I'm keeping a close eye on coronavirus information as we've got family travelling over the next few months. This interview with immunologist and researcher Heather Zwickey, about the coronavirus and how infectious diseases take hold is very informative and gives practical information about how we can reduce our risk of coronavirus, as well as the ever-present cold and flu. It's a nice short, concise interview of 15 mins. Listen now. Key points: (Taken from this interview, WHO and CDC information)
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that have been around for a long time.
This coronavirus is now named “SARS-CoV-2” (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) and the disease it causes has been named "COVID-19" (coronavirus disease 2019).
COVID-19 is not as severe (less pathogenic) than past coronaviruses. This is good in that people aren't getting as sick but it means people are well enough to be up and walking around with it so it is more easily spread.
COVID-19 has more severe symptoms in people with severe lung conditions like COPD, as it can get into the base of the lungs and trigger pneumonia.
COVID-19 does not seem to be mutating. (There are currently estimated to be 1200 influenza viruses circulating in the USA as they can mutate so easily).
COVID-19 is so far believed to be spread by water droplets such as from someone sneezing into the air or sneezing into their hand and then putting their hand on a door handle.
What can we do:
Hand hygiene - wash hands properly including finger tips, in-between fingers and thumbs. It should take 20-30 secs to wash your hands (about the time to sing Happy Birthday :) Here is a link to more information on hand washing.
Sneeze/cough into your elbow not onto your hands.
Vitamin D - get your Vitamin D levels checked and if they are low discuss with your health practitioner if you need a Vitamin D & K supplement or if spending more time in sunshine will be enough to increase your levels.
Fresh air - luckily in Australia, we are in summertime so it's easier to get outside and get fresh air. Particularly important if you work in a recirculated air environment.
Healthy microbiome - look after your microbiome be eating plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, using fermented foods and taking a probiotic if necessary (talk with your natural health practitioner to get the right one for you).
Anti-viral herbs - olive leaf extract, elderberry, goldenseal (talk with your natural health practitioner about what is right for you).
And of course, in general looking after your immune system with enough sleep, addressing your stress levels, maintaining hydration and having plenty of fun - laughter is very good for the immune system! Happy immune-boosting and hand-washing! Carla :)