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Hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19 is Dead

Physicians and Scientists everywhere, led by Anthony Fauci, have been saying "Lets wait for the data on Hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for Covid-19".  Well, we now have that data and it is irrefutable that Hydroxycholorquine and Cloroquine, with or without a macrolide antibiotic (Azithromycin), does not work for Covid-19 and, in fact, causes increased death.

In case you are wondering about the guy who says "Hey, my uncle has been taking it and he got better in six hours", or "Hey, I know lots of people who take it every day and they are just fine", let me explain this Lancent study for you.

The researchers studied 671 hospitals on six continents involving 92,036 patients.  They looked at hospitalizations from Dec 20, 2019 through April 14, 2020.  Patients who were given Remdesivir were excluded.  The mean patient age was 53.8.

They formed two groups, a control group given standard treatment and a Hydroxychloroquine or Chloroquine group with and witho…
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Covid Fatigue...the Good and the Bad

We have entered a new phase of the global Covid-19 pandemic.  After 9 weeks of shut-down in some areas, twenty-four hour a day news, and our lives completely disrupted, many are entering into a phase of Covid Fatigue.

The adrenaline rush that has sustained front-line caregivers is starting to wane and the grind of wearing uncomfortable PPE and seeing the virus described as a hoax makes crawling out of bed an effort.  Essential service people like food supply chain (farmers, pickers, packagers, processors, transporters, stockers and grocery clerks) have been doing double duty, caring for children, managing their own lives as well as going to work every day with fear.  And this includes police, firefighters, sanitation workers, food prep, cleaners, your local cable guy and everyone working from home too.  Covid Fatigue is part depression, part anxiety, part fear with a hint of hopelessness thrown in.
 "Will this ever end? Will I have a job? Will I be homeless? Should I close my bu…

Antibody Testing for Covid- Not So Fast

Image from The Verge - Vox
I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the importance of having antibody testing for Corona Covid-19 as a pathway forward for resuming activity and work. Antibody tests are now being offered at urgent care clinics, private doctor offices, Labcorp labs and by the time you read this, there may be home antibody tests offered from ads online.

 I'm getting many requests a day from patients who think they had Covid if they had any illness from December onward.  "I want to know if it is Covid and if I am immune."   It is vitally important for us to know who has had the virus, who is immune from future exposure and who is safe for asymptomatic passing of the virus.  But...and this is a big BUT...antibody testing today is NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME.

Let's break this down.  Why?

The FDA has relaxed its usual standards and has permitted emergency use authorization for antibody testing.  This means Neighbor Joe can get some funding, throw some reagents toge…

The Hype About Coconut Oil Benefit Is False

The benefits of using coconut oil has been hyped online, in the press and in diets with stories of its benefits for health. If you google coconut oil you will see it being touted for weight loss, antimicrobial effects, calorie burning, improving good cholesterol, reducing seizures, and boosting brain function in Alzheimers.

This shows just how misled the public can be with fads and brilliant marketing by the industry.  The coconut oil and related industries have been very successful in calling coconut oil a natural, healthful product.  Their marketing worked!  The New York Times commissioned a survey in 2016 that showed 72% of the public said coconut oil is a healthful food.  Actually studies from as far back as 1955 show coconut oil is not a heart healthy oil.  And here is more evidence based truth:

Clinical trials (Reported in JAMA, April 8, 2020)  showed that coconut oil, compared to other vegetable oils, increases low density lipoprotein cholesterol.  Low density lipoproteins (LD…

The Nine Symptoms that Go with Covid-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have added to the list of symptoms that reliably go along with Corona Covid-19 infections.  The nine symptoms are:
ChillsShortness of breathFeverCoughRigors (shaking chills often followed by sweating)HeadacheMuscle painSore throatNew loss of taste or smell One or more of these symptoms are reliably present in documented Covid infections and can be a guide for patients to watch out and isolate early if any of them occur.  A patient doesn't have to have all of the symptoms, but as the infection progresses more may occur.  Fatigue is also often what patients report and we are also seeing blood clots, chest pain and and pressure. 
I've answered a number of questions from patients who have GI symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal cramping and nausea and wonder if it is Covid-19.  Those symptoms alone are not likely to be Corona Covid-19.  The Corona virus is specific for the respiratory tract and symptoms always involve the lungs. 
I …

Loss of Taste and Smell common with Covid-19

Over the past month doctors and researchers are gaining more information as we make our way through the novel Corona Covid-19 virus.  We now know that a high number of patients diagnosed with Covid-19 have a sudden loss of smell (anosmia) and/or taste as a presenting symptom.  Some of these patients have no other symptoms and remain otherwise well, yet testing shows they do, in fact, have the virus.

The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery CEO, Dr. James C. Denneny, believes the symptoms could be an early warning signal and patients with acute onset loss of smell or taste should have a high index of suspicion for Covid-19 (also known as SARS-CoV-2) infection.

Since Covid-19 is extremely contagious, any early hints that someone could be carrying the virus would be a clue to get tested and go into quarantine.

The CDC puts out a weekly report called Morbidity and Mortality Weekly and in a study of 5000 healthcare workers who reported symptoms, 750 (16%)s wrote loss o…

Leaving WHO is a Huge Mistake

Donald Trump's declaration that the United States would stop funding the World Health Organization in the middle of a global pandemic sent shock-waves through the medical world.

Less than twelve hours later, the American College of Physicians (the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in 145 countries worldwide) declared grave concern that this decision will undermine the effort to make progress on the Covid-19 pandemic. The ACP stated, "We urge the President to immediately restore U.S. funding to WHO, and for Congress to take appropriate action to ensure the continued funding."

In case you wondered, the United States pays about 1/5 of the budget ($400-500 million according to Trump), which sounds like a terrific deal to me. 

What does the WHO do?  Why does it matter if we participate?

The World Health Organization consists of more than 7000 people from 150 countries that work together promote health, keep the world safe and serve the …