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.

“If you wear a face shield out in public is it also necessary to wear a face mask?” – Robin in Attleboro

Yes, wearing a typical face shield alone is not adequate. It provides additional eye protection but does not keep respiratory droplets in or prevent you from breathing respiratory droplets out into the air.

“Has there been any research done on non-shaven men versus clean-shaven men? All that hair around the nose and mouth could be a magnet for the virus.” – J.B.

There is no scientific evidence that having a beard puts you at a higher risk of getting the coronavirus. Having facial hair can be a problem for healthcare workers who need to get a proper seal when wearing an N95 mask.

“Do I have to self-isolate every time I go to a doctor’s appointment?” – Brenda

That’s generally not necessary because most medical facilities take precautions to minimize a patient’s exposure to the virus by having everyone entering the building wear masks and keeping patients socially distanced.

“Does one have to take the cotton swab up the nose or can a blood test be given?” – Donald

The blood test looks for antibodies to see if someone has had the virus in the past. In order to find out if you’re currently infected with the virus, you need to have a test using a cotton swab in the nose. Soon we hope to have a test that just involves a saliva sample and no swabbing at all.

Dr. Mallika Marshall

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