By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – As the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow, we are receiving a number of questions from the public. Dr. Mallika Marshall answered some of the questions sent to WBZ-TV’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts.

I’m 27 weeks pregnant. Developed a deep, painful cough last night. Call the OB/GYN or wait? – Jaclyn, Instagram 

If you have a persistent cough and especially if you have a fever, you should call your doctor. You may not meet criteria for being tested for coronavirus, but you can get advice over the phone about what to do. Don’t ever hesitate to call your OB.

Is the sore throat that’s been mentioned like a scratchy, allergy throat, or “I swallowed glass,” like strep throat? – Dorothy, Facebook

Employees are being asked to stay home even if they have a sore throat. Many people are suffering from seasonal allergies right now, which may cause some irritation or itching in the throat. But if it hurts to swallow and you feel like you’re coming down with something, you should stay home.

Is it safe to bike outside with friends? – Neil in Westwood

If you’re feeling well, you can go for a bike ride near your home. But don’t bike with anyone other than people who live in your household. You may try to keep your distance while on the road, but chances are you’ll stop together to drink some water or chat and could inadvertently get too close. So why take the chance?

Should the families of healthcare workers take extra measures to protect the public since the healthcare worker could bring the virus home? – Laura, Facebook

Yes. And honestly, healthcare workers themselves are facing some tough decisions. I know doctors and nurses who are sleeping in their garages or basements to isolate themselves, afraid they may bring the virus home to their families. I actually decided to move out of my house and leave my kids yesterday since I’m at higher risk of seeing patients with COVID. But I’m lucky that I have someplace else I can stay. Most of my colleagues don’t, and they’re doing what they can to protect their loved ones and the community at large.

Dr. Mallika Marshall


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