2. The Coronavirus Pandemic


Coronaviruses are single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) viruses that are related to the influenza A virus. Coronaviruses can cause severe respiratory infections and even death in humans. Two recent coronaviruses responsible for recent epidemics include the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012 and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) in 2012. A common characteristic of these outbreaks is that they were transmitted from animals to humans. MERS was transmitted from camels in the Middle East and SARS from bats or civets in China. The swine flu pandemic in 2009, caused by the swine influenza virus (H1N1), was transmitted from pigs to humans in Mexico.

The current coronavirus, named SARS-CoV-2, causes the coronavirus disease of 2019, or COVID-19, a worldwide pandemic believed to have originated from a seafood and animal market in Wuhan, China. Like the other coronaviruses, its origin can be traced to bats and causes mild to severe respiratory infections. Unlike other coronaviruses, however, it can cause far more severe complications and has an estimated fatality rate of around 1%. These complications include long-term organ damage and blood clots that may lead to strokes.

Preventing and Treating Coronavirus COVID-19

Currently, the suggestions to prevent against COVID-19 include avoiding infected people, wearing a face mask, frequently washing hands with soap and water, using hand sanitizer, and not touching your face. While most cases are mild, some people are more vulnerable. For the elderly, immunocompromised, or those with underlying medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease, an infection could be fatal. Healthcare providers testing or treating infected patients are also at higher risk. But the virus has infected and even killed young, seemingly strong, and healthy people.

Current treatments, like hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir, and dexamethasone are still going through clinical trials, and recent results have shown them to be limited in their effectiveness. The most severe patients are placed on a ventilator, in hopes that by keeping them breathing, their immune system will have a chance to fight the virus. If too many people needing hospitalization surpasses the number of available hospital beds and ventilators, the fatality rate will dramatically increase. Preventing or reducing symptoms by maintaining overall health, and thus preventing the spread of the virus, may avoid a healthcare system collapse as well as needless deaths.

Using Whole Foods to Boost the Immune System

Until there is a vaccine or treatment, I believe one of the best ways to protect or fight against coronavirus infection is to make sure your immune system is optimal. You optimize the immune system by nourishing your body with a variety of nutrients found in whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, teas, whole grains, herbs, and spices. If your immune system is optimal as well as loaded with potential antiviral and anti-inflammatory chemicals found in whole foods, your body will be able to better fight off infection, resulting in having less severe symptoms and acquiring immunity faster.


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