Schools and other crowded places can offer the perfect opportunity for viruses to spread rapidly through groups of people. If you’re worried about the recent coronavirus outbreak, keep in mind that this new strain spreads similar to any other virus. Therefore, the same tips you use at any other time, to prevent contracting the cold or flu, will also work against coronavirus.
That’s why the number one way to avoid coronavirus is the same tip you’ve seen time and again: Wash your hands at least three or four times per day! Viruses are spread via contact with infected surfaces, so washing your hands frequently can help you avoid transferring the germs to your face, nose, and eyes where it will then infect you.
In addition, you can take the following steps to boost your immune system.
Avoid touching your face. In between hand washing, avoid touching your face. That’s how germs get into your body and begin an infection. This is especially important during the school day, and any other time you’re in a crowded location.
Get enough sleep. Inadequate sleep can stress your body and leave you more vulnerable to infection. Make sure you continue to get eight hours of sleep each night.
Eat a healthy diet. A well nourished body fights disease more readily than one that is depleted of energy and nutrients. Eat five or more servings of fresh fruits and vegetables each day, include enough protein to meet your body’s needs, and above all, avoid sugar. Sugar creates an inflammatory effect in the body and distracts your immune system from more important tasks (like fighting disease).
Exercise. Exercise reduces stress, which can damage your immune system. In fact, you should take other measures to reduce stress as needed.
Get plenty of sunlight. Get outside so that your body can generate plenty of vitamin D. Reduced sunlight and vitamin D is one of the reasons we tend to get sick more often in winter.
Remember that coronaviruses are nothing new. This class of viruses is one of the usual culprits behind the common cold, although the new Wuhan strain does seem to be a bit more virulent than usual. Most patients are recovering just fine, with pneumonia being the primary concern. If you start to experience symptoms of a cold, seek appropriate medical attention and support so that you can hopefully prevent more serious complications.