Dr Hilary Jones answers your coronavirus questions

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Every day, talkRADIO’s Dan Wootton will put your questions about the coronavirus outbreak to Dr Hilary Jones. 

During the pandemic talkRADIO will provide guidance and company to our listeners.

If you have a question about how to protect yourself or look after your loved ones please submit them here.


Q: Why do they say wearing a face mask will not protect you from contracting the virus but will protect you from infecting others?

If you are wearing a mask, it will trap the big droplets that you expel when you cough and sneeze and stop them reaching other people.

There is little evidence that a mask will stop you picking up the virus because small droplets may still be able to get in, though if you are in an enclosed space it may help a little.



Q: Why are the Nightingale hospitals not full?

The Nightingale Hospitals were designed as overspill to cope with moderately sick patients. They do not have the same sort of facilities that you would see in an intensive care unit in a hospital.

It is good news that they are not full and the hope is that we will not need them - but we have got them there just in case.



Q: My father is 85 and insists on going out while wearing a mask. I find this very stressful - what can I say to him?

So many people have the same dilemma. We can’t force them to stay at home but they must realise that they have to really be disciplined about social distancing to minimise their risk.

Wearing a mask may or may not help - the evidence is not clear on that.



Q: How long can a person, who has shown no symptoms but has been exposed to coronavirus, be contagious?

They may not be contagious at all, just because they have come into contact with someone with Covid-19 does not mean they have been infected.

If they have got the virus and have no symptoms, the incubation period is around five to six days.

The guidance is that anyone who has been in contact with the virus should self isolate for seven days, in which time symptoms should begin to show.



Q: One of the government’s requirements for ending lockdown is that there is no risk of a second peak.

Won’t there always be a risk of a second peak?

Yes, there will always be a risk of a second peak and even another peak after that because the virus is still going to be circulating.

The key thing is that we don’t rush out of lockdown so that the virus is transmitted rapidly amongst lots of different people. Social distancing will still be important.



Q: What was your reaction to Boris Johnson’s statement and where do you think phase two is going to leave us?

It was good to see the Prime Minister back at the helm. I think it was balanced and positive.

I think it is important that we all realise that this virus is not going to go away any time soon, that it’s going to take quite a long time to meet its challenges and demands and that we all still need to be disciplined and not break the rules.


For more information from Dr Hilary, click here.

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