How do I protect my family from Coronavirus?
What is the nature of Coronavirus?
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new virus that was first detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, in China and has now been detected in 60 locations worldwide, including in the United States. There is a possibility that this virus may have spread from bats to humans. Currently, the main concern is the spread of this virus from person to person contact resulting in widespread outbreak of disease and deaths from the infection.
There are no medications and no vaccines available at this time to treat or prevent Coronavirus infection. The only means to prevent the spread of Coronavirus is to focus on reducing spread through lifestyle measures and strengthening our immune system.
How to prevent the spread of Coronavirus?
This virus infects the respiratory system of humans and leads to coughing and sneezing. The coughing and/or sneezing leads to spraying of small liquid droplets from mouth and nose. These droplets are responsible for the spread of the virus. Coronavirus is highly contagious and close contact of 6 feet or less can transfer the infection from one person to another. In addition, a person can also contract the virus if he or she touches a surface or object with the virus and then spreads it to the mouth, nose or eyes. The following strategies can be helpful to protect our families from Coronavirus
1. Stay at home when you are sick and stay away from other members of the family. Use a mask to cover your mouth and nose. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw it in the trash can.
2. Ideally keeping a distance of 6 feet between yourself and someone who is sneezing and coughing.
3. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, and before touching your nose, mouth or eyes. If soap is not available then use alcohol based hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol.
4. Avoid travelling to reduce your exposure.
5. If you develop fever, cough or difficulty breathing, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
How to strengthen the immune system?
Coronavirus can cause mild or severe symptoms of respiratory system including coughing, fever and shortness of breath. Individuals who are older and suffering from heart disease or high blood pressure are at a higher risk of severe infection and death. All of us need to take measures to improve our immune system so we can fight infections including Coronavirus. The following measures can help us
1. Incorporate foods that are immune boosting such as ginger, garlic, cinnamon and Shitake mushrooms
2. Adequate sleep is critical to the function of the immune system to fight infections. A lack of sleep retards our ability to overcome infections.
3. Stress also reduces the ability of our immune system to fight infections. Avoiding stress by limiting our exposure to media as well as practicing mind body techniques such as meditation and yoga on a daily basis enhances our immune system.
4. Exercise can help flush out bacteria from our lungs and airways. It decreases stress by slowing down the release of stress hormone Cortisol. It improves our immune system’s ability to fight infections. It also increases our body temperature which helps fight infection better.
5. Different herbs and botanicals can help boost our immune system. This is particularly important for those of us, who have a history of multiple infections or who have suffered a long course of infection. Talk to your functional physician about what supplements might be useful to enhance your immune system.
There is no reason to panic or stress out. We need an action plan to protect ourselves, our families and our community at this difficult time. It is possible to limit the spread of Coronavirus and reduce the severity of impact by making a collective effort to follow the strategies outlined above. Please share this with your loved ones and protect them.