Do I REALLY need to wash my purchases on delivery?

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Q. Should I wash all of the purchases I have delivered?

A.“The government reports that the risk of cross-contamination of coronaviruses in food and packaging is very low,” said Dr. Andrew Preston, microbial pathogenesis reader at the University of Bath.

“In addition, manufacturers are required to have systems in place to keep products clean.

“However, there is nothing wrong with wiping the package with soapy water or leaving packages for three days before opening if you are worried. The best approach is always to wash your hands with soap after handling a package and to wash fresh food before eating.

“Note that you are unlikely to get the virus from eating food, and cooking will destroy it. “

As the nation continues to control the spread of the coronavirus, experts have answered your questions about the pandemic. (Stock Image)

As the nation continues to control the spread of the coronavirus, experts have answered your questions about the pandemic. (Stock Image)

Q. Miraculously, my husband, 84, is home after a week of intensive care with Covid-19. He was told that he no longer needed to isolate himself. What are the risks for me at 71?

A. “This is fantastic news,” says Dr. Preston. “When the symptoms finally go away, it normally means the infection is gone – although the exact time it takes for the virus to spread varies from person to person.

“In most people, it will be gone within four weeks of the onset of symptoms.

“Since you are vulnerable to Covid-19 due to your age, the hospital should have tested your husband before sending him home to make sure he no longer has the virus, or else he could transmit it. Check its release notes to make sure it happened.

“If this test has been done, you don’t need to take any special measures, but you both must follow the rules of social distancing outside.”

“Cambridge University virologist Dr. Jane Greatorex adds,” Since the virus is found in hospitals, treat the clothes he was wearing as contaminated and wash them thoroughly.

“Although we hope your husband is now immunized, he can still catch and spread the virus, so he must continue to follow the rules of social distancing. “

Q. What can I use as a filter in homemade masks? Would four layers of garden fleece work?

A. “Four layers of garden fleece [an unwoven, plastic fabric used to cover plants] could result in a bulky mask that is warm and uncomfortable to wear, “says Dr. Preston.

“It can also restrict air flow, which could cause or worsen breathing problems.

A reader asked if they could use four layers of garden fleece to filter their homemade mask. (Stock Image)

A reader asked if they could use four layers of garden fleece to filter their homemade mask. (Stock Image)

“A mask must trap droplets in the air or those exhaled by the wearer. Ensuring that it fits the mouth and nose perfectly is essential. Even a scarf or a few layers of loose weave, like cotton, can be a barrier.

“After wearing a mask outside, consider it contaminated. Wash it and then your hands immediately.

Q. Could a bad lung infection in the fall have been Covid-19?

A. “There is no evidence to suggest that the coronavirus currently circulating in the UK existed before December 2019,” says Dr Greatorex. “The tracing clearly suggests that the origin was Wuhan, in China, at the end of last year. “

Q. Can a barrier cream such as petroleum jelly prevent coronavirus particles from entering the nose?

A. “Protective creams can help hydrate the nose to prevent or soothe dry, cracked skin,” says Professor Gino Martini, chief scientist at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

“However, as the viral particles are so small – about 0.2 microns [less than a thousandth of a millimetre] – it is unlikely that a cream such as petroleum jelly will create a protective barrier. The best defense is to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. “

Q. Why do some young, healthy people die from Covid-19, while others survive?

A. “As with many infections, some people are more severely affected by Covid-19 than others,” said Dr. Preston.

“This may be due to the fact that they have an underlying health problem, or it may be that some are infected with more pathogens than others, allowing the infection to develop more quickly and overcome the initial immune response.

I have a flight to Canada booked for August. If I can go, will I have to quarantine for two weeks on arrival and two weeks back in the UK?

“It is impossible to say what measures, if any, will be needed in August,” said Dr. Andrew Preston, a reader in microbial pathogenesis at the University of Bath.

“However, the British government has announced that passengers arriving at UK airports will need to be quarantined for 14 days to prevent the spread of the virus. Check with your airline or the government website for updates later. “

“It is also likely that there are other subtle differences between people we do not yet know, from genetic factors to other viruses that may be present in their respiratory tract when they are infected. “

Q. I am 78 years old and was vaccinated against tuberculosis (with the BCG vaccine) when I was young. Will this give me protection from Covid-19?

A. “It is known that the BCG vaccine induces some general immunity,” says Dr. Preston. “It boosts the immune system to fight invaders in general, not just tuberculosis.

“Some countries with an active BCG program have lower Covid-19 mortality rates than those who are not currently using the vaccine. However, there is not yet enough evidence that it offers protection against the coronavirus for it to be used.

“Three trials are planned or underway to see if there is an advantage. This may help strengthen our defenses but not provide absolute protection, which is the appeal of a Covid-19 vaccine.

“Indeed, older people who are more likely to have had the BCG jab in the UK are also at higher risk for serious coronavirus infection. So far, there is no evidence that those who have been vaccinated against tuberculosis have any protection against Covid-19. “

The government reports that the risk of cross-contamination of coronaviruses in food and packaging is very low, however, there is no harm in wiping the packaging with soapy water. (Stock Image)

The government reports that the risk of cross-contamination of coronaviruses in food and packaging is very low, however, there is no harm in wiping the packaging with soapy water. (Stock Image)

Q. Should I prevent my elderly mother’s caregivers from coming home if they are not wearing personal protective equipment?

A.“The increasing number of Covid-19 infections in nursing homes suggests that caregivers should wear PPE during home visits,” said Dr. Preston. “Even if a caregiver has no symptoms of the virus, they can still carry it and spread it to others.

“It is reasonable to ask that they wear PPE when they visit – even a homemade mask could help.

“In theory, you can prevent them from entering the house if they do not wear PPE, but if they provide medicines or are the only source of meals and personal care, their prohibition is likely to create a higher risk of harm to your mother. . ‘

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