What we learned in November
Thank you to Dr. Bill Sarnat for joining us in November to discuss protecting yourself against Covid-19 during cold and flu season. Even as more information becomes available every day, we would like to share with you a summary of the presentation provided by Dr. Sarnat.
The SARS-Covid-2 virus (Corona Virus) emerged from Wuhan China and has since caused a world-wide pandemic. At the end of January, 2020, the Chinese mapped the genetic sequencing of the virus’ DNA and made that information public.
This data has served as the basis for development of vaccines which use only a portion of the virus RNA. This RNA then uses our own cell’s to manufacture the spike protein of the virus which once injected is viewed as foreign by our bodies.
Subsequently, antibodies to the spike protein prime our immune system to neutralize the virus if we become infected. Because only a portion of the virus RNA is used, the vaccine does not cause infection.
At time of our program, two vaccines looked promising but had not been released.
The Corona Virus differs from influenza in that it is more deadly. The influenza virus in 2019 killed over 34,000 people, whereas over 260,000 have died so far from the Corona Virus this year.
The Virus causes a disproportionate number of people with pneumonia yet ironically some with low oxygen levels do not feel short of breath. Loss of taste or smell seems to be unique to this virus. Also approximately 30%-40% of those with the virus may have little or no symptoms but are just as infectious as those with symptoms.
In addition those infected with the virus may be infectious for three days prior to developing symptoms.
Hospitalized patients have at least one symptom two months after discharge. The “long haulers”, can have persistent disabling symptoms for months even after a mild case of Covid.
To date there is no cure for Corona Virus. At present the best therapy remains preventive measures that we used for the Spanish Flu of 1918: Masks, Social Distancing, Hand Washing, Avoid large crowds.
The bottom line is to insure your future you should take all preventative measures now.