(WEHT) — Dr. Payal Patel-Dovlatabati, Associate Professor Of Public Health at The University Of Evansville, joined Brad Byrd to answer coronavirus questions in another edition of House Calls.
BB: Viewer call: My husband and i are in our late seventies. If i stay in, but he goes out to the grocery store and gas station, do we need to stay apart when he comes home? What is the most effective way to be and keep our loved ones safe in these scenarios?
PP: It’s very important for your husband to wear a protective face covering, a face mask or a cloth face covering when he does go out. And then after he turns home, it was very important for him to wash his hands, unload his groceries and wash his hands again with warm soap and water. No, it is not necessary for you to stay apart but just engaging in those preventive measures is enough.
BB: We’ve been talking a lot about these tests. How reliable are these tests?
PP: There are currently a number of tests out there. Pharmaceutical companies are pumping up more and more tests every day. I think we currently have about 57 tests. And for the most part, we’re kind of foregoing speed for accuracy. So it’s really important to develop a test that’s accurate, rather than putting out tests that may not be accurate. Various tests differ and the sensitivity may range from 20% to up to 80%.
BB: Certain events and venues like cruise ships, college and professional football games, packed flights. Will they have to be drastically adjusted during this pandemic as things begin to reopen?
PP: Yes, absolutely. The CDC has already recommended cruise ships to develop kind of plans to mitigate the risk of COVID once restrictions do get lifted, and airlines will be doing the same. They’ll be doing implementing measures to kind of implement a social distancing Emirates has been one of the first airlines to test all their passengers for COVID before boarding, so this will kind of become somewhat of the norm as restrictions are lifted.
BB: Now, some states are reopening Georgia, for example, is planning on this Friday. Is there a concern about different states reopening and some having the same restrictions? Could that create a nationwide problem with people traveling?
PP: Yes, and I know Tennessee and Ohio will follow Georgia next week most likely and and yes, there is a high likelihood of travel and increasing the number of cases with COVID. So again, it’s important to just engage in that in those preventive measures. People will be going in and out of space and this will increase the likelihood of the number of cases that we see
BB: Dr. Payal, I’m seeing Tylenol, acetaminophen, flying off the shelves. Why is it considered by many experts a better over the counter treatment of symptoms then say other treatments?
PP: Well, initially when the COVID pandemic began, the World Health Organization stated that ibuprofen should not be used and that it actually increases the severity of COVID which is why people began using Tylenol to manage pain and fever. However, since then, many scientists have said that we really don’t know if it increases the severity. So that’s really the primary reason that acetaminophen has been more recommended for just treating pain and fever associated with COVID.
BB: Anti-bacterial hand soap verses regular hand soap. Is one better than the other?
PP: Not at all, any type of soap will work. It doesn’t have to be an antibacterial, really any soap you have is effective at killing those COVID molecules. But again, it’s important to scrub your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.
BB: Restaurants opening up- do you feel people limitations will take place like spacing tables?
PP: Yes, they’ll most likely have to spacing tables and limiting the number of people that are in the restaurant at one time, and those working at the restaurants will most likely have to wear face masks. So this is kind of again going to become the new norm.
BB: Okay, briefly, this is a long question, but it fascinated me. Some health analysts suggest California’s COVID-19 cases may have been impacted had the San Francisco 49ers won the Super Bowl. San Francisco had his first cases of Coronavirus reported a couple or three days before the game, San Francisco lost. Had they won, there would have been a huge pack celebration that week downtown. reaction to that would that have spiked the numbers in California.
PP: It is likely. At the time of the game, there were two confirmed cases. Had they won, there would have been obviously a huge celebration gathering, a few million people and there were probably many undiagnosed cases at the time. So the loss probably prevented a disaster from occurring in California.
BB: Alright Dr. Payal, we can’t say enough thank yous for you in giving us your perspective on this and we will be talking to you again tomorrow.
And we want to hear from you. If you want to ask our doctors questions, head to our Eyewitness News Facebook page or drop me a line on my Brad Byrd News Facebook page.