With the outbreak of COVID-19, known as the novel Coronavirus, that has left the rest of the world in an apprehensive state, more people are trying to find out what they can do to keep themselves and their families safe. As at the time of writing this article, over 80,000 people around the world have been infected and the deadly virus has claimed over 2700 lives according to a report by CNN.
Protective Measures to Prevent Respiratory Viral Infections
Let us take a look at some of the general good-housekeeping measures to prevent the spread or contraction of the flu or any viruses.
- Wear a face mask if you have to leave your house for any reason as an extra barrier from the outside world. N95 masks, which filter out roughly 95% of all particulates are recommended. Other masks and stylish options may not be suitable.
- Regularly wash your hands with a good antiseptic soap and running water.
- Do not cover your mouth with your hand while coughing, instead cough into your sleeve.
- To reduce the risk of touching infected surfaces like the buttons in an elevator, it might be helpful to wear gloves when going out.
- Practice good hygiene
- If you are sick, consult a doctor, and limit your interactions.
How to build stronger Immunity
Most of the illnesses we suffer from can be prevented if our bodies have all the required nutrients to function. A stronger immune system will further reduce the likelihood of you contracting any sort of viral infections.
The good news is you don’t have to put in extraordinary efforts to strengthen your immunity, simple steps like drinking enough water, consuming fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants, and avoiding refined sugar or all processed foods will make a substantial difference in your immunity. If you aren't consuming enough nutrients, we recommend supplementing your diet. Your gut is your first step defense, so treat it well!
Recommended Nutritional Supplements
To further strengthen immunity and prevent viral infections, nutritional supplements can be invaluable considering that it is nearly impossible to get all the required nutrients in the right amounts from our regular diets only.
Supplements containing vitamin C, probiotics, and essential oils like rosemary are good in the prevention of respiratory infections, but the most useful include the following
- Vitamin D: Studies show that regular consumption of vitamin D decreases the likelihood of upper respiratory tract infections. The likelihood of such viral infections is cut by up to 12%. However, most people living in the United States have low vitamin D intakes, more especially those living in regions with little sunlight. It is recommended that you take vitamin D so you give your body a better fighting chance.
- Elderberry: Elderberry is a medicinal plant used to combat fever and flu. This herb represents an alternative to antibiotics for fighting the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections like SARS and influenza. Regular consumption of this herb also helps to boost immunity.
- Foods and Multivitamins containing Zinc: recently conducted researches have proven that a deficiency of zinc can significantly weaken the immune system. This is crucial information because the World Health Organization states that approximately a third of the world’s population suffers from a deficiency of zinc. Zinc lozenges are often recommended for patients who show symptoms of viral respiratory infections.
Taiji's Gastrointestinal - Huo Xiang Zheng Qi Ye - is a herbal supplement drink that contains herbs to promote healthy digestive system, which directly correlates to your immune system.
Viruses usually have no cure and are therefore allowed to run their course, but applying the above preventive measures slashes your chances of contracting acute respiratory viral infections.
These are mere prevention steps - if you are experiencing any alarming symptoms, we recommend that you take precautionary steps and visit your doctor. Infants and elderly have naturally weaker immune systems, so check-up on your relatives!