My email box fills with questions: what about the coronavirus epidemic? Is death on its way from Asia to the West? There is no vaccine for this viral scourge. Will our infants who have no antibodies against this virus die? Will vulnerable and frail senior adults be whisked off in ambulances to hospital intensive care units, never to return home as they drown from fluid in their lungs (pneumonia)?
But coronavirus it is just a common cold virus.
Yep, the coronavirus is just a common virus that infects your nose, sinuses and upper throat and produces the same symptoms as a cold. But the fear that is being spread by public health authorities and the news media would make one think the earth is in the middle of a historic human pandemic.
The Coronavirus that is menacing human populations around the globe right now is an RNA virus that is “enveloped” so it resists eradication by one’s own immune system. In a very few subjects who are immune compromised, such as patients taking drugs for autoimmune disorders (Cyclosporine, Prednisone, Methotrexate, Imuran), or youngsters who have undeveloped immunity, or others who are old and have weak immune systems due malnutrition, they may develop pneumonia (drown in their own pus and fluid in their lungs) and be hospitalized, placed on a respirator, or die.
Just in case you are worried, out of a population of 7+ billion people on Earth, your chance of developing symptoms from this corona-shaped cold virus is ~1 in millions and for death ~1 in hundreds of millions. However, risk dramatically increases with advancing age and among malnourished populations such as in Asia where deficiencies of essential nutrients, namely zinc and vitamins C and D, are often prevalent. Modern medicine casts a blind eye at nutrition.
But regardless of what you have just read here that minimalizes the risk, health officials are beating the Coronavirus drum, with mass contagion predicted and an expert predicting this outbreak could be ten times worse than the 2003 epidemic that left 813 dead. That may only be true in a country with a large portion of malnourished people like China. The estimate that the Coronavirus will grow to 10,000 cases in the Chinese city of Wuhan (11 million population) is still a very low risk — 1/100th of one-percent.
Public health officials are pulling off another of their ruses, wearing hazmat suits, quarantining whole cities, swabbing throats of airplane passengers who land in foreign countries after visiting the Coronavirus epicenter, Wuhan, China. Public fear is created. At this point, no one knows whether the death rate is higher than past cold and flu seasons.
Treatment but not a cure
And just so you know, there is no proven treatment or vaccine to prevent or abolish coronavirus infections. Standard treatment to allay symptoms is comprised of steroids to reduce inflammation, judicious use of antibiotics and (largely ineffective) antiviral drugs like interferon or ribavirin. Steroids reduce inflammation but deplete vitamin C. This makes it difficult to wean off cortisone.
Self-treated patients may opt for over-the-counter medicines that contain vitamin C-depleting medications such as aspirin and acetaminophen/Tylenol (a prominent ingredient in Nyquil) that depletes glutathione, a major internal antioxidant produced by vitamin C. Smokers further deplete vitamin C. Individuals on diuretics (water pills) for high blood pressure wash out their vitamin C faster. Unwittingly, under these circumstances, viral infection could get worse, not better.
Based upon symptoms, public health authorities tend to overestimate the percentage of ill patients that actually have laboratory-confirmed coronavirus. In one study, among 1460 cases of unexplained respiratory illnesses reported to the Centers For Disease Control, only 2% were laboratory confirmed coronavirus.
In the often-cited 2003 SARS coronavirus epidemic, most cases in the U.S. were attributed to air travel to the U.S. from Asia and “there was no evidence of community transmission.” Even in Hong Kong, in the 2003-2004 SARS coronavirus outbreak, only 3.4% of patients died and all were over age 65. So, age is the mortal factor, not infection itself.
The Biotech industry prays for these infectious disease outbreaks to free-up public funds to develop drugs and vaccines. Otherwise the drug/vaccine makers have to bear the research and development burden on their own.
Useless health advice
All the advice to stay away from crowds, wear a mask, wash your hands, is silly. That is because the lack of hygiene is not why cold and flu viruses plague the planet in winter months. It is just that winter months are when the human immune system crashes. The disease is lack of internal defense, not external exposure and transmission. The primary reason for this is plunging vitamin D levels from lack of sunlight as the earth tilts away from the sun in the winter solstice.
Sunshine vitamin D activates rapid responding class of white blood cells called neutrophils that literally blow up viral-infected cells.
Pray to God the virus doesn’t mutate?
While fearmongers warn the coronavirus may mutate and spread faster, and news agencies lament the stock market is crashing while spreading fear to attract readers and viewers. The 2019 coronavirus IS a new mutation. But some mutations actually reduce its virulence. The irresponsibility of news reports not to inform the public that any fast-mutating coronavirus would be self-limiting and rapidly “peter out” into a less virulent form.
Inflammation and coronavirus control
During coronavirus infection, inflammation, particularly in the lungs, is activated by a protein complex called NF-kappa B.
Coronaviruses activate NF-kappa-B which is the key signaling molecule that provokes the inflammation that ends up filling the lungs with fluid. Any agent that targets and inhibits NF-kappa-B is a candidate for quelling coronaviruses.
While it is said there are no proven cures to battle coronavirus, and pharmaceutical companies attempt to develop patentable NF-kappa-B inhibitors, there are 785 natural NF-kappa-B inhibitors that have already been identified that include vitamins D, C & E, alpha lipoic acid, NAC (sulfur), resveratrol, quercetin, zinc, garlic (allicin), among many others, all commercially available at health shops.
Innate immunity: vitamin D
There are two immune responses in humans: the rapid innate immunity and latent adaptive immunity. The innate immune response is considered the “key regulator in the virulence of coronavirus infections.”
The earliest arriving white blood cells at the site of infection are neutrophils and are part of the innate immune system. Neutrophils comprise ~60% of the white blood cells in circulation.
Vitamin D is the governor of innate immunity. The protective benefits of vitamin D are said to “lie in its ability to stimulate innate immunity and reduce inflammation.”
Vitamin D suppresses NF-kappa B signaling, dampens excessive inflammation while enhancing killing of viruses by neutrophils
Senior adults have been found to have 2.6 times greater risk for pneumonia between highest and lowest blood levels of vitamin D.
How much vitamin D?
Particularly in winter months, or among people who don’t get much sunshine that produces natural vitamin D, children and adults need far more vitamin D than is recommended. Due to a miscalculation, the need for supplemental vitamin D is underestimated; adults need ~8000 units/day; infants 1000 units; children over age 1 year, 3000 units/day.
The Daily Value published on the back of bottles of vitamin D is 400-800 units, which doesn’t even raise blood levels. This locks in a certain amount of otherwise preventable disease in the population at large. This is akin to allowing some pyromaniac to start fires just to show off how fast fire departments respond.
In sunshine equivalents, 400-800 units of vitamin D = ~5 minutes of midday sun/skin exposure; 8000 units = ~1 hour of midday sun/skin exposure. If you are not getting 30-60 minutes of midday sunshine, you do not have optimal blood levels of vitamin D.
Around 42% of the adult U.S. population has low blood levels of vitamin D. That figure rises in northern latitudes to almost everybody in winter months.
The liver stores about 3 months of this fat-soluble vitamin, so doctors inject up to 300,000 units for wintertime protection in vulnerable D-deficient subjects. Forget blood tests, presume you are D-deficient in winter. Don’t wait for cold and flu symptoms.
Take 50,000 units of vitamin D on the first hint of cold or flu symptoms for a day or two. Otherwise you will endure ~7-8 days of misery until your adaptive immune system kicks in and produces B in bone marrow and T cells the thymus gland to produce tailor-made antibodies against the particular strain of coronavirus in circulation
How to handle an over-responsive immune system
One of the problems with the human immune system is that it over-responds. Over-aggressive arrival of neutrophils can induce deadly inflammation in the lungs.
To normalize the immune response so the neutrophils don’t over-respond to produce inflammation themselves that then results in your lungs filling up with fluid, vitamin D and the red wine molecule resveratrol normalize the immune response. Resveratrol by itself is a potent anti-viral agent against coronavirus. In a lab dish, resveratrol “completely blocked viral replication even at a low concentration.”
Zinc to the rescue
With advancing age humans are increasingly susceptible to viral infection. A Harvard Medical School Health Bulletin says: “No one knows for sure why this happens, but some scientists observe that this increased risk (with advancing age) correlates with a decrease in T cells, possibly from the thymus atrophying (shrinking) with age and producing fewer T cells to fight off infection.” Don’t believe this.
T-cells are produced in the thymus gland, located under your breastplate bone. Freshly-made T cells in the thymus will generate tailor-made antibodies against the particular strain of virus you are exposed to.
This age-related susceptibility to infection is associated with a significant reduction in the magnitude of the viral T-cell response. T cells generate a memory antibody response and are able to clear viruses and protect against lethal infection. T-cells produce life-long immunity.
The thymus gland shrinks from the size of a walnut in youth to the size of a pea in old age. This is largely due to lack of intake or poor absorption of the trace mineral zinc.
Zinc inhibits growth and replication of RNA viruses like coronaviruses.
The only food that contains an abundant amount of zinc is oysters. Sufficient zinc intake is only achievable from consumption of a variety of foods. Very young children are often picky eaters. Zinc deficiency is rampant among young children throughout the world. For example, studies showed 70% of children under age 5 in Vietnam were zinc deficient and 49% in Colombia.
Zinc lozenges that provide 18 milligrams or more of zinc gluconate or acetate (zinc acetate is the best, and don’t swallow them) can rapidly quell a common-cold virus like the coronavirus. Orally-ingested tablets, liquid and syrups are less effective. Be watchful, many brands of zinc lozenges do not provide enough zinc. Zinc lozenges shorten common colds by 6-7 days.
Don’t be duped by all the fear-evoking news reports. Turn off the television.
You would never imagine public health authorities plan these epidemics. The current planned epidemic eerily follows the script of the 2011 movie CONTAGION, which shows the virus originating with a bat in China. Just like the human immune system can over-respond to infection, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control over-react to the imagined pandemic. In either case, vitamin D is the antidote. Be wary of what you read in news reports. An uninformed populace is blind. Remember, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
The daily news and opinion site LewRockwell.com was founded in 1999 by anarcho-capitalists Lew Rockwell and Burt Blumert to help carry on the anti-war, anti-state, pro-market work of Murray N. Rothbard. Visit https://www.lewrockwell.com
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