New Chapter on Battle Against the Coronavirus by Dr. Moondust
The panic and confusion surrounding the pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus requires a systematic study of the disease (COVID-19) and the arsenal of weapons available to the biochemist in the fight against infection. When developing a particularly bad flu in January 2020 while in India after the visit of a friend, who had just travelled back from Wuhan (China), it gave me an early opportunity to study the tricky diagnosis of this dreaded disease first-hand.
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The somewhat unusual symptoms and a lingering weakness and malaise for months suggested that it was no ordinary influenza virus. Since that time, a baffling number of disparate symptoms have been ascribed to COVID-19 infection including respiratory, gastrointestinal, circulatory, urinary tract and nerve dysfunction that have even resulted in multi-organ failure in some cases.
Naturally, an array of risk factors have also been identified ranging from age, sex, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension to cigarette smoking that can increase mortality rate dramatically. In the intervening period, much research has appeared on biochemical compounds that may help to prevent this infection and, possibly, aid in patient recovery. Among these bioactive molecules are certain anti-inflammatory substances such as vitamin D, zinc, chloroquine, soy isoflavones like genistein, and glycyrrhizic acid, some of which may be successful in attacking different biochemical processes of the new coronavirus and disarming its deadly artillery against the human host.
In a few instances, the viral processes that are inhibited by these chemicals are essential for the replication and reproduction of this RNA virus thereby striking a lethal blow to its machinery. Thus, taken together, these compounds may form a worthy arsenal against a formidable foe in the absence of an effective vaccine, and, especially, if relapse or re-infection proves to be a common occurrence in recovered COVID-19 patients.