COVID 19: What You Need To Know

COVID 19: What You Need To Know

Have you become confused and overwhelmed by the news coverage of COVID 19?

Are you looking for clear and concise information on the current COVID virus?

If so, you are in the right place.

Today, I wrote an article about what you need to know about the COVID virus.

In this article, I will cover:

  • A brief overview of the COVID virus.
  • How the effects of the COVID virus compares to a past similar viral infections such as SARs.
  • How the COVID virus compares to the Flu virus.
  • How the symptoms of the COVID virus compare to the common cold and the Flu?
  • How is the COVID virus transmitted?
  • How does the COVID virus affect mortality?
  • What the medical and natural treatment interventions for COVID 19 virus?
  • What Supplements May Be Helpful?

Let’s jump straight in with an overview of the virus.

COVID -19 – An Overview

The COVID-19 virus is a type of novel coronavirus.

The first reported case of the virus was on December 31, 2019, in Wuhan, China.

As of March 18, 2020, according to the World Health Organization, there were approximately 200,000 confirmed cases in 159 countries, with 8,000 deaths.

In Canada, there have been more than 450 cases and five deaths.

Scientists describe the virus as novel in nature because of the unusual way the virus enters cells via the ACE2 gene.

Like the SARs virus, scientists assume the COVID-19 can alter interferon levels.

Also, like SARs, COVID-19 is a lipid-enveloped virus.

You will understand the relevance of these characteristics later on when I talk about how to best to treat the virus.

How Does The COVID Virus Compare To SARs?

To put the current situation, I thought it would be useful to compare the effects of two past virus outbreaks, namely SARS (2003)and H1N1 (2009) or “Swine flu.”

The total number of confirmed cases for COVID, SARS and H1N1 was 200,000 (to date), 8,000, and between 700 million and 1.4 billion, respectively.

The total number of deaths for COVID, SARS and H1N1 was 8,000 (to date), 774, and between 151,000 and 550,000, respectively.

The mortality rate for COVID, SARS and H1N1 was 3.4%, 10-50% and 0.01-0.08%, respectively.

How do the effects of the COVID virus compare to the Flu virus?

The incubation period for COVID and the Flu are 2-14 days and 1-4 days, respectively.

The onset of symptoms for COVID and the Flu is gradually over about ten days, and suddenly within 48 hours, respectively.

The length of symptoms for COVID and the Flu are 3-7 days, and 2-40 days, respectively.

The severity of symptoms for COVID and the Flu are typically mild but can become severe in high-risk populations, and sudden onset of mild to severe illness, respectively.

How Do The Symptoms Of The COVID Virus Compare To The Common Cold And The Flu?

People with COVID, the common cold and the flu experience body aches and pains occasionally, commonly and rarely, respectively.

People with COVID, the common cold and the Flu all experience a cough; COVID causes a dry cough.

People with COVID, the common cold and the flu experience a runny or stuffy nose rarely, commonly, and occasionally, respectively.

People with COVID, the common cold and the flu experience is sneezing rarely, commonly and occasionally, respectively.

Other common symptoms of COVID are feeling tired and a fever.

How is the COVID virus transmitted?

The natural hosts for the COVID virus are bats and rodents. The virus can be transmitted to other mammals such as Civets and Camels.

The virus is primarily transmitted between humans via airborne respiratory droplets. Aerosols and fomites may play a secondary role in transmission.

How does the COVID virus affect mortality?

The COVID virus has a higher mortality rate than influenza, 3.4% compared to 0.1-1.0%.

Mortality is primarily in the elderly over 70 and in people with a predisposing respiratory condition.

There is a lower mortality rate in people under the age of 65.

To date, there have been no deaths in children under the age of 9.

What are the medical and natural prevention interventions for COVID 19 virus?

As there is currently no vaccine or specific medical treatment available for COVID-19, the key to treatment is PREVENTION!

The US and Chinese health authorities are actively working on a vaccine.

There are reports of preliminary trials in March, with a projected release of the vaccine to the public in April.

Medical treatment for severe cases is currently supportive, including oxygen support.

Necessary medical prevention measures include self-isolation and following best hygiene practices.

A natural prevention intervention is to focus the five pillars of immune health, including diet, exercise, stress management, sleep and social connection. The more information on the five pillars check out my previous article.

What Supplements May Be Helpful?

Due to the lack of scientific data, there are no herbal medicines or other supplements that we can say can help prevent or treat the COVID virus.

That being said, there are three broad treatment strategies we could follow based on:

  • What we know about how the virus works in the body, as explained above in the overview of the COVID virus.
  • What supplements have been shown to help other similar viruses?
  • Our knowledge of general natural anti-viral supplements.
  • Our understanding of natural immune-supporting supplements.

The following is a list of supplements that may be helpful based on the above criteria.


Astragulus is a beneficial herb in terms of immune modulation and the treatment of viruses in general.


Copper has been shown to inactivate two other types of coronavirus, namely 229E and Sars. 

It is important to remember that taking zinc may affect the absorption of copper.


Echinacea is good for strengthening the immune systemreducing the risk of the common cold and reducing the risk of cumulative viral infections.


Elderberry is possibly the most significant natural supplement as regard COVID-19 treatment.

Elderberry is highly effective against human coronavirus NL63.

Furthermore, Elderberry has two functions of the three that I mentioned above regarding how the COVID virus works. Firstly, Elderberry stops the ACE2 attachment used by the virus to enter the cell. Secondly, Elderberry is a lipid envelope disruptor, so potentially could be effective against any Corona type viruses.

Garlic (Allicin)

Allicin is an extract of garlic that has been shown to reduce the severity of cold and Flu symptoms and strengthen the immune system.

The best form of allicin is obtained by eating raw garlic. Otherwise, you can buy it as a supplement form.


Goldenseal is a herb that has anti-viral and anti-microbial properties.


L-lysine is an amino acid that is most well known for its uses in herpes simplex virus infections. Anecdotally L-lysine appears to have a broader against viruses in general.

Medicinal Mushrooms

There is no data showing that medicinal mushrooms can help with the treatment of Coronaviruses. However, because of their immune-stimulating and stress modulating effects, they can be a useful option.

N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC)

NAC is another amino acid that may help reduce the effects of the Flu as well as lowering mucous production.


Oregano is one of the most potent broad-spectrum and microbial and anti-viral supplements in general use.


Probiotics benefit immune function by promoting a healthy composition of bacteria in the GI tract and improving the regulation of inflammation in the body.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C would appear an obvious option, given its anti-microbial and anti-oxidant properties. However, there are some concerns about Vitamin C because it has increases the levels of Interferon in the body. As mentioned earlier, the COVID virus utilizes Interferon in the body. With this point in mind, I suggest limiting Vitamin C to 1000mg per day.


Quercetin has both anti-microbial and anti-viral properties. Using Vitamin C and Quercetin together has synergistic effects for immune-boosting activity by reducing oxidative stress and DNA damage.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D increases levels of ACE2 and Interferon in the body. With this fact in mind, you should limit your dose of Vitamin D to 4000 iu per day.


Zinc has a protective effect against the common cold and has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

What Do You Think?

Do you have more questions about the COVID virus?

Do you have questions about the supplements?

Either way, leave a comment below.

Help And Online Dispensary

If you need any extra help I offer Functional Medicine consultations both in person and via telemedicine. To book an appointment or find out more please call 613 230-0998 or email

If you need to buy supplements you can do so through our online dispensary.


The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please do not apply any of this information without first speaking with your doctor.

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