I had to write this article, because there’s massive amounts of mis-information and HYPE / FEAR going on in the case of this virus. It’s driving me nuts. So I’m going to give you the facts and some tips… continued below.
Beware of where you get your information!
DON’T WATCH THE NEWS. The media is unreliable. Stick to CDC and WHO for the most accurate information.
BEWARE of internet click-bait articles, and people who are not doctors telling you their OPINIONS about the outbreak. Know your sources, people!
First of all, the virus is called “SARS-CoV-2,” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019,” which is abbreviated “COVID-19” per CDC.gov.
Let’s start with some basics:
- We don’t know a lot about the virus – new information is being discovered every day.
- There is no vaccine for the virus – Viruses’ replicate FAST and mutate often, which makes vaccines hard to make, and vaccines usually takes months to years of research to develop. (if you don’t know my opinions on the flu vaccine, take a look a few articles back in my blog)
- The most “frequently reported signs and symptoms include fever (83–98%), cough (46%–82%), myalgia [muscle aches} or fatigue (11–44%), and shortness of breath (31%)” (cdc.gov)
- Corona virus is an upper respiratory infection, which if not taken care of, can progress to a lower respiratory infection (read more info below on this).
- If you be come ill, your doctor can test for the corona virus to see if you have it – by looking for viral RNA (which is similar to our DNA) in body fluids. Right now the most reliable specimens seem to be upper and lower respiratory fluids; and it’s unknown whether stool, urine, and blood will be present with viral RNA and/or indicate infection.
How is it spread?
We think the virus spreads from close contact with other people (being within 6 feet) or being in contact with their body fluids (sputum, blood, respiratory droplets). BUT we aren’t 100% sure how it’s spread – this is only what’s been postulated based on other coronavirus family viruses that have been issues in the past. SARS and MERS were both viruses that were types of coronaviruses. It’s a common viral family. Postulating the origin is from bats. And the source of the virus was an open-air market in Wuhan, China, which means they think that it was animal-to-virus spread.
The incubation period (period of time the virus is in you without symptoms) is estimated to be about 5 days and could be as long or short as 2-14 days, and this is based on information regarding another virus that the coronavirus is like, which was MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV.
Who is at risk?
In short, it’s older individuals, those with co-morbitidies (conditions that help you die faster) and those with already compromised immune systems. In fact, “most reported cases have occurred in adults (median age 59 years).” Common co-morbidities are diabetes, hypertension, lung diseases, and cardiovascular disease.
CDC.gov has reported that “there are a limited number of reports that describe the clinical presentation of patients with confirmed COVID-19, and most are limited to hospitalized patients with pneumonia.” So again, we have limited data about who is getting sick and what symptoms they have when they are sick.
What do I do if I feel sick?
- Stay home
- Wash your hands WITH REAL SOAP and warm water
- Stay in one room of the house so you don’t infect other family members or pets
- Keep pets out of the room
- Sanitize surfaces in your home / car / workplace
- Watch for progression of symptoms
The course of the virus is variable and ranges from mild/moderate to severe/fatal. Right now, the data we have shows that there is a possibility for Corona virus illnesses to turn more severe in the second week of illness, resulting in a lower respiratory infection.
Most mild/moderate cases can be safely rested/taken care of/quarantined at home, but if your symptoms are not improving or remaining stable by the end of week one… example: if by the start of week 2 you feel significantly worse. Go immediately to the doctor. But don’t go anywhere else. Call your doctors office before you go, and tell them that you suspect being sick from the Corona virus. This allows your office to take precautions so the virus isn’t spread other individuals.
Like the flu, or other viral illnesses, there’s no specific treatment for the Corona virus. You have to be sick, rest, and let your body heal and fight off the virus. The key is not letting the infection get worse. If it gets worse, you will need hospital level medical intervention and monitoring. Which is similar to if the flu gets worse.
Many people are going to their doctors asking for “preventative” Z-packs (antibiotic…. and corona virus is a VIRUS, people…), steroids, and more. The CDC recommends NOT using steroids, unless needed for other reasons…. why? Because steroids SUPPRESS your immune system and that will prolong viral replication and increase the duration of illness.
So what’s the best prevention?
- Diet rich in VEGETABLES and some fruit, healthy fats and high quality protein. A diet that is rich in whole foods and not proceeded foods and sugars. Stop eating sugar now.
- Eat lots of garlic and onions; include coconut products into your diet as they are naturally antiviral.
- Washing your hands whenever you get a chance – my favorite thing to do is always wash my hands when I come home from anywhere – it’s the first thing I do when I walk into the house.
- Stay away from sick people.
- Get quality sleep, because without it your immune system suffers.
- Consider supplementing with vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, elderberry syrup, medicinal mushrooms and more. If I am not your doctor, I can’t make recommendations for you.
- If you meet any of the criterial for being “at risk” then avoid crowded areas. But you do not need to seclude yourself in your house. Your risk of getting corona virus (because it’s relative rarity in the US right now) is lower than getting the common flu, which is definitely going around in all parts of the country.
Face masks might help you, probably not. Hand sanitizer might help you, it might not, because it’s also killing off your good bacteria which we want on your skin – so wash with warm water and soap instead. If your immune health is poor, preventative measures will help, but you are at highest risk. If you are elderly or chronically ill, you are the most at risk.
Lastly… the CDC states that “for most of the American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.”
Thank you for reading, and I hope this was educational for you, and helped to squash some fears surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.
If you want more info on immune health – please click here to read my article on how to support your immune system naturally!
SOURCE – Most/all of this information can be found on CDC.gov/ – I just helped synthesize and explain it for you.