Boosting your immune system to fight covid-19

The World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus dispensed advice on how people can look after their health at a media briefing on Friday (March 20).

He said this will not only help people in the long-term, but it will also help the fight Covid-19 if they get it.

In his opening remarks at the briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, he included the following health tips:

Boosting Immune System
  • Eat a health and nutritious diet, which helps your immune system to function properly.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption, and avoid sugary drinks.
  • Do not smoke, he said, as smoking damages your lungs and can increase your risk of developing severe disease if you become infected with Covid-19.
  • Exercise. WHO recommends 30 minutes of physical activity a day for adults, and one hour a day for children.

If allowed, go outside for a walk or a run, while keeping a safe distance from others.

If you cannot leave the house, find an exercise video online, dance to music, do some yoga, or walk up and down the stairs.

If you’re working at home, make sure you do not sit in the same position for long periods. Get up and take a three-minute break every 30 minutes.

  • The WHO said its normal to feel stressed, confused and scared during this pandemic. Talking to people you know and trust can help.

“Supporting other people in your community can help you as much as it does them. Check in on neighbor’s, family and friends. Compassion is a medicine,” said Dr Tedros.

“Listen to music, read a book or play a game. And try not to read or watch too much news if it makes you anxious. Get your information from reliable sources once or twice a day.”

In the same set of remarks, Dr Tedros said: “One of the things we are learning is that although older people are the hardest hit, younger people are not spared.

“Data from many countries clearly show that people under 50 make up a significant proportion of patients requiring hospitalization.”

At the start of last week, he had warned that although the evidence they have suggests that those over 60 are at highest risk, young people, including children, have died.

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