Proposals for simple RCTs based on the Temperature-Dependent Viral Tropism hypothesis

Option 1: pilot trial of constant external warming, and the maintenance of constant pharyngeal temperature, in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Study Description

The purpose of this study is to determine whether maintaining constant warm ambient temperature, and avoiding both hot and chilled drinks, improves the outcome for COVID-19 patients in a hospital setting.

Inclusion Criteria: hospitalized patients who have been diagnosed with Covid-19.

The experimental arm will receive the following treatment:

      1. Keep ambient temperature absolutely constant, day and night.
      2. Keep the patient warm enough to cause mild sweating, and don’t let them become chilled even for a minute.
      3. Eliminate all chilled drinks, ice cream, etc.
      4. (Counterintuitively) also avoid all hot drinks, soup, casseroles etc.
      5. Tea, coffee, soft drinks, soup etc. are acceptable but should be served at 27 – 37°C.

The control arm will receive treatment based on previously-used recommendations.

Outcome measures:

      1. Mortality (time frame: 28 days)
      2. Measures of the progression of COVID-19 such as viral load, serology, immunological markers etc.
Option 2: pilot trial of advice to maintain constant external warming, and constant pharyngeal temperature, in patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in the community.

Study Description

The purpose of this study is to test the effectiveness of advice to maintain constant warm ambient temperature, and to avoid both hot and chilled drinks, for improving the outcome for COVID-19 patients in the community.

Inclusion Criteria: individuals in the community who have been diagnosed with Covid-19.

The experimental arm will receive verbal and written advice to follow the 5 points above.  This advice will include using heating in the sickroom during both the day and night.

The control arm will receive advice based on previously-used recommendations.

Outcome measures:

      1. Hospitalization (time frame: 20 days)
      2. Measures of the progression of COVID-19 such as viral load, serology, immunological markers etc.

Both proposals are based on the Temperature-Dependent Viral Tropism (TDVT) hypothesis, which proposes that the seasonality and pathogenicity of virtually all viral respiratory illnesses are determined by the viruses’ natural biochemical temperature-sensitivity.  For more information click here.

References:

Shaw Stewart, Patrick D. “Seasonality and selective trends in viral acute respiratory tract infections.” Medical hypotheses 86 (2016): 104-119.

Eccles, Ronald. “Why is temperature sensitivity important for the success of common respiratory viruses?” Reviews in Medical Virology (2020): e02153.

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