By Dr. Gary Foresman
Given the recent data on the novel coronavirus, my wife and I cancelled our trip earlier this month to Los Angeles to visit LACMA and The Getty with Leonardo. I am recommending to everyone that cancelling elective trips to public venues/events makes sense at this point.
I have no fear of this virus, but a healthy respect for it. Given that the incubation period can range from one to 14 (usually nine to 12) days, that the period of asymptomatic viral shedding during that incubation is unclear, and symptoms can present like a mild cold in some individuals (meaning many people will unwittingly spread the virus thinking they might “just have a cold”), everyone is currently at risk as the pandemic includes California and all of America. My main concern, as for almost all healthcare professionals, comes from the need to prevent transmission to our patients.
No one knows the origin of the virus other than other coronavirus mutations have been known to occur with close contact with animal species that carry this virus. This is the 7th known coronavirus to infect humans, four cause common colds and this is the third to evoke more severe illness.
What makes COVID –19 more dangerous than the previous two is the prolonged period of transmissibility, although the actual case fatality rate is currently at 1.4% (range 0.2-7.5%). On a percent-basis this is vastly less severe than previous battles with members of this virus family, with SARS-Cov(2002-2003, acquired from civet cats) 8098 cases worldwide with 774 deaths for a case-fatality rate of 10.4%, and MERS -Cov(2012-2019, acquired from dromedary camels) with 2494 cases worldwide with 858 deaths for a case fatality rate 0f 34.4%. To date, COVID-19 has affected 79,968 people in China with 2,873 deaths and a 3.5% case fatality rate.
So far, it has caused 7,169 confirmed cases in 58 countries other than China with 104 deaths for the case fatality of 1.4% mentioned above. Iran has a remarkably higher case fatality at 7.5%, presumably due to poorer health care and significantly raising the global mortality to 1.4%, so I really do feel we will see a lower than 1% case fatality rate in America.
Hopefully, you have noticed that we are dealing with something that will logarithmically affect more people than the other coronavirus outbreaks. As community transmission in our country has occurred, and understanding that each case causes two to three additional cases, we are in for quite a whirlwind.
As most of you have heard, the elderly carry particular risk but young, healthy adults have succumbed as well. Only 1.6 people will who catch COVID–19 require medical attention. The World Health Organization gives a fairly good overview, with the caveat that they describe the problem with giving you absolutely no help in how to prevent or treat this virus other than the usual and important hand washing advice.
This is why I titled this the integrative perspective! Please remember the great advice from Claude Bernard, “The microbe is nothing. The terrain, everything.” Although mildly hyperbolic, the recognition that the host is more important than the pathogen, is timeless advice.
Dos and don’ts in a time of a pandemic:
•Do eat organic, whole foods. Processed carbohydrates and sugars profoundly suppress immune function.
•Do exercise in moderation but do not increase your regiment, or over stress yourself as this, too, profoundly suppresses immunity.
•Practice stress management as susceptibility to respiratory viruses directly and linearly correlates with your perceived stress.
•Do not get any vaccines, especially the flu vaccine. All vaccines suppress the immune response to other infections. We know the flu vaccine is the worst at this dramatically increasing the rate of influenza-like illnesses (ILIs). I know many in public health are telling people to get the flu vaccine even now, following that advice could have fatal consequences in the face of the coming pandemic.
•Take a minimum of 5,000 IU vitamin D3 combined with K2 (MK7 180 mcg) every day. Vitamin D3 is actually a steroid hormone profoundly important to both innate and acquired immunity!
•If you don’t regularly consume fermented foods, take a daily probiotic like OrthoBiotic or MegaSpore. Helping your microbiome makes dramatic differences in your immune health and your ability to maintain adequate mucosal immunity.
•Take WholeMune (beta glucan –discussed in this article) every day as a daily boost to immunity.
•Carry the Acute Viral Protocol (available here) with you and if you even think you might be “catching something”, start it!
•If you know a practitioner who does the IV Myer’s Cocktailor UBI/Ozone, they should be prepared for the incoming patients for these vital procedures in the face of early illness. Go to the hospital,however,if you are in respiratory distress.
•Stop elective travel until this pandemic has cleared our country.
•If you are sick, do not go to work.Whether testing is available (and how much it might cost) is a question for your local public health department.
There is no vaccine for COVID–19 that will be ready in time, and you won’t need one anyway if you follow our advice.Most likely school closings and advice to avoid public places will be coming soon, so get prepared now. Allow the coming pandemic to be a time that strengthens your resolve to begin/continue your self-care practices. Make what many will call a time of fear and anxiety a springboard to self-care practices for a lifelong healthier
Dr. Gary Foresman is an integrative medical doctor with 25 years of experience in reversing chronic conditions and health challenges that often seem insurmountable.