We know this can be a tough time for some, and there are a lot of questions going around. We asked for your questions regarding the coronavirus, and you sent them in.
Dr. Alan Sanders, chief medical officer for Saint Peter's Health Partners Acute Care, has answers to a few of them.
Should you stay away from ibuprofen during the coronavirus pandemic?
Not necessarily. It will not increase your risk of contracting it, and it won’t exacerbate your symptoms if you do, but officials recommend taking Tylenol for a fever.
Is vinegar a good hard surface cleanser?
It’s a decent ordinary cleanser, but it will not kill a virus. Bleach is the most dependable anti-viral cleaner.
What about pets? How long can the virus survive on fur?
It’s unclear how long the virus survives on fur or other “human surfaces” like skin. The main concern is how long it survives on plastic or metal. Regardless, try to social distance as much as possible from pets and thoroughly wash your hands both before and after petting them.
When should symptomatic people go see a doctor?
At this point, any suspicious symptoms should be conveyed to a doctor via telephone or telemedicine. Fever, cough and shortness of breath are the main symptoms to look out for. Only severe symptoms, like fevers that result in shaking, or joint and muscle pain that’s so severe you can’t walk, or shortness of breath that you can’t stand up, should necessitate a trip to the emergency room.
What can you do to boost your immune system?
There is no one set way to boost your immune system, but a balanced healthy diet and avoiding alcohol is a good start. Also getting enough sleep and drinking enough fluid. Vitamin C is also a good antioxidant. Smoking and vaping is putting some individuals at enhanced risk to coronavirus because of constant repeated irritation to airways.
Will serum from recovered coronavirus cases be used to treat those who fall ill to it?
Yes. Without a vaccine yet and only experimental drugs for severe cases, anti-bodies in blood are a commonly used way to treat people with viral and bacterial illnesses.
If you tested positive for Influenza A, might you have had the coronavirus?
Yes, it is possible. A number of world-wide cases are showing co-infection of the flu and coronavirus. Doctors saw a very aggressive flu season, and at the peak of the season, physicians don’t normally test for it. So yes, it is possible if you were sick with a fever and chills during January and February, you may have had it. It is believed the virus was present here before March.
What’s the best way to treat yourself at home for coronavirus?
Stay at home. Keep at least 6 feet away or more from anyone in your household. Completely isolate if possible. Eat by yourself and use one bathroom exclusively. Continue to wash surfaces. And remember: Wash your hands!