AS we come to the end of our second week in lockdown, many of you may be struggling with being cut off from the outside world. It can be hard knowing how best to protect yourself and your loved ones against coronavirus as it continues to spread.
But Dr Hilary Jones – Health Editor for ITV’s Good Morning Britain – is here to answer YOUR concerns. We have already received more than 9,000 questions so far. Emma Pietras brings you the much-respected doctor’s answers to your dilemmas on how to help care for loved ones and look after your own health.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
Q. I keep getting a sore throat and earache. I’ve had breast cancer. Should I worry?
A. These symptoms are very common with the normal types of cold and flu viruses and are not typical of the symptoms of Covid-19.
Even though you have had breast cancer, there is no reason to believe your immune system is not now as strong as anybody else’s.
Take paracetamol and throat lozenges — and try not to worry too much.
Q. I have been self-isolating for ten days. If I still have a weird taste in my mouth and a sore throat, do I need to be concerned about going out next week, when my 14 days of self-isolation are over?
A. You should continue to self- isolate.
Guidance says that if you feel well but only have a cough after 14 days, you can safely resume normal activities.
But if you have ongoing symptoms, it would be sensible to extend your self-isolation.
Q. My daughter is 32 weeks pregnant and her father-in-law is in an induced coma after testing positive for coronavirus. Can she and her husband get tested? They don’t live with him but they have delivered food.
A. Unfortunately not.
Tests are in short supply and are reserved for patients in respiratory failure being admitted to hospital as well as for the healthcare professionals who are treating them.
The good news? There is no evidence that even if your daughter has been exposed to the virus that she would be more at risk than anyone else, or that the virus can be transmitted to the unborn baby.
Q. My daughter has psoriasis and she recently stopped taking her immunosuppressants on the advice of her dermatologist. Is it possible that she would get more severe coronavirus symptoms because of her overactive immune system and, if so, is she better off on immunosuppressants?
A. Your daughter is better off not taking immunosuppressants, as there is a theoretical risk this could reduce her response to the virus if she is exposed to it.
Her skin condition can be treated with alternative topical medications which will not render her more at risk of the virus than anyone else.
Q. I am having a kidney stone operation next week. Should I self-isolate for seven days when home?
A. No, you should not need to self-isolate.
If the op goes ahead, you will be kept well away from areas where Covid-19 patients are being treated.
So unless you develop symptoms, you do not need to self isolate.
Q. I had a stroke six years ago. Am I at a higher risk?
A. If you have made a full recovery, you are not more risk.
However, if you have any remaining disability which is affecting your breathing or mobility, you should take extra care, remain at home and practise physical distancing.
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Q. I am 65 and would like to go out on my bike. Can I sit on a public park bench for a breather and be safe?
A. Yes, you should certainly enjoy a bike ride, as we are encouraging people to take one form of exercise every day.
Avoid going out in groups with other people.
Relax on a public park bench but remember to use hand sanitiser afterwards and to wash your hands once you get back home.
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