Have you heard of COVID-19? Coronavirus? The outbreak that seems to be the topic of conversation on every TV station, radio program and podcast?
Coverage grows as confirmed cases and linked deaths rise across the globe. But in case you've somehow missed the news for the past month, here's what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has to say about it, "CDC is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in almost 90 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”)." Furthermore, the CDC issues that, "This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available, in addition to updated guidance." In other words, this virus is relatively new to the world of science, and organizations and professionals alike are working to better understand its impact, treatment and possible prevention. So where does that leave people like us? How can we respond to the uncertainty? Are there ways to prepare? The CDC recommends that people continue their ongoing, everyday preventative actions such as:
getting a flu vaccine
washing hands for 20 seconds, throughout the day
covering the mouth and nose
limiting close contact and unnecessary touch
Other ways to generally support your immune health In addition to the flu season best practices outlined above, there are many daily habits you can integrate into your life to support your immune system. Though many may seem very obvious, it's worth noting that sometimes the best means of fighting sickness is doing everything you can up front to not get sick in the first place.
1) Stay hydrated. Avoid sugary, alcoholic and/or caffeinated beverages and reach for water. 2) Sleep. Aim for 8-10 hours a night. It's amazing what a difference it makes. 3) Consider natural supplements. 4) Stay home if you're feeling run down. Listen to your body and take a rest before you stress yourself into illness. 5) Eat whole foods and fresh fruits and vegetables. 6) Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes. 7) Do not share cups or eating utensils. 8) Limit your exposure to heavily populated areas during sick seasons (public places like malls, sports arenas, etc.) 9) Treat and cuts or scratches. 10) Break a sweat 3-4 times a week.
As far as coronavirus goes, there will be more information as doctors and scientists further investigate. Our thoughts and concerns go toward anyone who has already been impacted by the recent outbreak. In the meantime, as the CDC urges, it's likely best that we all be diligent in washing our hands.