It is important to understand that different types of related viruses can cause chickenpox, smallpox and monkeypox. Further, different coronaviruses cause different diseases in people.
The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronavirus causes SARS and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus causes MERS. The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, is one of seven types of known human coronaviruses.
COVID-19, like the MERS and SARS coronaviruses, likely evolved from a virus previously found in animals. The remaining known coronaviruses cause a significant percentage of colds in adults and children, and these are not a serious threat for otherwise healthy adults. All viruses accumulate mutations over time and the virus that causes COVID-19 is no different. Therefore, mutations, now changed, are harder to identify and control.
Some claim COVID-19 is no more deadly than the flu. However, there are some very new reports indicating there may be two separate strains, one being a more aggressive type of the coronavirus that had accounted for roughly 70% of analyzed strains, which they called "L" type, while 30% had been linked to a less aggressive type, which they labeled "S."
Moreover, a WHO expert recently suggested that if borne out by further testing, current estimates of a roughly 1% fatality rate are accurate. This would make COVID-19 about 10 times deadlier than seasonal flu, which is estimated to kill between 290,000 and 650,000 people a year globally. Incidentally, regarding influenza, in 2019, it is estimated that more than 12,000 people died from the virus in the United States.
How Does it Spread?
This coronavirus COVID-19 is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you, but all the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for about a week on average—everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. The virus is on surfaces and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed on. This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs). The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth.
What Are the Testing Guidelines?
With COVID-19, current CDC guidelines suggest testing for those who are symptomatic (fevers, cough, shortness of breath, most commonly), and for those who have had known contact with an individual who has tested positive for the virus strain, symptomatic travelers from the highest risk countries and those who are severely ill with respiratory illnesses who do not have an alternative diagnosis.
What You Should Do and Not Do
Obviously, we all are affected by the mass hysteria created with consistent media coverage. However, perhaps more hysteria should be placed on both how our immune systems can be strengthened to avoid/fight off this and other viruses, and why immune systems are compromised, thereby rendered more defenseless.
It is no secret that immunocompromised persons are more likely to have serious effects from any virus. On the other hand, those with younger and more robust immune systems generally get sick less, have less severe symptoms and recover faster.
So how does a person get immunocompromised? Here are some definite contributors:
One contributor is the consistent consumption of the standard American diet consisting of highly processed and refined foods that contain little to no nutrients, while at the same time containing likely toxic carcinogens. Specific examples include breads, grains, sugars, MSG, soda, fried foods and soy.
Here are some other contributors:
—Multiple drug therapies, including chemotherapy.
—Lack of adequate sleep.
On the flip side, how does one go about improving the immune system, creating a amazing war machine, which is able to defend your body with effective and appropriate aggressiveness? Here are 18 strong suggestions to adopt now:
1. Don't panic and be afraid. This will only weaken your system by producing massive amounts of cortisol.
2. Be calm and maintain adequate sleep. Seven to eight hours is recommended nightly.
3. When greeting people, use a fist bump instead of shaking hands.
4. If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if necessary. The clothing on your elbow will contain the infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more.
5. Open doors with your closed fist or hip—do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. This is especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.
6. Use colloidal silver products to wipe your hands and spray in your nasal passages and mouth. Wipe down seats frequented by multiple persons (such as airplane seats).
7. Use ozone in your house, hotel room or your car. Enhanced oxygen treatment can quickly improve the function of the immune system, help detoxify the body and kill off harmful pathogens.
8. Use thymosin alpha-1 daily in a subcutaneous injection form. This peptide may be a novel, and relatively new, way to reboot the immune system. It has been studied with other respiratory viruses, including ARDS, with much success and has been shown to restore proper immune function.
9. Use an infrared sauna. It will improve detoxification and speed up healing.
10. Take vitamin C as an anti-viral. About 3000-5,000 milligrams per day is recommended. Higher doses of up to 10,000–20,000 milligrams per day may also be helpful in acute situations. And IV vitamin C is also likely beneficial.
11. Zinc lozenges. These lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx.
12. Optimize vitamins A (5,000-10,000 IU daily) and D (5,000-10,000 IU daily).
13. Liposomal delivery colostrum—two to three tablespoons twice daily on an empty stomach.
14. Butyric acid—1,000 milligrams two to three times daily with meals.
15. Nucleotides—two scoops twice daily.
16. Eat real food containing plenty of fruits and vegetables. When selecting, use the following criteria: organic, grass-fed and finished, hormone/antibiotic free, free-range, and wild caught.
17. Conduct at least 150 minutes weekly of moderate exercise.
18. Become disease confident. This means expect not to get sick.
The above immune strengthening suggestions should not be used only reactively. Rather, a robust, proactive and preventive approach is urged. Our bodies are unique, strong and amazing in the ability to protect us from the many dangers we face simply existing as a human.
Let's do all we can now to not be weak and become victims of anything. Take action and be confident in the miracle of you.
Mark Sherwood, naturopathic doctor (ND), is on a mission to help you achieve wellness in every area of your life. Dr. Mark and his wife, Michele L. Neil-Sherwood, DO, have a successful medical practice, the Functional Medical Institute; have a television and radio program; and provide many resources. These include their Amazon bestseller, The Quest for Wellness; nutrition plans; fitness instructional videos; and helpful mental and emotional steps to provide relief from stress and to help people form better habits so they can live well.
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