Will white wine vinegar protect me from coronavirus? Dr Hilary answers your questions – The Sun
HE is the calm voice of the coronavirus crisis and has been offering his expert advice to the nation as we try to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.
The Sun has teamed up with Dr Hilary Jones – Health Editor for ITV’s Good Morning Britain and Lorraine – so he can answer readers’ questions on Covid-19.
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Thousands of you have been in touch for help to cut through the confusion.
Here, Emma Pietras has Dr Hilary’s answers to more of your dilemmas – including who should be shielded and how best to safeguard yourself.
Q. I HEARD that white wine vinegar can help protect you from the virus. Is this true?
A: I agree that vinegar is usually a good general cleaning product but it is not effective against this virus.
Detergent is the key thing which breaks down the fatty layer on the outside of the virus — and when it is combined with hot water when you wash your hands, it is even better.
Hand sanitiser, containing 60-per-cent alcohol or more, also works.
Q. I USE disposable surgical-type gloves and change them each time I touch something that could be contaminated. But I will soon run out. If I wash my hands in soapy water while wearing the gloves, would this decontaminate them so that they can be used again?
A: I am no microbiologist but logically you should be able to decontaminate gloves when you wash your hands in soap and hot water while wearing them.
You need to be careful that frequent washing does not affect the physical integrity of the gloves, though, and you need to ensure that when you take them off you don’t touch the outside of the glove with your bare skin.
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Q. I’VE heard that human stomach acid can kill the virus? Is it true?
A: This just would not work. Stomach acid is of course very strong and would easily kill the virus — but at the same time, when this acid reaches the throat or lungs, it causes pain, inflammation and potential infection.
By the time the virus has reached the stomach, it has already invaded the lining of the nose and throat anyway.
Q. IF you had coronavirus symptoms and were given antibiotics at an early stage, would this prevent you potentially needing hospital treatment?
A: I’m afraid it wouldn’t. Covid-19 is a virus which, like other viruses, simply does not respond to antibiotics.
When people are sick enough to be admitted to hospital, antibiotics are given as a precaution to guard against a secondary infection following after the virus.
Antibiotics can be effective against bacteria because they have unique cell walls which are the antibiotics’ specific target.
A: Not so. When people are out running, their breathing is usually more rapid but more shallow.
The tidal air they exhale is unlikely to travel anywhere like two metres.
Coughing and sneezing, however, can propel droplets containing the virus several feet which is why the two-metre rule is a good recommendation.
Q. I HAVE been working from home since the lockdown, but am running out of work to do and need to get back to my office to collect more. Is this safe?
A: The guidance is clear, in that we want as many people as possible can work from home to do so.
Any essential work — and the work of key workers — is of course an exception. If your work is not absolutely essential, stay at home.
Q. I HAVE the lung condition COPD and have had several flare-ups recently. I am breathless when I walk. Should I self-isolate for 12 weeks?
A: Your condition puts you well into the at-risk category for Covid-19 and you need to take every precaution to protect yourself.
Shielding is designed for those at the very highest risk, and most people on this this list will receive letters based on information from GPs and hospitals.
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