Changing the conversation about health

As coronavirus continues to spread, here’s our advice on defending against it

The current coronavirus (officially called the COVID-19 virus) alarm has focused our attention on the best ways to deal with a new viral infection. The obvious priority is preventing spread, by isolation and increased hygiene.

However, we can also look at how well we can defend ourselves.

This infection – now a global pandemic – is most likely to harm people who are vulnerable and with underlying health problems.

Coronavirus manifests with flu-like symptoms that can include fever, a cough and difficulties with breathing
 Visit our self-care website, Our Health Directory, for tips on defending against the virus

It makes sense therefore to look for ways to boost our natural resistance, especially if we, or those close to us, are at greater risk.
The College has a new coronavirus page on our self-care website Our Health Directory.

This offers simple home remedies that have evidence for improving defences against respiratory viral infections.

Although we do not yet know much about the behaviour of this coronavirus, and there is no treatment yet available, the principle of improving our resistance is still likely to apply. These remedies are simple and positive options for anyone.


Dr Michael Dixon

Michael Dixon is a GP and National Clinical Lead for Social Prescription (NHS England), as well as being Chairman of the College of Medicine. Dr Dixon has been appointed as a government advisor on GP commissioning. Dr Dixon is a strong advocate of preventative medicine, healthy living and integrated care. In his Devon practice, patients are able to directly access a range of health check and self-help initiatives; emergency and maternity services; NHS community services including podiatry and physiotherapy and, for certain patients and certain conditions, complementary therapies. The philosophy is to help patients keep well instead of waiting until they are sick before helping them. Its success is demonstrated by the practice’s low referral rates and high scores on all performance indicators. Dr Dixon is also Visiting Professor at the University of Westminster; Honorary Senior Fellow in Public Policy at the Health Services Management Centre, University of Birmingham; and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Integrated Health at the Peninsula Medical School. He is also a Senior Associate at the King’s Fund where he is a member of the Steering Group of the Inquiry into quality of GP care.