(WEHT) — After asking for your questions about coronavirus, Eyewitness News is taking those questions to local medical professionals.
On Tuesday, Brad Byrd talked to Dr. Payal Patel-Dovlatabadi to get some answers.
BB: as journalists we sometimes think we’ve asked all the important questions. well maybe not. the mission of our coronavirus house call is to give you a voice to ask your questions i’m joined today by our Eyewitness News guest health analyst Dr. Payal Patel-Dovlatabadi. Dr. Payal good to see you on this day and let’s get started. Kristy from Owensboro What are the chances that I am going to get the Coronavirus. My family is social distancing, but are most people going to get this before it is said and done?
PP: There’s really not an exact number to that but if you’re practicing social distancing and you’re abiding by shelter in place, you’re having good hand hygiene having those preventive measures the risk of contracting the coronavirus is very very low
BB: Peggy is asking if an older person got the pneumonia shot & gets the virus are they protected from getting pneumonia?
PP: pneumonia can be a complication of coronavirus however if you do get the pneumonia shot it will not provide protection against pneumonia caused by covid. The current shot only covers the streptococcus bacteria so if you do get it as a result of covid it will not provide any protection.
BB: Natalie asks how long is one considered contagious if you have it?
PP: That’s a really good question and that’s all still really up in the air because it’s really dependent from person to person. Most people can be contagious a few days before having symptoms and throughout the duration of their illness, which could range from even 9 days to 14 days or some folks it can even be a few weeks so it’s really dependent case by case but it does shed early on so even before symptoms begin and throughout the duration of the illness you are still contagious..
BB: Dr. Payal, as you well know there’s so much information out there, sometimes misinformation. Amy from Evansville is asking are there a lot of cases with sudden loss of tastes and/or smell and no high fever?
PP: yes, and that’s actually very common now. South korea, china, italy, germany had many cases where individuals had absolutely no fever, no shortness of breath or coughing but the only symptoms they had was that loss of smell and taste and so now doctors are considering that. So if you come in and you do not have any loss of smell or taste then that could potentially be a sign of the coronavirus.
BB: Deloras– Do cities in Tristate need to be spraying disinfectant on walks, entrances to buildings, etc. like saw on news in other countries?
PP: i don’t think it’s necessary here just because we do have so many measures in place now, we have shelter in place orders, we’re practicing social distancing and so given these measures that are already in place, i don’t think we need to be spraying those sidewalks. The risk of getting the virus from those kinds of surfaces is very low so no i don’t think it’s necessary to do that in the tri state area.
Bb: Kad from Providence, Ky- what’s the average amount of time a person will stay sick with this?
PP: so there are a few factors to consider with this- your age, the severity of the illness and also any type of concurrent conditions, other conditions you may have so a mild infection, you’ll probably stay sick for about 2 weeks whereas the more severe infections can last as long as 6 weeks. So that’s just a range, but there are many factors to consider into that.
BB: Jessica from Evansville- What if you possibly had it before all the confirmed cases were kept track of? Is there a way to test to see if you did in fact have the virus even if you’re over it now?
PP: that’s a very good question but unfortunately there is not you have to have currently had the virus in order to be diagnosed positive. some scientists are developing antibody tests that can detect that but that’s currently going through clinical trials. Right now there is no way to know if you had it in the past without even knowing it.
BB: We’ve talked about this on indepth dr. payal but maybe it’s an urban legend or maybe it’s true but is it true, angi wants to know that that once you get it you become immune to it and should not get it again? Also, what should you take as medication in the beginning if you do get it?
PP: so far the world health organization states that reinfection, once you’ve had it you probably won’t get it again. However there have been some cases in china where people have had it and now they’re testing positive again but that may be due to some testing errors so for the most part, reinfection will most likely not happen and it’s important to note that there is no current treatment for coronavirus. So if you get it and have high fever you can take acetaminophen to manage the fever and pain but there is no treatment for it currently.
BB: Some women have talked to me and asked me about if you are pregnant during whatever trimester are there special precautions you should take and what are the risks?
PP: stay away from any type of pain relievers, get plenty of rest, hydration all those preventive measures are necessary. There haven’t been many cases such as that that we’ve experienced so the risks, the benefits of certain type of medication to relieve pain is still unknown but just the basic measures- rest, sleep and adequate hydration all of that is very necessary and of course contact your physician for further guidance.
BB: Dr. Payal Patel-Dovalatabadi, thank you so much. You’re always our go to person, have a good day and stay healthy.