Scientists around the world are continuing to study COVID-19 to improve treatments and find a vaccine, but one is unlikely to be ready for mass-vaccination soon. Therefore, it is important to know how we can prevent the spread of the virus within ourselves and our surroundings. With the flu season quickly approaching, it is important to know the differences between both of these viruses.
Nutrition is one of the most effective ways to keep our bodies safe and build a strong immunity to fight back not only Covid-19 but other illnesses. Dr. Lamberti, from the EHHS FCHC, stated that one should have a rich diet that contains high vitamins, vegetables, fruits, low sugar and fat, dairy, complex carbohydrates, lean meats, protein, etc… Not eating properly will lower immunity.
Exercise also like nutrition takes a huge hit to the immune system. Dr. Lamberti suggests doing one hour or more of exercise five-days a week which is beneficial for our health especially during this time.
Sleep is also very effective for the body and brain.You must get at least eight hours of sleep daily, not enough sleep lowers your immune system according to EHHS HOSA advisor and health sciences teacher, Mrs. Martin.
To help prevent the virus we must continue to wear a mask, avoid close contact, wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, avoid traveling, ill people, and large gatherings which are some of the main precautions. If one feels any of the symptoms listed by the CDC make sure to quarantine yourself as it is recommended and if possible get tested.
Covid-19 vs. Influenza
The flu season is approaching very quickly and it is important to understand the difference between COVID-19 and Influenza. These two illnesses are similar to one another which is why it will become difficult to tell the difference between both.
According to the CDC these are both respiratory illnesses with similar symptoms which is where much of the confusion will come in; if one has COVID-19 or the flu. They both can be spread from person to person but COVID-19 can quickly and easily spread to a lot of people and result in continuous spreading among people as time progresses.
Mrs. Martin said, “Covid-19 started as an animal type disease that is new to us which is why we have so little information on it and it is no immunity. Influenza is a human disease which we do have more information about and it is natural immunity.” The CDC states that symptoms for the flu after getting the infection will appear much earlier than COVID-19 since it takes longer to develop symptoms for COVID-19. A person with COVID-19 will also be contagious for a longer period of time than with having the flu. This is why flu vaccines are highly encouraged to get every year.
Currently, scientists have not found a vaccine just yet; although there are many under clinicals and research. As Mrs. Martin said, “We currently have 42 vaccines that are going into clinical, 92 pre-clinical, 10 on the next route, 4 almost ready but 0 completely ready.” As she continued to say, “Even if we find one vaccine that is safe researchers still have to make a distribution, figure out the dosage, needle sizes, the amount that needs to be made etc…Which takes time to do. There is a high chance that a vaccine could be ready by the month of October 2020 but even if it is ready to go, l.3 billion vaccines need to be made which means we should have a vaccine early next year, 2021.”
The CDC and EHHS's Dr. Lamberti said that scientists have learned that steroids such as Dexamethasone, are helpful in curing patients with this disease who are in severe need of help. Dr. Lamberti also said, “A thermometer is also a big key part of this disease so it is important to have one at home.”
If one has any symptoms of a fever begin with resting and taking over the counter medicine if severe symptoms aren't shown, suggested by Dr. Lamberti. She also recommends not going to the emergency room unless one has “severe difficulty breathing, 104° F fever or higher, or any unfamiliar symptoms.”
Even if a vaccine is completed many people will not get it for many reasons just like the flu shot which will take longer for the virus to fully decrease anytime soon as cases are going back up again. COVID-19 is here for a long time.
Check out the symptoms of Covid-19 with the CDC here.