Scientist sees coconut oil as potential nCoV treatment
Aileen Cerrudo • February 7, 2020 • 3664
A scientist is looking into coconut oil as a potential treatment for the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
Ateneo de Manila University chemistry professor Dr. Fabian Dayrit said coconut oil has antiviral agents which can help in the treatment of nCoV.
Lauric acid is a fatty acid found in coconut oil while monolaurin is a compound that is produced naturally when one consumes virgin coconut oil (VCO). It is also commercially available through chemical synthesis.
Dr. Dayrit said there had been several clinical studies proving the potential of coconut oil against various diseases including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Junin virus which is similar to nCoV.
“As far as the available literature is concerned, it is very promising. Kasi it had been shown to work in other viruses. So, wala namang risk. So, why not try it,” he said.
“It’s not a proof, but there is enough evidence that it might work,” he added.
Dr. Dayrit said that based on research, the said antiviral agents can potentially destroy the cell membrane of a virus and stop its maturity.
“It has been shown that lauric acid and monolaurin can inhibit the replication,” he said.
The Philippines is also abundant in coconut which can produce cheaper coconut oil.
According to the Philippine Coconut Authority, the Philippines is the number one exporter of virgin coconut oil in the world. Coconut oil is also safe for animals which is also used as food supplements for farm animals and pets.
Dr. Dayrit explained that for a proper clinical study you would need a few hundred subjects depending on study design.
“We don’t have that many coronavirus patients. So, I think we have to design it to test it out just to show that it can actually work and we can move on from there,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) is open to conduct clinical tests for the potential of coconut oil.
DOH USec. Eric Domingo said a lot of evidence is needed when it comes to treatment and management. He also calls on researchers to come up ways to look into potential treatments for nCoV.
“We are requesting iyong ating researchers dito kung pwedeng tingnan, (our researchers if they can look into it),” he said.—AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) warned the public against the possible outbreak of waterborne and foodborne illnesses, influenza-like illnesses, leptospirosis and dengue (WILD) diseases after consecutive typhoons hit the country.
According to the Health Department, the widespread flooding and damage caused by the typhoons have brought health hazards to the public, especially the victims staying in evacuation centers.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III assured that the department and local government units (LGUs) are prepared to prevent any possible outbreaks. He also added that the DOH has released guidelines to its regional offices for contingency measures.
“We are very wary of possible outbreak of communicable, waterborne and vector-borne diseases after disasters, lalo pa ngayong may pandemiya na maaring magdulot ng (especially during this pandemic which can cause) complex situation,” he said in a statement.
Duque also cited the importance of practicing minimum health and safety protocols in evacuation centers. AAC
The Department of Health (DOH) will conduct a nationwide measles and polio supplemental immunization campaign starting October 26.
DOH Secretary Secretary Francisco Duque said there is still a need to prevent possible measles outbreak especially while the country is facing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
As of August 2020, there are around 3,500 reported measles cases with 36 deaths. Most of the cases are among children under five years old.
The nationwide Measles Rubella-Oral Polio Vaccine Supplemental Immunization campaign will be rolled out in two phases. The DOH will be conducting the campaign for children under five years old which is around 9.4 million children for the measles-rubella vaccine and 6.9 million children for the oral polio vaccine.
“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, a high-quality immunization campaign is urgently needed to stop measles transmission and possible outbreaks. We encourage parents and caregivers to have their children immunized. The measles vaccine is safe, effective and free,” he said.
The DOH’s immunization campaign is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). UNICEF Philippines Representative Oyunsaikhan Dendevnoro said there have been immunization challenges brought by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are at an especially challenging time when immunization for children is being threatened. All of us must do our part in ensuring children in our family are immunized, and that we provide the correct information to parents, community members and among our peers,” she said.
Meanwhile, Duque also assured that the health care workers who will participate in the campaign have been trained and will be provided with personal protective equipment.
The Phase 1 of the campaign will be conducted from 26 October to 25 November 2020 in Mindanao Regions, CAR, I, II, IV-B and V. Phase 2 will be conducted in February 2021 in Visayas Regions, NCR, III and IV-A. AAC
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Monday (July 6) he had undergone another test for the novel coronavirus, after local media reported he had symptoms associated with the COVID-19 respiratory disease, including a fever.
Bolsonaro told supporters outside the presidential palace that he had just visited the hospital and been tested for the virus, adding that an exam had shown his lungs “clean.”
CNN Brasil and newspaper Estado de S.Paulo reported that he had symptoms of the disease, such as a fever. The president’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Bolsonaro has repeatedly played down the impact of the virus, even as Brazil has suffered one of the world’s worst outbreaks, with more than 1.6 million confirmed cases and 65,000 related deaths, according to official data on Monday.
The right-wing populist has often defied local guidelines to wear a mask in public, even after a judge ordered him to do so in late June.
Over the weekend, Bolsonaro attended multiple events and was in close contact with the U.S. ambassador to Brazil during July 4 celebrations. The U.S. embassy in Brasilia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Bolsonaro previously tested negative for the coronavirus after several aides were diagnosed following a visit to U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, Florida, estate in March. (Reuters)
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