Jan 11, 2022 News
Kaieteur News – Since “our immune system protects us by being both offensive and defensive against any invading pathogen including the coronavirus,” Emergency Medicine Specialist, Dr. Zulfikar Bux, is advocating for persons to ensure, as far as possible, that their immune system is in “tip top shape and ready to battle.”
Dr. Bux’s viewpoint was forthcoming in his most recent column, on Sunday, in which he noted that a strong immune system can help an individual to overcome the very contagious COVID-19 variant, Omicron, before it can multiply and wreak havoc.
To achieve a robust immune system, Dr. Bux, who heads the fast-pace Emergency Room at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, recommended some tactical measures that “have been proven by science to be beneficial to our body against COVID-19.”
He listed eating healthy, getting sufficient rest, minimising stress levels, optimal exercise and daily intake of Vitamins C, D and Zinc. These measures, however, should not take away from adherence to other safeguards including vaccination and subsequent booster shots.
Stressing the importance of booster shots, he said, “Evidence has emerged which shows persons who have taken their booster being 40 times less likely to have symptoms if they get exposed to Omicron.”
The booster vaccine, he went on to explain, is a way to prime the immune system so that it has antibodies that are efficient in detecting the virus and eradicating it before it can spread and cause more severe disease. Those who were recently vaccinated with two doses, according to Dr. Bux, will get similar effects in about three months following their second dose.
However, the protection from Omicron, he related, drops below 50 percent for those who had a two-dose vaccine, with their last dose being more than six months ago. But, according to the doctor, they will still have sufficient protection that will decrease the likelihood of getting a severe infection from Omicron.
As such, he said, “the unvaccinated are the persons who are at higher risk of getting severely infected or dying from Omicron.” Omicron, he noted, is airborne and remains in the air longer than any previous variant of the coronavirus and is said to be the most infectious form thus far. But there is no need to panic, as Dr. Bux is convinced that “we can decrease our chance of being exposed to it by interacting in the environments where science has shown that the coronavirus will dissipate quickly and not linger around for us to come in contact with it.”
He was at the time alluding to spaces with good draft/airflow that will quickly dissipate the virus, open spaces that will ensure the virus cannot concentrate in large amounts, spaces where there is the smallest amount of persons being together and being in a closed space with others for the shortest duration possible.
Another crucial safeguard that has long been endorsed by Dr. Bux is the wearing of masks. “I think we all know by now how important masks are against the spread of the coronavirus…given the large concentrations of Omicron circulating, masks are even more important than previously to ensure you are either not exposed or you are exposed to the least possible dose of Omicron,” said the Emergency Medicine Specialist. But, according to him, cloth masks alone may not offer sufficient enough protection against Omicron. He suggested, moreover, that a cloth mask be used along with a surgical mask. “Surgical masks do offer some protection but the protection levels are higher when everyone around you also has one on. N95 masks remain the gold standard for protection but they are difficult to have on all day especially if you are not trained to use them,” Dr. Bux added.
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