MANILA - A strong immune system and avoiding interaction with those infected with the new coronavirus are the best ways to block the illness, a public health expert said Tuesday.
The mysterious new strain, which can cause a pneumonia-like acute respiratory infection, has so far killed 106 people in China and infected some 4,000 across the world.
"The only thing that will help us fight off the disease is not interact with those who are sick," Dr. Susan Mercado told ANC's Headstart.
"Have a balanced diet, sleep the right number of hours, get good physical exercise. It’s about staying healthy, eating fruits and vegetables, drinking a lot of water."
The new virus could be spreading through droplets, for instance when people sneeze or cough, or through direct contact with infected people or with objects they have touched, the World Health Organization said.
It remains unclear if the virus, known as 2019nCoV, is contagious before symptoms of fever or respiratory difficulties appear, it added.
"This virus is in human beings. What we need to do is limit the movement of those who are sick and avoid those who are sick. If they get well and they fight off the virus, the virus dies in them," Mercado said.
The Philippines has yet to confirm a case of the mysterious new strain of virus but it will be able to conduct tests for the virus "within the week," according to Mercado.
Manila earlier sent to Australia the specimen of a child in Cebu who came from Wuhan and tested positive for non-specific coronavirus. The child's specimen later yielded a negative result for the 2019nCoV.
Eleven foreigners in the Philippines are quarantined for possible infection from the Wuhan coronavirus, the health department said Monday.