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.

Dr. Mallika is offering her best advice, but as always consult your personal doctor before making any decisions about your personal health.

My wife is in Mexico, and upon returning there will be a 14-day quarantine before returning to work. But we’re wondering if she goes for testing and is negative, can she return to work sooner? – Fernando

If she has been exposed to the virus but gets a test too early, she could have a false-negative result. People who have been infected will usually develop symptoms in about 5 days but sometimes not until 14 days later, hence the 14-day quarantine. Certainly, if she develops any symptoms she should go for testing.

Patricia wants to know if COVID-19 can survive in the ocean and be transmitted to swimmers?

I get this question with some frequency and because it’s summer, the answer bears repeating. No, the virus is not transmitted through water so you’re not going to catch it by swimming in oceans, lakes, or rivers. But you could catch it if you came into close contact with another swimmer who is infected.

I’m 68 and feeling healthy. I’ve been following social-distancing and wearing masks in public. Some of my friends have opted to have free COVID tests performed by some pharmacy chains. Should I get one? – Saul, Waltham 

If you’re feeling well and have no known exposure to the virus, there really is no reason to go get tested. It’s just a moment in time. Even if the test is negative today, you could be exposed to the virus tomorrow. So unless you find out you’ve been in close contact with someone who is infected or if you develop symptoms, you do not need to get a coronavirus test.

When will we know if there will be a COVID-19 baby boom? – Christopher

Probably about nine months from now!

Dr. Mallika Marshall


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