Coronavirus

Stay Healthy with Common Sense

Posted at 5:19 p.m. - March 7th, 2020 - Authors: Megan & Jae

Overview: Stories in the news can create alarm. This article will address some misleading claims and provide facts from reliable sources. It also provides guidelines for protective steps and supplemental support. The current risk level in the U.S. for coronavirus (COVID-19) is considered low, where "risk" is defined as “life-threatening”). This virus, COVID-19, is an adaption of the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, Type A Influenza) virus that first appeared in the early 2000’s.

  • This adaption to COVID-19 is a “normal” progression, typical of certain types of viruses in nature.
  • It is a “novel” (new form) virus, but still maintains the main characteristics of its earlier cousins (SARS in 2003 and MERS –Middle East Respiratory Syndrome - in 2011-12).
  • Mortality rate of COVID-19 is currently within the normal viral progression between 1 and 2%.
  • As with most “new” viruses, COVID-19 is initially more virulent (ability to be transmitted).
  • The virus will be transmitted worldwide because the global population is larger and more mobile than at any time in human history.
  • At the start of an outbreak, the apparent mortality rate can be overestimated because many mild cases are missed.
  • Over 80% of those in the U.S. who do acquire COVID-19 will only have mild to moderate symptoms and recover within two weeks.
  • Those with additional risk factors or weakened immunity may experience more severe symptoms and be at greater risk for mortality.

(See Table 2: Increased Risk Factors below).

Hospitals and government agencies (including the CDC) do not have extra staff on-hand to handle a surge in health needs. Therefore, they are must ramp-up initially. This does not mean that cases of illness have sky rocketed.

In the first two months of the pandemic, there have been ~100 thousand cases worldwide. Monthly cases may reach 100 thousand and potentially 1.2 million worldwide within one year. This is only a fraction of the number of flu cases that occur in the U.S. during any given flu season. (See Table 1. Estimated U.S. Influenza Burden below.)

  • WHO recently estimated mortality rate of 3.4% worldwide
  • However, mortality among those under 50-years old is less than 0.5%
  • 60-years and older mortality is 3.6% and greater

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Table 1. Estimated U.S. Influenza Burden, By Season https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

Cases

(millions)

21

9.3

34

30

30

24

29

45

Hospitalizations

(thousands)

290

140

570

350

590

280

497

810

Percent of

U.S. Cases

6.3

2.8

10.3

9.0

9.0

7.2

8.7

13.6

Deaths

(Thousands)

37

12

43

38

51

23

38

61

Mortality

Rate

1.76%

1.29%

1.26%

1.26%

1.7%

0.95%

1.31%

1.35%

* Percent of cases occurring in the U.S. within the population of 330 million


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Misconceptions

Claim #1: “It is no more dangerous than winter flu.”

As a “novel” (newly adapted) virus, it is initially considered more virulent (able to be transmitted). Multiple factors must be considered including underlying health conditions, behaviors and environment (See Table 1. Estimated U.S. Influenza Burden above.)

Claim #2: “A face masks help protect you.”

Even the N95 masks can only block particles that are 0.3 microns or larger. Flu viruses are as small as 0.02 microns. Masks should be used by the are sick to reduce droplets from coughing and sneezing. The CDC does NOT recommend that people who are well wear a mask.

Claim #3: “You need to be with an infected person for 10 minutes to be infected.”

Hospital guidelines define exposure as being within six feet of an infected person who sneezes or coughs. Regardless of the amount of time, it is possible to acquire a virus through direct contact with the person, droplets through sneezing and coughing and talking, or from contaminated surfaces including clothing. Viruses have been reported to stay viable on surfaces for up to 9 days.

Claim #4: “Only the elderly are at risk”

According to the CDC, vulnerable age groups vary from season-to-season and type of virus.
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Vulnerability of Different Age Groups (according to the CDC)

1st Highest – Children, ages 0-4: Greater exposure in daycares, frequency of putting hands in mouth, not fully developed immune systems

2nd highest – Adults, ages 50-64+: Most likely to continue work and daily tasks when sick, are caretakers, do not maintain adequate sleep, and consume alcohol daily.
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Vulnerability of the “Elderly”

The dominant risk factors (also See Table 2: Increased Risk Factors below) for this group are not the result of reaching a specific age. Risk increases due to detrimental lifestyle patterns that are associated with elderly and retired people, including (in order of impact):

  • Sedentary: Lack of exercise and movement
  • Isolation & Depression: Both contribute to declining health and immune weakness
  • Poor sleep habits: Lack of adequate sleep and erratic sleep patterns have weakening effect on health. It is a myth that “older” people need less sleep. Regardless of age, the body performs vital restoration functions during sleep and requires, on average, 7 hours per night.
  • Accumulated health issues or injuries: Over time, poor lifestyle choices accumulate. Diabetes, as an example, can result from years of the corrosive effect of chronic sugar load in the diet.
  • High-processed/Sugar diets: The tendency to not eat on a regular schedule can create blood sugar imbalances. This, in turn, contributes to increased sugar cravings.

Excess sugar in the diet includes regular consumption of pastries and desserts, pasta, breads, juices, sodas, candy, processed grain products and many packaged foods.


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Simple, Commonsense Precautions

  • Supplement. Maintain critical nutrients daily: Probiotics, whole-food Vitamin C, and Vitamin D along with one or more supplements which may support the body’s ability to combat viruses (see below).
  • Avoid handshaking, hugs, and kisses.
  • Keep hand sanitizers WITH YOU, i.e. desk, purse, briefcase, car and regularly disinfect surfaces and hands as you transition to different environments throughout the day.
  • Disinfect your cell phone, at least daily, especially around the edges of protective cases with sanitizer sprays or wipes.
  • Use disposable gloves or a tissue barrier when in public environments, handling money, bank cards or other publicly used facilities such as gas pumps, door handles, ATMs.
  • Call ahead and seek medical help if you develop a fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing.
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Make sure to include back of hands, between fingers and under fingernails - include wrists and forearms.Use of coconut oil after washing hands can moisturize and add additional protection.
  • Don’t touch your face. Break the habit of touching any part of your face unless you have just washed your hands.
  • Cover you mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue away and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the bend of your elbow rather than your hands (viruses can live in fabric, so keep disposable tissues with you).
  • Maintain healthy habits including adequate sleep, eating whole food, manage stress and stay active.

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Table 2. Increased Risk Factors: Underlying Health Conditions & Contributors to Weakened Immune Response

CONDITIONS

BEHAVIORS

ENVIRONMENTS

Auto-immune conditions:

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Lupus
  • Shingles
  • Viral Conditions

Use of:

  • Steroids
  • Antibiotics
  • Allergy, auto-immune, pain medications
  • Acetaminophen

Travel and public transportation:

  • Planes
  • Cruise ships
  • Trains
  • Buses
  • Subways
  • Taxis

Alcohol consumption

Cancer

Poor sleep habits

Chemical work environments

Injuries that prevent movement

Chronic stress

Enclosed work environments

Lung Conditions:

Diets with daily amounts of sugar and processed foods including: breads, pasta, juice, soda, processed grains & many packaged foods

Schools:

  • Close quarters
  • Children less likely to maintain hygiene habits
  • Often come to school sick

Chronic sinus conditions

Lack of simple exercise; sedentary

Any crowded gathering place

Heart, liver, and kidney conditions

Caretakers ( private and professional)

Healthcare professionals

Hospitals

Healthcare facilities

Nursing Homes

Neurologic disorders

Inadequate hygiene habits (See Simple, Commonsense Precautions above)

Blood disorders

Travel to high-risk countries

Exposure to someone who has recently traveled to high-risk countries

Pregnant women

Young children

"Elderly"

Daycares


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Supplement Support

Stay ahead of any potential illness by following a daily, immune-supportive regimen. The body’s required nutrients are always first priority and include: Probiotics, Whole-food Vitamin C, and Vitamin D. Consider adding additional supplements from the list below that may support the body’s ability to combat viruses.

Probiotics – The digestive system houses over 70% of immune function. Supporting and maintaining the microbiome is the most important choice for avoiding illness. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria, so the highest efficacy is achieved by consuming them away from food, preferably just before bed (sleep is the body’s repair time). The body is composed of hundreds of billions of bacteria, so probiotics with abundant cultures (50 billion and up) and strains (types) of bacteria are most beneficial.

Whole-food Vitamin C – Amla (not ascorbic acid) (derived from Indian Gooseberry) This source contains all components (bioflavonoids, hesperin, rutin, etc.) necessary to provide intact C.
This vitamin is critical for healing mucosal linings (eyes, nasal, sinuses, throat, lungs) which are the first “point of contact” by microbes.

National Institutes of Health: “Vitamin C shows in vivo anti-viral immune responses at the early time of infection, especially against influenza virus.”

Vitamin D – Critical for many functions including immune strength, regulation of circadian rhythms, mood support (Seasonal Affective Disorder), immune strength, and pain management. Many take 5,000 IU’s per day, as a minimum, to be beneficial.

Elderberry (Sambucus): The berries have been used for hundreds of years to fight infections. Studies have confirmed elderberry as beneficial for improving flu symptoms, strengthening immune function and providing antioxidant capability.

Monolaurin is derived from coconut. It has a unique capability to strengthen and protect immune function. Many take 1-2 caps per day as an ongoing support and then increase at the first sign of illness.

Oregano – Long-standing powerhouse herb for management of microbial impact on the immune system. Essential oil of oregano can be used in blends to sanitize hands, air, and surfaces.

Olive Leaf Extract – Long known for its ability to provide antiviral support to immune function, it’s chosen to assist with deep respiratory issues such as pneumonia.

Host Defense My Community – A comprehensive combination of mushroom species that have been clinically studied regarding immune system support, maintenance and regeneration.

Source Naturals Wellness Formula – A long-time favorite, this formula contains a powerful combination of herbs, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals formulated to provide broad spectrum support for the immune system.

Andrographis Respiratory Wellness: A trusted Chinese herb targeting respiratory infections and inhibition of viral replication. Also used to help repair mucosal linings. Includes olive leaf, Echinacea, goldenseal, licorice, garlic, and ginger.

Boiron’s Oscillococcinum: Taken at first sign of (or exposure to) flu symptoms may reduce severity and duration of symptoms.

RidgeCrest Herbals Clear Lungs, Extra Strength: A favorite herbal/homeopathic combination for lung support. Often chosen for complex lung issues such as COPD, pneumonia, emphazema, chronic bronchitis or pleurisy.

Source Naturals WellGuard: An alternative to Oscillococcinum (targets Influenza Type A) which targets Influenza Types A and B

Zinc – Promotes the growth of white blood cells that the immune system uses to target pathogenic microorganisms. It also may help protect the body from free radical damage, also part of immune function.

Colloidal Silver – Used to assist with bacterial infections as well as help manage secondary bacterial infections that may accompany viral activity, e.g. viral pneumonia.


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Authors

Megan is our product curator and store visionary. Personally vetting every product that comes through the door, she evaluates thousands of items each month with a focus on quality ingredients and value. Well-schooled in the supplements department and the editor of our in-store newsletters, she still insists her main job is raising three daughters! (Wichita, Kansas)

 

2020 marks Jae’s 21th year working as a Holistic Nutritionist and Supplement Specialist in the Health Food industry. This environment has afforded the opportunity to discuss health issues and solutions with thousands of customers and clients. Along the way, she has acquired multiple certifications including biogenealogy, environmental biology, holistic nutrition and various healing modalities. She is currently studying to complete a Ph.D in Holistic Nutrition.

All Eureka Market Education Guides are intended for educational purposes only. The guides are NOT intended to substitute for professional medical consultation and as such, do not diagnose, prescribe or offer personal medical advice. Always consult with your health care professional before taking supplements with prescription medications.

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