Coronavirus questions: How do you know if you have COVID-19 or the flu? Can zinc treat the virus?

Dr. Frank McGeorge answers viewer question about coronavirus

DETROIT – There’s a lot of information and misinformation out there about the coronavirus, so Local 4 is letting viewers submit questions so we can find verified answers.

Click here if you want to submit a question about the coronavirus.

Dr. Frank McGeorge wants to verify or refute any information about the coronavirus, but there are also some questions experts still don’t know the answer to. McGeorge is discussing them because acknowldging what we don’t know is just as important as verifying information so people don’t rely on incorrect answers.

Coronavirus vs. flu

Coronavirus has symptoms people often experience when they have the flu, including fever, cough, body aches and shortness of breath. Viewers from Clawson want to know how to tell if their illness is coronavirus or just the flu.

It is not possible to know without being tested.

If you are feeling sick, it is more likely that you have the flu because coronavirus still has a limited spread in the United States. If you are significantly ill, your doctor will probably test you for the flu and possibly other viruses.

If all tests come back negative, it isn’t unreasonable to be tested for coronavirus. Samples taken must be sent to the state, so test results would take time to return.

Can zinc treat coronavirus?

Another question that viewers are asking, thanks to a viral Facebook post, is whether or not zinc can treat coronavirus.

No. Research on the use of zinc and other vitamins to fight off viral infections is murky and inconclusive. Zinc wouldn’t be harmful to take, but there is no evidence it would help.

There is currently no coronavirus treatment.

Are packages from China safe?

Yes. Any possible viruses would be killed by the temperatures and humidity packages are exposed to in transit.

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