[VIEWPOINT]Prepare now for viruses in the futureIn the 1995 movie “Outbreak” starring Dustin Hoffman, heavily armed soldiers besieged a village that had been infected with a deadly virus.
About 50 million people in the world are said to have actually died due to the 1918 epidemic of Spanish flu.
The World Health Organization warns that as many as 100 million people may die because of avian influenza, which broke out recently in Korea. Some virus specialists predict that although World War I and World War II were fought between people, World War III will be a war between mankind and viruses.
Advanced countries are already preparing for a war against viruses on a national defense level. The World Health Organization defined the 21st century as “an age of contagious diseases,” and is pressing governments to thoroughly prepare to battle avian influenza viruses. The U.S. National Center for Disease Control and Prevention stresses that the viruses that appear nowadays, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome and avian influenza, are malignant viruses that can infect both animals and people.
Such viruses have a variety of mutative forms and can spread extremely quickly, so there is an urgent need for information technology and biolevel technology countermeasures to cope with the 21st century virus war.
First of all, the human race should begin a joint environmental protection movement.
The environment has strong effect on the cause of the outbreak of mutative viruses.
The environment is like a living thing. The Earth breathes through the ever-changing cycle of water and air, and continuous movements of the Earth’s crust, which change with time. However, the environment has started to lose its health gradually due to pollution in the air, water and soil as human beings develop their society.
The average temperature of the Earth has risen from 0.3 to 0.6 degrees in the last 100 years due to gradual air pollution. It is as if the Earth has developed a slight fever from its failing health.
You can divide the environment into three categories: healthy, weak and ill. The body’s natural immunity is as its weakest in an ill environment. Meanwhile, viruses created in an ill environment are much stronger pathogenically than those created in a healthy environment.
Therefore, the first stage strategy in the virus war is to completely block the source of pathogenic viruses by creating a healthy Earth environment.
Individually, each of us should become soldiers armed with antiviral fighting ability.
We must get scientific prescriptions for physical exercises that fit each of us individually and exercise regularly to strengthen our immunity.
Just as painful marching is the best way to strengthen the fighting forces of the military, the basic way to strengthen antiviral fighting power is walking.
That is the reason the Trim & Fitness International Sport for All Association recommends the adoption of a walking day.
Just as a soldier has less fighting force when he is obese, an obese individual has a weaker immune system, too. If you lose 10 kilograms through exercise, it means you have succeeded in reducing 13 kilograms of body fat while gaining 3 kilograms of antiviral body components. It means you get that much more immunity against viruses.
However, if you lose 10 kilograms by dieting, you lose immunity against viruses as you lose 6 kilograms of body fat and 4 kilograms of antiviral body components. That is why the practice of dieting among women and the absence of physical exercise in school curriculums are problematic.
According to a recent study, a nutrient prescription of selenium and glutathione helps strengthen immunity against bird flu. Therefore, together with physical exercise, scientific dietary cures should be studied and distributed to strengthen people’s immunity.
This country also needs to develop vaccines in preparation for guerrilla warfare against mutative viruses by providing information technology and biolevel technology research systems on a national level.
If we try to take care of things with temporary fixes after all the damage is done, we will end up sacrificing too much.
Furthermore, I hope we will be able to develop cutting-edge weapons against viruses, not only for the health of our people, but also for our economy, through exporting them to other countries.
*The writer is the president of the Trim & Fitness International Sport for All Association. Translation by the JoongAng Daily staff.
by Rhee Sang-hi