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.

“Does the coronavirus show up in a urinalysis?” – Stephen

A nasal swab test can tell you if you are currently infected with the virus. A blood test can look for antibodies to determine if you’ve had the virus in the past. The coronavirus does not show up in a urine sample.

“Is there actually a cure for this virus?” – Andre

There is no cure for the coronavirus. There are medications that can help certain patients with more severe illnesses and drugs that are in development but nothing that will cure the infection at this point. Hopefully, we’ll have more effective treatments in the coming months and a vaccine to help prevent it next year.

“If we get take-out food from restaurants and put it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds, will it kill COVID-19?” – Mary

It’s true that high heat can kill the coronavirus. But honestly, it’s not necessary to “nuke” take-out food before eating it. You’re not going to get sick from food that is contaminated with the virus. Just be careful to wash your hands after handling the containers the food comes in.

“If a smoker has COVID-19, does the coronavirus get carried with the smoke that they exhale?” – Brian

The virus does not hitch a ride on cigarette smoke but it could be suspended in their respiratory droplets as they exhale while smoking. So keep your distance from someone who is smoking, not only to avoid getting the virus but also to avoid secondhand smoke.

Dr. Mallika Marshall


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