More answers to your COVID-19 questions

ABC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton discusses COVID-19 and the correlation between blood types, pneumonia vaccination for seniors and allergy symptoms vs. coronavirus.
6:07 | 03/25/20

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Transcript for More answers to your COVID-19 questions
We'll turn again now to Dr. Jen Ashton here for more answers to your coronavirus questions. We got some great ones that are coming in from our viewers, Dr. Jen. We'll start with the first one, is there any correlation between blood type and whether or not you get the virus or how sick you become? That's a really interesting question. There was a limited study done very early on in this outbreak that showed that people who had type a blood were significantly at greater risk of getting sick with covid-19 than people with type O blood. Who were less likely. Now, it definitely needs more research. It hasn't been peer-reviewed. But if there's any truth to it, it does have implications for healthcare workers. It's not really for the lay public, but in terms of strategizing the risk of healthcare workers. Our second question, does the virus migrate once it's on the skin? The warning is to keep your hands away from your nose, mouth and eyes, but what if you touch your cheek or your forehead? So the virus doesn't crawl like some parasites do. But again, let's say it's on your cheek and you just brush your hand over your cheek and then two seconds later you touch your eye, or your nose or your mouth, that's how you can get infected. Again, the contact transmission the handwashing is really, really important. Once it's on your face it's easy to move it to a place where it can then again virulent. Our third question, does the latest pneumonia vaccination for seniors help with symptoms? Well, that new vaccine is really important for people over the age of 65, however, that does not protect you against this know -- novel coronavirus. What it may do is lower your risk of getting pneumonia from multiple pathogens. Remember, people who go to the hospital sick with pneumonia they can more than one type of pneumonia. Same with the flu. So, not a direct protection but still important nevertheless. All right, and Jen, we've been talking over the past few days about the nationwide blood shortage, and encouraging people that it's still safe to donate. But this next question is interesting, are people giving blood required to have a covid-19 test and await those results before donating? They are not, but the American red cross is taking really, really aggressive additional steps right now in the setting of the pandemic, so they're checking people's temperatures, there's no evidence that this covid-19 or novel coronavirus can be transmitted via blood but they're taking a lot of extra precautions and we desperately need more blood donations. So people if they're interested can go online and see what testing center is near them and register online. All right, that's great advice. I was just talking about this, because this time of year so many of us have allergies, and so our next question is, I get them every year seasonally, our next question, where we live, pollen and tree mold allergies are in in full swing, how can you tell if sneezing, coughing and sore throat are just allergies versus a case of covid-19? The first thing is, Amy, no one knows you better than you. If something feels bizarre to you, that's when your radar index of us is situation should go up, and start paying attention more closely. The other thing that is covid-19 really has such a massive range of symptoms, many people have such mild symptoms, they may have no symptoms so they don't know they're infected. The classic ones are easy to spot -- fever, cough, fatigue, some chest pain if it's severe in terms of respiratory issues, but the other common cold or allergy-like symptoms they can have them, too. That's why it all circles back to testing. We need to be able to test so many people so we get a grip. You can have two things at the same time. You can have allergies and coronavirus. I'm curious, do we even know the answer to this, why is it so different from person to person? We don't know because, again, there's so much about this virus that we're still learning, it's not even three months old yet, in general, we see that with influenza, not everyone gets massively ill and bedridden for seven to ten days with the flu, some people have more mild symptoms, so there's always a spectrum of the virus and we're seeing a huge one with this one for sure. All right, and speaking of tests, our next question surrounds that, do the tests have to be taken up your nose or are there other ways? The good news is that there are other ways that we will be seeing very, very soon, in days to weeks, but right now, the only test that's widely in circulation is a nasal swab and Amy, it needs to go all the way back there. So it's pretty uncomfortable. But you're going to be seeing self-swabbing in the nose. Sometimes in the hospital they do an oral swab down the throat, which causes people to cough and gag. We'll be seeing finger pricks and eventually blood tests, serology, to see if we have antibodies against this. A lot of options in the realm of testing. Over the next couple weeks? Hopefully, as soon as the fda approves these other methods we need to see them, as we say in medicine, stat. All right, Dr. Jen, as always, thank you so much. If you have your questions for Dr. Ashton, send them to her Instagram, @drjashton. Much more ahead as we

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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