By Ms. Preety Tyagi
Lead Health Coach and Founder of MY22BMI
With the ongoing pneumonia epidemic, caused by corona virus, currently affecting Mainland China along with 27 other countries, it becomes evident that it has become a cause of worry for all of us. The virus, was identified in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei region, after 41 people had developed pneumonia without a clear cause. The virus evidently transmits from human to human mainly through the fluid droplets passed on through sneezing and coughing. Symptoms include fever, coughing and breathing difficulties, and the virus can be fatal.
Fever, cough, difficulty in breathing and a history of travel from Wuhan City, China In the last 14 days before symptom onset.
Human corona virus is most commonly spread from virus infected person to others through:
- The air by coughing and sneezing
- Close personal contact, such as shaking hands / touching
- Touching an object or surface which has virus on it, then touching mouth, nose, or eyes before washing hands
- Rarely, fecal contamination
Recommendations for Testing
For detecting Novel Corona virus infection, collection of three specimen types, lower respiratory, upper respiratory and serum specimens for testing is recommended. Additional specimen types (e.g., stool, urine) may be collected and stored.
How to protect yourself
Currently there are no vaccines available to protect against human corona virus infection. Risk of infection can be reduced by doing following:
- Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, nose with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with any infected or sick person hands
Since it attacks on the body as any usual virus, it becomes evident that keeping our immune systems boosted, will help us stay safe from it, along with many other precautions. I have listed some points below.
Boost your immune system with vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc, to decrease the risk of catching the flu. Avoid feeling overwhelmed by acknowledging feelings of anxiety, and you will feel more emotionally stable
Some precautions that can be taken to avoid the spread of infections and viruses.
Defend yourself with powerful nutrients
Top three nutrients to ensure a strong immune system are vitamin C, zinc and iron. The benefits of vitamin C to boost immunity are well documented reminds people to take it before the onset of cold or flu symptoms.
“Try to get your vitamin C in its natural form, unless you know you aren’t getting enough from dietary sources, such as citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and kiwis, as well as guava, bell peppers and broccoli, are all good sources.
Zinc deficiency is associated with increased susceptibility to pneumonia and other infections in children and the elderly. To get enough zinc, she recommends eating eggs, poultry, fortified breakfast cereals, beans, chickpeas and nuts (cashews and almonds). Or just take a good Zinc Supplement.
If you are getting enough zinc in your diet, then you are likely getting enough iron as the two are in a lot of common foods. “Vegetarians must make sure they eat the plant-based iron with vitamin C, which can enhance the absorption of plant-based iron.”
A good Vitamin D Supplement is a must for everyone to keep their levels on track these days. Go out in the early morning sunlight for vitamin D absorption.
Care must be taken while consuming meat and poultry or any animal products. Make sure that the products must be carefully procured from hygienic places and must be cooked very well before consumption. Undercooked or Raw meat or any other animal products such as eggs, milk etc. must be avoided completely.
Best is to rely on vegetarian food options more than animal products during these outbreak times. There are many plant proteins that can be consumed instead of the regular animal protein options.
Apart from wearing a mask in crowded places, washing your hands and using hand sanitizer, what can we do to stay healthy – and calm – during the flu season, especially in the midst of a coronavirus outbreak?
- The need for a healthy diet, maintaining personal hygiene and getting good rest to boost your immune system cannot be ignored.
- Begin with prevention… It’s not too late to get the flu vaccine, and this is especially important for the young, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. The key is to get it when you are healthy. While it will not prevent corona virus, it will defend against the more common seasonal influenzas during this winter peak season.
- If you do feel unwell, see your doctor as soon as possible. “A rapid influenza test can give you a result in 15 minutes and quickly determine what you might have. Anti-viral drugs for the flu should be taken within 48 hours, so it’s important to see your GP promptly.”
- If you have a fever, after visiting the doctor, wait for at least 24 hours after the fever has subsided (without using fever reducing medicine) to leave home. If a family member is ill, adjust the sleeping arrangements – as best you can – so that they don’t infect other household members.
- “Optimize everything that you can control – wash your hands, take care of your body, get enough sleep, eat nutritious food – and then you have no need to stress,
How to protect others
If you have cold-like symptoms, it is recommended to do the following
- Stay at home when sick
- Avoid close contact with other people
- Cover nose and mouth with a tissue while coughing or sneezing, there after throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces
Staying healthy and happy involves getting enough sleep and vitamins, and keeping your stress levels in check.
And remember, an ounce of Prevention is worth a pound of cure.