With the recent media frenzy around the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID), it can be difficult to decipher between fact and fiction. There is a lot of misinformation circulating about the disease, so it’s important to know what’s true and what’s not.
Lisa Maragakis, M.D., M.P.H. senior director of infection prevention at Johns Hopkins, helps clarify information to help keep you and your family healthy and safe.
TRUE OR FALSE? A vaccine to cure COVID-19 is available.
True: There is no vaccine for the new coronavirus right now. Scientists have already begun working on one, but developing a vaccine that is safe and effective in human beings may take many months.
TRUE or FALSE? You can protect yourself from COVID-19 by gargling with bleach, taking acetic acid or steroids, or using essential oils, salt water, ethanol or other substances.
True: None of these recommendations protects you from getting COVID-19, and some of these practices may be dangerous. The best ways to protect yourself from this coronavirus (and other viruses) include:
- Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, using soap and hot water.
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick, sneezing or coughing.
- In addition, you can avoid spreading your own germs by coughing into the crook of your elbow and staying home when you are sick.
TRUE or FALSE? A face mask will protect you from COVID-19.
True: Certain models of professional, tight-fitting respirators (such as the N95) can protect health care workers as they care for infected patients.
For the general public without respiratory illness, wearing lightweight disposable surgical masks is not recommended. Because they don’t fit tightly, they may allow tiny infected droplets to get into the nose, mouth or eyes. Also, people with the virus on their hands who touch their face under a mask might become infected.
People with a respiratory illness can wear these masks to lessen their chance of infecting others. Bear in mind that stocking up on masks makes fewer available for sick patients and health care workers who need them.
TRUE or FALSE? The Coronavirus is affecting many more people than the Flu.
True. As of Mar. 3, 2020, the flu is showing much more of an impact on Americans than COVID-19. You can find up-to-date information on COVID-19 at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Similarities: COVID-19 and the Flu
- Both cause fever, cough, body aches, fatigue; sometimes vomiting and diarrhea.
Can be mild or severe, even fatal in rare cases. Can result in pneumonia.
- Both can be spread from person to person through droplets in the air from an infected person coughing, sneezing or talking.
- A possible difference: COVID-19 might be spread through the airborne route (see details below under Differences).
- Flu can be spread by an infected person for several days before their symptoms appear, and COVID-19 is believed to be spread in the same manner, but we don’t yet know for sure.
- Neither virus is treatable with antibiotics, which only work on bacterial infections.
Both may be treated by addressing symptoms, such as reducing fever. Severe cases may require hospitalization and support such as mechanical ventilation.
Both may be prevented by frequent, thorough hand washing, coughing into the crook of your elbow, staying home when sick and limiting contact with people who are infected.
Differences: COVID-19 and the Flu
COVID-19: Caused by one virus, the novel 2019 coronavirus, now called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2.
Flu: Caused by any of several different types and strains of influenza viruses.
While both the flu and COVID-19 may be transmitted in similar ways (see the Similarities section above), there is also a possible difference: COVID-19 might be spread through the airborne route, meaning that tiny droplets remaining in the air could cause disease in others even after the ill person is no longer near.
COVID-19: Antiviral medications are currently being tested to see if they can address symptoms.
Flu: Antiviral medications can address symptoms and sometimes shorten the duration of the illness.
COVID-19: No vaccine is available at this time, though it is in progress.
Flu: A vaccine is available and effective to prevent some of the most dangerous types or to reduce the severity of the flu.
COVID-19: Approximately 92,818 cases worldwide; 118 cases in the U.S. as of Mar. 3, 2020.
Flu: Estimated 1 billion cases worldwide; 9.3 million to 45 million cases in the U.S. per year.
COVID-19: Approximately 3,159 deaths reported worldwide; 7 deaths in the U.S., as of Mar. 3, 2020.
Flu: 291,000 to 646,000 deaths worldwide; 12,000 to 61,000 deaths in the U.S. per year.
The COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly. Since this is a new virus, people do not have immunity to it, and a vaccine may be many months away. Doctors and scientists are working on estimating the mortality rate of COVID-19, but at present, it is thought to be higher than that of most strains of the flu.
HOW CAN WE BOOST OUR IMMUNE SYSTEMS?
Your first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as these:
- Don’t smoke.
- Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise regularly.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
- Try to minimize stress.
The PURE Advantage
Additionally, PURE’s line of Immune-strengthening products is here for added support and peace of mind.
Immune6 is a capsule taken once a day (two capsules a day) to help support the immune system. It contains graviola fruit which helps sustain a healthy immune system.
Additionally, each serving of Immune6 contains 140% of the daily value of selenium, found mainly in nuts, seeds and whole grains. Selenium helps lower oxidative stress. Studies have linked a higher level of selenium in the body with an enhanced immune response. In addition to selenium, Immune6 contains vitamins C and D3, both of which work to help support a healthy immune system.
Another PURE product that works from the outside in is Skin Defense—a spray that is safe for all ages. It contains hypochlorous acid, a naturally occurring chemical found in white blood cells. It is also:
Because Skin Defense contains no alcohol, it is a non-drying alternative to typical hand sanitizers that can dry out skin. It actually helps to keep skin hydrated and moisturized.
Simply toss the travel size bottle in your bag and travel with knowing you have extra protection on board.
Another product in the PURE Immunity family is Silver, a patented SilverSol Technology of nano-sized particles that travel through the body to boost the immune system and are flushed out within approximately 48 hours. The formula contains 10 parts per million of elemental silver with purified water.
So, when it comes to keeping our immune systems in top form and avoiding illness, the best defense is a healthy lifestyle and knowing the facts about how illness is transmitted. For another layer of support, let PURE’s line of Immunity-boosting products are here to provide added peace of mind.
PURE DISCLAIMER INFORMATION: The information in this post is intended for educational purposes only. The PURE products mentioned are intended to nutritionally support and maintain a healthy immune system. PURE products do not diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, including the COVID-19 Coronavirus.