SPECIAL REPORT by Dr Leonard Horowitz
Suggestions for the Acute Management of a H5N1 Pandemic, by Spencer Feldman
The H5N1 (Asian Avian Flu or "Bird Flu") virus owes its lethality to its ability to instigate pathological immune responses in the host via cytokine storm. This leads to disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) and massive infiltration of inflammatory cells into the lungs. Thus, any H5N1 protocol must take into consideration, not only the inhibition of the virus, but also the effects of DIC and alveolar flooding.
Given that there are reports of some patients dying within three hours of initial symptoms, any medical response must be swift and aggressive. Traditional models for treatment outside of a hospital setting rely upon antiviral medications. This is insufficient as there are now strains of the H5N1 that are resistant to all major antiviral drugs, and furthermore does nothing to address the issues of DIC and alveolar flooding.
Alternative models concentrate on immune stimulating products. This is a dangerous idea as it is the strength of the immune response that makes the H5N1 so deadly. Increasing immune response may prevent an initial infection, but in an infection that has already taken hold, it will only worsen the outcome.
Preventative Measures: Studies suggest that Vitamin E and Selenium may decrease the infectivity and pathogenicity of the H5N1 Avian Influenza(1).
Additionally, air pollutants have shown to increase the risk of contracting the H5N1 Avian Influenza(2). Raising glutathione, a primary detoxification pathway for petrochemicals may be of benefit. Finally, strengthening capillary walls may be suggested in preparation for a possible hemorrhagic episode.
Acute Management: Current scientific thought holds that the lethality of the H5N1 Avian Influenza may be caused by systemic viral dissemination, cytokine storm and/or alveolar flooding(3). As such, an intelligent protocol for supporting the body would be to take these factors into consideration. The H5N1 Avian Influenza contains the compounds Hemagglutinin and Neuraminidase (also called sialidase). Both of these compounds are required in the infection cycle of certain virus. The drugs Zanamivir and Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) are both Neuraminidase inhibitors.
One study suggests that the common Chinese Herb Astragalus may also be a Neuraminidase inhibitor(4). Since another study(5) suggests that Ca2+ and Mag2+ both speed up the activity of neuraminidase, and that Ca2+ is required for its function, making these elements unavailable via chelation with sodium and potassium citrate may be of use.
Studies also suggest that Lactoferrin(6), sulfated polysaccharides such as Ceramium Rubrum(7) (Red Marine Algae) and Elderberries(8) may be Hemagglutinin inhibitors. Unfortunately, Elderberry also increases cytokines (see above) especially Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNFa)(9) which is specifically associated with the toxicity of the H5N1 Avian Influenza (10). For this reason, ingredients that studies suggest normalize TNFa such as Curcumin and Vitamin E (11),(12) should be considered.
One outcome of a cytokine storm can be disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). DIC may be responsible for the massive hemorrhaging seen with the H5N1 Avian Influenza(13). Thus, in addition to supporting normal cytokine levels, supporting the body in normalizing blood coagulation parameters with nutritional compounds may also be suggested(14),(15),(16). The drugs Amantadine and Rimantadine work by inhibiting the matrix protein(s). Studies indicate that Glutathione and Resveratrol may have an effect on matrix proteins as well(17), (18). Finally, Lactoferrin may support the body in decreasing infiltration into the lungs of inflammatory cells(19).
Emergency Solution While I have already manufactured a product that contains all of the ingredients listed, the FDA does not allow for commercial sale alternative products to be made (other than homeopathics) for the bird flu.
The following ingredients should be available locally and might form the basis of a makeshift H5N1 survival pack.
1- Curry powder as a source of turmeric to suppress TNFa
2- Red wine with the alcohol boiled off as a source of resveratrol
3- Kelp as a hemagglutinin inhibitor
4- Astragalus as a neuraminidase inhibitor (available at any Chinese herb shop)
5- Vitamin E as a blood thinner (available at any health food store) Conclusions
Reports of people dying from the H5N1 Influenza in as little as three hours from the first signs of infection suggest the necessity of carrying on one’s person whatever they consider an adequate defense against this infection.
To recap, In designing such a defense, the key factors to address regarding the H5N1 virus would be:
1- Decreasing the risk of initial infection
2- Decreasing the potential virulence of infection
3- Inhibiting Hemagglutinin
4- Inhibiting Neuraminidase
5- Inhibiting Matrix proteins
6- Binding of viral receptor sites
6- Reduction of calcium and magnesium
7- Decreasing general inflammatory cytokines
8- Decreasing TNF-a in particular
9- Supporting normal platelet activity
10- Decreasing free radical activity in the lungs
11- Minimizing hemorrhage
12- Strengthening blood vessels
13- Protecting against the after effect of hemorrhage
14- Replenishing electrolytes lost to diarrhea
15- Inhibiting secondary infections