This is the second installment of answers to your coronavirus questions. I will keep going until ALL of the questions you have sent me are addressed.
Again, I will remind you: To preserve privacy, I will not include anyone’s name or other identifying information but will show your question or an excerpt therefrom.
I will also number them in each installment, as some questions are very similar, and I can just refer to the number where I already covered a particular issue.
Here are today’s questions:
1a) Is there a test to indicate whether or not a person has had it in the past and recovered?
The current tests being used can only detect an active virus in an oral swab sample.
However, Duke-NUS Medical School has recently developed a test that can detect coronavirus antibodies in the bloodstream. Apparently using this new antibody test, the Singapore Ministry of Health has been successful in identifying two people who were infected with coronavirus in the past and have since recovered.
1b) When is a person typically contagious? Days Before- during- and after physical symptoms.
The typical incubation period (span of time between infection and the emergence of symptoms) of coronavirus is one to 14 days. The average incubation period is three to five days.
According to the CDC, people are the most contagious after symptoms have occurred.
Some people may spread the virus before they show symptoms (i.e.: during the incubation period); however, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
2) I'm almost 75 years old. I live in Southern California. I have no underlying health issues. I take the Super Shield Probiotics and take no prescription medications. I have a trip planned to NY in April. My husband is fearful about taking the trip. I still hope to go. What are your thoughts?
It is in your favor that you have no underlying health issues, as the presence of chronic disease is one of the biggest risk factors. Pat yourself on the back for maintaining a strong state of health!
As far as traveling goes, experts are recommending that people bring disinfectant wipes onto airplanes, buses and trains to wipe down your entire seat area, as well as wash your hands frequently while in the airport or bus/train station.
Plus remember that prevention is your best bet to make sure you don’t get the virus to begin with! Have a nutritious whole foods diet, avoid sugars and refined carbs, get 7-9 hours of sleep at night, continue to take your Super Shield probiotics, and keep your stress low.
3) One simple question....is it curable?
There are generally no “cures” for viruses-- only the symptoms can be treated until the immune system (hopefully) does its job in overcoming the virus. Viruses may be more prevalent at certain times than others, but they never completely disappear.
Note they can also morph and evolve. Viruses adapt and evolve very quickly since they can produce several generations of offspring in a relatively short period of time.
4a) How long does the virus last on surfaces?
Anywhere from three hours to three days.
4b) Do we need to disinfect credit cards? If so, how!
According to the CDC, it may be possible to get coronavirus by touching a surface or object (i.e. a credit card) that has the virus on it and then touching your own mouth, nose, or possibly your eyes. However, this is not the typical way the virus spreads.
As long as you have been the only one to handle your own credit cards, your risk is likely extremely low. But if you want peace of mind, clean your credit cards with an antibacterial wipe.
5) The death-rate of the virus is calculated comparing all (known) cases with all deaths, however, since most of the deaths are elderly and people who are immune-compromised, I would like to know how high is the actual death-rate for healthy people ~40 years of age.
According to data compiled by the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, only 0.9% of the deaths associated with coronavirus were in individuals with no pre-existing health conditions.
Here is a chart that further illustrates death rates by age, sex and presence of underlying disease:
6) I work for a county agency in California. Our administration staff is getting ready to put out a list prohibiting the travel to some of our surrounding counties.
I'm not a worrier, for the most part, but with this on top of all the reports from the media regarding the coronavirus, it is becoming increasingly difficult to not worry about the possibility of exposure and contracting this virus. I read your article and tips and I'm wondering what the best way of boosting my immune system quickly would be. I'm 61 years old and in fairly good health but am feeling a bit run down.
Here are my Top 7 immune boosters:
- Take a daily multi-strain probiotic formula like Super Shield.
- Nourish your gut with lots of fresh vegetables and fermented foods.
- Drink 8 glasses of filtered water per day.
- Get enough vitamin B12, vitamin C and vitamin D.
- Destress and get a good laugh every day.
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
- Avoid sugars and refined carbs.
7) I have bad asthma how is best to look after myself.
Since asthma can be an additional risk factor for coronavirus, it is important to avoid close contact with others (especially people who appear sick) and wash your hands often.
Also, see number 6 above for ways you can boost your immune system function. Note that probiotics (one of the immune boosters) have also been shown to be helpful with asthma and allergies!
8) I am a business owner who visits the patients at home or nursing homes for prosthetic care. They are not letting us in. How do I keep my business from going under? Things are already tough! I am praying, drinking tea and working much on other things.
While I truly sympathize with ALL the types of businesses that are affected by this situation, I am not in a profession or capacity to give business or economic advice. The best I can say is to try to keep your immune system healthy (see number 6 above) so that when this situation resolves, you will be ready to hit the ground running.
9) Can the virus live on clothing? Would it be beneficial to come home and change clothes after being out in public?
It’s not impossible but highly unlikely that the virus would be able to survive for long and be transmitted via clothing. What could increase your risk would be, say, if someone who was infected sneezed all over you AND your clothes!
The CDC is advising people to just launder their clothes as they normally would. If you feel an additional risk because someone may have coughed or sneezed on you, for peace of mind wash your clothes (and your hands too!).
10) Hi Sherry. I’m a business owner of a gym. It’s all over social media now that you’ll catch this and that at the gym. I do all the clients nutrition. All-natural foods. Hi fats, fruits and proteins. The caveman diet so to speak. There’s only 3 people in gym every 20 mins at a time. It’s more a personal studio. I live by what you say. Are my clients in danger? Should I close up?
There is always a risk of being exposed to ANY virus in public, and the more people you are around, the higher the risk. That being said, while I can’t tell you what to do with your business, it would appear that only 3 people in the gym at a time would not pose a huge risk, presuming they are all healthy.
However, the decision may soon be made for you. Many states are enacting emergency measures that including closing down restaurants, gyms and other facilities to prevent the spread of the virus. The karate dojo where I train here in Syracuse, NY is closed for at least the next two weeks.
11) Do we know how long the coronavirus lives on surfaces and clothing?
See numbers 4a and 9 above.
12) Why do we hear about the amount of people who currently have the virus, but we not hearing about how are they maintaining? I ask this because not everyone is dying. What IS working for people?
According to the authorities I’ve consulted, the best way to treat coronavirus is the same as you would do for a cold or flu—rest, drink plenty of fluids, take probiotics, use a humidifier or steamy shower for a sore throat, take a tepid bath to ease a fever, and take a multi-vitamin (like Super Core) to make sure your nutrient needs (especially vitamin c) are met.
13) Is it safe to Eat Out at restaurants or to pick up Fast Foods? What about in general, say at the grocery store? I'm concerned about our food supply and those that handle it. Do you know if there is any special protocol in place? Can this virus be passed on by eating foods that have been exposed to it by an infected person, such as an employee/worker, who may have touched it, and may not have been aware that they were ill? I understand it can be airborne( ex)droplets from a sneeze or cough) and one can contract it when coming in contact with a surface that has been contaminated. Your insights would be very much appreciated.
While it’s probably not impossible, currently there is no evidence to support coronavirus transmission through food. Also, the cooking process would likely kill the virus if it somehow got on food that was being prepared.
Remember that the primary mode of infection is respiratory—inhaling droplets from an infected person—not digestive. Plus, this is an area where the protective action of your stomach’s acid may come into play! In addition to beginning the initial breakdown of proteins, your stomach’s acid was also designed to help kill harmful pathogens in your food!
According to Benjamin Chapman, a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University, there has been no evidence of any respiratory viruses being transmitted through food in the past.
14) I have coronary heart disease and 3 stents fitted last summer, and am consequently on 2 blood thinners and bisoprolol which makes me breathless. Am I in the "at risk" group and how worried should I be?
The presence of heart disease is considered one of the higher risks for coronavirus. That’s not to say that you have a greater risk than anyone else of catching the virus. Instead it simply means that you may be more likely to have complications due to CAD and possibly a less robust immune system.
In addition to the recommendations being published by the medical community—washing hands, social distancing, avoiding people that have symptoms, staying home if you are not well, etc.—beefing up your immune system could help stack the deck in your favor to be able to fight corona or any other virus you may come into contact with.
See number 6 above for some immune-boosting suggestions.
15) Have you heard how long this virus will linger if you do are affected by it and what type of treatment are the physicians/hospitals giving patients to try to overcome this virus. This has not been discussed as far as I can tell.
Typically, symptoms last up to 14 days. Since antibiotics are useless against coronavirus, treatments have been aimed at reducing symptoms—pain relievers, getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of fluids, etc.
Also, intravenous (IV) doses of vitamin C have been successful in the treatment of coronavirus in China. According to Orthomolecular Medicine News Service the government of Shanghai in China announced that it is recommending that coronavirus disease 2019 be treated with high amounts of intravenous vitamin C, with dosage recommendations varying from 50 to 200 milligrams per kilogram of body weight to up to 200 mg per kg per day.
16) Once one has recovered from a coronavirus infection, will you have an immunity, and if so, for how long?
Currently the experts are saying that people who have gotten the new coronavirus and recovered can get it again in the future— similar to the common cold, the body does not necessarily become immune after infection.
Your best bet is a strong-functioning immune system!
17) They say if your older and have certain illnesses, then your susceptible. Well, if your healthy but have heart problem etc., but are still healthy, what to do?
See number 14 above.
18) How many persons with the virus over 70 years have survived?
I had to do a little digging to answer this, because everything that is being trumpeted by all sources concerns death rates. Here’s what I came up with (requiring a little math on my part!):
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of today there have been 173,344 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 7,019 deaths worldwide.
In addition, based on an initial study of the original 44,672 confirmed cases in China (the only age breakdown I could locate), people in the age 70-79 bracket represented 3,931 (or 8.8%) of the diagnosed cases, and people in the 80+ bracket comprised 1,430 (3.2%) of the cases.
Assuming the age demographics have not changed significantly, applying those same ratios to the worldwide grand total of 173,344:
Total cases for 70-79: 15,254
Now, out of those total cases, according to the chart in number 5 above, the death rate for 70-79 is 8% and for 80+ it’s 14.9%.
That means for the 70-79 group, 8% of the total cases of 15,254 (1,220) resulted in death. Therefore, the other 14,034 survived.
Similarly, for the 80+ group, 14.9% of the total cases of 5,547 (827) resulted in death. Therefore, the other 4,720 survived.
Note that these are just estimates, but I believe they are relatively accurate. Good thing I’m strong in math.
That’s it for today! More will follow this week.
To your health,
The information in our articles are NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and are not intended as medical advice.