@Future @sidco The following is an email I have been developing over the course of this pandemic to disseminate the best and latest information on the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. I am sharing it here, in the classfieds, because I have no better place on this forum to put it. I hope everyone sees it!
Hi all! My friend sent this doctor’s advice to me, as we have been discussing the coronavirus outbreak. At the time, this was the best information I had yet seen from a reliable source, and most of it is still valid. However, it was written a few weeks ago, before we knew what we have recently learned about this virus, so I have inserted [updates] where necessary.
Please do not freak out with paranoia OR skepticism. Remain calm and read with an open rational mind for your safety and for the sake of the health of everyone with whom you mingle (hopefully only immediate family) during this outbreak. These are the truths we know so far about this disease, and everyone needs to hear them.
For those of you in my neck of the woods, you should know that the Oregon Health Authority had decided last week NOT to ramp up testing, despite the clear and present danger of this virus, especially for the elderly and others with compromised immune systems. One must have had the symptoms to the point of hospitalization, or at least symptoms & known contact with a verified case or country of high risk, just to get tested!
Hopefully this has changed, now that a new test from Roche & Thermo-Fisher has been pushed through emergency release by the FDA.
As of today, March 18th, 2020, we now know the virus can survive for up to 3 hours freely floating in air. Sadly, this means a few very important things:
The virus IS airborne, which makes it exponentially more contagious!
This also means that wearing a properly seal-fitted N95, P95 or R95 respirator or mask in public CAN help protect you, contrary to previous reports.
A. Wash and/or disinfect hands before & after touching your mask, especially when donning and doffing the mask.
B. Disinfect your mask before donning and after doffing. If washable, clean and dry the mask every night.
C. Our frontline healthcare workers desperately need these respirators and masks, far more than the average citizen, so please respect this and only buy what few masks you need for yourself and your family!
D. If you already have a stockpile of new unused masks or respirators, PLEASE DONATE or sell these at cost to your local hospital! It may save your own life, and countless others!
“Social distancing” is not as effective as previously believed. Self-quarantine or isolation is still our best protection.
Please see the attached infographic and caption. The graphic times are generalized from other infectious coronaviruses. Studies detailing more specific times for the current pandemic virus have not yet been peer reviewed, due to the lack of time since publishing. The generic coronavirus lifetimes shown are likely longer than those postulated for the pandemic, so they are therefore good rules of thumb for safety until we know more!
See below for previous update details…
Without further ado…
[My updated notes are in brackets.]
Good morning all, I am sure everyone has been getting all kinds of forwards re the Coronavirus, however I received this one and personally think it makes more sense to me, that’s just my personal opinion so I am sharing
The author is James Robb, MD UC San Diego
Subject: What I am doing for the upcoming COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic
Dear Colleagues, as some of you may recall, when I was a professor of pathology at the University of California San Diego, I was one of the first molecular virologists in the world to work on coronaviruses (the 1970s). I was the first to demonstrate the number of genes the virus contained. Since then, I have kept up with the coronavirus field and its multiple clinical transfers into the human population (e.g., SARS, MERS), from different animal sources.
The current projections for its expansion in the US are only probable, due to continued insufficient worldwide data, but it is most likely to be widespread in the US by mid to late March and April.
Here is what I have done and the precautions that I take and will take. These are the same precautions I currently use during our influenza seasons, except for the mask and gloves.:
NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.
Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc… Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.
Open doors with your closed fist or hip - do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.
Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.
Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.
[You can make your own hand sanitizer using 2 parts 90+% isopropanol (e.g. 91-99% rubbing alcohol) or ethanol (e.g. 190 proof or 95% grain alcohol) and 1 part aloe vera gel. Shake well before each use.]
Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home’s entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can’t immediately wash your hands.
If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!
What I have stocked in preparation for the pandemic spread to the US:
- Latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves for use when going shopping, using the gasoline pump, and all other outside activity when you come in contact with contaminated areas.
Note: This virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you!
[Actually, it is now believed that the virus IS at least partially airborne, and can survive for about 12 minutes free floating in an infected person’s breath or longer in high humidity or surface moisture. Average droplet airborne travel distance is about 7 feet or 2 meters, but airborne virus can travel considerably further.]
BUT all the surfaces where these droplets land can be infectious [for a few hours up to a week] - everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs). The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or inhaled into your nose or mouth.
[The eyes may also be vectors, as they are moist and have pathways through sinuses to the lungs. Preliminary data also show this virus not only attacks cells in the lungs, but that it may also inhibit the production of heme in red blood cells, thereby reducing the amount of oxygen the blood can carry.]
Stock up now with disposable surgical masks and use them to prevent you from touching your nose and/or mouth (We touch our nose/mouth 90X/day without knowing it!). This is the only way this virus can infect you - it is lung-specific. The mask will not prevent the virus in a direct sneeze from getting into your nose or mouth - it is only to keep you from touching your nose or mouth.
Stock up now with hand sanitizers and latex/nitrile gloves (get the appropriate sizes for your family). The hand sanitizers must be alcohol-based and greater than 60% alcohol to be effective.
Stock up now with zinc lozenges. These lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. Use as directed several times each day when you begin to feel ANY “cold-like” symptoms beginning. It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of your throat and nasopharynx. Cold-Eeze lozenges is one brand available, but there are other brands available.
I, as many others do, hope that this pandemic will be reasonably contained, BUT I personally do not think it will be. Humans have never seen this snake-associated virus before and have no internal defense against it. Tremendous worldwide efforts are being made to understand the molecular and clinical virology of this virus. Unbelievable molecular knowledge about the genomics, structure, and virulence of this virus has already been achieved. BUT, there will be NO drugs or vaccines available this year to protect us or limit the infection within us. Only symptomatic support is available.
I hope these personal thoughts will be helpful during this potentially catastrophic pandemic. You are welcome to share this email. Good luck to all of us! Jim
James Robb, MD FCAP
Here are some of my own notes…
Coronavirus - the general type of virus; Ex. common cold
SARS-CoV-2 - the official name/identity of this coronavirus accepted by the World Health Organization (WHO)
COVID-19 - “coronavirus disease 2019”; the symptomatic illness caused by SARS-CoV-2
From a local nurse:
Just remember, US has only performed about 500 tests and are trying to prevent people from testing. You have to have recently come from Wuhan to get tested. ICU doctors who worked with confirmed cases and are now showing symptoms are being told that they cannot be tested because “they were wearing protective gear and thus can’t be sick”. It’s appalling! I’m normally not a germophobe, but it is definitely a good time to sanitize & wash hands frequently, not shake hands, wear gloves, glasses and a scarf around the face!
Mike Pence is apparently controlling information to protect the stock market. The severe budget cuts they made to the CDC aren’t going to make them look good.
Today, March 16th, 2020, the Dow dropped almost 3000 points, the fastest and most severe drop in Wall Street history.
At least 2 companies have just released a new quick & simple non-invasive test using chest x-ray to detect COVID-19 with 97% accuracy: https://thenextweb.com/neural/2020/03/02/alibabas-new-ai-system-can-detect-coronavirus-in-seconds-with-96-accuracy/
Epidemiologists are saying at this rate, people around the world have a 40-70% chance of getting COVID-19, depending on the population density where they live and work.
Radiologists are finding pulmonary fibrosis in the lungs of 75-85% of cases, including those who have recovered from COVID-19. At least a quarter of these cases have decreased lung capacity sufficient to make them unable to run or walk quickly without becoming winded. This distinctive (and sadly permanent) lung damage begins even before symptoms are severe, which is how the aforementioned chest x-ray test is able to detect the disease.
Factoring Risk & Consequences:
If these preliminary statistics are accurate, this means those who do not take effective precautions during this outbreak have a 30-60% chance of developing life-long pulmonary fibrosis. PLEASE BE SAFE!
Verified resources for further information:
CDC - Centers for Disease Control
WHO - World Health Organization
CIDRAP - Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy
My summary from CDC, WHO, and CIDRAP info on why this particular coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is so virulent:
It is now known that a person infected with the coronavirus, COVID-19, can be an asymptomatic (invisible) contagious carrier of the virus for 2 days to 2 weeks before symptoms develop. The “serial interval” of COVID-19 is estimated to be 4.0 to 4.6 days (95% confidence), and when the serial interval is shorter than the “incubation period”, pre-symptomatic transmission is likely to have taken place and may even occur more frequently than symptomatic transmission.
The 4 major identifying symptoms are:
B. Dry Cough
C. Fatigue / Tiredness
D. Shortness of Breath (may develop into difficulty breathing)
Often symptoms are quite mild, such that others or even those infected may not realize the disease is present. Even given what is suspected of asymptomatic transmission, the virus is most contagious during the symptomatic period.
Those infected, even with healthy immune systems, can be symptomatic (displaying illness) for up to 2 weeks, and contagious for the entire duration. After symptoms subside, those infected may remain contagious for yet another 2 weeks, once again as invisible carriers of the virus. All told, the virus may be infectious throughout its entire life cycle in the human body, but much is still unknown.
It is not yet well understood, but it appears that prior infection with this coronavirus does NOT necessarily generate immunity from subsequent infection by the virus. In fact, re-contracting COVID-19, especially within a month or so following initial infection symptoms, while the immune system may still be weakened, increases risk for serious life-threatening complications such as pneumonia (primary viral or secondary bacterial) and severe respiratory distress. People who become critically ill from COVID-19 may need a respirator to help them breathe. Bacterial infection can complicate this viral infection. Patients may require antibiotics, but only in cases of bacterial pneumonia or other secondary bacterial infections that occur as a result of compromised immunity due to fighting off the virus.
Alternative & Herbal Healing:
Those who prefer herbal and alternative medicine should be aware that NO herbal or alternative remedy is known to exist for this viral infection. However, staying healthy in any way can help mitigate the severity of symptoms. Read here, please:
I wish you all good health! Take care out there!