COVID-19 is part of the coronavirus family to which MERS and SARS also belong, with the difference that it is a new and unknown virus.
Like MERS and SARS, it causes a disease ranging from the symptoms of a common cold to very severe respiratory complications, especially in patients of advanced age and with pre-existing conditions.
The latest studies confirm that the virus has an incubation period of at least 14 days, but asymptomatic infection seems to be possible, that is when the patient does not show any symptoms.
How does the virus manifest itself?
The symptoms can be the following:
- Fever 38-39 degrees
- Dry cough
- Nasal congestion
- A runny nose
- Loss of appetite
- Sore throat (sore throat)
In severe cases:
- Breathing difficulties
- Acute pneumonia
- Kidney failure
As you can see mostly they are symptoms similar to those of the seasonal flu.
For flu and colds, we have developed antibodies, for this new virus we are starting to do it now and it is presumed that it will weaken over time, but it is still early to say so.
Eighty percent (80%) of the infected can overcome the disease on their own without problems. On the contrary, there are predisposed subjects who, due to their condition, can become seriously ill: for example diabetics, hypertensives, heart patients, immunosuppressed subjects. The data relating to the mortality of the disease concern these categories of people, the weakest.
What precautions can we take to avoid contagion?
To reduce the chances of infection with COVID-19 virus it is necessary to:
- Find out only from authoritative sources such as institutional ones, avoiding sharing flashes of news that appear on social media and that may come from non-credible pages.
- Focus on verified news that talks about how to reduce the risk of contagion.
- If you have symptoms of fever or cold, however, avoid traveling and stay in isolation.
- Limit travel as much as possible and do not frequent crowded places. In some countries, companies have opted for smart working where possible. These measures will come back sooner or later, but for now, it is right to respect them to avoid the rapid spread of the virus.
Furthermore, it is essential to follow these hygiene rules:
- Wash your hands thoroughly as much as possible with an alcohol-based disinfectant or soap and warm water for at least 20-30 seconds. Do not touch your face without first washing your hands thoroughly.
- Avoid shaking hands and hugging to greet each other.
- Masks protect others if you are sick or yourself if you are immunosuppressed. Use them only if you suspect you are sick, instead wash your hands often and wash the surfaces with which you come into contact with chlorine or alcohol-based products.
- Cough and sneeze into a tissue to be thrown into a closed container or, if there is a lack of tissue, into the crease of the elbow. Avoid using your hands to protect others from sneezing and coughing.
- Keep at least one meter away from a person who coughs or sneezes.
All this is obviously to avoid a probable contagion. But what to do to face the virus in the worst case of an infection?
Is it possible to fight the COVID-19 virus?
In reality, the most powerful weapon is already in your possession and it is your immune system, a sophisticated biological defense, and monitoring mechanism of our body, which consists of a very complex network of organs and tissues: the lymphatic system, the thymus, the bone marrow, spleen, intestine, skin, mucous membranes, immune cells.
Especially the intestine is of great importance in the proper functioning of our immune defenses. For this reason, the first duty you have towards yourself is to eat healthy food. Only in this way pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites will not have an easy life.
Very often our eating habits do not coincide with a healthy lifestyle. Specifically, cereals, legumes, dairy products alter the permeability of the intestine which no longer performs the function of protection and correct absorption, giving rise to the so-called permeable intestine syndrome which we will discuss in a new post dedicated to gluten.
Did you know that you can strengthen your immune system with vitamins and minerals?
In particular, vitamin C, among the many benefits, helps fight viruses and seasonal diseases. From a cough to cold, from joint pain to other ailments. Winter is par excellence the season of flu syndromes and the main causes are almost always sudden changes in temperature, due to the passage from hot to cold or humid environments, which make the body extremely vulnerable.
Vitamin C has antioxidant powers and strengthens the immune system, even more so at this particular moment. This substance can fight free radicals and prevent cell damage, as well as being a valuable source of fiber, capable of regulating intestinal function and fighting cholesterol. And since vitamin C is not accumulated by the body, it must be taken regularly with food. Well yes, help to the immune system can also come from nutrition, also understood as integration. There are foods that for the contained substances contribute to raising the defenses or favor a faster recovery, but they are not always sufficient and for this reason, integration becomes fundamental.