Is antibacterial soap necessary? Is intimacy safe for couples?

Any soap can eliminate and remove the virus

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.

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 acknowledging what we don’t know is just as important as verifying information so people don’t rely on incorrect answers.

Is antibacterial soap necessary?

No. Any soap can eliminate and remove the virus.

Can coronavirus spread by getting into your eyes?

Yes. Coronavirus can infect areas of your body known as mucosal surfaces. Think of those as the moist pink areas of your eyes, nose, mouth and throat.

Can you get coronavirus through a cut or eczema?

No. The receptors, or attachment points that the virus needs to infect you are primarily on mucosal surfaces.

Is intimacy safe for couples?

Yes. If neither of you are sick and there isn’t some reason one partner might want to avoid getting the virus from the other. Intimate contact can transmit the virus, but if a couple is already sharing a space and not isolated from each other then there’s no need to worry about intimacy specifically.

Will a shot of vodka or whiskey prevent COVID-19?

No. There is no gargle, beverage or rinse that will prevent you from getting infected once it’s invaded the mucosa of your respiratory tract.

My family has been self-quarantined for over 2 weeks. Won’t we just be infected later?

The upside to doing your part now is it keeps your family safe and takes a load off the healthcare system while it’s currently getting crushed. While it’s completely true you might get infected later, by then we might have more information on treatments and eventually there will be a vaccine. Even after the stay at home order is lifted, people should still maintain social distancing and hygiene habits so we don’t have a second wave.

MORE: Questions about coronavirus (COVID-19)? Ask Dr. McGeorge

MORE: What the CDC says you should do if you believe you have coronavirus (COVID-19)

How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • Spread is possible before people show symptoms. People who are not showing symptoms can still be carrying the virus and can still pass it on to other people.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

Prevention & Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Click here for more guidelines from the CDC.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Read more about coronavirus here.

About the Author:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.