Bad News About Infectious Viruses
The winter cold and flu seasons are starting to die down.
But that doesn’t mean that it’s time to let your guard down. Different viruses thrive in warmer weather, and they may be better at making you sick than you thought.
It turns out these nasty little bugs have a secret weapon when it comes to spreading themselves to new hosts. One that is far more effective than scientists realized.
The number one defense against viruses is good hand-washing. But in light of this recent research, that may not be enough…
Researchers from MIT captured a sneeze in slow motion and high contrast. What they found was alarming. The droplets from a sneeze or cough travel are able to travel much farther than scientists thought- up to 200 times farther than previously predicted.
The vapor cloud from a cough or sneeze also had an unexpected upward velocity, which could easily carry germs into building ventilation systems.
Extra Precautions at
Work and In Public Places
This research shows that you are more likely to contract a viral infection at work than you might have thought. The ventilation system in your office building could capture germs from another part of the building and release them into the air in your office.
If you breathe them in, the battle to defend your body is on. Before you know it, your nose is stuffed up, your throat is sore, and you’re exhausted and miserable.
The good news is that catching a summer cold is not a life or death situation.
But the bad news is there’s a new viral threat that could be.
Superbugs Around the Globe
In the past decade three new and deadly viruses have appeared around the world.
Originating in China, both the avian flu and SARS have taken a high toll. SARS has a morality rate close to 10%. Avian flu kills up to 60% of those it infects.
More recently a new respiratory virus, called MERS, has appeared in the Middle East. This virus is killing around 30% of its victims. While MERS is less deadly than the avian flu, it may prove to be the greater worry. Because both SARS and the avian flu are difficult to transmit between people.
But MERS is proving to be highly infectious. And it has a long enough incubation period— up to 14 days— that it can easily travel out of the Middle East undetected. In fact, that’s exactly what happened last week. A health care worker traveled from Saudi Arabia to the U.S. by way of London. After reaching the United States, the worker became ill.
Laboratory testing has now confirmed the first case of MERS in the United States.
MERS may become the global pandemic we’ve warned about.
In the face of these deadly viruses—and in light of the new research showing how far viruses can travel through coughing and sneezing—now more than ever, it’s critical that you learn to safeguard your health against viral infections.
A Disease-Free Lifestyle
I’ve written to you before on the best ways to protect yourself against getting sick with any virus… including dangerous viruses like the new MERS infection.
Today, I want to share some updated strategies with you that can supercharge your immune system, and make most illnesses a thing of the past.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic bullet that will give you a healthy immune system on demand. A healthy immune system is really a lifestyle choice.
Three Proven Tips for a
Healthier Immune System
The first step is to feed your immune system properly. Like any other system in your body, your immune system needs proper nutrients to function at its best. Support your immune system by eating more vibrantly colored vegetables and foods high in fiber.
Your immune system will also benefit from plenty of lean, high quality protein. If you’re looking for specific immune-boosting foods try eating more mushrooms and garlic.
The second step is to improve your quality of sleep. When your body sleeps it goes into repair mode… and repair mode includes cleaning away the types of pathogens that make you sick. Sticking to a schedule that allows you to get enough rest is an important step in improving your immune system.
Another important factor is how you deal with stress. Busy lives—which so many of us have—can mean stressful lives. And stress depletes your body’s defenses. You may not be able to cut out stress, but you can find ways to undo it. Long walks. Healthy social relationships. A good book. A hobby you enjoy. There are lots of ways to counter stress—you just have to make time to actually do them.
If you’re still looking for a magic bullet of sorts, I suggest drinking more tea. A Harvard study found that people who drink 5 cups of black tea a day had much stronger immune systems—up to ten times stronger—than those who didn’t. This immune boost happened in the course of just two weeks, too.
We’re living in a dangerous world. It’s time to take steps to protect yourself. Start taking good care of your immune system so that when the time comes, it can take good care of you.
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