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Health

Your Immune System and COVID-19, What You Need to Know

The immune system is the body’s first defence against germs, including bacteria and viruses. It is one of the more complex body systems. 

Antibodies develop when the body is exposed to a particular illness, whether through infection or vaccination. Antibodies can even be passed from mother to baby in breast milk. When a germ enters the body, the immune system attacks and remembers so when re-exposed to the same germ, it has the antibodies already in place to fight it. 

Antibodies and COVID-19.

There’s been a lot of talk in the press about antibody tests for COVID-19 to prove someone’s immunity. However, COVID-19 is too new of a disease for anyone to know if this immunity will last forever. 

Immunity for seasonal norovirus lasts fourteen weeks. Chicken pox usually provides life-long immunity, but some people can experience recurrent infections. Some people may develop life-long immunity to COVID-19 and others may not, or immunity may last a number of weeks, months or years before it is lost. Even if a vaccine is developed, it may only be effective for a set amount of time. Ten years after receiving a vaccine for whooping cough, a person may become infected with it. 

Coronaviruses. 

Coronaviruses are cold viruses. COVID-19, like its siblings SARS and MERS, can be deadly. The point of lockdown was to ease pressure on the health service for the people who developed more severe symptoms and complications. The peak of the outbreak came during flu season, hospitals were already coping with that. 

Out of Lockdown.

As the world eases out of lockdown, it makes sense to stock the medicine cabinet with cough, cold and flu treatments. There’s even medicine that can prevent coughs, colds and flus. Most people will experience a mild case of COVID-19 that can be treated at home with over-the-counter medicines in the same way any other cold is treated. If you have cold or flu symptoms, remember to isolate. COVID-19 is still out there and complications can arise from any cold or flu. Seek medical help by phoning the doctor and not physically going in unless instructed. 

Boost Your Immune System.

A strong immune system can mean a less severe case of COVID-19. 

In addition to medicine that can stop a cold at the early symptoms take lifestyle precautions now by cutting down on stress, having the correct amount of sleep, eating a healthy diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water while avoiding tobacco, recreational drugs and alcohol.  

Maintain Your Distance. 

As with other colds and flus, COVID-19 can be prevented by staying two metres away from others and maintaining good hygiene habits. Wash your hands for at least twenty seconds with soap and warm water. Use an antibacterial gel if this isn’t an option. Wear a mask when going into an enclosed space, such as a supermarket or shop. 

Together, we can ease a second wave of COVID-19 and get on with summer. 

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