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A doctor dispels coronavirus myths

Dr. Faheem Younus, the chief of Infectious Diseases at University of Maryland, Upper Chesapeake Health, debunked some of the myths about coronavirus.

Video Transcript

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FAHEEM YOUNUS: So, so far, we don't have evidence of transmission of this disease through pets. It's very likely though that if I'm infected, I have to use common sense, and if my dog is all over me, chances are, yes, the pet may be able to catch it. But, so far, we don't have evidence of it. We do want people to be cautious. If you have symptoms, please make sure that social distancing include your pets in it.

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I don't see any risk in getting your delivery packages. I wouldn't be worried about that. Just practice good hand hygiene. And I've said it before, if you really wanted your feet to remain clean, right, you could either go around the world and clean every possible road and street, or you could wear shoes. Please, wear shoes.

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It depends on the inoculum, the amount of virus. It depends on the quality of the surface. It depends on how much time it had. It depends on the temperature. So there are many variables. The answer varies anywhere from two hours to maybe one or two days.

But here's the big point. I think if there are top 10 things that I want people to remember for prevention of coronavirus, surfaces will not fall in one, two, and three. One, two, and three will still be social distancing, covering your cough, keeping your hands clean, not going to work sick. And, yes, somewhere at eight, nine, or 10, we need to pay attention to surfaces.

And the second important part is, if you're living at your home and you don't have anyone with coronavirus, I don't want you to go crazy cleaning every doorknob, because chance is, the virus is not in your house, and just one general cleaning should be enough. Once again, I'm advocating for a balanced approach, because the surface cleaning can generate a lot of panic among people. Public places, yes, we should be much more vigilant with surface cleaning. In hospitals, we are extremely vigilant. So it's a much more nuanced approach.

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