American specialist outlines some steps to curb virus - GulfToday

American specialist outlines some steps to curb virus

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Serious complications from coronavirus are most likely to develop in elderly people, and those who have weakened immune systems, or who are immunocompromised, says infectious disease specialist Alan Taege, M.D. from Cleveland Clinic in the U.S.

When people are immunocompromised, their body has a reduced ability to fight off and recover from infections. This could be because they have a certain chronic condition that affects the immune system, or because of certain medications they are taking. For example, some cancer treatments and medications used for autoimmune conditions weaken a person’s immune response, as do medicines that people take after having an organ transplant.

Unfortunately, there is not yet a vaccine that can prevent COVID-19, but there are many things you can do to minimize your risk such as social distancing, frequent hand washing and routinely disinfect surfaces in your home, such as doorknobs, faucet handles and cell phones.

It’s spread by droplets that come out the nose and mouth of someone who’s infected when they cough or sneeze, so you can get COVID-19 from being in close contact (within about 2 metres) with an infected person who has these symptoms. You might also be able to get it from touching a surface that’s been contaminated with infected droplets.

It is especially important for older adults and those with underlying medical conditions to avoid being exposed to the virus in the first place.

It is also important to maintain healthy habits, like eating well, getting enough sleep and managing your stress levels, in order to keep your immune system as strong as it can be.


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“People who are older than 65 are more prone to get attacked by the virus. Our immune system naturally becomes weaker as we age, which makes it harder for our bodies to fight off infections,” said Dr. Taege.

Consider the following for precautions:

• Ask your healthcare provider if it’s possible to get an advance supply of your medications, in case there is an outbreak in your community and you need to stay home for more than a few weeks. You can also ask your healthcare provider or pharmacy if ordering medications online and having them shipped to your home is an option.

• Have enough groceries and household supplies on-hand so that you could comfortably stay home for a few weeks if you had to. Many grocers offer online ordering and delivery, which could also help you avoid having to go out.

• Talk to your doctor to make sure you are up to date on your recommended vaccinations, such as the pneumonia and flu shots, which can help prevent those serious illnesses. These will not protect you against COVID-19, but they will protect you from other infections that could require you to seek medical care.

• Make a plan for who will take care of you if you do get sick.

• If you have a chronic condition and live alone, ask family members, friends or neighbours to check on you regularly during an outbreak. Ask them to call or contact you through email or social media.

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