Dr. Vivek Kumar

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Simple ways to boost immunity in Covid times

Eat light, sleep tight, exercise right, stay happy & bright!

These are simple ways to boost your immunity in current scenario and for forever.

You should eat small portions frequently. Whatever you are eating from morning to bed- divide it into 2 halves and eat at a interval of 3-4 hours. Suppose you eat 6 roti/chapati at once- now eat 3-3 rotis at interval of 3 hours.

Add green vegetables grown locally at least a full katori three times a day. Eat less of non-veg products.

Add a nimbu/lemon in your diet daily.

Drink milk of desi cow or buffalo or goat mixed with a teaspoon of turmeric in morning & evening. Avoid milk of Jersey or mixed breed cows.

You can have a homemade kadha once daily, but be cautious if it causes gas problem or in case of piles.

Eat chyawanprash 1-1 tsf in morning and evening.

Never forget to brisk walk for at least 30 minutes daily. Spend 15 minutes under morning sunlight on your roof while doing gardening like taking care of flower pots.

Keep yourself happy! Engage yourself, give yourself the me-time! Do what you like to do. Dance, music, movies, phone-a-friend, chatting, facebooking, reading spiritual texts or watching spiritual videos. List depends on you!

Wear masks when in public places, maintain social distancing but don’t socially isolate yourself !

Maintain hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene. Do breathing exercises & yoga.

If you come in contact with a Covid patient or are a high risk person- start prophylactic doses of medicine after consulting your family physician.

Remember, corona is a simple disease. Almost 100% of us will get infected in near future. But most of us will never realise it. You will get out of it without even knowing it. It’s causing problem in a very few percent of people who need specialised care. Actual mortality rate is going to be around 0.3% in india as per my personal calculation. If you maintain a good daily habits- chances are you will get immune to it easily!

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Allergen avoidance strategies

House dust mite:

  • Wash your bedsheets, pillow covers, and other covers used on bed at 55-60 degree C every 1-2 week
  • Order dust-mite proof bedsheets online or get it stitched from your local tailor of impermeable material
  • Avoid moisture collection in your room: allow sun light over bed, allow cross-ventilation in bed room. Try to maintain relative humidity <50%.
  • Use HEPA filter fitted vacuum cleaners only.
  • Avoid using carpets as they are difficult to get rid of dust completely.
  • Clean the curtains, mosquito nets, and other items which can collect dust easily, reduce their use, or avoid completely wherever possible.
  • Soft toys like teddy bear are known to attract dust mites, wash them at 55-60 degree C or keep them in freezer compartment to kill the dust mites.


  • Know your pollen it’s pollination calendar, whether perennial or seasonal.
  • Limit your outdoor time during pollination season.
  • Track pollen calendar where feasible/possible- consult your allergist.
  • Wear full covering goggles to prevent pollens from entering your eyes.
  • Wear face mask meant to reduce pollen entry in your breath, see the label/description which comes with face mask.
  • Clean your AC filter weekly
  • Don’t dry your cloths outdoor during pollination season, instead use a cloth dryer.
  • Take a shower, wash your hairs after coming from outside.
  • You have to be extra careful during pollination season of the pollen you are allergic to.


  • You and your family members should eat at the place designated for it, like in a dining room on dining table or mark a place for dining- like near kitchen (in Indian setup).
  • Avoid eating on bed, tv room, over sofa.
  • Don’t open potato chips packet over sofa/bed
  • Avoid food wastage going in sink/basin/drain
  • Clean the dining table/ dining place immediately after eating with detergent/disinfectant.
  • Try to eradicate cockroach from your house by using appropriate insecticide.
  • They are night dwellers, visible mostly in night. So if they are not visible during day time, don’t be in false belief of being free of them. They hide in dark cramped places
  • Seal cracks in floors and ceilings
  • Store all food in sealed containers
  • Don’t store waste in home


  • Use 5% ammonia solution or vinegar (शिरका) to remove mould from bathroom, near चापाकल, and other places. You can use food grade vinegar to clean and remove the fungus from inside of चापाकल
  • Repair any water seepage in your home.
  • There shouldn’t be any पपड़ी/ broken area of paint, plaster, सीलन.
  • Moulds/fungus grow in humid air rapidly, use dehumidifier or AC or natural ways to reduce humidity like allowing sun light and cross ventilation of air.
  • Rapair indoor water leakage immediately if any.


  • Avoid the animal you are allergic to but don’t have to hate them! You can sill have other pets.
  • Find another home for your pet or keep them outdoor.
  • Vacuum carpets, mattresses and upholstery on daily basis
  • Use HEPA air purifier/filter to trap animal danders
  • Wash your hands after playing with pets, take a bath.
  • Change your cloth before going to work/school if you had contact with any animal known to cause allergy, it will also protect your work colleagues.

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Allergen: Chenopodium album

Chenopodium album commonly known as बथुआ (हिंदी), chandanbethu (Bengali), chakavata (Marathi), badane bettaave (Kannada), vastuccira (Malayalam), cakkaavarttikkirai (Tamil), chakravarthi koora (Telugu) is a moderate allergen, an upright weed (30-80 cm long) very common in temperate regions, how’s almos everywhere in nitrogen rich soil, especially on wasteland. It is also gown as vegetable crop.

Chenopodium album

Chenopodium album pollinates between August to December and October to January. It’s pollens measure about 14-50 micron in diameter. Patients with its allergy will get affected in these months.

  • It belongs to
  • Family: Amaranthaceae
  • Subfamily: Chenopodiaceae
  • Genus: Chenopodium
  • Species: Chenopodium album
  • Common name: Lamb’s-quarters, Goosefoot

The major allergens are Che a 1, Che a 2 & Che a 3.

Symptoms: Patients allergic to pollens of Cenopodium album / Lamb’s quarter show symptoms of allergic rhinitis and asthma.

It shows cross reactivity with Amaranthus, Artiplex, Birch, Timothy grass etc.

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Allergen: Acarus siro

Acarus siro also known as Flour mite, Grain mite, Cereal mite or Forage mite belongs to

  • Phyllum: Arthropoda
  • Subphyllum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Arachinada
  • Sub class: Acari
  • Order: Sarcoptiformes
  • Superfamily: Acaroidea
  • Family: Acaridae
  • Genus: Acarus
  • Species: siro

It is one of the many but important agricultural pest & environmental allergen earlier known as Tyroglyphus farinae.

This pearly white pest with 8 pinkish or yellowish legs measures about 0.5 mm in length.

A.siro is a perennial allergen with peak between May and August in some states.

Aca s 13 is the important allergenic protein the other being Aca s 2.

A.siro shows limited cross reactivity with Dermatophagoides species, but more with another storage mite Tyrophagus putrescentiae.

Symptoms: storage mites can cause symptoms of allergic rhinitis and asthma usually in agricultural workers, farmers, millers, bakers etc.

Oral mite syndrome occurs in atopic individuals shortly after eating foods made with mite contaminated wheat flour. Rarely it cause anaphylaxis resulting in death.

Storage mite
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Cat allergy

  • Cats- Felis domesticus or बिल्ली (Hindi) belongs to
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Felidae
  • Genus: Felis
  • Species: domesticus
  • Common name: Domestic cat

Sensitization to cat allergens in India ranges between 2-19% in our different parts.

Cat allergens are present in it’s dander, saliva and urine. These allergens get attached to different particles present in our surroundings and become airborne on little disturbances. Those attached to smaller particles of size <5micron remain airborne for long periods. Cat allergens can be found in places where cats have never been kept! They can be present in your blankets, furniture or clothes.

The most important cat allergen is Fel d 1 (95%) which can cross react with allergens from other big cat species. The other cat allergens are: Fel d2 (albumin), Fel d3 (lipocalin), Fel d5w, Fel d7 (Von Ebner gland protein) and Fel d8.

Few cat allergy patients show symptoms on exposure of dogs & horses allergens due to cross reactivity of albumin and lipocalins allergens.

Symptoms: rhino conjunctivitis, asthma, atopic dermatitis (Fel d2).

Pork-cat syndrome: is a condition where patients present with food related or idiopathic urticarial or anaphylactic symptoms after consumption of pork (or in lesser cases beef) but found sensitized to cat allergens after investigations.

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Wheat allergy

Wheat also known as Gehun (Hindi), Gom (Bengali), Gahu (Marathi), Godhi (Kannada), Gothmbu (Malyalam), Godumai (Tamil), Godhumalu (Telugu) is an annual grass belonging to:

  • Family: Poaceae
  • Sub-family: Pooideae
  • Genus: Triticum
  • Species: Triticum sativum
  • Alternative name: Triticum aestivum
  • Common name: Wheat.

Wheat is a mild allergen with flowering in high summer.

Allergens: 1.3-beta-glucanase allergen is the major allergen. Wheat also contains the Group 1 to 5 allergens (Tri a 1 to Tri a 5), group 13 (Tri a 13) and profilin present in grass pollen of the Pooideae sub-family.

Cross-reactivity: cross reactivity has been found to be present in the Pooideae sun family including the grass pollen (Poa pratensis, Phelum pratense, Lolium perenne) and the cereal pollen (Wheat, Barley, Rye).

Symptoms: Wheat can cause 3 different diseases- pollen allergy, food allergy and Baker’s asthma.

Baker’s asthma is an occupational allergy in which sensitisation occurs via inhalation of cereal flours.

Cereal pollen allergy has a low prevalence, but may be important in sensitized individuals with occupational exposure to cereal pollen.

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