COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 on TWiV

I’ve been delinquent in posting recent episodes of This Week in Virology here. They are all focused on SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes, COVID-19. Here is a list:

TWiV Special: Coronavirus update with Mark Denison, MD

Pediatric infectious disease physician and coronavirologist Mark Denison joins Vincent for a discussion of COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 with an emphasis on antiviral therapeutics.

TWiV 593: Coronavirus update – flatten the curve

Daniel Griffin joins Ori and the TWiV team for an update on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, including gastrointestinal illness associated with infection, use of hydroxychloroquine and other antivirals, his experiences treating many patients in the New York area, and much more.

 

TWiV 592: Coronavirus update – dangerous curve ahead

Ori joins TWiV for an update on the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, including scary modeling, clinical trials for antivirals and vaccines, asymptomatic transmission, and much more inspired by listener email.

 

TWiV Special: SARS-CoV-2 epidemiology with Stephen Morse

Epidemiologist Stephen Morse joins Vincent to discuss epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 and preparedness for the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

TWiV Special: A medical student perspective on COVID-19

Ori Lieberman joins Vincent to discuss COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, gleaned from his experience during clinical rotations in medical school.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Benjamin Blumberg 27 March 2020, 7:50 pm

    On the basis of 30 years bench experience with VSV, Sendai virus, measles virus, HIV-1/AIDS and HHV-6, I offer this remedy to ease the disease course in people already seriously infected with the new Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2:

    Take one teaspoonful of CsCl (cesium chloride) mixed in a glass of water (or better, in a glass of orange juice or tomato juice to hide the saltiness), wait 4-6 hours, then take a half-teaspoonful of KCl (potassium chloride) in juice, or eat a banana. The CsCl “bends” the viral polymerase and slows the viral rate of replication allowing the immune system to catch up. CsCl is currently FDA approved for clinical use (to reduce cachexia in late stage cancer patients), but has a serious side effect: it causes hypokalemia (low blood potassium, with attendant cardiac problems) when taken on a chronic basis. Therefore, patients should not take more than 3 doses of CsCl. The KCl and the banana (which is full of potassium) are taken to rebalance the electrolytes. CsCl and KCL are not prescription items, but are hard to find in pharmacies. They can be ordered online from e.g. Amazon.com. One teaspoonful of CsCl weighs about 19 grams; a half-teaspoonful of KCl weighs about 8 grams. To further boost the immune system, take multiple doses of AirBorne, which can be found in most pharmacies.
    This virus will continue to spread for three reasons. 1. SARS-CoV-2 is as infectious as measles or flu. 2. The 20-day incubation period for the virus means that there will be a LOT of infected but symptom-free people walking about. 3. At the moment, there is virtually no “herd immunity” in our population; everyone is susceptible. According to the theory of “herd immunity”, this epidemic will not stop spreading until 80-86% of the population acquires immunity, either through natural disease or through vaccination. An RNA vaccine may be ready in six months to a year, and I think it will work. However, SARS-CoV-2 has reportedly already thrown off a mutant, as RNA viruses do because the viral RNA polymerase lacks an editing function, and by the time the vaccine is ready it may no longer neutralize the circulating virus strain. Meanwhile, the CsCl remedy targets the viral RNA polymerase which does not mutate, it is ready NOW, it will ease the disease course, and might save your life.

    Benjamin M Blumberg, PhD

  • Benjamin M Blumberg 6 April 2020, 5:16 pm

    In the light of the finding that chloroquine drugs are effective against SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, it is clear that my CsCl remedy is destined to be the remedy that never was. But keep in mind that this virus mutates at a fearsome rate. It has already thrown off a mutant strain, and there is an outside chance that it may develop resistance to the chloroquine drugs. CsCl targets the viral RNA polymerase, which does not mutate because polymerase mutants do not propagate in the swarm.

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