The Coronavirus Outbreak, CBD, and How to Boost the Immune System
1. What Is the Coronavirus and How Worried Should I Be About It?
1.1 Defining the Coronavirus
1.2 Signs and Symptoms of Coronavirus Infection
1.3 What to Do If You Think You Might Be Infected
1.4 What You Should Not Do
1.5 Confirmed Cases of 2019-nCoV Infections
1.6 Deaths Due to 2019-nCoV Infection
2. Can CBD Help Strengthen My Immunity to Infections?
3. In Conclusion
What Is the Coronavirus and How Worried Should I Be About It?
It's all over the news and social media, this virus outbreak that originated in China. As always, it's a bit difficult to separate the facts from hysteria—what with all the alarmist headlines and our collective love of drama.
A search online reveals many reports with conflicting data. If some of them are to be believed, we're on the brink of an apocalyptic epidemic, the horror and scale of which have only been evidenced in movies so far.
So, let's all calm down, take a deep breath (through the mask, if need be!), and look at the facts, as disseminated by the global health organizations that usually deal with epidemics and health crises: the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  
How Serious is the Coronavirus? Infectious Disease Expert Michael Osterholm Explains
"This can be 10 to 15 times worse (in terms of fatalities) than the flu virus..."
“Seems like we’re not really prepared for this”
- Michael Osterholm
Read on, and we'll educate you on how to be prepared. But first, let's chat about the virus itself.
Defining the Coronavirus
- The code name for the Novel Coronavirus is 2019-nCoV.
- "Coronavirus" is the umbrella term for a large family of viruses that can cause multiple diseases. These range from the innocuous common cold to deadly diseases such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome).
- "Novel" means that a new strain of coronavirus has been identified in humans. The first 2019-nCoV outbreak was detected and reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
- These bugs are zoonotic, meaning they can jump between species. Research has shown that MERS, for instance, spread from camels to humans, while SARS was transmitted between civet cats and humans. However, it's important to note that this happens very rarely. Animals typically carry many coronaviruses, but cross-species infection is extremely uncommon. In fact, the WHO says that there's no need to avoid your pets. The virus is airborne and can therefore also spread between humans.
- The animal source for 2019-nCoV has not been identified yet, according to WHO and the CDC. The WHO speculates:
It's likely that an animal source from a live animal market in China was responsible for some of the first reported human infections. To protect yourself, when visiting live animal markets, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals. 
Signs and Symptoms of Coronavirus Infection
Is there any reason to panic? In short—most probably not. Obviously, the very frail, very young, and very old are all at a higher risk of contracting any disease than everyone else, as well as those with a compromised immune system.
The CDC reports that for confirmed 2019-nCoV infections, illnesses have ranged from people with little to no symptoms to people being severely ill and dying. 
They furthermore state that limited person-to-person spread has been reported outside of China. Most cases were associated with close contact with a confirmed 2019-nCoV patient.
They also advise the following in terms of evaluation and criteria for testing. It should be clear that the criteria for high-risk cases are very limited. 
It is also believed that the incubation period for the 2019-nCoV is similar to that of MERS. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days, or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus.
A member of the Stanford hospital board shared this...
The new Coronavirus may not show sign of infection for many days.
How can one know if he/she is infected?
By the time they have fever and/or cough and go to the hospital, the lung is usually 50% Fibrosis and it's too late. Taiwan experts provide a simple self-check that we can do every morning.
Take a deep breath and hold your breath for more than 10 seconds. If you complete it successfully without coughing, without discomfort, stiffness or tightness, etc., it proves there is no Fibrosis in the lungs, basically indicates no infection. In critical time, please self-check every morning in an environment with clean air.
Serious excellent advice by Japanese doctors treating COVID-19 cases:
Everyone should ensure your mouth & throat are moist, never dry. Take a few sips of water every 15 minutes at least.
Even if the virus gets into your mouth, drinking water or other liquids will wash them down through your throat and into the stomach.
Once there, your stomach acid will kill all the virus.
If you don't drink enough water more regularly, the virus can enter your windpipe and into the lungs.
That's very dangerous.
Some important Corona Virus points:
- If you have a runny nose and sputum, you have a common cold.
- Coronavirus pneumonia is a dry cough with no runny nose.
- This new virus is not heat-resistant and will be killed by a temperature of just 26/27 degrees. It hates the Sun.
- If someone sneezes with it, it takes about 10 feet before it drops to the ground and is no longer airborne.
- If it drops on a metal surface it will live for at least 12 hours - so if you come into contact with any metal surface - wash your hands as soon as you can with a bacterial soap.
- On fabric, it can survive for 6-12 hours. normal laundry detergent will kill it.
- Drinking warm water is effective for all viruses. Try not to drink liquids with ice.
- Wash your hands frequently as the virus can only live on your hands for 5-10 minutes, but - a lot can happen during that time - you can rub your eyes, pick your nose unwittingly and so on.
- You should also gargle as a prevention. A simple solution of salt in warm water will suffice.
- Can't emphasize enough - drink plenty of water!
- It will first infect the throat, so you'll have a sore throat lasting 3/4 days
- The virus then blends into a nasal fluid that enters the trachea and then the lungs, causing pneumonia. This takes about 5/6 days further.
- With pneumonia comes high fever and difficulty in breathing.
- The nasal congestion is not like the normal kind. You feel like you're drowning. It's imperative you then seek immediate attention.
What to Do If You Think You Might Be Infected
If, based on the criteria above, you qualify as possibly infected, it's very important that you immediately contact your doctor or healthcare provider for medical attention. The CDC also gives the following guidelines:
- Tell your doctor over the phone that you have or may have a 2019-nCoV infection. This will help their office to take steps to prevent other people from getting infected or exposed. Do not enter any health facility without a surgical mask on.
- Separate yourself from other people in your home, and if possible, use a separate bathroom and toilet.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze and/or cough, and throw the tissues in a lined bin. After sneezing or coughing, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or clean your hands immediately with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. The sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol. If no tissues are at hand, the WHO suggests covering the mouth and nose with one crooked elbow to avoid spray or direct contact to the hands.
- Wear a face mask at all times.
- Stay home, and don't use public transport, share rides, or take taxis.
If you are not high risk but still have some of these symptoms, most of the precautions still apply. Also, avoid all contact with confirmed 2019-nCoV cases.
What You Should Not Do
Straight from the CDC website:
- Do not travel to China.
- Do not use face masks. CDC does not recommend the use of face masks for the general public to prevent the spread of 2019-nCoV.
- Do not show prejudice to people of Asian descent because of fear of this new virus. Do not assume that someone of Asian descent is more likely to have 2019-nCoV. All persons in the U.S.—including those of Asian descent—who have not traveled to China or been in contact with someone with a confirmed or suspected nCoV case in the last 14 days are at low risk of becoming sick.
Confirmed Cases of Infections
At the time of writing, cases of 2019-nCoV infection have been confirmed in 28 countries across the world. By February 5, 2020, only 11 positive cases were reported in the U.S. A total of 293 have been tested, and most were negative. This should give an indication of the low probability that your sniffles and cough are due to infection with this virus.
So far, the states where the positive cases have been diagnosed are: 
Thirty-six states have People under Investigation (PUI).
Deaths Due to 2019-nCoV Infection
According to the New York Times, on February 7, 2020: 
The death toll and the number of infections continued to climb in China, according to official data released early Friday.
Nationwide, more than 70 new deaths and 3,100 new cases emerged in the previous 24 hours, the national health authorities said Friday morning.
The new figures brought the total number of deaths in China to at least 636. And the total number of confirmed cases rose to 31,161.
Sixty-nine of the newly reported deaths occurred in Hubei Province, the heart of the outbreak, the authorities said, but there were also four deaths outside of the province: one each in Jilin, Henan, Guangdong and Hainan Provinces.
So, it should be clear that unless you've visited China recently and as long as you're not in contact with infected people, you are at very low risk of contracting the virus. Sticking to the mentioned precautions and taking care of your health in general should be enough to keep this bug at bay.
Another good preventative measure is to increase your own immunity. Here, cannabidiol (CBD) could play a role.
Can CBD Help Strengthen My Immunity to Infections?
There's no one-word answer to this question. As Mary Biles, writing for Project CBD, puts it—it's a complex balancing act. She's referring to the interplay between cannabis and the immune system, of course. 
Cannabis has been in use for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, but we still know relatively little about exactly how it works in the body. Tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol (or THC and CBD), the best-researched constituents of Cannabis sativa L., have shown both immunosuppressant and immuno-stimulating activity.
RELATED: How to Strengthen Your Immune System for Holistic Health
Talking to Biles, Dr. Wai Liu, a London-based Research Fellow and cannabinoid Scientist, said:
I suspect that cannabinoids are having a double-punch effect of direct killing and enhancing immunity by suppressing those immune cells that serve to hold back the immune-based killing cells.
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Also talking to Project CBD, Dr. Mariano Garcia de Palau—a Spanish cannabis clinician and member of the Spanish Medical Cannabis Observatory—echoed Liu's opinion, adding:
I believe [cannabis] is immunosuppressive when there is hyper-immune response, but otherwise it regulates and corrects the immune system. In fact, you could say it functions like the endocannabinoid system, bringing equilibrium to the organism.
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But that's not all. In one animal study, CBD exhibited antiviral properties that didn't affect its anti-inflammatory (in essence, immunosuppressant) effects. 
Administration of cannabidiol at dose of 5 mg/kg caused a significant decrease in total
leukocyte number and a significant fall in total numbers of T, B, and both T helper and T cytotoxic lymphocyte subsets.
This immunosuppressive effect did not affect the total numbers of NK and NKT cells that are responsible for the primary, nonspecific antiviral and antitumor immune response. In contrast, administration of cannabidiol at dose of 2.5 mg/kg increased the total and percentage NKT cells numbers, and the percentage number of NK cells. T
The results suggest that repeated treatment with cannabidiol inhibits specific immunity by reduction of T, B, T cytotoxic, and T helper cell numbers, and may enhance nonspecific antiviral and antitumor immune response related to NK and NKT cells.
RELATED: How Safe Is Cannabidiol?
Another petri dish study suggested CBD's action against viral hepatitis C, but not hepatitis B. 
The main takeaways from all of the above are:
- CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, which alleviate inflammatory conditions like Crohn's disease and MS.
- Preclinical studies suggest that cannabidiol displays action against certain pathogens. Some users swear by this.
- While this evidence is promising, a lot of supportive clinical study is still necessary in this regard.
Do not attempt to self-medicate if you suspect you've contracted the latest coronavirus, however. CBD can be taken with most medications, as it has an excellent safety and side effect profile. Best would be to disclose any cannabis or CBD use to your prescribing doctor.
While epidemics anywhere in the world are alarming, most people are unlikely to contract the latest coronavirus, referred to as 2019-nCoV.
In the unlikely event of infection, you will be quarantined by your local health authorities, but it is still nothing to be alarmed about. Survival rates for this particular infection are much higher than its mortality rates. Also, with modern medical and epidemiological interventions, it is unlikely to take the proportions of the Black Plague.
That said—you won't lose anything by building your immune system with a healthy lifestyle and supplements like zinc and vitamin C. CBD can assist in this regard, but the cannabinoid's immune building properties are—at least scientifically speaking—still largely undetermined.
Please send and share this with family and friends. Take care everyone and may the world recover from this Coronavirus soon.
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