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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic since 2005; Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic Discussion Forum.

Update on COVID therapy for cytokine storm

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CRS, DrPH View Drop Down
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    Posted: February 03 2021 at 7:39pm

One of our members asked if I would provide an update on the use of advanced biotechnologies for COVID therapies, so here goes! 

1.  The challenge:  SARS-CoV2 corona virus is a "novel" virus, formerly unknown to humanity, and so we are undergoing a "natural experiment."  It appears likely that this coronavirus spilled over from a bat host into humans, perhaps through an intermediary host (pangolin, civet cat etc.).  This is how the original SARS virus came to infect humanity in 2003, and we are very lucky that this was stamped out quickly. 

2.  The pathogen:  The SARS-CoV2 virus causes a great deal of damage to the human body during infection, primarily through instigation of the famous "cytokine storm."  Cytokines are chemicals generated by our immune systems to help destroy invading pathogens, but if the immune response is exaggerated, the storm can cause a great deal of damage to healthy human tissue and organ systems such as lungs, heart and circulatory systems.  

3.  Treating the storm:  Dating back to the original SARS outbreak in 2003, it was postulated that certain approved drugs, used to treat autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis, could be used to counteract the cytokine storm caused by novel coronaviruses.   A key cytokine in the storm is TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor), a chemical that is particularly lethal against human tissue and, as the name implies, meant to help kill cancerous cells that have gone awry. 

I postulated that anti-TNF drugs might be life-saving for treating severe COVID-19 patients and so began to research this, using my resources from the University of Illinois College of Medicine.  Interestingly, I found a reference from 2008, long before the COVID-19 outbreak began!   The article is a bit heavy-lifting, but many of you will find it interesting!  

Please see:  https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1185/030079903125002757?needAccess=true

TNF-α inhibition for potential therapeutic modulation of SARS coronavirus infection


Summary: Clinical and experimental evidence implicate TNF as a possible mediator of the severe immune-based pulmonary injury which can follow infection with H5N1 influenza and SARS coronavirus.  Compared with the use of corticosteroids, the use of biologic TNF inhibitors, including etanercept, has the potential to be a more specific and more effective

method of ameliorating the severe alveolar damage which can occur following infection with these agents.  Further study is indicated.

CRS, DrPH
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KiwiMum View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiwiMum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 03 2021 at 8:18pm

Hi Chuck, nice to see you back. While you're here, will you please give us the benefit of your expertise on the safety of the vaccines available? I'm concerned because they are in their experimental stage still and we hear of adverse reactions on one hand and then on the other we hear governments saying they're completely safe. The very fact that they are not full licensed yet means that they haven't been proven to be completely safe so I feel we're being lied to and that makes me nervous. Thanks.

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ViQueen24 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote ViQueen24 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 04 2021 at 7:43am

Big thanks, Chuck!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 04 2021 at 11:37am

Originally posted by KiwiMum KiwiMum wrote:

Hi Chuck, nice to see you back. While you're here, will you please give us the benefit of your expertise on the safety of the vaccines available? I'm concerned because they are in their experimental stage still and we hear of adverse reactions on one hand and then on the other we hear governments saying they're completely safe. The very fact that they are not full licensed yet means that they haven't been proven to be completely safe so I feel we're being lied to and that makes me nervous. Thanks.

Sure!!  I'm a huge proponent of the new messenger RNA vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer), these are a revolutionary concept that will likely help us to conquer many other diseases!  

Unlike past vaccines such as smallpox, these do NOT insert a living virus or even virus fragment into the body....the messenger RNA (mRNA) is a short bit of viral genetic instruction that encodes the production of ONLY part of the surface protein of the coronavirus (spike protein).  The human body generates an immune response to this spike protein, conferring protection against the entire virus particle. 

I believe that all of the vaccines being deployed are basically safe.  The Russian version, "Sputnik," deploys viral RNA in a genetically engineering harmless virus which infects cells, this approach has been used before.  

I've had the Moderna vaccine with only mild side effects, I believe the Pfizer vaccine may have a bit stronger reaction.  Take a single dose of ibuprofen before the vaccine to help reduce arm swelling.  I highly recommend these vaccines, they are some of the safest I've ever studied.  Be safe!

CRS, DrPH
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KiwiMum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 04 2021 at 12:57pm

Thanks Chuck. That's good to know. I've had 4 elderly relatives in Europe who've had the vaccines and no side effects yet except 2 of them had a sore arm. But 2 of them have been joking that they're not even sure they were injected because their arms feel fine. 2 of them had the Pfizer and 2 had the Oxford. The sore arms were with the Oxford. The Pfizer has been fine.

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WitchMisspelled View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WitchMisspelled Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 04 2021 at 6:19pm

Thank you for this, Chuck!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EdwinSm, Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 04 2021 at 10:34pm

Originally posted by CRS, DrPH CRS, DrPH wrote:

 I highly recommend these vaccines, they are some of the safest I've ever studied.  Be safe!


That is wonderful news.  Thanks

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ViQueen24 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ViQueen24 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 05 2021 at 9:18am

Thanks for that, too, Chuck!

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