A Nasal Spray Has Been Found To Neutralize The Coronavirus
According to an in vitro study posted on Dec. 21 that has not been peer-reviewed, researchers from Northwestern University and Utah State University tested the effectiveness of an over-the-counter nasal spray known as Xlear Sinus Care against cultures of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID. Ingredients of the spray include 11 percent xylitolwhich is a chemical compound typically used as a sweetener that study authors report has reduced the severity of viral infectionsas well as .2 percent grapefruit seed extract and .85 percent saline.ae0fcc31ae342fd3a1346ebb1f342fcb
The results showed that after 25 minutes of contact time, the amount of active virus was dramatically reduced by the GSE and had been neutralized by xylitol. “Combination therapy with GSE and xylitol may prevent spread of viral respiratory infections not just for SAR-CoV-2 but also for future H1N1 or other viral epidemics. GSE significantly reduces the viral load while xylitol prevents the virus attachment to the core protein on the cell wall,” the study authors wrote. And for more on what can keep you safe from a severe case of the virus, check out If You Have This in Your Blood, You May Be Safe From COVID, Study Says.
When Should I Seek Medical Advice
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has developed a guide for people managing COVID at home. It includes a COVID-19 action plan and a diary that you can use to track your symptoms.
While managing COVID-19 symptoms at home, ask yourself these questions 3 times a day morning, afternoon and night:
- Can I get my own food?
- Can I drink?
- Can I go to the toilet normally?
- Can I take my regular medication?
If you answer no to any of these questions, call your GP.
How Do I Monitor My Symptoms
Most people can manage COVID-19 at home. Those who have mild COVID-19 symptoms may be advised that it is safe for them to manage their symptoms at home, instead of going to hospital.
If youre managing COVID-19 at home, its important to continually monitor your symptoms, or the symptoms of the person youre caring for.
Learn about how to .
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Latest Cold And Flu News
Since the pandemic began, it’s been known that the severity of coronavirus illness varies widely between people. Could the common cold be the reason why?
It’s still just a theory, but researchers in California suspect that if you’ve recently had a cold — many of which are also caused by coronaviruses — your immune system’s T-cells might recognize SARS-CoV-2 and help fight it.
“We have now proven that in some people, preexisting T-cell memory against common cold coronaviruses can cross-recognize SARS-CoV-2, down to exact molecular structures,” said study co-lead author Daniela Weiskopf, an assistant professor at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology.
“This could help explain why some people show milder symptoms of disease while others get severely sick,” she said in an institute news release.
Still, Weiskopf and her team cautioned that even if that’s true, it’s too soon to say if immune cell memory will help you recover any faster from COVID-19.
The new research was spurred by evidence — collected from COVID-19 patients around the world — that immune system T-cells were reacting to fragments of SARS-CoV-2’s makeup, even though these cells had never encountered the virus before.
One way that could happen was if T-cells had gained a memory of these viral components from a prior encounter with a common cold coronavirus. Study co-lead author Dr. Alessandro Sette, also of the Institute, called these coldvirusesCOVID-19‘s “less dangerous cousins.”
Does Vitamin D Protect Against Covid
There is no evidence that taking high-dose vitamin D protects you against getting infected with this coronavirus. In addition, if you are infected, it does not prevent a more severe illness.
However, most studies looking at people at people hospitalized with COVID-19 found that having an abnormally low vitamin D blood level was associated with a worse outcome, including death, compared to patients with a normal blood level. These studies are observational only, meaning they only show a link between low vitamin D levels and a higher risk of severe illness. This does not mean that the low level caused the worse outcome.
The best advice regarding COVID-19 is similar to what is recommended to maintain bone health making sure you get enough vitamin D to meet standard requirements.
Our bodies make vitamin D when exposed to sunshine. Five to 10 minutes of sun exposure on some or most days of the week to the arms, legs, or back without sunscreen will enable you to make enough of the vitamin. Good food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish , foods fortified with vitamin D , cheese, and egg yolks.
The recommended dietary dose of vitamin D is 600 IU each day for adults 70 and younger, and 800 IU each day for adults over 70. For adults, the risk of harmful effects increases above 4,000 IU per day.
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What About Monoclonal Antibodies
Monoclonal antibodies help rally the immune system to fight off the coronavirus. The treatment is administered by IV in hospitals and ERs, says Lahita. Unfortunately, most of the current monoclonal antibody treatments seem to be less effective against the Omicron variant. Fortunately, Omicron seems to cause less severe illness, making treatment less necessary.
But if and when you get COVID, you probably won’t know what variant you have. Lahita’s advice: If you have risk factors for severe COVID , go to the ER, where you can be evaluated and monoclonal antibodies can be administered if a doctor determines you could benefit.
When To Seek Medical Attention
“If your symptoms get really bad, and you have a comorbidity like diabetes or a chronic pulmonary condition, and you think you’re beginning to deteriorate, go to the emergency room,” says Lahita. “If you’re short of breath and gasping for air, dial 911 and get to the hospital.” There, doctors can administer medications like remdesivir and dexamethasone to decrease inflammation and improve breathing.
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What’s The Latest On Antiviral Medications
In a few weeks, doctors will be able to readily prescribe the antiviral drugs Paxlovid and molnupiravir, says Lahita. In clinical trials, they have been found to significantly reduce COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths when taken in the first three days of symptoms. The medications are being produced right now and are in very limited supply.
So what should you do today, if you think you might need more than at-home, over-the-counter care? “The best advice is, always, call your doctor,” says Lahita. “Talk to your doctor or the doctor’s representativethe advanced practice nurse or covering physicianand tell him or her your symptoms.” They’ll give you customized and current advice on what to do next.
To Treat Congestion Or A Runny Nose
Some decongestant medicine may help to treat congestion or a runny nose, according to Cleveland Clinic, though decongestant nasal sprays should only be used for a few days.
To treat a runny or stuffy nose, Cleveland Clinic recommended getting rest and drinking plenty of fluids, especially water.
Saline nasal sprays can also help to relieve symptoms, along with a Neti pot or a cool-mist humidifier.
For other at-home remedies, Cleveland Clinic said to try using essential oils, drinking hot teas, taking a facial steam or hot shower and eating spicy foods.
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Ways To Prevent Cold And Flu In Children
Flu symptoms will develop one to four days after exposure, cold symptoms show up one to three days after exposure, and COVID-19s incubation period is typically two to 14 days after exposure, Dr. Jackson says.
Fun fact about viruses: Youre most contagious 24 to 48 hours before symptoms are at their greatest and you notice them, Dr. Jackson says.
With so many illnesses circulating, preventive steps are critical:
- Keep your children at home if theyre sick.
- Teach children to wear masks and practice physical distancing.
- Vaccinate children 6 months and older for the flu and 5 years and older for COVID-19. Make sure all adults in the family receive these vaccines.
- Encourage frequent and thorough hand-washing and teach children how to cover their coughs and sneezes. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when hand-washing isnt possible, and remind your children not to touch their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects, including toys, doorknobs, phones and tablets.
- Dont share silverware, plates or cups, especially if someone is ill.
If your child has symptoms of a cold, the flu or COVID-19, talk with your pediatrician. If you dont have a pediatrician, find one near you.
Treatment In The Hospital
- Slowing the virus. Antiviral medications reduce the ability of the virus to multiply and spread through the body.
- Reducing an overactive immune response. In patients with severe COVID-19, the bodys immune system may overreact to the threat of the virus, worsening the disease. This can cause damage to the bodys organs and tissues. Some treatments can help reduce this overactive immune response.
- Treating complications. COVID-19 can damage the heart, blood vessels, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, and gastrointestinal organs. It also can cause other complications. Depending on the complications, additional treatments might be used for severely ill hospitalized patients, such as blood thinners to prevent or treat blood clots.
- Supporting the bodys immune function. Plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19called convalescent plasmacan contain antibodies to the virus. This could help the immune system recognize and respond more effectively to the virus, but currently the NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidelinesexternal icon find there is not enough evidence to recommend these treatments.
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A Public Health And Communications Failure
Symptom-based treatment options like fluvoxamine and budesonide arent sure things. The research that exists is promising, but its limited. The effect sizes that studies have found are moderate.
But they are safe, they have been FDA-approved for other use cases for decades, and theres strong published evidence supporting them as options. Despite that, many patients have likely never heard of them and some doctors have felt unsure if its acceptable to prescribe them.
I literally gave fluvox for the 1st time recently. . Despite 2 RCTs, I almost felt dirty doing it, though I think was right call. The nurses were like wtf is fluvoxamine?!
Jeremy Faust MD MS
The National Institutes of Health publish guidelines on Covid-19 treatments that are meant to help physicians and patients sort through confusing, mixed, sometimes misleading evidence. The NIH guidelines on fluvoxamine and on budesonide both state that there is too little information to recommend in favor of or against their use. But some doctors and researchers feel that position is too conservative.
With nirmatrelvir and molnupiravir not yet available, and the most widely used MAbs lacking activity against Omicron , is it time to bump up fluvoxamine at least to “consider use” status on the treatment guidelines? Two well-done RCTs show benefit.
Tips For Managing Stress
Its normal to feel worried about COVID-19, especially if you or your loved one is sick. You can take care of yourself by doings things such as:
- Starting a new hobby or doing an activity you usually dont have time for.
- Taking a break from the news.
MSK has many professionals, volunteers, and support programs that can help you cope during this time. For more information and more tips for managing stress, read our resource Managing Stress and Anxiety Caused by COVID-19.
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The Best Things To Take If You Get Covid
If you’ve come down with COVID this month, you’re far from alone: On Monday, the U.S. reported nearly 1.5 million new cases. You’re likely wondering what you can takeor should taketo feel better and recover faster. Will Gatorade and chicken soup get you through? Are certain over-the-counter remedies better for COVID than others? What about monoclonal antibodies and antiviral drugsdo you need them, and can you get them? Answers, like the virus, are in flux.
To get the latest advice, ETNT Health talked with Robert G. Lahita, MD, Ph.D. , director of the Institute for Autoimmune and Rheumatic Disease at Saint Joseph Health in New Jersey and author of Immunity Strong, and Amanda Perriello, RD, CDN, a registered dietician with Gaylord Specialty Healthcare in Connecticut who provides care to people recovering from severe COVID. Read on to find out moreand to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
Keep Tabs On Your Symptoms
Remember, most people with coronavirus can recover at home. If your symptoms become severe, call your physician or 911. Be sure to let the dispatcher know you have coronavirus so that emergency responders can protect themselves.
These symptoms of COVID-19 are considered severe:
- Bluish face or lips
- Inability to arouse or new confusion
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- Trouble breathing
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Is Hydroxychloroquine Safe And Effective For Treating Covid
Hydroxychloroquine is primarily used to treat malaria and several inflammatory diseases, including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. It is inexpensive and readily available.
Early reports from China and France were promising, suggesting that patients with severe symptoms of COVID-19 improved more quickly when given hydroxychloroquine.
However, in an article published in December 2020 in JAMA, researchers reported that hydroxychloroquine did not result in any clinical benefits for adults hospitalized with respiratory illness from COVID-19, compared with placebo. The NIH treatment guidelines recommend against the use of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19, in both hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients.
How To Prevent A Cold Flu And Covid
For most people, having a cold, the flu or COVID doesnt require a trip to the emergency room. Most symptoms resolve after some much-needed rest, but that isnt always the case.
To decrease your chances of catching a cold, flu or COVID, remember to wash your hands frequently. Washing with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds can help get rid of the germs on your skin.
Avoid contact with people who are sick. And if you become sick, stay home to keep from infecting others.Remember, the best way to prevent the flu and COVID-19 is by getting vaccinated, says
Dr. Martin. The symptoms may be similar and having both viruses at one is possible. This is something youll want to avoid, especially older adults, young children and those with certain medical conditions.
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Things To Try If You’re Feeling Breathless
If you’re feeling breathless, it can help to keep your room cool.
Try turning the heating down or opening a window. Do not use a fan as it may spread the virus.
You could also try:
- breathing slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth, with your lips together like you’re gently blowing out a candle
- sitting upright in a chair
- relaxing your shoulders, so you’re not hunched
- leaning forward slightly support yourself by putting your hands on your knees or on something stable like a chair
Try not to panic if you’re feeling breathless. This can make it worse.
What Are Ace Inhibitors And Arbs
ACE inhibitors and ARBs are blood pressure-lowering medicines that lower blood pressure through their effects on a hormone called angiotensin-II. This hormone causes blood vessels to become narrow, so the heart has to work harder to push blood around your body, leading to higher blood pressure. When this hormone is inhibited or blocked by medicines, the blood vessels relax and blood pressure lowers.
These medicines are often prescribed to reduce the risks associated with high blood pressure, especially in patients with coexisting heart disease, kidney disease or type 2 diabetes, or who have had a stroke or are at a high risk of having a heart problem .
ACE inhibitors and ARBs have been around for a long time and their benefits are well known, which is why they are recommended in the treatment of high blood pressure by Australian and international heart-health experts.
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How To Stay Safe Before And After Vaccination
Follow Fauci’s fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you livewear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don’t travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don’t go indoors with people you’re not sheltering with , practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.
Eat This, Not That!
Do The Current Antiviral Drugs Still Work On Omicron
The existing arsenal of medicines against COVID-19 are being researched for their effect against the latest variant omicron, says Dr. Li.The antiviral drug remdesivir appears to still be effective against omicron.
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When To Contact Your Healthcare Provider
- You have trouble breathing when youre resting.
- You have trouble breathing when you walk short distances. An example of a short distance is walking from one room to another, about 25 feet .
- Youre getting chemotherapy and have a new fever of 100.4 °F or higher.
- You have a fever of 102 °F or higher that lasts for 24 hours and doesnt get better after you take acetaminophen.
- You have blood in your sputum.
- You have chest pain.
- You have a very bad headache.
- You have questions or concerns.
For more information about what to do if you or a person in your home has COVID-19, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick. For the latest information about how MSK is prepared for COVID-19, visit www.mskcc.org/coronavirus