What can be done against Covid-19 ?
No convincing specific treatment exists yet, but several measures have been proposed and proven useful to reinforce patient immunity.
The most important advice, and not controversial, is vitamin D supplementation. Vitamin D deficiency (70 percent of Europe's population has subnormal blood levels) has been associated with a higher Covid-19 morbidity (more serious symptoms) and mortality. High blood levels also seem associated with a slightly lower incidence of positive nasal PCR tests detecting viral material. Therefore vitamin D may even decrease the risk of contamination.
Below is a summary of what can be proposed today in Belgium :
- Vitamin D : for instance D-cure, one box of 12 ampules, 25.000 units each, one ampule to drink once a week or every two weeks. Or 3.000 units daily, the recommended dosage for elderly people, all year round. The safety margin is excellent : no toxicity has been reported under 10.000 u/day.
- Selenium : for instance Supra Selenium DeBa Pharma, 200 mcg (100 tablets)
- Green tea (which also exists as concentrated extracts, for instance Mannavital green tea platinum).
- Probiotics to optimize the gut flora : for instance Probactiol duo (box of 30), 2 a day.
- Zinc : for instance Influ-Zinc, lozenges, 2-3 a day for a week, no more (excess zinc disturbs copper metabolism). Zinc is a non-specific immunity booster. It also specifically inhibits rhinoviruses, responsible for many common colds, lowers and shortens cold symptoms provided the treatment is started as soon as they appear.
- Vitamin C : for instance C-Will (500 mg)
- Quercetin (increases the anti-viral action of vitamin C) : for instance DeBa Quercétine-forte 400 mg.
All that is mentioned above is available over the counter in neighbourhood or online pharmacies (such as New Pharma or others).
- Influenza vaccine : health workers who received the vaccine last year benefit from a lower risk of contamination by covid-19 (a 39 percent reduction). And the tetravalent flu vaccine may offer partial protection against covid-19 this year as well.
And if symptoms appear ?
The most suggestive signs for Covid-19 are headache, fever, dry cough, loss of taste or smell, intense fatigue, aches and pains. This list is far from complete, the disease has multiple presentations.
The main danger is the cytokine storm, after about a week of evolution. It is an immune detrimental overreaction attacking mostly lungs, causing shortness of breath, respiratory distress, requiring oxygen, intensive care, sometimes intubation and machine ventilation.
When the situation is so serious, effective treatment requires a hospital admission, which we would prefer to avoid. Is it possible to act earlier, to minimize symptoms and obtain a milder evolution ? It remains unclear.
Hydroxychloroquin (HCQ) was initially presented as effective, but many disappointing or disturbing observations failed to confirm this contention, at least for hospitalized patients.
Other studies are more positive. Started early it may make a difference. The risk of toxicity is low at usual dosages (Plaquenil 200 mg 2-3 x a day, 5-7 days).
In children, the medication is not used before 6 years of age and the reference dosage (for other indications) should not exceed 6,5 mg/kg body weight per day. The tablets can be cut with an appropriate device available in pharmacies ("coupe-pilule").
HCQ remains both controversial and defensible in a limited way. If taken to prevent the disease (but several studies have failed to confirm a beneficial effect) the lowest reference adult dosage (against malaria) could be 400 mg (2 tablets) once a week.
early hcq seems effective against covid-19
A team from Georgia has studied cannabidiol (CBD). Encouraging results suggest that the medication, a legal by-product of cannabis (without the euphorizing action) may be useful against the cytokine storm. CBD oil - to be taken by mouth - is available on the internet and in belgian pharmacies without prescription. If this hope is confirmed, we would have a cheap, easily available weapon againt this complication, which could help reduce the saturation of hospitals.
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