The Australian Government has lifted restrictions on those who are infected with covid. Professor Brendan Crabb of the Burnett Institute in Melbourne responded in an interview:
“And this notion that covid is somehow like the flu is wildly wrong. It is 40 or 50 times worse than the flu…. It is also a different infection. It is an infection of your organs, your heart, your brain, and of your blood vessels and its leaving this long covid burden that is possibly worse than the acute burden.”
Professor Crabb is still a believer in vaccination for covid though. Covid certainly affects the heart and liver. A report is in from a hospital in Ohio:
So in the clinical chemistry lab our editor is the tech who reviews lab results before they are sent to the patient’s chart (last line of defense). I was editor yesterday & let me tell you our hospital is packed & the abnormal cardiac enzymes & liver function tests are through the roof!
Examples of what I’ve seen happening since Delta & Omicron obliterated NE Ohio:
1. Steady increase in direct bilirubin, AST, ALT, LDH & CK manual dilutions.
2. Steady increase in urgent high sensitivity troponins.
3. Steady increase in visual icteric serum (indicative of impaired liver function).
That is why confirmed covid deaths worldwide are only a quarter of total excess deaths. But covid has something in store for us if we don’t contribute to the excess deaths statistics in the interim. It was designed with a sweeper function to catch those who somehow missed out on organ failure. To put that story into context we need to go back to the early 1980s.
In June, 1981, individuals started presenting to emergency rooms with nonspecific pneumonia and lymphopenia. It turned out that they had been infected with HIV in the early 1970s. This graph displays the progression of the disease:
In HIV viral load (red line) peaked at about six weeks before declining again in week nine. But it never completely cleared the body. It burrowed into immunopriveliged organs – mainly the central nervous system and the lymphatic tissue associated with the gut. With respect to the gut, HIV causes a loss of Intestinal Barrier Function.
The Intestinal Barrier Function allows the uptake of nutrients while restricting pathogenic molecules and bacteria.
As the Intestinal Barrier Function declines, lipopolysaccharides from the gut leak into the blood stream. The consequence of intestinal contents making their way into systemic circulation is constant immune system activation. Eventually the immune system is degraded.
HIV enters the body by infecting CD4 T cells which are part of the immune system. So in the graph above the CD4 cell count falls to a low at about six weeks before recovering to some extent in week 12 of the infection. It then starts a long decline measured in years.
At about year eight of the infection diseases start appearing as a consequence of the weakened immune system. In the early stages of the AIDS epidemic these included Kaposi’s Sarcoma and Pneuocystis carinii pneumonia. And the HIV viral load increases again as the last of the CD4 cells are wiped out.
So do covid virions enter the brain? In a study of the results of autopsies of 44 covid patients, covid virions were detected in 79 of 85 anatomical locations including brain and lymph tissues. Covid virions enter the brain using tunnelling nanotubes in the same way that HIV does. And covid infects CD4 cells as HIV does.
The parallels between HIV and covid in mode of action flow through to disease effects. Covid is known for causing brain fog. So does HIV in which the brain impairment test is called ‘HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Decline’ (HAND). In a study of 22 patients with covid, 13 met the diagnostic criteria for HAND and a further seven were found to have asymptomatic neurocognitive impairment, which precedes a HAND diagnosis.
The medical industry tried and failed for decades to develop a vaccine for HIV before giving up in the late 1990s. The initial drugs purposed for HIV tended to kill the patients quickly. In 1995 a combination therapy was developed which significantly reduced mortality.
Since then antiretroviral cocktails of drugs have led to lower toxicity and better tolerance. However, as this paper says “HIV persists in the body due to the early establishment of reservoirs, which cannot be eliminated with any of the current antiretroviral regimens”. Those infected with HIV are on antiretroviral therapy for the rest of their lives.
The covid epidemic has been going for nigh on three years now which, if the parallels with HIV continue, leads to an important point. In HIV, “the strategy is to militate against Central Nervous System reservoir expansion and the resulting neurological manifestations through the onboarding of antivirals as quickly as possible, ideally before the one year anniversary of an individual’s Estimated Date of Seroconversion.”
The term seroconversion means the production of antibodies against a disease. So antiretroviral therapy should start within a year of being infected with HIV in order to head off cognitive decline and the progression of the disease. Maintaining a CD4 cell count greater than 200 is important to viral suppression.
There are other complications of course. Impaired kidney function means that the body is less able to clear the toxic products of antiretroviral therapy so a test called estimated globular filtration rate is used to predict how a patient will respond to antiretroviral therapy.
And the kidneys have plenty of the ACE 2 receptors that covid uses to enter cells. The implication of that is that kidney damage should be militated in the initial infection as much as possible in order to be able to use antivirals in long term treatment.
At the beginning of the covid pandemic knowledgeable virologists predicted that there would not be a successful vaccine for covid because it is a corona virus and those things mutate too fast. And so the prediction has come to pass.
The vaccinated have a higher infection rate than the unvaccinated with hospitalisation and death rates proportional to the number of boosters. Some people believe in vaccination for influenza, another corona virus, despite its efficacy being much lower than that of simple vitamin D supplementation.
The subject of vitamin D brings up the subject of what could and should be done for long covid. In Australia a big cohort is moving to their first anniversay of seroconversion, which, if covid continues paralleling AIDS, means that the opportunity to halt disease progression with antiviral therapy will begin falling away.
The first thing to do is to adopt a commercial blood test for covid virions, not just antibodies. Because live, wriggling covid virus in someone who had covid 18 months ago will point to a reservoir in the body that is shedding into the blood stream. And quantification of viral load is central to treatment.
Secondly, everyone who has had covid should have their CD4 count monitored. A normal level is about 1,100 but can range widely. So it is important to establish an initial level for an individual and see if there is a trend. On the subject of CD4 levels, a study in HIV found that every 1 ng/ml increase in the blood vitamin D level was associated with a 3.3 cell/ml CD4 increase.
If that relationship holds for covid, someone going from a vitamin D blood level of 25 ng/ml (the average for Melbourne in winter) to 85 ng/ml would have a 198 boost in their CD4 count. And as stated above, “Maintaining a CD4 cell count greater than 200 is important to viral suppression.” So, what happens when you don’t preserve your CD4 population? It’s back to 1981: Kaposi’s sarcoma and Pneuocystis carinii pneumonia.
That said, one anecdote from one person is that they were infected with covid despite a vitamin D blood level of 89 ng/ml. Vitamin D isn’t the silver bullet. It needs help from the rest of an antiviral cocktail.
Vitamin D’s mode of action in HIV is likely to be the same in covid:
Vitamin D induces antiviral gene expression, reduces the viral co-receptor CCR5 on CD4+ T-cells, and promotes a HIV-1-restrictive CD38+HLA-DR+ immunophenotype in in vitro assays, leading to HIV-1 infection inhibition in T cells.
Likewise, Vitamin D reduces the ability of TNFα to upregulate the transcription of HIV RNA from latently infected CD4+ cells. Thus, low levels of Vitamin D are related to high HIV viral load in plasma, decreased CD4+ T-cells in peripheral blood, rapid AIDS progression, and lower survival in HIV- infected patients.
And vitamin D is cheap. It is made on an industrial scale by irradiating lanolin from sheep’s wool with UVB. Online you can buy it from Chinese manufacturers for US$20/kg. A human under ideal conditions makes about 250 millionths of a gram per day in half an hour of Sun exposure.
There are 40 International Units (IU) to a millionth of a gram so that is 10,000 IU. Adults could take a supplemental dose of vitamin D at that level to the end of time without ill effect. At that rate one gram of vitamin D would last 11 years for US$0.02 at the wholesale cost.
A protocol for multiple sclerosis developed in Brazil, the Coimbra Protocol, has used an averaged dosing rate of 33,000 IU per day for over a year without developing calcaemia or other side effects. Practitioners of that protocol don’t measure their patients’ vitamin D levels. Instead they test for parathyroid hormone which is a hormone that regulates bone turnover, as vitamin D does.
The amount of parathyroid hormone produced by the body starts rising once the vitamin D level goes below 25 ng/ml. Viruses, bacteria and autoimmune diseases chew through vitamin D stores so the parathyroid hormone level is telling us when the body has enough vitamin D for all its normal functions as well as fighting whatever ails the body.
Vitamin D has been fighting viruses for so long that some viruses, such as Epstein-Barr, have evolved to inactivate the vitamin D receptor. Fortunately there are vitamin D receptor activators, including quercetin and resveratrol. Quercetin is also a zinc ionophore. Zinc is antiviral. So too are magnesium and selenium.
What else is needed in the cocktail is something that approaches vitamin D in its covid-killing activity but with a different, and thus synergistic, mode of action. The prime candidate for that role is ivermectin, still banned in Australia in order to protect the profits of the vaccinators. The vaccinated need ivermectin more than anyone else because they will be dying faster due to their higher rate of infection and re-infections tend to be worse than the infections that preceded them.
I keep getting asked: why has China gone zero covid? The answer is that they have studied the disease and know why the HIV inserts are in its genome. And the other bits and pieces including a sequence from a Moderna cancer patent. There is a view that the covid genome largely came from Moderna.
Giving it to the Wuhan Institute of Virology was like giving a child a loaded gun; you know they will play with it and it will eventually go off. Just as knowledgeable virologists said that there will never be a vaccine for a corona virus, from day one knowledgeable virologists have said that we can’t coexist with covid – either we go zero covid or it will kill us off.
There is a sign that Australia is stumbling towards the right solution to covid. Nothing has worked as predicted by the experts so the Australian Senate has initiated an inquiry into long covid.
Western Australia, until they decided to let it rip, has shown that staying zero covid is possible and achievable at a low cost. It is endemic now but that is easily reversible once community vitamin D levels are taken above 50 ng/ml to reduce viral transmission. The burden them becomes the covid long haulers.
The situation developing in long covid has parallels with the Jonestown massacre in Guyana. When the Reverend Jim Jones ended it all he decided to take his 900 followers with him. Family members drank the koolaid at the same time.
Children took an average of ten minutes to die and adults 20 minutes; parents became distressed once they saw their children dying. But it was too late; circumstances meant that the damage couldn’t be undone. Once again, parents will be distressed to see their children dying and, once again, it will be evident that it could have been avoided.
David Archibald is the author of The Anticancer Garden in Australia.