Are you wondering if social distancing will weaken your immune system? 5 things you need to know
Some people worry a lack of contact with others will weaken their immune system by reducing its active contact with germs.
1. Will social distancing weaken my immune system?
In short, no.
“We’re constantly exposed to microbes,” said Akiko Iwasaki, an immune system researcher at Yale University. "Our immune system is always being triggered.”
2. How else do we come in contact with bacteria and germs?
But even when we're staying 6 feet from others or spending most of our time at home, our bodies are continuously responding to plenty of bacteria and other germs that inhabit indoor and outdoor environments.
3. Do vaccines help?
The effects of childhood vaccines and other built-up immunity are also long-lasting, Iwasaki said, and won't disappear overnight because we're keeping our distance from others during the pandemic.
A seasonal flu shot will also help protect you from one more potential illness.
4. How can I boost my immune health?
Experts say anyone looking to boost their immune health during the pandemic should practice habits such as stress management, healthy eating, regular exercise and getting enough sleep.
"These are the things that actually affect the immune system," Iwasaki said.
See more tips on how to boost your immune health from Harvard Health here.
5. What if I'm Immunocompromised?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends hand washing, masks, avoiding leaving the house and social distancing.
Information compiled with reporting from The Associated Press