Coronavirus (COVID-19) — Essential facts about this new virus
Vital Support for You and Your Family
If you are tuned in to the media at all, it’s hard to ignore the anxiety-provoking news concerning the latest viral outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Over the past week many people are contacting our office, understandably concerned. Dr. Fox and I wanted to reach out to you, our community, and hash out fact from fiction while giving you the best evidence-based advice on how to safeguard your health from this spreading disease. This post is long, but it contains the most current information available from reliable sources such as the World Health Organization.
Boulder Holistic Immune System Booster Kits
Basic Stay Healthy Kit — Vitamins D, A, Zinc, Probiotic 100 billion
Premium Immune Booster Kit — Vitamins D, A, Zinc, Allimed, 350 Probiotic plus a single or combination of antiviral herbs
Dr. Stephen Buhner Protocol — World-renowned master herbalist Dr. Stephen Buhner recently released his recommendations to integrative providers to address coronavirus. Dr. Buhner has extensive knowledge in treating many microbial diseases, including Lyme and other related diseases, using his well crafted and researched herbal blends. He has studied this virus and has suggested a new three-tincture protocol to provide antiviral activity against coronavirus. These herbal blends are considered both preventative as well as specific for treating an acute infection with only a change in dose and frequency.
Contact the office to order any of these personalized kits.
COVID-19 — What is it?
The latest coronavirus, abbreviated COVID-19, is considered a novel or new virus, meaning it has not been previously seen by humans.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that typically cause mild upper respiratory illness in people. Respiratory viruses are common this time of year, so what makes this latest viral outbreak so different? Though COVID-19 is new, you may remember hearing about its close cousins, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). While currently less deadly, COVID-19 is alarming due to its rapid global spread.
Because this particular virus is new to us, information is emerging every day as scientists and doctors are scrambling to understand how COVID-19 is diagnosed, treated and exactly how to prevent and manage the disease in our communities.
How is it transmitted?
Like the flu, human-to-human transmission of coronavirus occurs mainly through droplets, released in the air by coughing, sneezing and close contact with sick individuals. Many viruses can also survive on surfaces for a period of minutes to even hours. These possible infection sources are called fomites and can include just about anything: think keyboards, cash, credit cards, countertops, swipe machines, gas pump handles, hand railings, door handles, cell phones, toys, utensils, toothbrushes, clothes etc.
The incubation period for COVID-19 is thought to be 2-14 days on average, with a median period of 4 days from the time of exposure until symptoms begin to appear. People are thought to be most contagious when they are symptomatic.
What about pets?
The WHO says it’s very unlikely that humans can get the coronavirus from household pets.
What are the symptoms?
It’s important to remember that like most upper respiratory viruses, coronavirus causes mild to moderate cold- or flu-like symptoms in the average person. There is some evidence that the coronavirus may be more contagious than the flu, and may cause more severe symptoms in at-risk individuals, including the elderly as well as those with preexisting lung or heart disease, or those who suffer from any number of chronic illnesses such as diabetes. With that in mind, people in these groups should be especially diligent in following the prevention measures listed below.
Commonly reported symptoms:
- Mild symptoms include fever, headache, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, cough and muscle aches and pains.
- Moderate symptoms include all the above symptoms plus a feeling of shortness of breath and mild pneumonia.
- Severe presentations of the illness include severe pneumonia symptoms including labored breathing and signs of respiratory distress and should be managed in a hospital setting.
How do we test for coronavirus?
Although subject to change, currently office-based testing is not available for the COVID-19 virus. While the CDC has reported shortages of tests, the private sector labs, including LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics, have announced the private development of tests which should be available soon.
What if I have symptoms?
If you suspect that you may have been exposed to the coronavirus and are experiencing symptoms, you should call your local public health department right away, using the guidelines below:
The CDC is rapidly updating their guidelines for testing. Click here for the latest information.
Contact the public health department if:
- You have FEVER + lower respiratory symptoms (cough, or shortness of breath) plus a personal history of recent travel to China, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Iran or other known countries heavily impacted by the epidemic
- You have FEVER + lower respiratory symptoms above + known contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus
- You have FEVER + severe lower respiratory symptoms (severe shortness of breath, or signs of respiratory distress) that require hospitalization, even without know contact or exposure to the virus
Help contain the virus. Do not go to your local doctors’ office or the hospital unless you have severe life-threatening symptoms. This is cautionary advice issued by the public health department in an effort to try to contain the virus.
If you suspect you have become infected with COVID-19, contact the public health department and they will assess the situation and coordinate with local hospitals to get you the care you need.
For general questions about COVID-19 in Colorado:
- Call CO-HELP at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911.
- You can also email COHELP@RMPDC.org for answers in English.
For local public health agencies and healthcare providers only:
- From Monday thru Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m., please call 303-692-2700.
- For after-hours, holidays, and weekends, please call 303-370-9395.
What if I do not qualify for the coronavirus criteria, but I am still experiencing symptoms?
Because we are still in the normal cold and flu season, it is much more likely that people with acute upper respiratory symptoms have a typical virus, such as a common cold, influenza or streptococcal infection (strep throat). If you feel acutely ill, but you do not meet the above CDC coronavirus criteria, we recommend that you let the medical facility know that you are exhibiting viral illness symptoms and wish to be seen. Make sure and call the facility well before your visit. That way you and the staff can plan for the appointment by providing the appropriate isolation practices for safe strep and flu testing.
Should I wear a mask?
If you are symptomatic, you should wear a mask or handkerchief covering your nose and mouth when you go to and from public settings such as urgent care, medical offices and the hospital. This is vital in protecting others from the illness. Right now, masks like the N95 are in high demand, causing dangerous shortages in the medical field, price gouging and counterfeits. For these reasons we discourage the stockpiling of masks.
Prevention: How do I protect myself and my loved ones?
The absolute best thing you can do to protect yourself is to avoid contact with known sick people or those exhibiting symptoms of an upper respiratory infection.
Here is the CDC’s website to better educate yourself on virus prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html
Our recommendations for protecting you and others from all viral illnesses:
- Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize!
- Wash your hands (correctly and often!) Click here for a tutorial
- Train yourself to avoid touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth. It may prove harder than you think, so practice often.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Cover your cough with your elbow or a tissue.
- Say hello from a distance instead of shaking hands.
- Load up on healthy foods, especially those with ginger, garlic, turmeric, and oregano.
- Eat colorful fruits and vegetables.
- Stay hydrated.
- Avoid sugar.
- Get fresh air and moderate exercise daily while avoiding large crowds.
- Get good sleep.
- Decrease stress with relaxation and family games.
Using supplements to bolster your immune system, in addition to frequent hand washing, may also help to safeguard your health.
Our favorite immune boosting and immune modulating tools include:
- Upping your Vitamin C intake.
- Scheduling intravenous Vitamin C as a potent antiviral strategy.
- Adding Zinc to your daily intake.
- Optimizing your Vitamin D 3 levels.
- Taking a high potency probiotic daily.
- Adding Vitamin A to your intake.
- Practicing daily nasal rinsing.
Known viral medications, like Tamiflu and other antivirals, have not been effective against coronavirus. There are also no known supplements, herbs or vitamins that will kill the COVID-19 virus. The CDC anticipates that a vaccine won’t be available for at least a year. Our best bet at this time is prevention.
Some research points to the effectiveness of a number of herbs in providing notable immune system boosts. We carry and recommend a number of known antiviral herbs in our office:
- Allimed. Allimed contains high potency allicin, the active ingredient in garlic and has potent antimicrobial effects.
- Curcumax Pro or Meriva: contain turmeric/curcumin, and boswellia which provide both immune modulating and inflammation support
- Oregano oil
- Quick silver Cat’s Claw
- Nutramedix Samento
This outbreak is causing a lot of added stress to our daily lives. It’s important to remember to take good care of your mental health. This includes exercise, preferably in the sun, eating well, sleeping well, and supporting each other. Remember, it’s okay to moderate your coronavirus news consumption. It may even prove healthy.
If you are not in Boulder, feel free to order your supplements through email or on Fullscript, and then ask Melissa, Sara or Ame for an email pdf of our doctors’ directions on recommendations and dosages.
Keep up-to-date with the latest information:
WHO: Coronavirus Disease Outbreak at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
CDC: Coronavirus Disease 2019 at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15885816 natural compounds agains coronavirus
https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04264533 IV vitamin c