WuHan Flu / Corona Virus 2020
THE WUHAN FLU (aka SARS-COV-2 aka COVID-19)
Hoping to address the following questions I am getting from patients and friends / whanau
Are there measures to take to reduce exposure and strengthen immunity?
Is the virus a serious threat ? As serious as the media is making it out to be?
Where can I get good information?
What’s in a name?
ARE THERE MEASURES TO TAKE TO REDUCE EXPOSURE AND STRENGTHEN IMMUNITY?
Precautions are commons sense and are applicable to all viruses past, present and future. This virus, while new or novel, in all likelihood will act and respond similarly to historical viruses. Only the passage of time and collection of accurate data will give us all certainty of information we need moving forward.
Meanwhile, we need to specifically be mindful of our vulnerable populations – the people who are in danger of pneumonia or other serious respiratory complications from all viruses. Physical distancing is appropriate for these persons in our lives and it is our responsibility to do everything we can to reduce the possibility of infecting them.
If you are feeling unwell or exhibiting the symptoms of fever, cough or other cold or flu-like symptoms, isolate yourself from others to avoid exposing them through physical contact or the spread of aerosol droplets, directly or indirectly (residues left on surfaces which can survive after you have left the area).
Wash or sanitise hands often and avoid unnecessarily touching your face. Hand washing with hot soapy water and vigorous rubbing is the most effective way to clean your hands and kill any virus present. 20 seconds is the rule – you can sing the “happy birthday to you” (or “ra whanau kia koe” if you prefer) song at a moderate pace to guide you.
Get enough sleep and rest. Get outside and exercise reasonably.
Eat smart, avoid sugars, sugary foods and any food that causes you any inflammation (gluten, breads, dairy, ice cream, or anything that makes you phlegmy at all).
Avoid the news, the internet and anything else that you find causes you unnecessary worry, anxiety or stress – all of which lowers your health threshold and immune system
You can pickup some of your favourite health supplements for your own immune system, based on your own experience. General recommendations have been high doses of Vitamin C (approximately 3grams/3000mg per day), along with Zinc, and Selenium.
Chinese herbal medicine has many formulas to boost your immune system and you can book in to get an appropriate formula in concentrated granules, tablet or capsule form from a trained Chinese medicine professional; I can help you with this.
Acupuncture and moxibustion has been used for thousands of years to boost immunity. A common protocol is to warm a few points with mugwart (artemisia vulgaris / Moxa). At Taranaki Acupuncture I am offering short mini-treatments (approximately 20 minutes) for people who wish to just come in and receive a moxibustion immune system boost – this is most effective to come in at least twice per week, but any treatment is better than none.
IS THE VIRUS A SERIOUS THREAT?
Any virus is a serious threat. While there have been 6,000 deaths in the US alone from complications of the Wuhan Flu (primarily in the elderly and those with serious pre-existing medical conditions), this flu season in the US resulted in 60,000 deaths so far (and a similar number happens every flu season there) over the same time period. In Italy, the mean age of fatality from complication of this flu is about 81.4 years old; and they have open borders with Europe and a culture of close physical contact.
Flu season in the northern hemisphere is winding down with warmer temperatures of spring and summer approaching. However in the southern hemisphere, including New Zealand, we are about to leave the warmer months and enter our own cold & flu season with attendant cooler temperatures. There is still much unknown about the cyclic nature of this WuHan flu, however we must be generally aware and smart about spreading this and any other flu virus moving into fall and winter.
WHERE TO OBTAIN GOOD INFORMATION?
This is a very difficult question to answer in this day and age where so much of the media is either owned or controlled from relatively few sources and the internet is a public access forum where just about anything can be posted. Additionally, search engines in your browsers are not all created equally and many of them are driven by manipulated algorithms which direct to a certain class/spin of posted information. The echo-chamber.
My advice is to find the information sources that are factual and not opinion or editorial driven. All information is delivered through a filter of the author. Learn to be discerning and check with various sources until you get a sense of what to believe as fact. Be very, very careful when reading “information” of statements from the political persons and organisations on this and other topics. Also question the truthfulness and accuracy of so called (self-called) “fact-checkers” as many of them are nothing more than political operatives or pawns of the political industry.
I have my “go to” sources which I can check against one another and opposing views to see which is supported by fact and logic, and ultimately “sits well” with me, intellectually and on a spiritual or moral level.
Certainly don’t rush to conclusion because of the latest facebook, Instagram or twitter posting. Breathe, decide if you wish to blindly get swept up in the momentum, if the issue is important, if you even have time to pursue the truth of the matter. Try to not contribute to the spreading/sharing of “viral” information. If you don’t have time to be critical, best to sit on the sideline and not get involved. Look after yourself and those close to you. Keep calm and know that this, like everything will pass.
WHAT IF I GET THIS FLU?
Most of you will be fine. 80-90 percent of people who get this flu suffer mild to moderate flu like symptoms for a few days to a week or so. Again the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions are to be considered high risk for developing pneumonia or respiratory distress.
WHAT’S IN A NAME? SOME FACTS.
This virus made its appearance on the world stage in autumn in the Northern Hemisphere (November) in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, in Central China.
In Mid-December there were a number of cases of an unidentified flu in the Wuhan area, therefore early referrals to the virus was the Wuhan flu. In early January 2020, the virus was biologically identified and given the name Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CO-2). In case that name sounds familiar, there was a “version one” commonly known as SARS (also a corona virus, scientifically named SARS-CoV) which also originated in China (Southern China – Guangdong Province) in 2002/2003. On 11 February 2020 the WHO announced the formal name for the virus (SARS CO-2) and the resulting disease (COVID-19). Such naming is the result of geo-economic-political influences.
For over 100 years of medical history, diseases and viruses have been named after the geographic origin of the disease, therefore the term Wuhan virus will likely outlive the Covid name.
The following is a PARTIAL list of viruses and diseases named for the geographic region of origin:
Lyme Disease, from Lyme Connecticut, US;
Zika Virus, from Zika Forest in Uganda;
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Rocky Mountains, US;
West Nile Virus, Africa;
German Measels, Germany;
MERS – Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, Saudi Arabia;
Ross River Fever, Australia;
Ebola, Ebola River, Congo;
Marburg Virus, Germany;
Lassa Fever, Nigeria.
Whether you refer to this as the China Virus, the Wuhan Virus, SARS-CO2 or COVID-19 is immaterial in a historical sense and certainly has no effect or bearing on the virus, the spread of the virus, or the seriousness of consequences – both from a physical health perspective as well as a social or economic perspective. The social and economic damage from the hysteria caused by the media and it’s controlling forces will be just as serious, and in many cases longer lasting and more serious than the physical outcomes from actually getting this flu.
As a side note, a Chinese doctor/researcher tried to warn the public at large of this flu in November of 2019. He was silenced by the Chinese government and has since died (allegedly from complications from contracting the virus himself). The act of silencing this information and unnecessarily prolonging ignorance and travel and trade by the Chinese government can and should be blamed for the global nature/spread of this virus to the creating a of a pandemic scare/threat.
As another side note, the site of the outbreak in Wuhan Hubei China is also the location of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a Chinese Academy of Sciences project that has operated a Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) Laboratory in 2015. Coincidence ? Perhaps.