We all know the coronavirus is a respiratory illness, but letís take a look at how some succumb to this illness, what are our true risk factors, and what can we do to keep our bodies strong.
If you are looking for what to do, I have 3 levels of care that are explained in the article attached to the link "Coronavirus Optimize Immune Function." It is updated because of this knowledge that our own inflammatory response is the culprit that leads to poor outcomes so please read it again if you have already started the protocol. Coronavirus Optimize Immune Function
Why so many names?
First, letís understand all these different names we hear for this virus. The name coronavirus refers to a type of virus that has been around for a long time. It is a generic name, like car. There are Hondas, Fords, Chevys etc. They are all carís but different kinds. SARS-COV2 is the name of the coronavirus that is causing the present pandemic. It is also called the Novel coronavirus because it is brand new, never been seen before so no one will have immunity to it. Covid-19 is the name of the respiratory disease caused by SARS-COV2.
What are the statistics?
Generally the statistics now say that 80% of people who are exposed will have flu like symptoms, but not need to be hospitalized and they will recover on their own. 20% of people will need to be hospitalized. Of the ones that require hospitalization Ĺ or 10% will end up in the ICU. Ĺ of those or 5% will need ventilators to help with oxygen exchange. Of those needing ventilators approximately Ĺ will die. The average death rate now is 3% with some areas like Italy being closer to 10%. Keep in mind these statistic are skewed more toward worse case scenario because only the people exhibiting more severe symptoms or those who have been obviously exposed are being tested.
Who is at risk?
If you have any cardiometabolic or respiratory conditions you have a higher risk of having complications if you develop Covid-19. Here are a list of conditions that would fall into that category:
High blood pressure
History of a lung damage
COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Poorly controlled asthma
Morbid obesity where your BMI is greater than 40
Cancer that is active or a history of cancer
Immune compromised patients
60 or more years old, this number is dropping
As we gather more information we realize there is a genetic SNP that creates greater risk for a more serious disease. If you did your 23andMe with me and you have an ACE2 SNP that is homozygous or GG you have a 2 fold risk for high severity disease. This is thought to be the reason that cardiovascular disease is the greatest risk factor for more serious impact from Covid-19.
How do we get Covid19?
SARS-COV2 is transmitted via air through water droplets or with contact to surfaces where someone who is infected with the virus has touched or coughed or sneezed on. When someone sneezes, coughs or talks it has been found that the air droplets can travel up to 6 feet, hence the need for being 6 feet from people for social distancing to be successful in controlling the spread of the virus.
The danger of this virus is a person will shed the virus for 5 solid days before they even knew they have been infected. That makes SARS COV2 highly contagious. Some people will have mild symptoms like that of a cold, but are at risk of infecting another who ends up in the hospital. This is the reason the CDC is now recommending we all wear masks or facial coverings, even as simple as a bandana. It's not to protect us, it's to protect all those around us. It is another way of slowing the spread making sure that if we are a carrier that we are not talking to a susceptible person and infecting them.
So social distancing is crucial, to not just save yourself and your family, but to save those at higher risk that are around us.
We know the virus can live for a few days on surfaces which means if you open a door, push an elevator button, pump gas, or push a shopping cart of someone who has been exposed you were just exposed. If you have it on your hands and you wash them, then the virus is gone, but if you touch your mouth, nose of eyes before you wash your hands you just allowed the virus to enter your body. So wash wash wash your hands.
How does the virus cause illness that can potentially lead to death?
Letís say you went grocery shopping, you happened to pick a cart of an infected person and the handle wasnít sterilized prior to your using it. While shopping you unconsciously scratch your nose. That virus was just given a port of entry and is able to travel down your trachea and into your lungs.
Here is a video or written description below of what happens. Sorry about the rudimentary video capabilities.
Your lungs have air pockets called Alveoli, and Type I and Type II pneumocytes or lung cells. The Type I pneumocytes help to take oxygen in and release carbon dioxide out, called gas exchange. Type II pneumocytes make a substance called surfactant. Surfactant is a thin gooey substance that lines the alveoli and help prevent water accumulation, and it helps your lungs expand and contract. Surfactant is hydrophobic meaning it repels water.
On these Type II pneumocytes there is a receptor called ACE. Some of you had your 23andMe results done and you can see from that if you have a slowed function of your ACE receptor protein. The virus enters the lung cell through the ACE receptor. Once its inside the cell it multiplies and causes the cell to die. This is where trouble starts.
When your cell dies it triggers a protective inflammatory processes in your body releasing inflammatory chemicals such as TNF alpha, IL6, IL1. Itís your bodyís own response that ends up causing the respiratory distress.
The cell death and inflammation brings fluid, pus and debris into the lungs. This virus is rapid and this process in some quickly gets out of control. As the virus spreads it kills more and more TypeII pneumocytes that are making the surfactant that prevents fluid accumulation in the Alveoli. This fluid ends up filling some of the Alveolar spaces. When fluid fills the Alveoli it is called pneumonia.
If this process is allowed to progress you end up with a consolidated mass of fluid in your lungs and you can no longer exchange air, you canít breath. It is like you are drowning in your own fluids. This lead to ARDS or acute respiratory distress syndrome which will cause kidney, liver and heart failure.
What can we do?
I know that is a scary and morbid picture. I explained it to you for a couple reasons. First to make sure you take this pandemic seriously and you do your part to stay away from people and to keep your hands away from your face. Second to underscore the importance of taking steps now to help your body be ready to fight if you are exposed.
This part is coming in part 2. For now look at the protocol for protection Coronavirus Optimize Immune Function