What animals can catch COVID-19? Will warm weather, sunlight kill coronavirus?
Dr. Frank McGeorge answers viewer question about coronavirus
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.
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.
What animals can catch COVID-19?
A new study finds cats are susceptible to both becoming infected and transmitting the virus to each other. Additionally, it found ferrets -- who have similar respiratory tracts to humans -- could become infected.
Dogs, pigs, chickens and ducks were not susceptible to the infection.
A major takeaway is that as vaccines are being developed, ferrets might be a valuable animal to test on.
Are smokers at risk?
If you’ve been looking for a reason to quit smoking, COVID-19 could be it. Prior research suggested smokers have at least double the risk of suffering severe outcomes when infected. A new study suggests why -- smokers develop more of the ACE-2 receptor -- the protein that SARS-COV-2 uses to infect us.
The big picture is that smoking does more than hurt lung function, it probably also makes it easier for the virus to infect you.
Can sunlight and warmer weather kill the virus?
Finally, there has been a lot of debate about the effect warmer sunnier spring and summer weather might have on virus spread.
A new study looking at meteorological data compared to infections in China has found there was no change with warmer temperatures or additional UV exposure -- like sunlight.
The researchers weren’t able to sample a full year of data, since the virus has only been known for several months, but they were able to look at different regions with much warmer and sunnier weather.
There’s still reason to hope summer might bring a change, but you shouldn’t count on it.
More coronavirus questions answered
Here’s a list of questions about the virus that we’ve already answered:
- Is it true that a person with the coronavirus is contagious two weeks before they feel sick?
- Can the flu shot or pneumonia vaccine prevent a coronavirus infection?
- Is it true that children haven’t been affected at the same rate as adults?
- Is it true that coronavirus sickens people for 10 to 15 days?
- Is it true that warmer weather will naturally stop the spread of coronavirus?
- Will spraying streets and buildings with disinfectant be effective against coronavirus?
- Do masks help protect against coronavirus? How long can it live on surfaces?
- Have people recovered from coronavirus? Are we relying too much on hand sanitizer?
- Can coronavirus spread to pets? Are you immune after you’ve been infected?
- Is coronavirus spread by insects?
- Should people at higher risk because of age or other medical problems take different precautions?
- Is it safe to travel? Should you stock up on water?
- How do you know if you have COVID-19 or the flu? Can zinc treat the virus?
- Can you get coronavirus from handling money?
- Can store workers contaminate food with coronavirus? Are children affected more than we thought?
- Can you get coronavirus from a toilet seat? How long does it take to receive test results?
- Can coronavirus cause patients to develop severe diseases? Does asthma increase that risk?
- Should you cancel your trip because of coronavirus?
- What does it mean to ‘self-quarantine’ during coronavirus outbreak?
- What does the coronavirus test really look for? What does a positive test mean?
- Dr. McGeorge explains coronavirus (COVID-19) testing criteria
- How long does it take to recover from coronavirus? When are you considered healthy?
- Does coronavirus infect children? How does severity differ?
- Is it true that Ibuprofen can worsen coronavirus?
- Does holding your breath really test for coronavirus? Can drinking liquids keep you safe?
- High blood pressure patients concerned about COVID-19 need to keep taking medication
- What outdoor activities are safe to do amid coronavirus concerns?
- Is coronavirus (COVID-19) airborne? Is it safe to pass others on sidewalk?
- How to handle groceries safely during coronavirus pandemic
- MORE: Answers to common questions about coronavirus
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