Covid, Flu and RSV Protection Protocol

A Guide to Preventing COVID-19, Influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

While flu and RSV infections were uncommon in 2020 and 2021, a dramatic increase in infections was documented in the fall and early winter of 2022. We have therefore adapted I-PREVENT to include prevention against flu and RSV. It should be noted that the medications in I-PREVENT are inexpensive, safe, and widely available.

This protocol includes a section on how to prevent infection before you’ve been exposed (pre-exposure/long term) as well as how to prevent infection if you have potentially been exposed (post-exposure/acute, short-term).

At the onset of flu-like symptoms please refer to the I-CARE: Early COVID Treatment or I-CARE: RSV and Flu Treatment Protocols.

About this Protocol

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How to prevent infection before you’ve been exposed
  • Antiseptic antimicrobial mouthwash: gargle twice daily (do not swallow). Choose mouthwashes containing chlorhexidine, povidone-iodine, cetylpyridinium chloride, or the combination of eucalyptus, menthol, and thymol. If tooth staining occurs, discontinue use of mouthwash and try another product.

  • Vitamin D: dosing varies; optimal target is greater than 50 ng/ml (Table 1) presents a safe and practical treatment schedule for raising serum concentrations in non-urgent situations. The dosing schedule illustrated in Table 2 should be used when recent serum concentration levels are unavailable.

  • Vitamin C: 500 mg twice daily

  • Zinc: 20-50 mg/day
    Commercial zinc supplements are commonly formulated as zinc oxide or salts with acetate, gluconate, and sulfate.

  • Melatonin: 1-6 mg nightly (slow/extended)
    Begin with 1 mg and increase as tolerated to 6 mg at night. Causes drowsiness. Some patients are intolerant to melatonin, having very disturbing and vivid dreams; in these patients, it may be best to start with a 0.3 mg slow-release tablet and increase slowly, as tolerated.

  • Elderberry syrup, supplements or gummies: follow manufacturer’s dosing recommendations