Important Information About COVID-19

Important Information About COVID-19

Note: This will be updated periodically as new info becomes available

Updated April 24, 2020

  1. Sneezing is a classic sign of environmental allergies.
  2. If you have a runny nose and a productive cough, you likely have a cold.
  3. Pneumonia caused by COVID-19 is a dry cough without a runny nose
  4. A COVID-19 related cough/sneeze can travel up to 10 feet.
  5. COVID-19 is more stable on plastic and stainless steel than on copper and cardboard. Viable virus was detected up to 72 hours after application to these surfaces, although by day 3 only traces were measurable. The decay over 3 days is exponential, in other words, it was cut in half in a little over 1 hour, excepting stainless steel and plastic where it took 5-7 hours to get cut in half.¹ Data still suggests transmission is through drops. Washing hands thoroughly or normal wash cycle for clothing takes care of the virus.
  6. Drinking a little water every 15 minutes is very effective for all viruses. As viruses accumulate in the nasal/mouth passage, they can be washed down by the water into the stomach where gastric juices take care of them. This is an opinion, not a proven fact, but makes common sense. 
  7. Remember, soap works by mechanical means, scrubbing the hands for at least 20 seconds will be effective at removing the virus.
  8. Gargle with salt water or echinacea in water- this may be a good preventative. 
  9. I emphasize, drink a lot of water! This may be a good preventative.
  10. Am noting that in my home country, the Netherlands, it is not uncommon to have teenagers and young adults in intensive care, unlike what we are seeing here. What does this mean? We do not know the full answer, obviously, but one thing is for certain, just because you are young, this does NOT mean that the virus is not a problem. Thinking it through, a lot of Dutch teenagers vape and smoke in much higher percentage than they do here. Seeing what I have seen with vaping, it can severely compromise our airways in ways that ordinary smoking does not and I have a feeling that this is behind the surge in young people becoming ill on the other side of the ocean. Another reason why NOT to smoke or vape!
  11. We have also noticed an increase in hospitalizations of younger people in the 20-55 year old crowd. They are not typically dying but become quite ill. In my opinion, the increased usage of antibiotics and NSAIDs along with poor nutrition is behind this. Another reminder on why maintaining a healthy lifestyle is so critical! One of my colleagues in NYC has noted that young people in his ICU ward tend to be obese and/or prediabetic. 
  12. A few opinions on why Italy is likely getting hit so hard by COVID-19: They have one of the oldest populations in the world, they did not take precautionary measures soon enough which caused an overwhelm in their hospital systems which collapsed their health care. Also, Italy is known for their food- espressos and pastries for breakfast, a lot of pasta, and in many parts (the coast often excluded) very few nutrients. Food is medicine! 
  13. COVID-19 is especially virulent compared to the “normal flu” because of how it binds to the cell. This new coronavirus has receptor sites on the cell with a built-in cleavage site, giving it direct access to the cell. 
  14. Research rolling in from China from a non peer reviewed publication (in other words I cannot verify the accuracy of this) shows that COVID 19 has more than 30 mutations affecting its pathogenic abilities which may be responsible for the high variability we see from region to region.² The ordinary flu virus also has this capability which is why it makes it so difficult to develop an effective flu vaccine. In my opinion, I suspect that developing an effective COVID-19 vaccine will be extremely challenging.

 

COVID-19 Symptoms:³

  1. Starts with sore throat with fever 3 to 4 days. New evidence shows from exposure to illness may be as fast as 48 hours. Other symptoms which can appear anywhere from 2-14 days from exposure include chills, muscle pain, headache, and new loss of taste or smell. 
  2. 5-6 days later moves to lungs. To test your lungs: hold breath for 10 seconds. Should be effortless and without pain. This was criticized as fake news but honestly, it’s a different take between researchers and clinicians. I’ve used this simple test along with auscultation of the lungs for decades to determine if I have to take a chest x-ray or not. Oddly, asthmatics do not appear to be at higher risk. 
  3. With the resultant pneumonia patients: experience high fever and breathing difficulties.
  4. 80% of the infected have very little in way of symptoms. The 20% remaining tend to be the high-risk group, the elderly, and the infirm.

Added note: It is becoming increasingly clear that the virus specifically targets elderly that are frail, the infirm, and those with chronic health conditions. I advise that subgroup of our population to not travel and take social distancing seriously (even if you are young and healthy)! 

 

1. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2004973

2. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.14.20060160v1

3. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Comments

  1. Dawn Docter Dawn Docter

    Thanks so much for your additional time putting into doing this research and keeping us informed!!! You’re a very special Doctor and are appreciated!!!

  2. Corinne Corinne

    Uhm. There are tons of articles that this holding your breath self test is fake. No doctor in the UK ever said that. Also, most virologists say that the virus lasts 72 hours on metal; not 12 hours. If you have evidence for the 12 hours, would you share why the 72 hours is wrong and 12 hours is correct?

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