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Coronavirus: The Drug You Are On May Make it Worse.

A broad class of pharmaceutical drugs called "Immunosuppressants" do exactly that - suppress your immune system. Your resilience to fight a viral infection is determined by the health of your immune system. In my last blog I showed how the flu vaccine is only 58% effective this year (reproduced below). Therefore you must rely on your immune system to keep your healthy - or in the case of COVID-19, alive.

Consider taking this short risk assessment for the disease - COVID-19, which includes information on drugs that lower your ability to fight the coronavirus.


Here is a video from Dr. Carter and myself that also provides information on the virus in general and immune suppressing drugs.


The following article indicates that the vaccine for the flu isn't very effective this year.

Stated in this article: "Okay, so what does all of this mean? How effective is this year's flu shot? The biggest takeaway here is that this year's flu shot isn't a great match for the leading virus out there right now: B/Victoria. According to a colleague who just went to a conference in Memphis stated, "the only 3 people in my session who were sick all had the flu shot."

Your key to surviving and thriving is NOT some marginal or untested drug. Your best defense is your natural defensive system. But you need to know how good it is and what you can do to arm it with more and better weapons against virus.

Here is an excerpt from an educational paper that myself and Dr. Mikhail Artamonov wrote for one of the organizations for which he is Chief Medical Officer.


Preventive measures are the same as for rhinovirus infections, which consist of handwashing and the careful disposal of materials infected with nasal secretions. The use of surface disinfectants is also an important issue in infection control, since coronaviruses appear to survive for one or more days after drying on surfaces such as stainless steel, plastic, or cloth [93]. More detailed information on prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and SARS-CoV is discussed separately. (See "Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)", section on 'Prevention' and "Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)", section on 'Prevention' and "Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus: Treatment and prevention", section on 'Prevention'.)

The efficacy of various disinfectants was examined both on viruses in liquid suspension and on viruses dried on surfaces [94]. Human coronaviruses, including CoV-229E and SARS-CoV, as well as several animal coronaviruses (eg, mouse hepatitis virus and transmissible gastroenteritis virus of pigs), were studied. These viruses (both in suspension and dried on surfaces) were very susceptible to 70% ethanol, with reduction of viability by greater than 3 log within seconds [95-97]. Likewise, hexachlorophene [98], 2% glutaraldehyde [95] and 1% povidone-iodine [95,97] each produced satisfactory killing. It appears that susceptibility of coronaviruses to 6% sodium hypochlorite (the active agent in bleach) solutions has been variable, but satisfactory killing was achieved with concentrations of 1:40 or higher [96,97]. Coronaviruses were not killed by benzalkonium chloride or chlorhexidine unless 70% ethanol was added [95].

Vulnerable Populations

“Preliminary data suggest that older adults and persons with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems might be at greater risk for severe illness from this virus,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

People with compromised immune systems, including cancer patients and people with HIV/AIDS, are at a higher risk from the coronavirus. Immunocompromised status extends beyond just those with these two conditions. The CDC reports, “Six in ten Americans live with at least one chronic disease, like heart disease and strokecancer, or diabetes. These and other chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in America, and they are also a leading driver of health care costs. (

Age is an important risk factor for death from CoVid 19. On March 3, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that 3.4 percent of reported cases have died so far, but as the outbreak evolves, that number is likely to change. The percentages below show the number of cases broken down by age groups. The COVID-19 numbers only represent reported cases from China through Feb. 11, 2020. This disease, compared to MERS, strikes the elderly the hardest.

America may have the most vulnerable population, at least compared to the 36 developed nations studied by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They report that the U.S. population is among the shortest-lived of all the major economic powers.

Prevention or Mitigation by Identifying Those At Risk

In order for us to identify the most vulnerable population, we would like to point out data from chronic diseases in general. People who are at risk may not be aware of their vulnerability. The Healthcare Cost Institute reports that 61% of people who acquire symptoms of chronic disease or die suddenly, do so abruptly, without warning. Thus, using disease status to determine vulnerability – to the coronavirus, for example – is inadequate. A group from Harvard Medical School and MIT developed a biomarker panel to assess risk of early mortality and vulnerability toward chronic and acute diseases. Initial implementation of this panel has shown enhanced predictability for disease risk and status compared to standard panels and current lab reference intervals. Screening using this tool may prove useful in establishing vulnerable populations as well as providing solutions to reduce vulnerability.

What Immunocompromised Means

Immunocompromised, also known as immunosuppressed, means you have a weaker immune system than most, according to the National Cancer Institute. “Patients who are immunocompromised have a reduced ability to fight infections and other diseases. This may be caused by certain diseases or conditions, such as AIDS, cancer, diabetes, malnutrition, and certain genetic disorders. It may also be caused by certain medicines or treatments, such as anticancer drugs, radiation therapy, and stem cell or organ transplant. Also called immunosuppressed,” the institute says.

A weaker immune system means people may have a harder time fighting off the coronavirus, thus having more severe symptoms or be more susceptible to dying. “If you’re elderly, immunocompromised, or if you have other comorbidities such as heart disease, liver disease, you are at higher risk of developing severe pneumonia and dying from the disease,” said Dr. Charles Chiu with the University of California at San Francisco.

Pharmaceutical That Increase Impact of Infection

Biologic drugs: Serious infections are a major concern for patients considering treatments for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Evidence is inconsistent on whether biologicsare associated with an increased risk of serious infection compared to traditional disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs).

Statin and Cholesterol-lowering drugs: The journal article from1998 titled, “Association Between Serum Total Cholesterol and HIV Infection in a High-Risk Cohort of Young Men,” discusses the dangers of statin prescriptions. 118 The authors state, “Low serum total cholesterol (TC) is associated with a variety of nonatherosclerotic (heart) diseases, but the association of TC with infectious disease has been little studied. In this study, we examined the relationship between serum TC and HIV infection in members of a large health maintenance organization in Northern California.” They found that the men in the study, under the age of 50, had a significantly higher rate of infection if their total cholesterol was <160. They also found a similar excess risk of AIDS and AIDS-related death. These findings suggest that low serum total cholesterol levels should be considered a marker of increased risk of HIV infection in mean already at heightened risk of HIV infection. Thus cholesterol is apparently protective to our bodies against virus and other infectious species.

Claxton, Ami J., et al. "Association between serum total cholesterol and HIV infection in a high-risk cohort of young men." JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes 17.1 (1998): 51-57.

Common Behaviors and Nutrients Know to Enhance Immune Function:

· Reducing intake of low quality fast foods

· Reducing intake of sugars

· Reducing intake of high glycemic carbohydrates

· Increasing foods rich in nutrients.

· Getting 7+ hours of sleep within every 24h period

· Obtaining 30 minutes of exercise daily

· Obtaining adequate vitamin D (blood levels at least 55ng/ml)

· Obtaining adequate vitamin C (more than 1g/day)

· Consuming foods rich in vitamin A, other fat-soluble vitamins and marine oils (Cod Liver Oil)

· Consuming herbs know to have anti-pathogenic properties


Stay Well

Thomas J. Lewis, Ph.D.

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