In the past, we already published three articles in which it was suggested that infection by the covid-19 virus may lead to intoxication by endogenous carbon monoxide that is much more dangerous than the virus itself.
Recently the authoritative international ‘Journal of Clinical Medicine’ published a review of more medical evidence. And the conclusion is that there is indeed a clear link between carbon monoxide poisoning and the seriousness of a covid-19 infection. The more critical the condition of a patient, the higher the level of carbon monoxide in his or her blood. So what causes this?
First of all, it has been found in Europe and the US that air pollution increases the risk of dying of covid-19 and / ) Here one must also consider the indoor air pollution due to the flue gasses from fireplaces, wood stoves and gas fired central heaters because these produce toxic substances like carbon monoxide (CO), nitrous oxides (NOx), and fine dust that all affect the immune system and help to spread diseases. Also, covid-19 seems to be a typical ‘heating season’ infection that spreads when fires are on, windows are closed and people live close together in confined spaces. This also explains why lockdowns are not very effective, and may even do more harm than good. It’s also remarkable that most covid-19 patients who are admitted into a hospital, already have underlying chronic health problems that may also come from chronic CO poisoning, like hypertension, diabetes type 2, COPD and heart problems.
During a severe, high-fever infection of our lungs, something almost unbelievable happens: our immune system starts to produce endogenous carbon monoxide in very low concentrations of about 10 ppm (10 parts CO per million parts of air, or 0.001%). This is enough to suppress infections, for carbon monoxide is not only a nerve toxin but also a potent killer of germs and viruses. That is why sick people often have an elevated CO content in exhaled breath. The immune system monitors the concentration of CO in the lungs and keeps the concentration constant. However, when a patient receives oxygen or mechanical ventilation, the CO concentration in the lungs is continuously diluted and the immune system goes into overdrive to maintain the necessary concentration of CO. But the CO that is blown away enters the blood and other tissues of the body, where it can cause all kinds of complications. That is why the condition of many covid-19 patients gets worse after receiving oxygen, and the level of CO in the blood (the carboxyhemoglobin or COHb value) is an indication of the condition of the patient; the higher the COHb, the more critical is the patient’s condition.
An additional complication is that the endogenous CO is made from the heme of red blood cells, by means of the ‘stress enzyme’ heme-oxygenase HO-1. This process leaves many red blood cells that have become dysfunctional and these may clot together and cause thrombosis; a considerable risk for covid-19 patients.
And unfortunately, there is another problem because the elevated COHb level in the blood fools the pulse-oxymeters that cannot distinguish between oxygen and CO. So these pulse-oxymeters give too high readings, as if the patient is OK, while in reality, the patient suffers from a lack of oxygen (‘silent hypoxia’). And if the patient is unconscious, this can have serious consequences. Therefore the ‘Journal of Clinical Medicine’ recommends that the COHb should be checked regularly.
So while the immune system tries very hard to suppress the infection, its efforts are continuously obstructed by the oxygen and mechanical ventilation that pushes the CO out of the lungs. And at the same time, this excess of carbon monoxide causes many serious complications that may even become fatal. And if the patient is so lucky to survive the ICU, the chronic CO poisoning will cause psychic and neurological health problems that are known as ‘long covid’.
It seems as if being infected with covid-19 will cause a down-hill cascade of events that brings the patient nothing but problems and sometimes even death.
But fortunately, there are medicines that can suppress the over-active immune system, like dexamethasone and tocilizumab, although these may have nasty side effects. But there is also the simple medication zinc that has no side effects, because it exclusively inhibits the enzyme heme-oxygenase HO-1, the origin of the trouble, while it leaves the other functions of the immune system intact. Most people, even medical personnel, think that zinc is only a supplement, but it is much more than that! And besides being an effective medication against infections of the lungs, it is cheap and abundantly available.
The real problem in the case of Covid-19 is the fact that carbon monoxide in low concentrations protects our health, but that in higher concentrations it is also a stealthy intruder that causes many symptoms that can easily be confused with other serious health problems. Therefore it is sometimes called ‘the great imitator’.
Unfortunately most medical doctors and nursing personnel are insufficiently trained to recognize the healing, but also the dangerous and deceitful faces of carbon monoxide. However, if medical personnel becomes more aware of the many sides of carbon monoxide and if hospitals get the means to monitor and treat the patients properly, covid-19 will not be so frightening anymore.
For more information read the following articles.
René van Slooten is a leading ‘Poe researcher’, who theorizes that Poe’s final treatise, ‘Eureka’, a response to the philosophical and religious questions of his time, was a forerunner to Einstein’s theory of relativity. He was born in 1944 in The Netherlands. He studied chemical engineering and science history and worked in the food industry in Europe, Africa and Asia.The past years he works in the production of bio-fuels from organic waste materials, especially in developing countries. His interest in Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘Eureka’ started in 1982, when he found an antiquarian edition and read the scientific and philosophical ideas that were unheard of in 1848. He became a member of the international ‘Edgar Allan Poe Studies Association’ and his first article about ‘Eureka’ appeared in 1986 in a major Dutch magazine. Since then he published numerous articles, essays and letters on Poe and ‘Eureka’ in Dutch magazines and newspapers, but also in the international magazines ‘Nature’, ‘NewScientist’ and TIME. He published the first Dutch ‘Eureka’ translation (2003) and presented two papers on ‘Eureka’ at the international Poe conferences in Baltimore (2002) and Philadelphia (2010). His main interest in ‘Eureka’ is its history and acceptance in Europe and its influence on philosophy and science during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.