Covid-19 is a new strain of coronavirus to which humans have not got immunity.  It originated in China and has quickly spread around the world.

-2 April 2020-

In the UK, the Government has predicted that up to 80% of people will get it and that 1% of those who get it may die.  It can develop into a very acute respiratory tract infection and then anyone who is vulnerable can catch pneumonia and other illnesses and succumb to those.

At Breakspear Medical, we are very keen to support our patients and we have been following the Public Health England guidelines for healthcare professionals.

New measures

We have implemented some stringent measures to maximise your protection at the clinic.  These include but are not limited to:

  • taking the temperature of every person who enters the clinic. Anybody with a fever will be taken immediately to our quarantine room, to be further examined by a doctor
  • handwashing notices have been displayed around the building to remind staff and patients alike to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds more frequently
  • any equipment used by multiple persons, such as the chip/pin device in Accounts and the pen on Reception must be sprayed and wiped after each use
  • patients on the ward will be spaced out as far as possible

Dr Jean Monro, our Medical Director, recommends a nutritional supplement programme to help with upper respiratory tract infections (see below).

Are you at risk?

Currently, the Public Health England website recommends:

Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms.

From the coronavirus NHS UK website, stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.

Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.

However, if a person has not recently returned from travels abroad and has not been in contact with a confirmed case, it may well be another upper respiratory tract infection, such as a rhinovirus or a common cold. In fact, some of our patients often have flu-like symptoms as a consequence of chronic illness; these patients often benefit from the upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) support regime that we can provide upon request. We have also been prescribing a product called KiB 500, which is a naturally-derived product for boosting the immune system in relation to infections, and regard this as a useful first line defence.  (If you would like more information on the URTI support regime or KiB 500, please email info@breakspearmedical.com and request more information. It is best to be prepared and to actively intervene at the earlier stages of infection.)

Furthermore, we can use other herbal anti-viral treatments or prescription anti-virals, if required. There are a number of investigations that we can use to identify the specific type of infection in the upper respiratory tract and these investigation reports can be helpful to decide the most effective treatment protocol on an individual basis.

We are very keen to continue to support our patients and should our patients wish any additional help, our Pharmacy can issue the upper respiratory tract infection support (see below) and also the KiB 500 kits, which can be kept for use should occasion arise.

How to protect yourself & others

Go to the Government guidelines to learn how to avoid catching or spreading the coronavirus.

Be sure to:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

Dr Monro’s upper respiratory tract infection support

Dr Monro advises that this vitamin regime can be taken for a period of seven days and includes the following supplements:

Vitamin A

Vitamin A may help to prevent most bacterial and viral disease, exerting anti-viral effects against the viruses that cause the common cold and influenza. It may increase the effectiveness of the cells that produce antibodies and increase the proliferation of lymphocytes in response to challenges by antigens. Deficiency of this vitamin increases susceptibility to bacterial and viral diseases via numerous mechanisms that involve the immune system. Beta-carotene is the precursor of vitamin A.

Dose recommendations: Check the dosage with your supplier, pharmacist or physician.  During pregnancy, women should be particularly cautious.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C may help to counteract many types of bacterial and viral diseases, including the influenza virus. It may help to prevent respiratory tract infections, may reduce the severity of respiratory infections and may accelerate the recovery from respiratory tract infections.

Vitamin C may help to prevent the common cold and may reduce the severity of symptoms and duration of the common cold.

Dosage recommendation: Usually 10g per day can be tolerated by an adult if taken throughout the day. The dose used will vary according to individual tolerance. Bowels can become loose with too much vitamin C.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant and has the ability to modulate host immune functions. It also plays an important role in the differentiation of white blood cells.

Dose recommendation: There are different forms of vitamin E. Read product labels for daily recommendations or check the dosage with a pharmacist or physician.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 has important immunomodulatory (modifies the function of the immune system) effects on cellular immunity. It may facilitate the production of antibodies, and may accelerate recovery from bacterial and viral diseases.

Dose recommendation: There are different forms of vitamin B12 available, it is regarded as non-toxic. 1mg per day is often recommended.

Vitamin D3

Results of a randomised controlled trial support the theory that vitamin D taken each day for production of antibodies may accelerate the recovery from bacterial and viral diseases.

Considerable evidence has been presented that in influenza epidemics or with the common cold infections are brought on by seasonal deficiencies within the innate immune response

Maintenance of a good levels of vitamin D should significantly reduce the incidence of acute viral respiratory tract infections and the burden of illness.

Dose recommendation: 2,000 – 5,000IU of vitamin D per day is often suitable but if pregnant or breast feeding consult a physician.

Flavonoids

Flavonoids can stimulate the activities of numerous immunity related cell types. Research has highlighted that flavonoids including quercetin, hesperetin and catechin can be particularly effective in anti-infective activity.

A considerable body of evidence suggests that plant flavonoids may be health-promoting, disease preventing and anti-inflammatory dietary compounds. Good sources of these flavonoids are:

Quercetin – Apples, peppers, dark cherries, all berries, tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale), green tea.

Hesperetin – Citrus fruits (in membrane and peel), apricots, plums, bilberry, green and yellow peppers, broccoli, buckwheat.

Catechin – Chocolate (dark 70% +), apple peel, apricots, cherries, peaches, blackberries, black grapes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, green tea, pecans, pistachio, almonds, hazelnuts.