As pharmacists, one of the most commonly asked questions we get asked is:
“What can I do to protect myself from coronavirus?”
Being a relatively new virus, there is currently no vaccine or specific treatment for COVID-19 coronavirus, but we can all take preventative measures to reduce the chances of contracting the virus.
Find out what you can do to protect yourself and your family and reduce the spread of Coronavirus.
What preventative measures can I take to protect myself from COVID-19?
The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to avoid exposure. Combining physical distancing with good personal hygiene significantly reduces the potential for transmission, and will help reduce the spread of the virus.
Avoid close contact with people – keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters from other people, and avoid crowded places.
Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
See How to Wash hands (Department of Health).
If soap and water is not available, you can also use an alcohol based hand sanitiser (note that alcohol content needs to be 60% or more to be effective).
Furthermore, it is best not to touch your face, eyes, nose and mouth with your hands, and avoid shaking hands with others.
If and when you cough or sneeze, be sure to cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or use the inside of your elbow – avoid using your hands.
Clean and disinfect surfaces
Any surface that is frequently touched including your mobile phone, doorknobs, light switches, keys etc. should be cleaned daily. Studies have shown that coronaviruses may persist on surfaces for up to a few hours or in some cases even several days.
Should I wear a face mask?
According to the Department of Health, wearing a face mask is not recommended for the general population unless you are experiencing symptoms or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 (Find out more about face masks Department of Health).
People who have symptoms and might be infected with COVID-19 are required to stay in isolation at home. If leaving the house, to seek medical attention, people with symptoms should wear a surgical face mask to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 to others.
Are there any supplements that can help prevent COVID-19?
To put it bluntly, there is no supplement that will help prevent coronavirus. We do however suggest doing what you can to maintain a healthy immune system.
Maintaining healthy habits such as a balanced diet, regular exercise, adequate hydration (drink 2 litres of water per day), and getting plenty of sleep are recommended and contribute to your general well being. Sleep deprived people have reduced immunity meaning they face higher chances of getting sick.
Below are some popular immune boosting supplements available in your local pharmacy, however please note that there is no scientific evidence that supports the use of any supplement to protect against COVID-19 specifically.
- Sambucol Cold & Flu Liquid: black elderberry (sambucus nigra)
- ArmaForce BioCeuticals: andrographis, echinacea, olive leaf, vitamin C, zinc
- Immuzorb Immune Defence: andrographis, siberian ginseng, echinacea, turmeric, zinc
Be sure to speak to your local pharmacist before taking any new supplements as they may interfere with your current medications.