Coronavirus disease 2019, also known as COVID-19, is a viral disease that originated in Wuhan China. Symptoms include fever, shortness of breath, body aches, and cough. The case fatality rate worldwide up to the date of this article is 4.6%. The USA has passed 3100 deaths1 and has over 164,000 cases2, with the USA having the most reported cases in the world. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading US infectious disease expert, has predicted the coronavirus can kill as many as 200,000 Americans.3
There are no vaccines or treatments for COVID-19, although Johnson and Johnson is planning to start phase 1 trials of a vaccine this fall.
There are various strategies to protect yourself and minimize the spread of the virus:
- Handwashing regularly for 20 seconds with soap or an alcohol-based solution. This will kill viruses on your hands. Ellen Degeneres has a nice video on YouTube to demonstrate this.
- If you cough or sneeze, please cover your nose and mouth w your elbow or some type of tissue paper.
- Maintain social distancing of 6 feet from another person. Cough and sneeze droplet may contain COVID-19 virus if you are too close.
- Avoid touching your face.
- If you have a fever or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider immediately and separate from those around you to minimize them getting sick.
Hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, has been touted by some as a potential treatment for COVID-19. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on March 30, 2020. There are a few studies that show promising results, although the size of the studies was small.
Aside from practicing appropriate hygiene and taking off-label use medications, what else can you do to minimize getting sick?
There are a number of supplements that can be taken during this time to help:
- Turmeric – Curcumin is the main active compound in turmeric. It has potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Curcumin has been shown to decrease inflammatory cytokines in the body and has been shown to increase neutrophil apoptosis (programmed cell death) which can lower the risk of acute lung injury. Curcumin has also been shown to help increase brain-derived neutrotrophic factor (BDNF), which decreases during depression. Depression and suicide have been going up during the last few months likely due to social isolation, loss of jobs and wages, and increasing uncertainty.
- Vitamin C – There is currently a study showing potential benefits of IV vitamin C in the setting of COVID infection4. At lower doses, vitamin C is a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. There are conflicting reports present as to whether or not it is helpful for COVID, but there are hospitals that have incorporated its use in treatment algorithms5. Vitamin C has been shown to be critical in the body’s healing process and help repair cellular damage by oxygen free radicals or dangerous foreign substances and heavy metals.
- Vitamin D – There is evidence that vitamin D supplementation can reduce the risk of acute respiratory tract infections per The BMJ6. Vitamin D is created in skin from exposure to ultraviolet radiation, which may explain why viral infections are more prevalent in the winter months when there is less sunlight.
- Zinc – It is uncertain if zinc will lessen the impact of COVID-19, but there is good evidence that it can work well. A randomized control trial in 1996 at Cleveland Clinic showed that zinc can clear symptoms in nearly half the time versus placebo7.
At StrIVeMD Wellness & Ketamine, we offer infusions of vitamin C, D, and zinc. Turmeric can only be taken orally. We will closely monitor guidelines and directions from the state of Illinois and will be offering infusions to our patients. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to email us at [email protected].
Take care and stay safe!