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good virus prevention

Discussion in 'Expat Section' started by filmguy, Mar 4, 2020.

  1. filmguy

    filmguy DI Member

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    Dear Colleagues,

    As some of you may recall, when I was a professor of pathology at the University of California San Diego, I was one of the first molecular virologists in the world to work on coronaviruses (the 1970s). I was the first to demonstrate the number of genes the virus contained. Since then, I have kept up with the coronavirus field and its multiple clinical transfers into the human population (e.g., SARS, MERS), from different animal sources.

    The current projections for its expansion in the US are only probable, due to continued insufficient worldwide data, but it is most likely to be widespread in the US by mid to late March and April.

    Here is what I have done and the precautions that I take and will take. These are the same precautions I currently use during our influenza seasons, except for the mask and gloves.:

    1) NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.

    2) Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc.. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.

    3) Open doors with your closed fist or hip - do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.

    4) Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.

    5) Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.

    6) Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home's entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can't immediately wash your hands.

    7) If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!

    What I have stocked in preparation for the pandemic spread to the US:
    1) Latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves for use when going shopping, using the gasoline pump, and all other outside activity when you come in contact with contaminated areas.
    Note: This virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you! BUT all the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for about a week on average - everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. The virus is on surfaces and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon. This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs) The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth.

    2) Stock up now with disposable surgical masks and use them to prevent you from touching your nose and/or mouth (We touch our nose/mouth 90X/day without knowing it!). This is the only way this virus can infect you - it is lung-specific. The mask will not prevent the virus in a direct sneeze from getting into your nose or mouth - it is only to keep you from touching your nose or mouth.

    3) Stock up now with hand sanitizers and latex/nitrile gloves (get the appropriate sizes for your family). The hand sanitizers must be alcohol-based and greater than 60% alcohol to be effective.

    4) Stock up now with zinc lozenges. These lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. Use as directed several times each day when you begin to feel ANY "cold-like" symptoms beginning. It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of your throat and nasopharynx. Cold-Eeze lozenges is one brand available, but there are other brands available.

    I, as many others do, hope that this pandemic will be reasonably contained, BUT I personally do not think it will be. Humans have never seen this snake-associated virus before and have no internal defense against it. Tremendous worldwide efforts are being made to understand the molecular and clinical virology of this virus. Unbelievable molecular knowledge about the genomics, structure, and virulence of this virus has already been achieved. BUT, there will be NO drugs or vaccines available this year to protect us or limit the infection within us. Only symptomatic support is available.
    I hope these personal thoughts will be helpful during this potentially catastrophic pandemic. You are welcome to share this email. Good luck to all of us!

    If there is a run on hand sanitizer you can make your own, here is the recipe.
    2/3 cup 91% rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) or ethanol
    1/3 cup aloe vera gel
    8-10 drops essential oil, optional (such as lavender, vanilla, peppermint, grapefruit)
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  2. Notmyrealname

    Notmyrealname DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer

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    I find some of this confusing, or at odds with other scientific opinion:

    "This virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you! BUT all the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for about a week on average" Gives the impression that the virus in the air will not infect a person but that touching surfaces is the greatest danger. This appears to be contradicted by "The virus is on surfaces and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon. This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs) The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth.". So what is meant by "directly"? Someone VERY close to you who coughs or sneezes into your face? The advice 'Keep a metre or so from people you are directly facing', would seem an added protective measure in that case. However, I believe with infected people in a community I would see an advantage in wearing a mask, even if in no direct contact (and the author does cite them as useful to prevent direct touching of the entry routes). Also, the article eliminates transmission via the eyes - but many other scientists have warned of that being a route of entry (it could be, as it would enter the blood and then be carried to the lungs where it binds to lung cells and there causes the disease - many disease enter the body in one place and causes the disease in other areas in 'target organs', with rabies being an example).

    The creation of your own hand sanitizer may cause problems for people who have no access to aloe vera gel but it seems that any other type of gel would do - as long as you start with 91% alcohol - or just use alcohol at 60% or above. The main point in this is that alcohol alone can dry out the skin and cause cracks, thus allowing the virus to enter the blood stream (although the author does not include any non-respiratory route as significant) - so I see no reason not to use alcohol alone and then at times during the day use a moisturizer.

    All the advice about avoiding touching surfaces with the hands is obviously common sense (and even in normal times I close toilet doors (after the point at which I have washed my hands) by using my elbow (not such a problem here as most do not have any further doors)) but COINS and NOTES I would rate as one of the most likely routes of transmission and not easy to deal with if not using the hands.

    But reading all of this brings me back to a point I made before that I think transmission is generally much lower in hot climates - I believe this is because the virus dries out quickly on surfaces. We have seen cases in hot countries, but usually imported, whereas in cooler climates we have seen rapid transmission from the initial imported case(s).

    I was not aware of the use of zinc lozenges (but I am aware that many metals seems to have anti-pathogenic effects, but some are too dangerous to consume, e.g. copper) but if symptoms have started then it seems to me that it is too late! The virus will already have entered the host cells and be replicating - anything held in the mouth region would be ineffective. You cannot get symptoms by just having received the virus from other people - it must already be replicating, and probably in large numbers and have infected other cells.

    I stick firmly to the view that:

    The risk seems low here in the Philippines, but time will tell.

    If cases start to crop up then wearing a face mask in public is essential (and possibly some means of preventing entry of the virus into the eyes).

    Washing hands and using alcohol is an obvious, being especially aware of coins and notes where exchange between people is frequent.

    Self-isolate - obviously so if infected but also to protect yourself from getting infected - if the disease appears out of control where you live. This seems to be especially important for the elderly and those with existing medical conditions (which may be reducing immunity, including the immunity based on general physical health).
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  3. Happy Camper

    Happy Camper DI Forum Adept Showcase Reviewer

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    I understand the concern for remaining healthy and clean but I also wonder why the homeless are not coming down with this in droves? They are hardly hygienic nor are they usually in a healthy state due to various addictions.
  4. SpringYellow

    SpringYellow DI Member

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    this is so scary :(
  5. djfinn6230

    djfinn6230 DI Forum Adept

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    I used to use “Cold-Eze”, zinc lozenges in the US and they really worked well. They lower the time that you are sick, substantially. The author claims it is spread by droplets but others are now saying it is also aerosol. IF true, that means the masks that temporarily shield droplets are not very useful. I do not see many people wearing them anymore in Dumaguete. Heat and humidity may tend to inhibit spread of the virus (it usually does,which would be good news); people say “what about the high infection rate in Singapore”? Well, it is much more air conditioned than here and some Singapore hospitals have adopted the SARS COV 1 practice of forcing the hospital air into the outside heat and humidity rather than recirculate and also making patients in waiting rooms wait outside. There was no community transfer from the Chinese couple who stayed in Manhattan Suites even though one of the sick persons from Wuhan unfortunately passed away.
    We may have better odds here. I hope so but no way to tell with no one being tested.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  6. Show Pony

    Show Pony DI Senior Member Highly Rated Poster Showcase Reviewer

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    You're comment about air-conditioning in Singapore makes sense.