'I can't say that you won't get it': Dr Bosch answers parent's coronavirus questions
"It isn't guaranteed the whole family will get it, but it is extremely likely." Dr Bosch answers readers questions.
Dr Carol Bosch (Supplied)
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As this novel coronavirus makes it way through the global population, parents everywhere are concerned. At Parent24 we've received numerous questions from worried parents.

We gathered them together and asked Cape Town GP DR Carol Bosch to provide some insight, and reassurance. 

See below:

If mom and dad get the virus how do we prevent our children from getting it, or is it guaranteed that they will get it?

If mum and dad were to get it, they would have to adhere to very strict precautions, such as wiping down of surfaces and washing the infected clothes separately.

For now, try to keep a 2m distance from other people, wash hands regularly and have a high index of suspicion for symptoms in the children.

It isn't guaranteed the whole family will get it but it is extremely likely.

If you get it, will you be able to get it again or do you build up antibodies and just get it once?

This issue is still on the fence.

The feeling that technically you shouldn't, but it's difficult to know 100 per cent for sure as it may mutate with time.

What are the increased risks to people with asthma, especially children? 

The novel coronavirus causes an pneumonia lower in the respiratory anatomy than where asthmatics have issues: asthmatics have issues with the lining in the bronchi.

We haven't seen this to be a major risk factor at this stage.

Most of the risk groups like our parents are on chronic medications. Will there be enough stock for everyone? 

We have no need to think that the supply chain will not be able to cope with this, at this stage. 

We are not wanting people to go and panic buy and put unnecessary pressure on the supply chain, at all. 

This is a time when we need to be very conscious of our behaviour and how it affects everyone in the community. 

There is no need to panic buy or stock up on drugs, please don't do this. 

Rather cancel your social calendar, stay at home, stay clean and if you do get sick, phone your doctor for advise. 

Can you be contagious without experiencing any symptoms, like during the incubation period?

Yes, it is definitely contagious even if you are not symptomatic, so there is risk of spread in the incubation period.

This is why there is such a big concern, because we are going to see more people who have been exposed, and will be transmitting the virus. 

This is why it's so important to follow social distancing protocol, and to stay away from events, and even from each other.

And why it's important to take extreme precautions with regard to washing hands, not touching your face and being conscious of what you touch.  

Is it only people with lower immune systems that will get it? Will taking large doses of Vitamin C and zinc decrease my chances of getting it?

Covid-19 does have a bigger impact on people with a lower immune system, but everyone is at risk.

The complications we are seeing are in people with lower immunity, so people with HIV and TB positive patients, and the elderly are at greater risk. 

There are benefits to trying to boost immunity, I can't say that you won't get it, but it definitely will help you to fight this off - and other bugs.  

Find everything on the pandemic in one place: Your family and Covid-19

If you have cold symptoms can you get a consult with a Dr over the phone instead of having to come into the surgery?

If you have any kind of upper respiratory tract infection symptoms, DO NOT consult at a practice.

Rather phone and set up a telephonic consult.

We are trying to care for these patients, while limiting the risk of exposing other patients that also need to be cared for.

If you have symptoms, isolate yourself from other people in your family as much as possible, until you have been advised by a doctor. 

It is important to stay at home now, whether you have symptoms or not.

See more here: What to do, and not to do, if you suspect you might have Covid-19

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