What Families Can Do To Protect Themselves From Coronavirus

A local family doctor breaks down why masks and other tactics will not work against the Coronavirus

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There are many suggestions circling on social media on what to stock up on in anticipation of a serious Coronavirus outbreak. One viral article suggested stocking up on masks, latex gloves, zinc lozenges, and hand sanitizer.

NBC 7 spoke to Dr. Abby Olulade, a family physician with Sharp Reed-Stealy Medical Centers about this list, and she says not everything is necessary.

I think it is important for everyone to prepare but not to panic.

Dr. Abby Olulade

As redundant as it may sound, Olulade says washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is the most effective way to fight the spread of viruses.

Hand sanitizers should have an alcohol content of at least 60 percent, she said, and they should only be used if water and soap are not available.

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The CDC and the World Health Organization have said masks are not needed or even effective in preventing the virus from entering the mouth or nasal cavity.

Despite these recommendations, masks at local drug stores are sold out. Dr. Olulade says masks could end up putting people at greater risk.

When you wear a surgical mask, you end up fidgeting with it multiple times and you will end up with your fingers close to your nose and your mouth. Most people will increase their risk of getting the virus from doing that.

Dr. Abby Olulade

Latex gloves are not only unpractical, but they are not necessary if you are diligent about washing your hands.

One common over-the-counter item that could help if you start to feel sick is zinc lozenges. Dr. Olulade told NBC 7 that zinc can improve your immune system and help you fight a virus.

Families concerned about their little ones catching the virus can also rest easy. Dr. Olulade said children are at low risk of getting the Coronavirus.

If your child does get the virus, they will likely have mild symptoms. In fact, according to Olulade, 80 percent of people who get the virus have mild symptoms.

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