At the moment, the coronavirus is of worldwide importance. January 30, 2020, this respiratory disease was declared a “public health emergency of international concern.” Now it is considered a worldwide epidemic or pandemic. As of Mar 20, 2020, there have been 255,900 confirmed cases globally, 10,495 deaths and 177 countries with cases.
There is concern this virus could end up like the 1918 Spanish flu, infecting 500 million people worldwide and killing 20- 50 million victims, including 675,000 Americans. Scientists are particularly concerned because for now there is no known cure for the current coronavirus. We are being recommended strong preventive measures. But, it’s important to maintain a sense of perspective. So far, more people die per year from influenza viruses, which are by far more common, than from COVID-19. The cause of death from “coronavirus disease 2019,” is usually due to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). ARDS can also be induced by other viruses including influenza and other respiratory viruses. So, what can be done about respiratory virus infections and ARDS? Here, I will discuss three measures most public recommendations will not. These may be helpful not only to prevent but also to treat those infected.
Risk factors for severe illness include older people and individuals with chronic medical conditions including diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.
The incubation period is ~5 days. Signs and symptoms include fever, cough, muscle aches or fatigue and shortness of breath at onset. Less often symptoms may include sore throat, sputum, headache, spitting up blood, and diarrhea. Asymptomatic infection has been seen even with chest CT scan abnormalities.
Clinical deterioration is more likely during the second week of illness. In confirmed COVID-19 cases just over half developed SOB about 8 days after onset, Average time from illness onset to hospital admission with pneumonia was 9 days. ARDS happens in 17–29% of those hospitalized. 23–32% of those hospitalized with COVID-19 and pneumonia require intensive care for respiratory support. Among those hospitalized with pneumonia, 4–15% have died.
Cytokine storm. There are high levels of blood inflammatory cytokines, a so-called “cytokine storm,” in more severe infections with COVID-19. This occurs when large numbers of white blood cells are activated by the virus and release these cytokines, in turn activating even more white blood cells (WBCs) and so on and so on. Cytokines tell WBCs to travel to the site of infection. This “cytokine storm” can trigger a viral sepsis, uncontrolled systemic inflammation leading to pneumonia, ARDS, respiratory failure, shock, organ failure, secondary bacterial pneumonia, and potentially death. Preventing cytokine storm is important to control the more severe possibilities involved with COVID-19 infection. Since ARDS can result from other respiratory viruses, the same concerns about cytokine storm apply to them as well.
At this time, there are no medications approved to treat COVID-19 and no vaccine to protect against it. The CDC says ”non-pharmaceutical interventions would be the most important response strategy.”
Public health recommendations are the standard approach and do work and are necessary. But there at least 3 other options for helping with COVID-19 prevention and treatment. These include the use of IV vitamin C, vitamin D3 and PEMFs.
Vitamin C. In those testing positive but not significantly ill, IV vitamin C has been used in China to treat COVID-19 infections, even in the ICU setting. There are several studies looking into the use of vitamin C for COVID-19 infections. Dr. Thomas Levy has written a book about the viral killing properties of vitamin C. (Levy)
Vitamin D3 has been found to have immune modulation and antiviral properties. Laboratory studies show that vitamin D has immune modifying functions including inhibiting proliferation of infected cells and decreasing inflammatory cytokine production. Vit D also reduces viral reproduction. Vitamin D decreases cytokines in the lung, strengthens immunity inside cells by decreasing pro-inflammatory cytokines and increasing anti-inflammatory cytokines and regulatory WBCs. 4000 IU/d D3 for 2 months, vs 400 IU per day, helped immune cell activation. Human airway cells have vitamin D receptors (VDRs). These airway cells can produce increased antimicrobial and antiviral peptides by destabilizing the viral envelope. We don’t know yet if vitamin D lowers existing viral load. So, vit D3 may be significantly helpful in preventing infection by stabilizing the immune system, the health of airway cells and may also be useful in helping to fight an ongoing infection.
Vit D deficiency increases susceptibility to viral infections. Respiratory infections in people with vit D deficiencies are more common in both those who are healthy and those with respiratory disorders, such as asthma and COPD.
The recommended form is vitamin D3 [cholecalciferol]. Vitamin D3 is 87% more potent in raising and maintaining serum 25 (OH)D levels and has 3‐fold greater storage of vitamin D as compared with vitamin D2, the prescription form of vitamin D. Vit D3’s protective effect relies on daily use. Vit D is as safe at 400 vs 4,000 or 10,000 IU/day. As a result, I am recommending a daily dose of 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 at least until this pandemic passes.
The Use of PEMFs to treat infections is covered in more depth in my book Power Tools for Health. There is no research to support PEMFs specifically for coronavirus infections. But, in one study, a PEMF applied to herpes virus-infected cells did not affect the growth and viability of the cells. However, the viruses developing under PEMF exposure had mainly defective viral particles. This weakness would therefore give the PEMF an opportunity to heal the tissue while potentially rendering the virus less active and less likeley to reproduce. In other research, PEMFs induced a state of significant cellular resistance to virus challenge by several viruses. The substances produced inside cells activated by PEMF stimulation were transferred to cells not exposed to PEMFs. These transferred substances markedly suppressed virus infections in these PEMF unexposed cells. The virus suppressor substances induced by the PEMF are not virus- or species-specific. In other words, normal cells exposed to PEMFs may produce substances that help them to withstand viral infection, it seems, regardless of the type of virus. Also, PEMFs help reduce inflammation by reducing cytokine burden and repair infected, damaged tissues. This means PEMFs used on a routine basis should be very helpful to help a person withstand COVID-19 infection, influenza or other viral infections.
It is worth considering use of PEMFs to help not only dealing with viruses specifically but also with keeping tissues healthier, thus decreasing the likelihood of infection and helping recovery from current active infections. Just as a healthy tree doesn’t get bugs, a healthy body will resist bugs and a healthy body will not get as severely affected and recover faster when affected. Like with Vit D3 supplementation, daily use of PEMFs will work better to protect, defend and recover.
I recommend a whole body PEMF system with an intensity of at least 75 Gauss for both prevention and treatment. Call us at 866-455-7688 for more information.
Also, I recommend that you read the Coronavirus blog and the Adenosine and inflammation blogs to get more indepth information.
Levy, TE. Curing the incurable: vitamin C, infectious diseases, and toxins. MedFox publishing. 2002.