Using Betadine or Riodine:
A Povidone-iodine solution.
This solution is useful as a cheap treatment for sore throats or recurrent tonsillitis. It is the same material that is applied to wounds, but to use it on throats it needs to be diluted. It can generally be purchased in 100 mil or 500 bottles. It is much more expensive is purchased pre-diluted.
The solution is an antiseptic. It will kill viruses and bacteria and even fungi. It will kill these germs whenever it touches them. Because it is applied topically it works from the outside in. (In contrast, antibiotics are absorbed into the bloodstream after being swallowed. They work from the inside out).
Betadine = Povidone Iodine Preparation.
To use as a gargle mix:
Take one ml of Betadine or Riodine solution and add 19 mL of water.
You will need a measuring glass. Gargle or hold on the throat as long as possible. For example 3 to 4 minutes. You can lie down and allow the solution to sit on the back of the throat if you’re having difficulty gargling. This is actually better than gargling as it gives better contact time on the throat. If your vocal cords are horse all saw you will need to gargle.
Spit out. Do not swallow. You should repeat this at least 3 to 4 times a day on average. If you are getting desperate and your throat is really bad, you can use this treatment on the throat up to every half an hour.
Generally you find that your throat feels better very soon after applying the Betadine or Riodine. Within 24 hours you should have made a substantial impact on how sore your throat is or how read your throat is. If there is early bacterial infection as well, some antibiotics can improve the action of the Betadine or Riodine.
PERSONAL PROTECTION SUMMARIZED
Dr Xxxxx : What I want to concentrate on - is “personal” corona virus protection advice.
I also want this advice to be fairly realistic and practical.
Erasmus : Tell us about the mechanics of infection.
Dr Xxxxx : The coronavirus “COV ID – 19” is a respiratory virus.
You predominantly catch it when people breathe on you, or cough on you or talk to you. Small microscopic droplets of fluid are vibrated out of the airways when you breathe/cough/talk – and there are viral particles embedded in these microscopic droplets. When you breathe these in, they deposit in the upper respiratory tract. The virus then has a chance to infect the new person. My assessment is that approximately 90% of transmission for Corona Virus is by this method. Big droplets (over 5 µm) will land on the back of the throat of the new person being infected.
Small droplets (1 to 5 µm) may go further down into the airways.
You can catch coronavirus by contact. The droplets that have been breathed out /coughed out/talked out of the airways of an infected person – can land on surfaces. If you touch these with your fingers and then touch your mouth this can introduce the infection inside you.
A typical example would be picking up a pen with contaminated fingers and then putting the pen inside your mouth. Another typical example would be using cutlery contaminated by your touch or by being breathed on/coughed on/talked on – and putting this cutlery into your mouth. My assessment is that less than 1% of transmission is by this method.
If you contaminate your hands and then eat food, the virus is swamped by food particles and essentially neutralized by these.
The major source of gastrointestinal CoVid infections is not from contact with body parts or fomites ( objects in the environment). These miserable few particles really won’t get much chance to do much harm. The major source of gastrointestinal infection is the massive viral load originating from an established throat infection : literally billions upon billions of viral particles (Virions) being swallowed.
Again you can see how important it can be to overall infection dose it may be to neutralize as many viral particles as possible, especially in the early phase of infection.
The virus can last on surfaces for some time –probably hours - but not forever. Viruses exposed to the sun will be destroyed by UV fairly quickly. Viruses on warm dry surfaces are likely to be damaged by drying – which will distort and tear apart the virus.
Beaches are essentially COVID / Corona virus Proof: UV and salty aerosols are not conducive to viral survival. And people at the beach sit in tight family groups, not generally socialising- probably a behaviour enforced by the lack of clothing.
Because the main method of catching the virus is by people breathing on you/coughing on you/talking over you – this knowledge should guide you in protecting yourself.
Keep a good distance between yourself and another person. Currently the advice is to have 1 - 1.5 m of separation.
Erasmus : We are using social isolation as a tool to stop viral spread. Tell us about this.
Dr Xxxxx : Social “distancing” is not about stopping the virus- from spreading. What it does is “reduce” the amount of virus to which a person is exposed. This is very important.
An aerosol of particles in flight from a sneeze.
Dr Xxxxx : I will now introduce a new concept called “infective dose”.
If you are exposed to a lot of the virus, you are likely to be a lot sicker. If you are exposed to only a bit of the virus, you are likely to be only a bit sick. Even if you have not fully avoided being exposed to the virus, reducing your “infective dose”, can make a big difference to you.
Don’t let people breathe on you. Standing beside or behind people is a lot safer for you, than standing facing people. Face-to-face carries the highest risk of being exposed to virus within respiratory droplets. If you are both breathing forward, even if you are in close proximity, your “infective dose” will be substantially reduced.
If you have a sick person in the family, you can look after them. However, even if you are exposed – this is not a reason to give up all precautions.
I will say the mantra of “infective dose” again. If you are exposed to a lot of the virus, you are likely to be a lot sicker. If you are exposed to only a bit of the virus, you are likely to be only a bit sick. Even if you have not fully avoided being exposed to the virus, reducing your “infective dose”, can make a big difference to you.
Having lots of respiratory droplets within your own airways, is going to help the germ / virus spread. Do use decongestants in your nose to reduce postnasal drip and the amount of respiratory droplets being breathed from your own nose area, deeper into your airways. ( Nasal spray decongestants give high effect locally with little effect throughout the rest of the body).
Doctor diagnosing a child
Identifying the Coronavirus Infection
The symptoms of the coronavirus essentially are not very different from any flu or other respiratory illness which you may catch. It is essentially impossible to determine by assessing the symptoms whether you may have coronavirus or not. People who catch an illness which is significant – different from something they would routinely experience in their lives – become suspicious that perhaps it could be coronavirus based on all the media hype creating worry. It is for this reason that they volunteer for testing, not because the viral symptoms are unique enough to suggest that it is a coronavirus infection.
In short coronavirus looks very much like anything else you can get sick with – perhaps on the worse side of usual – this being the most distinctive aspect of the infection. You could say that perhaps coronavirus infection looks like just another bad flu. The flu virus causes a range of illnesses and deaths in a range of ages. However there is no general or population immunity to the coronavirus, so that the deaths concentrate in the older age groups – predominately in corona virus infections.
Kinkajou: The symptoms lauded as being significant in Corona virus infection seem to suggest two things to me. They are symptoms of coughs and colds – much like any cough or cold. The symptoms are almost useless to identify anything. Secondly, most of the highlighted symptoms are really asking if you are “really really” sick with Corona virus. They are not about identifying “usual” Corona virus infection. They are about identifying really severe and serious Corona Virus (CoVid) infection.
Dr Xxxxx : I agree. I think the one thing that suggests itself that the medical literature has not emphasized is that Corona Virus infection does have some distinct aspects to its “vanilla” symptoms. CoVid is a really bad local infection. So the throat infection will be unusual in it severity and duration even in “asymptomatic” people who catch the virus.
People will have the experience of the infection being distinct and of being different to the average cough, cold or sore throat. Because viral infections rapidly develop secondary bacterial colonisation, these infections may even seem to respond to antibiotics, though they are viral in origin.
Erasmus : I imagine they would respond to Betadine (Povidone Iodine) and antibiotics even better.
Dr Xxxxx : Yes. Just so.
Erasmus : So who is dying from Corona Virus (CoVid) infection?
Dr Xxxxx : A preponderance of the deaths attributable to coronavirus infection that we are seeing is in the over 70 age group (80%), especially those with multiple medical problems.
Erasmus : So what more advice can you give?
Dr Xxxxx : Do not “Mouth- Breathe”. This dries and damages throat linings making them easier to infect.
Dr Xxxxx : Next, I’ll say some more about Betadine (the antiseptic which is used on wounds. I think this is a ground breaking control agent- if used early enough in a CoVid infection) .
Prepare a dilution of this antiseptic of 1 in 20. That is take 1ml of Betadine antiseptic – put this in a small cup – and either add 19 mls of water or fill up to the 20 ml line on the small cup.
Then: one option is to lie down and hold this fluid on the back of your throat. This gives you a very good contact time if you lie there for 2 to 3 minutes.
Alternately: gargle the fluid while standing. This gives you deeper contact right down to your vocal cords. Betadine kills everything – including viruses, bacteria and fungi.
By using Betadine on your throat, you will reduce some of the “infective dose”. In my opinion this may make a difference to how sick you become because the amount of virus reaching deeper into the body especially into your lungs, may be reduced.
Erasmus :You have talked about strategies to sterilize the throat. How about the nasal passages?
Dr Xxxxx : Betadine (Povidone Iodine) is an excellent agent to reduce throat colonisation by the virus. It will kill the virus and reduce spread from this region of the body. Decongestants in the nasal area will also dry up the nasal secretions. My experience with decongestants in cough and cold treatment is that it does have some efficacy in controlling the spread of the usual cough and cold viruses. CoVid will be no different. The effect is not strong. But 20-30% less spread is still 20-30% better than what you may have otherwise. It’s not a super treatment , but a good part of an overall treatment strategy.
Erasmus : Anything else?
Dr Xxxxx : I think the clue is from lipid envelope structure of the virus. I believe it is likely that a nebulised combination of glycerin / other surfactant / other oil may be able to coat the nasal passages and reduce further spread from colonised sites, perhaps even neutralising some of the virus. This is a strategy that needs a bit of work, but I can’t see that as being too complex. The main problem is the delicacy of the respiratory linings (epithelium ) in the nasal passages. There is a need to coat the cilia in the cells lining the airways. But it is critical not to cause any extra damage.
Erasmus : Other natural health strategies?
Multivitamins are critical in immune health.
Dr Xxxxx : Using a multivitamin. If you have a deficiency of B12 or Folate especially- your immune system can be compromised.
Use high-dose zinc and vitamin C. You can take up to 9 zinc pills a day (short-term) if you wish to try to enhance the action of your immune system – to try to reduce infection. Take this as 3 pills @ 3 times a day with food.
Zinc is very poorly absorbed. The vitamin C taken with each lot of zinc pills will help absorption. Zinc comes as 20 to 30 mg “elemental” pills. This means that the amount of zinc “metal” in each zinc pill weighs approximately 20 to 30 mg.
Another way of describing these pills is that the pills are 200 to 300 mg of zinc as an amino acid chelate.
This is exactly the same as the 20 to 30 mg of elemental zinc. In one method of weighing the pill, we just weigh the zinc metal. In the other way of weighing the pill, we weigh the zinc and its chemical packing. These 2 sets of numbers essentially represent the same sized pill.
Other medications: There is some suggestion that zinc and Hydroxychloroquine can be useful in controlling viral infection. There is some suggestion that one of the anti-HIV protease drugs (boosted Lopinavir= Kaletra), may have some effect in controlling viral infection. The uses of drugs such as these are hospital issues , not general practice issues. A specific drug : Remdesivir is available now, But has had disappointing results in infection control, probably because it is used late in most infections- in really sick people- not in early cases where it could make more of a difference..
Erasmus : How about the concept of co-morbidities? Having other things wrong with you?
Dr Xxxxx : Catching 2 things at the time is not good. Stay healthy and try to treat things early to avoid complications. Coronavirus plus other illness together will make you extra sick. This leads into the use of antibiotics as your GP may prescribe. Antibiotics kill bacteria. They are directly useless against the coronavirus.
However the virus will damage the linings of your airways – your bronchi and throat area in particular and probably your nose as well.
Once the linings are damaged bacteria, can multiply and attack into the tissues – enhancing damage and helping the virus to enter the tissues. So even if you have the coronavirus and even if this is causing your sore throat – it is unlikely that your sore throat will stay wholly due to your being infected with coronavirus for very long. Within 24 hours there is likely to be a significant bacterial infection enhancing and accelerating the existing viral infection.
In short , if you treat a 24-hour mark viral infection you can kill the bacteria coexisting with the coronavirus and accelerating the infection. This strategy with antibiotics will only work for a day or two . At this point in time, another option is to then use a different antibiotic to try to limit a different group of bacteria which were resistant to the first antibiotic and have now taken the opportunity to invade the tissues damaged by the coronavirus.
Antibiotics may not help to kill the coronavirus. But they may well help to limit the spread of the coronavirus by limiting the "indirect" amount of tissue damage. In short viruses – cause damage – which allow bacteria to grow – accelerating infection.
Antibacterial Antibiotics may help you deal with viral infection indirectly.
Having 2 problems at one time is not good. Using immuno-suppressants during an epidemic may be dangerous. (Steroids and methotrexate are the more common type of immuno-suppressant medications used). Having uncontrolled diabetes is likely to exacerbate a coronavirus infection. In short, see your doctor about your general health. Work with your doctor to get you as well as you can be.
Erasmus : Some excellent and very basic ideas Doc!
Kinkajou: I can see how so many of our strategies for virus control are top heavy. Strategies developed by experts used to dealing with hospitals and intravenous medicines and super strong drugs. Yet the sheer bulk of the CoVid crisis and the current pattern on infection means that it is the common man who needs the help.
Erasmus : Indeed. A good example is the modern way of dealing with cholera.
Once upon a time, a patient suffering from cholera diarrhoea would need 30-50 litres of IV fluid to save their life, at a cost of thousands of dollars.
Then someone realised that the mechanisms for fluid loss and fluid uptake are independent. You did not need lots of intravenous fluid to rehydrate people. Just a few cents worth of salt sugar solution and to keep drinking it, putting up with the diarrhoea.
This basic knowledge has saved countless lives especially in poor countries that cannot afford intensive hospital care and dozens of bottles of expensive IV fluid.