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Your Covid-19 questions answered by a virology expert

March 12, 2020


So if you need to be tested for coronavirus
infection what they’ll do is, the doctor or nurse will take a swab
from inside your mouth, sample some of the saliva and they’ll send it away look
for the presence of coronavirus genes in your saliva. That’s all it is it’s fairly
simple pain-free straightforward how long is a piece of string? vaccine
production used to take 20 years it’s much shorter these days down to a few
years but it is a few years not a few months or a few weeks as some people
have suggested there won’t be a coronavirus vaccine in any usable quantity
if at all any time this year I don’t think it will be at least 18 months
before a vaccine comes along. We don’t yet know whether a summer
season will reduce the toll of a viral infection or this viral infection
because we haven’t experienced it through a summer. It’s not an
unreasonable expectation because we know that people are generally less
susceptible during summer months than they are during winter months but there
is a coronavirus which is endemic in the human population which causes the
common cold and MERS, another corona virus was worse than the Middle East
during the summer so while most corona virus infections are worse during the
winter not all of them are and it might be the case with this. well people probably need to wash their
hands more than they likely do already that’s a really good way of reducing the
chances of getting infected because when you get the virus on your hands you’re
more likely when you touch your mouth your nose your eyes to get yourself
infected so reduce the amount of time to touch your face keep your hands clean
that’s probably the best precaution to use of course some people are using
elbow bump instead of shaking hands but that’s a matter of personal preference yes if we see a really big upswing in
numbers of infections across the UK we may see the health authorities, the
government, impose some movements on people’s restrictions and people’s
gatherings but exactly what those are we don’t know yet and there really is no
point in putting those measures in place until they’re needed until we’ve got
enough people that we can control using them otherwise it’s a waste of time if they’re immunocompromised the best
thing is to keep yourself clean and keep them clean
wash your hands all the time be careful where you put your hands and make sure
before you cross the threshold into your house that you’ve washed your hands or
use hand sanitiser or whatever to try and reduce the possibility of bringing virus
into the home. Of course if they’re severely immunocompromised then the
hospital will be keeping an eye on them anyway so just be mindful of the risk
that they face as well if you’re prone to colds it’s probably
because you just get infected more and the reason you get infected more is that
you vector stuff to your face via your hands probably more than other people
so the best advice is to improve your hand hygiene reduce the amount of times
you touch your face. No. the government’s advice at the moment is
to dial 1 1 1 if you are having shortness of breath if you’re having
coughing symptoms. The NHS online will give you more details. No, just
because you get a simple cough doesn’t mean you have to self isolate. That
advice might change though, so watch that space. I wouldn’t bother with either the masks
the best thing it will really do is stop you from touching your mouth or nose. It won’t stop you touching your eyes which is a potential route to infection.
I’m not bothering with them because the fibers in those masks that you see
whether they’re they sort of operating theater masks or the dust masks you can
get from a DIY store are too big the pores in them are too big to stop a tiny
little virus going through. If somebody coughs or sneezes virus over you it
will go straight through to you. As for gloves well we know from settings like
this in the laboratory when people wear gloves on their hands they’re less
conscious that they’ve touched things like door handles and cupboard handles
and things like that they’re likely to spread things around
more the best thing you can do is to keep your hands clean absolutely until the government decides
that it’s unsafe to do so then carry on enjoying your life you’d have the meet
currently about 200,000 people before you met one person with this coronavirus
in the UK so the chances are that you’re not going to meet somebody with it yet No. The virus gets into you, gets into your airways, it replicates. Warm food which isn’t much
hotter than your body temperature anyway go straight down your gullet and into
your stomach. No. Having warm drinks will make you feel better possibly but it
won’t kill the virus I was asked the other day if ginger tea was any use no
don’t bother with anything like that yes carry on enjoying your life until we
know that it’s essential the people of certain groups need to restrict their
movements just enjoy your life don’t worry about it. People say to me all the time “oh I’ve
got flu” when in actual fact they’ve got a cold the two are quite different a flu
is much more severe than a cold I think we’re expecting many people
experience symptoms to get more flu-like symptoms than cold-like symptoms. People
won’t want to get out of bed, they will be running a temperature
they will be feeling really quite unwell and unable to function rather
than just feeling a bit under the weather.

2 Comments

  • Reply Joe Gazaway March 11, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    great content you deserve more views

  • Reply Victoria Cheung March 12, 2020 at 5:37 pm

    About the mask, of course regular masks are pointless but then how about masks such as N95 and masks with 99% BFE PFE approved?

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