Diagnosing and Treating COVID-19

Testing: Currently, we use both PCR nasal swab (often required for travel), and the rapid Antigen test and both are showing similar accuracy, but not perfect.  Testing is most accurate when someone has symptoms or if asymptomatic and at least 5-7 days after exposure.  Testing too early will lead to false negative results.

We have received a lot of calls for tele-med from across the country.  Unfortunately, we are unable to meet such high demand.  We focus on those with COVID, our membership, and anyone in the greater Austin area.

The COVID19 antibody tests are helpful only for those who may have already had the infection, exposed to it, or have symptoms for over a week.  It takes 3-9 days to develop antibodies.  

Treatment: We may use Hydroxychloroquine, Azithromycin, and Ivermectin with Zinc, Vit C&D to treat positive cases of COVID 19, depending on each individual’s illness.  If respiratory symptoms develops, we also may use steroid treatments such as inhaled Budesonide or Dexmethasone tablets or injections. 

Early Out-Patient SARS-CoV-2 Treatment Protocols.

Dr McCullough’s Texas Senate Testimony.

Global trends in clinical studies of ivermectin
in COVID-19 March 2021.

Controversies: We think the evidence is strong with excellent safety to start treatment early to stop progression of illness and hinder spread of the virus (C19Study.com for comprehensive research).  Regardless, the most important thing we can do to stop the spread of COVID19 is vaccination, and always washing our hands (gloves get dirty), covering our mouth when we cough, good hygiene, and all those other things Mom always told us.

Long-Haulers and Complications:  COVID19 can cause a variety of longer term complications, and we evaluate each person carefully to customize treatment to return to normal.

Research starting with SARS in 2002-3 has shown Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine block COVID19 from getting into our cells and further hinders viral replication (multiplying).  Azithromycin (Z-pack) also has a biochemical effect of hindering viral replication and activating various molecules in our immune system to fight viral infections.  Zinc only works well when it can get into the cell, which it cannot do on its own.  Hydroxychloroquine is one of the drugs that helps Zinc get into the cell.  The three work together by hindering COVID19 virus.

This link provides a summary of current understanding of COVID19 – Features, Evaluation and Treatment of COVID19

Bradykinin hypothesis – New research is revealing the molecular mechanisms of how COVID19 attacks our systems.  The virus attaches onto a receptor called ACE2 to get into our cells then hijack our proteins to reproduce itself.  ACE2 helps control our blood pressure and we have more as we age, which is why children are rarely ill.  Link below explains in more details the symptoms caused by disregulation of ACE2 and Bradykinin secreting hyaluronic acid in lungs.

COVID and Exercise YouTube
Good Discussion of Vaccines, Masks and Ending the Pandemic

What makes COVID-19 so hard to kill?

Unlike antibiotics that actually kill bacteria, only an individual’s white blood cells can kill the virus (Antibodies are critical component, called IgM and IgG).  We treat COVID19 using medications to hinder viral growth and respiratory support until the body can get ahead of and then clear the viral load.  All therapies are designed to hinder viral growth and help us survive long enough to clear the virus.  This is challenging for older patients, poor immunity (HIV, chemotherapy, etc.), or lung disease.  Simple soap destroys the viral capsules outside the body and is why we wash everything.

Similarly to Tamiflu or Xofluza for influenza, the earlier we treat the better.

 

Checkout the Research

A fundamental principle of medical research ethics is to stop a trial early if there is harm to patients and not withhold treatment if there is benefit.  The term in the press “unproven” is misleading.  Nothing is “proven” in medicine, only the amount of evidence that supports or opposes a therapy.  The principle of do no harm to an individual is more important than any specific research methodology. 

The current research and trials are based on 15 years of work throughout the world.  Some studies show benefit and others show limited or none.  We are not certain which patients will benefit the most, or if the virus is evolving to be resistant.  Currently, it appears the virus is stable, despite minor mutations, giving promise for mass vaccinations.  Here are a few older and more recent studies. 
 
We are always available to discuss new research and the science behind our medical options with all our guests.  
Time to discuss medicine is another advantage of Texas Direct Medical Care.