The intent of this article is to inform you about the recent outbreaks of coronavirus and explain various preventative measures that you can take to protect yourself. Continue reading to learn more about the origins of coronavirus, how it spreads, and Dr. Scott Ling’s advice on caring for yourself.
All of the advice here assumes that you and your family have not recently travelled to an area where there are known cases of coronavirus or had some other possible exposure. If that is the case, you should call your doctor immediately for advice.
What is the coronavirus and how does it spread?
There are several different types of coronaviruses that have varying levels of severity, ranging from the common cold to potentially fatal respiratory ailments. The current outbreak of coronavirus, often abbreviated as COVID-19, is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China in late 2019.
Similarly to other coronaviruses, COVID-19 initially spread from animals to humans, this time among patrons and workers at the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan. Between humans, coronavirus is transmitted in the respiratory droplets of infected patients when they sneeze, cough, or breathe in close proximity to others.
What are different countries doing to protect their citizens?
To date, there are approximately 71,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide. Twenty-eight countries have been impacted so far. Governments and health officials have taken the following actions:
- Chinese authorities have instituted a travel ban around Wuhan. Anyone returning to Beijing from Lunar New Year celebrations must undergo a two-week self-quarantine or report to a specialized quarantine venue.
- In Australia, where 15 people have tested positive for coronavirus (all in a stable state), the government has established quarantine facilities in two remote locations for evacuees from Wuhan. A two-week self-quarantine is currently in place for any citizens returning from a trip in any
Who is susceptible to coronavirus?
Although anyone can contract coronavirus, individuals with a weaker immune system (such as the elderly) are at an elevated risk of contracting the virus and experiencing severe complications.
Protecting yourself from the Coronavirus
In addition to the following general hygiene, it’s important to strengthen your immune response:
- Wash your hands often with soapy water
- Cover your entire mouth and nose with tissues or your bent elbow when you cough or sneeze. Don’t use your hands. Throw tissues away immediately.
We asked Dr. Scott Ling on how we can protect ourselves against the virus from a Chinese Medicine perspective and here is what he said.
Strengthening your immune response
Individuals with a weakened immune system are more likely to become infected, it is important to strengthen your immune response by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Ensure that you are eating a balanced diet, taking supplements as needed, and getting adequate rest. Evaluate your life for ways to reduce stress and minimize mental strain throughout the day.
How to strengthen your immunity (from a Chinese Medicine view):
In our practice, these recommendations will help you avoid (and recover from) illnesses of all kinds, not just coronavirus.
What to do if you suspect you may have contracted coronavirus
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath.
If you are experiencing symptoms after travelling to impacted areas, call your doctor or a hospital and inform them that you may have been exposed to coronavirus. Avoid using public transportation or coming into close contact with others. If you must leave the house to receive testing or treatment, wear a face mask and wash your hands often.
Where can I find news about coronavirus?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is maintaining a website with real-time updates about the progression of coronavirus and the measures that are being taken to address this global health issue. Additional information is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html.
Remember to always consult reputable sources and medical professionals for guidance on the coronavirus.