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.

How can I use the mask without having this irritating sensation? – Isaiah, South Easton, adding he has been wearing masks since it became mandatory, but it gives him an irritating sensation 

Itching in the throat could be due to seasonal allergies or a reaction to the mask itself. You could try changing the type of mask you use. Pick a different type of fabric. Or you could try taking a non-drowsy over-the-counter antihistamine to see if that helps.

Can an antihistamine be used for COVID-19? – Kathy

Antihistamines won’t prevent or treat COVID-19. But many people are taking them for their seasonal allergies right now.

Tricia said she’s 65 and is wondering if it is safe to return to her “silver sneakers” aqua aerobic class

That depends. If it’s outdoors and you can keep a safe distance from other participants, it might be OK. But if it’s in an indoor pool and you’re in close quarters, probably better to avoid it for now.

I live in a college town, what’s going to happen when students from across the country start classes, shouldn’t all returning students be put in 14-day isolation? – Tom

That’s a good question and one that I think many universities that are considering opening up this fall are trying to answer. Others include, do you have students monitor their temperatures every day, or report on a phone app whether they have any symptoms before they can go to class, or roll out widespread testing? I can imagine that people living in college towns are anxious about droves of students from all over going to stores and restaurants and bars. It’s a potential problem.

Dr. Mallika Marshall


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