Coronavirus Update April 7th

April 7, 2020 Coronavirus Update

Volumes of information on Covid-19 are being poured out at a rapid pace and we have yet to reach our peak in Tennessee.  Here I present a distillation of the most relevant factors regarding the disease, potential cures, and protective methods. 

Extraordinary medical professionals, researchers, and scientists are learning exponentially as the virus continues to spread.  New reports state that the virus diffuses the heme (the part of our blood that carries oxygen) from our red blood cells resulting in decreased ability for the body to transfer oxygen to the body and vital organs.  Lab results of patients with COVID-19 show a higher ferritin (blood protein that contains iron) level that make plausible these claims.  As the virus takes over the cell, the heme is pushed out of the cell resulting in a higher ferritin level in the body.  When this happens, the lungs start to inflame due to lack of oxygen.  This shows up on an x-ray as bilateral pneumonia; however, the newer information is stating that this is not pneumonia just inflammation. 

At this point we don’t have any definitive treatment methods, but we are hearing of successful regimens such as hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin.  Hydroxychloroquine is also used in treating malaria.  It works by blocking the virus from entering the red blood cell and damaging the hemoglobin.

Boost Your Immunity

•            Vitamin C and Zinc are still highly encouraged to help increase the persons immunity.  Vitamin C eliminates free radicals in the body that can be increased during viral infections. Zinc inhibits  replication of the virus in the body.

•            De-stress: meditate, cheerful media, online social contact, sleep

•            Be mindfully productive: online course, organize your closet, plan your next steps


Best Practices for Mechanical Prevention

•            Cover your face (nose and mouth) when getting around other individuals.  N-95 respirators are first line defense, but if all you have is a handkerchief then that is better than nothing. 

•            Continue physical distancing. 

•            Anyone handling food (e.g., grocers, cooks, delivery services, etc.) for commercial consumption should wear a mask and gloves.  A great example of a company leading from the front is Pal’s  in the Tri-cities.  Their workers are wearing masks and gloves when dealing with customers.  This shows excellence in leadership and true concern for the public and their employees.

As always, I am available for new telemedicine clients.  I am also able to talk to anyone that is concerned about COVID-19 and would like some extra information.  Take care of yourselves, physically distance and socially connect!

Thank you,

Heath Tunnell FNP


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