Is wearing a face mask guaranteed to protect me? Dr Hilary answers your coronavirus questions – The Sun

AS coronavirus continues to claim lives across the country, many of us have been left in a state of fear.

But despite the lockdown, we are all trying to continue as best we can with our everyday lives.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

We have teamed up with Dr Hilary Jones who is on hand to answer your Covid-19 related questions.

Today, Dr Hilary – Health Editor for ITV’s Good Morning Britain – tells Emma Pietras why wearing a mask can do more harm than good and when you should shield.

Q.    I WORK offshore and some ­workers have had a Covid-19 test but I haven’t because we were told it’s not recognised by the NHS?

A.    I doubt very much whether they’ve had the Covid-19 test, which shows if they have been infected.

There aren’t even enough of these tests for doctors and nurses. It is much more likely that they have been offered the so-called antibody test to see if they have previously had the virus and are now immune.

Unfortunately these tests are currently unreliable and misleading.

They could tell you that you’ve had the virus when you haven’t and vice versa.

So just practice social distancing and hand-washing if you have to work.


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Q:    I AM an NHS Healthcare Support Worker, caring for a patient with Covid-19. I have asthma that is managed by an inhaler but not severe enough to be asked to shield. Should I be exposed to infected patients?

A:    In an ideal world you would not, but in this ­crisis we need all hands to the pump.

In theory you would have received a letter if your asthma was considered severe enough to put you into the vulnerable category.

Unless you have had severe or frequent episodes of asthma requiring oral steroids you may still go to work, but in your case using PPE and social distancing is very important.

Q.   IS it safe to go two miles by car to visit my daughter who never goes out at all as she can hardly see?

A.    People are being asked to stay at home except to go for essential supplies, to collect medications or to care for the vulnerable.

The less contact there is between people, the less likelihood of transmission of the virus.

If your daughter is visually handicapped and cannot manage alone then clearly you must go.

But if she can cope, however difficult it is for both of you, it would be best to stay home, except for essential work.

Once they have all been in self- isolation for 14 days they can go out together to exercise, providing none of them have developed symptoms.Q.    MY grandson has been ill for 11 days. His parents and brother show no signs of coronavirus. When can they go out together to exercise?

But if your grandson remains poorly, he should stay home until he feels completely better.

Q.    ON Christmas Day, I was in bed with a high temperature and the typical virus symptoms before that. I know others who were also poorly like this. Could it have been coronavirus?

A:    The first two cases of Covid-19 in the UK were diagnosed in late January. Of course it’s possible other people could have ­contracted the virus and not had symptoms.

But since the incubation period is around five to six days, we would have seen many more cases had the virus been around for long before that.

Remember that seasonal flu and other viruses ­circulate in the winter months so it is much more likely that you were suffering from the effects of these.

Q.    DOES a face mask protect if used correctly?

A:    Medics treating infected patients with a cough certainly need to wear masks and so do the patients who are coughing.

Essential workers in public-facing jobs should also be supplied with masks.
But for people who are well and just going out, there is no evidence masks are of any benefit. Only high-quality ones are worth having anyway — and because people put their hands to their face more often when wearing ineffective masks they can do more harm than good.

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