AS the NHS struggles to cope under the huge pressure of caring for the seriously ill, it is vitally important to follow government advice and only contact them in an emergency.

But in these uncertain times, many of you have been looking for reassurance and advice. That is why we have teamed up with Dr Hilary Jones, who is here to answer our readers’ questions. We have received more than 7,000 so far. Today, Dr Hilary – health editor for ITV’s Good Morning Britain – busts a few myths and gives his expert advice on how best to protect yourself.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates


Q. MY daughter works for the NHS and is staying in a hotel as her partner has asthma. Is it safe for her to move in with us? We are all key workers.

A. The safest option would be for your daughter to remain in the hotel. We need as many key workers to stay in their jobs, and the more that live together, the greater the risk of them exposing one another to the virus.

Q. I’M 53, have diabetes, heart failure and have had a stroke. If I got coronavirus, would a healthier, younger patient get a ventilator over me?

A. Hopefully it will never come to that. If the NHS becomes overwhelmed, very difficult decisions will have to be made. This is why society needs to work together and follow the recommended guidance.

Q. I’M struggling with anxiety and feel nauseous. I’ve had to take some days off work because of it. What can I take to ease my nausea?

A. Anxiety often causes physical symptoms, such as nausea. Have a break from tuning in to gloomy news, enjoy exercise and talk through concerns with friends and family by phone or online. There are also mental health charities if you need them.

Q. MY fiancée and I live apart. I stay on my own in my house with no other family, while she lives with her son. Is it safe to still see each other?

A. If you are busy­ working and out and about, there’s a risk you could take the virus to your fiancée and her son. If you can bear to stay apart you minimise the risk. If you move in together and live as a household, the risk, of course, would be the same but you won’t be travelling back and forth.

Q. MY 81-year-old gran lives alone. My family have been taking it in turns to stay with her. Her younger sister also lives alone and has offered to stay with my gran. Is it safe for her to do so?

A. If they can look after each other rather than have many different people visit and stay, it makes sense. However, they might still require the rest of the family for deliveries and supplies.

Q. I’VE heard they are using a malaria drug to fight the virus. Is this true?

A. Clinical trials are ongoing into many potential treatments for coronavirus, including anti-malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. Currently, there is no solid evidence that these prevent or can treat coronavirus.

Q. MY two-year-old and four-year-old have had a cough and a slight temperature, but the cough is only in the mornings. Could these be symptoms?

A. Toddlers rarely get more than mild symptoms. Your children’s coughs are not persistent and, of course, a temperature is very common in children due to other conditions such as earache and tonsillitis. See how they get on. The likelihood is that this is not Covid-19.

Q. CAN heavy rain or snow stop coronavirus?

A. There is no evidence from around the world that countries experiencing coronavirus are any better off because they have a warmer or colder climate.

Q. CAN you catch coronavirus from ­having sex?

A. Physical distancing — which means keeping a distance of two metres from other people — is vital. You cannot get much closer to somebody else than having sex. That said, if you are living with somebody else, you derive no benefit from abstaining from sex as you are in close frequent contact anyway.

Q. I REGULARLY wash my hands. Is it beneficial to do the same with my lips?

A. Should the virus have already been transmitted to your mouth and lips, the chances are that it is already within your respiratory system. Handwashing is the crucial thing as this is how the virus is usually transmitted to your face.

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