As my granny would say, “I have a cold in the nose, dear”.
She meant, of course, that she had a runny nose, coryza in medical Latin – in other words, she was discharging clear mucus from the nares, arising from acutely inflamed mucosal epithelium of the respiratory tract!
The respiratory tract is the most common entry point for viruses, and there are quite a lot of these: for instance – adenovirus (a cause of the common cold), measles, mumps, rubella (German measles), enterovirus D68 (which causes a polio-like illness), influenza A and B, rhinovirus (the predominant cause of the common cold), respiratory syncytial virus (yet another cause of a cold), varicella zoster virus (chickenpox) and variola (smallpox) – and the coronavirus, especially, of course, SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19.
The point of telling you all this is that the respiratory tract has a huge area of tissue open to infection, from the surprisingly capacious nose down to the very bottom of the lungs. At rest, humans inhale 7.5 litres of air a minute, each breath containing up to 40,000 aerosol droplets which could contain pathogenic viruses. The lining of the tract, the epithelium, protects itself with sticky mucus, antibodies and the killer white cells, the macrophages, which, together, can trap and kill all but an overwhelming dose of “virions”, intact virus particles.
The problem is that our immune systems require constant titillation by our domestic viruses to remain effective. These potentially vicious virions are all too able to vary their behaviour to suit their urgent purpose – the opportunity to pounce upon vulnerable and highly nourishing human body cells. Our antibodies and equally lethal macrophages, primed as they are to attack these viral predators, will react with immediate alacrity. Our highly efficient defences can usually save us from serious illness, but a chance mutant, a new and super – virulent variant, can very occasionally snatch victory.
Hence COVID 19.
China has been locking down its population for the best part of three years in an effort to avoid any further COVID nuisances. Probably due to the rest of the world booing and hissing, and determined home-spun rioting, the Chinese government has peremptorily, last week, decided to lift all constraints. As we are told, there has already been a dramatic surge in infections. We have been shown the hearses.
The population of China as at 2021 was 1.412 billion. On 19 June 2021, it was announced that 1.01489 billion first doses of the Chinese COVID vaccine had been administered. By July 2022, according to official figures, 89% of the population had received two doses, but only 56% had had a booster dose.
Chinese studies have shown that the “vaccine effectiveness” (VE) of the Chinese inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccines has been modest, and short-lived against infection – unless booster doses have been given rigorously.
All this, of course, raises the question of the real possibility of a reignited pandemic, occurring through the appearance of novel and more virulent mutants, and a relative lack of immunity in the long isolated and under-vaccinated Chinese population – where it all started in the first place.
It might not happen but we should all remain alert, AND SO –
- * Take VITAMIN D AT 4000 IU DAILY, which has been shown irrefutably to be protective against acute viral respiratory tract infections
- * Use “FIRST DEFENCE” NASAL SPRAY to help entrap the virus particles should you go into or come out of a crowded environment
- * Should you develop COVID, remember that there are effective treatments now available from your GP.
. . . .
Why does your nose get tired in the winter?
It runs all day!
What do you call Santa’s little helpers?
What do you call an elf wearing earmuffs?
Anything you like, he can’t hear you!
What’s the most popular Christmas wine?
I don’t like sprouts
21 December 2022