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The Current Coronavirus Pandemic – Updated

The World Health Organization (WHO) gave the new coronavirus the name "COVID-19" on February 11, 2020, and declared it a pandemic on March 10, 2020. COVID-19 is not more severe than many flu viruses. However, it is incredibly contagious.

Latest Advice on the COVID-19 Pandemic

Federal guidelines now require most Americans to avoid non-essential travel, non-essential work, eating at bars and restaurants, and gathering in groups of more than 10, at least through April 30, 2020. Many states and local governments have stricter directives that take precedence over the federal guidelines.

A First Vaccine for COVID-19

Oxford University in England has developed a vaccine and will start trials on more than 6,000 people on Thursday, April 30, 2020, to see if their new vaccine is safe and effective.

The Search for Drugs to Treat COVID-19

Today there are no drugs that have been proven to treat the coronavirus, COVID-19, but a study from China showed that the inexpensive anti-malarial drug, Chloroquine phosphate, was safe and effective in shortening the course and decreasing symptoms in patients suffering from COVID-19 pneumonia.

Protecting Yourself from COVID-19

As businesses and activities are re-opening, many people have decided to relax their precautions to avoid infection with COVID-19. If you are a person who is at high risk for complications from this virus, I believe that you should continue to be on guard.

Sunlight: More than Vitamin D

For many years I have offered my opinion that sunlight provides benefits that are not gained just from taking vitamin D pills. Recent research is confirming that opinion, and many scientists now believe that low vitamin D blood levels are only a marker for not getting enough sunlight.

Recent News on COVID-19

CAUTION: The news media often reports on articles from the websites of scientific journals that have not yet been peer reviewed by other doctors. It has become common practice to "pre-publish" studies or press releases online before they have been fully reviewed, and many of these reports are sent out by companies with a lot of money at stake.

Alcohol At Any Dose Can Increase Cancer Risk

Compared to non-drinkers, people who take one or two drinks per day for one year are at increased risk for cancer, and drinking even one glass of wine a day raises the risk of cancer of the throat, esophagus, liver, colon, rectum or breast.

Night-Time Leg Cramps

Up to 60 percent of North American adults suffer from night-time leg cramps, a sudden painful contraction usually of the calf muscles that can last from a few seconds up to 10 minutes or more. Doctors do not know what causes most cases of leg cramps, but usually they are not caused by dehydration or lack of minerals.

Potential Drugs, Treatments and Vaccines for COVID-19

We have no drugs yet proven to prevent or treat COVID-19, although some drugs appearĀ  promising, as do transfusions of blood donated by people who have recovered and are now immune. The virus is spread from one person to another; it has not been shown to be spread from animals or food.

Potential Treatments for COVID-19

As of today doctors have no proven effective treatment for COVID-19. However, many studies are being conducted all over the world. Here are some of the reported studies.

Treatment of COVID-19

As of 3/27/20, we have no drugs that have been proven to be effective for shortening the course of COVID-19 infections. Several possible drugs are currently being tested in the midst of the massive outbreak in New York City.

Dementia Risk May Be Increased by Some Common Drugs

A study of 58,769 patients over 55 years of age diagnosed with dementia and 225,574 people of the same age without dementia found a 50 percent increased risk of dementia among people who used a strong anticholinergic drug daily for about three years within the 10-year study period

Aging and Risk for Dementia

Dementia means loss of brain function, and your chance of having dementia increases with age. Doctors can now predict increased risk for developing dementia by ordering an MRI which can show decreased volume of grey matter in the brain.

Large Doses of Vitamin D Can Be Harmful

Lack of vitamin D can cause weak bones that break easily, bone pain, and muscle weakness, and may increase risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, certain cancers, nerve damage and autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis. However, taking very high doses (>3000 IU/day) of vitamin D can harm you.

Breakthrough Research from Winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Medicine

2019 Nobel Prize honors the discovery of how your body responds when you can't meet your needs for oxygen. Their groundbreaking research is now being used to treat certain cancers, strokes, infections, anemia, heart attack risks, and some eye diseases that can cause blindness.

Sunlight May Help to Prevent Auto-Immune Diseases by Altering Gut Bacteria

Lack of vitamin D may change the colon bacteria to an overabundance of harmful bacteria to cause inflammation that increases risk for autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, lupus and some types of arthritis.

Dry, Cracked Skin on Heels (Fissures)

Dry skin on any part of the body can be annoying and can cause flaking and cracking, redness due to scratching, and unsightly patches of thick or hard skin. When dry skin occurs on the feet, the symptoms are magnified due to wearing shoes, the stretching of the skin on the feet with every step . . .

Some Cases of Dementia Have Effective Treatments

More than six million North Americans suffer from dementia, which affects three percent of people age 65-74, 17 percent of age 75-84, and 32 percent of those age 85 and older. Anything that damages brain cells can cause dementia and many of the causes are treatable.

Gut Bacteria and Auto-Immune Diseases

New studies show that two auto-immune diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis, may be caused by having pro-inflammatory bacteria in your gut. These bacteria are likely to punch holes in your intestines, which allows bacteria to slip into your bloodstream to cause inflammation.

Hammer Toes

A hammertoe is a general name for a toe that is bent. Hammertoes are caused by genetics, arthritis, poor-fitting shoes, or feet that are either excessively high-arched or flat. You can't change genetics, and in most cases, you can't prevent arthritis.

Lifestyle Changes Do Help to Prevent Cancers and Heart Attacks

In North America, more than 40 percent of cancers and cancer deaths from 26 different cancers are associated with lifestyle factors such as excess weight, a faulty diet or lack of exercise.

Why Obesity Increases Risk of Death from COVID-19 or Influenza

A review of 4,103 patients found that obesity and its resultant inflammation, heart disease and diabetes are the most common conditions found in patients requiring hospitalization with COVID-19.

How Do You Catch a Cold?

Colds and pneumonia are caused by infection. You do not pick up infections from cold weather, you get germs from other people who sneeze or cough in your face or transmit germs with their hands to objects that you touch.

Dementia Risk Increased by Harmful Bacteria in Your Colon

More than 30 percent of North Americans over the age of 85 suffer from dementia. A study presented recently at the International Stroke Conference 2019 shows that having harmful bacteria in your colon increases risk for dementia.

Inflammation Can Help or Harm

Your body uses inflammation to protect you from invading germs and to heal injuries. When a germ gets into your body, you make cells and proteins to kill that germ. As soon as the germ is gone, your immune system is supposed to dampen down and stop making large amounts of these cells and antibodies.

Bunions (Hallux Valgus)

A bunion is a bony prominence on the side of the foot, at the base of the big toe joint. This enlargement of the joint, spurring, bump or lump can be aggravated by sports or tight shoes. There is progressive movement of the big toe toward the other toes.

Getting Rid of Dark Spots on the Skin

With aging, many people develop dark spots on their skin, particularly in the sun-exposed areas of the face and back of the hands. Others develop dark spots after pregnancy or trauma, such as an abrasion, insect bite or cut.

Alzheimer’s Disease May Come From an Infection

Nearly fifty percent of people over 85 suffer from symptoms of dementia of which Alzheimer's disease, a progressive loss of brain cells, is the most common form. The second most common type of dementia comes from repeated strokes. This month researchers offer strong evidence that Alzheimer's disease may be started by an infection.

How Prunes Treat Constipation

A study this month showed that prunes are an effective treatment for constipation, with 120 healthy adults, who did not eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and had bowel movements only 3 to 6 times a week, assigned to groups given either 0, 10 or 15 prunes per day for 4 weeks.