A few months into the coronavirus crisis, it is encouraging to see that many companies and scientists are working together to create vaccines and medicines for the virus. A number of candidate products are being tested in China, US and Europe. As of 28th March 2020, three are two anti-viral medicines that appear to reduce viral load. A company in the US developed a promising vaccine candidate.
The most effective weapon against the virus, in the meantime, remains our own immune system. For a majority of patients, if their immune system does not overreact to the virus and overwhelm their organs, it is their own immune cells and antibodies that attack and kill the virus. More research is needed for the coronavirus SARS Cov2, but we know that it is our own immune system that helped put the virus’s ancestor SARS-Cov under control in early 2000s. Even a lethal virus such as Ebola virus (Zaire ebolavirus) eventually succumb to human immunity if patients manage to keep their body functioning long enough.
As for Human papillomavirus, or HPV, it is also our body that is capable of clearing the virus for most patients. The exact mechanism of how this happens is being investigated but the current hypothesis is that some immune cells, in particular, dendritic cells, kill the virus and that the microbiome (flora of bacteria) on the surface of cervix has a protective effect against viral infection. Majority of women can clear the virus in less than six months according to one study.
It becomes, however, a little trickier if a patient has a lesion. Lesion reduces the effectiveness of our natural protective mechanism against the virus. It is also a sign that the virus has lodged in the patient’s cell. That is why doctors cut out the lesions when they grow to a certain size. There is no medicine that kills HPV yet. However, there is a product called Papilocare that has shown efficacy in treating cervical lesions. Papilocare contains active elements for tissue protection and restoration and nutrients for the microbiome.
Whether HPV, coronavirus or influenza virus, how can we increase our immunity? A common-sense approach of nutrition, exercise, sleep and good hygiene can go a long way. It is also important that one keeps a positive mindset. Experience and scientific evidence show that the mind and body are inextricably linked and the immune system is no different. There are several studies that have shown the negative effect of being worried on the effectiveness of one’s immune system.
So let us be upbeat and help our immune system beat the virus.
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