Podcast #16 – Dr. George Munoz – Covid Risk and Prevention
Dr. George Munoz is a board certified Rheumatologist with over 30 years of experience with complex immune related disorders. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Columbia before heading to Mount Sinai School of Medicine for his medical degree. He pursued a Rheumatology fellowship at Harvard before we crossed paths during our Fellowship in Integrative medicine at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. George is a thinker and a gentleman whose mission has been to change the lives of individuals suffering from Rheumatologic disease.
As Covid has been omnipresent in our lives, we decided to sit down and discuss the underlying risk factors of Covid disease and what can be done to reduce future risk. It is a wide ranging conversation that covers the gamut of lifestyle related factors predisposing us to disease.
I hope that enjoy my conversation with Dr. George Munoz,
Dr. William Parker, Associate Professor of Surgery and Global Health at Duke University, will discuss the biome depletion theory and how our cleanliness is disrupting normal immune function. These processes can have profound downstream effects on maternal and child health. From the Duke Medical School: What is widely known as the “hygiene hypothesis” is more appropriately described as the biota alteration or biome depletion theory: Changes in symbiont composition in the ecosystem of the human body in Western culture has led to immune dysfunction and subsequent disease. We are working on several aspects of this theory. Our earlier studies probe the immunological differences between laboratory-raised and wild-raised animals as a means of assessing differences between humans with and without Western culture, respectively. Other studies probe the role of biome enrichment, in particular the addition of helminths, in the treatment of disease. Studies are ongoing in both humans and in animals, with particular attention to the role of biome depletion in cognitive dysfunction.
We discuss the future of human health with a specific focus on our macrobiome friends, parasites, with whom we have co evolved. They are now missing and we are not better off because of it.
Please enjoy my conversation with Dr. William Parker,
Newsletter #32 covers – School and the Covid Generation
Newsletter #34 covers – Long Covid and its association with Epstein Barr Virus, EBV, reactivation
Public attention has been intensifying over concern that we are losing the war against a severe disease called whooping cough: a disease that we thought we had licked back in the 70’s. This highly infectious bacterial infection, that attacks a child’s bronchi, is making a major resurgence in the US. Currently Washington State and California have gotten the brunt of what is now being called an epidemic. In 2010 alone, 27,550 cases of whooping cough were reported in the US.
Here is the scary part of the evolving whooping story. While being properly vaccinated reduces a child’s chances of getting infected by 8 fold, the majority of the cases of that have occurred in California and Washington state have been among young infants who have not completed their initial vaccines and among older children. What is particularly alarming to experts is that most of the cases in older children have afflicted ADEQUATELY VACCINATED CHILDREN clustering in the 7-10 year olds and the 13-14 year olds. In other words, the vaccine does not seem to be working since properly immunized children are coming down with the illness!
To understand this further, you need to know a little bit of the history of the vaccine. Up until the 90’s, pertussis vaccine was made from the “whole cell” of the germ borditella pertussis. The vaccine worked very well but created a lot of side effects such as high fever and large swellings at the site of the shot. In the “old days” of the whole cell DPT, we never gave the 18 month or 4-6 year booster in the legs because so many parents complained that they had to carry their children around for a few days if we gave it in their child’s leg! We also didn’t give this vaccine to anyone over 6 years of age because they just couldn’t tolerate it. Then came the acellular version of the DPT, also known as DPaT (the “a” standing for acellular). This is the version of pertussis vaccine that we are using today that seems not to be giving very longstanding immunity. It just doesn’t work as well as the old whole cell version.
So the choice now seems clear. Either we immunize everyone with more frequent doses of the modern acellular pertussis vaccine or we go back to the good old days with the whole cell vaccine and put up with the high fevers and large swellings. It will be interesting to see what the experts decide to do. Stay tuned and get ready to roll up your sleeves, I have a felling more shots are coming your way.