When it comes to coronavirus prevention, the misinformation is astounding. Just the other week, the news website The Conversation US—which publishes news stories written by academics and researchers from various disciplines—ran a story titled, “Coronavirus: it’s time to debunk claims that vitamin C could cure it”.
This story raises an obvious question: if vitamin C won’t prevent or cure coronavirus and COVID-19, are there any other vitamins that will help me boost my immune system?
Let’s take a closer look at an answer to this question.
Should I Take More Vitamins?
Our bodies need vitamins. When we aren’t getting enough of a certain nutrient, certain functions of the body begin not to function at 100% capacity—and this includes the immune system. But does that mean that increasing your intake of vitamins that support the immune system will help you fend off COVID-19? Well, not exactly.
According to this article from the New York Times, there is some promising research about the strengthening effects that vitamin D has on immunity. However, it is not definitive. If you are taking vitamin D or any other vitamin supplement currently, you should continue to take it, but there are other more effective things you can do for coronavirus prevention.
What Should I Do Instead?
Perhaps the most important precautionary advice you should be aware of comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). You can read their advice for protecting yourself against the virus here and here.
Allow me to outline some of the most important information below:
- Wash your hands – Washing your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds will remove the virus. If you don’t have access to soap, use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid contact – The less time you spend with other people, the lower your chance of getting the virus. If you have to go out, make sure you avoid anyone who is coughing or sneezing and maintain a distance of six feet between yourself and others.
- Cover coughs and sneezes – You should also assume that you have the virus, even if you don’t have symptoms. You can protect others by covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. If you don’t have a tissue, use your elbow.
- Avoid touching your face – The virus enters your body through your mouth, nose, and eyes. Even with frequent handwashing, you can still contract the virus. Your hands touch many things throughout the day. If you then touch your face, you could be transferring the virus to your respiratory system.
With these precautions and the others posted on the CDC and WHO websites, you should be able to protect yourself and your family from infection. If you experience any of the symptoms of COVID-19, contact your doctor.
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