In this week’s installment of Ask a Doctor, UT Health San Antonio physician Fred Campbell answers Texas Standard listeners’ most pressing questions about the coronavirus.
What is hydroxychloroquine, and is it useful against the coronavirus?
It’s normally used to treat and prevent malaria, and for the treatment of some chronic rheumatological conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. While theories about its efficacy against the new coronavirus have circulated widely, in part because President Donald Trump has touted the drug. Scientific research has not yet proven such claims.
“It is advisable to use it only in the setting of a clinical trial, where patients are enrolled, to see if in fact there is any advantage,” Campbell said.
What information is needed for contact tracing to be effective, and who should get that information?
You need to be able to describe where you’ve traveled and with whom you’ve interacted with outside your family during the past two weeks. Knowing who is infected and with whom that person might have been in contact is important for preventing the spread of COVID-19. It’s also important to protect health care workers and first responders who regularly work with the public. If they don’t know who’s infected, they’re at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 themselves.
What is known about the rare but emerging inflammatory condition affecting children? Is it safe to send my child back to day care ?
The multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C, only affects a small number of children who have been infected by the coronavirus and then recovered. The syndrome comes after that recovery. MIS-C can be fatal, but is so far uncommon. Fatal or not, Campbell said it can be “very dangerous.”
As for the risk involved in sending children back to day care or summer camps, Campbell said it’s unlikely most kids will develop MIS-C if they get the coronavirus. But going to places with other children does raise their risk of contracting COVID-19, which could then put their families at risk, as well as any elderly people or those they know with chronic health conditions.
Web story by Caroline Covington.
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