Around 10,000 persons were reported to be infectious which includes 17 healthcare professionals and the casualties have been reported to be over 200 within a month.
By Dr. Rakesh Chawla
Since New Year eve, China has reported a cluster of cases of Pneumonia from Wuhan associated with seafood, which was later diagnosed to be associated with the novel Coronavirus. Around 10,000 persons were reported to be infectious which includes 17 healthcare professionals and the casualties have been reported to be over 200 within a month.
Similar to the outbreak of deadly viruses like SARS and MERS in the recent past, the new novel corona is a big public threat after being spread to over 19 countries including India. There is an urgent need to control the situation by various public health measures failing to which this infection is bound to become really ’Viral’. One of the major complications in accurately detecting the novel corona virus is the long and uncertain period of incubation which is around 14 days. This gives an ample time for the infections to spread rapidly. Widespread availability of diagnostic facilities being the need of the hour, it is also advised to the treating doctors and other medical assistance for protection as they are highly vulnerable even during a potential case look up.
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What is the new Novel Coronavirus?
While coronavirus is a common microorganism (Already known) which causes infections of upper respiratory tract and leads to pneumonia are enveloped RNA viruses which are distributed among human, animals as well as birds. Until now the two major viruses responsible for respiratory outbreaks included SARS and MERS, but the new 2019 novel coronavirus that falls in the category ‘Genus betacoronavirus’ category is profoundly detected in humans, animals and bats. While certain symptoms of coronavirus are similar to that of a common cold or viral infection, it is necessary to distinguish between the two. Though symptoms in most patients may vary from being asymptomatic to even being seriously ill and need immediate medical attention, the usual symptoms include – fever, cough and running nose accompanied by shortness of breath.
Primary prevention – stop the spread
While the virus is common in different species of animals, it has now spread to humans through close contacts via respiratory droplets generated through sneezing or coughing. While there is a misconception that the virus only spreads through symptomatic infectants, many such cases have been recorded where the virus has been transmitted through asymptomatic infectants also. It is thus the foremost priority to seek primary prevention through keeping self-hygiene. Always wash your hands with soap or alcohol-based rub and seek immediate medical advice in case of flu-like symptoms for ruling out the condition. Though Indians usually do not prefer to consume undercooked or raw meat/ animal products, still avoid any type of animal product.
Vitamin c as a immunity booster
Vitamin c is an immunity booster, and these inputs are necessary to boost immunity in general.’Along with the supplements ,it is also advises to do warm saline gargles regularly, because the Corona virus tries to remain in the throat for around 2-3 days, so if you are cleaning your throat regularly , your things are going to be on a better side. While there are no proven treatment modules available, and hence every possible preventive measure will act as a weapon against the Coronavirus.
Regular consumption of hot water and green tea is also healthy. Include Nuts like almonds, walnuts and seeds like flax, pumpkin, it is advised to strictly stay away from ice creams. Daily Diet is – Clove, cinnamon, bell peppers, and yogurt or cured along with broccoli, ginger, turmeric. Hand hygiene is the only major concern in ordering food or eating outside.
Ingredients in your daily diet
Coronavirus has now been called out as a global pandemic. The suspected virus is known to spread in ways similar to influenza via respiratory droplets from coughing. It’s a medical proven fact that our immune system is the first line of defence against an alien microorganism entering our body. Stronger your immune system, lesser is the chance of falling ill.
Turmeric: It has powerful anti –inflammatory effects and is very strong antioxidant. Turmeric is a natural way to help booster the immune system by increasing the immune modulating capacity of the body
Ginger: Ginger is antibacterial and it helps support the immune system and it can help to prevent nausea and soothe the stomach. Ginger helps decrease inflammation, which can help reduce a sore throat.
Garlic: Garlic helps and prevents the severity of illness like the flu and common cold. Garlic contains antioxidants that support the body’s protective mechanisms against oxidative damage. Garlic can fight infectious diseases especially for the elderly or people with dysfunctional immune systems.
Lemon: Lemon is a powerful source of vitamin c that helps build up the immune system. Vitamin C helps in the production of white blood cells and the key to fighting infections.
Spinach: Spinach is packed with abundant nutrients which help build the immune system. It is packed with anti-oxidants including Vitamin C and Vitamin E which increase the infection –fighting ability of our immune system.
Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are not just great in taste but also bundled with immunity boosting vitamins. It comes with our daily requirement of 30 % of vitamin C and 120% of the daily value of vitamin A. Sweet potatoes are fat free and cholesterol free with all the immunity booster vitamins along with a healthy portion of fibre.
Broccoli: Broccoli is a warehouse of nutrients that strongly supports the immune system. Broccoli is a good source of Vitamin C. Broccoli contains a wide variety of vitamin B(B1,B2,B3&B6).It has a healthy compound known as glutathione, which is a fantastic antioxidant.
(The author is Senior Consultant, Respiratory Medicine, Saroj Superspeciality Hospital, New Delhi. Views expressed are personal.)