KNOWING how to protect yourself against coronavirus can be confusing thanks to fake stories and myths circulated online.
We’ve explained the best things you can do to reduce your risk of catching the virus.
Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
Taking supplements, doing breathing exercises and washing your hands are some of the best ways to avoid catching coronavirus[/caption]
Many weird and incorrect ways to stay safe have been shared across social media, but debunked by medical experts.
One woman claimed that “drinking her boyfriend’s semen daily” would help stave off infection while others claim hot drinks, mouthwash or eating garlic will all stop you catching coronavirus – all of which are untrue.
Here are some of the best ways, advised by doctors, to reduce your risk of getting it.
Wash your hands
The most obvious, and easiest, way to avoid catching coronavirus is to be washing your hands more than usual.
This includes after the toilet, before preparing food and as soon as you get home.
This is one of the most important techniques and currently advised by the WHO and the NHS to do.
This can stop the spread of coronavirus when washing hands for 20 seconds, making sure to pay attention to the back of the hands and the fingers.
Using soap and water is the best way to do this also antibacterial gel is a suitable alternative.
While multi-vitamins and supplements are not cures for coronavirus, they can help improve the immune system which can also help your body defend against the virus.
Vitamin D should be taken, especially during the winter months, due to the lack of sunlight and is something Brits are often low in.
It’s believed that vitamin D helps stimulate the production of peptide – substances in the body that are able to fight off bacteria, fungi and viruses.
There are also conflicting opinions on the benefits of vitamin C, following a study in China and in New York which saw improvements in coronavirus patients when it was administered intravenously and in high doses.
However, taking the recommended dose of vitamin C won’t hurt and can also improve the immune system.
What doesn't stop coronavirus?
A number of myths about what can prevent coronavirus have been debunked by experts and scientists, including:
- Gargling mouthwash
- Eating garlic
- Drinking hot drinks
- Using UV lamps
- Cooking with sesame oil
- Drinking water every 15 minutes
- Hand dryers
- Spraying alcohol
- Taking antibiotics
Exercise three times a week
Another way to improve the immune system is to exercise.
Frankie Brogan, Senior Nutritionist at Pharma Nord UK, said: “As exercise can help support good circulation, this allows our immune cells to travel through the body more effectively.”
He added that immune cells can be “stimulated” by even mild exercise.
Overdoing it can have the adverse effect however – too much high-intensity exercise causes the body to release stress chemicals, like cortisol.
These chemicals can weaken the immune system, just like psychological stress.
Experts recommend doing mild to moderate exercise for 20 to 45 minutes, three times a week to stay healthy.
Reducing your stress levels will also help the body fight off any infections.
Stress can suppress the immune system and make you more vulnerable to infection, according to experts, by affecting your body’s ability to create white blood cells.
Meditation is a popular method of reducing stress, with apps such as Calm offering ways to fit it into your day.
If mediation isn’t your think, just taking a few moments to yourself can help – Dr Jenna Macciochi, one of the UK’s leading Immunologists, advised: “It’s important to try and reduce as much as you can through breathing techniques or just taking a moment to have a good cuppa.”
Do breathing exercises
Using new breathing techniques isn’t just a stress reliever, but could improve your lung health.
Coronavirus can reduce the capacity of your lungs, as well as cause inflammation.
A video shared by Dr Sarfaraz Munshi, who works at Queen’s Hospital in Romford, east London, explained that while the technique was used by patients in intensive care, it can also be used by people at home.
The method works by taking five deep breaths and holding it for five seconds, before taking one final deep breath in and ending with a big cough, covering your mouth.
Doing this entire technique twice, before lying on your front for 10 minutes is thought to help reduce symptoms.
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Most read in health news
The lungs are affected by coronavirus – and smoking could make you much more susceptible to catching the virus.
Giving up cigarettes can reduce the impact and damage caused to your lungs.
Professor Robert Dingwall, a public health expert at Nottingham Trent University, told The Sun Online: “There is certainly a respectable body of medical opinion that thinks serious outcomes are more likely among heavy smokers.
“Basically any previous lung damage increases that risk.”
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