COVID-19: The Chinese Coronavirus…Some New Information

Last week I wrote a blog article about our new friend Covid-19 the Chinese coronavirus. You can read the article here: CoronaVirus: Hype, Hope & Herbal Interventions.

In the article I talked about the proof that was available at the time that it was a genetically engineered bio-weapon. There wasn't any.

In the past week we've learned some interesting things about this virus. Several specialists in virology and gene sequencing have now reported that the virus is very similar to a strain of corona that several countries have been working on as a research tool to study vaccination development and immunology and that it likely could have escaped from the Level-4 infectious disease research facility in Wuhan China (if you speak virology, you can read a good article here).

The Chinese have had other issues with this in the past with SARS viruses and other bugs accidentally being liberated from their facilities. Apparently they need to hire a better janitor to take the trash to the bio-hazard incinerator instead of the nearest dumpster. But we shouldn't be too hard on them. It's hard to get good help. And, if I may vent for just a moment, it seems like a terrifically bad idea to have a level 4 infectious disease lab in the middle of a major population center. Just sayin'...

As I mentioned in last week's article, at this point it really doesn't matter where this bug came from. The only thing that matters is that it's here now and it's going to be a problem. 

Unique Biological Features of This Virus That DO Matter

There are a couple of biological features in this coronavirus that are important. One, as I mentioned last week, is that it is contagious for up to a week before the infected person has any symptoms. This makes quarantining more difficult and less effective. 

Another issue with this virus is its method of cellular attachment. It targets special receptors called ACE2 receptors. These receptors are more common in East Asians than in other world populations but anyone can have them (note the recent Italian outbreak) and it does make the virus more contagious and more deadly among folks that do carry the marker. Understand that you don't have to have this receptor to get the virus but it's worse for you if you do. Incidentally, the presence of this affinity for ACE2 supports the idea that the Chinese were studying this virus as a tool for vaccine development or immunotherapy research for their own people rather than a weapon against other people. 

Another serious concern is that Covid-19 uses anti-body dependent enhancements to more easily enter cells. What does that mean? It means that if you have been exposed to similar coronaviruses before, Covid-19 will find it easier to infect you a second time. In other words, if you have anti-bodies already, the virus is actually easier to catch and more lethal. If this coronavirus remains in a population for any length of time, re-infections with higher mortality will result. Again, this is bad news for the people of China. Many of them have been exposed to SARS (and other coronaviruses with similar characteristics) in past years and have developed immunity to them which will actually makes things worse for them with this new Covid-19 strain. 

As if all of that weren't enough good news, this new coronavirus also has immunosuppressive properties. Infected patients have lower white blood cell counts (the blood cells that fight and kill infections).

So, where are we now? We are where we were a week ago. The virus is here and will likely spread. Maybe we will get lucky in North America and not have too much trouble. Hard to say. In the mean time clean up your diet, support your immune system with herbs and vitamin C. Avoid touching your face with unclean hands, get a little bottle of hand sanitizer and avoid large, close crowds if you can help it. 

Folks continue to call and email me to ask what I think about herbal interventions. I'll be using these formulas to manage things at my house:

To support the immune system.

And these two which contain numerous plants that coronaviruses don't like.
I'll also have this one on hand for the cytokine storms (see last week's article) should someone start feeling like their lungs are filling up. 
All of these formulas plus a couple of more are contained in our Respiratory Preparedness Kits. Wouldn't hurt to have one of those on hand. 
People also ask me how much they'll want to have on hand. The formula doses are the same for each of the above...for an adult is 1/2 teaspoon several times daily. 
Hopefully, this will all blow over and we'll all feel silly about it a year from now. 
In the mean time, take care of yourselves. Maybe we should take a cue for the Asians and start waving or bowing instead of shaking hands. Wearing a good-quality mask in public if there is an outbreak is a good idea too. 
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