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 dentist had me rinse with povidone-iodine before my cleaning. Does it really kill COVID-19?”Drew

Researchers at the University of Connecticut found that rinsing with a dilute solution of povidone-iodine could inactivate the coronavirus in as little as 15 seconds and might be a way to reduce the risk of transmission to providers, like dentists, who work in people’s mouths. But remember, this is not something that people should attempt at home to rid themselves of the coronavirus.

“My wife and I are high-risk and our car needs inspection. The technician must drive our car into the inspection bay to check it. We are concerned about getting a car back which might be contaminated. -Timothy

There are some things you can do to reduce your risk. You can have someone else take your car in for inspection. You should make sure the inspector wears a mask while in your vehicle and ask them to keep the windows open, if possible. And when they’re done, simply wipe off the steering wheel, console, stick shift, and door handles with disinfectant.

“Should I worry about people walking or running holding their masks in their hands as they are swinging their arms. Could there be droplets?” -Ann

No, you should not worry. Respiratory droplets on someone’s mask are not likely to leave the mask and enter the atmosphere as someone passing by swings their arms. And even the respiratory droplets exiting someone’s mouth as they are running or walking by are not likely to pose a threat as long as you keep a safe distance and just keep on moving.

“Is it safe to use masks made in China?” -Frances 

Yes, for the public, cloth and disposable masks made in China are generally safe to use. The most important thing is just to consistently wear a mask.

Dr. Mallika Marshall


Leave a Reply