HE is the calm voice of the coronavirus crisis and has offered expert advice to the nation as we try to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
The Sun teamed up with Dr. Hilary Jones – health editor for ITV’s Good Morning Britain and Lorraine – so he could answer readers’ questions about Covid-19.
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Thousands of you have been in touch to help you overcome the confusion.
Here, Emma Pietras has Dr. Hilary’s answers to more of your dilemmas – including who should be protected and how to protect themselves better.
Q. I HAVE HEARD that white wine vinegar can protect you from the virus. Is it true?
A: I agree that vinegar is generally a good general cleaning product but that it is not effective against this virus.
Detergent is the key element that breaks down the fatty layer on the outside of the virus – and when combined with warm water when you wash your hands, it’s even better.
The hand sanitizer, which contains 60% alcohol or more, also works.
Q. I USE disposable surgical gloves and change them every time I touch something that may be contaminated. But I’m going to run out soon. If I wash my hands in soapy water while wearing gloves, does that decontaminate them so they can be reused?
A: I am not a microbiologist but logically, you should be able to decontaminate gloves when you wash your hands with soap and hot water while wearing them.
You must, however, ensure that frequent washing does not affect the physical integrity of the gloves and you must ensure that when you remove them, you do not touch the outside of the glove with your bare skin.
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Q. I have heard that human stomach acid can kill the virus? Is it true?
A: It just wouldn’t work. Gastric acid is of course very powerful and would easily kill the virus – but at the same time, when this acid reaches the throat or lungs, it causes pain, inflammation and potential infection.
By the time the virus reaches the stomach, it has already spread to the lining of the nose and throat.
Q. If you had symptoms of coronavirus and were given antibiotics at an early stage, would that save you from needing hospital treatment?
A: I’m afraid not. Covid-19 is a virus that, like other viruses, simply does not respond to antibiotics.
When people are sick enough to be admitted to hospital, antibiotics are given as a precaution to avoid secondary infection after the virus.
Antibiotics can be effective against bacteria because they have unique cell walls that are the specific target of antibiotics.
Q. JOGGERS exhale quickly and strongly. so surely this poses a great risk for oncoming people?
A: Not at all. When people run, their breathing is usually faster but more shallow.
The tidal air they exhale is unlikely to travel anywhere like two meters.
Coughing and sneezing can throw droplets containing the virus for several meters, however, so the two-meter rule is a good recommendation.
Q. I have been working from home since lockout, but have run out of work and need to return to my office to collect more. Is it safe?
A: The guidelines are clear, in the sense that we want as many people as possible to be able to work from home to do so.
All essential work – and the work of key workers – is of course an exception. If your work is not absolutely essential, stay at home.
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Q. I have COPD lung disease and have had several flares recently. I am breathless when I walk. Do I have to isolate myself for 12 weeks?
A: Your condition places you well in the risk category of Covid-19 and you must take all the necessary precautions to protect yourself.
The shield is designed for those most at risk, and most of the people on this list will receive letters based on information from general practitioners and hospitals.
CORONAVIRUS CRISIS – STAY IN KNOWLEDGE
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