In this week’s installment of Ask a Doctor, UT Health San Antonio physician Fred Campbell answers more of Texas Standard listeners’ most pressing questions about the coronavirus.
What is the drug ivermectin, and does it help with COVID-19?
Ivermectin is normally used to treat parasitic infections in humans and animals. There’s some research into its possible use for treating COVID-19, but nothing has yet been proven. Campbell says it’s one of many treatments that people tout as a possible cure, without evidence.
“I can’t think of a situation where ivermectin has been helpful for something similar to COVID-19.”
Should I get tested for COVID-19 if I travel across state lines to Louisiana? Is there any reason that trip would put me more at risk?
Louisiana has been a hot spot for the disease, and it has a much higher per capita death rate than Texas. But Campbell says traveling from state to state doesn’t matter so much as what you are doing during your travels.
“Were you in an enclosed area such as a dance hall or a bar? And were there a number of people who were within six feet; whether or not they were using face coverings? All of those things are high-risk behavior in terms of picking up COVID-19.”
If so, he says, get tested.
Should I get tested regularly for COVID-19?
Campbell says testing is only necessary if you develop symptoms, or if you were exposed to someone who has the disease.
What’s the latest news about asymptomatic carriers of the coronavirus?
Researchers are learning new things every day about the coronavirus and COVID-19. Campbell says it’s possible that almost half of people with COVID-19 might never have symptoms. And for those who do develop symptoms, they are most likely to spread the virus during the 24 hours before those symptoms appear.
“[It’s] a very, very high-risk time for transmitting that virus to other people.”
That means nothing has really changed in terms of protecting yourself from getting the virus. Maintain social distance, wear a mask in public and wash your hands frequently.
Web story by Caroline Covington.