COVID-19: Hidden Coinfections and Chain Reactions Parasitic Infectious Relationships within Us


Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opened up a new front in the Coronavirus War by saying we don’t just need to treat the acute disease, we need to treat the underlying conditions that make people more susceptible to serious disease progression. He focused on heart disease, and managing mitigating risk factors such as CVD, diabetes, hypertension and smoking in order to increase people’s odds for recovery. The initial focus has been pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), with risk factors including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and emphysema.

Dr. Frieden calls for better management of people’s underlying health problems to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19. I would take this one step further and say we need to go beyond managing chronic diseases, and find and treat the pathogens that underlie and fuel their pathologies. Why?

In 2001, my work as an Army Reserve medical officer took me to Bolivia to treat 10,000 Andes Indians with parasite medications. Not only did this resolve their parasite problems, but many reported it helped them overcome a range of additional chronic health problems. When I returned to St. Louis, I began to dig deeper with my chronic disease and “mystery disease” patients and treat some of them for parasite problems, and saw many improve. I expanded this “search and destroy” mission with my patients to fungal and dental infections, as I learned many such infections – often overlooked in medicine today – are overlapping, synergistic, and can present as chronic illness.

The more I learned about the importance of a healthy biological terrain and the importance of a healthy immune system, the more I began to apply military thinking and strategy to medicine, and paradoxically, help the body find peace within itself. Sun Tzu wrote, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting,” in his classic, The Art of War. I learned the best way to do that is strengthen the immune system, by focusing on such basics as nutrition, exercise, sleep, and emotional balance. When it comes to chronic illnesses, my belief is that we should not fight symptoms, a diagnosis or a syndrome, but improve the biological terrain, and counter the underlying asymmetric threats.

The importance of a multipronged effort to strengthen the immune system and treat the multiple pathogens that lead to an inflammatory cascade is underscored by new CDC data on COVID-19 in the U.S. Of 7,162 cases from mid-February to late March with complete information, the CDC found that 78 percent of people requiring admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) had at least one underlying health condition. Of people hospitalized but not requiring ICU admission, 71 percent had at least one such condition, compared with just 27 percent of people who didn’t need to be hospitalized. The biggest risk factors contributing to hospitalization and ICU admission were diabetes, lung disease and CVD.

In addition to preexisting heart, lung and metabolic conditions, another major risk factor is an overactive immune system – a “cytokine storm.” According to Dr. Randy Cron of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, in as much as 15 percent of people battling any serious infection, “the immune system keeps raging long after the virus is no longer a threat. It continues to release cytokines that keep the body on an exhausting full alert. In their misguided bid to keep the body safe, these cytokines attack multiple organs including the lungs and liver, and may eventually lead to death.” This may be the turning point from a mild to miserable respiratory illness into life-threatening organ failure.

TABLE 1. Reported outcomes among COVID-19 patients of all ages, by hospitalization status, underlying health condition, and risk factor for severe outcome from respiratory infection — U.S. February 12–March 28, 2020
Underlying health condition/ Risk factor for severe outcomes Not hospitalized Hospitalized, non-ICU ICU admission Hospitalization status unknown
(top three conditions listed below) (number, percent with condition)
Total w/ complete information (7,162) 5,143 1,037 457 525
One or more conditions (2,692, 38%) 1,388 (27%) 732 (71%) 358 (78%) 214 (41%)
Diabetes mellitus (784, 11%) 331 (6%) 251 (24%) 148 (32%) 54 (10%)
Chronic lung disease (656, 9%) 363 (7%) 152 (15%) 94 (21%) 47 (9%)
Cardiovascular disease (647, 9%) 239 (5%) 242 (23%) 132 (29%) 34 (6%)

Source: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6913e2

What have I learned in my years of medical practice as a regional HMO director, 25 years in the US Army Reserve Medical Corps, and as director of Prevention and Healing, Inc. in St. Louis? The asymmetric threats most often overlooked are parasites, fungal infections, and dental problems. Viruses are technically parasites, a gray area between living and nonliving: they cannot replicate on their own but do so in living cells. They have been evolving with us and some of them are encoded as a part of our genetic code from the point of evolution of biological life. They are unique and complex, composed of a protein coat surrounding RNA or DNA core genetic materials. They can stay dormant for many years or be active seasonally, and are capable of growth and multiplication only in living cells as unwanted guests, just like parasites. Parasites have their own parasites, fungi, mycoplasma, bacteria and many types of viruses. The slide below is part of my lecture explaining the evolution of life and parasites, coinfections and parasitic relationships from a universal, simplified perspective.

FIGURE 1. The Kingdoms of Life: Creation, Evolution and Co-Creation

The coronavirus is deceptive and creates a hidden chain reaction. COVID-19 will attack aggressively already vulnerable aging populations and immune-compromised, chronically ill patients, young or old. Many patients are nutritionally depleted and cannot support their immune system, so rapidly succumb to the viral infection. By the time one develops pneumonia, COVID-19 may activate dormant, inactivated bacteria, fungi, mycobacteria and parasites that were previously under the surveillance of the immune system. COVID-19 pneumonia patients may be fighting more than viral infection but also bacterial, mycobacterium-TB like infection, fungi and reactivated parasites, including dental infections. Prevotella have been found in lungs of COVID patients in three Asian studies; it is often found in dental infections.

Coinfections might explain why some patients respond to hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial parasite medication, and azithromycin, an antibiotic for pneumonia, one of numerous treatment strategies now being tested. Hydroxychloroquine facilitates uptake of zinc into cells, which interrupts viral replication. Another repurposed medication being tested is losartan, an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor blood pressure medication. ACE-2 is the host cell receptor responsible for mediating infection by SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Treatment with anti-ACE-2 antibodies disrupts the interaction between virus and receptor.

Physicians in Shanghai report help from using high and frequent dose IV Vitamin C. A clinical trial using Vitamin C for coronavirus is underway in China, and it is also in use in some New York City hospitals. While pharma companies are eager to fund trials of costly patented drugs, we also need to test combinations of existing drugs and nutrients to find more accessible, affordable solutions.

For prevention and prophylactic measures, I recommend extra vitamin C up to 10,000mg/day, 10,000 IU of vitamin D3, vitamin K2, selenium, zinc, boron, and herbal and homeopathic remedies for viral respiratory illnesses, such as elderberry extract. Glutathione can be used for general immune support. I am not saying this will prevent or stop COVID-19, but help you be in a stronger position to fight it.

In the face of the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the US, the FDA has rapidly issued a series of Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) Updates for Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) which cover In Vitro Diagnostic Products, Personal Protective Equipment, Other Medical Devices, and Therapeutics. In addition, FDA approved two new treatments being used overseas in late March: convalescent plasma therapy, and hydroxychloroquine, an antiparasitic used for malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. Both of these have a long history of successful use for other diseases, side effects are understood and should be monitored, and clinical trials are being initiated.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has created a special emergency program for possible therapies, the Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program (CTAP). As of this writing, there are 10 therapeutic agents in active trials, and another 15 in planning stages. FDA invites new requests for product development for proposed COVID-19 uses and drug development submissions at COVID19-productdevelopment@fda.hhs.gov

There is a good deal of controversy in medical circles about whether the FDA is moving too fast, or too slowly, in clinical trials and drug approval. Given the gravity of the challenges we face, it is time to put aside intellectual biases, and be open to new strategies. It is time for “all hands on deck.”

Just as public health strategies of isolation, quarantine and containment play a vital role in pandemics in addition to emergency medicine and targeted therapeutics there is an important role for preventive and integrative medicine. We need to treat the whole body and strengthen the biological terrain to be ready to confront both novel viruses and longstanding pathogens that contest for living among, within, and off of us. We need extra help in the face of the asymmetric threats we confront in the challenging months ahead in our families, our nation, and our stressed and overstretched healthcare system.

Simon Yu, MD, Col (Ret), practices internal and integrative medicine at Prevention and Healing, Inc. in St. Louis; his latest book is, AcciDental Blow Up in Medicine: Battle Plan for Your Life.

21 replies »

  1. I am suffering from a post-covid parasitic lung infection; greatly misunderstood; chronic and debilitating. From my own experience; mycoplasma/parasites/cytokine esosinophilia relate to the covid toes; the “herpetic” corporal inflammatory response, which I also had, which I believe is all related. This is a whopper! I thank the author of this article; I am seeking help for a particular microorganism; Paragonimus westermani. It occurred 3 weeks post covid exposure. I had the exposure 3 times; the first in September of 2019. The first exposure was SOB mainly, the second and third had more symptoms, which seemed to worsen as time has transpired.

  2. I am so impressed with your article… the best I have read in this issue. I have seen patients recover from other “illnesses” after removing badly decayed teeth. I just purchased your book and look forward to reading it!

  3. I am living a nightmare and it started 6 months ago! I had cancer 8 years ago and that was easy compared to this! I’m living in an apartment full of toxic mold I have parasites in my eyes I lost my eyelashes now my hair and eyebrows I get confused dizzy spells horrible headaches skin lesions nausea anxiety depression few months ago I thought about taking my life because of the pain thousands of stings head to toe over and over …I don’t recognize myself I don’t go in public and I feel my body is slowly shutting down…my brain feels swollen and my liver feels the same my body aches head to toe I drop things a lot my arms and legs get weak and the pain is horrific I get winded now hard to breathe and my throat feels swollen and I drool sometimes my teeth are decaying and this is all in 6 months idk if this is the place to tell my business but I don’t care I just need my life back! I have 3 kids that need me and I need them….I’m sorry if this was inappropriate to vent and share but idk what to do…

  4. I already feel bad for what I typed. Ha
    I do appreciate you bringing to light the parasitic connection, but there’s a lot more to be said and a lot you are talking credit for that isn’t even close to original is my point. I do, however find it hard to believe that you aren’t aware of such things as if you only just now learned of them. So I guess its up to you to do the right thing now, ya?

  5. Also, what this dr that uses to work for the CDC is offering in a book to make money, and acting as if it’s his original idea, is called Yang Sheng, and has been around for thousands of years in China. (The CDC is very responsible for the coverup and/or the creation of many diseases including covid, I’m sure btw) the evidence is overwhelming. This Dr is adding no new information and yet distracting everyone with BS. Classic CDC unfortunately…. Im honestly not even one to usually badmouth people on the internet, but this hits home for me, and I am currently writing a Ted Talk and book with the TRUTH about all of this that I have been uncovering, along with about a million other people’s testimonies.
    100% mean it when I say this…shame on you, mr. Yu….

  6. Billy, ecs and any others that commented similiar… what you have is unofficially called Morgellons…. I know because I also have it and have for 2 years or more now…
    It’s really a very complicated “disease” that actually is parasitic, bacterial, viral, and protozoan at its base. With implications that are even more crazy, tbh. But you wouldn’t believe me so I’ll stop there. But please please contact me ASAP as I can help you on your way to recovery, a bit. Drs, unfortunately will get you a very short distance and likely will block your recovery as they have no such things listed in the books to go off of. Please, even if you don’t contact me, please look up some support groups on Facebook and begin your journey to the truth…
    Contact me via email, or text me 707-714-7705

  7. Dr Yu, I just want to say thank you for informing the public of the connection between Covid-19 and parasites. I’m probably not going to be the last to say I felt like my MD thought I was going way off the deep end when I said that I thought that I had parasites, and even prescribed an antipsychotic medication when I broke down and begged for an antiparasitic medication, which I was given Irvametcin. I really hope that you read my comment bc 1;I never voice my opinion or leave comments in blogs, but I have hopes that I may prevent someone else from suffering as I have been for months, and hopefully I will be able to help you help someone. I am 53 yrs. old and I have Cystic Fibrosis. I caught what I thought was the flu from my husband early last year, before Covid-19 was announced as a pandemic. I had small fever, which didn’t last, sore throat, ear pain, couldn’t smell, or taste, but worst of all was the feeling of something behind my upper eyelids, which felt like sores. As I was declining, slowly I I started to get what I can only describe as acne, but I had the menacing feeling that something was crawling on my face, head, neck, back, and eventually my entire body. Once the pimple like area was scratched it would seem as though there was something else in my skin. After a few days these places developed into huge sores which take months to heal. I noticed that the biggest started around the lymph node in on my neck, also around my brain stem. I also had the worst headaches, day and night, and even woke up with them. This was every day for months. My bowel movements also looked like trash… I has never had feces that looked so… Contaminated. I’m sorry for being so straight forward but I feel like everyone should know how this REALLY is affecting ppl. After dealing with this for most of the year, in August I was just sitting watching TV and out of nowhere my airway was instructed and within 2 minutes I was on my knees gasping and straining to get something out… It wasn’t going to go down, but I knew that it was trying to get out, and my family had to call the ambulance. I can only say that I have a lot of really bad days dealing with CF, but not like this! I have never been inside of an ambulance until that night. I live around 5 miles from the hospital and as the minutes went by I started to lose consciousness, but I was still straining with everything in me to get the obstruction out of me so I could breathe again. I did get it out and what was put in my discharge papers was, “Something that appeared to look like tissue.” I started having ” VARIOUS THINGS” coming up in my mouth, some of them looked like”rice”, but no movement, and other times it would look like insect pods or seeds of some sort. I apologize to everyone for how grotesque this all is, but maybe we are not hearing about anything like this bc it is quite embarrassing to tell anyone… Even a Dr., but I have been seeing my Dr Dr 15 yrs. and know that she would do everything that she could. I have been taking several medications for almost 5 months, but I was given 17 doses of Irvametcin, which helped, but I don’t think that my battle was won and I’m starting to get sores more often again. I also should mention that as a 3 yr old I had a serious parasite infection that wasn’t pinworms. I also get Shingles so I know that Herpes is dormant in my system. And I got a fungus that actually caused some of my toenails to just fall off, without pain or bleeding. I had no idea that I even had a fungus bc I had never had one before. Thank you for taking the time to read my story and prayers that it may help someone else.

  8. I also wanted to add that I have noticed flurecent fibres all over our clothes ,hair, body ..my girl friend keeps saying it’s lent but I don’t think so …their colors are orange ,blue, yellow , green…They just reopened all of the mines around us also…who would I contact to get us help..I feel sick and feel like my arteries are starting to clog up…alot of pressure and head ache like no other body pain and zero energy ..I need help and I am scared to go to the Dr..I just had my x father in law die from covid ..

  9. Oh my god! This makes so much sense!!!! I have been following doctors since March saying the same thing. Yet, many doctors and nurses that I have personally spoken to as well as other people have never heard of hydroxychloroquine.

  10. Parasitic infection has never truly been eradicated, that’s just CDC propaganda. Primary ttansmission route is not only oral-fecal but by insect bites. Parasites disrupt organ function & infections that would be minor for a healthy person become devastating chronic conditions.

    Yet for some reason the myth that “parasites don’t exist in North America ” persists, probably because chronic “mystery” conditions generate more revenue for doctors than simply curing simple disease. Any patient who reports parasite symptoms gets sent straight to the loony-bin & it becomes impossible to obtain ANY medical care after that because all doctors then assume “crazy” to be the cause of all their symptoms. This has been my nightmare for 20 years. I have LF. Mosquitos who carry it have been migrating north for many years so I’m not the only one. I knew what the problem with covid was, why some recover & some don’t, as soon as I heard about it but hey, nobody listens to me, I’M CRAZY. So I tell no one, I just sit back and laugh, crazily.

  11. I have been to the dentist 3 times. Thats when i got an infection in the corners if my mouth. My dentist told me it could be different things..urgent care nor hispital doctors said the same thing. About 1 month ago i began to see white soft flakes in one spot of my head. Now i have prasites all over my body and they are growing rapidly and bigger. My daughter and husband had these first. I researched and found nothing till now. I also tested them with varios meds and disinfections to see what they liked and didnt like. I was diagnosed with clogged arteries in heart lungs and more from 100% healthy to this. I have seen these horrible creatures in my veins and i believe they are clogging my arteries. I have learned alot from experimenting with these parasites. I have so much information which may help biologist and doctors with their studies on them and I am willing to go Nationwide with the media so that others May know they are not alone and not be afraid to speak out to the public. I do believe this parasital. Epidemic is associated with covd-19. Please respond. I live in california. My name is yolanda v. My email is yvela537@gmail.com I have read covid-19 hidden confections and all of the comments and I thank you. for reassuring me of what I already suspected. I want to help immediately before this thing kills more people. ( my covid-19 test was negative ). Just because you test negative doesnt mean you are safe. GOD BLESS US ALL IN THE NAME OF JESUS!

  12. Dear Dr Yu I have just read your most interesting article entitled Covid-19 Hidden Coinfections and Chain Reactions Parasitic Infectious Relationships Within Us. I read it on the back of another article following 50 autopsies in Italy which concluded that all 50 patients who had been diagnosed with Covid 19 died of Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation.

    I just wondered if you had any opinion on this? What the researchers were saying was that the patients developed pulmonary thrombosis and that Covid-19 is a cardiovascular disease and should be treated with antibiotics, anti-virals, anti-inflammatories and anti-coagulants.

    With best wishes Jenny Stott

  13. I live in California. I’ve been under the worst stress I’ve ever experienced in my 52yrs of life during shelter in place. Everything bad that could happen has affected me mentally & now physically. I went to urgent care because I was seeing white bulb at the base of my hair follicles from head, face, ears, eyes brows ect… Dr said your just having a nervous breakdown. I said maybe but there are bug crawling all over. I sent samples to the lab Patiently waiting. A nurse friend says I think you have white Piedra them another says Demodex. Now I’m infested, I’ve taken pix more samples everyday of these parasites. I’m extremely clean , been using tea tree oil which helps . I find your article so interesting with parasites & Covid. I also have arthritis in my fingers. The inflammation is horrific. . I wish more doctors were educated like you are. Hopefully I can get a prescription soon . What do you think about Ivermectin?

  14. Thank you, Dr. Yu, for an insightful piece noting not only the importance of dental health, but other issues such as fungal issues, and the immune system. I addressed a good deal of this in my book, Diagnosing and Treating Chronic Heavy Metal Toxicity: Patient Guide to Regaining Health, because I spent my life ill and only recently put the right pieces together to make significant progress in health (such as finally being able to reverse obesity, diabetes type 2, reduce hypothyroidism, etc.). Still a work in progress, but continuing to share valuable information such as your article because the lifestyle changes are essential for health and if we take care of those, working with our physicians, we will be able to improve our health.

  15. This is extremely important and lifesaving information and the general population is not very well educated of aware of this domino effect or even what cytokines are and do within the body. It explains why patients seem to level off with what presents as mild symptoms but after a week or so suddenly get much much worse. I am a former immune-compromised individual and had similar experiences in my battle with lupus. I would contract a cold of upper-respiratory infection, my body would fight it off and I would start to feel better, then crash and burn badly for the next several weeks in utter exhaustion and pain. I turned that awful cycle around after years of experimenting with different natural protocols and nutritional regimens with the help of an Integrated Holistic physician-pharmacist that treated my immune system instead of suppressing it to combat Symptoms. Treating the host and not the virus or pathogen can make a significant difference in how a deadly disease manifests in the body. I had essentially given up on living at the age of 38, with his drug-free protocols. By 40, my Immune system was restored and my quality of life completely improved. At the age I am now,66, which according to the rheumatologist’s diagnosis was not attainable, I know more about auto-immune dis-orders, than most of the average physicians and it has kept me strong and healthy for the most part. I am very wary of the current treatments they are using on the COVID patients. They are using the immune-suppressing instead of supporting drugs and approaches and that can actually be as bad as the virus itself, which in turn overwhelms an already maxed out body. I see that there has been some success within the Alternative Medical community with Ozone shots and IV therapy to oxygenate the blood of exposed patients with a high rate of reversal in symptoms, even with severe cases. I know that is what I would request as my first line of defense if it became a reality for me to fight off this invisible enemy. I pray that a more holistic approach becomes part of the weapon used to defeat this new Disease and we have enough data and proof of the efficacy of a multi-defense approach to curing be working with the body’s own defenses, not just trying to subdue the invader, but also weakening and sometimes killing the host in the process.

  16. Thank you for making an important point. While not technically so, I consider environmental toxins and diet, exercise, lifestyle, and lack of access to health and dental care as “pathogenic” in the broad sense of being specific causative agents – and also as increasing the odds of opportunistic infections of all kinds. You will find that in my work, practice and writing.

  17. “we need to go beyond managing chronic diseases, and find and treat the pathogens that underlie and fuel their pathologies.”

    How does that explain the terrible covid outcomes in the African American community? Overweight, hypertension, lack of exercise, diabetes, poor diet, poor access to health care. Maybe even asthma from pollution and other maladies from industrial chemical toxins close to the neighborhoods they live.

    That’s where I think the “pathogens” develop.

  18. Thank you for your response. For more of my thoughts on this, please see my latest book, AcciDental Blow Up in Medicine: Battle Plan for Your Life.

  19. Thank you Dr. Yu, very interesting piece. Regarding dental issues, I’ve often wondered what role dental issues might play in overall patient health, and whether the strange quirk of history that caused us to treat dental health on a completely separate, parallel track of providers, institutions, and payers, has been a detriment.