No vaccine or exact treatment are established yet (some are only in clinical trial).
May be we will get it soon but since it is still not sorted out, we, general people, need to focus on 2 things: preventive measure and boosting immune system. We already have some knowledge about preventive measures (like sanitizing hands, maintaining social distance etc.). The other important strategy to fight the virus is to strengthen immune system so that even if we get infected by the virus, our body can fight back and end up only allowing the virus doing minimum harm.
Usually, when we get infected by virus and bacteria, the immune system start taking action against it by creating antibody, engulfing and destroying foreign bodies and other measures. But for various reasons this defense mechanism of our body sometimes becomes weak; but can become stronger again by taking certain measures.
I discuss some points below (including mechanism) which help to boost our immune system.
Vitamins-Minerals: Micronutrients, like vitamins and minerals, play a very important role to strengthen our immune system. Therefore it would be very wise to have them (in fruits like apple, orange, lemon, spinach, broccoli, brussels sprout etc. or even from vitamin C tablets). Why vitamin C is so important? It was found that during COVID outbreak in Wuhan, China it was an important strategy of treatment to inject IV format of Vitamin C which brought positive result . For vitamin D, we can have sun on our skin for 10-15 minutes on 2-3 days every week by opening our windows or if possible stand in an open space in this lockdown period. Fish-fat, beef liver, cheese, egg yolk are import source of vitamin D too. Zinc is also great for immune system boosting. Zinc can be obtained from lentils, ginger, sea food, nuts, egg, milk, meat, seeds etc.
If someone, especially aged person, feels that he/she is unable to get the nutrients from food, then it would be suitable to have multivitamin supplement. It helps to strengthen other body mechanisms in addition to immune system.
Probity’s: Probity’s are good bacteria that help us to maintain a healthy gut against bad bacteria. Yogurt, pickle, butter-milk, fermented cheese and any kind of fermented food are good sources of probity’s.
Honey: Honey is a very good source of antioxidants and is responsible to produce hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). It prevents the growth of virus and bacteria. It boosts endurance and reduces muscle fatigue .
Green Tea: Green tea is also a good source of antioxidants and useful for boosting immune system.
Reducing Stress: In this lockdown period, it is very important to remain stress free. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, rightly advised not to be overwhelmed by sad pandemic news and information, rather limiting one’s visit to authentic website or news channel for maximum twice a day for better mental health.
Chronic disease control: Age weakens the immune system along with body defense mechanism and chronic disease enhances those effects. We cannot change our age. So what we have in hand, is controlling our chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, asthma by properly following doctor’s prescription and regular exercise.
Stop Smoking: Smoking weakens lungs and elevate ACE-2 enzyme which may allow corona virus to have access to lung cells as well as creates a healthy environment in lungs for the virus. Therefore it is of utmost importance to stop smoking immediately.
Reduce Alcohol consumption: According to NHS guideline, alcohol consumption reduction, if any, is helpful to reduce pressure in liver and boosting up overall immune system.
Weight loss and regular exercise at home: If local law and order doesn’t permit outdoor exercises, it is a must to perform indoor exercises like yoga, aerobics etc. Maintaining correct weight (according to BMI), by regular exercise and healthy diet, is very necessary because excess weight negatively affect the activation of T-cells . It weakens the body defense mechanism. Even it reduces the effectiveness of vaccine. Therefore weight correction is extremely important for boosting immunity.
Eat-Drink-Sleep: Healthy diet including vegetables and enough water is mandatory at this time. One needs to drink at least two and a half to three liters of water every day. Proper sleep is also an important part of boosting immunity because it releases cytokine which performs promptly against infection and inflammation. In lockdown days, most of us are probably dependent on screen (mobile, TV, computer) to pass time or work from home. We should get rid of any screen from at least 2 hours before sleeping time in order to have a sound sleep and take advantage of cytokine, help ourselves pass through this pandemic.
Avoid virus infection: We can utilize some behavioral measures to avoid infections. We need to wash our hands and face frequently with soap or sanitize clean daily-use items regularly, cook raw food thoroughly and avoid unnecessary outdoor adventures.
BDST: 2109 HRS, APRIL 20, 2020