Zinc is needed to slow viral RNA replication and it also regulates inflammatory cytokines. Anosmia and ageusia, as reported in COVID-19 and also common symptoms of flu, are classic signs of zinc deficiency. Zinc ions are potently antimicrobial.
Chloroquine, which is showing promise as anti-coronavirus agents, enhances cellular zinc uptake. This might be one piece of why it seems to be beneficial.
What we’re doing: We are prescribing zinc lozenges, about 50+ mg/day (so 3-5 depending on dose). We recommend allowing them to slowly dissolve on the tongue. When used at the first sign of a sore throat, our experience is that zinc lozenges should resolve it. We know that COVID is present in abundance in oropharynx and it’s our hope that local zinc exposure might help as a preventative.