The fact of the mysterious pneumonia has been widely spread in HK drives me to do a literature review on the suspected cause (i.e. coronavirus) of the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). As a biomedical researcher, let me show you my concern and make the following suggestions.
The basic mechanism of viral attack is that the viruses replicate themself using the host's (in this case is "our") DNA genetic replication system. By doing this, our body couldn't function well due to the massive viral replication. Supposingly, the immune cells in our body will fight off the infected viruses quickly. However, the viruses are so smart that they could be able to produce some chemical substances to cause our immune cells to die. Besides, this coronavirus is a new kind of virus which belongs to a mutated strain and our body cannot recognize it. No antibiotics have been proved to be 100 effective in treating viral infection so far. The only effective way to get rid of it is by ourselves. It likes a prolonged battle between the viruses and our immune response. In fact, viruses couldn't kill all the immune cells in a health individual. The stronger the immune function you have, the less the viral injury you get. Therefore, the degree of sickness after infection and the rate of recovery mainly depends on how strong your immune function is.
You cannot avoid the infection unless you avoid from those infected individuals/area. But, you can try your best to boost up your immune function by several regimes. Make sure you are "extremely healthy" at least during this critical period. Stronger immune function could keep the viral damage minimal even you were so unluckily being infected. Also, stronger immune function delays the onset of any detrimental effects from the viral infection. Scientists are now working on tracking the treatment and so make sure you are still surviving until an effective treatment occurs. The following suggestions aim to strengthen your immune function within a short period of time.
1) Antioxidant nutraceuticals: Antioxidants are chemicals found in foods which exert a great value in strengthening our immune system. Boost up your immune function by taking a cocktail of antioxidant supplements.
- Vitamin E 1000 IU per day. Alpha-tocopherol is the biological active form of vitamin E. There are two forms of it: d-tocopherol and dl-tocopherol. d- is the natural form and dl- is the synthetic form. Try to get the d- form because it is absorbed faster in our body.
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 1000 milligram (mg) daily. Instead of taking supplement, you can take 2 pieces of citrus fruits (e.g. orange) a day to get the vitamin C
- Beta-carotene, not more than 10000 IU daily
- Selenium, 200 microgram daily
- Zinc, not more than 500 milligram (mg) daily
- Lipoic acid, 50 mg daily
- Glutathione, 50 mg daily
No any adverse effects have been reported from the above suggested supplementation dose.
--每天服用维他命E1000 IU (医学国际单位，internatoinal units)。Alph-维生素E是一种生物活性维他命E。它有两种形式：d-维生素E和dl-维生素E.d-维生素E是自然形式，dl-维生素E是合成形式。最好服用d-维他命E，因为它可以更快的被我们的身体所吸收。
- Let green tea to be your daily beverage because it contains tremendous amount of antioxidant flavonoid, catechins.
- Eat more tomatoes, broccoli or fruits and vegetables in red and dark green color. They carry a huge amount of antioxidant carotenoids, lycopene and carotene.
3) No intense physical activities during this critical period! It has been shown that intense exercise will suppress your immune function (related to the upper respiratory infection) even several days following your workout.
Instead of intense exercise, light-to-moderate workout helps if you have been training regularly.
4) Make sure you get enough carbohydrate foods (e.g. rice, food concentrated in starch... etc) because carbohydrate is the primary food for immune cells . Do some Gatorade or Pocari if needed since they are both good sources of carbohydrate.
5) Make sure you get enough sleep and don't make yourself so stressful! Anxiety, depression, and tried will influence your body's stress hormones (e.g. catecholamine and glucocorticoids) and so suppress your immune status.
6) Mouth-mask helps despite it is not 100 effective. But it can still decrease the chance from infection.
All the above information are supported by peer-reviewed biomedical literatures, that means they are credible and reliable! God bless and I really hope that none of you will get infected and I will pray for all of you in every moment!
Good luck and take extremely care.
Parco M. Siu, MPhil, PhD Candidate
West Virginia University School of Medicine
FWD by Paul Su
There has recently been a lot of media information with regard to the outbreak of pneumonia, which has affected some patients in Singapore. This advisory aims to create an awareness of this illness and to provide answers to commonly asked questions
What is Atypical Pneumonia?
Pneumonia essentially means a lung infection caused by germs. Pneumonia usually presents with symptoms that enable the condition to be easily diagnosed by doctors. The organism causing the pneumonia is also usually identifiable and treatable with medications like antibiotics. Atypical pneumonias are caused by organisms that are not so easily identifiable, and the consequences of the infection can often be more severe. In the case of SARS, the organism causing the pneumonia has yet to be identified
What has this got to do with the flu occurring in Hanoi, Guangdong and Hong Kong?
To date, a total of 20 cases have been reported in Singapore. The common finding in all these patients is that they have all been in one of these 3 areas recently and may have picked up the infection there. There have been some fatalities associated with this condition. To date, there have been no deaths reported in Singapore. Worldwide, SARS has been reported in Thailand (1 case), Canada (7 cases), Frankfurt (1 case), Indonesia (1 unconfirmed case), Philippines (1 unconfirmed case)
How serious is this condition?
This condition can spread easily through droplet infection and can cause a person to be very sick very quickly. Ministry of Health Singapore has advised us to be more vigilant and to look out for patients suspected to have this condition to be referred for further investigation and assessment
How do I know if I have SARS?
The condition tends to present initially with the symptoms of the common flu, namely:
- Fever and chills, 发烧
- Shortness of breath, 呼吸短促
- Cough, sore throat and blocked, or runny nose. 咳嗽、嗓子疼，或是流鼻涕
- Muscle and joint aches, 肌肉和关节酸疼
- Weakness and fatigue 虚弱无力
However, you should be especially wary if you also have the following conditions:
1. If you have a high fever (>38 Degrees Celsius) that comes very suddenly. 突然高烧大于38摄氏度
2. If you have travelled to Hong Kong, Hanoi or the Guangdong province in China within the last 2 weeks since the onset of the symptoms. 在出现上述症状前过去两周内，你曾经到香港，河内，或者广东省。
3. If you have come into close contact with anyone who have been suspected of having SARS or presented with the same conditions above
What should I do if I suspect I may have SARS?
If you do have the symptoms described above, you should seek urgent medical attention from any of our clinics. The attending doctor will examine you and may refer you to have a Chest X-Ray done as soon as possible. Depending on what the Chest X-Ray reveals, we may have to refer you for further assessment by the respiratory physician
What about travelling to Hong Kong, Hanoi and Guangdong?
The Ministry of Health is strongly advising against travelling to these destinations for the time being until the situation has stabilised. If you have to travel to Hong Kong for whatever reasons, our Raffles Medical group clinic network in Hong Kong has been placed on high alert to offer assistance should you require medical assistance. You may call 2525 1730 (during office hours) or 7116 3388 ext 41 (after office hours) whilst in Hong Kong for medical assistance
What precautions can I take to avoid getting SARS?
To date, the germ(s) causing SARS have not been identified but on-going investigations suggest that it may be viral in origin. There is no known vaccination or medication that you can take which can offer you protection, instead, the common sense approach is advocated:
- Avoid crowded places. Keep a fair distance from people who are ill and are sneezing and coughing openly. The virus is spread through air droplets and you can pick up the virus through inhalation.
- Wash your hands frequently to reduce your risk of picking up the virus. The virus can be transmitted by hand contact as well.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Exercise regularly, eat wisely and if you can, keep your stress levels low. Your primary defence against the any infection is your body's immune response, which is related to how healthy you are. Vitamins can help in maintaining a healthy immune system.