Virus, Flu and Immunity
Are you as freaked out as everyone else is about this coronavirus? Have you seen the statistics about the flu this year? It's the worst it's been in a decade! How are you protecting yourself and your family during this cold and flu season? Let's take a closer look at these two viruses. So far, the new coronavirus (COVID-19), has led to more than 20,000 illnesses and 427 deaths in China and now it's here in the U.S. But that's nothing compared with the regular flu that we deal with yearly. In the U.S. alone, the flu has already caused an estimated 19 million illnesses, 180,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 deaths this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The flu is at an all time high in the United States.
That said, scientists have studied seasonal flu for decades. So, despite the danger of it, we know a lot about flu viruses and what to expect each season. In contrast, very little is known about COVID-19 because it's so new. This means COVID-19 is something of a wild card in terms of how far it will spread and how many deaths it will cause.
Symptoms for the flu include: fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, headaches, runny or stuffy nose, fatigue and, sometimes, vomiting and diarrhea. Most people who get the flu will recover in two weeks or less. Doctors are still trying to understand the full picture of symptoms and severity for COVID-19 . In some cases people who had contracted the illness reported fever, cough and shortness of breath. As with any respiratory illness it can be very difficult to distinguish which virus is causing the symptoms. The concerning issue here is that it's not been contained in China and people continue to get the virus. So how can you protect yourself from getting sick this season?
~cdc.gov ~livescience.com ~medlineplus.gov
PREVENTION IS KEY
I know you're tired of hearing it friends......but PREVENTION is key! No one wants to be sick, or down and out for two weeks. With these statistics you may have a better chance at contracting the flu this season than the coronavirus. Be smart about prevention and worry less about your future health. 1. Wash Your Hands with soap and water. This may sound simple but we forget that washing our hands isn't just for after you use the restroom. Wash your hands after you've been in a public place, before preparing meals, and when you come home. As much as we can't be germ free (and I'll never advocate for cleaner is better), I also want you to be smart during this flu season. 2. Limit Contact with Sick People. If you're sick, STAY HOME! I know it's tempting to go to work because we think of all that will pile up when we're away, but infecting your co-workers isn't the best idea. 3. Avoid Touching Your Eyes, Nose, Mouth. This is the way the virus is spread. 4. Boost Your Immunity. There's so much to say here, but those of you who are already taking Juice Plus--keep taking it! It's proven to boost your immunity. If you find yourself feeling under the weather, you can double your dose of Juice Plus. It's just added fruits and veggies in your diet. It won't hurt and will provide even more immune fighting power. Propolis throat spray is another way that I beat sickness at the very first sign. My favorite brand is from Bee Keepers Naturals. Bee propolis has natural germ fighting properties, lots of antioxidants, and 300+ beneficial compounds making it nature’s ultimate defender. 5. Mind Your Stress. Stress in fact will lower your immunity and cause sickness. When we're stressed, the immune system's ability to fight off antigens is reduced. That is why we are more susceptible to infections. The stress hormone cortisol can suppress the effectiveness of our immune system; leaving us unable to fight off infections. 6. Mind Your Sugar. Eating or drinking too much sugar curbs immune system cells that attack bacteria. This effect lasts for at least a few hours after downing a couple of sugary drinks. Women should be getting no more than 6 added teaspoons of sugar a day and men should get only 9 added teaspoons. 7. Sleep. Sleep plays a major role in your cortisol levels (think primary stress hormone). The more you sleep, the less stress you should have, the higher your immunity. See how it all plays together beautifully. We can't just do one thing and think we're covered! 8. Exercise. Exercise boots your bodies feel-good chemicals and helps you sleep better. Both are going to help with immunity. Get a good 30 minutes in most days of the week. Doing ALL the things may seem next to impossible, but given these grim flu statistics for the year, I think it's worth a try! Remember we seldom feel prevention--especially when we start from a healthy place. I like to say it's your insurance policy. We never want to use it, but when we need it, it's there for you. Most of the time, we don't even realize it because we don't get sick! Your co-workers, family, friends will start dropping with the viruses that you never seem to get.
PREVENTION IS KEY