By Frank J. Granett R.ph, Special for USDR
As the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus penetrates the boarders of the United States, many world health professionals as well as international health organizations consider this mysterious and mutated form of coronavirus a cause for concern. The MERS virus is a mutated sister to the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Asian virus. Although MERS is not as easily transmitted person to person, the sound of alarm evokes a current deadly mortality rate of approximately 30 percent worldwide. The SARS virus in comparison inflicted a 10 percent mortality rate in 2003.
Some infectious disease professionals, including Dr. Margaret Chan Director-General of the World Health Organization believe that MERS is a “threat to the entire world”. She made this claim in her speech to the 66th World Health Assembly in Geneva, stating that more complete risk assessments are required to provide “additional clarity on the incubation period, signs and symptoms of the disease, proper clinical management, and travel advice”. Dr. Chan’s advisement should be enforced since the Haj will take place this October within the Saudi Arabia Kingdom, attracting over 3 million people from around the world. Since the human cellular transmission process of MERS virus is still relatively unknown and not widespread, imagine the world devastation if this virus armed with a 30 percent mortality rate becomes aggressively transmittable.
When the SARS virus invaded China in 2003, international health organizations and virologists immediately united within three months after the initial outbreak to head off a possible pandemic disease. As a result, there has not been a SARS virus case since. In contrast, the first MERS virus case originated in June 2012 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia at the Dr Soliman Fakeeh Hospital. An elderly man was admitted to the hospital with severe viral pneumonia and the attending doctor wanted the hospital virologist Dr. Ali Mohamed Zaki to identify the virus. Dr Zaki obtained a sputum culture and sent the sample to the leading international virology lab at Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam. The Dutch lab confirmed his worst fears. The virus was identified as a coronovirus, like the common cold. However, this virus was a mutated form of the coronovirus never seen before, inflicting severe respiratory pneumonia like symptoms.
Dr. Zaki alerted the International Society for Infectious Disease (ISID) through ProMED-mail, an internet reporting system designed to rapidly share details of unknown infectious diseases with world researchers and public health agencies. Since Dr. Zaki did not receive authority by Saudi health officials to release this information internationally, he was terminated as virologist at the hospital.
Since Mr. Zaki’s termination of employment, Saudi Arabia health officials have been slow to conduct and finalize controlled case studies to determine viral capabilities as well as the exact origin. They blame the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, Intellectual Property (IP) patent holder of the MERS virus, for the slow process. In response Erasmus representatives declare they are cooperating fully with international health organizations providing free contained samples of the MERS virus for investigative studies. Saudi health officials should realize world health safety concerns by aggressively and immediately working with international health organizations within their own boarders to find the exact origin and viral capabilities of the MERS virus. Only now have they realized their shortsightedness by prohibiting international health organizations from aggressively intervening since 2012. Saudi Deputy Health Minister Ziad Memish was quoted in a recent interview as being “surprised” by international organizations contempt against Saudi Arabia for lack of transparency regarding the possibility of the MERS virus outbreak creating a pandemic disease. Recently, a new Saudi Health Minister has been announced.
As countries and international health organizations work to contain the MERS outbreak, what can you do to protect the health of your family and business? Most important; frequently wash your hands with soap or alcohol based sanitizers daily as well as before going to sleep; avoid close contact with people that are coughing or sneezing; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as these are the primary entry sites from viral exposure.
Immune response to viral infection is different than bacterial infection. Viruses have to be killed within the cell whereas bacteria can be eliminated outside the cell. With respect to the MERS virus the human body must have an optimal cellular- mediated immune response to achieve effective elimination. The human body requires a method to distinguish virally infected cells from healthy cells prior to activating the immune response. Specialized white blood cells called Cytotoxic Lymphocyte T cells rather than antibodies help the body distinguish and destroy viral proteins secreted within cellular membranes.
What can you do today to optimize your immune response?
Eat a whole foods diet rich in enzymes and minerals including zinc and magnesium. Increase fruits and vegetables including raw onions, cauliflower and garlic which contain sulfides and sulf-hydryl compounds that eliminate free radical compounds from the body by increasing T cell production.
Probiotic supplementation to eliminate excessive bacteria and yeast growth in the stomach and small intestine, which are critical sites of immune cell production
Hydration with cold purified water only. No colored liquids, unless freshly squeezed whole food fruits.
High fiber diet to help stabilize blood sugar. Irregular blood sugar levels will adversely affect the production of free circulating T cell production.
Natural whole lemon water 3x a week to help naturally cleanse the liver and kidney to remove free radical toxins from the body.
Nutritional enzyme supplementation
The aforementioned are just a few of many recommendations increasing immune response as well as increasing focus and attention. Visit www.CAOOY.org and preview The American Epidemic: Solutions for Over-medicating Our Youth to learn more.