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Newsletter #1: COVID

January 2020



The Elephant in the Room

I felt I had to dedicate our 1st newsletter to the obvious: Covid-19. Needless to say, there is a huge amount of misinformation regarding this disease and how it can impact your life.  Without question, your best source of up to date information can be found at cdc.gov.  Yes, it is trustworthy.  The information found there is not political, but based on scientific evidence.

 

Does the press  have you scared?  If you follow the mainstream media, it certainly seems that “the sky is falling” every day.  Certainly, Covid-19 is a serious illness.  Yes, it can absolutely be life-threatening in the wrong patient population.  However, I think you need to put things into perspective.  According to the American Council on Science and Health, the most recent Covid-19 death rate statistics are as follows:

 

Age           Group Death Rate %

0-4             0.003

5-9             0.001

10-14         0.001

15-19         0.003

20-24         0.006

25-29         0.013

30-34         0.024

35-39         0.040

40-44         0.075

45-49         0.121

50-54         0.207

55-59         0.323

60-64         0.456

65-69         1.075

70-74         1.674

75-79         3.203

80+            8.292

 

In other words, if you are 40 years old, your chances of dying if you catch Covid-19 are 7.5/10,000(0.075%). If you are 80 years old, your chances are 8/100(8%). As you can see, catching Covid-19 is not a guaranteed death sentence, but the older you are, the greater your risk.

 

For those of you who are skeptical regarding Covid statistics, thinking that they may be skewed for political or other reasons, you may want to pay attention to the EXCESS DEATH RATE.  This is the number of people who died through the year that is over and above our usual death rate.  According to the CDC, from January 26, 2020, through October 3, 2020, an estimated 299,028 more persons than expected have died in the United States.. Two thirds of excess deaths during the analysis period (66.2%; 198,081) were attributed to COVID-19 and the remaining third to other causes.

 

So, it becomes clear that your chances of becoming severely ill and dying depend on who you are and your underlying medical conditions. The groups that need to be the most cautious are those over the age of 65 and those with significant medical conditions such as heart disease, uncontrolled diabetes, kidney disease and COPD.  Certainly, anyone with a compromised immune system would also be at risk.


Do masks and social distancing work? The preponderance of evidence suggests that masks and social distancing can be helpful, but are not perfect.  I would compare a mask to wearing a seatbelt in your car.  Your chances of dying in an accident if you wear your seatbelt are less, but they are not zero. The mask may decrease the total volume of virus exposure that you get at one time, giving your immune system a chance to fight off the invader better, rather than getting a very high dose of virus which can overwhelm your immune system.

 

Can supplements help? While no supplements are approved to prevent or treat Covid-19 disease, there are many studies that support supplements to stimulate and improve your immune system.  The following are my top supplements to improve immune system function.  I routinely recommend the first  3 for patients who have been exposed to Covid-19. As always, check with your doctor before starting any supplement regimen and to verify appropriate dosing. Some supplements can interact with prescription drugs, so be careful.



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