I receive many questions on how does the coronavirus kill, and what are the early signs?  The information is changing every day. 

The first signs include:    

1) Fever – Whenever we are sick with an infection, your body causes an inflammatory response.    Inflammation causes your body to generate heat, which causes a fever.   A person’s temperature typically changes by 1.8 degrees F between its lowest and highest points each day, so keep that in mind.  Anything higher than this means your body is being challenged by something.    

2) Increase in Respiratory Rate (RR) – any respiratory infection or cough can cause an increase in the RR.   A normal rate is between 12-20 breaths per minute.  Allergies, like hay fever, can increase the RR, as can exercise.   But if these are not the case, be vigilant that an infection may be the cause.  

 3) Increase in Resting Heart Rate –  as your body fights an illness, it engages in a “fight or flight” response.   This causes your resting pulse to increase. With coronavirus, the immune system can become so activated that it can do more harm than good – called a “cytokine storm”  An effect from this is that an enzyme is released in the blood that reduces the regulation of salt and water concentration in the blood.     This can lead to a high resting pulse, extreme fatigue, and increased respiratory rate, fluid in the lungs and decreased oxygen.  It can also affect the kidneys. Our latest information suggests that the incubation period is 5.5 days from the time of exposure but may be as long as 15 days.  Most people will exhibit symptoms within 11.5 days from exposure.   It is now believed that most complications and death from coronavirus are from complete dysregulation of the immune system – the cytokine storm.  This causes widespread inflammation and damage.  The blood vessels of lungs are attacked, allowing leakage of water and salts into spaces outside of the cells.  Then, to correct the inflammation, the body lays a protective layer of fibrous-like substances in place which can cause scarring of the lungs and fibrosis.  This makes the lungs stiff and breathing more difficult, and can lead to respiratory failure.  If a patient progresses to this stage, the need for ventilator placement becomes essential.  Additionally, the damage to blood vessels affects blood clotting, allowing free bleeding into organs and tissues.  Kidney function becomes affected by this and often cannot clear wastes.  The cytokine storm caused by COVID can continue throughout the body that eventually shuts everything down.  

To reduce symptoms of  cytokine storm you can do the following:  Quercetin 500mg twice a day – this reduces overall inflammation.  IV vitamin C is being used in NY hospitals to help boost immunity, kill microbes and reduce the cytokine storm.     Vitamin D 5,000 to 10,000 IU daily. Minerals such as Zinc and Selenium. Other immune supplements such as elderberry, beta-glucan, liposomal vitamin C, and echinacea can be helpful. Keep in mind, most patients who have coronavirus will not have this severe of a case, and symptoms can be no more than a cold.  For now, do what you can to enhance your immunity with these supplements, and snack on fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the day.

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