Chinese medicine experts offer opinions on protection against coronavirus

UM’s ICMS Deputy Director and immunology expert Prof Chen Xin

Three experts from the University of Macau’s (UM) Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences (ICMS) talk about how to prevent novel coronavirus from three perspectives: immunology, virology, and Chinese medical sciences.

Chen Xin, deputy director of the ICMS and an immunology expert, say exercising 30 to 45 minutes a day can increase the number and function of immunocompetent cells and helps the brain to release neurotransmitters that make you happy, which can indirectly boost your immune system.

Wang Ying of the ICMS, a virology expert, said that, ‘What we can do at this moment is gain a scientific understanding of the disease and protect ourselves.’ Wear a mask when you go out, she added .

Zhao Yonghua is an assistant professor in the ICMS) and an expert in Chinese internal medicine. Zhao suggests that those living in the Lingnan area should consume more high-fibre vegetables, such as radish and celery, to restore balance to the microbial ecosystem in the gut.

Zhao has first-hand experience of treating severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) patients in Guangzhou in 2002 and 2003. According to Dr Zhao, the Lingnan area, which includes the Guangdong province, Hong Kong and Macau, has a humid climate, which places a burden on people with weak digestive systems by inducing ‘internal dampness’, especially those who easily feel nauseous and experience diarrhea after consuming oily or cold foods.

Zhao believes that illnesses caused by the novel coronavirus may have a close relationship with people’s lungs and digestive systems, as the early symptoms of infection include low fever, dry cough, and gastrointestinal disorders. Genetic traces of the virus have also been found in the stool of some patients.

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