COVID-19 cases are rising as the virus continues to mutate to a more contagious and less lethal disease as it learns not to kill its human host. Since man began, viruses have infected us and eventually became endemic as evidenced by the 100,000 viruses found living in our gut microbiome intestinal tract ecosystem. Some of the viruses called bacteriophageys even kill bad bacteria in our intestine keeping our gut health in balance.
Fortunately, vaccines boost immunity and prevent hospitalizations and death significantly. The problem with the vaccines and boosters currently available is the fact they are for the original alpha variant. The current Omicron variant and BA2 subvariant which are prevalent, will need variant specific vaccines that will last at least a year.
The Russians have approved and are using a new generation nasal spray COVID vaccine and a repurposed flu drug Avigan, which they market as Avifavir that reduces hospitalizations, death and accelerated viral clearance. They have also distributed their antiviral to 17 countries.
Here in the U.S., we are very fortunate to have new therapeutics like Eli Lily’s I.V. monoclonal antibody against the new variants that cap the COVID spike protein to block entry into cells. We also have Molnupiravir from Merck and Plaxlovid from Pfizer taken for five days, that reduce death and hospitalizations if taken in the first five days.
We have learned that keeping Vitamin D levels in normal range helps disease progression and that 78% of the deaths in the U.S. have occurred in overweight persons. We have learned that healthcare and our domestic supply chain is a national security priority. Meanwhile, use common sense and get treated if you test positive.
A new government website, covid.org, gives a great deal of information, and if you put your zip code down, it will guide you to which pharmacies carry the antiviral pills. The government is even funding long haul COVID research. We will discuss this phenomenon in future articles. Meanwhile, think positive and test negative. Keep calm and carry on.