Who are the immunocompromised?

Human our bodies are geared up with an immune system that fights an infection. “It produces chemicals and releases cells called macrophages that swallow these foreign organisms, thereby protecting us,” says Dr Rajeeva Moger, Senior Consultant Physician, Apollo Hospitals, Bengaluru. But not everybody has a robust immune system and such individuals are the immunocompromised. “Their body may not produce enough chemicals and macrophages to fight the infection and so they are more likely to get an infection,” he explains.

Many elements could make one immunocompromised. It could be ailments, therapies or age. “People having diabetes, kidney failure, HIV and cancer are immunocompromised. So are those undergoing treatment after organ transplant or cancer and those who take steroid medication. Babies and the elderly also have a weak immune system. But immunity can bounce back for a person who has HIV under control or if he is cured of cancer and no longer under treatment,” explains Dr Moger.

Now, in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the immunocompromised are at the next threat. He warns that individuals with lung points like bronchial asthma or bronchitis have the next probability of complication in the event that they contract the illness. “COVID-19 affects the lungs and theirs are hypersensitive with a low oxygen diffusion capacity. Therefore, they should be extra careful. They should maintain distancing norms and wash their hands with soap and water regularly.”

Though there’s nothing a lot that may be completed to drastically enhance the immunity inside a short while, there are way of life modifications that we will make. “Have a balanced diet rich in micronutrients (fruits and veggies). Sleep for six to seven hours a day, do regular exercise. Also, drink at least two litres of water every day. It is also important to maintain personal hygiene and to keep one’s surroundings clean,” he says.

In this column, we demystify the buzzwords in wellness

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