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How long should you wait to walk in same spot as someone who’s infected with coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Dr. Frank McGeorge answers viewer question about coronavirus

How long should you wait to walk in same spot as someone who’s infected with coronavirus (COVID-19)?
How long should you wait to walk in same spot as someone who’s infected with coronavirus (COVID-19)?

DETROIT – There’s a lot of information and misinformation out there about the coronavirus (COVID-19), 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.

Safe to walk in same spot as someone who’s infected?

A common question being asked is: If someone who is infected walks down a store aisle, how long before it’s safe to walk where they were?

First, hopefully that person was wearing a mask so if they are infected, even before showing symptoms, they emit as little virus as possible into the air around them.

Secondly, the answer somewhat depends on ventilation. In larger, well-ventilated spaces, any virus that might hand in the air is dispersed in seconds.

But if the air is still and stagnant, fine aerosols can linger for longer. For example, think of when something smells around you. In poorly ventilated spaces, the smell lingers. That smell is essentially from tiny particles in the air.

It’s notable that many stores have tried to at least partially address that issue by creating one-way aisles to reduce the bottlenecks from people passing in different directions.

Do diabetes, high blood pressure increase risk?

Another common question is whether people with diabetes and high blood pressure get infected more easily.

The answer is no. They are not at a higher risk of becoming infected. The SARS-CoV-2 virus can infect everyone equally.

The virus doesn’t cause the same problems in everyone equally, though.

People with health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure or lung and kidney problems are more likely to develop severe and fatal complications.


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