It's hard not to be worried about the coronavirus (COVID-19). Here in New York City, more and more subway riders and pedestrians are wearing surgical facemasks, and stores are selling out of basic supplies like bathroom tissue, anti-bacterial wipes and canned foods.
One quick and easy way to lower your risk is to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. And if soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
In addition to washing my hands often, I regularly apply my handy travel size Desert Essence Probiotic Hand Sanitizer, which kills 99.99% of most common harmful germs; provides good bacteria and helps condition skin; includes inherently cleansing Tea Tree Oil plus They, Elderberry and Echinacea to help reduce bacteria; has 75% alcohol derived from natural grain; and leaves skin feeling soft and moisturized.
While Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports there is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, in addition to washing your hands frequently, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask:
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
While our bodies are able to develop an immunity to certain strains of viruses, such as seasonal strains of cold and flu, the coronavirus is a new illness which can affect your lungs and airways. Boosting your immunity nutritionally, however, may make you less susceptible to the coronavirus.
“Vitamin D is important for many aspects of our health, so I recommend supplementing year-round, this is especially important for those that fall within the groups of people deemed more ‘at-risk’ of a vitamin D deficiency," says Keeley Berry, nutritional expert and product developer at BetterYou, a U.K company specializing in nutritional oral spray. Vitamin D helps to keep our bones and teeth healthy and stave off infection. This at-risk group includes breastfed infants, older adults and people with darker skin.
There are a few foods that naturally have some vitamin D:
- Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel
- Beef liver
- Egg yolks
You can also get vitamin D from fortified foods. You can check the food labels to find out whether a food has vitamin D. Foods that often have added vitamin D include:
- Breakfast cereals
- Orange juice
- Other dairy products, such as yogurt
- Soy drinks
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