Below is a compilation of Covid-19 information from scientific sources compiled by Dr. Robert Bransfield, MD that the LDA has permission to post.
Dr. Bransfield thanks contributors to this project: members of ILADS, Microbes and Mental Illness listserv, and Psychopharmacology listserv.
Disclaimer: The LDA is providing this piece for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed in the project are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the LDA. The LDA does not provide any medical advice. Contact your health care provider for advice.
Dr. Bransfield has divided the material into 9 sections listed in the boxes below. Each section of COVID-19 information consists of a number of different links to valuable content about that topic. In the parenthesis, after the link, is whoever created the content or where it can be found.
This is a historic and defining moment in our lives. If we mobilize our cooperative efforts with rapid implementation of creative innovation, we will conquer this epidemic. In contrast, if we are paralyzed by bureaucracy and rigidity, it will intensify this catastrophe. Whatever course this takes, we will recover, and I hope this experience improves how we respond to infectious diseases other than COVID-19. In most countries, there is a daily increase of 33% and a doubling every two days in the number of recognized cases. Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan are exceptions:
We need to be well informed and alert, follow good judgment, and have the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances. Public health strategies are being implemented, including quarantining, and social distancing. As Dr. Fauci states, this is an unknown microbe, it is highly contagious, and it can be lethal to high-risk groups. In view of the speed of this pandemic, vaccine development and new drug development will take too long to be viable options. We have never developed a vaccine for AIDS or the common cold (Coronavirus). The creative use of repurposed drugs and repurposed resources is the most viable option. Where is this pandemic headed? In the best scenario, the virus appears to be mutating away from the more pathogenic L strain that was predominant early in the epidemic; people with sub-clinical and mild infections will become immunized which will reduce the contagion; the approaching summer with heat, light, and humidity will reduce contagion; and therapeutics and public health strategies will help. In the worst scenario, some have predicted a large percent of the world population will become infected and millions will die.
Will the seasonal change reduce the pandemic?
Coronaviruses have decreased survival as a result of light, heat, and humidity. Will the early spring may help to make this Coronavirus less contagious? The virus appears to be mutating and the more severe L strain that was more prevalent early in the epidemic appears to be less prevalent now. Will it evolve into a less dangerous pathogen?
High throughput screening and other approaches have resulted in identifying repurposed drugs that may have the potential to treat Covid-19. These drugs are used to treat alcoholism, arthritis, and other RNA viruses( HIV, Hepatitis C, Ebola, SARS, MERS).
Alcoholism: Antabuse (disulfiram)
Arthritis: Tivorbex, (indomethacin)
Malaria: (Hydroxychloroquine & chloroquine)
Other drugs: mycophenolic acid, interferons, (favipiravir, ribavirin) and experimental nucleoside analogues (remdesivir and galidesivir), Ritonavir, Darunavir and cobicistat,
Approved Drugs that are Protease Inhibitors:
disulfiram, lopinavir, and ritonavir, Favipiravir, Saquinavir and Beclabuvir best candidates based on virtual high throughput screening
(China has approved the use of Favilavir to treat Coronavirus.)
Virtual High Throughput Screening based prediction of potential drugs for COVID-19
Currently available treatments (disulfiram, indomethacin, and many others) that may be repurposed to treat and prevent COVID-19:
Israel has a vaccine under development that can be quickly altered for the corona virus. The vaccine could “achieve safety approval in 90 days,” he said. It will be an oral vaccine, making it particularly accessible to the general public:
Israel’s state-funded Migal Galilee Research Institute said it had identified similarities between COVID-19 and Infectious Bronchitis Virus, which affects poultry, that could allow it to develop a vaccine to battle the deadly outbreak. It said it was working to quickly adapt its IBV vaccine for use against COVID-19.
Other groups developing vaccines are Moderna, Baylor College of Medicine, Glaxo, Sanofi, and Johnson and Johnson.
COVID-19, unlike other coronaviruses, has a plastic RNA genome and can rapidly make many variations that can render vaccine development problematic by evading the vaccine-generated immune response by the appearance of new variants with different antigenicity.
“Pathogenic human coronavirus 229E remained infectious in a human lung cell culture model following at least 5 days of persistence on a range of common nonbiocidal surface materials, including polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon; PTFE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), ceramic tiles, glass, silicone rubber, and stainless steel. We have shown previously that noroviruses are destroyed on copper alloy surfaces. In this new study, human coronavirus 229E was rapidly inactivated on a range of copper alloys (within a few minutes for simulated fingertip contamination) and Cu/Zn brasses were very effective at lower copper concentration:
The death rate from COVID-19 is higher than the death rate from the flu, but there are many more cases of flu. Some have immunity to the flu, no one has immunity to Covid-19.
Flu: Estimated 1 billion cases worldwide; 9.3 million to 45 million cases in the U.S. per year. Deaths: Flu: 291,000 to 646,000 deaths worldwide; 12,000 to 61,000 deaths in the U.S. per year. Article on Coronavirus Disease 2019/2020 Lisa Lockerd Maragakis, M.D., M.P.H. – Expertise in Infectious Diseases Senior Director of Infection Prevention, The Johns Hopkins Health System
Psychiatric Issues: Panic, isolation, scapegoating, adjusting to the whole family being home, or feeling excessively invincible.
The large number of unknowns is conducive to panic. Accurate knowledge and effective planning relieve panic. COVID-19 information hotlines exist for additional questions. (In NJ, NJ DOH hotline: 1-800-222-1222)
In the 1918 Pandemic there was higher mortality in young and middle-age individuals (those with more robust immune systems). Mortality was associated with immune reactions to the infection. The mortality in this epidemic is quite different, with higher mortality in older and debilitated individuals (those with weaker immune systems).