Updated: 3/11/20, 12:21pm
With the 2019 novel coronavirus nearing Pandemic status, health officials are rightly concerned. While the attempt to prevent or contain this virus has been a key objective of the WHO and CDC, this virus is only in its early stages of growth in the U.S.
While vigilance is certainly warranted, I am advocating for a balanced approach which includes critical prevention measures combined with active immune-enhancing activities and herbal supplementation.
The April 16, 2003 outbreak of SARS in Asia, with secondary cases world-wide, showed lack of preparation for and understanding of the pandemic. The 2019–20 China pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan was traced to a novel coronavirus, labeled COVID-19 by World Health Organization.
This article focuses on best practices for preventing infection as well as herbal prevention and treatment.
Signs & Symptoms
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Related Coronavirus, causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Key symptoms are cough, fever, and difficulty breathing. Following are details on how the disease begins.
Although data are limited early in the 2019-nCoV outbreak, presentations of the illness have ranged from asymptomatic/mild symptoms to severe illness and mortality. Huang and colleagues reported that the most common clinical finding was fever (98%), followed by cough (76%) and myalgia/fatigue (44%). Headache, sputum production, and diarrhea were less common. The clinical course was characterized by the development of dyspnea in 55% of patients and lymphopenia in 66%.
- Flu-like, include fever, muscle pain, lethargy symptoms,
- Cough, sore throat, and nonspecific symptoms.
- The only symptom common to all patients is fever of over 38°C (100°F).
- SARS eventually leads to SOB (shortness of breath) and pneumonia (direct viral pneumonia and/or secondary bacterial pneumonia.)
- Incubation period for SARS is typically 4 to 6 days (rarely as short as 1 day or as long as 14 days).
- Primary route of transmission for SARS is contact of mucous membranes with respiratory droplets or fomites.
- While diarrhea is common in people with SARS, the fecal-oral route does not appear to be a common mode of transmission.
How Coronavirus Kills
The rapidity and severity of Coronavirus infections can be due to a phenomenon known as Cytokine Release Syndrome or Cytokine Storm. White blood cells respond to a virus by [elaboration and] release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, with further viral budding (replication) stimulating increased WBC production, and thus further release of inflammatory cytokines, especially Interleukin 6. This escalation can cause pneumonia, and a precipitous increase in fluid accumulation in the alveoli, and death by asphyxiation. Grim.
How to Build Your Immune System
I’ve always said to my patients that your health is like a savings account. What you do today will pay off in the future. Never has this been more true than in the context of the Corona Virus. Building immunity is really straightforward and can be achieved by anyone.
- Exercise. Science supports the use of exercise to maintain immune function. It also reduces stress, and supports the digestive and cardiovascular systems.
- Sleep. Your body’s repair mechanism are most active when you sleep. If you have poor-quality sleep or don’t get enough sleep, you’re limiting your body’s ability to maintain itself. Sleep also enhances immunity.
- Manage Stress. Want to feel better? Unplug from you news feed. Having the latest statistics and being bombarded by negative information is psychologically fatiguing an unhealthy. Go outside, take a deep breath, read, exercise, or do something you love.
- Consider Basic Supplementation. Of course I am biased here because of my training in Western & Chinese Herbs. Consider, as a preventative measure, taking Echinacea, a mushroom blend from a high-quality manufacturer, Calcium, natural Vitamin C.
Related: Check out 3 Immune System Tips you can use Now.
Herbal Prevention & Treatment
I have available to my patients four formulas that were initially created during the 2003 SARS pandemic and updated for COVID-19.
1. Damp Pestilence Prevention Formula
Take this formula if you are at imminent risk of exposure or think you have been exposed, but are not symptomatic. This formula is prophylactic, for persons traveling in high risk areas or living / working in high risk environments. This formula is meant to be taken 18-24 days max.
2. Damp Pestilence Prevention Support Formula L-T
This is the formula that my family and I are currently taking. This mild-tasting formula would be considered anti-viral and immune-enhancing. Consider this formula if you (or an aging parent) are at moderate risk of exposure or have compromised immunity.
3. Damp Pestilence Support Formula
This formula is a first-line therapy for those individuals suspecting a COVID-19 infection (see symptoms above) who have ruled out Influenza A.
4. Damp Pestilence Support Formula P
This is a modification #3 above. It includes herbs to help with moderate to severe dyspnoea (SOB, Shortness of Breath). In the event of pneumonia, invasive hospital based procedures are required! Transport to ER is essential!
- Ages 7 to Adult:1½ to 2 teaspoons qid, taken in ¼ cup warm water before meals & bed.Children ages 2 to 3 years: ½ to ¾ teaspoon qid, taken in ¼ cup warm water before meals & bed.
- Children ages 4 to 6 years: ¾ to 1 teaspoon qid, taken in ¼ cup warm water before meals & bed.
Interactions & Contraindications
- All Three Formulas Are: Compatible with Antibiotics
- All Three Formulas Are: Contra-Indicated During Pregnancy & Lactation!
Best Practices for Flu Prevention
To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including the coronavirus and the flu, follow these important tips:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when sick.
- Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional.
The California Department of Public Health does not recommend the use of face masks for general prevention and says that handwashing provides much better protection from infectious diseases.
To acquire Influenza 2020 formula, Coronavirus Prevention Formula, Coronavirus Formula, or any adjunct formulas (ie. Bronchitis, or Pneumonia Formula(e), please call our office at 650-564-9002.
Please note, we can only prescribe these formulas to our patients. If you would like to become a patient, please visit the Appointments page and select one of the New Patient appointment options.