By Gusii star team
Like their counterparts elsewhere globally, Kisii County residents are learning from experts on corona-virus whose community spread rate is alarming in the country.
There is a strong correlation between the virus’s attack on the human body and the latter’s immune system even as the residents grappled with the pandemic.
From available expert knowledge, the highly contagious covid19 virus species infects humans through the upper respiratory tract and can be life threatening after a 14 days incubation period.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), 81% of the infected experience mild symptoms of the disease while 14% others have moderate.
The infected in this category have strong body immunity are youths and are generally healthy. They do not require hospitalization and can go about their routine activities in the community.
It is advisable that they seclude themselves from the community or are isolated by the authorities as they wait for the virus to shed off.
But 5% of the infected present severe symptoms and require urgent hospitalization including being put on life-saving machines at Intensive Care Units.
The vulnerable comprise the over 55 years old with chronic ailments that compromise their immune system.
They are encouraged to take extra caution not to contact the virus by observing containment measures in force.
Social distancing, washing and sanitizing hands together with open surfaces and wearing face masks are the imperatives for them.
The infected exhibiting mild and moderate signs, are the most dangerous in transmission of the disease.
According to Dr. Richard Onkware, they are asymptomatic, and should be quarantined.
Dr.Onkware who is also county director of Public Health stresses on the urgent need for the residents to boost their immunity as one way of resisting the covid19 attack.
This is possible owing to plenty foodstuffs required for a balanced diet and a youthful population that is an advantage.
Onkware, observes the residents are educated on best practices in raising the foodstuffs and feeding methods to avert low immunity and malnutrition.
He, however, faults some caretakers for selling the recommended foodstuffs only to go in for those with low nutrients especially in regard to children.
The infected who have underlying factors are advised to stick on the doctors’ prescriptions in managing the conditions to deter the coronavirus spread to the lower respiratory tract.
The county director, however ,feels it is not economical to establish the coronavirus status in the area through mass as opposed to targeted testing.
Governor James Ongwae discloses that the current proven cases of the virus were under a single digit and that those who had undergone medication have since proved negative.
Ongwae warned the residents against stigmatization but to accept them into the community.
A survey on local foodstuffs and vegetable vendors indicated they have knowledge on their nutritional value in the human body.
Majority of the interviewees including Winfridah Nyanchama,a vendor of Managu, understood what the vegetable contributed to the body’s immune system and nourishment.
Judy Gesare sells kales and green bell paper which according to nutritionists released triple vitamin ‘ C’ to the body.
The sick reportedly buy for home consumption a variety of local vegetables from 60 year old Rose Kerubo, to relief their conditions.
She explains in order to attain the required dietary effect, the vegetables are mixed before they are cooked.
Nemuel Mwalimu, introduced an intriguing angle to the foodstuffs by displaying his mastery in the foodstuffs medicinal value to the body.
Boniface Mbaka, a vendor of an assortment of local greens,fruits, roots and tubers cited strengthening of the immune system and subsistence as reasons for operating the business.
Abagusii Culture and Development Council secretary general, Bosire Angwenyi, says the immune system was not a strange phenomenon in the community’s traditional set up.
At a time conventional medicine was almost un heard off, the community knew that failure to eat enough and nutritious foods was a sure way of courting infections.
Viral diseases including measles and pneumonia,existed with patients displaying general body weakness, lack of appetite and breathing difficulties.
Besides medicinal herbs, wild vegetables and some traditional foodstuffs were given to a patient in seclusion owing to the ferocity of the viral disease.
A chicken was slaughtered, its meat boiled in a pot secured with a lid before opening it halfway to let the patient inhale the vapour while the head was covered.
Bosire mentioned, milk, bread and porridge from finger millet and pumpkin leaves as some of the traditional foodstuffs used to strengthen immunity.
Researchers can engage some traditional community experts with a view to coming up with a remedy for the covid19, he observed.
Care should, however, be taken lest some residents and self-styled nutritionists misled members of the community into believing in immunity boosters as a remedy for covid19.