This virus has never been seen before. Which is probably why there’s lots of panic right now, because we don’t exactly know what we’re facing. However, like any virus, there’s ways to prepare and hopefully, prevent, getting sick.
Symptoms of this Coronavirus
The virus can cause pneumonia. Those who have fallen ill are reported to suffer coughs, fever and breathing difficulties. (In severe cases there can be organ failure.) As this is viral pneumonia, antibiotics are of no use. The antiviral drugs we have against flu will not work. Recovery and immunity depends on the strength of the immune system.
Who’s at risk, the standard we hear, the vulnerable of society… elderly, children and those with chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, etc. (Although interestingly enough, children have been the least impacted so far, of the “vulnerable” population.)
If you are at risk for the seasonal flu, then you should be very careful about protecting yourself. This goes for each flu season, whether there’s a coronavirus or not.
Hand Washing is a Must!
Health experts say washing your hands frequently is the best way to prevent the spread of infectious illnesses like coronavirus or, more commonly, the flu. The CDC advises washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available (I use alcohol pre-packaged swabs).
Face / Surgical Masks – What’s the Scoop
We’ve all seen the pics of the face mask wearers.. aside from looking pretty crazy, it does seem to elicit a little bit of panic. From what I’ve known/read, wearing a mask can ward off some exposure to airborne germs.
However, let’s look to what happened during a recent coronavirus outbreak to see what we learned.
Following the SARS virus outbreak in the early 2000s, which also originated in China, researchers in Australia wanted to test data that suggested transmission of the viral respiratory infection could be reduced with the use of face masks as well as other infection control measures.
The study, published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases in 2008, found that masks were 80% effective in protecting against clinical influenza-like illness when worn consistently — but there was a catch. The researchers noted that “compliance with mask use was less than 50%,” meaning more than half the people in the study did not actually keep wearing them as directed.
The study found there wasn’t much difference between the two types of masks tested, P2 respirator masks (comparable to N95 masks) and surgical masks.
Other guidance from CDC and medical institutions say that face masks aren’t necessary unless you’re a healthcare worker or caring for someone sick. So you decide how you want to proceed with the mask idea.
Don’t Touch Your Face with Unclean Hands
Get in the habit of NOT touching your face throughout the day. It is possible to pick up germs while you’re out and about, and the way those germs, who are just sitting on surfaces, impact you, is that you touch your eyes, nose or mouth. That’s where you’re introducing the germs to your body.
It is also possible that you are around someone who is sick and they can spread certain viruses by coughing, sneezing or even speaking (airborne droplets).
- Avoid being around people who are coughing and sneezing
- If you are coughing and sneezing, do so into the crease of your elbow-not your hands (so you don’t spread your germs by touching something, and on the germ spreading goes)
Be Sure You Have Plenty of Your Medications
Stock up on medications so you are not at risk of running out if things should get crazy. Having an extra month or two on hand would be a good idea.
Strengthen Your Immune System
Keeping yourself healthy NOW so that your immune system is strong and you can fight off an infection:
- Stay well-rested. Generally getting 8 or so hours of sleep each night is sufficient.
- Reduce cold and greasy foods, cut down on sugar, alcohol and simple carbs (bread, pasta, rice, etc)
- Take your multivitamin every day
- To help your immune system, take Vitamin C, D, Glutathione and Turmeric
- Moderate exercise, several times per week
- Regular acupuncture treatments strengthen and support the body and immune system
If You Are Feeling Ill
If you are starting to feel under the weather:
- Ramp up the health supplements and simplify your nutrition – stews, soups and stir fry (with cauliflower rice) are good options that are healthy and easy on your digestion.
- Get lots of rest and stay well-hydrated
- Disinfect your home’s surfaces and door knobs
- Cough/sneeze into elbow so as to not spread what you have
- Limit the time outside of your home (so you don’t spread or pick up other germs)
- Visit your MD if it makes sense, given your condition and symptoms
This information is a guideline and I recommend doing your own research and preparing your home and family for this to become more widespread than it currently is (pandemic). Don’t panic but be prepared.
If you’d like a specific plan on how to prepare you and your family, call or message the office to set up a consult with me.