Dr Horton, FLU, New York City discussed on The World and Everything In It
Here's a summary. The Corona virus is a virus. It's most closely related to SARS. It's more distantly related to actually some viruses cause colds high dose vitamin C won't cure it but normal dose vitamin D. Like the stuff and milk may help your immunity. I do want to say an normal dose again for most people. That's in the six hundred to one thousand international unit. Iu per day range. We don't need a huge dose vaccine. Certainly are the ultimate answer for returning to normal life but in the short term there are things we can do to reduce transmission protect ourselves and especially to protect the most vulnerable the elderly those who have weakened immune systems those who are just chronically in poor health on a personal note. I really appreciate the humility in that question. I've heard some people really really blast the shutdowns and say this is so political but when you see events like the clusters of deaths in nursing homes in different areas. I think that really underscores Weist act cautiously. We came really close to the New York City hospitals going from just way beyond what they were meant to be able to handle to just collapsing. And that's shutting down the city very aggressively. I I hate to think what it would have looked like without those steps. Yeah that is a sobering. Thought don't WanNA think about it. Laura Bell wrote in to ask something that I think. A lot of people wondered about at least in the beginning. Why is the response to this? Pandemic so drastically different from the response to say H One n one ten years ago. The short answer is that this virus plays a lot rougher than h one n one had in the end when they tallied all up. H One n one killed about eighteen thousand people. That's a lot but corona has killed as of last night's. Who Situation Report one hundred sixty two thousand? Those are the ones that we know. Thousands more have died without testing. And there's that a symptomatic transmission. That's the other new thing. About Corona virus. H One one was flu. People who had it looked like people who had the flu here. People can look healthy but still transmitting it. And that makes it hard to control the virus with the more typical measures so it's that combination of it being a bad `bug and being hard to control that's leading to the responses. You're seeing so you said over. One hundred sixty thousand people have died and that's of course a moving number so That makes sense about the bad bug and the hard to control aspects are next batch of questions are all related to following those stay at home orders Laura Lives in Charlotte North Carolina and. She recorded her question. Let's listen as Christian. How do I love neighbors? By providing meals or heartwarming gifts such as cookies or a homemade mask in a way that safe what precautions must stay take which ones are wise to take? And which ones are unnecessary ineffective. How do I communicate the precautions? I've taken without showing up on their front porch and a full hazmat suit. It's a great question. I do. Love the idea of Christians being salt and light especially at a time like this now first and foremost the common sense thing. If you're at all symptomatic if you're wondering whether you might have it might be better to encourage your neighbors with a phone call but assuming that nobody's symptomatic. Wash your hands. Well we don't know how long the virus survives on surfaces but cleanliness couldn't hurt as for communicating the precautions. You can always just write them down. We actually got one package that was handled that way and I was very touched to see all the precautions that the lady had lovingly spelled out on the outside of a nice well. Here's another question related to food. Katie from Massachusetts wants to know If getting takeout from a restaurant increases the chance of getting the virus and if so are there ways to reduce that chance or is it best to avoid outside food altogether. What do you think Dr Horton? It does depend a little on what your choices are. If one of your choices happens to be knocking on the contents of your large pinch at home. It's hard to argue with that being the lowest risk thing to do now for most people that's not an option and that brings brings up the question of is at higher risk to eat takeout then to go to the supermarket and wonder if the other people walking through the aisles. Could be contagious. That's a lot harder question to answer. You're dealing with being around people either way you're dealing with packaging either way. One could argue that. You're breathing more air that other people have exhaled in the supermarket But some rules of thumb for either situation number one pay by credit cards are not handing cash change back and forth with the restaurant especially if you can pay by phone So you're not even doing if you can have. The food brought out to the car. Instead of walking into the building and some grocery stores also allowed US I know Walmart grocery brings the brings food out and I think a lot of their competitors due to I've been surprised at how friendly businesses are to this. I would have thought it would seem like a big imposition to them but when I've gone out for a few things the business owners really were accommodating. I add apologized to one thing. I'm sorry I'm trying not to go into stores. And he said let's find customers can't come right. I've had the same experience where I live in. Missouri Dr Horton. You mentioned packaging. Is there a way to decrease contamination from that? There is if you want to. If you WANNA play it extra safe You can do is open the packaging so that you won't have to touch it again to eat the food then wash your hands and then eat it. The reason is if putting the food into the package or delivering it contaminated the package. That will protect you. Make sense well. Jean Mic Christian emailed us to ask if two people in two different households are self quarantine for two weeks with no symptoms. Can they get together inside one of their houses and then related to that Gene wants to know if she can safely care for her toddler grandchild while her daughter and son-in-law work from home they're all self quarantining. What do you think about that if they've already been quarantined for two weeks without symptoms the chances of either of them being sex should be extremely low? Now we're assuming a few things here that nobody's cheating if you will or being mostly quarantined That sort of thing now. She's asking whether people who are still in the process of self quarantine can get together. That's Murkier area. Because then you're kind of stepping outside of quarantine And that's especially true when folks are then getting together with more people with their families but assuming that that's not what we're talking about here. There's another way to reduce risk which is just to wait for a nice day and get together outside right common sense another listener. Megan road into ask a similar question. She has a three week old baby. Congratulations Megan and she wonders. If it's safe to get together with other family members like grandparents who have been staying at home that have gone out for things like grocery shopping. Now that's going to be. One of those edgy questions again isn't it? It is it comes to a question of how you feel about risk what. I'm talking about that sort of thing with my patients. I sometimes compare it to how people would order a steak. If they're in a restaurant one person says I want to know that every last German this is dead. I want it cooked. Well done another one says I want it rare and the pleasure of eating that rare steak is worth taking a chance. Who's right well? You could argue. Both of them are and they just have a different attitude toward risk realistically. If we're talking about people who took protecting themselves seriously and have been quarantining themselves for a few weeks. You're not taking a very big risk for other situations where they've been going out grocery shopping. You're probably taking at least a somewhat higher risk in the meantime what about Sky Zoom facetime. I know it's not the same but it is better than nothing while it seems like most people are following the guidelines about staying home and avoiding unnecessary contact. We do have to go out. Occasionally a listener Dera Kristof wants to know what precautions are really necessary after a trip to the grocery store for example. Should we just wash our hands when we get home or do we need to take off all their clothes and immediately put them in the Washer and Dryer and then as we take a shower for the everyday person that is complying with the state home? Orders are those types of things necessary. How contagious is this novel Corona Virus? Because I feel like there's quite a bit of fear out there and seems like the common sense thing of just washing your hands and just general sanitary practices would be sufficient. I should probably mention here. I am the family Germaphobe. I discovered a few weeks ago. That Staples Shipman of clorox wipes. I felt like a kid on Christmas when I clicked order but to take your questions in order. How contagious is it? Well it's not very hard to get again. There's that quirk that most young people who don't get badly ill coupled with that it is hey fever season so if you're young and invincible like we all once were right and you're feeling a little a little iffy you might talk yourself into thinking. Oh Yeah I bet it's the pollen and and go out anyway and now you know other people could be exposed. Handwashing has always been a very good idea. It's even more so now but just being around someone's cough or sneeze is more than enough to got corona beyond that. There isn't really enough evidence for me to say yes or no to a specific thing. My personal is if I stayed in the car I paid by phone and I just pulled up and people put things in the trunk. I just wash my hands. Well if I were actually in a store. That's a big. If I don't think I've been inside a store for quite a while now then I might actually shower better yet though again. Use a grocery pickup or delivery service and just skipped going into the store. I know I miss yes. I really miss those things to so much more than I thought I would. Okay now moving ahead. We know that increased testing capability will be vital to track and contain covert nineteen listener brand New England notes. That it's been hard for ordinary people to get tested especially in the early days of the outbreak. Is that changing? And if so Dr Houghton. What's the best way for someone to get tested now? Does it vary by city or State. It is changing. It isn't changing as quickly as it needs to both for health and for the economy now the reason that testing is so important to look under the hood for a moment is that the. Who the World Health Organization categorizes countries as one of three ways isolated cases only clusters of cases or community transmission community. Transmission means. We don't even know who brought it. Where and that's where we are right. Now we're trying to get back to clusters of cases such that health authorities can try to fight individual fires now. The specifics of that testing vary by area around here. They're a drive through centers and that is far better than going into a health facility. Or if you haven't been exposed yet you could end up being exposed by going there okay. Availability of tests also varies by by area. Very okay listener. Rich Thorn also wrote in with a question related to tracking the disease the daily figures we hear reported focus on those who are sick and those who have died. But there's a big difference between those two so why aren't the numbers of those listed as recovered higher than they are? Surely there are plenty of people who have recovered and are just past the point of being carriers. No some of this does relate to the testing situation. There's a formal definition of recovered which is a little different from how you and I normally think of it. We think I was sick. I feel better now so I'm recovered. That's the common sense definition. But there's a scientific definition where you need one positive test and then at least one negative test so if tests are scarce in your community as they still are a lot of the country and you're feeling better in the short term. You're probably not going to be tested. And thus you're not going to be listed as recovered That could be for the best statistically because people have had it may shed virus in their stool for up to four weeks. This also is the test shortage is also a problem in the interest of being able to donate plasma if you either recovered and you now test negative but you never did test positive or you tested positive and you couldn't get a re-test you're not going to be a plasma donor. Because they want both of those together antibody tests would be a great answer to that and let people donate even if they never had a positive test. But those aren't out yet I think it is far more likely that were understating. The death toll than overstating because of that testing situation many places are saying well. We didn't test so we don't know that it was corona so we're not going to say it was corona but if death rate in a given area or a given facility goes up so sharply it is a pretty safe assumption that at least the great majority of that change was related to corona virus. Okay moving along now A question about those who are seriously ill. Justin Sylvester wants to know if there's any information about the number of people who have died who were smokers or who used vaping devices before getting sick. Dr Horton is that a big factor. In how well patients are able to fight off the disease..