Expert discusses possibility of second COVID-19 contracting and effectiveness of traditional medicine

Expert discusses possibility of second COVID-19 contracting and effectiveness of traditional medicine

The novel coronavirus infection continues to spread rapidly in Kazakhstan. More than 40,000 COVID-19 patients in the country reported to have recovered. The subject that Kazakh residents are currently worried about is whether it is possible to get infected again and what kind of recovery the human body needs. Head of the Center for Public Health Zhazira Yemberdiyeva shared her opinion on these issues in an interview with Kazakh TV. She said that the patients who have recovered from COVID-19 need to undergo an antibody testing to check for Immunoglobulin-G (IgG) and Immunoglobulin-M (IgM). If these antibodies are detected in the blood, then the person has developed immunity to coronavirus. However, this does not mean that it is impossible to catch the infection twice — the theory has not yet been proven.

"There is no evidence for that yet. There are a lot of people who has had coronavirus and recovered, but the practice has not shown yet whether those people got infected for the second time or not. According to a scientific research, if a person developed an immunity to COVID-19, he will not contract the infection again, and if he did not develop coronavirus immunity, then there is a risk for him to catch the virus. This is also individual. The risk for getting infected again does exist," Yemberdiyeva warned.

She added that those who have had COVID-19 and recovered, on the contrary, have to take care of their health even more, because the body now needs serious rehabilitation.

"As practice has shown, recovered people who have already been treated, need a respiratory rehabilitation, as we call it. This includes prevention of possible respiratory disorders, so that there is no shortness of breath and the respiratory rate is normal. There is also a psychological rehabilitation to ensure a person is not in panic so he could calm down and continue taking care of his health. When you have been sick, your body and immune system might weaken, so you need to strengthen it. It is summer now, it is recommended to go out and stay in the sun, get vitamin D and eat a balanced diet," Yemberdiyeva noted.

She believes that alternative remedies to treat coronavirus such as saumal (fresh mare's milk), kymyz (fermented horse milk) or garlic are absolutely ineffective. If people make recovery using such remedies, then most likely it is a placebo effect. These methods can only help on a psychological level. If a patient's stomach is weak, these remedies can do more harm than good.

"I am surely against such treatment approaches. Just boosting the immunity is what is needed. A balanced nutrition with enough protein is there to help. It is good to pay more attention to protein foods now, including meat broths, nuts, cottage cheese and liver. It is a summer season now with lots of vegetables and fruits. It is recommended to eat more of them since they contain multiple vitamins. Fruits and vegetables should not be frozen, but fresh ones. It is a great time for us to stock up on vitamins as it is the very height of summer,"  Yemberdiyeva said.

A balanced diet, walking in the sun and a healthy lifestyle — this is what is needed for those who have had coronavirus and recovered from it, as well as for those who want to protect themselves from contracting the infection. The basic sanitary norms are still in place: it is important to refrain from visiting public places, hospitals and clinics visits, as well as keep washing hands and using hand sanitizers, wearing masks and avoiding visiting cafes and restaurants. Swimming in public places should also be forgotten for a while. In recent days, Kazakh residents have massively been rushing to resorts without following social distancing rules, Yemberdiyeva noted. Hence the rise in infection rates in those regions. She said that it is better to postpone such trips. The current global pandemic forces us to follow strict rules and we must adhere to them, Yemberdiyeva concluded.