COVID 19: How people are recovering from a disease without a cure - National | NTV

COVID 19: How people are recovering from a disease without a cure

By JOSEPH TUMWESIGYE

Wednesday April 22, 2020

A health worker attains samples from an individual (AFP) 

COVID-19 has been the menace of 2020 and will forever be engraved in the minds of those who lived to see its terrifying reign. But as we have witnessed through the millennia of our existence, all that is needed is hope for humanity to overcome anything determined to wipe us out. For the Coronavirus Disease 2019, that hope came in the form of recoveries.

At the moment, Uganda has 41 recovered cases and the world at large is hopeful with its nearly 700,000 individuals that have recovered from this terrifying unknown. So, hope is there.

The problem with the story is that there is no cure for COVID-19. This song has been sung by many including the World Health Organisation (WHO), doctors, pharmacists and the Ministry Of Health. So how are people recovering? For some, thanks to free-thinking and the misuse of social media, a conspiracy is in play.

“It is impossible,” they say.

Not quite. The thing is that you already have a defence system within your body that works on cellular to a macro level. It is called the IMMUNE SYSTEM. This is the body’s defence force against disease-causing bacteria, viruses and other organisms that we touch, ingest and inhale. This is what is doing most of the work to make sure our infected get to see the future.

The immune system is made up of two types of responses. That is the innate and the adaptive.

The innate are the natural barriers that keep intruders out of your body. The first line of defence. These include our skin, the mucous and hairs in our nose, and the acids in our stomachs. This is the moment one starts showing symptoms. Fevers are triggered by the Innate immune system as a defence mechanism (the realisation for those who think fevers are bad).

Unfortunately, this “fencing” around us is not very effective with the gate-jumping COVID-19. This is why health experts and WHO have asked individuals to enforce this barrier with continued cleaning of hands and other material/surfaces you get in contact with. #StaySafe, sanitise.

The adaptive is the important response when it comes to COVID-19. The function of adaptive immune responses is to destroy invading pathogens and any toxic molecules they produce. It is composed of specialized, systemic cells and processes that eliminate pathogens by preventing their growth. Adaptive immunity develops over a lifetime of contact with pathogens and vaccines. This is why some people “walk-off” the common flu. Your immune system has developed over the multiple times you got sick and at some points, can take care of the disease without any help.

However, it is common for these pathogens to overpower our immune system. This especially for new diseases like the COVID-19 that your adaptive immune system has never faced and does not know how it works. In most cases, you will introduce a helper in your system to fight back like medicine and vaccines which give the immune system enough time to fight back. Vaccination specifically safely teaches our adaptive immune systems to repel a wide range of diseases, and thus protect ourselves and others.

But COVID-19, where there is no cure, medicine or vaccine (at the moment), one has to rely on his personal security system against the virus. According to the World Health Organisation, those infected with the virus receive appropriate care to relieve and treat symptoms like the fevers and dry cough. This relieves a patient from the excess burden of having to deal with the discomfort of these symptoms which contribute to one’s demise. This gives the immune system time and a fighting chance against COVID-19. When the immune system stretches it out by limiting its growth and multiplier effect, the virus eventually weakens.

Also, the treatment procedures may include the use of a ventilator to aid breathing among patients who get the virus deep in the lungs and get a severe infection (pneumonia). These are the worst-case scenario patients. They need help breathing because according to an article in V.O.A (How COVID-19 affects the lungs) the air sacs in the lungs become inflamed and filled with fluid, making it harder to breathe. This after COVID-19 has attacked your lungs and has destroyed some cells in there.

Knowing all this, you need to boost and strengthen your immune system by living a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating well with a balanced diet, exercising regularly, being active, do not smoke, drink a little (if you have to) and various other things that make you physically and mentally healthy. This is the best way to fight a COVID-19 infection at the moment.

Sources: World Health Organisation, Ministry of Health, Scientific American, Medical News Today