By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – Dr. Mallika Marshall is answering your coronavirus related medical questions. If you have a question for Dr. Mallika, email her, or message her on Facebook or Twitter.

Can you tell us how many cases there are of this ‘mystery illness’ that is affecting children in Massachusetts? – Nancy in Brockton

A small number of kids infected with the coronavirus have gone on to develop what’s called “pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome“. This can occur weeks later and is thought to be caused by an overreaction of the immune system. These children appear pretty sick with persistent fever, rash, and fatigue, and sometimes need treatment in the ICU. There have been a handful of cases reported here in Massachusetts and others around the country. The good news is it is rare and can be treated. As of Wednesday afternoon, Boston Children’s Hospital said it had six possible cases. Two are still hospitalized and neither is in intensive care.

Does having an auto-immune disease make you more susceptible to Covid-19? – Diane

People with autoimmune disorders may not be more likely to contract the virus, but their condition and the medications they often take to suppress the immune system put them at higher risk for developing complications from it.

If you had it, could you get it again? – Steph on Facebook

The truth is we don’t know. People who contract the virus often develop some immunity but we don’t know how long that immunity lasts. Scientists are studying this.

Seeing as how COVID-19 is caused by a virus, do antibacterial wipes actually kill the virus? – Mary in Auburn

Antibacterial wipes often contain an antiseptic which is good at killing bacteria but may not be as effective at killing the coronavirus as disinfectant wipes that contain ingredients like alcohol and bleach.

Dr. Mallika Marshall

  1. Denise L Penta says:

    I hope you can answer my question: Will it be safe to swim in any pool that holds more than one person whereas our nasal mucus often ends in the water? I think sea salt at beaches would kill kill bacteria, but would it kill viruses?

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