How to Stay Healthy During the Coronavirus Outbreak
We’re sure you’ve experienced the widespread panic of the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, by now. The WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic, which means it’s prevalent around the world. Newbridge is taking precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of our patients and staff. We hope you are taking preventative measures in order to avoid COVID-19 (and any illness), as well!
What You Need to Know about the Coronavirus
The first reported case of COVID-19 was in Wuhan, China. Since then, the illness has spread to all corners of the world, as of the time of this writing, infecting over 3 million people and killing over 200,000. With that being said, it’s important to take precautions to keep you and your family safe during this time.
Symptoms of Coronavirus
Being conscientious of the symptoms will help those who become infected catch it early, lessening the chances of death and preventing the spread of the illness. What is important to remember is that the majority of infected people appear to have mild infections – with mild cold-like symptoms and fever, and likely many with no symptoms. As noted above, there are case reports of asymptomatic carriers. However, most people who contract COVID-19 do seem to develop symptoms of some sort. Contact your primary care provider if you or a loved one is experiencing:
- Dry cough
- Aches and pains
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Sore throat
- Difficulty breathing
- Sepsis and Septic shock
- Severe/Mild Pnemonia
Like the influenza virus, the elderly and those with underlying chronic medical conditions appear to be most at risk for serious complications and death from COVID-19. However, unlike influenza, children so far appear to be relatively protected. According to the WHO, 80% of all cases will recover without needing specialized treatment.
How Coronavirus is Spread
According to the CDC, the spread of Coronavirus is mainly through respiratory droplets and close contact – similar to how influenza is spread. The CDC defines close contact as “being within 6 feet or within a room or care area for a prolonged period without personal protective equipment OR having direct contact with secretions of a person with COVID-19 infection.” There is some evidence that fecal-oral or blood transmission may be possible, even when COVID-19 is not detected in oral swabs. Investigation is underway to determine how long COVID-19 can survive on various surfaces and possibly be transmitted through “fomites” (a fancy word for objects or materials that can carry infection, such as tabletops, keyboards, clothes and utensils).
The incubation period is thought to be 2-14 days, with a median incubation period of 4 days. Patients are thought to be most contagious when they are symptomatic.
What to do to Help Prevent the Coronavirus
Prevention is key in a circumstance like this. Overall, keeping yourself healthy and saving space for self care will give you a leg up in combating the spread of Coronavirus.
Wash Your Hands!
We know you’re hearing this over and over again, but it’s worth repeating. Wash with warm soap and water for at least 20 seconds (sing Happy Birthday, or the alphabet to make it more fun!) If soap and water are not available at the time, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
On average, we touch our faces 23 times per hour! Bacteria and pathogens can enter your body through your eyes, nose, and mouth. Avoid touching your face, and it’ll make it harder for them to spread!
Stay home when you’re sick
Unless you need urgent medical attention. If you think you may have COVID-19, contact your primary care physician.
Cover your cough
Cover your cough with a tissue or elbow. This prevents germs from spreading to surrounding surfaces or people.
Keep your distance
Try to stay at least 6 feet away from anyone who is obviously sick with fever and/or respiratory symptoms.
Irrigate your nose
While we do not know if nasal irrigation makes a difference for prevention of COVID-19, it is one of the most preventive things you can do for any viral respiratory illness. This is because after exposure to a virus, the influenza virus tries to invade and multiply in your nasal passages for at least 1-2 days before you develop any symptoms. Nasal irrigation can wash away viral particles before they have the opportunity to take hold, and thereby prevent many infections from happening in the first place. Use Xlear nasal spray at the end of every day and after any potential exposure (work, school, playgroups, plane travel, etc.) Xlear is a saline nasal spray with xylitol and grapefruit seed extract, both of which have antimicrobial properties. Other options for nasal irrigation are a regular saline spray and Neti pot.
Eat the Rainbow (and other nourishing foods)
Did you know 70-80% of your immune system is in your gut? Eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables full of antioxidants will destroy the free radicals that weaken the immune system and are responsible for making us feel sick. Each color provides different antioxidant power – so be sure to eat a rainbow every day. If you’re kids aren’t the biggest vegetable eaters, give them their antioxidant dose with a smoothie packed with fruits AND veggies, use that smoothie to make jello with grass-fed gelatin or popsicles, sneak pureed vegetables into your spaghetti sauce, soups, chilis, or whatever other way you can think of – be creative!
Furthermore, leafy, dark green vegetables (think spinach, kale and chard) have ample amounts of vitamin C and A, which can help boost your immune system. Vitamin D is also important for prevention, and can be found in fish such as salmon, eggs and mushrooms. Eating foods with antiviral properties can also help. This includes coconut oil, raw garlic, oregano, ginger, kimchi and other fermented foods, walnut, pomegranate, green tea, apple cider vinegar, and medicinal mushrooms (shiitake, maitake, reishi, cordyceps, turkeytail). Overall, eating a diet rich in nourishing foods will help protect your immune system from anything that comes your way.
Eat Fermented Foods
The probiotics contained in fermented foods have tremendous immune boosting powers. In fact, the fermented Korean cabbage, kimchi, was found to have significant effects in preventing and fighting the H1N1 influenza virus! Other examples of delicious fermented foods to try include sauerkraut, pickles (try “real” pickles without added vinegar like Bubbies), miso, kefir, and kombucha.
Get fresh air and moderate daily exercise
Moderate exercise can boost the production of macrophages, the kind of white blood cells that “eat” bacteria and viruses. However, intense exercise can actually temporarily decrease immune function – so don’t overdo it!
Get Adequate Sleep
Getting the recommended eight hours of sleep per night will help keep your body running in tip top shape. During sleep, your immune system releases cytokines, which help fight inflammation and infection. Sleep deprivation can starve your immune system of these important cytokines, which increases your chances for getting an infection or virus. An increase in sleep also actually increases the number of your white blood cells. On the other hand, loss of sleep even for a few hours at night, increases inflammation in our body which makes us more susceptible to catching the flu and having more severe symptoms.
Focus on Clean Air and Water
Having both clean air and water can help boost your immune system, as well. It’s been proven that air pollution modifies respiratory immune response, thus increasing risk of catching a virus. We recommend Austin Air Filters, as they’re the only clinically approved air filters in the U.S. Clean air will help reduce the spread of infection. Clean water is important, as it’s detoxifying for the body, and helps boost immune function. We recommend Berkey filters or reverse osmosis filtration for purifying water, as they are reported to take out 99.9999999% of pathogenic bacteria. As for how much water per day, we recommend drinking at least half your body weight in ounces for optimal hydration.
Especially with the amount of panic that’s going on surrounding the Coronavirus, stress only makes the situation worse. Emotional stress creates physiological stress in our bodies that lowers our immune defenses and makes us more vulnerable to illness. Stress has been shown to lower our white blood cells’ abilities to kill germs, and actually creates more inflammation that may make us feel even sicker. Practicing deep breathing, taking a hot Epsom salt bath with essential oils, reading a good book or practicing EFT Tapping when stress occurs are all ways to make sure your body is taken care of on an emotional and physical level.
Take Immune-Boosting Supplements
Taking your provider-recommended dosage of fish oil, probiotics, zinc, vitamin D, Iodine, can help with proper immune function on an everyday basis. In addition to those supplements, we’ve been recommending these immune-boosters. Please talk to your provider or one of our supplement specialists to get the right dosing for you before starting.
This may offer some protection against COVID-19, as it’s been useful in supporting the body’s ability to respond to viral exposures.
This is an herbal remedy that has been reported to reduce or stop viral replication. We recommend taking if you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19, the flu or a cold.
- Liposomal Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which assists our ability to ward off and deal with infection. Frequent doses if ill, offers the best response.
Immunotix’s active ingredient is beta-glucan from the yeast Saccharomyces Cerevisiae. Beta-glucan has been proven to support the immune system. Take Immunotix for prevention, or increase the dose for acute treatment.
- Oil of Oregano
Oregano oil has been proven to reduce statistically significant reductions in the transmission of the nonenveloped murine norovirus (MNV) within 15 minutes of exposure. Because of Oregano’s antiviral properties, it’s suggested taking in prevention and treatment of all viruses.
- Overall, we recommend taking at least one herb, one immune booster, Vitamin D and high dose liposomal Vitamin C for prevention. As mentioned above, talk to your provider or one of our supplement specialists to get the correct dosing for you.
What Newbridge is Doing for Prevention
As of now, Newbridge will remain open, but we’re closing to the public at 3:30 p.m. every day. We’re taking all the recommended precautions to diminish the spread of illness. This includes:
- Taking our own advice and staying healthy through nourishing foods, supplements, hand washing and everything we mentioned above.
- Suggesting that employees who feel sick stay home.
- Moving most functional medicine appointments to phone or Zoom Video Conferencing consultations (this doesn’t include neurotherapy/EEG, FSM, and others that require the patient be in person).
- Moving in-person functional medicine appointments to a secluded room outside of the clinic. A select few providers (Stephanie, Cathy Moore, Cathy Dolan and Bette Jo) will be practicing in person one day a week.
- Wiping down all surfaces and door knobs throughout the day.
- Moving all classes to Zoom Video Conferencing.
- Wearing gloves for LDI and vitals.
- Providing gloves and wipes in every treatment room.
- Deep cleaning every room patients have been in each night after we close.
- Providing necessary protective equipment to providers who are in contact with patients (including, but not limited to: masks, gloves, etc.)
- Moving all supplement and LDI purchases to drive-through pick-up: We will walk supplements out to patients’ cars.
Disclaimer: Newbridge is not recommending natural treatments as a replacement for standard medical care or vaccination, but until the time that effective medical treatments or vaccination for COVID-19 are developed and approved for use in kids and adults, We are offering all the tools we have that we know work for other viral respiratory illnesses, like the flu.