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Natural Awakenings Tucson

COVID-19 Now: Good News and Effective Therapies in the Pipeline

May 18, 2020 09:11PM ● By Lance Morris
At the printing of my April article, in the U.S. there were 761 cases of COVID-19 and 27 deaths. This represents a positivity rate of 3.5 percent. As of this writing on May 8, 2020, there are now over 1.3 million cases and almost 80,000 deaths. This represents a positivity rate of 6.1 percent.

While monitoring the progress of this virus, an interesting phenomenon has been observed, relative to statistical reporting from various self-proclaimed authorities. There seems to be both a pattern of over- and under-estimating. The various reporting sources are using actual and factual numbers to support these estimates. How do we as citizens know how to differentiate what the truth really is?

Errors in Early Estimates
The key is to understand the difference between the positivity rate and the prevalence rate. To determine the positivity rate, we calculate the percentage of deaths relative to the number of positive confirmed tests at a specific time. Those numbers are accurate and are given in the first paragraph of this article. Comparing these numbers to those from my April article, in which China and the World Health Organization had projected 3.4 and 5 percent, respectively, it looks as if we are on approximately the same trajectory. At 6.1 percent of the U.S. population of 330 million, that would mean a death rate of about 20 million.

Although these numbers are calculated correctly, they are wrong and vastly overestimated. The reason has to do with the difference between positivity and prevalence rate. The prevalence rate is the actual number of deaths as a percentage of the total population of the U.S. For clarity, this number can only be correctly calculated when an epidemic is completely over. So, what has been happening is that different reporting sources are extrapolating different potential prevalence numbers, based on different positivity calculations, then not sharing the details of their number sources or the real significance of the data.

In the U.S. currently, we have still only tested about 2.5 percent of the population, or 8.5 million. The more tests we actually do, the closer to and more realistic a prevalence percent we reach. Not only are we way behind the eight-ball relative to testing, but there is a significant complicating factor. The reliability and accuracy of our current tests is suspect. Some sources have suggested that the false positive rate may be as high as 80 percent. If true, then all of our calculations are seriously flawed.

Now, let’s look at the basis for the underestimates. If we take the current 80,000 death rate and calculate this as a percentage of the total U.S. population of 330 million, that number is .024 percent. Currently, this is still a positivity percentage and not the actual prevalence percentage. Both sides reporting data about the meaning of the current death rate in the U.S. are choosing to use the opposite numerical extremes for their calculations and not clarifying to the American people the bias these numbers represent. They are both only statistical possibilities—and not reality.

There does seem to be a consensus in the medical and scientific community that the number of infected individuals with COVID-19 is probably much higher than our current tests reflect. There has also been a consensus from the onset that most infected individuals, 80 percent or more, will be completely asymptomatic or only exhibit mild symptoms. Some physicians have speculated that the current evidence is leading to the conclusion of “millions and millions of positives, but very few deaths”. The more tests we do, the more this seems to be holding up. The good news is that these lower speculations are probably more accurate than those on the higher end.

Effective Therapies
Additional great news is that more and more naturopathic, holistic, integrative and functional physicians have had the opportunity to treat COVID-19-positive patients, and they’re learning some therapies can be effective against the illness.

First, let’s talk about some scientific information evolving about COVID-19. This virus seems to attack hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the blood’s carrier of oxygen. The virus displaces iron, causing an increase in inflammatory oxidative damage in the lungs, leading to methemoglobinemia. The oxygen is still present, but the body loses the ability to distribute it where it is needed.

Evidence for this plausible theory of methemoglobinemia has been seen in hospitals with pulse oximetry testing. This is a simple finger device used for all hospital patients to monitor blood oxygen levels. Healthy individuals normally have pulse ox levels between 94 and 100 percent. COVID-19 patients commonly have pulse ox levels around 75 percent, or even as low as 50 percent. At these levels, most patients are highly symptomatic or even unconscious. At 75 percent oxygen profusion, many COVID-19 patients seem and act completely normal. COVID patients, in this situation, are very fragile and quickly develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

ARDS is often quickly followed by what is referred to as a cytokine storm. This is induced by a series of powerful pro-inflammatory modulators that then cause organ system failures—from lung, to heart, to kidneys, leading to death. One of many inflammatory mediators is called NLRP3, which is directly linked to a decrease in melatonin. A powerful hormone, melatonin naturally occurs in much higher concentrations in children, below 9 years of age and has been speculated as one of the primary reasons that children are not as susceptible to the ravages of COVID. As such, one additional preventive measure is to add 3-5 mg of melatonin daily at bedtime for adults.

One of the primary treatments for methemoglobinemia is using pharmaceutical grade methylene-blue. This can be used intravenously (IV) or in a nebulizer. Alternative medical practitioners have discovered that by using bioluminescence (light) in the 550-700 nm range, it seems to activate and potentiate the efficacy of the methylene-blue.

The methylene-blue seems to have five modes of action: it displaces methemoglobin, restoring normal oxygen levels; the bio-luminescence activation kills viruses; it increases pH, inducing an alkaline environment (COVID-19 is acid dependent); it is an oxidant to viruses; and it reduces inflammatory modulators like IL6, TNF-alpha and NLRP3 to block cytokine storms. Early clinical studies are seeing oxygen levels and respiratory function reverting to normal, even in the first treatment. As of the printing of this article, the Canadian government is about to engage in a clinical trial using nebulized methylene-blue with COVID-19 patients.

Stay tuned. The tide is about to turn.

This article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The recommendations are for educational purposes only. Application of products like methylene-blue or IV vitamin C must be administered by licensed medical professionals. Patients with G6PD deficiency cannot safely use these therapies and must be tested by a physician first.

Dr. Lance J. Morris’s Tucson clinic is currently open and he is seeing patients at the office, as well as offering telemedicine for patients anywhere. His office is located at 2310 N. Wyatt Dr., Tucson. Connect at 520-322-8122.