Fear of the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection is intensifying as the first deaths have also been confirmed in the US as of March 1st.
This newly discovered type of coronavirus causes respiratory illness, including pneumonia. Symptoms can be as mild as those of the common cold, including runny nose, fever, sore throat, cough and breathing difficulties which are easy to be mistaken for the flu or cold, and therefore some people won't get diagnosed correctly right away.
The biggest mistake you *might* be making about this is thinking that you may have a simple cold or flu and try to treat it at home, on your own as you may have done in the past. Please don’t make that mistake now!! Instead, if you get even mild symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever, don't think you just got the flu or a cold, instead go see a doctor immediately to confirm that you have not been infected with Coronavirus- it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The illness caused by this new novel coronavirus originated in Wuhan, China, late last year and derived from the family of viruses known as SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. At the moment of this writing, Coronavirus has sickened almost 90,000 people and also killed nearly 3000 across 60 countries including the US which just confirmed its first deaths as of March 1st. (1)
Who is at risk?
Because this particular virus is new, it’s not clear who should worry the most about catching it but it’s safe to say that since it’s a respiratory infection those individuals with a weaker immune system are at higher risk, although NOBODY is excluded from contracting this highly contagious virus.
How do you know if you have a weaker immune system? Smaller children, older adults and those who are already dealing with an auto-immune disease have a weaker immune system, as well as those individuals who get sick often with colds, flu, or sinus infections or with the change of seasons every year.
Therefore it's important to emphasize that you SHOULD BE proactive and take measures against it to the best of your abilities, no matter your age or your overall health.
In general, coronaviruses are transmitted through coughs and sneezes by infected patients and by touching contaminated objects.
And if you’re traveling, which is best to avoid it AT ALL COSTS right now if you can, preventive measures that travelers can take include sanitizing their airplane seat and the surrounding area with disinfecting wipes. Carry and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer and wash your hands frequently.
You get sick when viruses on those surfaces are introduced to your nose and mouth, so limit that risk by being really conscientious about hand-washing. (1)
Do face masks protect against coronavirus?
Wearing a face mask is no guarantee against the transmission of the virus. You might think it’s a good idea, given that the virus can be transmitted through coughs and sneezes and many photos from China show people wearing protective masks in public places as well when traveling on an airplane.
The use of surgical masks is helpful for people who already have respiratory symptoms, not to infect others, according to CDC, which means they’re not very effective at protecting those who are healthy from those who have already contracted the virus. The best idea is for those who have respiratory symptoms to wear masks so that they are not sneezing and coughing out in the open, thus protecting healthy people from getting infected. (1)
What are some simple ways to protect yourself right now?
There is no vaccine or cure for this new type of virus, according to CDC, but there some general things you can do to protect yourself. First, to keep yourself and your family as healthy as possible, eat a healthy diet, exercise, get a lot of sleep, reduce stress, avoid traveling if you can and any unnecessary large gatherings with people in close quarters, and VERY IMPORTANT wash your hands a few times a day and especially as soon as you get home, plus do everything else you can think of to stay healthy right now.
And speaking of washing hands you may want to check this effective DIY Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer that is easy to make, is cost-effective and hydrating for your skin that you can make in just 2 minutes!
To keep your surroundings clean and free of bacteria you may want to blend some essential oils with carrier oils and rubbing alcohol to create your own antiviral and antibacterial spray. Try this Everyday Antibacterial Spray recipe made with Cinnamon, Clove, and Tea Tree oils which together make a very aromatic and highly potent antimicrobial spray for your house or work space that actually works, unlike the commercial sanitizers which, according to CDC, are not as effective because they don't remove all the bacteria just as their manufacturers claim as some of them are actually resistant to bacteria. (2)
By doing all of these you will help your immune system to stay STRONG so it could fight the external factors in the environment that nobody can control, such as the Coronavirus among others.
As the Coronavirus disease manifests itself as a respiratory infection which attacks directly the immune system, in addition to doing all the things mentioned above, a great way to protect yourself from getting sick is to DIFFUSE essential oils which are very powerful and effective allies to boost your immune system, plus they are natural and don’t have negative side effects.
To strengthen your immune system and as a preventive measure against air-born bacteria and viruses DIFFUSE essential oils at home and at your workplace if that's possible STARTING NOW for at least 1-2 hours every day.
Diffusing these essential oils is one of the best way to fight back against ubiquitous seasonal germs. Did you know that the flu virus as other viruses from the same family are so tiny - they’re one of the few microbes that can actually float? Most bacteria are too big to stay suspended before falling to the ground and surfaces. All types of flu are caused by viruses, which are much smaller and more aerodynamic than bacteria, allowing these microbes to hang out in the air. (3)
Therefore diffusing essential oils is a wonderful way to address this current virus. Nebulizing essential oils is known to be the most effective way of diffusing, especially when addressing these tiny viruses that live in the air. Nebulizers emit nanoparticles of oil that can also stay suspended in the air, unlike the typical diffusers which cannot accomplish this important task. Find out WHY this is very important!
Ok, you may wonder-which essential oils should I diffuse?
Some of the best essential oils that support and strengthen the immune system are Tea tree, Bay, Eucalyptus, Oregano, Patchouli, and Cinnamon just to name a few which are safe for adults and children over the age of 6.
If you have children at home under the age of 6, you'll be safe to diffuse TEA TREE OIL for the entire family.
Essential oils have been shown to specifically inhibit the avian flu viruses, such as the influenza A virus which has been inhibited by Patchouli Essential oil. (3)
Tea Tree oil is one of the most powerful allies for a healthy immune system due to its Antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, so it’s great to diffuse it for any respiratory infections you may have or to prevent them altogether. (3)
If you are already experiencing sinus or nasal stuffiness, adding an equal quantity of antimicrobial essential oils such as Eucalyptus, Bay Laurel and Tea Tree oils mixed well together in a bottle can help you breathe easier and open up nasal passages. For best effects, set your nebulizing diffuser near your bed with this blend and use it at night. (3)
Studies have found that Eucalyptus oil is even effective in treating more serious respiratory complaints. Inhaling the oil through diffusion with a nebulizer can help bring faster relief and help improve breathing. Eucalyptus oil can be diffused to clear upper respiratory congestion due to cold and flu, and to provide relief in the case of sinusitis, allergies. It could also provide some relief as an expectorant agent. (3)
Oregano oil is considered to be the MOST effective natural antibiotic that exists today. A study shows how successful Oregano oil is at fighting off Staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that is known to cause upper respiratory infections. (4) The anti-inflammatory effect can also help to soothe an irritated throat and ease coughing by using it with a diffuser, or better yet with a Nebulizing diffuser, which is the most efficient way to treat any respiratory conditions.
Our general recommendation is to always use Certified Organic oils to avoid inhaling pesticides and artificial fertilizers used on non-organic crops.
All these strategies will also greatly boost your immunity to Covid-19, and decrease your chance of serious illness or death if you do catch it. And again as a reminder- if you experience cold or flu symptoms right now, don’t think you can treat it at home like you did in the past, and instead please consult a doctor as soon as possible to get taken care of properly to avoid the risk of getting sick with something more serious such as the Coronavirus infection that has claimed already so many lives across the globe in the past few months.
Be safe and stay healthy!
1. Coronavirus Disease 2019- https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
2. Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives- https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html
3. Swamy, Mallappa Kumara, Mohd Sayeed Akhtar, and Uma Rani Sinniah. “Antimicrobial Properties of Plant Essential Oils against Human Pathogens and Their Mode of Action: An Updated Review.” Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM 2016 (2016): 3012462. PMC. Web. 4 Nov. 2017.
4. Staphylococcus aureus-http://jmm.microbiologyresearch.org/content/journal/jmm/10.1099/jmm.0.46804-0;jsessionid=mmdHQ-W6FEXaSXBtNLUlNtO6.x-sgm-live-02
NOTE * Image of Coronavirus under a microscope. Photo credit: NIAID-RML