Fighting the good fight

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Salman Khan, Alia Bhatt and Karan Johar have fallen far behind. In the past few months, one of the most commonly searched phrases on Google happens to be, ‘how to boost immunity’. It seems everyone is out to build that elusive immunity during these Covid times. Scientific jargon like T-cells and cytokines are casually bandied about while every uncle (and aunt) on WhatsApp is a newly-minted expert on homemade immune boosters. So, what gives?

Simply put, your individual immunity levels decide your response to the novel coronavirus infection, just like any other infection.

‘Immunity is dynamic’

Dr Subramanian Swaminathan, Senior Consultant (Infectious Disease) at Gleneagles Global Health City, threw some light on what immunity exactly is. “It is a dynamic thing and there are no quantifiable measures to say ‘this is what immunity is’. All of us have some amount of innate immunity. But, because Covid-19 is a new infection, we don’t seem to have enough. The only way to deal with this is to either get infected or get a vaccine in order to build immunity. Immunity has many different levels and is an entire system in the body. For example, the skin is as much part of the immune system as is the stomach. Immunity, to a significant extent, is genetic, but it is also a result of our interaction with the environment and other factors like vaccination.”

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