By now the media has inundated you with so much information and updates about the coronavirus aka Sars-2, COVID-19. The outbreak in December 2019 of the sars 2 virus has left the world in a fearful state. In Australia we are not forced to stay at home however, social isolation where we stay 3 feet away from a person is highly recommended (WHO, 2020). This distance is encouraged when we are shopping, getting our take away coffee or exercising in the park. I have noticed a lack of this procedure and a blasé attitude. This is a serious condition that is life-threatening for some people.
Scientists are estimating 47% of the population will be affected with a death rate of less than a few percents. This being said, it is important to practice basic sanitization as well as physical avoidance as the serial interval time of the virus is between 3 and 14 days. That is where the symptoms are displayed after the person has been with another person already diagnosed with COVID-19. Just to be clear, you may already have been infected with COVID-19 and not show any symptoms for at least 3 days.
Can COVID-19 live on surfaces?
This virus is easily transmittable on surfaces where it can stay active and alive for up to 72 hours on plastic and steel, 24 hours on cardboard, 4 hours on copper but it is easily killed with alcohol and antibiotic cleaning agents, hot water and soap. It’s a perfect time for a spring clean where you are wiping down all surfaces in your home and cleaning the inside of your car.
The virus stays active in the air for 30 minutes. This one really concerns me as I am taking the kids for a walk outside and someone could have openly sneezed and the minuscule particles attach to me and I bring that home, get infected or infect someone else.
How COVID-19 kills
The people who appear to be most at risk are those taking ACE- inhibitors which increase cardiac ACE2 activity. This is one entry point for COVID-19 (SAR-S). A medication change is being discussed however it is unknown how long the effects of the medication would last so, once again, isolation is recommended (BMJ, 2020). Children and younger adults have less of these ACE2 receptors so are less at risk, however, these receptors are found in the gut of children so it is wise to observe the stools of your child and if they are softer than normal take precautions. Also, this receptor activity is only one tunnel for
A non-peer reviewed article by researchers Fan, Ding, Lu, and Wang (2020) observed lesions in the testis of patients with COVID-19 where infertility could result. Kidney damage has also been speculated and extra care is required to ensure no long term damage has been done by the virus or the antiviral medication (Caibin Fan, C., Li, K., Ding, Y., Lu, W., & Wang, J. (2020).
Other sites where the localization of ACE2 protein in various human organs include oral and nasal mucosa, nasopharynx, lung, stomach, small intestine, colon, skin, lymph nodes, thymus, bone marrow, spleen, liver, kidney, and brain. The lung and small intestine showed the most notable ACE2 receptors according to Hamming, L., Timens, W., Bulthuis, M., Lely, A., Navis G., & Van Goor, H (2004).
Symptoms include fever, cough, fatigue, diarrhea which I am saying looser than normal stools. If you have a runny nose and none of the other symptoms you may not need to be tested.
This coronavirus has ‘spike’ proteins which allows the virus to bind 10x more than other previous coronaviruses. Once binding has occurred, as it surely will if you are in contact with it, the inflammation is severe. This high level of inflammation is due to an influx of cytokines. Cytokines are immune messengers which modulate the immune response. If there is an overproduction of certain cytokines, the body can gain a disease for instance in rheumatoid arthritis, where the cytokines; tumor-necrosis-factor (TNF-Alpha) cause tissue destruction and inflammation. The COVID-19 immune response contributes to the patients' suffocation due to the destruction of the lungs.
- Wear gloves when shopping, filling up petrol, getting your mail, unpacking the shopping
- Spray your clothes, packaged food, house, toilet with a disinfectant.
- Wash your hands with soap and water every 30minutes
- Avoid touching your face including picking your nose
- Stay at least 3 feet away from another person
- If someone is sick at home, avoid them
- Nutritional supplementation and herbal medicine can be highly helpful to keep your immune system strong and reduce COVID-19 signs and symptoms. More on those in future blogs.
Written by Alicia Harris
B. Hlth. Sci. (Naturopathy)
Reference List in order of use
(2020). Q &A on coronavirus (COVID-19). World Health Organization. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/...
(2020). Preventing a covid-19 pandemic. BMJ 2020; 368 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m8... Cited as: BMJ 2020;368:m810
Caibin Fan, C., Li, K., Ding, Y., Lu, W., & Wang, J. (2020). ACE2 Expression in Kidney and Testis May Cause Kidney and Testis Damage After 2019-nCoV Infection.
Hamming, L., Timens, W., Bulthuis, M., Lely, A., Navis G., & Van Goor, H (2004). Tissue distribution of ACE2 protein, the functional receptor for SARS coronavirus. A first step in understanding SARS pathogenesis. First published:07 May 2004 https://doi.org/10.1002/path.1...