BCU biology professor offers tips to prevent COVID-19 infection – Sioux City Journal

Posted: April 26, 2020 at 3:42 am

In some patients, COVID-19 has triggered a cytokine storm, an immune system response in which the body attacks its own cells. Jung painted a picture of a boxing match in which "fighter" immune cells are being called upon to battle the virus. This battle generates lots of fluid, waste and pus, making it difficult for the alveoli to pick up the oxygen a person breathes in, leading to multi-organ failure.

"These immune cells, neutrophils and other fighter immune cells, are like that. They don't care if it's a virus or our own cells. If you're infected, they're all enemies," Jung said. "So what they're going to do is they're going to start to kill everybody, basically."

Why exactly some people's immune systems go into overdrive, Jung said, is unknown, but he said it can happen to anybody.

"If we are up to the level where we can fight well without going into a coma or anything, then 14 days later, our body can provide an antibody," Jung said. "An antibody will neutralize this virus very quietly."

Strengthening the immune system

Eating certain foods can help keep your immune cells strong. Jung said vegetables, for example, stimulate the circulation of blood cells from bone marrow.

"Those bioactive reagents can support our immune systems by sending them the appropriate amount of stem cells, just in case some tissue cells are damaged and we need to replenish them. For example, if your lung cell has been damaged and they need to be replaced, that could be done by the stem cell that has been moved from the bone marrow and located around the lung area," said Jung, who encourages eating a variety of different colored vegetables.

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BCU biology professor offers tips to prevent COVID-19 infection - Sioux City Journal

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