Want to Avoid Corona Virus? Strategize Now

February 17, 2020

ReferencesWHO AdviceNPRConsumer ReportsFrontiers in AgingLive ScienceJr Clinical Exp Pharm,

Lots of chatter out there about how to prevent your risk of COVID-19! Don't travel to Wuhan, or China for that matter. As of right now, (Feb 17, 2020) it appears to be slowing a bit, albeit having reached a higher death total than SARS. Keep your fingers crossed that this is the beginning of good news and public health measures are working. Or not! Time will tell. 

So, what does WHO tell us to do? Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer like crazy if you can't get to a sink. That's it. Ok, I can do that. Is that it? Can't we all just wear body suits and respirators? 
Let's give you some more practical ideas. Item #1 is Zinc. Lowly little zinc. NPR did a story just this week about Dr. Prasad who conducted a randomized placebo-controlled trial on zinc and found it reduced colds by some two days. There has been some back and forth about it but a meta-analysis of zinc and colds (combing all high-quality research) came out with a net plus. Consumer Reports suggests zinc may be overrated because of its risk of side effects. Similar controversy exists around zinc and Alzheimer's which leads to the conclusion that it should be measured and monitored, and most of the time replaced. How much zinc? We think some 80-90 mg at the beginning of a cold is the magic number. But there is huge variability in people's zinc blood levels that hasn't been taken into account in the studies I've seen. One or two days of that won't hurt. We all likely should be on some extra zinc regardless for brain health, and be monitored (30-50 mg a day). Bill and Melinda Gates have been high on my hero's list for creating an international awareness and treatment of childhood diarrheas caused by rotavirus: part of which involves a 5 mg dose of zinc for babies. 

But let's get a little more innovative. Did you see the recent research on COVID-19 that it doesn't appear to affect children much? Now that's interesting. Kids are usually the town cesspool for viruses. They get everything. Why are they not showing themselves to be ill from COVID-19? Let me conjecture. Their immune systems are working well. They have boatloads of their natural virus-fighting hormones or peptides, notable Thymosin A1 (T-1). I want my immune system up to shape if COVID-19 comes to town. We all stop making the stuff (T-1) around age 40 and those of us over 40 will tell you we are sicker longer and deeper with viruses than we were when we were young. Now, T-1 is approved to help reverse chronic Hepatitis B in some 40 countries, so it is a known virus fighter.

If I get exposed to COVID-19, will T-1 help me? I bet it will. It may be the secret weapon we can use to keep ourselves well. You used to make it when you were a kid. And when you got to 40, you were pushed out into the pond without a paddle. Good luck!

WWW: What will work for me. I take zinc and monitor its levels. I wash my hands obsessively. I've also been taking T-1 before I travel and have yet to get a cold over the last year of travel. I've given it to some folks with colds and the response I've had so far is mixed. Some get better quickly and some have little effect. There are no RCTs on common colds but good research is out there with other viruses. It would make perfect sense.

Pop Quiz

1. What is the most effective way to avoid getting Coronavirus? Answer: According to WHO - Don't expose yourself to it by travel to China, if you can avoid it, and wash your hands with great sedulousness.

2. Zinc has been proven to help with two viral diseases. Which? Answer: Rotavirus in children and common colds in older adults. 
3. How much zinc? Answer: For adults, probably at least 50 mg extra a day early in a cold. Rotavirus: 5 mg.

4. What is Thymosin-a1(T-1)? Answer: The natural peptide you make when you are a young person that balances your immune system and boosts its ability to fight viruses. 
5. How do you administer T-1? Answer: Right now it's only available as a shot with a teeny insulin syringe. If you are really interested and want to know more, I'm doing it for myself so come on by.