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Sunday 31st May 2020

Should you wear a coronavirus face mask? Dr Hilary dispels myths on Good Morning Britain

Dr Hilary sifts the fact from the fiction

TV medic Dr Hilary Jones dispelled coronavirus myths live on Good Morning Britain.

Viewers have praised the doctor for helping them navigate the COVID-19 outbreak.

Answering questions about coronavirus face masks, testing and hygiene - Dr Hilary has been there every step of the way.

As the country continues it's second week of near lock down measures, Brits are getting used to the new normal.

With the pandemic being the hot topic on discussion, it is no surprise that coronavirus rumours have been circulating online.

This morning Dr Hilary sifted the fact from the fiction.

Should you wear a coronavirus face mask?

Piers Morgan asked whether the general public should be wearing masks during the coronavirus outbreak.

He went on to say: "These masks act as a warning and could help social distancing. "

The host also asked if they protected others from the droplets that transfer the virus.

Dr Hilary explained that in Chinese culture the public  have always worn masks if they have symptoms.

The doctor said these were worn: "To protect other people. Not to protect themselves."

However, there are downsides to wearing a mask: "you tend to touch your face more. That is one problem as touching your face transmits the virus in many cases."

Another problem is it can quickly become moist with air and once a coronavirus mask is moist, it no longer traps the contagious bio particles.

The medic stressed: "The people who should be wearing masks are the people dealing with those in hospital who are coughing and spluttering."

"Doctors and nurses need masks. The general public do not need masks."

Dr Hilary noted one exception: "They need them in supermarkets as they are exposed to lots of members of the public."

Can you use a scarf instead of a coronavirus face mask?

President Trump claimed  in a press conference, that you could substitute a ordinary scarf for a face mask.

However, Dr Hilary did not agree: "It is not fine enough material to trap bio particles. "

He went on to say: "Psychologically it might help. It may stop some of the droplets if you yourself were sneezing but for protection it is not very good at all."

Is washing your hands the only thing you should do to stop the spread of COVID-19?

The NHS advice says you should wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water often. Especially after being outside.

Apart from social distancing measures, you should also sanitize any surfaces you touch including your phone.

Thirdly, Dr Hilary emphasized the importance of not touching your face, as this is how the virus is transmitted.

What is a persistent cough?

By now everyone is aware that the symptoms of COVID-19 include a persistent cough and a high fever.

However, many are looking for clarity on what this means.

Dr Hilary described a persistent cough as when you are coughing: "five or six times an hour and at least half a day, maybe more than that."

The medic elaborated: "It is a new cough, a dry cough, it's come out of the blue, you are coughing every hour."

Is loss of taste and smell a symptom of coronavirus?

Susanna Reid asked whether reports of loss of taste and smell are now confirmed symptoms of coronavirus.

Despite many reports, it has not been confirmed by the government.

Dr Hilary admitted that these are being reported by doctors on the front line as coronavirus symptoms.

He also said: "It is not a cardinal symptom for which you should self isolate as many other conditions cause it.

Loss of taste and smell come with hay fever and allergies."

However, Dr Hilary explained that for those who have had COVID-19 and report that symptom, this can last a long time.

Why is the UK not testing people at the airport?

Many are asking why the UK is not testing arrivals at the airport, while Brits are in lockdown.

Dr Hilary :"Screening at airports does not work, Italy found that to their cost."

This is because people may not show an increased temperature until five days later.

So you could get a an inaccurate test result.

Susanna Reid pointed out that these people would be self isolating anyway, according to government guidelines.

Dr Hilary replied: " But are they self-isolating? if we put people in quarantine for 14 days... there wouldn't be any errors."

Good Morning Britain is on ITV, weekdays at 6am

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