COVID-19: New prevention, control and treatment strategies

A. Younes1 and I. Frydas2

1Studio Medico “Mai più Dolore”, Centro ARCA, Spoltore, Pescara, Italy; 2Arstotelian University, Thessaloniki, Greece


The coronavirus outbreak quickly spread and was declared an international public health emergency, attracting great attention from the WHO. The population is generally susceptible to the virus and, as is known, there are no effective drugs or vaccines to eradicate the disease. Hence, protection and isolation have become the important key to disrupting the transmission routes and effectively controlling the epidemic. The lack of protective materials and lack of awareness of prevention are the main difficulties that rural populations face during the epidemic. Consequently, social support services, proper nutrition and greater information on the transmission of the virus can be of fundamental importance for the fight against COVID-19 disease and the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Exploring new infection prevention and control strategies and treatment in COVID-19 patients has proved very important. The rapid spread of the disease and the reduction of its impact on society are currently the most pressing challenges to be addressed in order to prevent, contain and control COVID-19 disease. This is an acute and contagious disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. The virus (RNA) possesses a genetic makeup that encodes 26 proteins and is transmitted through contact with aerosol droplets from infected people. The pathogenesis of COVID-19 is very complex and involves the innate (primitive) antiviral immune response of the host organism, with the production of very powerful inflammatory proteins (cytokines) that cause the so-called “cytokine storm”, with severe lung damage, tissue fibrosis, pneumonia, and often patient death. In this regard, natural proteins with an inhibitory action on pro-inflammatory cytokines that cause thrombosis and pneumonia after coronavirus-19 infection can be of great help. Therefore, exploring the effect of natural compounds and leading a healthy life with due precautions can provide valid methods against the disease with a lowering of the contagion curve. For example, several food supplements such as vitamin D, lactoferrin, lutein, zinc, vitamin K, curcumin, probiotics, selenium, quercetin, etc. can help relieve symptoms of the disease, albeit in a mild way, and to boost the immune system against the coronavirus. These food supplements are an obstacle to the spread of microorganisms, providing prophylactic support against COVID-19 disease. However, according to epidemiological data, it is interesting to note that drinking spring water is not a valid transmission element.

Vitamin D has immuno-modulating properties and inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokines, preventing lung inflammation. The oral intake of vitamin D (2000 IU/day) is protective against acute respiratory tract infections without side effects, especially in subjects who have a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D contributes to reduce the severity of the disease caused by SARS ‐ CoV ‐ 2, especially in cold countries where the deficiency of this vitamin is more frequent. Vitamin C also has healthy physiological functions as it is involved in an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic and immunomodulatory action. Research on the role of vitamin C in the prevention and treatment of pneumonia and sepsis has shown that in patients with severe coronavirus disease, with pneumonia, who show a low grade of vitamin C, the administration of this antioxidant to sick patients can reduce the severity and duration of the disease including mortality. Hypovitaminosis C and failure to eat the foods that produce it are common in low- to middle-income populations, and many of the risk factors for vitamin C deficiency overlap with COVID-19 risk factors. The administration of vitamin C can certainly improve the pathological state of the COVID-19 patient and also affect the contagion curve.

A higher intake of vegetables, olive oil, proteins, luteolin and a reduction in blood iron have been associated with a reduced risk of COVID-19; while an increase in alcohol intake and a life span in densely populated areas with urban high-traffic are correlated with an increased risk and severity of COVID-19. In addition, while the urban population density favors the presence of COVID-19 disease, on the contrary, the excellent hospital medical conditions in large high-income urban centers favor prevention and therapy.

In conclusion, the intake of certain products such as dairy products, alcohol, animal fats, vitamin B, a non-hygienically correct lifestyle, living in humid and cold areas and not respecting the safety distances and not wearing masks, have been associated with an increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths.




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