Dealing with coronavirus


It is hard to not know about the Coronavirus, COVID-19. Television, newspapers, and social media have covered this virus very thoroughly.

People over 60 years old and those dealing with heart disease, lung disease, cancer, high blood pressure, or diabetes are the most susceptible. And there are millions of high-risk people dealing with autoimmune diseases that are controlled without symptoms by medications and therapies.

There are approximately 80 different autoimmune diseases, one of the most prevalent is diabetes. People with an autoimmune disease may be more at risk of serious illness if they catch the coronavirus but they do not necessarily have a greater risk of catching coronavirus.

An autoimmune disease weakens the ability to fight disease. Therefore, health professionals recommend an annual flu shot. Type 1 diabetes is a definite autoimmune disease, whereas, Type 2 is often considered an autoimmune. Nonetheless, elevated blood glucose levels decrease a person’s immune system.

This virus takes approximately 14 days to develop after exposure. In the case of a coronavirus positive result a Hemoglobin A1c level over 7.0 or consistent daily morning blood glucose levels over 130 increase the severity of symptoms.

Since it is early springtime, many people develop sinus drip and a cough from seasonal allergies. Any kind of cough, not just a dry one, is a possible symptom of coronavirus. Cover the mouth after all coughs and wash hands immediately. Use disposable tissues, not cloth handkerchiefs during this pollen season. Dispose of tissues after each use. Do not pocket them.

Since coronavirus is a new virus, we are still learning how it affects people and pets. During pregnancy, the body naturally weakens the immune system. Pregnant women should take extra care to prevent infection.

Another symptom of coronavirus is fever. This can increase the risk of complications to a baby during the first trimester of pregnancy. Contact the doctor if a fever is present. Breastfeeding is encouraged if a new mom has coronavirus.

Coronavirus is an acute respiratory disease that alters normal breathing. Smoking affects the immune system in the airways and lung tissue. Smokers have an increased risk of getting a respiratory infection.

Smokers have a greater risk of the infection lasting longer and being more serious. Second-hand smoke has similar consequences. Children who are exposed to someone else’s smoke are at an increased risk of serious respiratory infections.

Stopping or severely limiting smoking reduces the risk of respiratory illnesses, especially among children exposed to second-hand smoke. Remember, a random cough from a smoker or an allergy that is pollen-related could indicate the coronavirus.

Severe and uninformed dieting can weaken the immune system also. The body requires enough nutrients to fight disease. Citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, garlic, ginger, spinach, yogurt, almonds, turmeric, green tea, papaya, kiwi, poultry, sunflower seeds, and shellfish are the notable foods to boost immunity. Consuming at least two to three of these daily can keep a body healthy.


Bobbie Randall

Contributing columnist

Bobbie Randall is a registered, licensed dietitian, certified diabetes educator in Wooster, Ohio. Contact her at [email protected].

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