Update On Coronavirus Disease Moved, But Details On Illness Remain
To give this perspective the CDC - Center of Disease Control in USA, estimates from 10-1-2019 to 2-1-2020, there has been 22,000,000-31,000,000 cases of flu illness and 12,000 to 30,000 flu deaths. Remember that many cases of flu are not even reported to the CDC, so these numbers are actually much higher in reality.
Collecting Facts About Corona Virus 2019-nCoV
Many people are worried about the new Corona virus called 2019-nCoV, that appears to have originated in a wet animal wholesale market in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Following is some reliable information that is currently known.
The Family Of Coronaviruses
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Many of us have experienced coronaviruses as a cause of bronchitis or a common chest cold. But this family of viruses also includes those that have caused serious outbreaks such as MERS and SARS. Coronaviruses from animals can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS and SARS corona viruses in the past. When person-to-person spread has occurred with MERS and SARS, it is thought to have happened mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. Spread of SARS and MERS between people has generally occurred between close contacts.
Common human coronaviruses
- 229E (alpha coronavirus)
- NL63 (alpha coronavirus)
- OC43 (beta coronavirus)
- HKU1 (beta coronavirus)
Other human coronaviruses
- MERS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS)
- SARS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS)
- 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
So far according to the World Health Organization, it appears that Corona virus 2019-nCoV is easily transmitted, and the incubation period appears to be up to 2 weeks. The symptoms are similar to flu symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms Of Corona virus 2019-nCoV
Common signs of infection
- shortness of breath
- breathing difficulties
Some patients have had
- other gastrointestinal symptoms
In more severe cases, infection can cause
- severe acute respiratory syndrome
- kidney failure
You can get the latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO)
How Is It Spread
The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through contact with an infected person through respiratory droplets generated when a person, for example, coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. It is important that everyone practice good respiratory hygiene. For example, sneeze or cough into a flexed elbow, or use a tissue and discard it immediately into a closed bin. It is also very important for people to wash their hands regularly with either alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
Who Has Corona Virus 2019-nCoV
Although anyone can get it, according to WHO, older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as diabetes and heart disease) appear to be more at risk of developing severe disease.
The Fatality Rate Of Corona Virus 2019-nCoV
The fatality rate first appeared to be around 3%, but now looks like it is around 2%, a good deal lower than the 10% reported for SARS and much lower than the nearly 40% reported for Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), another recent coronavirus mutation from the animal trade.
Prevention Advise From WHO
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
- When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – throw tissue away immediately and wash hands;
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough;
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your health care provider;
- When visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases of novel coronavirus, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals;
- The consumption of raw or undercooked animal products should be avoided. Raw meat, milk or animal organs should be handled with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.
China Reacted Quickly
Officials did not do a good job during the SARS (another corona virus outbreak in past) outbreak, and they learned from that mistake. This time, China isolated and sequenced this new corona virus immediately, which gave the world a diagnostic test in the first days of the outbreak, something that wasn't available for SARS. China and other countries are cooperating and working closely to contain the Wuhan virus.
Currently there are no antivirals or vaccines that mainstream medicine has available for this virus and they are suggesting supportive care if someone has contracted the virus. However, I would suggest that prevention is the best way to approach this. This time of year there are man viruses that are contagious in public areas. Follow the suggestions I listed above from WHO. To protect yourself from viruses, wear a mask when in public if you do not want to get any or them, including this virus. Don’t touch your fingers to your face. When you get home, wash your hands immediately. If you like, carry alcohol based hand cloths with you. Watch out for those wipes with chemicals on them, they have their own hazards. Additionally, support your immune system and general health.
Support your immune System
- Get exercise, drink clean water, eat organic food, breath clean air.
- Get adequate, restful sleep
- Eliminate chemicals and toxins in your environment and remove them from your body.
- Nourish, tonify, and enhance organ systems that are depleted or not functioning properly. Pay specific attention to the immune system, digestive system, and the liver.
- Discontinue recreational drug use.
- Decrease prescription drug use as much as possible under the guidance of your physician.
- Rest and meditation/prayer.
- Bathe in sunshine and relax in nature. If there is a lack of sun, supplement with vitamin D. However, vitamin D is just one thing you get from the sun and does not replace it.
- Enjoy the benefits of massage and hydrotherapy.
- Include joyful activities in your day.
- Gut health is necessary for immune system health. A large part of the immune system is in the gut lining. This is called the gastrointestinal associated lymphatic tissues (GALT). 80% of the antibodies in your body are made here. Support the gut immune system by eating fermented foods to supply extra microbiota and feeding the resident beneficial gut bacteria with fiber.
- Probiotics have been found to be better than placebo in reducing the number episodes of acute upper respiratory tract infections, the rate of episodes of acute upper respiratory tract infection and reducing antibiotic use.
- Vitamin C elevates interferon levels, which is a partial explanation for its anti-viral ability. As a preventative 1-3 grams per day is used. For treatment, take up to bowel tolerance (1-8 grams per day). You can use vitamin C and add rose hip berries to your teas. I suggest Rose hips as a better choice than vitamin C.
- Zinc supplements have been shown to increase immune function. I suggest 25 mg per day for adults and about 15 mg per day for children. Take the supplement with food to avoid nausea. Zinc has also been shown to reduce the duration of flu and cold symptoms from 7.6 to 4.4 days.
- Eat a nourishing diet of whole organic or biodynamic foods that are high quality-fat, high quality-protein, high-fiber, and with complex carbohydrates. A healthy diet has lots of dark green leafy vegetables as well as colorful vegetables and fruits included. Make sure the fruits and vegetables are fresh, and ripe.
- Remove any food sensitivities and unhealthy foods from the diet. Elimination diets are a good method to find offending foods if there are any. Sugar is not a friend of the immune system.
- The nutrients associated with maintaining an adequate immune system are the minerals iron, zinc, and selenium and vitamins A, C, D, E, and B vitamins. Many people are nutrient deficient, especially of minerals. So a baseline of proper nutrition is very important.
Things that can affect your immune system
- Age - the very young and very old can have a decreased immune system reaction.
- Nutritional Status - Good nutritional support is necessary to a proper functioning immune system.
- Genetics - We are born with a more or less effective immune system and have to deal with the cards we are dealt.
- Medications - corticosteroids, immunosuppressives used in tranpsplant surgery and other drugs may decrease the immune systems activity.
- Environment - There may be environmental factors in the home or work environment that can effect the immune system.
- Radiation - Given during cancer therapy, diagnostic imaging or due to environmental disasters, radiation can decrease or stop the production of white blood cells temporarily.
- Stress - Chronic stress can decrease the immune systems activity due to endocrine system effects.
- Chronic wasting diseases such as cancer and TB as well as immunodeficiency diseases such as HIV can negatively effect the immune system.
- Mental/emotional outlook - The ability to be content, happy and to be able to roll with the punches has been shown to enhance the bodies immunity.
Nutritional, Herbal & Lifestyle Recommendations
The immune system needs nourishment from the food we take in. It is dependent on a healthy lifestyle for optimum functionality. Healthy food, a safe environment, sunshine, clean air, healthy water, exercise, prayer/meditation and a fulfilling life are necessary for optimum immune system function. Nutritional products and herbs can be used to support the normal function of the immune system. Some basic nutritional information as well as some of the more popular herbs are listed below.
Healthy eating is one of the fundamentals necessary to support your immune system. Eat the right foods and be conscious about the quality of food you are consuming. There are antibiotics and steroids in non-organic meat and dairy products that may effect your immune system. Only eat high quality meat and dairy from healthy animals. Your immune system can not function properly witout adequate protein. Pesticides and herbicides in non-organic vegetables may also effect your immune system.
Caretenoids (as well as other flavonoids) in carrots, yams, squash, tomatoes, melons, calendula flowers, dandelion flowers, elecampane flowers, green leafy vegetables are beneficial. Carotenoids protect phagocytes from auto-oxidative damage, enhance T- and B-lymphocyte proliferation responses, stimulate effector T cell functions, enhance their cytotoxic capabilities and stimulate macrophage and NK cell activities and increase production of certain interleukins. They also protect lipids in the cell wall from damage.
Eat wild foods which are nutritious and immune-supportive such as plantain, cleavers, chickweed, stinging nettles (cooked only): many of these herbs can be used in stir fries, soups, or juiced. The stinging nettles should be cooked due to the possibility of being stung otherwise. The chickweed is great in salad. plantain and cleavers are best juiced. These vibrant green wild foods support our bodies via their vitamins, minerals, enzymes and ways we yet have to discover.
Foods such as beets and other root vegetables as well as fall greens are helpful for nutritional support to the immune system.
Eating antioxidants in your fresh fruits and vegetables is very helpful. All brightly colored foods have antioxidants in them. The top 5 antioxidants from a USDA study of 100 plants with antioxidants was as follows:
5. Blueberries (cultivated)
4. Pinto beans
3. Red kidney beans
2. Blueberries (wild)
1. Small red beans (dried)
It is best to use foods grown without chemicals. Dairy products can cause a wide range of problems that affect the immune system. This may be due to an allergy to the milk sugar or protein in the milk or it can simply be due to the use of pasteurized milk. If you want to use milk products, the best milk to use for most people is fresh, organic, raw goat milk. Fermented milk products are better than non-fermented milk products. It is best to avoid all hydrogenated oils and polyunsaturated vegetable oils. These oils result in the production of free radicals which directly impact the immune system. Use olive oil, and butter as cooking oil/fat and get essential fatty acids by adding flax and fish oils to the diet as well as eating fish and nuts. Also avoid excessive amounts of sugary foods, food additives, preservatives, artificial flavors, excess iron, low nutrient, refined food diets, pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics and hormones in food, contaminated water, prescription drugs, recreational drugs (including coffee and chocolate).
Herbs for the Immune System
Lymphagogues are herbs which stimulate lymphatic activity. They will help to move cellular debris out of the body. Alteratives are herbs which stimulate the blood as well as the skin and liver in their respective eliminatory functions. Herbs in these categories can be very beneficial to immune system support by assisting in removal of cellular waste, chemical toxins or microbes from the body. Immunomodulators support the immune system activity while antivirals specifically have been shown to be beneficial at preventing or treating illnesses associated with viruses. However, the way antivirals are thought to work is through support of the bodies immune system, rather than direct activity on the virus. Anticatarrhals decrease excess mucus and diaphoretics reduce fevers. Antibacterials are used for bacterial associated illnesses and are useful if you get a bacterial infection superimposed on top of the viral infection. Many of the deaths in the 1918 flu pandemic were due to bacterial pneumonias superimposed on top of the flu. Many of the herbs listed below can be found in more than one category. I will cover immunomodulators here. For data on some of these other categories of herbs, I suggest you read my article on the flu.
Agent which enhances the body’s natural defense system to assist in infectious conditions or other situations which tax the immune system, such as invasive tumors. These herbs act in various ways to promote different aspects of the immune system as well as support of anatomical functions such as decreasing mucous, tightening up lax tissues and decreasing inflammation so the tissues are better capable of protecting themselves from invasive organisms.
Examples: Ashwaganda (Withania somnifera), Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus), Calendula (Calendula officinalis), Cedar (Thuja spp.), Echinacea (Echinacea spp.), Elecampane (Inula helenium), Flag (Iris versicolor), Garlic -fresh (Allium sativa), Ginger (Zingiber officinalis), Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis), Lomatium (Lomatium dissectum), Oregon grape root (Mahonia spp.), Osha (Ligusticum porteri), Paracress (Spilanthes acmella), Poke root (Phytolacca americana), Prickly ash (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis), Propolis, Red root (Ceanothus americanus), Wu wei zi (Schisandra chinensis), Yerba mansa (Anemopsis californica), Wild indigo (Baptisia tinctoria )
Herbs for prevention & Treatment
All doses are for adults: To get child doses for herbs, simply take the child's weight and divide it by 150. Use this percent multiplied with the adult dose.
Example for 50# child and 120 drop dose. 50/150 = 0.33, when you multiple 33%x120= 39.6 or 40 drops.
Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) is used for night sweats, deficiency of chi (Indicated by fatigue, weakness, and loss of appetite), and diarrhea. Studies have shown that Astragalus appears to restore T-cell counts to relatively normal ranges, even in cancer patients. This is a good herb to use preventatively. It can be made into a tea or added to a soup.
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea/angustifolia) increases the production and activity of lymphocytes and macrophages. It also increases the production of interferon. Echinacea enhances the immune system’s resistance to infections. Due to its specificity for infectious conditions, it is often used for influenza and other viruses, but it really shines in bacterial infections.
The plant contains 3 groups of constituents, high molecular weight polysaccharides, alkylamides and chicoric acid, that are known to act as immunomodulators. As a liquid extract take 1/2 - 1 teaspoon, three times per day for prevention and 1 teaspoon 4-6 times per day for treatment.
Garlic (Allium sativum) has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal activity. Take a clove of raw garlic per day for prevention or 2-3 times per day for treatment.
Boneset (Eupatorium perforatum) is specific for the type of intense flu pains where you ache to your bones. This herb is also a diaphoretic and is best taken as a hot tea although it can be used as a tincture also. You will see it used the same way in homeopathy also. This herb is used for treatment only. Take a heaping tablespoon per cup water, infused 3-4 times per day.
Yarrow (Achillea millefollium) is a diaphoretic, astringent, antiinflammatory, antimicrobial that is wonderful to use in the feverish stage and especially if there is a lot of congestion. I only use it short term usually. I like to use it as a tea, but if using it as a tincture it only takes 3-15 drops usually.
Osha (Ligusticum porteri) is antiviral, immunomodulator, anticattarrhal and diaphoretic. I find this herb has a synergistic effect when used with Licorice and Echiancea. It's especially helpful if you have a lot of mucus as it helps dispel the excess mucus with its drying action. This herb I use as a tincture or suck on a chunk of the root. Wonderful for congestion and quite useful in the initial stages of a viral infection starting. 5-20 drops. I usually use this with other herbs.
Elder (Sambucus nigra/canadensis) This expectorating, antiviral and diaphoretic herb has become popularized with the extensive advertising for the brand name Sambucol that uses a berry extract. Indeed the berries, leaves and the flowers are useful for the flu. I love to use the flowers as a relaxing diaphoretic. They are safe to use for children and don't taste bad like Yarrow does. You can make a tea with both the flowers, leaves and berries. The flowers and berries are the safest part of this plant to use. They both are nice as a tea.
Baikal skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) This herb has been used for the treatment of the common cold, fever and influenza virus infections. More and more studies show a variety of antiviral activity from roots of this plant or constituents, some being in vivo studies in animals and humans. This is starting to make the herb more well known in western medicine circles.
Research has shown ingestion of the constituent baicalein resulted in the inhibition of influenza A virus replication in mice, which was linked to baicalin in the blood serum. In treatment of severe hand, foot and mouth disease it was shown to rapidly relieve fever, decrease oral lesions and rashes, and improve nervous system involvement in humans.
Studies have demonstrated the constituent baicalin has in vitro and in vivo antiviral activity against influenza viruses, dengue virus, enterovirus and Japanese encephalitis virus. Some constituents target cell attachment and intracellular replication of H1N1 and H3N2. In a preliminary screening study of herbs S. baicalensis extract has anti-RSV activity. In a patent filing, Zhong et al. claimed that ethanol extracts obtained from the genus of Scutellaria had anti-RSV activity.
Preventative & Acute Herbal Formula #1
Echinacea - Echinacea ang/purpurea root 40-50%
Osha - Ligusticum porteri 20-40%
Licorice - Glycyrrhiza glabra 15-30%
Actions: Supports the immune system as well as protects against infectious diseases of a viral nature. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, antiviral, carminative, stimulates the lymphatic system, supports the adrenals, thins mucous associated with colds and decreases congestion. Examples of use are treatment of colds, influenza, and chronic viral fatigue. It can be helpful in many situations where the immune system is under stress. Although this formula is used as a general immune supportive formula, it is specifically helpful for viral respiratory infections and can be used preventitively.
Liquid extract dosage
Dosage - acute: 1/2 to 2 teaspoons in a little water, 3-5 times per day.
Dosage - preventative: 60-120 drops in a little water, 3 times per day.
Dosage - acute: 2 teaspoons per cup water, 3-5 times per day.
Dosage - preventative: 1 teaspoon per cup water, 3 times per day.
Contraindications, Cautions and Words of Wisdom: Chronic large doses of licorice can mimic aldosteronism by increasing sodium resorption and potassium excretion by the kidney. Avoid using with pre-existent hypertension. The symptoms of pseudoaldosteronism are hypertension, edema and hypokalemia. See full contraindications for Licorice before use.
Acute Herbal Formula #2
Echinacea - Echinacea ang/purpurea root 25-40%
Osha - Ligusticum porteri 20-25%
Yerba mansa - Anemopsis californica 10-20%
Elder flower - Sambucus spp. 10-20%
Red Root - Ceanothus spp. 10-20%
Liquid extract dosage
Dosage - Acute: Use 60-120 drops, 4-5 times per day. Best used by adding to hot water or tea. Can alternatively be put into a small amount of water to drink.
Dosage - Preventative: Use 20-60 drops, 3-4 times per day. Add to a small amount of water.
Dosage - Acute: Use 2 heaping teaspoons per cup of water 3-4 times per day. Drink the tea while it is still warm. If you store it in the refrigerator for a couple of days, it is best to warm it up before drinking. (decoct Echinacea , Yerba mansa, Red root and infuse Osha (long infusion), Elder flower.
I wrote an article on the flu some time back and would have you refer to it for ideas on herbs to use that support the immune system and are helpful for treating a person with the flu and similar viruses.
Flu And Corona Virus 2019-nCoV Look Similar
This is also flu season, and since the corona virus is similar in picture to the flu, it is hard to tell them apart.
When you might have the new Corona virus: If you or a close contact have returned from China recently and you have symptoms, of flu or what you think it a corona virus, call your practitioner immediately. Since the flu has the same types of symptoms as the corona virus, and so many people have the flu now, the practitioners are assuming it is flu unless there is some reason to believe you have come in contact with someone previously in China. This could change if there is greater spread in the United States, but currently this is the protocol.
At this stage of the game, I am more concerned personally with getting the flu than I am with the new Corona virus.
To give you some perspective, in the 2018-2019 flu season the United States Center for Disease Control estimates 35.5 million people were sick with influenza, 16.5 million people going to a health care provider for their illness, 490,600 hospitalizations, and 34,200 deaths from influenza. As with the current Corona virus, those who are older are the ones most likely to succumb to the flu and die. 75% of the influenza deaths were in those 65 and older.
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