The Coronavirus has instilled fear around the globe and people are fearful of the possibility it may affect them or occur where they live and work. While there are several types of coronavirus, the new COVID19 is similar to SARS and MERS in that they have spread widely and produce more severe illness.
The virus is transmitted mainly through the respiratory tract from cough or sneezes from an infected person or touching contaminated objects. There is evidence that it may also be transmitted from the gastrointestinal tract as well and through people with no signs of infection. According to Gregory Poland, MD, a Mayo Clinic Vaccine Investigator, most infections occur in adults. More serious disease has occurred in Asians and older adults whose average age is 59 years with other underlying illnesses. Most people develop the illness within 14 days.
The virus can affect people in 1 of 3 ways:
- Many people don’t have symptoms but have the virus in their respiratory tract.
- Some have mild symptoms that don’t progress. Chest X rays may show a ground glass pattern even in people with mild symptoms
- Some get more serious illness with shortness of breath, and pneumonia.
- Data from the largest study of patients to date, conducted in China, suggests that of coronavirus patients receiving medical attention, 80 percent had mild infections, about 15 percent had severe illnesses, and 5 percent were critical.
Symptoms of Coronavirus
- High Fever
- After 2-7 days a dry cough
- Mild breathing difficulty at the outset
- Gastrointestinal issues
- 20% may have diarrhea
- General body aches
- Kidney Failure
The flu affects far more people than the coronavirus and can be deadly. According to the CDC, as of February 22, 2020, there were at least 32 million cases of flu in the United States, 310,000 hospitalizations and 18,000 flu deaths. Fewer than 70 people in the United States have been infected with the new coronavirus, and there has been one death. While the death rate worldwide from Coronavirus may seem higher at the present time, there have not been counts of mild or asymptomatic cases.
There are no treatments or vaccines for the coronavirus, only supportive care for infected people, therefore it is best to take precautions, stay as healthy as you can and boost your immune system.
Prevention is key
How you take care of yourself on a day to day basis can build or break resilience or decrease or increase your susceptibility.
- Frequent hand washing is critical to stop the spread of any infection, however. many people do not wash hands properly. The World Health Organization has a video on the best technique https://youtu.be/3PmVJQUCm4E
- Keep a healthy distance from people and avoid crowds and contact with possibly contaminated surfaces.
- Disinfect all contaminated surfaces and don’t touch eyes, nose or mouth
- Eat a nutrient dense diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as immune boosting foods such as mushrooms (Reishi, Shiitake, and Maitake), fermented foods as well as foods with antibacterial properties such as garlic, and those that clear mucous such as chicken soup. Now there is coffee and tea infused with Reishi mushroom spores that have antiviral activity.
- Get 6-8 hours of sleep since lack of sleep makes you vulnerable to infection.
- Stress less and find time to relax, this will avoid suppression of your immune system by the stress hormone cortisol.
- Moderate exercise boosts the immune system while too much or too little can suppress it and make you more susceptible to infections.
Boost your immune system
- N acetyl cysteine has immune modulating properties and boosts sIgA which is an antibody that protects your respiratory and gastrointestinal system. It prevents bacteria from adhering to and infecting cells and has anti bacterial properties. It has been shown to lessen the frequency or severity of the flu. Take 500 mg twice a day.
- Beta glucan supplements may protect against upper respiratory tract infections or reduce the severity. It also supports the immune system. This comes in various strengths so follow the instructions on the label or learn about the products I recommend in Supplement Savvy.
- Vitamin C is best used as a preventive measure. Two controlled trials showed reduced duration of cold symptoms when using high doses up to 6-8 g/day of vitamin C.
- Probiotics prevent bacteria from sticking and enhance the barrier to prevent penetration while enhancing your immune system. A daily probiotic resulted in an approximately 25% reduction in the number of days of school missed in children. Reviews of probiotic use have shown that there is a reduction of the severity of a shorter duration of respiratory tract infection.
- Vitamin D reduced the risk of acute respiratory tract infection among all participants in 25 randomized controlled trials. Doses of 10,000 IU 3 times a day for 3 days or one 50,000 IU dose showed resolution of flu symptoms within 48-72 hours in a Canadian study.
It is our hope that containment and isolation measures allow the infection rate to drop and fizzle out. However, we must do our best to stay healthy and take precautions. If you want access to high quality supplements at a discount, sign up for the free, no obligation Supplement Savvy educational series. You can get the best supplements mentioned and learn how to protect yourself.