Justin Bieber, 26, and wife Hailey Baldwin, 23, spent much of 2019 coping with his numerous health issues, including Lyme disease. So, when the coronavirus outbreak hit Los Angeles they escaped to their home in the Canadian countryside to play it safe with his health. And while there still isn’t enough data to be certain if a past battle with Lyme disease makes people more susceptible to the coronavirus, a top Lyme disease specialist told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY that it “likely” does.
Dr. Tania Dempsey, founder of Armonk Integrative Medicine, explained to HL, “patients who have had Lyme disease and co-infections are probably more susceptible because of their altered immune system from the underlying, chronic infection that they’ve had.”
It’s important to note that the doctor made a big distinction between those who have “recovered fully” from Lyme disease and those that have battled the chronic versions of the disease. “I think people who have had Lyme disease and have recovered fully and have had no long term consequences, are probably at the same risk as the general public. But people that have had chronic infection or who have underlying autoimmune diseases and other consequences and other conditions as a result of Lyme or co-infection are probably at increased risk. But, that’s all conjecture at this point because we don’t actually have any data to support that.”
One thing that is very clear — staying home is the safest plan right now no matter what. Dr. Dempsey told HL. “I would say that at the very least everybody needs to self quarantine and stay home regardless of if they’re at increased risk or not. At this point, it’s not clear that anyone could be spared from this.”
“The issue is that nobody has any immunity against this new bug. No one in the United States. No one in the world has immunity unless they have had this. And so I always make an assumption whatever the underlying issues are or not, that everyone needs to protect themselves the best they can.”
But for anyone with underlying health issues, like the ones Justin has battled, staying home becomes even more crucial. “If they have that other layer of possible chronic infections or have immune dysregulation, they need to be all the more cautious,” Dr. Dempsey told Hl. “So I would say that if they need supplies, that somebody else gets the food supplies for them or deliver it to their home. I would prefer they not leave the house because I don’t think they can protect themselves adequately, even if they’re just going out for essentials.”
Dr. Dempsey also recommends eating a low carbohydrate diet and getting supplements like vitamin C. “I always talk about diet and supplements, although there’s no guarantee and we don’t know whether any of this is 100% effective, but what we do know is it can be effective against the other viruses. So I always tell these patients that they need to follow a good healthy diet that’s low in carbohydrates. We know that sugars in general lower the immune system. So just be cognizant of that and aware of that, that they need to eat adequate protein and fat and stay away from the carbs and the sugars. That’s only going to be to their benefit. And as far as supplements, it’s hard. Also hard to know if these are going to work at this point, but lots of vitamin C and zinc.”