Doctor Recommends Virus Precautions

Courtesy CDC    The “social distancing” measures currently underway are designed to “flatten the curve” and extend medical resources and facilities’ ability to keep up with necessary care. Common sense behaviors prevent all kinds of illnesses.

In the 1970s, James Robb, MD FCAP — renowned pathologist, microbiologist and former professor of pathology at the University of California San Diego — became one of the first molecular virologists in the world to work on coronaviruses. “I was the first to demonstrate the number of genes the virus contained,” Robb said. “Since then, I have kept up with the coronavirus field and its multiple clinical transfers into the human population from different animal sources.”

Robb projects that the disease will most likely be widespread in the United States by mid- to late-March and into April.

Recommended Precautions 
1) Do not shake hands. Robb recommends using fist or elbow bumps or taking at slight bow when interacting with others. 
2) Use only your knuckles to touch light switches, elevator buttons and other things you would normally do with your open hand. 
3) Open doors with your closed fist or hip — do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door; especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.
4) Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available. Be sure to wipe the handle and child seat on the grocery carts.
5) Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds with a greater than 60 percent alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Do this whenever you return home from any activity that involves locations where other people have been.
6) Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home’s entrances and in your car for use after getting gasoline or touching other contaminated objects when you can’t immediately wash your hands. When getting gas, be sure to lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.
7) If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard that tissue immediately. Cough or sneeze into your elbow only if you must. Remember that any clothing you cough or sneeze into could contain infectious viruses that can be passed on to others for a week or more. 

Recommended Supplies  
1) Latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves for use when going shopping, using the gasoline pump, and all other outside activity when you come in contact with contaminated areas.

Robb explains that the coronavirus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you but all the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for about a week on average. Everything associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. 

Robb says that if this virus is on surfaces you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon. This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells, which means it only infects your lungs. He says that the only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth by way of your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth.

2) Use disposable surgical masks to prevent touching your nose and mouth. Robb said that we touch our noses and mouths some 90 times a day with realizing it. 

Touching the nose and mouth with anything infected with the disease is the only way this virus can infect you. Robb calls the coronavirus “lung-specific” and reminds us that a mask will not prevent the virus in a direct sneeze from getting into the nose or mouth. Masks should be used only to keep us from touching our noses or mouths.

3) Hand sanitizers and latex or nitrile gloves (get the appropriate sizes for your family). The hand sanitizers must be alcohol-based and greater than 60 percent alcohol to be effective.
4) Zinc lozenges. Robb says that these lozenges have been proven effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. He recommends using these lozenges as directed several times each day when you begin to feel any “cold-like” symptoms coming on.  It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of the throat. Cold-Eeze lozenges is one brand available, but there are other brands available.

“Humans have never seen this snake-associated virus before and have no internal defense against it,” Robb said. “Tremendous worldwide efforts are being made to understand the molecular and clinical virology of this virus.”  

Unbelievable molecular knowledge about the genomics, structure and virulence of this virus has already been achieved. “However, there will be no drugs or vaccines available this year to protect us or limit the infection within us,” Robb said. “Only symptomatic support is available.”

 

This article originally appeared on Oakland’s Laurel Village Yahoo Group’s blog. The Alameda Sun thanks Dr. James Robb and Laurel Village’s John and Jo-Ann Donivan for permission to publish it.