What To Do In Case Of A Virus Outbreak?
“Don’t go to crowded places”, “Sanitize your hands”, these are the frequently heard exhortations since December 2019.
Since the first cases of a previously unknown pneumonia-like illness emerged in December at Wuhan and rapidly spread around the world, it has brought up to the world’s attention on this global health crisis.
It seems viral infections are everywhere these days. Unfortunately, humans contribute to the success of the spreading of dangerous viruses. A virus replicates only inside the cell of a living being and spread effectively when there is contact between two individuals. Traveling domestically and internationally both permit viruses to move between regional populations.
Many dangerous virus infections are transmitted to humans from other animals. Expanding settlements towards wildlife opens the opportunities for viruses to meet humans. And the recent 2019-nCoV outbreak, Coronavirus is a family of viruses that live mainly in animals -bats especially. Only seven, including 2019-nCoV, SARS, and MERS are known to infect humans. SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) is thought to have evolved from bats to civet cats to humans in 2003; MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) evolved from bats to camels to humans in 2012. The origin of 2019-nCoV is still unknown, however, the first few affected patients were linked to large seafood and live animal market.
Now, what to do to protect yourself from this virus infection?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed basic protective measures against the new coronavirus. Here’s what you should do:
- Wash your hands frequently
– Wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
- Practice respiratory hygiene
– Cover nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or flexible elbow
- Maintain social distancing
– Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
– Hands touch many surfaces that can be contaminated with the virus and touching your eyes, nose or mouth allow you to transfer the virus.
- Seek for medical care once you have symptoms like fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
– To seek medical attention promptly can prevent further spread of infection and for immediate health care.
- Avoid contact with live farm or wild animals
– To protect yourself from exposure to viruses.
- Avoid the consumption of raw or undercooked animal products.
– Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.
- Protect yourself from getting sick
– Boost your immune system by taking vitamin C and probiotic supplements and immune-boosting foods like citric fruits, broccoli, spinach, nuts, vegetables, wheatgrass, berries, garlic, ginger and many more.
Prevention is always better than cure. Keep yourself safe from sickness and seek immediate health care if any symptoms found. Take Care!
Written by: Jasmine Lim
(Love Earth Nutritionist)
[Bachelor of Science Degree in Dietics (major) &
Food Science (minor) lowa State University, USA]