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What in the World is the Human Coronavirus? [E056]

With coronavirus among us, we wanted to take this topic head-on! We have heard so many comments about how this is no different from any other virus. Dr. Olivia Joseph shares her expertise, opinion, and research on the current human coronavirus and its potential origins.

Table Of Contents

Introduction to Human Coronavirus

 Introduction to Human Coronavirus
Photographer: CDC | Source: Unsplash

Dr. Bryan: All right, welcome back to the Wellness Connection show. I am Dr. Bryan Joseph with Dr. Olivia Joseph.

Dr. Olivia: Hi everyone.

Dr. Bryan: We are going to have a discussion to try to bring a little bit more awareness about human coronavirus.

So this is just going to be a discussion around what we’ve been researching and what we’re identifying and what we’re becoming aware of so that you may be able to have a better understanding as well.

What Is Human Coronavirus?

What Is A Coronavirus?
Photographer: CDC | Source: Unsplash

Dr. Bryan: So Olivia, if you can just share, I’ve heard so many comments and so has everybody else of coronavirus. This is another virus. This is no different than the flu. Let’s see if we can have a discussion around what we know and how things are different and what’s the same. So first of all, in your opinion, and I know you’ve done some homework on this, what is a coronavirus? Cause this is not the first human coronavirus.

Dr. Olivia: No, it’s not. It’s a virus that attacks the respiratory system, much like the flu. However, it’s a bit more severe, there’s no doubt about it. And it’s more severe in that it’s very, very contagious. Every virus is contagious and there are certain demographics that are really vulnerable to it. And one of the reasons everybody’s taking such huge precautions is because there’s a lot of monkey hosts out there.

And when we say monkey hosts, a lot of people have it and are completely asymptomatic. So it’s not that this is the worst virus. If you have people literally walking around with healthy immune systems that don’t have a fever, don’t have a single symptom, aren’t coughing, what they’re doing is they’re spreading it. So that’s why it’s a little bit scary. Another reason why people are a bit scared is that this is new. We’re going to know so much more about this virus in another year to two years.

Where it supposedly originated

Dr. Bryan: You said some things to me that were interesting, and I think let’s just have a discussion around that. First of all, where in your opinion, and I know this is our opinion and we’re still trying to research things to try to figure out what’s factual and what’s not. But where do you believe that this originated? Not specifically what country, that doesn’t matter to me, but you had shared some things that you thought some of these backend markets had some influence in regards to… What was it called? The wet market?

Dr. Olivia: It’s called the wet market. One thing I would like to say that I am really passionate about is not just health and wellness, but I look at global health. One thing that I’ve always done is I’ve studied health trends in other parts of the world to see what they’re doing right that we are doing wrong, okay? And in this instance, it’s vice versa.

It’s believed this came from a wet market in China. So what is a wet market? Much like you would go to the grocery store and say, “Hey, this organic free-range chicken breast looks good, over this chicken breast,” you go to the market there and there are live animals. Live animals. And they’re not necessarily clean animals. Now, is there such a thing as a clean animal? I don’t know. We could take precautions to make our animals as clean as possible. But you select, “I’m going to take this snake, I’m going to take this bat, I’m going to take this whatever animal, and I would like to take it home.” And it’s slaughtered at the market.

Viral transmission from an animal to human

Dr. Olivia: Bats may have different types of viruses than snakes. They’re slaughtered. They’re thrown on a pile together, because that’s my grocery shopping and I’m going to take it home, and then what happens is these viruses start mutating. That’s essentially what happened is it went from an animal to human and the virus is mutating. And when we have a new virus introduced into the human system, which this human coronavirus 19 is, it’s not one that we’ve had before. We’ve had other coronaviruses, but this is a new one to humans. The problem is, is we don’t have human immunity.

Now, the flu is a very big deal, a very big deal, especially this year and last year. One thing we know about the flu is when you get it, you have immunity to multiple different types of flu. You just have natural immunity. Versus when you get passive immunity to the flu, the virus immediately starts mutating. We know viruses mutate. We know measles has mutated, we know whooping cough has mutated, the flu has mutated. That’s essentially what happened was you had this virus that mutated, went to a human, and we don’t have any human immunity to it yet. We will, every person that gets exposed, every person that gets infected by this human coronavirus worldwide will have a natural immunity to it, and then we’ll be able to study it even more.

Global sanitation issues

Dr. Bryan: The description of a wet market to me is this. When you go to those higher-end restaurants, you see that you’ve got the lobster cage or the fish that’s swimming around the aquarium. You get to point to the one that you want and then they go in and take it and say it’s for you right now.

But you’re saying it’s like a farmer’s market that’s opened up with all sorts of live animals, and then instantly right there there’s slaughtering and then there’s a pooling of all sorts of blood and parts that are all mixing together, and then this concocts some new bacteria and viruses that start to develop.

Dr. Olivia: So when we talk about even global health issues when I say I’m passionate about it, this is proof and evidence that we can’t just look at our country, our country’s health. When we talk about global health issues, sanitation has to improve all over the world. We’re talking about places like Africa, places like China, places like India. We have to, when we come out of this, get some type of initiative in place to improve sanitation, because sanitation is what eradicated a majority of diseases in our country. When you go back in history, people used to go to the bathroom right in the streets in America, in our country, and the infection rates were very, very high then.

We decided to, “Hey, let’s clean some things up.” We know sanitation improves the spread of disease, which is why everybody’s talking about don’t handshake. Wash your hands, cough into your elbow instead.

What We Currently Know About Human Coronavirus

Photographer: Robina Weermeijer | Source: Unsplash

Dr. Bryan: Now we have this new virus that’s coming out, so think of that as new stress that the body has never had a chance to respond to. Just like your hands tearing, we’re not at the stage where we have callouses yet because it hasn’t been around long enough. Right now the hands are tearing and that’s why people are getting sick, and what kind of sickness are we seeing right now? You had mentioned that this is attacking respiratory areas

Dr. Olivia: Some people, what are you seeing? Some people are seeing nothing, nothing. And so you literally have people that are testing positive for this virus with no symptoms at all. On the flip side of that is the respiratory symptoms, and it’s even causing lung damage in certain populations. People are more vulnerable that already have compromised immune systems, that have chronic inflammation in their body, that have an autoimmune disease, that has compromised lung function, that is going through…

When you look at America as a whole, when you look at how many people in this country specifically have diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, asthma, unfortunately, our rates are higher than the rest of the world for these chronic diseases. What we have is a great acute care system. The number of people that are more vulnerable, that’s scary, because as Americans we are not the healthiest country in the world. We know that.

How to develop your immunity

Dr. Bryan: I’m going back to human immunity again. I just shared an analogy, but what does the body actually need to do to develop a human immunity?

Dr. Olivia: You got to play in the dirt and get sick.

Dr. Bryan: We’ve had shingles, we’ve had herpes, we’ve had chickenpox, we’ve had SARS, we have HIV, I mean the list goes on and on and on.

Dr. Olivia: Sure. But what you’re saying is this is not going to have the same level of threat in 12 to 18 months. It’s not. I can promise you.

Dr. Bryan: I feel the same way, but what I’m asking you is why not?

Dr. Olivia: Because we’re going to have some human immunity to this. Our immune system is going to have a memory of this.

Dr. Bryan: Which means it can begin to fight this.

Dr. Olivia: Because of the sheer amount of people that have been exposed, but then we’ll be able to study it more. One thing we’re finding out, all this information we’re finding out is new, so we know flu or a virus or a cold even, can live on hard surfaces for about one to two days. Well this one can live a little bit longer, this one can live up to three days is what we’re currently finding out, and this is the information as it comes out. It could change as we study this over a year, year and a half.

We know that viruses live in mucus longer, and this is spread during mucus, so if you cough and sneeze up mucus, the virus can live in that mucus for longer periods of time, longer than two to three days. This is respiratory and airborne.

Gut health and immune system

Dr. Olivia: Just a side note, real quick, I know we’ve done other podcasts about gut health and about the immune system in the gut. For example, we have a lot of bad bugs in our gut. We know E. Coli is bad. Well E. coli lives in our gut. We know that strep is bad, strep lives in our gut. There are so many bad bugs that live in our gut. Why? Why would they be there?

They’re there so when we get exposed to them, our body doesn’t say, “This is foreign. I don’t know what it is. I’ve never seen this before.” They live in our gut so when we get exposed to them, our body says hold up, don’t freak out. I know what this is. This is E. Coli. The little bit we can handle, a lot, not so much. It’s the same thing where you get immunity in utero from your mom, you get immunoglobulins if your mom breastfeeds you, and every time you get exposed to something, every time, you build up immune protection to that exposure.

Dr. Bryan: I want to make a point just because I think it’s important for everybody to understand that this is how the body works, period. Not just against human coronavirus, not just against the chickenpox, not just against poison ivy, not against food sensitivities, this is just period, how it works. No matter what it is that you’re having a response to that’s making you sick, your body has to begin eventually to recognize that, get smarter, and start to innovate ways to say, “I have to protect and fight this off.” And if your nervous system and immune system are weak then your battle plan is weak.

Cytokine storm or inflammation

Dr. Olivia: You’re right. One thing that happens when people do get exposed to something is your body starts to produce cytokines, or they call it even a cytokine storm. What is that? That’s inflammation. That is inflammation as a response to the infection. And then the inflammation starts attacking something. Like in the case of shingles, it’s a nerve.

In the case of human coronavirus it’s your lungs. That’s what we want to do, and that’s why we say things like rest, hydration is so important because that inflammation is attacking your body and weakening your immune system even more. Then the body starts responding by producing white blood cells, by producing lymphocytes and phagocytes. That’s how our body starts fighting this inflammation, and we need enough good cells to fight against this inflammation being produced by this infection.

Why The Government Is Stepping In Against Human Coronavirus

Photographer: David Everett Strickler | Source: Unsplash

Dr. Bryan: Let’s make sure we share this because I think the fear is… First of all, earlier in this episode, we talked about a monkey host.

And for anyone that’s ever seen that movie Outbreak years ago. It’s actually was a mini version of this pandemic that we’re experiencing right now, but obviously there was a monkey that was the host. And that’s where we then jokingly, we use that term. And it’s not really a joke, but that’s a carrier for what’s spreading the contagiousness of the virus.

Dr. Olivia: Well, and we joke about our kids all the time being monkey hosts. Kids are monkey hosts, why? The kids are monkey hosts because they can literally spread this and have no symptoms. hat’s one reason, but the other reason is, is with kids they haven’t been exposed to as much as an adult, which is why kids are always getting sick. You’re supposed to because you get exposed to something, but then you have immunity to it, ideally lifelong immunity. And if it’s not lifelong immunity, you do have memory in your immune system. So right now we have no immunity and we have no memory of this new novel human coronavirus.

Dr. Bryan: That’s why the government is stepping in and recommending social distancing so they can spread out the level of monkey hosts that are not congregated in one area so that we can reduce the speed in which people are getting exposure to the virus, which prolongs our body’s ability to start to learn how to fight this and create its own immunity, or while they’re researching other options that exist.

The Best Way To Fight Human Coronavirus

The Best Way To Fight Human Coronavirus
Photographer: Brooke Lark | Source: Unsplash

Dr. Bryan: Obviously you’ve had your nose in some of this stuff over the last several weeks, as has the rest of the world, anything else that we didn’t bring up so far that’s in your mind that you want to share that you thought of while we were talking?

Dr. Olivia: I know this isn’t talking about supplements and things like that, we’ve done podcasts on that. But what’s really interesting, and I sent this study to you, is that one thing that they started doing in Shanghai was IV nutrient vitamin C. Because when you’re talking about viruses, we really don’t have very effective medication or treatment when it comes to fighting viruses. We know this. There are some that help you, but really none that can cure viruses. You don’t cure a virus. A virus like the human coronavirus goes to sleep and stays in your body forever and ever. That’s what immunity is. That’s what memory is. Okay?

The best thing we have against any human coronavirus is keeping our immune system healthy, protecting our immune system, and learning more. Knowledge is power, it eliminates fear, it empowers us. The more we educate ourselves, the less fearful we become about this. And really, because this is so new, we won’t have all the information till about 12 to 18 months from now. We know that.

Dr. Bryan: And I’m an advocate of this, I’ve said it on probably almost every episode that we’ve ever had, it’s just what I know to be true is the number one way to keep a body healthy is to continue to limit the exposure to stress: mentally, physically, and chemically, like nutritionally.

Having good health is the key

Dr. Bryan: The more that we put ourselves at exposure to higher levels of risk in any one of those categories, the easier we break down. So practice the basic principles that you’ve been aware of and that you know of, but a lot of times people neglect them until you have to.

It’s kind of like a person who has a heart attack finally decides that they’re going to start eating a little bit healthier. Maybe some of this exposure or this awareness is going to force a lot of people to reconsider how they’re approaching this thing that we call health.

Because without it, it doesn’t matter if the stock market crashes and doesn’t matter if the hotels don’t have anybody in there, or the airlines aren’t there, but if you don’t have good health, I mean what else do you really have?

Closing Thoughts

Dr. Olivia: I have one closing or final thought. So what’s really interesting is, is one thing we know right now is a lot more people have it than know they have it. Because they’re asymptomatic monkey hosts like we said. So what’s really interesting is we have testing called titer testing. And what titer testing does is it shows if we have immunity to something. So I don’t know if there’s a titer test yet developed to human coronavirus, but I’m sure one will be created.

And so what’s pretty remarkable in science is you can look a year and two years from now and if you never experienced a symptom, you never get exposed, you can actually do a titer test and see if you have immunity to it. If you have immunity to it, you were exposed, you were exposed and you built up immunity to it. And you can titer test against almost every virus. So that’s the wild thing is you can see you have immunity to something that you’ve never had before in your life, but what that means is you were exposed and now you have natural immunity.

Dr. Bryan: That’s interesting. Well, that’s good to know. I guess somebody could pay closer attention to that later on as time goes on if they ever really wanted to know details of if they had it or didn’t have it. But that’s going to wrap today’s episode. This is episode 58. You’ll find this one living on Share it with your friends, post it on social media, let the people you know that are freaking out have this information so they become more aware of what’s really happening.

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