What is the coronavirus?
Coronoviruses are part of a family of viruses with an envelope that have the ability of being pathogens for humans and animals. In man, several coronaviruses can provoke respiratory infections more or less severe. These would be responsible for 10% to 30% of upper respiratory infections and for a large number of head colds. This was the case for the acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
What are the figures regarding this pandemic?
COVID-19 kills about 3% of diagnosed patients. Compared to seasonal flu, the latter only kills about 0.1% of infected people.
It is however possible that the mortality rate associated with the coronavirus might be lower than the declared figure as mild cases or asymptomatic cases are not necessarily detected.
It is estimated that this pneumonia remains benign in 4 of 5 cases, however 20% of patients have to be hospitalised and 5% have to be admitted in intensive care.
Symptoms of the coronavirus: how can you tell if you have been infected?
With patients suffering from the coronavirus one can generally detect one or several of the following symptoms: headaches, tiredness, aches and pains…
How does the virus take hold:
1°) the virus starts in the throat, causing an inflammation, a feeling of having a dry throat and a dry cough: this symptom can last 3 to 4 days.
2°) The virus travels down, using the humidity present in the respiratory tract and descends into the trachea, finally ending up in the lungs. This takes about 5 to 6 days.
3°) When the lungs are infected, one can observe a high fever and thoracic pain, a difficulty in breathing or other signs of a high or low infection respiratory infection (the low form, more serious, corresponds to the acute respiratory distress syndrome). The feeling resembles that of drowning caused by the difficulty of breathing. In such a case, it is mandatory to call emergency services.
However, a new study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology and carried out in China, suggests that digestive troubles (such as diarrhoea, vomiting or abdominal pains) are also to be taken into account.
Please note: diabetes, hypertension and asthma are all risk factors that complicate and worsen the condition. According to a study carried out by the Italian sanitary authorities, 75% of patients who died suffered from hypertension, 35% suffered from diabetes and 1/3 had cardiac problems.
Contagion and transmission of the virus COVID-19
A contagious virus
With the coronavirus, an infected person becomes contagious at the very start of symptoms – and sometimes even when there have been no apparent symptoms.
Without imposing preventive measures, it is estimated that each person will infect 2 or 3 people.
The incubation time (that corresponds to the duration between the onset of the contamination and the emergence of symptoms) is, on average, of 5 days. In general, it lasts at least 2 days and doesn’t stretch beyond 12, hence the need for quarantine to last for 14 days.
Means of transmission
It appears that there a several ways of contracting a coronavirus, namely:
- Direct contact with an infected person (handshake, kissing, saliva…) or by touching surfaces or fabrics on which the virus is present;
- Inhalation of contaminated droplets propelled by the respiratory tract (saliva, nasal secretion, when a person sneezes or coughs in close proximity to you – less than a metre).
> The virus survives on your hands for about 10 minutes. During that time you may have wiped your eyes or scratched your nose allowing the virus to enter into your body through the throat.
> The virus can survive for several hours in an exterior environment (less long on dry surfaces than on wet ones). It can even survive several days on metal, glass or plastic.
> If an infected person sneezes in front of you and is at a distance of about 3 m, the virus will fall to the ground and will not reach you. This is why a security distance between people is paramount.
> The virus can live hidden in clothing and on fabrics for several hours. Normal laundry products will destroy it.
It is therefore very important to wash your hands thoroughly and disinfect them several times a day.
Existing medical treatments against COVID-19
No treatment so far has officially been validated
However, one should note and it is important: the use of anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen, cortisone, …) could be a factor of worsening the infection.
In case of a fever, do not take anti-inflammatory medication such as:
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Nurofen…)
- Diclofenac (Voltaren)
As a rule of thumb, to bring down a fever artificially by the use of medication is not recommended, no matter what the infection may be.
Because the fever is the first line of defense against the spreading of the virus in your lungs.
- A virus does not survive at high temperature: it is in order to kill the virus that the body heats and becomes febrile!
- At high temperature, our immune system functions better – especially specialised immunity cells that kill viruses and bacteria!
How to protect yourself from the COVID-19?
> it is possible to avoid the virus with simple gestures:
- Gargle with a disinfectant solution so as to eliminate or reduce the quota of the virus that could have entered your throat. By doing this, you will get rid of the virus before it has entered the trachea and then your lungs.
- Disinfect your computer keyboard and your mouse, and don’t forget your mobile phone and your landline phone
> take care of yourself for your well-being and that of others.
- Cough or sneeze in your elbow or in a disposable handkerchief.
- Stop giving handshakes or to kiss people when greeting them.
- Don’t touch your mouth, nose or eyes.
- Stay at least one metre from a person who coughs or sneezes.
- Stay at home if showing characteristic symptoms of Covid-19.
- Leave your shoes at the entrance of the house when coming in, the virus can stay alive on asphalt for several days.
- Find out where the virus is active and avoid going to these places.
> Tricks to apply:
1/ washing your hands with soap is the number ONE recommendation in the case of an epidemic
Why washing your hands?
Our hands touch surfaces during the day, and we regularly touch our face, our nose or our mouth. Our hands are the principal carrier of microbes and germs and by washing your hands you reduce the quantity of these on your hands.
What to wash your hands with?
Soap is ideal to get rid of ALL types of germs and viruses on your hands. It is only if soap and water are not available that you should use a disinfectant gel for your hands. The gel should contain at least 60% alcohol at 90°, hard to find.
Our essential allies to wash your hands correctly are:
> liquid soaps: these are real soaps, not shower gels or laundry gels(you need to read the words sodium olivate, sodium palmate, sodium xxx-ate in the INCI) It is the presence of these saponified oily substances that matters. The best thing to do is to use an “over-oily” soap, that in addition is kinder to the skin.
> solid soaps
> hydro-alcoholic gels: these are only needed when there is « no water » available and last for one hour. (for example, in a tram, train or bus).
Why are hydro-alcoholic gels less effective?
There are several reasons.
– people are likely to use the gel wrongly, using too little on their hands, or wiping the gel before it has completely dried and has therefore not done its job of disinfecting.
– only the formula of soap “breaks down” the fats in the virus…
According to a study carried out in Japan (by the Dr Hirose team), the flu virus can survive in expectorated mucus secretions even if it has been in a 2 minutes contact with a disinfectant gel, whereas the same virus exposed to soap does not survive longer than 30 seconds.
Very dirty hands or epidemic? Stick to soap!
Gels have shown to be less effective than soap and water when hands are very oily or soiled. This can be seen in kitchens, after sport or in public transport.
2/ if you are infected, this EO could make the difference
Essential Oils do not cure. They can only help with symptoms.
In the case of a coronavirus infection, the use of EOs is recommended in order to modulate the inflammatory and immune reactions. It will help the body handle the immune choc more effectively, favour the self-healing forces and weaken the virus more rapidly.
Instead of the Ravintsara EO, useful in prevention, try the Noble Laurel EO.
Indeed, in a study carried out by Monica Loizzo, the results have shown a strong activity in vitro of the Nobel Laurel EO on the SARS-CoV virus (another coronavirus that caused an epidemic in 2003), by an inhibition to replicate the virus inside the cell.
Source : study carried out by a team at the University of Calabria – Loizzo, M. R., Saab, A. M., Tundis, R., Statti, G. A., Menichini, F., Lampronti, I., … Doerr, H. W. (2008). Phytochemical Analysis andin vitro Antiviral Activities of the Essential Oils of Seven Lebanon Species. Chemistry & Biodiversity, 5(3), 461–470. doi:10.1002/cbdv.200890045
Properties of the Noble Laurel EO: a strong immune-stimulant, antiviral and antibiotic, specifically on the RNA viruses such as the coronavirus responsible for the acute respiratory syndrome.
By cutaneous route, in preference not diluted: on the soles of the feet, 3 drops per foot several times a day.
To apply only on these parts of the body for a rapid diffusion and optimal effect of the aromatic molecules, reaching as far as the pulmonary alveoli.
In a bottle provided with a dropper, mix:
Noble Laurel EO, Laurus nobilis (10 ml): Documented anti-viral EO for flu viruses and coronaviruses
Tea Tree EO, Melaleuca alternifolia (10 ml): Documented anti-viral EO for flu viruses and coronaviruses
Add 30 ml of VO.
Children under the age of 7, pregnant or breastfeeding women, asthmatics, people with allergies to one of these EOs, a-topic skins, eczema, and people suffering from epilepsy.
Carry out an allergy test before application, you read HERE
Alternate the application site each time to avoid a sensitive response on the skin.
Adults and teenagers over the age of 15:
Apply 20 drops on the sole of the feet or on the back every 30 minutes, while increasing the space between applications as the symptoms improve. Alternate the site of application each time to avoid a sensitive response on the skin. Maximum of 8 applications per day. Add some more VO if the skin is very sensitive.
Children between the ages of 10 and 14:
Apply 7 drops of pure EO on the sole of the feet or on the back every hour, while increasing the space between applications as the symptoms improve. Maximum of 5 applications per day. Add some more VO if the skin is very sensitive.
Children between the ages of 7 and 10:
Apply 5 drops on the sole of the feet or on the back/thorax, every hour, while increasing the space between applications as the symptoms improve. Maximum of 5 applications per day.
It is recommended to wear a fitting mask as soon as the first characteristic symptoms of infection appear. These are: fever, cough, tiredness and difficulty breathing.
3/ Disinfectant gel
Gels with an alcohol base must be used only occasionally and only in certain circumstances.
Indeed, alcohol is a questionable disinfectant. Many anti poison centres have found that there has been too many domestic accidents caused by poisoning regarding small children.
This being said, the American government has published a number of advertisements to remind people that these gels “contain on average 70% in weight of one or more alcohols”. During the procedure of rubbing your hands, the user is exposed to these alcohols, not only by skin contact, but also by inhalation. In addition, the ingestion of ethanol is well known to increase the risks of several illnesses affecting the pancreas, the liver and the cardiovascular system.
Children are particularly sensitive as they can accidentally touch their mouth and prolonged inhalation can cause drunkenness !
A simple recipe without alcohol
- 40 ml of aloe vera gel (or 40g),
- 10 ml or 9.2 gr of VO
- 20 drops of tea tree EO
You can buy aloe vera gel in pharmacies or in supermarkets or specialised stores.
How to proceed:
1/ mix the EO with the VO
2/ pour the aloe vera gel into a spray container
3/ add the oils mixture
4/ mix well
Why these ingredients:
Tea tree EO is a powerful anti-infectious and antiviral oil. It also strengthens the immune system
It is not advised to women who are under 3 months pregnant or to babies of less than 3 months old.
The aloe vera gel is an antiseptic hydrating agent for the skin but it is also a bactericide, an anti-inflammatory and an anti-fungal. It is less aggressive to the skin and avoids skin dryness, in comparison to an alcohol solution.
Atmospheric diffusion of EO well known for their immune and respiratory properties are strongly recommended to help in decreasing the contagious nature of the illness.
Usage: Diffuse 10 minutes with a mist blower every 2 hours
Chose slightly camphoric EOs and not too expectorant to limit heavy coughing spells.
>in case of asthma or respiratory allergies
Because of its composition there is no risk of alveolar contractions which could happen with Ravintsara or Eucalyptus Radiata (presence of camphor)
- Simple to use
- You can mix EOs
- Use different colours to differentiate them
- Not expensive
- Can be used several times, the cotton tips can be changed or they can be recharged
- Easy to carry, you can take it everywhere
STICK IMMUNE DEFENSES
- Radiata 10 drops
- Ravintsara 6 drops
- Tea tree 4 drops
Usage: Soak the cotton with 10 to 20 drops of the mixture
Counter indications: pregnant women, asthmatics, epileptics and babies
Important point: think of strengthening your immune defences: the article here
- Cascella M, Rajnik M, Cuomo A, et al. Features, Evaluation and Treatment Coronavirus (COVID-19) [Updated 2020 Mar 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-.