As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, it is tough for many of you with all the confusion and no direction as to how to prevent it or what to do if you contract the virus. It has also been brought to my attention with many of my clients as the difficulties they are facing with the isolation of being at home, for some adapting to working from home and keeping up with healthy regimes.
Mastering a Life of Optimal Health, Happiness and Vitality Online Health Care – Provides you with health, updates, support and services online. This is not something new for Julie, as she has been working toward providing you with this service for the past 8 years. This is different to any other health support service, providing you with extensive, in-depth guidance supporting each of you with the necessary elements to Master a Life of Optimal Health, Happiness and Vitality.
As we speak, Julie and her virtual assistance Kirsty are currently working on the uploads and access availability to Julie’s 30 plus years of Clinical experience. Both Practical and Professional Clinical. These services include Online Naturopathic Consults: Individually Prescribed Herbal & Homoeopathic Medicine: Nutritional support, Dietary advice, Health & Lifestyle Coaching to assist you with making positive changes, understanding your choices enabling you in making the Best and Right Choices for your Health.
Understanding the Corona Virus
What is Coronavirus? Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses, seven of which are currently known to infect humans. Four of these strains cause minor symptoms like the common cold and two are more severe diseases including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). COVID-19 is the latest strain to have been identified within this family of viruses.
What is Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)? In the beginning, COVID-19 was known as ‘novel coronavirus’, that meant a new strain of coronavirus. After scientists discovered what this strain of coronavirus was and how to identify it in tests, they gave it the name: SARS-CoV-2. When someone gets sick with this virus the illness is called COVID-19. For simplicity, the virus and the disease are being referred to by the same name, COVID-19.
Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was discovered in 2019 when an unusually high number of people in Wuhan, China, became ill with pneumonia after having an illness like the flu. When doctors tested them, they found these people had a type of coronavirus they hadn’t seen before
Why it is Spreading so Quickly? Transmission of COVID-19 occurs when infected droplets are distributed via human-to-human contact, usually when a sick person coughs or sneezes. It may also be spread via contact with contaminated objects as human coronaviruses can remain infectious on inanimate surfaces for up to 9 days. Airborne spread has not been reported for COVID-19 and it is not believed to be a major driver of transmission.
Symptoms of the Coronavirus
Symptom severity of COVID-19 varies, with mixed reports of severe flu-like symptoms in addition to milder presentations. Primary symptoms to be aware of include:
- Fever, cough and shortness of breath/breathing difficulties.
- Affected individuals may also experience additional flu-like symptoms including: Headache, muscular stiffness and pain, loss of appetite, malaise/extreme generalised fatigue, chills, confusion, dizziness, rash, night sweats, and gastrointestinal upset.
Who is at the Greatest Risk?
Individuals at highest risk for severe disease include people aged over 60 years and those with underlying medical conditions. Susceptible individuals include:
- The elderly who have serious underlying health issues and who are sedentary
- Immunocompromised individuals – who have inadequate nutrition, harmful habits such as smoking, taking of elicit drugs, heavily medicated and excessive consumption of alcohol.
- People who have serious or chronic medical conditions including heart disease, diabetes and lung disease
- People who have recently travelled to mainland China, South Korea, Iran and Italy. Also, people who have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, particularly during the infectious period
Bringing it into Perspective
Media outlets have focused their attention on the spread of COVID-19 and associated fatalities, contributing to alarm and unrest within the Australian community. While it is important to remain informed on the progression of this outbreak, it is important not to become overly alarmed and limit your time as to listening to the updates. The most accurate source is the ABC News. The Australian Government is adequately addressing COVID-19 via the ‘Coronavirus Emergency Response Plan’. This scheme involves preventative measures during the early stages of the outbreak, including mechanisms for early detection and effective management of cases and contacts, and has likely contributed to current low incidences of COVID-19 within Australia.
Despite reports of more than 117,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, only 112 cases have originated within Australia. In addition to this, the incident fatality rate is approximately 3.6% of confirmed cases reported globally, with an estimated 80% of laboratory confirmed patients experiencing only mild to moderate symptoms followed by a successful recovery.
On a positive note, the disease in children appears to be relatively rare. Approximately 2.4% of the total cases reported involved individuals aged under 19 years, with a very small proportion of those developing severe (2.5%) or critical disease (0.2%). Comparisons between COVID-19 and common influenza viruses also provide context regarding population impact, with influenza estimated to have affected one billion individuals and caused anywhere between 291,000 to 646,000 deaths worldwide.
How you can Protect yourself from Coronavirus
As COVID-19 is a novel virus, there is no vaccine currently available. However, practising healthy washing of hands, sneezing and coughing with covered hand or elbow, hygienic practicing in the home keeping household areas clean is the beginning of the best defence against viral infections.
- Washing your hands frequently with soap and warm water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet.
- Covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, immediately disposing of tissues and using alcohol-based hand sanitiser. The safest and best way for washing of hands is with soap and warm water.
- If feeling, seek immediate guidance from a Health Professional. You may be advised to isolate yourself from the general population for up to 14 days to stop viral spread.
- During the onset and severity of infection in response to viral pathogens is greatly influenced by the virulence of the pathogen and the host’s immune defences.
While the danger and spreading of COVID-19, seems out of control improving your immune systems response is the most effective strategy to protect against any harmful pathogen.
Shiitake Mushroom extract AHCC – Active Hexose Correlated Compound is a chemical isolated from the Shiitake mushroom that contains a mixture of polysaccharides, amino acids, lipids, and minerals. AHCH has been used in over 20 human clinical trials, with results demonstrating enhanced dendritic cell populations, increased cytokine expression of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes and improved antibody synthesis in elderly patients to the influenza B virus. AHCC has also demonstrated efficacy for numerous viral infectious diseases including West Nile virus, influenza virus, hepatitis virus, and human papillomavirus (HPV), demonstrating activation and modulation of host immune cells such as NK (natural killer) cells, NK T cells and gamma delta T cells. This is currently being distributed to the medical community treating COVID-19-infected patients in the Wuhan region of China (Wuhan Zhongshan hospital and Leishenshan hospital). Although data is yet to be published on the efficacy, as evidenced by clinical trials, AHCC is expected to enhance immune function of these healthcare workers, facilitating the prevention and clearance of viral pathogens that they may be exposed to.
Zinc – Zinc is abundantly found in many food sources such as lamb, grass-fed beef, chicken, kefir or yogurt, lentils, chickpeas, cashews, ricotta cheese, spinach, mushrooms and avocado. Choosing one or two of these foods per day will provide you with adequate zinc for immune protection. Zinc is particularly critical for the intracellular signalling pathways in both innate and adaptive immunity and is essential for the development of non-specific immunity, such as neutrophils and NK cells, and stimulating the development of acquired immunity.
Vitamin C – Vitamin C best sources include lemons and kiwi fruit. Vitamin C has been found to reduce the duration and severity of colds and is increasingly effective when combined with zinc. Vitamin C stimulates white blood cell production and function, enhances NK cell activity and chemotaxis, supports clearance of spent neutrophils from sites of infection, increases serum levels of antibodies, and augments lymphocyte differentiation and proliferation, thereby facilitating innate and adaptive immune responses.
Honey – Honey has amazing health benefits, one of the most impressive is that honey can be a powerful immune system booster. Its antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties can help improve overall immune function, keep you healthy, and fight disease. Start every brand-new day with this cleansing tonic if you want to see this health benefit of honey: before breakfast, mix a spoonful of honey and lemon juice from a squeezed lemon into a cup of warm water and drink away.
Vitamin D – It is well known that vitamin D plays an important role in regulating immune function, with deficiency impacting the activity of T regulatory (Treg) cells, as well as the production of antibodies.Additionally, vitamin D enhances the adaptive immune response by increasing differentiation of monocytes to macrophages and stimulating white blood cell proliferation, essential to the neutralisation or viral infections. To help with healthy Vitamin D metabolism ensure you eat a low animal fat diet and have exposure to the sun for a minimum of 15 minutes per day and there is no need for more than 30 minutes per day. Boost your Vitamin D with these foods: Mushrooms, Salmon, Sardines, canned Tuna, Cod Liver Oil and Egg yolks.
Medicinal Mushrooms – Japanese mushrooms, including Cordyceps sinensis (cordyceps), Trametes versicolor (coriolus), Ganoderma lucidum (reishi) and Lentinula edodes (shiitake) enhance the body’s immune response and provide antiviral actions. Specifically, these mushrooms activate the innate immune system, triggering the production of NK cells, lymphocytes, neutrophils, macrophages, and inflammatory cytokines. Cytokine synthesis prompts adaptive immune processes to take effect, through the promotion of B cells for antibody production, and stimulation of T cells, which mediate cellular and humoral immunity. Available at your local fruit and vegetable outlet. An easy addition to your favourite stir-fry, vegetable bake or salad.
Probiotics – Research has discovered the positive health benefits that probiotics have in boosting and regulating immunity. Probiotics are live microorganisms that are also known to improve digestive and heart function. Probiotic Foods include: Kefir, Yogurt, Kimchi, Miso, Kombucha, Pickles, Tempeh, Sauerkraut,
What to do if you Develop Symptoms
If you do develop symptoms associated with COVID-19, including fever, cough, sore throat, tiredness or shortness of breath, seek immediate guidance from a medical professional. You may be advised to isolate yourself from the general population to stop viral spread. Individuals who have recently travelled to an international high-risk area or who have recently been in contact with a confirmed case are at an increased risk of developing COVID-19 and are advised to contact a medical professional for assistance. Once you return home follow the suggestions above that will help you to support your body with a healthy recovery.
Additional Resources and Guidelines on COVID-19 Management:
Australian Government Department of Health: COVID-19 – https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov
World Health Organisation Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak – https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019