Can UV Light Kill Coronavirus?

Many who are working from home or otherwise isolated during the coronavirus pandemic are looking for some positive news. Well, there is some good news when it comes to controlling the spread of the novel coronavirus now termed COVID-19.

It may be that UV (ultraviolet) light will help dampen this pandemic. UV light is currently used in medical settings,1 wastewater treatment plants2 and food processing.3 Now, as COVID-19 grows, there is increased demand from hospitals and medical facilities for conventional UV lights and variations on such lamps.4 According to Crunchbase News:5

[S]tartups that disinfect items with UV light are … seeing a boost in sales since the outbreak — and are hustling to keep up with demand as a result. PhoneSoap, a company that makes devices to clean phones and other items with UV light, has seen 1,000 percent growth year over year in the past week …

In about mid-January, PhoneSoap executives began to notice an uptick in interest from overseas on both their website and Amazon. But the surge in sales really came after United States government officials and the Centers for Disease Control started speaking out more about the outbreak and threat to the U.S.”

Other startups besides PhoneSoap are also seeing a surge in orders for disinfecting UV products, says Crunchbase:6

“CleanSlate UV, which is based in Toronto and has roughly $2 million in funding, makes devices that sanitize items with UV light. In hospitals, staff usually use CleanSlate UV for items like stethoscopes, badges and phones, and visitors often use it for their phones.”

While both PhoneSoap and CleanSlate UV acknowledge that the effectiveness of UV light on COVID-19 has yet to be proven, Taylor Mann, CEO of CleanSlate UV, says:7

“What we can say is UV light has been proven to be effective against previous strains of coronavirus … We just don’t know how effective it is against this specific strain.”

CleanSlate UV is currently serving more than 80 hospitals in the U.S. and Canada and hospitals in Australia, Hong Kong and Europe.8

Science Backs the Effectiveness of UV Light

The use of UV light for disinfection and decontamination of pathogens is not new. Over a hundred years ago in 1903, Niels Ryberg Finsen won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for opening “a new avenue for medical science” through his discovery of the effect of concentrated light radiation in the treatment of diseases, especially lupus vulgaris.9

UV light is a major tool in the fight against airborne-mediated microbial diseases. According to research published in Scientific Reports in 2018:10

“Airborne-mediated microbial diseases represent one of the major challenges to worldwide public health. Common examples are influenza, appearing in seasonal and pandemic forms, and bacterially-based airborne- mediated diseases such as tuberculosis, increasingly emerging in multi- drug resistant form.

A direct approach to prevent the transmission of airborne-mediated disease is inactivation of the corresponding airborne pathogens, and in fact the airborne antimicrobial efficacy of ultraviolet (UV) light has long been established.

Germicidal UV light can also efficiently inactivate both drug-sensitive and multi-drug-resistant bacteria, as well as differing strains of viruses.”

Hospitals decontaminate rooms that housed patients with dangerous and contagious infections such as C. difficile with UV light, according to The New York Times.11 During the Ebola outbreak in 2014, the University of Nebraska Medical Center successfully relied on UV light disinfection, reports the Times.12

The center allows large UV lamps to “shine for three to five minutes,” explained John Lowe, the medical center’s assistant vice chancellor for health security training and education, to the Times. “It disinfects anywhere it can shine.”13

At the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center, Dr. Richard Ellison, the hospital epidemiologist, concurs about the effectiveness of UV light. “The research supports this type of cleaning,” he says.14

UV Light Has Worked With Similar Coronaviruses

SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) is an animal-related respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus that surfaced in Asia in 2003. Though it was largely contained by 2004,15 a similar disease, MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), surfaced in 2012, originating in Saudi Arabia.16 COVID-19 shows “significant overlap” with both SARS and MERS, says Science Daily.17

The good news is that UV light has shown positive effects against MERS in scientific studies. According to research published in the journal Transfusion, two different UV light devices reduced MERS infectivity in platelets and plasma, as well as infectivity from the Ebola virus.18 Ebola is a rare, sometimes fatal illness first reported in Africa.19

A study published in Transfusion Medicine to determine if UV light could reduce MERS-Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) transmission by human platelet concentrates also found effectiveness combined with Amotosalen,20 a light-activated DNA and RNA crosslinking agent:21

“Complete inactivation of MERS-CoV in spiked platelet units was achieved by treatment with Amotosalen/UVA light with a mean log reduction of 4·48±0·3. Passaging of the inactivated samples in Vero E6 showed no viral replication even after nine days of incubation and three passages. Viral genomic …

Amotosalen and UVA light treatment of MERS-CoV-spiked platelet concentrates efficiently and completely inactivated MERS-CoV infectivity (>4 logs), suggesting that such treatment could minimize the risk of transfusion-related MERS-CoV transmission.”

Novel Uses of UV Light Disinfection Are Seen

Hospitals are well aware of the benefits of UV light in cleaning rooms and equipment but manual cleaning may not be as thorough as necessary. That is why the use of UV-disinfection robots is being explored. According to Interesting Engineering:22

“Maintaining a clean and safe healthcare environment is a top priority, and while significant progress has been made in sanitization methods, major improvements must still be made. According to the CDC even with modern sanitization protocols, on any given day, about one in 25 hospital patients will acquire at least one healthcare-associated infection.

Current manual cleaning methods are nearly helpless in combating against bacteria, but the battle is not lost. Infection prevention technologies are giving rise to a new era of ultra-clean hospital’s and emergency care facilities with the implementation of highly-efficient UV-disinfection robots …

The robots are fast and efficient, able to eliminate far more bacteria than humanly possible. Their ability to move around enables them to attack shadowed areas where many harmful organisms tend to manifest in places that are often missed by sanitization teams.”

Since COVID-19 can spread in venues other than medical settings, airlines are also exploring UV light disinfection. Boeing is developing a self-cleaning lavatory that is disinfected after every use with UV light, effectively killing 99.99% of pathogens on all surfaces in three seconds. The lavatory is also hands-free. According to Travel and Lesiure:23

“‘The UV light destroys all known microbes by literally making them explode,’ Boeing Research & Technology engineer Jamie Childress said in a statement. While Boeing says this particular type of light isn’t harmful to humans, the cleaning system is designed only to turn on when the bathroom door is closed and unoccupied.”

More Advantages of UV Disinfection

One reason pathogens are so difficult to kill is that they mutate and develop resistance, which renders antiviral medications and antibiotics developed especially for them useless. Not so with UV light disinfection, says a UV device maker. According to Clean Technica, referring to the Scientific Reports study published in 2018:24,25

“Another advantage of … [the] UVC study is that it’s both effective against bacteria which have evolved resistance to common drugs and it’s very unlikely that diseases and viruses could evolve to be resistant to it due to effective limitations on their scale.”

The goal of virus eradication is to stop the viruses from replicating. Digital Trends reported:26

“Viruses don’t reproduce on their own, but they do have genetic material, either DNA or RNA. They reproduce by attaching to cells and injecting their DNA …

UV light can cause [viruses’] thymine bases to fuse together, scrambling the DNA sequence and essentially throwing a wrench into the machinery. Since the DNA sequence is no longer correct, it can no longer replicate properly. This is how UV light annihilates viruses, by destroying their ability to reproduce.”

UV light may be an improvement over current disinfectants, especially those used outside. Worldwide reports say the most commonly used outdoor disinfectant against COVID-19 is a diluted solution of sodium hypochlorite known as household bleach. But there are drawbacks. Says Science magazine:27

“[I]t’s unclear whether bleach destroys coronaviruses outside, and if it does kill them on surfaces it’s unclear whether it would kill viruses in the air. Bleach itself breaks down under ultraviolet (UV) light. Then again, [Juan] Leon [an environmental health scientist at Emory University] says UV light seems to destroy coronaviruses as well …

There may even be downsides to widespread overzealous disinfection with bleach, notes Julia Silva Sobolik, a graduate student in Leon’s lab. ‘Bleach is highly irritating to mucous membranes,’ Sobolik says. That means people exposed to sprayed disinfectants — especially the workers who spray them — are at risk of respiratory troubles, among other ailments.

Sobolik notes that an October 2019 study in JAMA Network Open found that nurses who regularly used disinfectants to clean surfaces were at higher risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.28 A 2017 study linked exposure to disinfectants to asthma to adults in Germany.29

UV Light Can Help Personal Protective Equipment

Shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) for front line medical staff are widespread during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to The New York Times, protective facemasks for health care workers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center are now being decontaminated with UV light for reuse.30

“‘We are making the best of bad choices,’ said Dr. Mark Rupp, the medical center’s chief of infectious diseases. He feels confident that the masks will still protect health care workers. ‘The data is very clear that you can kill and inactivate viruses with UV germicidal irradiation,’ he said. ‘It is also very clear that you will not damage the respirators.'”

Other hospitals are also treating protective face masks with UV light, says the Times.31 Years ago when I was in college I got some sense of the power of UV light first hand. I developed the nail infection called onychomycosis characterized by yellow nail discoloration.

These infections are common but notoriously hard to treat even with powerful and sometimes risky oral antifungal drugs. In my case, my intensive running and lack of understanding of optimal diet probably contributed to the condition.

Medication treatments were unsuccessful, but, to my delight, my infection disappeared after frequent, daily doses of sunshine on my toes. Looking back, it makes perfect sense that sunlight would remove the infection since UV light is a very potent germicide.

For industrial uses, mere exposure to sunlight won’t do the trick — lamps emitting UV are required. They “could really be beneficial in disrupting disease transmission,” says Shawn Gibbs, who has studied UV disinfection at the Indiana University School of Public Health in Bloomington.32 Let’s hope UV light can be used to fight COVID-19.

Vitamin B1 Is Vital to Protect Against Infectious Disease

While a limited number of drugs have been enlisted in the treatment of severe coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) infection, a number of nutritional supplements have risen to the forefront for their apparent usefulness. In addition to quercetin, zinc and vitamins C and D, vitamin B1 (thiamine) may be vital to protect against infectious respiratory illness.

Thiamine is also part of Dr. Paul Marik’s sepsis treatment, which calls for 1,500 milligrams (mg) of intravenous ascorbic acid every six hours, 200 mg of thiamine every 12 hours and 50 mg of hydrocortisone every six hours.1

Sepsis, as you may have heard, is a major contributor in influenza deaths in general, and a primary cause for COVID-19 deaths specifically. In one clinical trial,2,3 Marik, a critical care doctor at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in East Virginia, showed his treatment reduced sepsis-related mortality nearly fivefold.

More recent research,4,5 published online January 9, 2020, found Marik’s sepsis protocol lowered mortality in pediatric patients as well. At the 30-day mark, controls and the hydrocortisone-only groups had a mortality rate of 28% while the treatment group had a mortality rate of just 9%.

Vitamin C, Thiamine and Steroids Have Synergistic Effects

All three ingredients in Marik’s sepsis protocol have synergistic effects, which seems to be why it’s so effective. Vitamin C is well-known for its ability to prevent and treat infectious diseases on its own.

Influenza,6 encephalitis and measles7 have all been successfully treated with high-dose vitamin C, and previous research has shown it effectively lowers proinflammatory cytokines and C-reactive protein.8,9,10

Vitamin C and corticosteroids, however, have been shown to work synergistically. This was demonstrated in a study11 by Marik in collaboration with John Catravas, Ph.D., a pharmacology researcher at Old Dominion University, and others, in which endothelial cells from lung tissue were exposed to lipopolysaccharide — a type of endotoxin found in patients with sepsis — in the absence or presence of ascorbic acid and hydrocortisone.

Interestingly, when either vitamin C or the steroid was administered in isolation, very little improvement in endothelial barrier function occurred. When administered together, however, the infection was successfully eradicated and the cells were restored to normal.

The addition of thiamine (vitamin B1) is also important. Not only is thiamine required for metabolism of some of the metabolites of vitamin C, thiamine deficiency syndrome (beriberi) has many similarities to sepsis, and thiamine deficiency is relatively common in critically ill patients.12

As noted in a 1955 study,13 thiamine deficiency is also prevalent in pulmonary tuberculosis, and the more severe the case, the more severe the thiamine deficiency.

Studies have also shown thiamine can be helpful for a long list of diseases and disorders, including mitochondrial disorders,14 heart failure,15 delirium,16 thyroid fatigue and Hashimoto’s (a thyroid autoimmune disorder).17 These and other health effects may help explain why thiamine works so well in conjunction with vitamin C and hydrocortisone for sepsis.

You can learn more about Marik’s sepsis protocol in “Vitamin C — A Game Changer in Treatment of Deadly Sepsis,” along with commonsense recommendations for how to lower your risk of sepsis in the first place.

You can also review Marik’s PowerPoint presentation, “Hydrocortisone, Ascorbic Acid and Thiamine for the Treatment of Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock,” presented at the 2020 Critical Care Reviews meeting in Australia.

Thiamine Deficiency Implicated in Severe Infections

Thiamine deficiency has also been implicated in severe infections specifically. A 2016 study18 in the journal Psychosomatics sought to investigate this by looking at 68 patients with Korsakoff syndrome, a memory disorder caused by severe thiamine deficiency.

While thiamine deficiency is often the result of alcohol misuse, it’s also associated with chronic infections, poor nutrition and/or malabsorption. As explained by the Alzheimer’s Association, “Thiamine helps brain cells produce energy from sugar. When levels fall too low, brain cells cannot generate enough energy to function properly.”19

In the Psychosomatics study, they found that 35 of 68 Korsakoff patients suffered severe infections during the acute phase of the illness, including meningitis, pneumonia and sepsis. According to the authors, “Infections may be the presenting manifestation of thiamine deficiency.”

Thiamine Helps Regulate Your Immune Function

Another study20 published in 2018 found thiamine helps limit Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) by regulating your innate immunity. According to this paper:

“… vitamin B1 promotes the protective immune response to limit the survival of MTB within macrophages and in vivo through regulation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? (PPAR-?).

Vitamin B1 promotes macrophage polarization into classically activated phenotypes with strong microbicidal activity and enhanced tumor necrosis factor-? and interleukin-6 expression at least in part by promoting nuclear factor-?B signaling.

In addition, vitamin B1 increases mitochondrial respiration and lipid metabolism and PPAR-? integrates the metabolic and inflammatory signals regulated by vitamin B1 … We demonstrate that vitamin B1 enhances anti-MTB activities in macrophages and in vivo by down-regulating PPAR-? activity.

Our data demonstrate important functions of thiamine VB1 in regulating innate immune responses against MTB and reveal novel mechanisms by which vitamin B1 exerts its function in macrophages.”

The Link Between Thiamine Deficiency and Fever

Thiamine deficiency is also associated with the development of high fever, and according to a letter to the editor,21 “Is Parenteral Thiamin a Super Antibiotic?” published in the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism in 2018, thiamine injections are “likely to eradicate microbial infections” causing the fever.

The authors cite some clinical case reports in which thiamine injections were able to reverse a number of acute illnesses in which high fever was a factor, including one case where the patient presented with high fever, headache and asphyxia (feelings of suffocation), and another where a comatose patient had high fever and severe pneumonia.

“… another laborer with much milder pneumonia, 38°C fever with few rales in the left lung died within 24 h, although a full dose of penicillin G was used, but no thiamin was given,” the authors note.

“This sharp contrast between the two cases made such a deep impression that it was strongly remembered. Fifty-six years later, it became a life-saving suggestion for a critical case with fatal viral pneumonia.”

The authors go on to detail an even more remarkable case involving a 38-year-old Chinese woman who was brought to the hospital with high fever (39 to 40 degrees C), pain, swollen legs and bloody sputum. Laboratory testing showed she was anemic and had low platelets, severe pneumonia, femoral thromboses and heart failure. She also tested positive for hepatitis C.

“An exhaustive identification study revealed that the pathogen of her pneumonia was diagnosed to be an unknown kind of virus,” the authors note. “Pulmonary lesions were extremely severe, strange, and rare with multiple small perforations in the left lung …

After 12 days of immunoglobulin, anti-viral, antithrombotic, and antipyretic medication, she was about to die when her family promptly carried her home … At home, thiamin 200 mg and VB complex 1 ampule (containg thiamin 10 mg, riboflavin 2 mg, niacinamide 30 mg, pyridoxin 2 mg, pantothenic acid 1 mg) were injected thrice daily.

Temperature returned to normal after 2 days and leg edema disappeared in 5 days … After 58 days, she was checked in the Beichen Hospital … The results revealed a normal heart; hepatitis C negative … less effusion in the left thoracic cavity; pleural thickness especially on the left side but no adhesion. Lung perforation was absent … She thereafter enjoyed excellent health without any sign of embolism or pneumonia recurrence.”

About 10 months after her initial hospitalization, she underwent a second follow-up, which revealed normal blood counts and electrocardiography. Her lungs also looked completely normal on X-rays, “with no thickening or adhesion of pleura except for a few texture thickenings in the lungs.”

According to the authors, this case made them wonder whether thiamine might be “a super antibiotic.” “It seemed to be surely so and was emerging to be a powerful alternative in the event of antibiotics failing,” they said.

Thiamine Deficiency Might Impact Pandemics

The World Health Organization has also published information about the importance of thiamine and how to prevent deficiency during major emergencies.22 According to WHO:

Thiamine deficiency occurs where the diet consists mainly of milled white cereals, including polished rice, and wheat flour, all very poor sources of thiamine. Thiamine deficiency can develop within 2-3 months of a deficient intake and can cause disability and death.”

Other evidence suggests thiamine insufficiency or deficiency can develop even faster than that, perhaps as quickly as two weeks, as its half-life in your system is only nine to 18 days.23

The WHO report also points out that “Thiamine deficiency occurs sporadically in people who are socially isolated, suffer loss of appetite and self-neglect” — a point that is particularly pertinent in current circumstances of global “shelter in place” requirements. What’s more:

“The requirement of thiamine is increased when carbohydrates are taken in large amounts and is raised during periods of increased metabolism, for example, fever, muscular activity, hyperthyroidism and also during pregnancy and lactation. A diet based on polished rice is high in carbohydrates which augments the thiamine requirement and is compounded by a low thiamine content.”

Aside from rice, junk food of all kinds tends to be loaded with carbohydrates as well, which could necessitate a higher-than normal thiamine intake to prevent side effects of thiamine deficiency. In adults, thiamine deficiency is divided into two primary types:24,25

  • Dry beriberi (thiamine deficiency with peripheral neuropathy) — Polyneuropathy with paraesthesia of the extremities (especially the legs), reduced knee jerk and other tendon reflexes, progressive severe weakness and wasting of muscles, and greatly increased susceptibility to infections.
  • Web beriberi (thiamine deficiency with cardiomyopathy) — Edema (especially of the legs, but also the trunk and face), high cardiac output, ventricular failure, sinus rhythm, dilatation of arterioles, depressed erythrocyte and leukocyte transketolase, elevated serum lactate and pyruvate, and pulmonary congestion with pleural effusions; death from congestive heart failure may occur abruptly.

By dramatically increasing susceptibility to infections, thiamine deficiency could potentially have the ability to impact the spread of just about any pandemic infectious disease.

The Importance of Thiamine in Septic Shock

With regard to sepsis — which is a primary reason why people die from COVID-19 — thiamine may be of vital importance. In a Journal of Thoracic Disease article with the evocative title, “Do Not Forget to Give Thiamine to Your Septic Shock Patient!” the authors stress that:26

“[Thiamine] is a water-soluble vitamin that is an indispensable constituent of cellular metabolism. A lack of this vitamin can, therefore, be potentially life-threatening … Thiamine diphosphate, also known as thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP) … is the most important and active form of this vitamin …

Thiamine pyrophosphate … acts in concomitance with magnesium to expedite various mitochondrial oxidative decarboxylation reactions.

Thiamine pyrophosphate is necessary as a cofactor for branched-chain ketoacid dehydrogenase complex essential for the metabolism of the branched-chain amino acids and for two critical complexes required for the mitochondrial synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP): pyruvate and 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase (?-ketoglutarate) complexes …

Also, TPP serves as a coenzyme for transketolase, a cytosolic enzyme implicated in the pentose phosphate pathway that functions in maintaining cell redox status through the production of NADPH (reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) and glutathione …

Lack of thiamine leads to alterations in intermediate metabolism that end-up in lactic acidosis …

Thiamine deficiency is also prevalent in septic shock patients, with rates ranging from 20% to 70% depending on the cutoff value used to define the presence of thiamine deficiency. Lack of thiamine reduces the flux of pyruvate to the Krebs cycle, thus increasing lactate production by altering the aerobic metabolism.

In a prospective, observational study, Donnino et al. investigated the relationship between thiamine levels and lactic acidosis in 30 septic shock patients …

After excluding patients with abnormal liver function tests, the authors observed a significant negative correlation between thiamine concentrations and lactic acidosis, implying a potential association between thiamine levels and lactic acidosis in septic shock patients with normal liver function.

Thus, the possibility that by decreasing the activity of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, thiamine deficiency can contribute to increased production of lactic acid in critically ill septic patients exists.”

The authors cite additional research strongly suggesting “the administration of thiamine is advantageous in septic shock patients with severe thiamine deficiency (thiamine level ?7 nmol/L).” Considering the safety of thiamine, even at high doses, the authors stress that “septic shock patients should be given thiamine … without waiting for the results of thiamine level.”

The European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism guidelines for patients in intensive care situations are 100 to 300 mg of thiamine per day “during the first three days in the ICU for all patients with suspected thiamine deficiency.”27

In cases of septic shock, however, dosages of 500 mg may be required. According to “Do Not Forget to Give Thiamine to Your Septic Shock Patient!”:28

“Because anaphylaxis has been reported in rare instances, guidelines in the United Kingdom have recommended that thiamine should be administered over 15- to 30-minute interval in a mixture of saline solution or dextrose, with the intention of averting potential adverse reactions.”

Vitamins C, D, Thiamine and Magnesium for Critical Illness

A 2018 report29 in Intensive Care Medicine also focuses on thiamine — here in conjunction with vitamins C and D. It cites research showing septic shock patients with thiamine deficiency who were given thiamine had far lower mortality (13%) than those who did not receive it (46%).30 They were also far less likely to suffer kidney failure.

Like thiamine, acute vitamin C deficiency is very common during critical illness yet tends to go unnoticed. As noted in this report, “Acute vitamin C deficiency may contribute to hypotension, exaggerated inflammation, capillary leakage, microcirculatory compromise, oxidative organ injury, and impaired immune defense and wound healing.”

Vitamin D deficiency is also common, and can worsen illness and increase the risk of death from acute illness. According to the authors of this report:

Preliminary data using novel methods suggest that glutathione and glutamate pathway metabolism, which are important for redox regulation and immunomodulation, are affected by vitamin D status …

The VITdAL-ICU study (n?=?475) did not find a difference in the length of hospital stay between groups, but there was a significant reduction in mortality in the predefined subgroup of patients with severe vitamin D deficiency. The most recent meta-analysis concludes that vitamin D in the ICU may be associated with mortality reduction.”

Surprisingly, magnesium has not been given much, if any, attention in all this. It may be just as important for the prevention and treatment of infection, however, seeing how magnesium is required for the activation of both thiamine31 and vitamin D.32,33,34

Will the Coming Warm Weather Reduce the Spread of COVID-19?

For everything there is a season, and that includes viruses. Whether it’s the common cold or flu viruses, in the U.S. the season begins in fall. By December, the viral spread is in full swing until it peaks in February. However, it’s different in the southern hemisphere where Africa, Australia and Brazil are approaching winter as the U.S. and most of Europe are sliding into spring and summer.

For an understanding of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) currently spreading across the world, it helps to have some background on the virus that triggers flu. Interestingly influenza viruses1 and COVID-192 have similar characteristics, including a heat-sensitive lipid layer.

The name “influenza” originates from the initial Italian name, which was “influenza di freddo” or “influence of the cold.”3 Yet, while the colder months have higher rates of infection, you can still get a cold or flu infection throughout the year.

Other respiratory viruses circulate during the flu season and may trigger similar symptoms. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is one that causes severe illness in young children and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is “a leading cause of death from respiratory illness in those aged 65 years and older.”4

Although flu is common and well-studied, it continues to be deadly. While estimates vary from year to year, the CDC estimated that for the 2018-2019 season there were 35.5 million sick with flu, 490,000 hospitalized with it and 34,200 who died because of it.5 But, the reality is these are only estimates since6 “flu deaths in children are reported to CDC; flu deaths in adults are not nationally notifiable.”

Rising Flu Infections Compound COVID-19

In order to improve the accuracy of tracking illness and death, researchers look at the rate of death from pneumonia and influenza as most fatalities from influenza involve pneumonia.7 In the 2018-2019 flu season, the CDC found the percentage of death attributed to pneumonia and influenza was at or above epidemic thresholds for 10 weeks.8

The rates in the 2017-2018 season were recorded over epidemic numbers for 16 weeks and exceeded 10% for four weeks.9 While these are concerning, it’s important to know they are based on those who have symptoms or see their physician. Like COVID-19, there are many who carry influenza without symptoms but can infect those around them.

Harvard Health Publishing10 reports that from 20% to 30% may have the virus without symptoms, but data from a community-based study in England11 suggests “most influenza infections are asymptomatic.” This is similar to what researchers are finding out about COVID-19.

Nearly 80% of people with the novel coronavirus are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms that don’t present the need for a physician appointment.12 Of the remaining 20%, the World Health Organization13 finds that 13.8% develop severe disease, which they define as significant respiratory distress with blood saturation levels less than or equal to 93%.

Unlike the death percentage from flu that may reach as much as 10% on peak weeks, numbers for COVID-19 indicate the worldwide “shelter in place” has kept the global percentage hovering from 4% to 5%. Of course, this is a global average as there are countries with higher and lower percentages. You can track the changing numbers on the Johns Hopkins map.14

Remember, the reported numbers of people who have been tested for COVID-19 are used in the map and not the total number who may or may not have symptoms. While just one death is too many, social distancing, frequent hand-washing and an understanding of how the virus spreads may keep the death rate lower than that from pneumonia and influenza.

The strain on medical resources commonly experienced during flu season is currently compounded by COVID-19, which also causes respiratory problems. These are important facts to remember as you read the headlines and emerging news reports.

COVID-19 May Recede in Summer Months

Just as flu has a season based on environmental temperatures, scientists are anticipating the same for COVID-19.15 Researchers studied the infectivity from January 21 to January 23, before the Chinese government put measures in place January 24 to stop the spread of the virus.16 This gave the scientists data on its natural, unhindered viral spread.

They found in the early stage of the outbreak, areas with low temperatures and lower humidity had higher numbers infected than those with warmer and more humid climates. Data from 14 countries with more than 20 cases from February 8 to February 29 revealed that its severity was dependent on temperature and humidity. The higher both measurements, the lower the severity during that time.17

Whether warm weather will help to flatten the curve and thus reduce the strain on medical resources remains a question.

Typically, this type of virus does exhibit seasonality, yet, as the BBC reports, pandemics may not follow seasonal patterns. Jan Albert, professor of infectious disease control at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, addressed the question of whether there would be a seasonal flow:18

“Eventually we would expect to see Covid-19 becoming endemic. And it would be really surprising if it didn’t show seasonality then. The big question is whether the sensitivity of this virus to [the seasons] will influence its capacity to spread in a pandemic situation. We don’t know for sure, but it should be in the back of our heads that it is possible.”

Endemic infections are those that have been moving through the human population for years. Many of the coronaviruses have been endemic and therefore have responded to seasonal changes,19 giving researchers hope that COVID-19 will respond similarly as the spring and summer months arrive.

Experts across the world have tried to estimate the spread of the disease and believe it hovers between 2.0 and 2.5, which means for every infected person there will be two to 2.5 who become infected.20

One reason researchers expect a summer drop in transmissibility is humidity. Virologist Thomas Pietschmann from the Center for Experimental and Clinical Infection Research in Hanover, Germany, explains:21

“What’s special about this virus is that humans are confronted with it for the first time. From the data we have from China, we can conclude that the virus has only once passed from an animal to humans and spread from there.

Viruses have greater stability at low temperatures. This is similar to food that keeps longest in the refrigerator. On cold and usually dry winter days, the small droplets, together with the viruses, float in the air longer than when the air humidity is high.”

Viruses Affect Gender Differently

Data have also shown that women have a higher rate of COVID-19 survival than men;22 this is similar to the flu.23 While it appears men and women have been infected at the same rate, the percentage who have died is greater for men. The New York Times reports the Chinese CDC published an analysis showing COVID-19 deaths in men numbered 2.8%, but in women it was 1.7%.

Researchers found the same thing with the SARS and MERS virus outbreaks. Some experts believe the differences may lie in the ability to mount a better immune response against infections.

Seasonal Fluctuations May Be Related to Vitamin D

While many believe getting the flu shot will reduce your risk, the effectiveness is usually less than 50%.24 Instead, you may have a better chance of reducing severity and infectivity by paying attention to your vitamin D levels. Many believe the rise and fall of infections are based on three factors, two of which involve your immune system:25

  • Spending more time indoors during the winter months with the windows sealed means you’re more likely to be infected breathing the same air as someone who is carrying a virus.
  • The days are shorter, and the lack of sunshine affects your vitamin D and melatonin levels, which in turn impacts your immune system.
  • The virus survives better in cold dry climates.

As far back as 1981 researchers were proposing there was a seasonal reason behind influenza epidemics. In a review of published literature,26 researchers noted that the robust seasonal vitamin D production, normally an option during the summer months, leaves people deficient in the winter.

This deficiency predisposes children to respiratory infections. They also found adults injected with live influenza virus were more likely to develop symptoms when their vitamin D level was low. They concluded that the seasonal stimulus proposed in 1981 was a function of vitamin D deficiency.

Some scientists have suggested that vitamin D induces another molecule, cathelicidin, to activate genes involved in the immune system.27 GrassrootsHealth reports that several randomized controlled trials have demonstrated the effectiveness vitamin D has in reducing the risk of contracting the flu, regardless of the mechanism.28

To fully support your body’s ability to fight infections, you’re aiming for a level between 60 and 80 ng/mL, with 40 ng/mL being the lowest cutoff for sufficiency. Although research may suggest how much it would take for the average person to achieve 40 ng/mL, your individual requirement may vary.

To know if you need a supplement or not, you’ll need to get your levels tested. Regular exposure to sunlight is the ideal way to optimize your vitamin D levels, but this may not be possible during the winter months if you live in the northern hemisphere.

GrassrootsHealth makes testing easy by offering an inexpensive vitamin D testing kit as part of its consumer-sponsored research. By signing up, you are helping further vital health research that can help millions in coming years. All revenues from these kits go directly to GrassrootsHealth. I make no profit from these kits and only provide them as a service of convenience to my readers.

Support Your Immune System and Reduce Infections

There are several strategies you can use to support your immune system and reduce the number and severity of infections. Your immune system is your first line of defense against infection and to support health.

In addition to optimizing vitamin D and the suggestions listed below, you’ll also want to wash your hands frequently to reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria that trigger infections. For information on effectiveness and technique see “The Impact of Effective Handwashing Against Infection.”

Nutrition — The role of your gut microbiome in your immune system function has been well documented in the past years.29,30,31 To support your gut microbiota it’s important to feed and care for your beneficial bacteria.

You can do this by limiting antibiotics to critical use, eating a high fiber diet to feed your microbiota, and including fermented foods in your nutritional plan to populate your gut with beneficial bacteria. Steer clear of sugar and processed foods, which feed harmful bacteria.

Sleep — There is a high cost to sleep deprivation, including damage to your immune system. As I’ve written before, a lack of sleep increases your risk of obesity, dementia, cancer, osteoporosis and results in premature aging. If you have trouble sleeping, see “Top 33 Tips to Optimize Your Sleep Routine” for suggestions to help you achieve quality sleep.

Exercise — Regular exercise can reduce the potential you’ll get infected with a virus, with at least one study reporting the reduction being32 as high as 46%. Even those who were infected experienced a reduction in the severity of their symptoms.

Since exercise has repeatedly been proven to boost your immune system, treat it like a crucial part of your daily routine. However, not everyone relishes the idea. If you need help adding exercise to your routine see “Here’s How to Make Yourself Love Exercise.”

Weekly Health Quiz: Coronavirus, Meditation and 5G

1 Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are two drugs commonly used to treat:

  • High blood pressure
  • Gout
  • Diabetes
  • Malaria

    Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are two drugs commonly used to treat malaria. They are currently under investigation for potential antiviral activity that may help support treatment in those with severe COVID-19. Learn more.

2 What’s the best course of action when you have a fever below 104 degrees F?

  • Avoid fever-reducing medication; get plenty of bedrest, drink lots of fluids and “sweat it out”

    A number of studies have come to the conclusion that treating fever can prolong and exacerbate illness. A better alternative — provided your temperature does not get dangerously high — is to get plenty of bedrest, drink lots of fluids and simply “sweat it out.” Learn more.

  • Take ibuprofen or another nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory and drink lots of Gatorade
  • Take acetaminophen (paracetamol, sold under the brand name Tylenol) and drink plenty of water or hot tea
  • Take a combination of NSAID and Tylenol and move about as much as you’re able

3 Which of the following countries has deployed 5G-equipped robots that measure people’s body temperature to identify sick individuals in large crowds?

  • United States
  • China

    In China, monitoring and tracking of individuals includes the deployment of 5G-equipped robots that measure people’s body temperature. Anyone with a body temperature above 37.3 degrees Celsius (99.14 F) is suspected of being sick. Learn more.

  • Denmark
  • Japan

4 Which of the following inhibits activation of NLRP3 inflammasomes — implicated in acute respiratory distress syndrome and acute lung injury, both of which are potential outcomes of COVID-19 infection — thus offering potential protection against infection?

  • Resveratrol
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • Melatonin

    The inflammasome NLRP3 is a key culprit in acute respiratory distress syndrome and acute lung injury, both of which are potential outcomes of COVID-19 infection. Melatonin inhibits the activation of NLRP3 inflammasomes, thus offering potential protection against infection. Learn more.

  • Vitamin D

5 What kind of equipment would you need for an effective coronavirus quarantine workout?

  • A rowing machine
  • An exercise bicycle
  • A suspension bodyweight trainer
  • A mat or soft surface

    To maintain your fitness during coronavirus quarantine, all you need is a mat or soft surface. Learn more.

6 Which of the following are known effects of meditation?

  • Reduced anxiety and depression, and improved heart health

    Clinically, mindfulness-based meditation practice has been demonstrated in randomized trials to improve depressive symptoms and to have lasting anti-anxiety effects after only eight weeks of group practice. Learn more.

  • Increased judgment through clear seeing
  • Increased blood pressure in those with low blood pressure
  • Improved vocabulary through enlargement of the speech area of the brain

7 Which of the following therapies has the ability to kill lipid-coated viruses such as COVID-19, and may in fact be an ideal antiviral?

  • Blue light therapy
  • Ozone therapy

    The coronavirus is a lipid-coated virus and rich in cysteine amino acid residues; if you disrupt that lipid coat or oxidize the vulnerable cysteine, you reduce or eliminate its infectivity. Ozone attacks lipids and key amino acids, and viruses cannot repair that damage. Thus, ozone may effectively destroy the virus. According to ozone therapy expert Dr. Robert Rowen, ozone may in fact be an ideal antiviral. Learn more.

  • Magnesium-enriched water
  • Molecular hydrogen

Kat (of GAoG)… [PART 2 of her] Notes from David Wilcock on the Great Pandemic, Part IV: Q&A PART 2

These also just came out from Kat. Part 1 of the notes are here (related Kp blog post).

As before, I’m copying the text only here, but some may wish to go to the GAoG link to view screen captures of David’s slides she included. Thank you Kat!!

———————————————————–

David Wilcock on the Great Pandemic, Part IV: Q&A Pt. 2 [by Kat]

David Wilcock on the Great Pandemic, Part IV: Q&A
April 5, 2020 by Kat

(Concluded from yesterday.)

4 : 4 is meant to be a very powerful meditation day — (1.)

I’ll spend much of today praying and meditating for Gaia, her kingdoms—Animals, Elements, Minerals, Plants, Forests, Mountains, Magical, Devas, Crystals, Precious stones, All her kingdoms known and unknown to me at this time—humanity and all beings; that we are restored to our perfect, immaculate Divine blueprint selves: Shining youth, sparkling health, unceasing wealth, infinite happiness, harmony with all, kindness, love, peace, creativity, innovation, Cities of Light, Galactic travel, all good and wondrous things.

If there are Military operations taking place right now, as I believe there are, then I send prayers of protection to the brave Alliance and blessings of victory to the Forces of Light. Thank you for your brave service to Gaia and mankind.

In this second transcription of video IV, David chats about a lot of different stuff: Diet, lucid dreaming, his upcoming class, The Great Awakening, guest faculty, etc. All very interesting. (2.)

Below is what I grabbed.

Peace, love and light to all,

xo, Kat
________________________

David Wilcock on the Great Pandemic, Part IV: Q&A Pt. 2

Transcribed by Kat
David Wilcock on the Great Pandemic, Part IV: Q&A

2:46:22 Question: What is your #1 reason for believing in the Great Awakening?

Answer: The #1 reason is… that I believe in an Intelligent Universal Creator… I believe in God… whatever you want to call it… I believe in an Intelligent Infinity… I believe that this is a conscious sentient Universe and I believe that the Universe speaks to us when we understand how to decipher it through synchronicity, dreams, and ultimately through direct telepathy… Third eye…

2:47:15 I believe this is a good Universe, it is not an evil Universe… beings like Jesus and Buddha told us that Love is the key… I believe that’s true… that Loving Consciousness is the energy of the Universe and that ultimately this negative stuff that we’re going through right now is all authorized… as part of our Great Awakening… the beings are not going to let them [cabal] do a 5G meltdown… not going to let them do a nuclear war… not going to let them blow up the whole planet… this thing is a safe contained process that we’re going through… gives people the opportunity for solitude so they can be home…

2:48 Answer: …Whoever has been confused is not going to have that luxury anymore after the world televised sit-down, as the President is calling it, in the Q-Anon stuff… you’re gonna know… the key is coaching them through this… up until then, I don’t know if they’re going to listen to you or not… honestly…

2:48:35 Question: Why do so many people have to suffer before we awaken?
Answer: Unfortunately suffering, or what they call ‘catalyst’ in the Law of One, is what cracks the shell that we build around our hearts… it is only by cracking that shell that we build around our hearts, that we start to learn to love one another…

Suffering is only meted out by your soul to the degree necessary to awaken you to the importance of living in a loving Universe, and that love is the agenda, and love is what you’re here to spread, and to promote, and that’s it, that’s the way it works… If you’re not existing in a state of loving kindness as your general operating system, then you’re going to keep getting thumped by the Universe until you learn to be there… that’s one of the basic teaching of the Law of One… you will keep getting moved until you stay in a loving consciousness state…

2:50:35 Question: Besides meditation, what is essential to be practicing in these times of change?

Answer: I really think the most important thing right now is service to others… try to get people awakened… educate yourself… take this time of solitude to read books, to watch the videos you want to watch, to study the things you want to study… building your knowledge… reaching out to other people… helping people… doing what you can to dissolve fear, to build trust, to build love, to build happiness… all that stuff is very good.

2:51:15 Question: How Can I find my life’s purpose in this emerging paradigm?
Answer: I like to go along with what Joseph Campbell always said which is, “Follow your bliss…” if this is what you’re most passionate about it’s very closely related to your life’s purpose… then the key is how do you merge your bliss with something that will actually generate income.. I will be talking about that in my Great Awakening classes… now with everybody shifting with working from home…

2:52:25 Dannion Brinkley Question
Answer: Discussion about this… Dannion’s experiences with near-death… In his first near-death experience in the 1970’s… he saw these colorful beings of light they didn’t have faces… rainbow colored beings of light… brought forth what were almost like laptop computers and they opened up and there were these visions of the future in there… when you read his classic Saved By The Light that has sold more than 21 million copies… he had these boxes of knowledge shown to him by these beings and many of those prophesies have come true…

2:54 When we were first get through this mass shutdown… Dannion said, I don’t understand it, the boxes of knowledge never showed me this stupid pandemic… but as we kept talking he realized, wait a minute… I remember him saying this over and over again… one of the key things from that experience was that the battle for the future of humanity would be fought in healthcare… so now look at what’s happening… the whole battle for the future of humanity, whether we’re even going to live as planet Earth or not, is being fought in the healthcare system… do we have enough masks, ventilators, hospitals, beds… so that’s a really cool thing that Dannion Brinkley’s prophecies are true… the beings were right, the battle for the future of humanity would be fought in healthcare… but we will all be fine…

2:55 Meditation with David

3:16 Meditation with Elizabeth Wilcock who is playing Tibetan bowls (gorgeous)

Elizabeth: Imagine the light of the divine pouring over the planet and blessing each being on the planet, all the people the animals, children, and the elements of the Earth, bathing Earth in beautiful Divine Angelic light.. seeing this world as beautiful and perfect and that Divine natural essence we have seen before that many of us know… seeing the world as perfect… taking this combined consciousness that we all have… using our co-creative abilities that we have been blessed with.. see yourself as perfect, the world as perfect, imagine every being, being blessed with protection and peace and health and abundance, all good things…

David: We also ask that all those in the Alliance, from the highest levels of the command, all the way down through the foot soldiers… everyone… we ask that they be guided and supported… to make the best decisions possible… to get this plan accomplished… and get to that point where we are free…

Elizabeth: This is the time for the Light to infuse this planet… the light to be anchored in on this planet… we bless all the people who have devoted themselves to this… risking much… we ask that they be protected by the light of the Divine… the angels… the Earth.. and all the beings…. As we make a sacred stand for the reclamation of all that was taken from us… united in one mind… a mind of wishing goodness for this planet and for all beings…

And so it is.

David: The best way to help the planet is to stay in this place of peace…

________________________

Footnotes

1. Global Meditation for Planetary Healing and Ascension, April 4th/5th, 2020

https://goldenageofgaia.com/2020/04/03/308557/

Ascension report: White hat Earth Alliance is in full control, 4.4 portal aligning – JENJI

https://www.matahariji.com/single-post/2020/03/26/Ascension-report-Whit-hat-Earth-Alliance-is-in-full-control

2. David Wilcock: The Great Awakening Class + free video

The Great Awakening

Dana Ashlie 3-31-20 VIDEO… “More good news? Citizen reporters go & do what the media won’t!”

Excellent video by Dana (and, I believe, her 12 year old son) that collects many many video snippets from a variety of citizen journalists around the planet, showing that the msm reports of “dire emergency huge crowds of people lining up because of the CV-19” is FALSE.

Very nicely done.

Found this at WDiM.

[Kp video note: PLEASE, if you make a video, do it in landscape mode (holding phone horizontal) NOT portrait (as many of the snippets are in this video). You lose most of the side images that way.]
.

https://youtu.be/5pIMD1enwd4