Paraphrasing La Palisse, one could say: « The treatment of an infectious disease is the treatment … anti-infectious ».
Never in an infectious disease has the curative treatment been the wearing of a mask, social distancing, closing of day care centers or HORECA establishments. For comparison, measles is 4 to 10 times more contagious than COVID-19 (aka SARS-Cov2) infection. During a measles outbreak, daycare centers, restaurants, etc. were never closed. We simply isolated and treated the sick children and sent the serious cases to hospital. In 1989, there were more than 25,000 measles cases per year in Belgium.
Normally, to treat an infectious disease, it is sufficient to treat and isolate the sick. To treat them, they must be diagnosed. To diagnose them, they must be tested.
So, the steps to manage an outbreak are:
- test a population ;
- to diagnose, i.e. to find, by a clinical examination or a test, the patients;
- isolate the sick ;
- and finally treat the patients.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020, in managing this outbreak, we had a lack of reagents to test and diagnose… In March 2020, rapid tests existed but were not quickly imported and licensed (for what reason?). Later, when laboratories had the possibility to test, the Belgian State did not give the green light to all laboratories to perform tests (monopoly situation or ?) . In October 2020, the number of test requests exploded, resulting in a 7‑day delay for results, generating a low impact in the dynamics and management of the epidemic.
Also at the very beginning of the epidemic (March 18, 2020), the federal Minister of Health prohibited the availability of testing (for the wrong scientific reason). Can we forbid a garage to test a tire or to tell his customer that his tire is deflated without providing a solution?
In March 2020, the potentially active treatment (hydroxychloroquine) was made unavailable in city pharmacies for general practitioners even though early treatment in an epidemic decreases the transmission of an infectious disease to others and decreases mortality from that disease. In this management, general practitioners have been forgotten for « Everything in the hospital ».
Do we have the idea to forbid a firefighter to intervene in a forest fire? Will he be asked to do a double-blind study on whether to use water or dry ice to put out a fire? Should firefighters be required to re-approve their fire pumps or fire trucks before they respond? Saying that a tire is deflated has never reinflated a tire… Knowing that your tire is deflated is not enough: treating the tire (or the patient) is an intelligent attitude. Letting firemen or doctors do their job without stupid constraints would have been smart. To each his own.
Some will say that at the beginning of the epidemic of COVID-19 the treatment was not known… Some government experts had already published in illo tempore non suspecto articles showing the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in viruses of the group « coronavirus », to which COVID-19 belongs. Did these same experts ever forward it to the government? Unfortunately, we do not know how the experts are appointed by the government…
In neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), it is taught « If what you are doing doesn’t work, then try something else ».
Masks, social distancing, closing schools or HORECA, closing culture, never had any effect on the course of the epidemic. Comparing different strategies of different countries, the professor of epidemiology, IOANNIDIS, also says it … Belgium spent more than 200 million euros on masks to have no impact on the epidemic. Cutting off social contacts with the related stress decreases the immunity of individuals and the group. School closures are already having a negative impact on our young students (dropouts, suicides). The closure of the restaurants had a negative impact (financial loss, suicides). We can’t wait for the statistics of suicides in 2020… As for the so-called non-essential culture, it is art that marks our memories, our time, not our ministers.
Masks, social distancing, closing schools or HORECA, closing culture, never had any effect on the course of the epidemic.
The treatment of an infectious disease will always remain the anti-infective treatment.
Preventive treatment exists: vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc and mugwort (Artemisia Annua). The government and its experts didn’t talk about it in March 2020 even though some doctors already prescribed it at that time and the non-medical population was better informed than the government and its experts (filled with conflicts of interest?)
Curative treatment exists: effective treatments that can be given at home (for example, two antibiotics: azithromycin potentiated by doxycycline(1). There is a website (www.c19study.com) that summarizes the clinical studies on the different possible treatments. As an example, the treatment with these 2 antibiotics costs +/- 20 euros. This is a mere trifle compared to the 47 million euros that HORECA loses every day…
Now, that’s enough: if you want to control an epidemic, the smart thing to do is to treat the sick at home before they get to the hospital… With the help of general practitioners. Personally, I gave these preventive and curative treatments, without going through the hospital or the death box… Because I was not afraid to see and treat sick people, because medicine is a revolt against the disease and not a submission.
It is time to move from crisis management (by isolating a country?) to risk management (by treating patients early, not positive cases).
*Quirico Blonda is a doctor.