By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – As the coronavirus spreads throughout Massachusetts, we are receiving lots of questions about the virus and how to be safe. Dr. Mallika Marshall answered some of the questions sent to WBZ-TV’s FacebookInstagram and Twitter accounts.

“When should you go get tested? I’m not deathly ill but my asthma is acting up.”Jodie, Instagram

There are many things that can trigger asthma, most notably, colds and allergies. So it may not be sign of coronavirus, especially if you don’t have a fever. But call your primary care doctor who, based on your history, will tell you if you qualify for testing, and if so, where to go.

“Does the virus spread in more ways than touching an infected object or spittle from an infected person?”Steve, Facebook

That is the predominant way it’s spread. You touch a surface like a doorknob or phone, or you touch someone’s skin or clothing that is contaminated. Then you touch your hands to your eyes, nose or mouth. Scientists are also studying whether the virus spreads through the air or through feces, but right now they don’t think that happens very often.

“Is it irresponsible to go for a run or walk outside?”Mary, Instagram

This is a very popular question. We’re telling everyone to stay at home, but does that mean you can’t go outdoors? No, you can go for a walk or run as long as you keep at least 6 feet away from anyone who doesn’t live with you, and you don’t touch any public equipment. If you’re sick, you should stay at home.

“I have been reading online that CPAP machines can bring relief to milder cases of coronavirus. Should people donate extra ones?”Jack from Londonderry, N.H. 

CPAP is great for sleep apnea and is often used in hospitals to help people breathe easier. But there has been some concern that CPAP machines can release virus into the air, putting others at risk. That said, some hospitals are trying to modify CPAP machines with masks, for example. So if you want to donate a CPAP or other types of medical supplies, MGH/Partners is accepting donations here.

Dr. Mallika Marshall


Leave a Reply