Those individuals that are at higher risk for worsened symptoms, complications or death are those that are age greater than 60 years, those with obesity, high inflammatory markers (CRP or ESR), heart disease, lung disease (including smokers), diabetes and high blood pressure. If you are in one of these groups then you should be extra careful.
What extra precautions should “High Risk” people take?
Be extra vigilant about washing your hands frequently when you are out in public, wear a mask if you will be indoors and unable to social distance, and avoid gatherings of more than ten people. From a long-term perspective, I must mention that those risk factors (outside of age) are usually reversible with lifestyle changes.
If you have one of the reversible conditions, let this be a wake-up call to the seriousness of not taking care of yourself properly. Do not continue to procrastinate making a change to improve your health. Now is the time!!
If you would Like to learn more about the spread of COVID-19 and steps to avoid it, please read out article, “How Deadly is COVID-19 And How To Avoid Getting It”.
Are there medications I can take to Lessen the symptoms if I get COVID-19?
We do not have a specific treatment for COVID-19 but there are things we can do to help with symptom management and disease progression. An option for the short term is the MMR vaccine. Yes, the vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella could help to lessen the symptoms of COVID-19. Getting a vaccine activates two parts of our immune system.
One part of the immune response creates long-term specific immunity to the specific disease we are being vaccinated against (i.e. if we are ever exposed to Measles, our body will be prepared to fight it off with previously created antibodies).
The second immune response, however, is not specific but creates a generalized surge in our immune function that can be used to help stave off the inflammatory response to foreign invaders in our bodies. It is this second part that stands to help fight against COVID by reducing the inflammatory response, which we have seen to be the issue in severe cases.
COVID produces a major inflammatory response in susceptible individuals, leading to severe complications and potentially death. Here is some information on this cutting edge research: https://asm.org/Press-Releases/2020/MMR-Vaccine-Could-Protect-Against-the-Worst-Symptom. If you fall into the high-risk category, we can write you an order to get the vaccine at your pharmacy.
What About Hydroxychloroquine?
While we do not have a specific treatment for COVID-19, there are things we can do to help with symptom management and disease progression.
For those of you in the high-risk category, I think there is compelling evidence that a combination of Hydroxychloroquine + Azithromycin + Zinc if started within 4-5 days of symptoms will lower your risk of death or debility.
We have created a protocol, so if you get sick let us know right away and we will get you tested and get you started, if appropriate.
A final word on this: this combination is not preventative and can be dangerous so please do not ask for or take these medicines unless you have confirmed COVID-19 infection and are in a high-risk category.