The fact that the mysterious pneumonia has been widely spread in HK drives me to do a literature review on the suspected cause （i.e. coronavirus）of the SARS （Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome ）. As a biomedical researcher, let me show you my concern and make the following suggestions.
The basic mechanism of viral attack is that the viruses replicate themselves using the host's （in this case "our" ） DNA genetic replication system. By doing this, our body couldn't function well due to the massive viral replication. Supposedly, the immune cells in our body will fight off the infected viruses quickly. However, the viruses are so smart that they could be able to produce some chemical substances to cause our immune cells to die. Besides, this coronavirus is a new kind of virus which belongs to a mutated strain and our body cannot recognize it. No antibiotics have been proved to be 100% effective in treating viral infection so far. The only effective way to get rid of it is by ourselves. It is like a prolonged battle between the viruses and our immune response. In fact, viruses couldn't kill all the immune cells in a healthy individual. The stronger your immune function, the less viral injury you get. Therefore, the degree of sickness after infection and the rate of recovery mainly depend on how strong your immune function is.
You cannot avoid the infection unless you stay away from those infected individuals/area. But, you can try your best to boost up your immune function by several regimes. Make sure you are "extremely healthy" at least during this critical period. Stronger immune function could keep the viral damage to a minimal if you were so unluckily being infected. Also, stronger immune function delays the onset of any detrimental effects from the viral infection. Scientists are now working on tracking the treatment and so make sure you are still surviving until an effective treatment occurs. The following suggestions aim to strengthen your immune function within a short period of time.
1. Antioxidant nutraceuticals ： Antioxidants are chemicals found in foods which exert a great value in strengthening our immune system. Boost up your immune function by taking a cocktail of antioxidant supplements.
n Vitamin E 1000 IU per day. Alpha-tocopherol is the biological active form of vitamin E. There are two forms of it： d-tocopherol and dl-tocopherol. d- is the natural form and dl- is the synthetic form. Try to get the d- form because it is absorbed faster in our body.
n Vitamin C （ascorbic acid ） 1000 milligram （mg） daily. Instead of taking supplement, you can take 2 pieces of citrus fruits （e.g. orange ）a day to get the vitamin C.
n Beta-carotene, not more than 10000 IU daily
n Selenium, 200 microgram daily
n Zinc, not more than 500 milligram (mg) daily
n Lipoic acid, 50 mg daily
n Glutathione, 50 mg daily
No any adverse effects have been reported from the above suggested supplementation dose.
2. Let green tea to be your daily beverage because it contains tremendous amount of antioxidant flavonoid, catechins. Eat more tomatoes, broccoli or fruits and vegetables in red and dark green color. They carry a huge amount of antioxidant carotenoids，lycopene and carotene.
3. No intense physical activities during this critical period!
It has been shown that intense exercise will suppress your immune function (related to the upper respiratory infection) even several days following your workout. Instead of intense exercise, light-to-moderate workout helps if you have been training regularly.
4. Make sure you get enough carbohydrate foods (e.g. rice, food concentrated in starch, .......... etc.) because carbohydrate is the primary food for immune cells. Drink some Gatorade or Pocari if needed since they are both good sources of carbohydrate.
5. Make sure you get enough sleep and don't make yourself so stressful!
Anxiety, depression and tiredness will influence your body's stress hormones (e.g. catecholamine and glucocorticoids) and so suppress your immune status.
6. Mouth-mask helps despite it is not 100% effective. But it can still decrease the chance from infection.
All the above information is supported by peer-reviewed biomedical literatures, that means they are credible and reliable! God bless and I really hope that none of you will get infected and I will pray for all of you in every moment!
Parco M. Siu， MPhil， PhD Candidate
West Virginia University School of Medicine