Improving Your Immune System

Covid-19 has caused panic around the globe, shutting down whole economies.  Scientists scramble to try to control the virus. The World Health Organization (WHO), teams of scientists and large pharmaceutical companies swung into action. Corona viruses are a large family of viruses found in a variety of mammals and birds. Like other respiratory infections, corona viruses can also be spread from person-to-person through contact with bodily fluids such as saliva, blood or urine.

The initial scaremongering cited death rates that were magnitudes higher than the common flu. Media outlets were throwing around figures between 2-10%.  But the actual death rate from the virus seems to be inline with a typical flu season; this is due to 2 main reasons:

  1. The death numbers have tended to include people dying with covid-19 rather than because of covid-19. Most of the people that died were either the elderly and/or people with complex health issues.
  2. Covid-19 is highly infectious, but the vast majority of infections were either asymptomatic (no symptoms) or very mild.

Basic hygiene routines such as washing your hands frequently and keeping your distance from others who are sick may slow the spread of the virus. Most people reading this with either catch it in the coming months, or already have had a fairly mild version.

The following groups are more susceptible to having more severe symptoms:-

  • People 65 years and older, particularly men.
  • People of all ages with underlying medical conditions.
  • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • People who have serious heart conditions
  • People who have weakened immune systems, such as people undergoing cancer treatment, heavy smokers, people recovering from major surgery or HIV sufferers.
  • People with prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications. Corticosteroids are a class of drug that lowers inflammation in the body. They also reduce immune system activity. Doctors often prescribe them to help treat diseases such as asthma. arthritis.
  • People with severe obesity (BMI 40 or higher).
  • People with diabetes.
  • People with chronic kidney disease (including dialysis).
  • People with liver disease.