Developments in Our Knowledge and Treatments for Coronavirus

by Dr. Susan Tanner, MD

Back in March, I wrote several articles about the coronavirus pandemic, and at the time had high hopes that it would be on its way out by now.  Obviously, that is not happening.  I continue to read as many articles as possible from many different sources, and there is still so much unknown about this novel virus. Unfortunately,  the onset of warmer weather has not had the impact on diminishing the strength of the virus and the degree of severity of illness that I had hoped, again another difference between COVID 19 and flu virus and other corona viruses such as SARS and MERS.

With so much about COVID 19 being learned in real time as we treat infected patients and employ broader testing strategies, the preventive actions that can be used to dampen viral spread, such as social distancing, hand washing, and wearing facial coverings or masks are necessary and will be so for some time.  I want to insert here that in the first article that I wrote at the beginning of this pandemic, I had stated that simple masks were likely not helpful in protecting against the virus. Please allow me to clarify that statement. What I saw initially were people wearing paper masks but NOT adhering to other best practices such as distancing, hand washing, and sanitizing.  Masks alone will not protect you!  But used in addition to these other strategies, masks should be employed, as much to protect others if you are a carrier, as to protect yourself from infection. Further, as we continue to see surges in infection rates in areas where distancing policies have decreased and businesses have opened up bringing people together in indoor spaces, it is clear that these practices were helping and are not to be relaxed yet.

COVID-19 Testing

The increased availability of testing has been a positive step and needs to be accessed by anyone who even suspects exposure or illness!  The rapid test, done by swab in nasal or oral passages can detect with a reasonably high degree of sensitivity, the current presence of infection.  As some people are asymptomatic, or present with very mild symptoms, more widespread testing can help in quarantining active viral cases.  Additionally, the blood test for antibodies shows if there is current or past infection.  Lab Corp, RealTime Labs, and Quest Diagnostics offer this test. It was originally thought that the presence of antibodies meant that the individual would then be immune to the virus, but now there is great doubt about this. Depending on which research article you read, the rate of viral recurrence with COVID 19 is not only possible but is happening.

What About a Vaccine?

Development of a COVID 19 vaccine is problematic on several levels, most of which is the still unknown area of how this particular virus affects the immune response.  Things could potentially be made worse by activating certain parts of the immune system but leaving other areas more vulnerable.  A successful vaccine will likely be found, but it takes time and many trials to determine the effectiveness and the safety! Again, this virus does not behave like flu or measles, so developing a vaccine to elicit the proper defense against it will pose new challenges. Therefore, doing many of the immune-strengthening and health-promoting actions I outlined in previous articles will be your best defenses and interventions for the present time.

Preventative Strategies

Please know this is not all about gloom and doom.  We WILL get through this.  Researchers are working furiously to get answers and both the use of medications for the ill as well as preventive strategies are improving.  Combinations of antivirals, oxygen, and other immune modifiers are seem to be the most helpful treatments thus far.  As more studies are done on exactly how the virus impacts the organs in the body, such as the heart, lungs and brain, more specific treatments are evolving. This infection did not act in a manner that was initially suspected and seems to have lasting effects on some patients. It will be critical as we move forward to find out if chronic conditions or disease will result and how we can handle and/or get in front of any potential trickledown effects of the infection with how we are treating the patients today.

I would encourage you all to continue to practice social distancing, testing when suspicious—when exposure or symptoms occur, and to use barriers such as masks in public places when you must go out to protect yourself AND OTHERS!  Additionally, do all that you can to sustain and boost your immune system such that in the event of exposure you have better resilience to reduce the severity of the illness.  Quarantine yourself if you become ill.  Even if you are mildly affected, you can still cause great harm by exposing others.

Focused Strategies to Prevent Infection and Disease

  • Probiotics– Keep the gut as healthy as possible as it is your first line of defense. Some say that immunity starts in the gut, and I truly believe that too. Good choices are Klaire Pro 5, Klaire Therbiotic Plus, or Orthobiotic by Ortho Molecular, all available on Wellevate. NuMedica makes an excellent product called HiFLora -50, 1-2 capsules daily.
  • Vitamin D3 – Multiple studies show Vitamin D levels over 50 are very helpful in preventing viral infections in general and minimizing the severity of illness if contracted. A 5,000 mcg supplement daily is usually adequate, such as NuMedica D3-5000 soft gel, or Pure Encapsulations D3 5,000.
  • Vitamin C – A great antioxidant and antiviral in general, Vitamin C can be taken in powder form, as a chewable, or as a liquid. Wellevate and NuMedica both have many options in the search bar.
  • Glutathione – One of the most potent of antioxidants and liver supporters, glutathione also is needed in the brain which has become one of the targeted areas in coronavirus infection. Maintaining good levels of glutathione not only may be preventive in viral infection but may lessen the more serious neurologic complications if contracted.  Pure Encapsulations liposomal Glutathione capsules (Wellevate) or NuMedica Liposomal glutathione liquid are both good options.  A word here about glutathione, in order to be effective, glutathione does need to be either in a liposomal or acetylated form.  “Reduced Glutathione” which is the form commonly found in health food stores is not well absorbed or very effective.
  • Sinus Defense – Although the name implies that the product is to be used only for the sinuses, it is so much more than that. Sinus Defense is a homeopathic sublingual spray with Transfer Factor for a broad spectrum of fungal, bacterial, and viral pathogens. Transfer Factor molecules have been studied for decades and are proven effective for transferring immunity at the cellular level so that the body responds to and eliminates threats more quickly and efficiently. Using something like Sinus Defense seems to be beneficial in lessening the overexuberant immune response (like that characteristic of mold-triggered illness), so it may be helpful with other cytokine-storm-syndrome illnesses as well.
  • Nasal Rinsing – Many front-line medical practitioners have already discovered the beneficial preventative action of washing the nasal passages with saline. Research has demonstrated that nasal irrigation reduces the symptoms and duration of viral illnesses such as the seasonal flu and common cold, and with coronaviruses entering through the nose in many cases, this would seem to be a logical action to take against it as well. Additionally, the viral load for SARS-COV-2 seems to be heaviest in the sinus and nasal cavity. Coronavirus also appears to survive in the nasal mucosa and in the throat before migrating to the rest of the body. Thus, preemptively rinsing the nose whenever you have been out and about and in contact with others or in public places should be a great defensive action to take. Further, including something in your nasal wash that has antibacterial properties is even better. I like the Nasopure System with the CitriDrops Dietary Supplement for this.

There are other supplements and treatments that may also be effective, but for the sake of simplicity, I am listing those that, in my opinion, are the most straightforward, easy-to-implement, and helpful and have the most research to justify the recommendations.

(Note: To order supplements mentioned above, go to where you can purchase at a discount.  You can also go to NuMedica and use code Practitioner code 40568.  Both sites carry third-party-certified, pharmaceutical-quality nutritional supplements.)

Clean Food, Water, and Air Are Immune Essentials

Do not forget also, that keeping the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the diet you consume as clean and healthy as possible goes a very long way in keeping your overall immune system strong and robust.  Moldy air suppresses and imbalances immune protectivity.  Unfiltered, toxin-laden and mineral-depleted water robs your cells of resiliency and vitality. Eating sugary foods disrupts insulin levels and consuming trans fats such as margarines and manufactured oils causes damage to the cells promoting the onset of age-related health conditions much earlier in life as well as poorer immune system protectivity. If nothing else, remain conscious of these three main facets of your health and try to protect their integrity as much as possible. I believe that keeping the basics (air, food, water) that sustain life clean, whole, and as balanced as possible is what helps us achieve true health and keep our bodies safe from devastating illness and disease.

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