India has stepped up its efforts to mitigate the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. So far, COVID-19 has killed 17 people and infected 707 in the country, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
In light of this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a country-wide lockdown to check the spread of the disease. As social media will tell you, ‘social distancing’ is the primary weapon of humankind against this pandemic.
[Techie Tuesday] Meet Anu Acharya, the woman engineer bringing code and data to the Indian genome
The coronavirus outbreak has brought all nations to a grinding halt, with lockdowns and economies facing the risk of downfalls, even as the number of cases is growing rapidly.
Anu Acharya, the Founder and CEO of Mapmygenome says not all is grim. She says the healthcare industry globally has been working round-the-clock to fight COVID-19. Companies across biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industries have come together to sequence the genomes of coronavirus.
Anu said, “They are all trying hard to diagnose more efficiently, identify drug targets and develop vaccines. It’s a time-taking process, but one that will see the light of the day. This is where we need the help of each and every one of you.”
The team of expert analysts at Mapmygenome are reportedly working to analyse individual genetic sequences of its users, to generate their personalised ‘COVID-19 Risk and Immunity Report’ and provide it for free of cost.
Anu said the report will help users understand their personal genetic risk profile that includes susceptibility to the disease, response to various drugs, vitamin deficiencies, and immune responses.
The basic mechanism behind how an immune system functions shows that it rises up to the challenge of fighting the virus particles that enter the body, and develop antibodies against it. She says all one can do at this point of time is to bolster the immune system and give it some armour before it steps on to the battlefield.
Anu said, “For the immune system, the magic potion is simply the right nutrients, sleep, exercise, and no smoking. Vitamins C, D and A, Zinc and Magnesium boost your immunity. Include some foods rich in these ingredients in your daily routine.”
According to the database at Mapmygenome, over 35 percent of its Indian users have a genetic risk for Vitamin C deficiency, while almost 42% have an increased genetic risk for Vitamin D deficiency.
“Sleep contributes in keeping your immune system ready against any infection. Combined with moderate exercise, your body is well prepared. Smoking is a risk factor for many diseases but please stop smoking especially during this outbreak. There have been some early indications that the severity of infection is higher in smokers,” Anu added.
(Edited by Javed Gaihlot)
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