Rorisang Kgosana
Premium Journalist
2 minute read
21 Mar 2020
7:59 am

How living a healthy lifestyle will save you from Covid-19

Rorisang Kgosana

While the country is hoarding hand sanitisers and immune boosters to try prevent Covid-19 infection, it is just as much a healthy lifestyle and exercise that will save many South Africans.

Picture: iStock

The country was standing at 202 confirmed Covid-19 cases on Friday, with the Free State being the latest province with seven confirmed cases.

Andrew McPherson, a Western Cape resident, was one of the first people to return to South Africa from London with the virus. McPherson had been sharing on his social media page his journey with the virus to try to bring awareness to South Africans.

“I was caught in the storm when this whole thing blew up. I was in London for a meeting and maybe stupidly still decided to do a quick ski trip. My stupidity resulted in me being one of the idiots who brought this back to South Africa. Luckily, I did take this seriously when I got back and self-isolated. I am 99% sure I have not infected anybody except for maybe the poor customs control people at the airport who had to take my passport.”

McPherson’s symptoms included a sore throat in the morning, dry cough and body aches.

“People I know have also had bad headaches and fever. Out of all the people I know, nobody seems to have run a temperature – which bizarrely is what the NICD [National Institute for Communicable Diseases] are testing for at the airport.

“So, from my personal perspective, you need to get the immune systems of your family as strong as possible … Once you have it, there is not much to do other than let your body fight it, which is why a strong immune system is so important,” McPherson advised.

The body would be able to fight off the Covid-19 virus due to the development of antibodies, which would eventually kick out the virus. Globally, about 80% of cases have been mild. Between 3% to 4% have been fatal cases.

Health Professions Council of South Africa president Dr Kgosi Letlape said one’s body would automatically try to fight off the virus.

“When we talk about a weak immune system, it is the inability to fight off infections – meaning the ability to produce antibodies is less than optimum, so you can’t fend off organisms that entrap you. If you have other chronic diseases, the resistance to infection is low,” he told The Citizen.

But immune boosters alone are not the answer. South Africans need to live a healthy lifestyle and exercise, Letlape added.

“If you have a chronic condition, make sure you are treating it and go to a healthcare professional to give you advice. Just live a healthy lifestyle, eat a balanced diet and exercise. You can’t be a sloth that doesn’t exercise and eat junk food and hope popping pills, vitamins and immune boosters will help you.”

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.