As our community rushes to Costco in droves to stock up on the essentials and we have a national shortage of hand sanitizer and face masks, the last thing that we want to do is contribute to the hysteria surrounding COVID-19, the variant of the Coronavirus that is now in King County. As of the writing of this email, there have been a number of cases of COVID-19 identified in King County and there have been eight deaths associated with the illness. Unfortunately, it is likely that those numbers will rise rapidly. However, the last thing that we need to do is panic. We want to provide you with useful, up-to-date information and practical strategies including naturopathic therapies that may be utilized for illness prevention.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a variant of a coronavirus that was originally identified in Wuhan, China in 2019. It is believed to initially been transmitted from animals to humans and then later from person to person contact. The virus is transmitted through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. You may be able to contract COVID-19 by touching something that someone with the virus has come into contact with, but this is thought to be a rare form of transmission. Symptoms are believed to start between 2-14 days from exposure. Coronaviruses are very common and are sometimes even responsible for the common cold. These viruses cause respiratory symptoms like a runny nose and cough. COVID-19 is a more virulent strain that is easy to catch and is causing more severe symptoms. The death rate may be over 2%. It is difficult to know what the actual fatality rate is, as there have likely been many people walking around with the virus without realizing that they have it. COVID-19 seems to be most dangerous in older adults, those with chronic respiratory illnesses like asthma and COPD, and those who are immunocompromised. Thankfully, it does not seem to be causing serious illness in young children. Here are two websites that can help you stay up to date on the virus:
Who should be most concerned about COVID-19?
- Those with fever or signs and symptoms of a lower respiratory infection such as cough and shortness of breath WHO HAVE ALSO have been in contact with someone who has been confirmed with COVID-19.
- Those with fever and signs and symptoms of a lower respiratory infection requiring hospitalization AND a history of travel to the areas most affected by COVID-19 within 14 days of onset of illness. These areas include China, Japan, Northern Italy, and Iran.
- Persons with fever and severe lower respiratory infection (such as pneumonia or ARDS) requiring hospitalization without an alternative diagnosis (i.e. negative for influenza and so forth).
I am a NaturoMedica patient with symptoms of illness. I am not sure if I should be seen in the clinic. What should I do?
- Call the clinic and schedule a free phone consult with your NaturoMedica doctor and we will figure out the next steps.
- We will determine if you should be seen in the clinic or need to be seen elsewhere.
We will not be offering testing for the Coronavirus at NaturoMedica. If you think that you need to be tested or have specific questions about the virus, contact the Washington Department of Health at 1-800-525-0127.
I am feeling well, but I have an appointment scheduled at the clinic. I am trying to stay home as much as possible. Can I do my visit from home?
We are also able to provide paid telemedicine visits or paid phone appointments in most cases.
What are the best strategies for prevention of this Coronavirus?
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time. Hand sanitizer can be a backup if soap and water are unavailable.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home if you are sick or if someone in your household is sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash. If you are without a tissue, your elbow is a better option for blocking your cough than your hand.
- Minimize your exposure:
- Avoided crowded places.
- Ideally keep a distance of approximately 6 feet from others.
- Now is not the time for hugs and handshakes.
Are there supplements that may be helpful for prevention of viruses?
Before resorting to supplements, it is important to remember the basics like a healthy whole foods based diet, adequate sleep and good hydration.
After that, here are some supplements that may be helpful:
- A daily probiotic (Orthobiotic and ProbioMax DF are two great options that we carry at the NaturoMedica Clinic) can support your immune system.
- Vitamin D - A fairly standard recommendation is 2,000 IU per day, but in some cases, with doctor guidance it may make sense to take much higher doses.
- Natural Antivirals and Immune support. Ordinarily, we wouldn't give you such a long list of possibilities, but with the high demand, we may have trouble stocking some of these products in the upcoming weeks. Our favorite are:
- Viracon (Vital Nutrients)
- Viracid (Orthomolecular)
- Zinc A.G. (Metagenics)
- PhytoImmune (Nutra Biogenesis)
- Fruit Anthocyanins (Natural Health)
- ImmuCore (Metagenics)
- C + Biofizz (Designs for Health)
- Esberitox (Integrative Therapeutics)
- Sambucus (Integrative Therapeutics)
- V-Clear (Integrative Therapeutics)
Our NaturoMedica doctors can guide your product selection and prescribe appropriate dosing. Our supplements are available at our NaturoMedica dispensary and can also be ordered online through our website shop page. https://www.naturomedica.com/
Would it make sense for me to do IV therapy to support my immune system?
If you are healthy, schedule a preventive IV in our IV room. Our top pick is the Super Immunity IV. We are keeping extra vitamin C and glutathione on hand to provide additional immune support. Our IV doctors can help customize a formula that is right for you. If you are feeling unwell, call the clinic and let them know what your symptoms are. We may be able to schedule an acute visit with one of our physicians and provide IV treatment in a private room.
You can read more about our IV offerings here: https://www.naturomedica.com/service/complementary-healthy-services/iv-therapy
We want to support you in any way that we can during this public health crisis. Please reach out to us if you have any questions.