Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
This summary was prepared by the World Naturopathic Foundation.
The family of coronaviruses were first discovered in the 1960s. What these viruses have in common and what they are named for are the crown-like spikes on their surface. There are seven coronaviruses that can affect humans.(1) The SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus (SARS-CoV) was discovered in 2003. It was responsible for over 8,000 known infections and 774 deaths. It is currently believed that the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has a genetic make-up that is about 70% similar to the SARS-CoV.(1) As of January 28th, 2020 sixteen countries have confirmed cases of the Chinese Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and there are over 6,000 confirmed cases and 200 deaths, most of them in China. Here is a link to the countries that have confirmed cases.(2)
There are four types of common coronaviruses (229E, NL63, OC43 and HKU1) that are associated with the common cold that affects most individuals at some time in their life. The typical coronavirus infection is short-lived with symptoms such as a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever and a general feeling of being unwell. In compromised individuals, the elderly, the young and those with a compromised immune system or other severe health issues, the common coronaviruses can cause bronchitis or pneumonia.(1)
The Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new strain. It begins as a common cold with fever, lethargy, cough and difficulty breathing. Additional symptoms may include sore throat, nasal congestion and swollen adenoids. In some people, especially those that are compromised, it can rapidly cause respiratory symptoms including viral pneumonia. The rapid progression is what makes individuals very ill and can cause death.
Human coronaviruses are most commonly spread from direct contact between an infected person to others through:(1)
Travellers returning from China or other areas affected by a potentially deadly coronavirus should monitor themselves for symptoms of respiratory ailments for 14 days. Anyone who develops a fever, cough or breathing difficulties within two weeks of travelling to Wuhan or its neighbouring provinces should isolate themselves and seek a medical assessment.
The following steps may be beneficial for preventing risk of most infections. Please note that there currently are no recognized treatments to prevent or treat 2019-nCoV.
Naturopathic care recognizes the importance of both decreasing exposure and addressing individual susceptibility as a way of promoting overall health. The following guidelines may be beneficial in supporting overall health. For specific recommendations work with your naturopathic practitioner or health care practitioner.
Clinical criteria include fever or history of fever (≥38 ºC) and acute respiratory infection (sudden onset of respiratory infection at least one of shortness of breath, cough or sore throat).
Severe acute respiratory infection requiring admission to hospital with clinical or radiological evidence of pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome (i.e., even if no evidence of a fever).
Please note that the information above may change as more information is available on this virus. To stay up-to-date on the Chinese coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and other coronaviruses please check out the Centre for Disease Control at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html or your local Ministry of Health.
1 Center for Disease Control. 2020. Novel coronavirus 2019, Wuhan, China. www.cdc.gov
2 CDC – Confirmed locations: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/locations-confirmed-cases.html#locations
3. Effectiveness of cough etiquette maneuvers in disrupting the chain of transmission of infectious respiratory diseases: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3846148/#B15
4. Effect of fruit and vegetable consumption on immune function in older people: a randomized controlled trial: https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/96/6/1429/4571488
5. Ullah M, Akhtar M, Hussain F, Imran M. 2015. Efects of sugar, salt, and distilled water on white blood cells and platelet cells. J Tumor. 4(1):354-358.http://www.ghrnet.org/index.php/JT/article/view/1340/1795
6. Sleep and Immune Function: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3256323/
7. Indoor Air Quality and Health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707925/
8. Anger, stress, dysregulation produces wear and tear on the lung https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2104758/
9. Air pollutants and early origins of respiratory diseases: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6033955/
10. The Health Consequences of Smoking: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK294322/
11. Casteleijn, D., & Finney-Brown, T., (2014). Respiratory Infections and Immune Insufficiency. In J. Sarris & J. Wardle (Ed’s), Clinical Naturopathy: An Evidenced Based Guide to Practice (pp. 159-182) Elsevier, Sydney.
Dr. Iva Lloyd, BCPP, ND – President of the World Naturopathic Federation (WNF)
Dr. Paul Saunders, PhD, ND – Research Committee, WNF
Tina Hausser, naturopath, Heilpraktiker – 1st Vice-President, WNF
David Casteleijn, BHSc(Naturopathy), MHSc (Herbal Medicine), RN, MNHAA – Secretary WNF
Dr Landon McLean is a Naturopathic doctor accepting new patients in Whistler BC