1Functional Food Center, Functional Food Institute, Dallas, TX, USA;
2Wilson College, Chambersburg, PA, USA;
3Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA; 4Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA
Background: COVID-19 is recognized as an acute upper respiratory disease. As the current COVID-19 pandemic nears the anticipated second wave of cases, many countries are struggling with tactics on how to limit the spread of the virus. With the emergence of conflict in the Artsakh region in late September, there has been a sharp rise in COVID cases both in this region and in surrounding countries that appears to be dissimilar from global transmission rates. This trend indicates that war could be acting as an independent and separate factor to COVID-19 spread in this area. With vaccines still in development, alternative methods of curbing the disease and its symptoms are of the utmost importance.
Methods: This article examines the historical context of war as a contributing factor in the spread of disease as well as the history of the Artsakh region. Comparing data gathered from the World Health Organization (WHO) on the conflicting region to case counts and death rates in neighboring countries and globally will reveal how transmission rates in this area may be different than others. A review of published literature on functional food ingredients to combat COVID-19 will also be used to frame guidelines and recommendations to reduce the spread of the virus.
Results and Conclusions: Based on data from the WHO on the Artsakh region, war appears to act as a separate and independent factor in COVID-19 transmission rates. To control the spread of COVID-19, it is important to eliminate war as a transmission factor by encouraging a ceasefire in areas of conflict and using materials and guidelines from the FFC to help control further spread. FFC guidelines include the use of functional food ingredients to mitigate intestinal and respiratory symptoms, while still promoting social distancing and the use of masks.