Early-treatment strategy for ‘lepto’, tetanus can work for COVID-19, too
After the recent spate of floods in various provinces all over the Philippines ravaged by successive typhoons, the Department of Health (DOH) swiftly leapt into action by providing evacuation and health centers in affected areas with prophylaxis for leptospirosis and tetanus.
Indeed, the DOH deserves much credit for this strategy, which is both forward-looking and scientifically based.
The logic is straightforward: To prevent future serious illnesses, those who waded in floodwaters should take the prophylaxis within 24 to 48 hours, and those wounded during evacuation should take anti-tetanus vaccines within 24 hours.
This same strategy can also be applied in our battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
To prevent serious complications from COVID-19, the DOH should also encourage prophylaxis protocols that have been proven effective and are a mere fraction of the cost of being confined in a hospital.
Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies all over the world have shown that vitamins C and D, quercetin, hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), and ivermectin, when used under the supervision of a medical professional, are effective prophylaxis and early treatment for COVID-19.
By considering these studies carefully, we medical professionals are able to learn and administer prophylaxis and early treatment options that cost nowhere near the hospital bills costing hundreds of thousands of pesos per person confined because of COVID-19.
For example, the total cost of a 30-day prophylaxis regimen composed of vitamin C, vitamin D3, zinc, and quercetin is about P600.
In terms of early treatment of COVID-19, a one-week regimen of hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, vitamin C, zinc, quercetin, and ivermectin is about P2,000.
Today, more than eight months since the outbreak of the pandemic, we know so much more about how to effectively treat COVID-19.
In every country that has taken COVID-19 seriously, we are seeing a marked decrease in mortality and hospitalization rates, which demonstrates that the global medical community has a solid grasp of how to fight COVID-19. And an indispensable component of this fight is using prophylaxis protocols.
Even as our collective hopes are buoyed by news items about vaccines coming soon, there is still much room in the here and now to implement broad-based prophylaxis and early-treatment strategies against COVID-19. After all, these same news items should also raise our collective concerns over how quickly these vaccines, which must be stored at extremely low temperatures, can be transported all over the world and then administered on a mass scale.
In the face of such uncertainty, adopting prophylaxis and early-treatment strategies in combating COVID-19 is our most bankable tool in reopening the local economy, thereby saving the lives and the livelihoods of Filipinos.
DR. HOMER LIM
Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines
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