There is a lot of media, fear and anxiety around coronavirus currently. So here’s some practical information and resources you can visit to learn more.
While the novel Coronavirus is more virulent than the common flu, panic doesn’t help us face or deal with it.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms range from a mild cough to pneumonia. Some people recover easily, others may get very sick very quickly. There is evidence that it spreads from person to person. Good hygiene can prevent infection.
Who is at risk?
Most cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) are in Wuhan City in Hubei Province, China.
In Australia, the people most at risk of getting the virus are those who have:
- Recently been in mainland China and Iran and Italy
- Been in close contact with someone who is a confirmed case of coronavirus
- The elderly, those on immunosuppressive drugs or with a compromised immune system and those that suffer easily from respiratory conditions like asthma
How it spreads
There is evidence that the virus spreads from person-to-person.
The virus is most likely spread through:
- Close contact with an infectious person
- Contact with droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze
- Touching objects or surfaces (like doorknobs or tables) that have cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person, and then touching your mouth or face
Surgical masks in the community are only helpful in preventing people who have coronavirus disease from spreading it to others. If you are well, you do not need to wear a surgical mask as there is little evidence supporting the widespread use of surgical masks in healthy people to prevent transmission in public.
Everyone should practise good hygiene to protect against infections. Good hygiene includes:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water
- Using a tissue and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
- Avoiding close contact with others, such as touching
Read more about protective measures against coronavirus on the World Health Organisation website. If you have a confirmed case, you need to isolate yourself to prevent it spreading to other people.
Previous research on other strains of coronavirus suggests that:
Also known as ascorbic acid, has antioxidant properties. When sepsis happens, the cytokine surge caused by sepsis is activated, and neutrophils in the lungs accumulate in the lungs, destroying alveolar capillaries. Early clinical studies have shown that vitamin C can effectively prevent this process. In addition, vitamin C can help to eliminate alveolar fluid by preventing the activation and accumulation of neutrophils, and reducing alveolar epithelial water channel damage. At the same time, vitamin C can prevent the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps, which is a biological event of vascular injury caused by neutrophil activation. Vitamins can effectively shorten the duration of the common cold. (1,2)
Zinc - Zn
Inhibits Coronavirus and Arterivirus RNA Polymerase Activity In Vitro and Zinc Ionophores Block the Replication of These Viruses in Cell Culture. (3)
The medical researchers drew attention to several randomised clinical studies in humans that have found that over the counter supplements such as n-acetylcysteine (NAC), which is used to treat acetaminophen poisoning and is also used as a mucus thinner to help reduce bronchitis exacerbations, and elderberry extracts, have evidence for shortening the duration of influenza by about two to four days and reducing the severity of the infection. (4)
Conformational change of the coronavirus peplomer glycoprotein at pH 8.0 and 37 degrees C correlates with virus aggregation and virus-induced cell fusion. This can be done by many alkalising supplements but the easiest way is a teaspoon of bicarbonate with half a lemon juice in 250mls of water and checking your urinary pH. (5)
Always seek a primary care practitioner for dosages as anything in excess can be hazardous to your health. While there are other supplements that may help see your primary care practitioner for more advice.
If you are worried please seek medical advice and keep abreast of government advice.