The 2019 novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has taken the world by surprise with its highly infectious nature and mortality rate.
What’s most concerning is that while we know that COVID-19 is part of a large family of viruses that include Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV), there are many traits of this virus that we have yet to uncover, such as the dynamics of transmission. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it could take up to 18 months for the first COVID-19 vaccines to be made publicly available.
Only an approved drug can treat or cure, or prevent the transmission of, COVID-19 and other diseases. In the absence of any vaccine to date, we are left with practical prevention measures, such as maintaining proper hygiene, wearing a mask when necessary, or maintaining social distancing. It may also be useful to keep our bodies strong, so that our immune systems function well.
After all, our immune system is one of the most effective forms of defense against viral infections. There are two categories of immune functions in everyone’s body – the innate immunity which prevents diseases from entering the body and adaptive immunity which eliminates or prevent the growth of pathogens, such as viruses and bacteria, in our body.
However, increasing the body’s immunity is not as straightforward as it sounds. There remains much about the immune system that researchers are still working to understand, but what we do know is the tangible connection between the immune system and nutrition.