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What You Need To Know About The Coronavirus And How To Protect Yourself From It

ANC had an interview Interview with Dr. Susan Mercado on Headstart with Karen Davila, explaining how this respiratory infection is spread and how you can boost your immunity.

Fear surrounding the much-talked-about Coronavirus has reached an all-time-high. Once upon a time, wearing a surgical or N95 mask out in public was not a common occurrence in Manila, but as of today, it is highly likely that any public place guarantees you see someone sporting such.


Just weeks after the Taal Volcano ash fall events, another respiratory health concern has arisen—this time in the form of the 'Coronavirus', a new virus strain that originated in the city of Wuhan, China. To date, the number of confirmed cases worldwide has reached about 4,000, with fatalities of over 100—with countries like Hong Kong, Malaysia, Australia, Taiwan, South Korea, France, and the United States among affected ones. Surely, this is a tough time for mankind. And yes, there is reason to be concerned.



This morning, ANC's 'Headstart' hosted by Karen Davila spoke with Dr. Susan Mercado, Special Envoy of the President for Global Health Initiatives, and discussed how the respiratory infection is spread, as well as practical, doable ways to boost your immunity to stay healthy amidst the virus scare. Truly all we can do at this time is to keep ourselves informed, updated, and wary of any warning signs.





Lastly, it is our responsibility to keep our individual bodies healthy so as not to be susceptible to any sort of disease. Read on for Dr. Susan Mercado's tips.


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Is it important to protect our respiratory system?

"Pneumonia is a general term to describe the inflammation of the lungs and of the lower part of the lungs. It’s a lower respiratory tract infection, and therefore a lower part of your system, and a little more difficult to access. It’s a general term.


In this case, they are dying from viral pneumonia, not from another kind of pneumonia, but from a pneumonia created by the Coronavirus. The complication is that it invades the lower part of the lungs and makes it difficult to breathe. But it’s the same virus. But if you have the bacterial pneumonia it won’t necessarily die, so in China, the first 40+ patients were also being given anti-flu. Because they didn’t know if this was just an ordinary influenza, or it was something else. So we also have to give them credit that they were able to pin down a new virus in the midst of millions of viruses.


Since the complication is pneumonia, what can I do just to fight off any complication with pneumonia."



During the interview, she lists the following ways to staying healthy and avoiding complications from respiratory disease:


"Usually, what we would say is, 

  1. Have a balanced diet. 
  2. Sleep the right number of hours.
  3. Get good physical exercise.
  4. Stay healthy.
  5. Eat fruits and vegetables.
  6. Drink a lot of water.

We can't go more than that, because—if I go back to transmission [of the virus], it's about close contact with a sick person.


WHO (the World Health Organization) is still debating whether it's time to declare if it's an international health emergency. For now they have not done it yet."




Would it be time to declare an emergency?

At the time, it was a week ago, the WHO wasn’t ready to declare it. Now the numbers have spiralled. At that time there were 200 cases in China, now not even a week later, 2000 cases in 13 countries, and some of the countries we’re seeing more cases. (Ed's note: as of press time, the cases reported worldwide has escalated to over 4,000, with 106 fatalities).


To see the full interview, watch this:



Lead photo via @cnn