SARS-CoV-2 is the official name for “the Coronavirus”; it was formerly called 2019-nCoV.
COVID-19 is the name of the disease caused by the Coronavirus.
The disease called “SARS” is caused by SARS-CoV, also called SARS-CoV-1.
I’ve been spending most of each day, since about the first of March, 2020, learning as much as I can about the Coronavirus. This post does not offer medical advice. It only offers sources with reading, listening, or viewing that might be of interest.
Quercetin and Zinc
French Researcher Michel Chretien was interviewed by CBC News in Canada on the use of Quercetin against the Coronavirus: SARS “is the little brother of this present Coronavirus, and it [quercetin] works on SARS. So we have some basic data indicating that they might have good chances to work.” Chretien asserted quercetin is safe to use and has low probability of side effects. He stated “it works by preventing the entry of the virus into the cell…. it diminishes the entry of the virus into the cell, and it prepares the body to act better against the infection.” Quercetin, Chretien explained, diminishes the load of the virus in this way. Dr. Chretien stated that his colleagues in China are working on a clinical study of treating the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) with Quercetin. And his team in Europe will be monitoring that study in real time.
See the Interview here: Canadian team invited to do clinical trials in China for antiviral drug
So while Dr. Chretien talks about quercetin possibly preventing the Coronavirus from entering a host cell, another doctor explains that quercetin may also help fight the virus after it infects a cell, by transporting zinc across the cell membrane into the cytoplasm, as explained by pulmonologist & critical care specialist Roger Seheult, MD.
Finally, Doc Khan explains how Quercetin and Zinc might possibly work against the Coronavirus.
Caution: All of the above is very preliminary information, and there is as yet no clinical studies on zinc or quercetin against COVID-19 (the Coronavirus disease). Do not take any supplements or medications, unless your healthcare provider prescribes or recommends them.
Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin
Hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial, with Azithromycin, an antibiotic, as viral inhibitors.
A French study showed that a combination of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin was effective in treating COVID-19. The study concluded:
“At day6 post-inclusion, 100% of patients treated with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin combination were virologically cured comparing with 57.1% in patients treated with hydroxy-chloroquine only, and 12.5% in the control group (p<0.001). "
The results were highly statistically significant at p-value less than 0.001. Unlike other medications, this dual-drug approach took only 6 days for patients to be free of the virus in their respiratory tract.
“We show here that hydroxychloroquine is efficient in clearing viral nasopharyngeal carriage of SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19 patients in only three to six days, in most patients. A significant difference was observed between hydroxychloroquine-treated patients and controls starting even on day3 post-inclusion. These results are of great importance because a recent paper has shown that the mean duration of viral shedding in patients suffering from COVID-19 in China was 20 days (even 37 days for the longest duration) ”
 Gautret et al. (2020) Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of
COVID‐19: results of an open‐label non‐randomized clinical trial. International Journal of
Antimicrobial Agents – In Press 17 March 2020 – DOI : 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.105949
Other physicians are cautioning that the above study was not randomized and controlled, and was a small study. Also, the drugs in question can have serious side effects. This information might be useful to discuss with your physician, if you have COVID-19. It is not something you should act upon, without medical guidance (which I cannot offer).
Please read this website by the CDC on COVID-19. Lots of good information there, and answers to many medical questions.
New technical article: SARS-CoV-2 and Coronavirus Disease 2019: What We Know So Far. This article has the most up-to-date explanation for how the virus infects a cell [Figure 3 in that article]. The virus uses the ACE2 receptor naturally found on the surface of different types of cells in the human body, specifically, cells in: the lungs, heart, kidney, intestines, and cells lining the blood vessels.
And this article Clinical characteristics of COVID-19 patients with digestive symptoms in Hubei, China: a descriptive, cross-sectional, multicenter study.” American Journal of Gastroenterology. explains that many COVID-19 patients have digestive symptoms. Sometimes these symptoms occur BEFORE any respiratory system symptoms. People need to know that they could have COVID-19 with digestive complaints (abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea) even if they don’t have flu-like symptoms.
Another article, Investigating the Impact of Asymptomatic Carriers on COVID-19 Transmission, states that many cases of COVID-19 are contracted from someone who does not yet show any symptoms of the disease.
“A fundamental difference concerning the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the SARSCoV 2003 epidemic is that substantial transmission is possible with mild to no symptoms. Asymptomatic transmission in populations has been documented. Furthermore, the viral loads of asymptomatic carriers are very similar to those of the symptomatic. A recent study concluded that asymptomatic and symptomatic carriers may have the same level of infectiousness. This fact results in COVID-19 being more difficult to control than SARS-CoV. “
So what the above article is saying is that COVID-19 is so bad because its highly transmissible before symptoms show. You can be walking around, seemingly healthy, while giving the disease to others.
Number of Cases
Right now, the US is third in the number of cases. I expect that soon we will surpass Italy, because we have a much larger population. Meanwhile, the numbers coming out of China are patently false. On March 1st, China supposedly had 79,828 cases and 2,870 deaths. Now, March 23rd, they have 81,093 cases and 3,270 deaths, reportedly. They are clearly not reporting all their cases, nor all their deaths.
The death rate is very difficult to determine. Reported cases and resolved cases are only a fraction of actual cases, as many cases are mild. Chances of death are said to be higher with advanced age, with additional serious chronic medical conditions, and if you are male. Women are less likely to die, and more likely to have mild cases.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has an app that helps answer questions about COVID-19: WHO Health Alert brings COVID-19 facts to billions via WhatsApp
Other information from WHO can be found by starting on their main page.
More in future posts, I hope.
Ronald L. Conte Jr.