Question: I just wanted to know why doctors are not encouraging people to take more Vitamin C, zinc and selenium to help boost the immune system? I would think this is one way people could be doing something in response to the COVID-19 scare. — Viki
Micronutrients are known to support the immune system and help resist infection, including diarrhea and pneumonia, especially in children. Unfortunately, routine supplement of vitamins like Vitamin C has not been found to reduce the occurrence of the common cold in the general population. Some studies have shown marginal benefit of vitamin C and zinc supplement in selected group of people in reducing the duration of cold symptoms. There is, however, no benefit of Vitamin C supplement after the onset of cold symptoms. We do not have much information regarding the role of micronutrients regarding COVID-19.
Question: I have heard lots about not touching your own face. So what about the safety of finger foods like apples, carrots, chips, cookies, etc.?
The best way to prevent COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to the virus. You should wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Our hands are known to touch many surfaces. If we were to touch our eyes, nose or mouth without washing our hands first, we may facilitate the spread of the virus. The advice given not to touch our eyes, nose or mouth doesn’t mean we should never touch at all. It applies only to touching with unwashed hands. The same precautions apply when handling food including fruits and vegetables.
Question: I am scheduled to wild turkey hunt in mid April. Should I eat the turkey I kill? I will not kill something unless I can eat it. — Dennis
You should be fine to eat your turkey. The virus has not been reported to affect wild turkeys, but make sure it is washed and thoroughly cooked. I hope you don’t get exposed to the virus before your wild turkey hunt April. If you get exposed, my advice is you stay at home and leave the turkey alone.
Solomon Beraki, MD, FACP