Coronavirus: The Top Ways to Protect Yourself and Your Family

Learning about a newly emerging virus that is deemed dangerous by the government is always scary. If you’re not going to lock yourself in a box, then it’s great to have some information in your pocket about what the symptoms look like, and how you can best protect yourself and your family. 

Today we’ll review the most current information from the CDC (Centers of Disease Control –, but depending on when you’re reading this, you can get the most up-to-date information on its spread from the website. While there have been reported deaths due to the newer Coronavirus – the COVID-19 virus – most of the reports of illness are considered mild to moderate.

How can you catch it? It appears that if someone who is infected sneezes or coughs within 6 feet of you, or if you touch a contaminated surface and rub your eyes, nose or mouth, you may be at risk. 

What do the symptoms look like? The symptoms appear flu-like, with fever, cough and shortness of breath. 

What is the next step if you think you’ve been exposed to the Coronavirus? If you have traveled recently to China, or have known exposure to someone who has been to China, contact your local public health clinic. Please call ahead so the clinic staff can have a room available to you, to limit your exposure to other patients in the clinic. 

Is there a vaccine? Currently there isn’t a vaccine available as of March 2020. 

Are their ways to naturally boost my immune system? Absolutely! We have protocols we use for ourselves and for our families and our patients that have been studied to boost immune system response, and strengthen the tissue (known as mucosa) of our respiratory system. Check out our prevention protocol below. For individuals that may have weakened immunity, for instance, due to age, chronic illness, or chronic infections, we like to recommend stronger therapies. This could be in the form of higher dosing of particular nutrients, and/or via IV Nutrient therapy, such as High-dose IV Vitamin C (known as HDIVC, which has been extensively studied and used by the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins for support for viruses such as Hepatitis C and HIV – talk about a great anti-viral therapy!). 

Here are some proven recommendations to keep your immune system in tip top shape:

Wash your hands well and regularly

This is the number one way to cut down exposure to flu and other viral and respiratory infections. You don’t have to be a full on germophobe, however washing hands in hot water and soap for a full 20 seconds several times throughout the day, especially after touching surfaces in public places or your place of work goes a long way on cutting down. Make a habit of washing your hands before  touching your eyes, face or mouth. 

Good nutrition

This means a diet high in nutrients such as Vitamins C and A, zinc, and other antioxidants.  Eating a rainbow of colors including dark leafy greens, red and yellow bell peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, blueberries, and citrus fruits (not juices) will give a big nutritional boost Adding herbs and spices  like garlic, ginger, and turmeric give an extra antioxidant immune punch. 

Cut out added sugar.  Yes ALL Sugar!   It has been proven over and over that high sugar diets not only increase the risk for diabetes and other chronic illness  but also significantly lowers immune function. This does not only mean obvious sugar sources like candy and soda but also baked goods, fruit juices, and sugar added to processed foods. 2 tsp of sugar has been shown to reduce white blood cell count by up to 50% for 4 hours. This reduction  becomes exponential the more sugar we you consume.  

Get adequate sleep

This means 7 to 9 hours nightly.   Your body relies on this to heal and repair itself. The immune system will be weakened in those who are chronically sleep deprived. Getting off screens and turning down the lights early allows your body to stay true to a natural circadian rhythm allowing more restorative sleep. 

Optimize your Vitamin D Levels

 Vitamin D is a very important  immune system modulator, so having ideal levels is critical to staving off infections. Most people in Northern latitudes (like us here in Seattle) tend to be deficient (under 30 ng/ml) but optimal levels should really be closer to 70 or 80 ng/ml.  We recommend finding out what your levels are to make an educated decision about the dosage of D3 to take. If you do not know your levels a minimum of 5000 IU daily during the winter months is a good start. (Remember to always take it with a bit of K2 to support proper absorption) 

Keep your gut healthy

80% of our immune system resides in our GI tract. It is truly the interface between us and the outside world. In addition to good nutrition, plenty of fiber, limiting sugar and other poor quality foods which disturb the fragile ecosystem a multi strain probiotic can work wonders.  Pick a combination formula that is diverse and contains strains that include Lactobacillus Plantarum and Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG, Bifidobacterium spp. and Saccromyces Boulardi. 

Find ways to lower stress levels

Stress suppresses the immune system.  There is no way to avoid stress but tools such as meditation, gentle exercise, deep breathing, and yoga are great ways to help modulate it. Having a regular stress reducing practice in place improves your immune system as well as most other areas of your life. 

Add in additional seasonal some immune boosting nutrients and herbal  tonics

Some safe and simple preventative immune support options to add on a daily basis include:  

  • Vitamin C:  2000- 5000 mg daily
  • Zinc 30 to 50 mg daily
  • Vitamin A: 10,000 IU daily
  • Mushroom blend formulas that include reishi, maitake, cordyceps and  turkey tail
  • Herbs such as Holy Basil, Rhodiola, Astragalus, Andrographis, Elderberry and  Echinacea (these can be taken in tincture, tea, or capsule forms) 
  • Fire cider- a warming concoction that includes  garlic, ginger, apple cider vinegar and cayenne- a shot a day keeps the flu away (see recipe below) 

Focusing on reducing stress, optimizing nutrition and sleep and boosting gut health will not only cut your chances of getting the sick this winter,  it will support you in a healthy happier you all year round. 

For a personalized approach to your health, we would love to see you! Please visit for more information or to schedule a visit with one of our holistic, integrative physicians. 

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Dr. Angila