Diagnosing and Treating COVID-19
Testing: We have both PCR and rapid Antigen tests. We can test for COVID19 antibodies to detect prior infection.
Treatment: We treat each case depending on timing and symptoms and have several options: for serious cases, the best is early use of Monoclonal Antibodies and newer virus inhibitors (Paxlovid). We may use Budesonide and Dexamethasone, and home oxygen depending on timing and severity of symptoms. (Hydroxychloroquine, Azithromycin, and Ivermectin do not work against newer variants like Delta and Omicron. I have seen a lot of treatment failures with ivermectin, even fatal, and evidence is strong against it – Summary of Analysis.)
Vaccinations and Prior Immunity are the best defense against COVID19. Vaccines turn potentially serious illness into a cold. Vaccines help the body respond faster to infection, but do not always prevent it. This is a great discussion on current controversies and censorship by Dr Prasad, We Need to Talk About the Vaccines, Public Debate on Side-Effects is Being Censored. We strongly discourage people trying to get infected.
Immunity after infection: See Dr Marty Makary’s WSJ Editorial and latest Immunity Research in Journal of AMerican Medical Association. List of 29 Research Studies on Immunity.
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.
Vaccine Controversies: There is a lot of misinformation. ZDoggMD.com has several excellent videos and Vaccine Details from CHOP. In healthcare, the benefits obviously outweigh remote risks. There are rare side effects, but they do not cause sterilization, spread of spike proteins, or allow tracking (cell phones do that already.) There are many discredited theories, antibody dependent enhancement or spike protein shedding, that use a little science to intentionally cause confusion and put people at risk. Censorship is nonetheless evil and harmed medical discourse. As evil as censorship is, it does not mean ivermectin works.
Research starting with SARS in 2002-3 has shown Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine competitively inhibit COVID19 from getting into our cells and further hinders viral replication (multiplying). Hydroxychloroquine is one of the drugs that helps Zinc get into the cell. The three work together by hindering COVID19 virus. Newer strains of COVID19, however, are more adherent to ACE2 receptors and appear no longer effectively hindered by earlier drugs.
This link provides a summary of current understanding of COVID19 – Features, Evaluation and Treatment of COVID19
Bradykinin hypothesis – 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 dysregulation of ACE2 and Bradykinin secreting hyaluronic acid in lungs,
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.