by Fred Harvey, MD
The Delta Strain
Delta is an extremely contagious strain of the COVID-19 virus. Delta and other strains have battled for supremacy, and Delta is almost the last variant standing. The Alpha strain that came from the United Kingdom dominated for months until the third week of June, and now it barely accounts for one percent of infection cases, while Delta is responsible for 87–93 percent of all cases. It is efficient in its ability both to produce and then spread many copies after inundating the victim with the virus particles.
This is the crucial piece of information that is unclear in the experts’ current descriptions of the Delta variant. Mitigation education is necessary for understanding and behavior changes in the public. This variant is a breeder—Delta makes 200 times more particles than Alpha. So we know that particle density in the air determines infectivity and severity of illness.
The inoculum (the dose of virus particles) determines both, so Delta is more efficient in spreading the infection rate. This is especially dangerous if you’re indoors with those others who might be infected but are asymptomatic. Masks reduce particle exposure which, therefore, can lower the risk. Remember: even vaccinated people who are infected with Delta can still transmit it, so everyone must wear a mask to ultimately end this pandemic.
COVID long-haulers are those who have persistent symptoms long after the infection has left their bodies. These people experience an inappropriate immune activation which, in this case, means the COVID-19 virus is not actually the killer—it is their own immune system’s inappropriate and excessive response that most of the harm.
Some people have inflammation or irritated immune systems associated with their diets or lifestyle choices, which can make them susceptible to both COVID-19 and long-haul syndromes. Therefore, to support both prevention and recovery, it’s important to choose an anti-inflammatory diet. The Wahls’ paleo protocol is effective at eliminating many autoimmune triggers from the diet, and it stresses food-based phytochemical therapy. The foundation of this diet is to eat nine cups of fruits and vegetables daily.
Regular exercise is also crucial. If you are bed- or chair-bound, restorative Tai Chi breathing and movement can help to promote recovery. You can also use supportive plant extracts and oils to support the reduction of inflammation. Some of this include quercetin, resveratrol, curcumin, green tea and Vitamin D3. In addition, carnitine and CoQ 10 help mitochondrial energy. Acetyl glutathione, acetyl carnitine, omega-3 and choline help to rebuild organs. Melatonin helps protect the brain and restore the sleep cycle.
With the surge in Delta cases, it is obvious that we are in this pandemic for the long-haul, so adjust your lifestyle, change your diet, take nutritional supplements, and wear a mask to protect yourself and others from contagion.
For more information on long-haulers or to schedule a telemedicine consultation to support your wellness, please call 941-929-9355 or email [email protected] The Harvey Center for Integrative Medicine is located at 3982 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota.