UPDATED 3-24-2020 by: Erik Lundquist, MD
Like it or not, coronavirus is descending upon us. School closing, travel bans, and quarantines are happening in and to the majorly affected countries. There is good news and bad news surrounding coronavirus, officially called COVID-19, right now. The bad news is that it continues to spread worldwide. Now almost all countries are affected, with hundreds of thousands of total cases. These numbers are continuing to grow rapidly and on a daily basis. The other bad news is that it appears to have a mortality rate of somewhere between 2% and 10% depending on age and country (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30195-X/fulltext).
Further bad news is that companies within the dietary supplements and natural products industry are feeling the shockwaves. Many ingredients and raw materials for supplements are grown, produced, or processed in China. Industry executives say they expect significant supply chain disruptions.
The good news is that it does not seem to be gaining ground in China as the number of infected individuals seems to be hovering around 80,000 and not growing. Some cities and areas where a strict quarantine was in effect are now starting to see those restrictions loosened. This is a good sign that it may start to fizzle out in China.
More good news is that “Unprecedented, aggressive efforts have been taken to contain the spread and mitigate the impact of this virus.” As of today, there have only been 43 Confirmed & Presumptive Positive cases in the entire United States. An additional 47 people with confirmed Cases of COVID-19 have been repatriated to the United States, with the utmost care taken to ensure that these people do not spread the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is regularly providing official updates. You can find the official current number of cases here.
The purpose of this article is to provide some basic recommendations and information regarding possible prevention and treatment of COVID-19. There are a few things that need to be clarified before we make any recommendations.
First, no preventative or treatment recommendations have been approved by the FDA or have been substantiated by significant scientific research or studies. Therefore, all recommendations should be taken with the understanding that they are recommendations to help strengthen one’s immune system and support the body in eliminating environmental toxins through natural means.
The second thing to clarify is that anyone's best hope against COVID-19 is to strengthen their immune system and avoid possible exposure. This is the reason that quarantines have been put into place and why individuals with a weakened immune system are most susceptible.
What is coronavirus and what symptoms does it cause?
Coronavirus is one of the most common causes of the common cold. What makes this particular strain of coronavirus, COVID-19, deadly, is that it gets down into the base of the lungs and causes the immune system to become overactive. Then, the immune system releases lots of inflammatory products that lead to increased mucus and fluid production in the lungs. This leads to a scenario called acute respiratory distress syndrome in those who are more susceptible. These individuals are most often smokers, or individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or cardiovascular disease. It seems to be affecting men twice as often as women. It also seems to be affecting middle-aged to older men.