“People in panic taking medicines from the coronavirus in large quantities. It ends up with heart diseases”

The rector of the International Institute of Traditional Medicine, Yulia Yusipova, on the prevention of COVID-19 and what wave of epidemic we are dealing with now

“To prevent coronavirus, you need to focus on an anti-inflammatory diet. That is, it is necessary to exclude red meat and processed products from the diet and minimize the use of sugars and starchy vegetables (potatoes, baked carrots and beets in hot form). Try to reduce the consumption of milk and dairy products, sweets and flour, dried fruits, syrup, honey and chewing gum. You should also exclude alcohol and fast food from your diet. It is good to use sources of omega-3 and fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory. These are red fatty varieties of fish, such as salmon," recommends the rector of the International Institute of Traditional Medicine, Yulia Yusipova. In the interview with Realnoe Vremya, she told about whether the coronavirus is transmitted from animals to humans, whether it is worth using ginger now and why the self-isolation regime due to pneumonia or flu is not introduced every year.

“It is not the first wave of coronavirus in Russia”

Yulia, I can understand the quarantine by the Chinese scenario, when you enter a strict state of emergency for two months. Maybe you can explain to me: if almost everyone goes to a store, someone goes to work, then how will it be possible to defeat the coronavirus?

Every time you need to start from the conditions in which people are. If we look at China, we need to remember that it was there that we first encountered the coronavirus. We don't know all the details of why they imposed such strict quarantine conditions. Maybe we'll find out that in many years.

Now we have the experience of other countries. We understand how much it is needed to reduce the contacts of people and how quickly medical institutions fill up. The main point of self-isolation, as you know, is to prevent our medical institutions from drowning in the flow of patients.

I think it is not the first wave of coronavirus in Russia. First, because our contacts with China were closed at the very last moment, at the end of January, and second, our people may have already been ill with the variant of the Chinese virus because now the European version of COVID-19 is more common in Russia. But it all comes down to the fact that we are reducing the burden on medical institutions. The more evenly it is distributed over time, the more likely it is that people will not get complications after a viral infection that will increase mortality.

Photo: mos.ru
But it all comes down to the fact that we are reducing the burden on medical institutions. The more evenly it is distributed over time, the more likely it is that people will not get complications after a viral infection

My friend says that last summer she had a strange dry cough for a long time, from which nothing helped. She thinks it was a coronavirus. Can this be true?

I would start counting the first wave of COVID-19 diseases in Russia from January 2020. According to internal data, people then had increased rates of lung diseases. But we can't say for sure whether it was a variant of the Chinese coronavirus or it was just SARS because we don't have any confirmed laboratory data. Besides, our statistics are quite variable. Rospotrebnadzor at some point published data on cases at the beginning of the year, and then deleted them.

But I don't really want to go into conspiracy theories, I'm more interested in the biological and medical side of this problem. Just as an assumption, I can say that it is already in the second wave of coronavirus disease. Now the Moskovsky district is suffering greatly, and at the beginning of the year it was the Far East, Irkutsk, where there was a very large number of cases registered. I have data about this from colleagues and our patients.

Several subtypes of SARS-CoV-2 are now known. For example, the Italian coronavirus differs from the French one. The virus is slowly mutating. In general, the coronavirus has existed in the human population for quite a long time. The diagnosis of SARS has been present for a long time, but we did not have PCR tests for this disease, it is an expensive and exotic diagnosis. There were no tests for antibodies from the coronavirus, so there was no information about the number of cases of specific coronavirus until the 2000s. Now technologies have developed, and we can say that there is a disease from a specific type of coronavirus.

At the same time, the severity of the disease in MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV was lower, and the peak of their incidence quickly passed. And everyone is used to that the disease with these coronaviruses is an Asian story that is repeated periodically. Therefore, COVID-19 was treated calmly in the world at first, and experts even wondered in early January why China imposed such a strict quarantine. There was no such number of community-acquired pneumonia in the world from either MERS-CoV or SARS-CoV.

Photo: Maksim Platonov
We should also look at the severity of the course of diseases, how quickly the coronavirus spreads, and based on this, decide what restrictive measures to introduce and for how long

“Lung rehabilitation after the epidemic will be in demand for five years”

Epidemics on Earth can last for years. Why are we constantly told that the coronavirus epidemic is about to end?

We don't know everything, either. Personally, I keep track of hospital occupancy statistics. This indicator really shows how difficult the situation is at the moment. We should also look at the severity of the course of diseases, how quickly the coronavirus spreads, and based on this, decide what restrictive measures to introduce and for how long. The QR code system was introduced gradually, and now we are looking at how it works, how people adhere to the self-isolation regime.

In 2018, 722,000 people became ill with pneumonia in Russia, according to Rosstat, and about a thousand died. In other years, there were also impressive rates of incidence of this disease. Why does Russia not introduce a self-isolation regime every year because of the risk of infection, for example, with the flu, which can also give a complication in the form of pneumonia?

The authorities and doctors consider the level of morbidity that is critical for each specific disease. And they introduce self-isolation when this level is exceeded. Also, pneumonia can be hospital-acquired and community-acquired. Currently, only seriously ill people are hospitalized, and almost all of them suffer from community-acquired pneumonia.

Common SARS and flu still do not often lead to pneumonia and other complications. The patient with these diseases has a fever, may have catarrhal symptoms, and then they recover. It is the coronavirus that causes such a large number of pneumonia.

Photo: primamedia.ru
As we have already found out, even those who have been ill without symptoms later have serious problems with the lungs. I think that lung rehabilitation after COVID-19 will be in demand in the next five years

What information do you have about hospital occupancy rates in Moscow?

Here I focus on my colleagues who are on the first line of struggle. I hear that more and more hospitals that were on standby are being converted for COVID-19 patients. Even this week, several new hospitals in Moscow that were multi-specialty hospitals have been redesigned exclusively for covid patients. I don't have specific figures, but I often hear them in communication with doctors I know.

How true is it to call an epidemic a disease that has affected less than 0,5% of the country's population?

It is also called a pandemic. Back in January, it was clear that it was time to announce the beginning of a pandemic in the world. This was not done, for which the WHO is being strongly criticised.

In statistics, you need to distinguish between mortality and lethality. These are two different things. Some consider the death rate to be from the total number of cases, and some from the entire population. We don't know exactly how many people have had COVID-19 asymptomatically. As we have already found out, even those who have been ill without symptoms later have serious problems with the lungs. I think that lung rehabilitation after COVID-19 will be in demand in the next five years.

How to cure and restore the lungs after the coronavirus?

I am currently developing such a treatment programme. There is a revealing study on the passengers of the Diamond Princess ship, which was long off the coast of Japan. Among the sick, there were many elderly people. It would seem that the percentage of seriously ill and dead people was not very high. But then the doctors started performing CT scans of the lungs of all the passengers on the ship. And the saddest thing is that the characteristic symptom of “frosted glass”, which we see in the images of the lungs of people who had COVID-19, was also in those who were ill without symptoms. There were no symptoms, but a decrease in lung capacity, in some cases, pulmonary insufficiency, is. That is, unfortunately, a person can develop a whole range of health problems.

Photo: mos.ru
Everything related to the coronavirus changes very quickly. What was impossible yesterday is already possible today. Even the pathogenesis of the disease itself has many versions

“People in panic taking medicines from the coronavirus in large quantities. All this ends up with cardiovascular diseases”

What foods should be taken to improve immunity and prevent coronavirus?

To prevent coronavirus, one should focus on anti-inflammatory diet. That is, it is necessary to exclude red meat and processed products from the diet and to minimize sugars and starchy vegetables (potatoes, baked carrots and beets in hot form). One should try to reduce the consumption of milk and dairy products, sweets and flour, dried fruits, syrup, honey and chewing gum. You should also exclude alcohol and fast food from your diet.

It is good to eat sources of omega-3 and fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory. These are red fat varieties of fish, such as salmon. You should also use products that have an aromatic effect, that is, with the effect of a light stress-like action, which activate the protection in the human body. For example, broccoli. Its component sulforaphane has a very good catalytic action.

What medications are effective in the fight against coronavirus?

There are many publications that this or that drug will save from coronavirus, but there is no proven effectiveness yet in any of them. The drugs that are currently used to treat coronavirus have many side effects.

Photo: Maksim Platonov
Perhaps, the media publish materials about COVID-19 drugs to calm the population or as a sensation. But this makes people even more worried and sometimes do thoughtless actions

If the media mentions a specific drug for coronavirus, it is immediately bought up in pharmacies, so we will not name them here. Maybe this will help real patients with coronavirus to buy the drug they need. In general, people in panic just take medicines from the coronavirus in large quantities, and it ends up with cardiovascular diseases. . We already have a lot of problems with the placement of patients, and if people start coming with poisoning from an overdose of drugs from the coronavirus, it will be very bad.

Perhaps, the media publish materials about COVID-19 drugs to calm the population or as a sensation. But this makes people even more worried and sometimes do thoughtless actions.

By Matvey Antropov