More on the corona virus
By Penelope A. Domogo, MD
It has been two months since the new corona virus was first noticed. According to a study done by Prof. Nanshan Chen, M.M., et al (The Lancet Jan. 30, 2020), several cases of pneumonia of unknown cause were reported in Wuhan, China starting December 8, 2019. On January 7, 2020, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention was able to identify this novel corona virus which was “subsequently named 2019-nCov by WHO.”
From Wuhan, it has spread to other countries which is not surprising because Wuhan is the capital city of Hubei province. It’s my first time to hear of Wuhan and I was surprised it is such a big city of 11 million people! With the boom in business and tourism worldwide, surely, many people have already gone in and out of that place, even before the lock-out. With the lock-out and restrictions in travel, we expect that this infection will be controlled. Quarantine or lock-out is an indigenous strategy for containing disease outbreaks but we, in Igorotland, term it “tengao” or “te-er” meaning no one goes out and no one comes in the village.
As we discussed last issue, viruses are part of nature, like bacteria, parasites, birds and trees. They are part of creation. New strains develop over time as they try to cope and survive in changing environments. They mutate to survive. There’s a theory that the antibiotics, antiviral drugs, insecticides and pesticides that people use indiscriminately are causing these mutants. Another theory is that these mutant viruses escape from laboratories. You see, scientists study viruses, too, in the laboratory. How it really developed, nobody is sure. We just see in recent history the emergence of new strains of viruses such as the SARS-Cov and MERS-Cov, the H1N1 influenza virus. Now we have the 2019-nCov. There are millions of types of viruses in the world but apparently, we have co-existed with them since time immemorial. Statistics will show that only a fraction of the population get sick. In the case of Wuhan which has 11 million population and more than 22,000 have gotten sick. It has been more than 14 days when the first case landed in the Philippines and we thank God, that her co-passengers did not get sick. Our Creator has provided our bodies with powerful built-in defense mechanisms.
Since this is a new virus, scientists are still studying it. It is observed that the elderly and those with other existing diseases and are immune-compromised are more at risk of contacting the disease and more prone to develop severe symptoms. Symptoms of the 2019-nCov could be just mild fever and cough. Some develop pneumonia and shortness of breath. These symptoms could appear from 1-14 days after exposure to an infected person. Sometimes, though, or oftentimes, the virus enters the body but the immune system is strong so the person does not get sick.
The best course of action to prevent this infection is not new and we reiterate them as follows:
1. Eat well – fresh and organic as much as possible. a lot of fresh vegetables. Minimize sugar and all foods containing sugar and artificial additives. Sugar paralyzes your internal defense army and sugar is food for viruses and other germs.
2. Keep hydrated.
3. Avoid crowded areas as much as possible especially those that are enclosed like malls, cinemas.
4. Wash your hands.
5. Maintain proper distancing- about one meter from a sick person. This will be a challenge if you take public transportation.
6. If you cough or sneeze, cover mouth with your flexed elbow or with a tissue or with a mask. It is recommended that those who are weak or sick or who work in clinics and hospitals wear masks.
7. Have a cheerful attitude. “A cheerful heart is good medicine.”
Take care, everyone!
“Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, they have no storeroom nor barn and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! And who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters?” Luke 12:24-28**