, click on the following link:

VIDEO: How Not To Get Sick From Coronavirus

Many coronaviruses can cause illness in humans and animals, from the common cold to serious diseases including Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and now illness due to the current virus (COVID-19) infecting humans worldwide. Coronaviruses MERS and SARS seem to have originated in bats and then jumped to an intermediate animal (camels for MERS and civet cats for SARS, with the pangolin theorized for COVID-19), which then allowed human exposure. Vaccination is currently not available for these virus strains although one is under development for COVID-19 with expected availability in 2021 at the earliest. The problem is the virus has often mutated by the time vaccines go live and hence, may not be effective in generating immunity when the vaccine is administered. 

Below, you’ll find what you need to know about transmission of the virus from person to person, symptoms, testing and treatment, as well as Dr. Bhandari’s recommendations for prevention.

History of SARS Coronavirus (SARS-CoV)

SARS Coronavirus originally began November 2002 in the Foshan municipality, Guangdong Province, China.  Cases occurred independently in at least five different municipalities. Early case-patients had direct contact with living near a produce market (but not near a farm) and being food handlers with direct animal/meat contact. 

On March 12, 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a global alert about cases of atypical pneumonia in Guangdong Province and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China, and in Vietnam.

Guangdong Province has a population of 85.2 million, including 9.9 million in Guangzhou city.  Primary health care in the province is rudimentary, and most patients report directly to hospital emergency rooms. Patient 2 lived in Heyuan but worked as a restaurant chef in Shenzhen. His work was mainly stir-frying meat, fish, and vegetables, and did not involve killing animals (his animal contact history is unknown). Once these patients became infected with coronavirus SARS, their close contacts became infected.  The similarity discovered between all of these infected patients in the SARS Coronavirus epidemic was only those who had direct contact with infected meat or fish and/or consumed any type of animal products were the only people to become infected and ill.  

This is how an outbreak starts.

Flashforward to 2019, the same thing has transpired. Following the outbreak, The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, China was permanently closed on January 1st, 2020. The Chinese government subsequently permanently banned the sale of wild animals at wet markets. This, of course, was the same ban they put in place after the first SARS-Coronavirus.

Transmission Of COVID-19

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus can be passed via close contact (within six feet) with an infected person who coughs or sneezes, spreading droplets that you can inhale. You also can pick up the disease by touching surfaces where viruses have landed and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes. According to the CDC, this is not the main way the virus spreads.  As far back as 2013 the CDC has clearly vocalized that 1 out of 5 resistant infections are caused by antibiotic-resistant pathogens people and animals (i.e., pets) are exposed to via contaminated animal protein consumption.   These infections can vary between mild symptoms to severe illness and possibly death. 

Sounds familiar with our current Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. 

Symptoms

The initial symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath that develop between 2 to 14 days after exposure. 80% of cases are mild where most people have little to no symptoms after picking up the virus, but can transmit the virus to others.  Only 20% of cases develop moderate to severe infections when infected, especially if they already have a pre-existing health condition.    

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 infection, you may develop a high fever, non-productive coughing and severe breathing problems. Those most likely to develop a serious illness are predominantly age 65 and older, and/or have a compromised immune system such as diabetes, autoimmune disease (i.e., Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, SIBO), leaky gut syndrome, cancer, high blood pressure, lung or heart disease.

Testing

Initially, the CDC restricted testing for the coronavirus, eliminating those people who had no symptoms, those who had not been in contact with someone who had a confirmed case or had not traveled to China, Italy, Iran or other affected countries.

Limits on testing of people in the U.S. who fear they have the virus were lifted on March 4th subject to doctors’ orders. Testing may involve a blood test, as well as a PCR swab test of the nose, saliva, or throat. The blood test checks for antibodies to the virus only if a person has developed a significant infection. The antibodies will remain positive even after a person becomes well.  The PCR test looks for specific genetic material tied to COVID19. It will turn positive only if a person has a high enough viral load. The PCR test will be negative if a person is asymptomatic, has mild symptoms, or is no longer sick.  

Initially, the CDC sent test kits to state labs but later announced that some were flawed and asked that specimens be sent to its lab in Atlanta. New test kits are in production. According to the Association of Public Health Laboratories, its government labs would be able to conduct about 10,000 tests daily when all its 100 affiliate members able to perform testing are running. At this writing 79 of the labs are able to do so.

In mid-February (2020), the CDC announced plans to begin testing people with flu-like symptoms in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Seattle and eventually to expand testing to all 50 states in order to detect possible spread of the virus.

Treatment OF COVID-19

If you have tested positive and have a mild case, you will be asked to go home and rest.  The CDC advises wearing a facemask when you’re around people or animals in your household. Do not allow guests to visit while you’re in quarantine from others. Your physician or local health department will determine when you’re no longer capable of transmitting the infection to others and no longer need to be quarantined. This is done on a case-by-case basis.

Symptoms of severe cases include shortness of breath, increased trouble breathing and a high fever that can lead to severe pneumonia with respiratory failure and septic shock. These people may need to be hospitalized for oxygen support.

In China, death rates from COVID-19 have been higher among men than women, possibly because more men in China are smokers and at greater risk of respiratory complications.

 

Prevention of COVID-19

Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Studies have shown that this can reduce respiratory illness in the general population by 16 to 21 percent. Reportedly, in 2003 during the SARS Coronavirus epidemic, handwashing reduced the risk of transmission by 30% to 50%. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hand washing is essential under the following conditions: 

Hand sanitizers:  Alcohol actually dries out the skin and leads to damaging the skin microbiome and hence, increasing risk of infection. Thus, use oil-based hand soaps, such as Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap and Sal Suds, not Clorox or bleach since they will protect the skin microbiome and against pathogens.

Avoid sick people

If you’re sick: Stay at home until you are 100% well without symptoms. 

Wear a mask only if you’re sick: This can prevent transmission of the virus; wearing a mask if you’re not sick won’t protect you from infection. 

Do not shake hands. Instead, greet friends and business associates with a fist bump or friendly nod. 

Avoid consuming fish, pork, beef, dairy, lamb, chicken, and eggs since they’re the biggest source of pathogen exposure. Plant-based whole foods is the biggest part of prevention and strengthen your immune system so that you do not get sick if exposed to COVID-19. 

Strengthen your immune system.  Investing in fasting (i.e., 14-16 hours especially at night) since pathogens love to reproduce through being continuously fed.  

Stay well hydrated with water. The body cannot properly fight infection if there is not enough water being delivered to tissues.  Hydrate adequately 20+ minutes before and after meals, but not during meals. 

Avoid dehydrating beverages (i.e., alcohol, coffee, black tea, soda, fruit juices). They kill the healthy immune cells and allow pathogens to easily reproduce and cause illness. 

Avoid smoking nicotine, marijuana, and other drugs: If you kills your lungs ability to properly breath, oxygen cannot be easily delivered to your immune cells. Viruses can easily replicate without oxygen increasing risk of infection.

Avoid heartburn medications (i.e., PPIs/antacids), NSAIDs (i.e., Aspirin, Motrin, Advil, Aleve). These medications damage the immune system and increase the risk of pathogens entering the bloodstream and causing severe infections. 

Astragalus: This is an immune-boosting tonic with antiviral effects. Take two capsules of a standardized extract preventively twice a day. Astragalus is nontoxic and can be used long-term to increase resistance to infection. 

MycoShield throat spray: This spray can be used when in close contact with the public, such as on trains or airplanes. It is a mushroom-based product that helps support the immune system. 

Zinc lozenges: Dissolve one in your mouth every few hours at the first sign of a sore throat or respiratory irritation.

Elderberry:  Appears to shorten the duration of cold and flu-like symptoms, and is much safer on the liver than Tylenol (acetaminophen). 

For more information:

 

Dr. Bhandari and the Advanced Health Team Are Here to Support Your Health and that of the Planet.

Our expert team of integrative holistic practitioners work with patients suffering from chronic health concerns.  And we take it a step further. We understand how you fit into the environment around you. We help our patients reverse disease by better understanding how the body optimally functions and providing personalized treatment plans—a plan that removes a lot of the common food items that are making them sick.  To learn more and book an appointment, contact Advanced Health or call 1-415-506-9393.

Author
Dr. Payal Bhandari Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. is a leading practitioner of integrative and functional medicine in San Francisco.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Is “BPA-Free” Really BPA-Free?

“BPA-free” is not synonymous with bisphenol-free. Other bisphenols are often substituted for BPA, which may or may not act in a similar way and may or may not be less harmful. Our advice? Limit most plastics if you can.

Yoga for Sleep Quality Among Cancer Survivors

Pharmaceutical drugs cause too many problems and do not cure the root cause of sleep problems. They are toxic to the brain and spinal cord, are extremely addictive, and interfere with most other medications. Find out why yoga may be the solution you need.

Osteopathy: Putting Things Back Together

What I love about osteopathy is that it is a noninvasive, drug-free treatment option (aka., no risk of addition, surgical complications, or side effects). It is rarely contraindicated with any other potential treatments.