Liquor consumption increases risks during COVID-19 pandemic

Hyderabad: Both in the short-term and in the long-term, available evidence suggests that alcohol has an adverse impact on a human body, and heavy consumption weakens the immune system and reduces the natural ability to cope with infectious diseases, like COVID-19 or the coronavirus.

A substance called ethanol or ethyl alcohol, present in alcoholic beverages harms the immune system of an individual. This ethanol can be found in wine, beer, spirits and every other form of alcohol. Other toxic substances that smell like ethanol are added to adulterated beverages illegally, and not just that, ethyl alcohol is one of the key ingredients to prepare hand disinfectants that are in high demand these days.

Commenting on alcohol and its adverse impact, Dr. Santosh Kumar Enaganti, Senior Consultant Medical Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist, Continental Hospitals said, “Social media is filled with memes and messages around the consumption of alcohol to kill virus inside a human body! But the fact remains that consuming alcohol will increase the risk of contracting infections.”

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“Liver is a sensitive yet vital organ and there are numerous risks like jaundice, cirrhosis, liver failure, liver cancer, etc. caused due to heavy consumption of alcohol. In fact, binge-indulgence with alcohol results into significant bodily impairment. Hence, it is best advised to stay away from alcohol, avoid risks, at least during these times when a pandemic is knocking on the doors to enter our bodies and rattle our lives forever,” concluded Dr. Enaganti.

Alcohol acts like a social cue that drives an individual towards smoking, and the effect is vice-versa! One must remember that alcohol and smoking are associated with the dangerous progression of the COVID-19 virus. Those with existing liver disease and those above 60 years of age should be extra careful as these patients are more likely to have adverse outcomes if they contract COVID during this pandemic.

Also, remember that indoor smoking is harmful not just to the individual smoking but to everyone else in the house. Hence, stay sober, remain vigilant, act quickly and make decisions with a clear head, for yourself and others in your family and community.

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