Colin Farrell, take control of your emotions. – Times-Herald

Colin Farrell, take control of your emotions. – Times-Herald

  • May 31, 2020

CELEBRITIES BORN ON THIS DAY: Colin Farrell, 44; Brooke Shields, 55; Tom Berenger, 71; Clint Eastwood, 90.

Brooke Shields / AFP PHOTO / Hector RETAMALHECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images

Happy Birthday: How you handle day-to-day problems will make a difference. Take control of your emotions, and look for practical alternatives that suit the changing lifestyle trends, and you will up your game and be ready to take on whatever comes your way. Think smart, act practically and do your best to implement healthy routines and practices. Your numbers are 3, 10, 17, 26, 31, 38, 42. 

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Consider your attributes and what you have to work with, and you will come up with a plan that will help you be diverse and cutting-edge concerning your career and the lifestyle you want. Protect your health. 3 stars 

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): You’ll accomplish the most if you work independently of others and have a goal in mind. What you accomplish will lead to an unexpected opportunity. How you revise your daily routine will bring results that distance you from unnecessary meddling. 5 stars 

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Tunnel vision will help you be more productive. The less interference or temptation you encounter, the better the outcome. A change of attitude will lead to physical benefits that will boost your immune system as well as your confidence. 2 stars 

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Choose a unique environment. Surround yourself with the things that make you happy. Comfort and convenience will motivate you to enjoy what you have and make the most of your life. Share your feelings and intentions with someone you love. 4 stars 

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Don’t let anyone take advantage of you. Focus on personal growth and self-improvement projects that will boost your ego. An energetic challenge will help ease stress. Test your strength, endurance and intelligence. Romance is on the rise. 3 stars 

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Take care of unfinished business yourself. Relying on someone will lead to disappointment. Base a change you need to make on information that you receive from a reliable source. Broaden your outlook and awareness. 3 stars 

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Keep life simple, and live within your means. A problem at home will escalate if you have neglected your duties or someone who relies on you. Don’t take a risk if there is a chance of injury, illness or financial loss. 3 stars

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Take care of matters personally. Someone will cost you money if you don’t set boundaries. Avoid joint ventures. Work toward something you can do on your own. A creative endeavor is favored. 3 stars 

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Get to the bottom of any situation that has left you feeling out of the loop. Ask pertinent questions, find out where you stand and make a move that will encourage fewer problems and a better relationship with someone special. 4 stars 

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Think matters through, and proceed to make a change that will help you improve your life. An exciting prospect will come with high expectations as well as uncertainty regarding personal benefits. Don’t act prematurely. Gather facts. 2 stars 

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Make adjustments at home that will make your life easier. A fitness routine or physical change you make will give you the personal pick-me-up and confidence you need to go after what you want. Romance is in the stars. 3 stars 

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Don’t take what others say to heart. Get the facts yourself, and let your intuition be your guide. Let go of negativity in your life, and focus on what brings you the most joy. A lifestyle change will boost your morale. 3 stars 

Birthday Baby: You are intuitive, sensitive and friendly. You are disciplined and forward-thinking.

Visit, or join Eugenia on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn.


Cate Reade

Everyday Immune Booster: Movement & Exercise

  • May 31, 2020

By Cate Reade, MS, RD, SFS ~

For our immune system to function well, it needs to communicate with every cell in our whole body. Our circulatory system is the superhighway that transports immune cells, messages and responses throughout our body.  Movement and exercise are key to boost circulation and optimize the crosstalk between cells to boost immune resilience.  (1, 2).

Our immune system is always busy scanning and defending our body against infections, illness and disease. It consists of a vast network of cells, tissues and organs that are patrolling, protecting and coordinating defenses against health threats from viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens encountered daily (3).  

To protect our body, immune cells are constantly sampling substances that enter.  When a suspicious character is detected, messenger molecules are released to put the immune system on high-alert and stimulate the proper response.  This is similar to when we have a health emergency and immediately call 911; the faster this message travels throughout the body, the quicker the immune system can kick into action.  

Once alerted, a cascade of immune soldiers is deployed including but not limited to, natural killer cells, neutrophils, T-cells and B-cells which are stimulated to produce antibodies.  Each immune soldier plays a critical role to deal with the infection and keep us healthy (4).

We can give our immune system a helping hand by exercising and moving more throughout the day.  Consistent movement and exercise have a profound impact on enhancing our immune response to pathogenic invaders (5).  Physical activity boosts circulation, the number of immune cells, surveillance capabilities and overall function (4).  

Immune Circulation

The lymphatic system is part of the circulatory system and a vital part of the immune system, consisting of vessels and nodes that span the entire body.  This system transports lymph fluid and immune cells to and from sites of infection. It also carries bacteria and other harmful invaders to the lymph nodes that are packed with immune cells ready to fight off and destroy unwelcomed visitors (6). 

One of the most important functions of the lymph nodes is to support communication between immune cells and defend against invaders (7).  Immune cells in lymph nodes are constantly listening for immune signals from around the body (7).  Lymph nodes act as filters, trapping and destroying invaders to protect other body parts.  When fighting a viral or bacterial infection, you may notice your lymph nodes get swollen, particularly in your neck, under your chin, armpits or groin.  

Each node has lymphatic and blood vessels, allowing immune cells to enter and exit (7).  Here is where circulation comes into play again.  While our blood vessels have help from the heart, our lymphatic system depends on muscles contracting to pump and move those fluids around the body.   Exercise and motion boost lymphatic flow, immune function and our well-being.

Aging, Exercise & Immunity

As we age, our immune system changes and isn’t as robust, leaving us more susceptible to infection and disease.  This process is called immunosenescence.  The great news is recent research shows that habitual exercise has the power to improve immune function and delay the onset of immunosenescence (4). 

How much and how long to exercise depends on your level of fitness and health.  If you feel great and don’t have an immune challenge or infection, exercise to the point where you feel the “exercise high” experienced from the release of endorphins which also has a profound effect on immune cells like natural killer cells, T- and B-cells (4).  

The fitter you become, so does your immune system! Overtraining leaves you feeling fatigued and can depress immune function so don’t overdo it.  Respect your body and listen to what it is telling you.

If you are fighting an infection, be careful not to fatigue yourself.  Exercise produces free radicals and burns up more antioxidants in your system which steals these nutrients from your immune system, dampening immune function.  If you are feeling or getting sick, movement at a comfortable pace can be helpful.  A few minutes of joint circles, gentle yoga, walking, or seated exercise will circulate immune messengers to help boost your body’s defense systems.  

If you are sick, rest is best.  If you feel up to it, simply moving your joints in circles or a slow walk around your room or home can be beneficial.

With COVID-19 and stay at home orders, most of us have been sitting more at the computer or television.  This lack of circulation and blood flow dampens our immune resilience leaving us more susceptible to getting sick.   These days, more than ever, when I am sitting at home, I find myself relying on my MoveMor™ Mobility Trainer to move my ankles, knees and hips in all directions to improve circulation, muscle strength and joint range of motion for better balance.  

If you are ready to boost your immune function, strength and balance at the same time, we are offering free virtual exercise classes through the month of June and our lowest pricing on our MoveMor™ Mobility Trainers.  To find out more, contact Cate at or 303.515.7070.  

Your health is our number one priority and we would love to see you and MoveMor™ together!  

Cate Reade

Cate Reade

Cate Reade, MS, RD, SFS is a Registered Dietitian and Exercise Physiologist on a mission to improve functional mobility and health span utilizing the power of lifestyle medicine. She has been teaching, writing and prescribing healthy eating and exercise programs for over 25 years. Today, as CEO of Resistance Dynamics and inventor of the MoveMor™ Mobility Trainer, she develops programs that target joint flexibility, strength and balance deficits to help older adults fall less and live more. Cate instructs MoveMor™ exercise classes and speaks with healthcare professionals locally and nationally about mobility, lifestyle and fall prevention solutions so people can live longer, healthier and happier lives. Contact Cate at 303.515.7070 or



  1. Randolph, GJ, et al (2017).  The Lymphatic System: Integral Roles in Immunity. Annu Rev Immunol.
  2. Jones, AW & Davison, G (2018). Exercise, Immunity, and Illness. Muscle and Exercise Physiology.
  3. Nicholson, LB, (2016).  The Immune System.  Essays Biochem.
  4. Nieman, DC & Wentz, LM (2019). The compelling link between physical activity and the body’s defense system. J. Sport Health Sci.
  5. da Luz Scheffer, D & Latini A (2020). Exercise-induced immune system response: Anti-inflammatory status on peripheral and central organs. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis.

Merck Manual.

Anger Over Police Killings Shatters Us

Anger Over Police Killings Shatters Us

  • May 31, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Americans are waking up to charred and glass-strewn streets in dozens of cities after another night of unrest fueled by rage over the mistreatment of African Americans at the hands of police.

Tens of thousands marched peacefully through streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck until he stopped breathing.

But many demonstrations sank into chaos as night fell: Cars and businesses were torched. The words “I can’t breathe” were spray-painted all over buildings. A fire in a trash bin burned near the gates of the White House.

All contents © copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved

Doctors may have found a new way to predict and treat severe coronavirus cases – BGR

Doctors may have found a new way to predict and treat severe coronavirus cases – BGR

  • May 31, 2020
  • Future coronavirus treatment may include meds that boost the number of T-cells in the blood, which are capable of neutralizing pathogens that infect the body.
  • Researchers from the UK discovered that severe COVID-19 cases show a much lower lymphocyte count than expected, and that can be a marker for COVID-19 complications.
  • A trial is looking at whether interleukin 7, which can boost T-cell levels, can help patients experiencing a severe version of COVID-19 recover.

Statements from experts including the WHO and Dr. Anthony Fauci that said the novel coronavirus might never go away sound alarming, but that’s not the whole story. The flu never went away and won’t disappear even though we have vaccines that can provide temporary immunity. But the flu is a highly manageable infectious disease. We have various lines of treatment that work, and we all know how to treat its symptoms and when to seek medical attention. COVID-19 is still an illness that lacks a standard treatment, although doctors have been testing all sorts of therapies that work, including some promising vaccine candidates. Others are developing brand new meds that are meant to prevent the virus from replicating and provide brief periods of immunity. These are antibody-based drugs that could improve the condition of COVID-19 patients by giving a helping hand to their immune systems. Antibody-rich plasma from COVID-19 survivors proved this type of therapy works in severe cases.

Now, researchers from the UK have made a new discovery related to the immune response that could help physicians predict which COVID-19 cases will worsen. It may even offer them a way to treat those severe cases.

Doctors treating COVID-19 patients who developed life-threatening complications found they have extremely low numbers of T-cells. That’s an immune cell, also known as a T lymphocyte, that is responsible for clearing pathogens like the novel coronavirus.

Other researchers found that T-cells play a significant role in killing the novel coronavirus, and some patients may already possess the kind of T-cells that can respond to the virus immediately. That could be due to a prior infection with one of the other four known human coronaviruses that can cause common colds.

Scientists from the Francis Crick Institute, King’s College London, and Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital looked at the immune cells in the blood of 60 COVID-19 patients and found a crash of T-cell count, BBC explained. In a microliter (0.001ml) of blood, you should find between 2,000 and 4,000 T-cells. But that number drops to anywhere between 200 and 1,200 in severe COVID-19 cases.

Critical care consultant at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital Manu Shankar-Hari said that about 70% of COVID-19 patients he sees in intensive care have between 400 and 800 lymphocytes per microliter of blood. “When they start to recover, their lymphocyte level also starts to go back up,” he told BBC.

This was apparently a “great surprise,” according to Crick Institute professor Adrian Hayday. T-cells are “trying to protect us, but the virus seems to be doing something that’s pulling the rug from under them because their numbers have declined dramatically.”

“The exact reason for this disruption – the spanner in the works of the T-cell system – is not at all clear to us,” he said. “This virus is really doing something distinct and future research – which we will start immediately – needs to find out the mechanism by which this virus is having these effects.”

The discovery gave researchers two useful ideas for the management of severe COVID-19 cases. First of all, blood tests could be used to provide early indications of what patients might develop severe complications. Aside from this “fingerprint test” for T-cells, the researchers will also study the effects of interleukin 7 (IL-7), a drug that should boost T-cell numbers and hopefully improve recovery times.

Interleukin 7 has been tested on a small group of patients with sepsis and proved to increase the production of T-cells. In the COVID-19 trial, patients with low lymphocyte count who have been in critical care for more than three days will receive the drug. “We are hoping that [when we increase the cell count] the viral infections gets cleared, Shankar-Hari said. “As a critical care physician, I look after patients who are extremely unwell, and, other than supportive care, we do not have any direct active treatment against the disease,” he said, adding that the trial is extremely encouraging for UK physicians.

First responders transporting a patient during the coronavirus pandemic. Image Source: Dan Callister/Shutterstock

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he’s not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Standardized patients adjust to the world of virtual testing

Standardized patients adjust to the world of virtual testing

  • May 31, 2020

In Eve Muller’s line of work, body language and face-to-face interaction are almost imperative. Muller is a standardized patient, a trained actor used for medical exams to provide students a realistic example of doctor-patient interaction and test their interpersonal skills as well as medical knowledge.

But just like almost every other line of work, she has been forced to interact strictly online due to COVID-19.

“We all just went, ‘Oh shoot. How is this going to even work, and how are we going to work?’” Muller said.

The result: Less overall work and standardized patients who spend most of their time calling their “doctors” and describing symptoms rather than acting them out.

Muller has been working as a standardized patient since 1990 and said she stumbled into the profession. Now she works part-time for USC to train other standardized patients for Keck School of Medicine of USC. As someone who has been in this line of work for 30 years, she said it entails simulating emotional issues, psychosocial issues and physical exam findings while portraying them in a realistic and humanistic way.

“I really love the work that I do and I’m grateful every day for this opportunity that I fell into accidentally,” Muller said. “It really is a privilege to be part of the education of someone who does what these students will one day do.”

The community of L.A.-based standardized patients is quite diverse as Muller said schools require patients of varying ages and ethnicities. USC has a pool of about 300 total standardized patients, though not all are active. About 100 of them stay in touch through Facebook, where Muller said they discuss auditions, plan get-togethers and in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, check in on each other.

Connie Nelson has been working as an actor and standardized patient for over 20 years and said that once the safer-at-home orders went into effect in March, many of the standardized patient opportunities were put on hold.

“This is supposed to be our busiest time because this is when all the schools test,” Nelson said. “So, what we do has definitely been limited.”

Though, even the available work has come with its share of challenges. Bob Rumnock has been working as a standardized patient since shortly after he arrived in L.A. a little over 20 years ago to pursue acting. He said standardized patient work has been the ideal job as it has allowed him to travel the world and utilize and strengthen the skills needed for other acting roles. As with most acting jobs, standardized patients use more than simply dialogue to convey messages.

“Standardized patients have a tendency to really focus on eye contact and facial expressions, and oftentimes it’s difficult, depending on where your camera is, to establish eye contact,” Rumnock said.

An example Rumnock gave was a standardized patient experiencing appendicitis. Normally the patient would verbally and physically communicate where the pain is, then the student would lay the patient back and check where the pain is specifically coming from. Without that physical interaction, the process almost becomes more of an interview.

“It’s really that human element that we focus on, and that’s a whole reason for standardized patients being there,” Rumnock said. “Otherwise you could simply watch a video.”

Though, with a rise in telehealth options, Muller said Zoom has been beneficial in training students to handle these remote appointments, such as pharmacy cases or anything that doesn’t require a physical examination. But other avenues like occupational therapy that rely on physical contact.

“The actual greatest loss to me is energy, because I feel like there’s an energy to everything we do,” Muller said.

Despite the shortage of standardized patient work, and the adjustments that have had to be made in order to work remotely, all three of them agree that there are a few lone bright spots throughout this pandemic.

As actors, they all understand the struggle of trying to work while also auditioning, and it’s why they’ve been able to create such a tightknit community, which has only grown stronger in the last few months. Muller said the sense of community has extended beyond checking in on one another, to running errands and even financial assistance for those that have struggled to get work.

“It’s a very powerful thing to be part of a community that helps one another boost their immune system, boost their spirits and trying to help each other stay healthy, not just physically but emotionally and mentally healthy,” Muller said.

Community Medical Centers HealthQuest: Boost Your Immune System With Simple Exercises

Community Medical Centers HealthQuest: Boost Your Immune System With Simple Exercises

  • May 31, 2020
ABC30 and Community Medical Centers have teamed up to present Community Medical Centers HealthQuest, a series of FREE community forums designed to help you and your family make informed and healthy life decisions.
Our next seminar is Thursday, June 4, 2020, at 6 p.m.

Topic: Boost Your Immune System With Simple Exercises
Speakers: Julie DeYoung – Physical Therapist, Clovis Community Medical Center
Where: Online – Register for link

We all know how important it is to exercise and stay active as part of a healthy lifestyle, but finding fun and practical ways to do this around the house can be difficult.

Join us for a special online seminar to learn tips on how to develop an active exercise routine that works for you and your family while keeping safe this summer.

To register for Community Medical Centers HealthQuest events, call (559) 324-4787 or click here.

Past Events

5 Simple Hacks to Eat Healthy and Boost Your Immunity the Right Way this lockdown

5 Simple Hacks to Eat Healthy and Boost Your Immunity the Right Way this lockdown

  • May 31, 2020

As the world comes together to fight this global threat of COVID-19, we at home continue to fight our individual battles with health and fitness. It is becoming increasingly important to focus on our fitness goals as being obese or overweight increases our risk for contracting the infection. It is time to up our fitness quotient to keep our immune system strong. People are indulging in binge eating on unhealthy foods due to increased stress, anxiety or just out of boredom.  Since the time of lock down, everyone is turning chefs in our own little fancy ways to keep our foodie-souls happy. Surveys conducted have shown that sales of ingredients for baking have gone up during the lock down period as everyone is baking cakes and cookies . While it’s great to keep oneself busy we have to be conscious of the fact that cakes and cookies are made from refined flour, sugar and fat and if eaten in excess can prove detrimental to our health.  This is the time to take stock of our health and work at improving our fitness levels and prevent ourselves from getting lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, etc.

Celebrity chefs are helping people with easy-to-make recipes via various social media platforms which is proving to be a boon to people who do not know how to cook.

Everyone is talking about ‘Immunity Building’ and ‘Mindful Eating’ to help us stay fit and healthy to fight this virus. It is important to make a list of ingredients in advance before going grocery shopping so that we pick up the right foods which help us stay fit and healthy.

According to some research, there is a growing demand for packaged foods with high nutrition value and health benefits and people are ordering them through e-commerce platforms. A lot of people are ordering healthy alternatives like green teas, green coffees, hi-protein soups with superfoods to keep them healthy and fit during these times. Here are 5 Simple Hacks to help you eat healthy and boost your immunity.

Switch to Green Teas / Green Coffees
Replace your regular tea with green tea

While we work from home, we tend to take more and more of our chai-coffee breaks to help us get through the day. While we all know they both have their pros and cons, we can always switch to their healthier alternatives like Superfood Moringa Green Tea, it is formulated to give you all the benefits of green tea combined with the power of Moringa. It is packed with vitamins and minerals. It is rich in vitamin C and has antioxidant properties which helps boost immunity. It helps maintain bone & joint health, helps regulate metabolism and aids in weight management. For all the coffee enthusiasts, green coffee is really beneficial for immunity boosting. Green coffee is unroasted and hence has three times more antioxidant potential which is otherwise lost during the roasting process. Thus, making it a really helpful immunity booster and also enhancing your weight control plans.

Pick the Right Proteins
For the immune system to function at its best, it is important to consume good quantity and quality of protein in the diet. A quarter of your meal should always include the right protein intake. Incorporate protein rich foods such as eggs, curd, buttermilk, paneer, sprouts, dal, soybean, soy chunks, soy granules, lean meat, fish, chicken etc. in the meals. These days, you get instant-ready soup with superfoods; they are so nutritious that it has up to four times the protein content compared to regular soups available on e-commerce. It is a convenient and nourishing option to keep you warm and agile.

Increase Beta-Carotene Intake
Carrots and spinach are rich in anti-oxidants

Beta-carotene converts itself into vitamin A, which is an anti-inflammatory vitamin. Carrots, spinach, sweet potato, moringa (drumstick) leaves, and pumpkin are all good sources of beta-carotene. Consuming one cup of the above-mentioned foods (anyone) can give around 60-100% of the total daily dose of beta-carotene. Inculcating this habit into your diet will enhance your immunity with anti-inflammatory vitamins.

Make way for Magnesium
Magnesium in your diet can be a vital factor in boosting your immunity. Include millets like ragi, jowar, nuts like almonds and cashewnuts (unsalted, in limited amounts), pulses, green leafy vegetables and seeds like poppy, flax, chia and sunflower to boost immunity. 2 tablespoons of any of these seeds or one cup of veggies or pulses can fulfill 50% of the daily requirement. Ensure that all fruits and vegetables are washed thoroughly, particularly leafy vegetables, cauliflower, and broccoli as a precautionary measure.

Daily Dose of Vitamin-D
Sunlight provides the daily dose of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential immunity booster and helps regulate the body’s immune response. Studies have shown that 55% of our population has low Vitamin D levels while it’s 80% of the obese/overweight population. Test your Vitamin D levels and consult your doctor in case they are low. You can also go up to the terrace or to your balcony without sunscreen during the day to boost your vitamin D levels. To maintain healthy blood levels, aim to get 10–30 minutes of midday (11am-1pm) sunlight. This has become increasingly important in these days where most of us are working from home and staying indoors.

Sheryl Salis, founder, Nurture Health Solutions, is a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator and wellness coach.

Scientists are searching hard for coronavirus treatments. Which ones look promising?

Scientists are searching hard for coronavirus treatments. Which ones look promising?

  • May 31, 2020

Medicinal chemist Derek Lowe has worked in the US pharmaceutical industry for 30 years.

He provides frank and fearless commentary dissecting the latest research about coronavirus treatments in his long-running blog In the Pipeline, published on the website of the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Not only is this the first global pandemic in the age of the internet, it’s also the first to occur at a time when scientists have powerful tools like genetic sequencing at their fingertips.

“There’s never been anything like this,” he says.

But in the scramble to find something, anything, that can staunch the mounting death rate from the disease the noise around coronavirus treatments has been “atrocious,” says Dr Lowe.

“One problem is there are people with their own political agendas who want to downplay the pandemic; or some of them want to boost it up and make it seem like the end of the world,” he says.

“Others want to act like they’ve got a cure for it, or just hope they’ve got a cure for it.”

“The hope part I understand, but the problem is that people who are not familiar with drug research … don’t realise how incredibly often this stuff fails.”

The sobering reality is that around 90 per cent of new drugs that initially look promising fail.

“No other industry fails like that, but it’s because it’s extremely hard and we don’t know enough about human biology to cure disease.”

There are currently no effective treatments for coronavirus, but there is a lot happening. Here are the latest developments and what they might mean.

Why we’re looking to old drugs to treat a new virus

You may have heard about a few drug treatments, such as hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir, but there are more than 200 are currently being tested in more than 1,100 trials around the world.

Some of the larger trials, such as the World Health Organisation’s Solidarity trial, are looking at multiple drug options.

Many of the drugs under trial are already used to treat other conditions, including malaria, HIV, and rheumatoid arthritis, which means that doctors know how they work and how safe they are to use with people with those conditions.

And some of these drugs had shown early promise in the lab or in preliminary trials for SARS and MERS.

That means they can be fast-tracked into human trials, which is important when you’re trying to get on top of a pandemic.

This approach of repurposing drugs has often been used in the past for many viral diseases, including HIV, says Sharon Lewin, director of the Doherty Institute.

But while this coronavirus has parallels with HIV, there are also differences.

People with HIV get better once the virus has been controlled, but SARS-CoV-2 can trigger a unique response that throws your immune system out of whack, inhibiting your protective antiviral molecules and ramping up your inflammatory agents.

That means we need different types of drugs for different stages of the disease.

“It’s very unusual you just get a single silver bullet and say it’s done. Viruses interact with the immune system in a complex way,” she says.

Three approaches of drug treatment

It’s still too early to have more than a few results from large high-quality trials known as randomised controlled trials (RCTs) where some people are given the treatment and other aren’t.

“RCTs are the only way you can tell whether the drug is having an effect,” says Professor Lewin, who is the lead author of a paper by the Australian Academy of Science that looks at the most promising treatments.

There are basically three different approaches to drug treatment:

  • targeting the virus,
  • dampening the immune system,
  • treating later complications, such as blood clots.

“You may use antiviral drugs early in the illness when there’s lots of virus around, but it is looking like you will use immune-dampening drugs in the latter part of the illness.”

Where do we go to from here?

Over the next 12 to 24 months, scientists are hopeful they’ll identify a range of drugs that can target the virus based on what we’ve learnt through developing treatments for HIV and hepatitis C.

The first drug to treat HIV — AZT — was a repurposed cancer drug, but the virus wasn’t stopped in its tracks until it was hammered by a cocktail of drugs to stop the virus mutating.

You need to understand how a single drug works before you trial combinations of drugs, says Professor Lewin.

“There are now combination studies emerging and we’re almost certainly going to see more of those,” she says.

While repurposed drugs may help “a little” to start with, Dr Lowe predicts the best bet in the medium term will be monoclonal/polyclonal antibody therapies and vaccines.

“Making two or three absolutely new coronavirus drugs is a tall order so antibody therapies and vaccines have a much better chance of delivering something.”

Professor Lewin agrees there is a lot of buzz around these emerging therapies.

So far, hundreds of antibodies have been isolated and are showing promise in the test tube.

“There hasn’t been any evidence yet that monoclonal antibodies work in animal models or that they work in people,” she says.

“But there has been a huge amount of investment in this area in HIV to see if they can be made cheaply.”

And, even though antibody studies are still in the experimental stage, it may not take too long before they go into clinical trials.

“There is one company with a mono-antibody and they are thinking of putting it into clinical trials in the next few weeks to months so I think we will see antibodies reach the clinic quite quickly,” she says.

Some companies are also looking at stem cell therapies or therapies that modify and boost the immune system’s killer T cells.

But for now, Professor Lewin says these experimental techniques are too high-end.

“When you are looking at responding to a global pandemic you need interventions that are going to be relatively cheap and scalable.”

Is this the end for hydroxychloroquine?

Although the outlook is not rosy for hydroxychloroquine and many drug trials have been suspended, you haven’t heard the last of this drug.

There are still trials planned to see if it can be effective to prevent high risk people such as health workers from getting infected.

This approach, known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, has been successfully used in the prevention of HIV.

Professor Lewin is not overly optimistic saying that proving a case needs hundreds of thousands of people.

A close-up of a silver package of pills, with red writing, held by a hand.
Many large trials of hydroxychloroquine have been suspended due to concerns that the risk of side effects outweighs any benefit for severe illness.(AP: Rafiq Maqbool)

But Marc Pelligrini, who is heading up a randomised controlled trial with the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, says the concept shouldn’t be dismissed.

“I think prevention studies are worlds apart from treatment studies,” Professor Pelligrini says.

“We are talking about healthy people who are screened, who don’t have illness.”

While he agrees the drug doesn’t appear to be effective for severe disease, he says there is precedence in for drugs failing to cure diseases such as HIV but showing great effectiveness in preventing infection.

“To not test a viable hypothesis rigorously is tantamount to surrendering to this virus and dismissing our scientific resolve.”

As lockdowns go, why Ayurveda as preventive makes sense for states- The New Indian Express

As lockdowns go, why Ayurveda as preventive makes sense for states- The New Indian Express

  • May 31, 2020

Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Prevention is always better than cure. Now that lockdown restrictions are set to be relaxed except in containment zones, preventive actions make more sense against coronavirus.

Interestingly, states like Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Gujarat, Goa, Kerala, Rajasthan and Delhi have already turned to Ayurveda and suggested separate sets of drugs for both preventive measures and treatment of positive cases following the advice of Ministry of AYUSH.

Though Odisha Government on Saturday decided to implement AYUSH system of medicines recommended by the Ministry and directed Collectors and all District Ayurvedic and Homeopathic Medical Officers to take necessary action, no specific protocol has been prescribed leaving practitioners confused.

Health experts say the State Government must constitute a high-level committee with members drawn from the field of ayurveda and decide on a package of drugs to be prescribed to treat patients and distributed across the State as ‘Ayur Kit’ to boost the immune system.

They claim ‘rasayana’ therapy will have direct relevance to the prophylaxis and management of SARS-COV-2 infection. The botanicals used in the therapy have been found to be effective in immuno-modulation and restoration of hemostasis.

“In Ayurveda, several rasayans are used in clinical practice for strengthening immunity. The Government should immediately decide on a protocol besides widely publicising what is available locally. The sooner, the better,” said Prof NC Dash, former Principal of Gopabandhu Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya.

Ayurveda has a combination of drugs with antiviral, antibacterial anti-microbial properties and can act as health immune response. Head of the Panchakarma department of Farrukhabad-based Anar Singh Ayurveda Medical College Prof Santanu Das points at encouraging outcomes in states where Covid patients are on ayurvedic drugs. 

“Maha Sudarshan churna or Sudarshan ghana bati is a wonder drug that has properties to render the virus inactive inside the body by reducing virus load. Use of the drugs can help asymptomatic patients recover without any complications,” he said adding, combination drugs can be distributed as Ayur Kit through Anganwadi and ASHA workers.

While Delhi Government has allowed a set of nine ayurvedic drugs on Covid-19 asymptomatic patients, Haryana Government has suggested Guduchi Ghan Vati, Samshamani Vati, Agastya Haritaki, Sitopaladi Churan and Anu Tel as preventive for service providers including police personnel, sanitation workers and those working in old age homes and care centres.

Madhya Pradesh has already launched “Jeevan Amrit Yojana” to boost immune system of people to fight COVID-19. It has set a target to distribute 50 gram packets carrying ‘Trikatu churna and Anu taila’ to 1 crore families.

Dean of Gujarat Ayurveda University Prof Rabinarayan Acharya said evidence-based single rasayana drugs and compound formulations such as Chavyanparsah and Agastayharitaki can also be distributed as a preventive measure.

“People in Odisha should be made aware through campaigns or door-to-door visits by health workers,” he said.

Apart from masks, age-old traditional remedies like warm water, hot food, gargling with medicated water, steam inhalation and local applications will be helpful for symptomatic relief in mild cases, he added.

FDA and FTC Joint Warning Letters Target Amazon Affiliates Making False COVID-19 Claims | Kelley Drye & Warren LLP

FDA and FTC Joint Warning Letters Target Amazon Affiliates Making False COVID-19 Claims | Kelley Drye & Warren LLP

  • May 31, 2020

Earlier this week, federal regulators continued their efforts to combat the spread of products featuring allegedly false and misleading claims that products can diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent COVID-19.  In warning letters issued to CBD Gaze, Alternavita,, and Careful Cents LLC, the agencies identify the respective recipients as participants in the Amazon Affiliate program.  Amazon Affiliates are marketers who earn commissions by promoting products sold on Amazon.  The letters state that the products at issue, which include essential oils, grapefruit seed extracts, cod liver oil, and others, feature false treatment and prevention claims such as the following:

  • CBD Gaze:  “Find the best CBD Oil to help fight Coronavirus.”
  • Alternavita:  “4 Proven Ways To Protect Yourself Against Coronavirus,” you represent that “Everyone is concerned about Coronavirus and looking for ways to protect themselves,” and then state the following:

“Grapefruit Seed Extract If you want a little extra daily protection GSE is a safe antibiotic . . . [Amazon associate link].”

  •  “NATURAL REMEDIES FOR CORONAVIRUS. . .There are plenty of things you can do to boost your immune system and fight off any virus including coronavirus. Here are a few!”  … “2. Vitamin D . . . This important vitamin plays a crucial role in immune health. Being deficient in Vitamin D can increase your risk of infection. I recommend this brand of Vitamin D [Amazon associates link] and starting at a minimum dose of 5,000 IU.” [from your website]
  • Careful Cents LLC:  “How to Boost Your Immune System Naturally With Essential Oils to Fight Coronavirus” you state: “Can you use essential oils to boost your immune system and fight coronavirus? Yes! Essential oils are one of the best tools to strengthen your immune system naturally . . .”

The letters state that the products are unapproved new drugs and misbranded pursuant to the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act.  Causing the introduction or delivery for introduction of these products into interstate commerce is prohibited under sections 301(a) and (d) of the FD&C Act, 21 U.S.C. § 331(a) and (d).  The letters also state that “it is unlawful under the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 41 et seq., to advertise that a product can prevent, treat, or cure human disease unless you possess competent and reliable scientific evidence, including, when appropriate, well-controlled human clinical studies, substantiating that the claims are true at the time they are made.  For COVID-19, no such study is currently known to exist for the product identified above.  Thus, any coronavirus-related prevention or treatment claims regarding such product are not supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence.”

What’s the lesson?  The difference between these letters and the warning letters that FDA and the FTC issued earlier this year is that these are targeted not to the company making the product or even the retail platform on which they are sold.  They were sent to the middleman marketer, who likely does not produce or possess the product, but who is promoting and profiting from its sale.  This is consistent with the FTC’s letters to product influencers in other marketing contexts but is a departure from FDA’s typical enforcement approach.  Although we have seen FDA pursue retailers (particularly online ones), FDA has not made pursuit of marketing affiliates a priority.  Clearly, regulators want affiliate marketers (Amazon or otherwise) to understand that they are not immune from enforcement if they are making aggressive or unsubstantiated health claims.

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