By Dr. Hirenappa Udnur, Consultant Pulmonologist, Columbia Asia Hospital Hebbal
The pandemic, covid-19 did change our lives and our lifestyles in many ways. People who are healthy are also thinking twice before stepping out from their homes. This is the kind of fear that covid-19 has implanted in our lives. The new disease that has hit us, is proving to be a disease that is not only spreading faster but is spreading to those whose immune system is weak. And especially people who have weak respiratory system are more prone to covid-19.
It is a known information that Covid-19 shares about 82% of its characteristics with SARS, that caused an international epidemic few years ago. SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) are among those few infections that weakens the immune system of the person when they get effected with it. Coronaviruses are enveloped RNA viruses that cause respiratory illnesses of varying severity from the common cold to fatal pneumonia. This also includes chronic infections likes asthma, bronchitis, upper respiratory infections, tuberculosis, lung cancer and types of pulmonary-infections, dust sensitivity, allergic phenomena. Smoking and being exposed to pollutants and chemicals are other causes that can weaken one’s respiratory system.
India has a disproportionately high burden of chronic respiratory diseases. However, there are a wide number of measures that a person with existing respiratory conditions, people with compromised immunity and people who are at a higher risk of infection can take in order to fight the pandemic, such as
• Avoid getting into situations that can trigger your infections. In case of Asthmatic patients, don’t get into panic times.
• Maintain proper physical distance from every person if out of the house, as can play a very important for weak lung people.
• Practice frequent hand washing
• If you have chronic lung disorders, stick to your house
• Disinfect the regularly used objects like knobs, laptops, remotes, staircase railings, others
• Always wear a mask, this not only saves you from covid but from other infections too.
• Stay in a well ventilated places. Avoid air-conditioned / closed rooms.
• Keep yourself away from things that can cause irritation or allergic reactions.
• Maintain proper diet. Avoid taking foods that can cause common cold, fever and cough. As these can bring down your immunity system.
• Always have refills of your medications. This will help you in times of emergency.
• Avoid too cold places. People with tonsils, asthma, cold places can make you sick.
• Exercise regularly. Breathing exercises can be quite helpful in building the immunity.
• Keep yourself as tidy as possible, take regular showers.
• Always use fresh pair of clothes, don’t use clothes that are exposed to outer environment for longer durations.
Remember, Covid-19 and the medication to fight against it is still under research. Also, this life-threatening disease is a respiratory infection. That means, people with a weak pair of lungs need to be extra cautious than the usual. Since, we know what covid-19, the pandemic can do, the best measure that one can take is to follow all the safety precautions and to stay safe and healthy!