Rethinking COVID-19: What if… - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Rethinking COVID-19: What if…

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

There is a simple substance that reduces your risk of getting COVID-19 and being hospitalized if you have enough in your lungs?

But this substance increases your risk if you do not have enough, and can kill you if have too much?

All humans make this substance from normal metabolism, and more in response to stress of all kinds, including viral infections, but they also may absorb it via their nose, mouth, skin, and eyes?

Researchers have long known this substance acts like a potent anti-viral, blocking mRNA replication of rhinovirus, influenza A, hepatitis B and C, HIV, Dengue, Ebola, SARS, West Nile, and Zika?

Many clinical trials evaluating this substance to treat Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and other lung disorders are registered at clinicaltrails.gov, but none yet for the treatment of COVID-19?

The first study with data on this substance in hospitalized COVID-19 patients—published last August by Mayo Clinic researchers—found the level in arteries increased an average of 39% in the first week, compared to going down an average of 2% in non-COVID patients?

Doctors routinely instruct patients to inhale high levels of this substance to measure lung diffusing capacity and hemoglobin mass, and they used to recommend smoking it to treat asthma?

Doctors are taught that poisoning by this substance commonly starts as a “flu-like illness” that causes the same symptoms seen in COVID-19, including hypoxia, bright red skin, and loss of smell and taste.

Two common treatments for COVID-19—oxygen and mechanical ventilators—cause people to accumulate ever-increasing levels of this substance but also flush more of it from the lungs through the blood into other organs where, consistent with its nickname “The Great Imitator,” it causes many complications, especially in the heart, brain, and kidneys?

This substance’s other nickname is “The Silent Killer” since inhaling and/or making more than normal can kill people in a few minutes to a few months, because its buildup in muscles and organs reduces the oxygen these tissues can absorb and metabolize, causing multi-organ hypoxia that appears bright red on autopsy?

This substance is not being continuously monitored in COVID-19 patients even though most hospitals have non-invasive devices that can do this, and coroners also are not testing for it in autopsies?

Two other substances that humans produce in equal amounts with this substance—bilirubin, and ferritin—are commonly measured in the blood of COVID-19 patients, and both peak during cytokine storms, just before death?

People can measure the levels of this substance coming out of their lungs, arteries, veins, and the average of all their tissues in less than five minutes, using portable breath analyzers approved by the US FDA?

People also can get this substance measured for free by most fire departments using a clip-on their fingertip that takes less than one minute?

People, who inhale high levels of this substance daily such as smokers are chronically habituated and so less likely to be badly affected when their bodies produce more during infections, while non-smokers who live in areas with low air pollution are not habituated so at the highest risk of developing symptoms and being hospitalized from any increase in their exposure?

Hospital and nursing home staff and visitors can reduce their risk of getting infected and infecting others with COVID-19 by taking a painless pulmonary function test that involves repeatedly inhaling this substance by mouth and holding their breath for 10 seconds?

Over 20 prescription drugs have been reported in studies to relieve poisoning by this substance, including some that help with COVID-19 such as dexamethasone?

People with a HMOX-1 gene variant that is most common among people of African ancestry make lower than average levels of this substance in response to viruses but can increase this by either inhaling more of the substance and/or increasing their body’s production of it by ingesting foods or supplements that contain Vitamin C, curcumin, iron, melatonin, niacin, and/or resveratrol, all of which boost this gene’s activity?

People with a different HMOX-1 variant more common among white Europeans, Asians, and Americans make higher than average levels of this substance in response to infections and can reduce this by taking zinc, which is commonly low in COVID-19 patients and already approved by the US FDA years ago to reduce the severity and duration of symptoms caused by another coronavirus, the common cold?

Women make more of this substance naturally during the pre-menstrual phase of their period and throughout their pregnancies that cause symptoms of ‘PMS’ and ‘Morning Sickness’ while the level is gradually rising but their level of this substance falls quickly when their period starts or, if pregnant, when their water breaks?

COVID-19 survivors can do things to hasten their recovery by speeding up the normally slow excretion of this substance from their organs and muscles where it gradually builds up during viral infections, including:
* donating blood if the Red Cross will take it;
* sunbathing, which releases the substance through your skin;
* rebreathing through a paper cup with a large hole in the bottom, which increases exhalation of the substance by reflex;
* moving to high altitude or taking cross-country flights, which hastens excretion of the substance from blood and tissues;
* and for women, using sanitary pads to reduce the risk of absorbing the substance from menstrual blood?

Survivors of COVID-19 and other infections can reduce the risk of relapses during recovery caused by more exposures to this substance by carrying a small device that alarms instantly when it detects this invisible, odorless, tasteless substance?

This substance is carbon monoxide, abbreviated CO, and it was already a leading cause of unintended deaths before COVID-19?

All true, which begs one more question:

Why does the US CDC not mention CO in its guidelines for preventing, testing, and treating COVID-19?


About the author

Albert Donnay, MS, MHS

The author is an independent consulting toxicologist based in Hyattsville with master's degrees from Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland. He has specialized in this substance since 1999 and first proposed it as the cause of COVID-19 illness and deaths in April 2020, in an open access article posted at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Albert-Donnay Contact the author.
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