#AskGMA: 10 common coronavirus questions answered

The virus is sparking anxiety and leaving people worried with questions.

March 10, 2020, 4:53 PM

The global outbreak of novel coronavirus, or, as it’s officially known, COVID-19, has now infected more than 115, 000 globally over the last two months. In the U.S., at least 28 have died and states including Oregon and New York declared a state of emergency.

The virus is sparking high anxiety and leaving many people with questions.

‘‘Good Morning America" rounded-up 10 of your most pressing questions found on our #AskGMA on Twitter.

Below find the answers from our Med Unit featured on call with Dr. Jen Ashton.

1. Will Tamiflu help with coronavirus?

There’s no evidence that Tamiflu will help with coronavirus. Tamiflu has been better studied with influenza. Sanofi signed the agreement for the exclusive over-the-counter privileges for Tamiflu, but no date has been officially announced. -- @VinayakKumarMD

2. I have an (84-year-old) mother whose health is a bit vulnerable. Should I refrain from taking her to her medical appointment if it’s not urgent?)

Talk to your doctor for more personalized information, you may need to use your judgement on this - is it a routine visit or is she not feeling well? In general, it is appropriate to avoid congested areas where other individuals with COVID-19 may congregate. -- @VinayakKumarMD

3. I live in California and mosquito season is starting ... Can you get (COVID-19) from a mosquito bite?

Coronaviruses do originate in animals, but there is no current evidence of mosquito spread. Human-to-human spread is by way of respiratory droplets, which can be spread through sneezes and coughs.-- @DrDelaTaghipour

4. Is it safe to fly to New York from Florida to attend a wedding with 200 guests?

Unless going to a place with a travel ban, it depends on your risk tolerance. The potential risk may not only be medical but also of disrupted travel. Also depends what you’ll be doing and the purpose of your visit, wash your hands and surroundings whenever possible. -- @DrMelGrabe

5. Concerning the coronavirus, what do people do with their pets if they are quarantined in their homes?

If possible, ask a family member or a friend to watch your pets for those 2 weeks. If you can’t, walk them right outside with minimal exposure to other people. Wash your hands before & after touching them. If your pets get sick, call their veterinarian. -- @DrDelaTaghipour

6. Being a diabetic, should I be taking extra precautions?

Taking extra precautions is smart and safe! Wash your hands for 20 seconds or more multiple times per day, avoid crowded areas or contact with people that are sick, and get some extra zzz’s. Exercise can help, too! For personalized recommendations, ask your doctor!-- @DrChloeNunneley

7. I keep hearing the virus doesn’t like the heat, so it should slow down in the summer is that true?

Some germs survive better in certain conditions, but we are still learning a lot about this specific virus. But keep in mind that when it’s warming up here in the US, other parts of the world are cooling down. COVID-19 is impacting many parts of the world.-- @DrChloeNunneley

8. Should you temporarily avoid places like hot yoga, gym locker rooms and saunas since germs can easily hang around those wet places?

Great Q. Daily exercise is associated with a strong immune system! Take some extra precautions like wiping down machines before and after use. Try to go on off hours. The sauna is a closed space where germs can travel easily so consider skipping that. -- @DrMelGraber

9. Can you speak to responses for a small, rural congregation, far from large cities, who are scared and curious how best to respond to this virus?

Engage in normal precautions like you regularly do during the flu season. Wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds. Get the flu vaccine. If you feel ill, stay home, self-isolate and call your doctor or local health department. -- @DrAngelaBaldwin

10. Should we throw away masks after each use? If we are wearing the masks to protect us from getting coronavirus when going outside should we throw them out after each use before going back inside?

The CDC advises AGAINST healthy people wearing masks. People who have symptoms can wear a mask as an extra barrier to protect others from their sneezes/coughs. Surgical masks are intended for single use only.-- @DrAngelaBaldwin

Stay up to date with coronavirus coverage by following @GMA on Twitter and ask your own questions by adding #AskGMA.

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