BCG Vaccination Policy and Salmiak Consumption Are Inversely Associated with COVID-19 Death Rates in Europe

12 Pages Posted: 18 May 2020

See all articles by Mate Hidvegi

Mate Hidvegi

Jewish Theological Seminary – University of Jewish Studies (OR-ZSE)

Michele Nichelatti

Niguarda Ca' Granda Hospital

Date Written: May 8, 2020

Abstract

The late 2019 SARS-CoV-2 pandemic still continues and the COVID-19 associated toll of dead increases. The danger of a second outbreak is imminent thus, preparations for the future are mandatory. Revealing influenceable factors affecting COVID-19-related mortality rate is therefore important. Any possible intervention that may reduce SARS-coronavirus-induced death rate could be obviously construed as a population based preventative measure. We analyzed the European countries or regions, and found a highly significant association between Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination policy and lower rate of COVID-19-related deaths. We also recognized that certain Northern European countries or regions had low death rates regardless of BCG-policy. We assumed the consumption of salmiak (ammonium chloride) containing foods as the common and peculiar cause of the reduced COVID-19-related death rates in these countries, because ammonium chloride is a known lysosomotropic agent which has been indicated to inhibit or prevent SARS-CoV infection. To check the possible effect of salmiak consumption on COVID-19-related death rate, we used a linear regression model having the death rate as dependent variable with BCG-policy and salmiak consumption score as independent variables. With the linear regression, using a robust standard error algorithm, we found a significant effect exerted by the independent variables (p < 0.0005 for BCG and p = 0.001 for salmiak); the residuals were not gaussian (Shapiro-Wilk test: p < 0.001). It is to consider that even using salmiak consumption score as unique independent variable, always with the robust standard error algorithm, the result is significant (p = 0.016).

Note:

Funding: None to be declared

Declaration of Interest: None to be declared

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; death rate; BCG; ammonium chloride; lysosomotropic agent; salmiak consumption

Suggested Citation

Hidvegi, Mate and Nichelatti, Michele, BCG Vaccination Policy and Salmiak Consumption Are Inversely Associated with COVID-19 Death Rates in Europe (May 8, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3596914 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3596914

Mate Hidvegi (Contact Author)

Jewish Theological Seminary – University of Jewish Studies (OR-ZSE) ( email )

Scheiber Sándor utca 2
Budapest, 1084
Hungary

Michele Nichelatti

Niguarda Ca' Granda Hospital ( email )

Piazza dell'Ospedale Maggiore, 3
Milano, 20162
Italy

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