As information surrounding COVID-19 and its symptoms continue to evolve rapidly day-to-day, it can be hard to separate truth from rumour.
I have tried to break down the way viruses infect the body in simple terms in order to provide an understanding of what we/our bodies are dealing with. Viruses infect the body from the surrounding environment via the respiratory tract, eyes or through a break in the skin layer, where the virus will attach to the host cell. The virus then injects its own genetic material into the host in order to replicate and then attach to other cells in the body (ever had your computer affected by a virus?)
The body's immune system is your front line defence against any virus and fights off these viral infections if the host (you) is healthy and robust. The Coronavirus (CoV) are a large group of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the standard common cold to more severe infection that can lead to death - as we have unfortunately seen in the media.
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome and kidney failure. COVID-19 is the latest form of Coronavirus responsible for the current epidemic. The World Health Organisation has recently stated that the virus is now classified as a pandemic and therefore need to avoiding infection as much as possible.
Most people infected with the virus will only experience mild symptoms, however there is an increased risk for the elderly, those with underlying health conditions and those with compromised immune system.
Avoidance, self-isolation and good hygiene, especially hand-washing are all essential methods to help avoid infection as well as help to prevent the spread of the virus. However, those with a robust immune system are more likely to only have mild symptoms and recover quickly.
What can you do to help support normal immune function ?
- Keep that nutrition on point and nutrient dense!
- Exercise regularly
- Use Meditation and breath work (fight or flight suppresses our immune function)
- Sleep, sleep and more sleep
Hope this helps clear up some misinformation!
Remember to get your health and fitness questions in for this Friday's Q and A!