What are the symptoms of the Corona virus 2019 (COVID-19)?
- Shortness of breath
- Your symptoms could initially start with a sore throat
- Tired and achy
The virus is primarily spread by person to person via respiratory droplets in the air. It is also thought that it can spread through surface contact and then bringing your hands to your face; however, the virus does not live long on surfaces. The New England Journal of Medicine in the most recent research states that the COVID-19 virus can live in the air for 3 hours, and that it’s viable on plastics for 72 hours, 48 hours on stainless steel, 24 hours on cardboard, and 4 hours on copper.
This tells us that if an environment is person free for more than 72 hours, the virus is non-existent. For example, a school or office space that been person free for more than three days won’t need to be cleaned in an attempt to kill the virus because the virus has already expired. To keep your living environment clean, first clean the surface with a soap and water or cleaning solution, and then use an EPA approved disinfectant/antibacterial cleaner or wipes. You can create your own disinfectant by adding five tablespoons of bleach to one gallon of water, or use an alcohol solution that contains 70% alcohol to 30% water. I would advise you to wear rubber gloves while you do this to protect your skin, and make sure the area is ventilated well.
So, how does the virus travel once in our body? The virus enters the body through the mouth, nose, and possibly around the eyes. It enters the lungs attaching to the airways and our body then creates a thick mucus and the result is restricted or closed airways, which will make breathing difficult and labored. Your symptom at this point is shortness of breath.
To decrease the possibility of it making its way into the lungs there are a few things that you can do. Drink fluids frequently, every 15-20 minutes. It’s been advised to drink hot liquids which can aide in killing the virus. This will keep the tissues in your mouth, oropharynx, hypopharynx, and esophagus moist. Once the virus has flowed into the stomach, the stomach acid will kill the virus. Hot drinks can include coffee, tea, soup, warm water, etc…
You can also treat the mouth by using an oral antiseptic like Listerine or you can make your own by combining small amounts of salt, vinegar, and or lemon to warm/hot water (not hot enough to burn yourself). This will lyse practically all of the virus that’s in your mouth.
What about your nose? You can use a Neti Pot or something similar, cleaning the sinuses with a warm salty solution. I would advise you to boil the water first, and let it cool down to a warm temperature first. This will help to clear your sinuses of the virus.
If you have to go out or go to work, when you get home, go straight to the bathroom and take a shower, washing your hair, face and entire body. You can also throw your clothes into the washing machine and wash your clothes daily. The detergent and water will kill any virus that’s on your clothing. If you can’t wash your clothes daily, you could hang your clothes out in direct sunlight which is effective at killing viruses.
If you’re in a warm environment, a good place to be is the beach. The sun and saltwater will kill the virus significantly. However, it’s advisable to avoid crowds of people.
If you get a sore throat, zinc creates a barrier over the tissue in your throat. A few ideas I have for adding a barrier to your throat is Zicam dissolvable tablets, which coat the throat well. You can also take vitamins with zinc or a zinc supplement.
If you begin to experience a sore throat, immediately take action as described above. i.e. drink hot liquids, create a zinc barrier, clean nasal passages with warm salty water, use oral antiseptic, take a warm/hot shower and clean your entire body.
Don’t forget to do what we always should be doing. Wash your hands frequently (every 20 minutes), keep your hands away from your face, don’t shake hands with another person, and avoid crowds.
I hope this helps you and your family. If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach me through my contacts page at https://spectrumpt.com/
Dr. Gary Welch PT, CFCE, CFMT, CKTP, COMT
Spectrum Physical Therapy
100 Hospital Road, suite 112
Patchogue, NY 11772
For accurate information on COVID-19, research the CDC at