Ask A Doctor: Should I Self-Quarantine After Contact With Someone Who Recently Flew On A Plane?

A UT Health San Antonio physician answers listeners’ questions about their health during the coronavirus pandemic.

By Michael MarksMay 28, 2020 1:08 pm,

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.

Is it safe to send kids back to youth sports this summer?

There’s no guarantee that children are safe from COVID-19, especially if they go back to group activities where it’s harder to practice social distancing. Many kids who get the disease don’t have symptoms, or only mild symptoms. But in rare instances they can develop multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C. Meanwhile, they can spread the coronavirus to other more vulnerable people like the elderly or those with compromised immune systems.

Though social-distancing practices and precautions like masks are important for everyone to follow, Campbell said adults need to model that behavior so that kids follow suit.

How can a parent tell if it’s safe to send kids to summer camp? Should they even go?

Look for camps that keep kids in small, isolated groups.

“That minimizes exposure,” Campbell said.

Also look for camps that follow masking and other social-distancing guidelines.

But participating in any group activity right now means that kids will be more susceptible to the coronavirus, and more likely to spread it to others when they return home.

Should I self-quarantine if I came in contact with someone who recently traveled by airplane?

A self-imposed 10- to 14-day quarantine is a good idea when coming into contact with someone who’s recently been in higher-risk situation like air travel. That’s because at least 25% of people who get the coronavirus don’t show any symptoms. Campbell said that despite airlines’ assurances that they’re making adjustments to protect passengers’ health, air travel still puts passengers at greater risk for contracting COVID-19.

In general, how safe is it to be out in public right now?

Campbell said outside spaces are safer than inside ones when it comes to the coronavirus. When inside, it’s important to wear a mask to prevent spreading the virus. That even applies when working out at a gym, for instance. But even when outside, if you’re spending time in closer proximity to others, you need to wear a mask.

“There are a lot of things that apply to being inside, I think, that could be a whole lot stricter than outside. But still, social distancing is very important.”

Web story by Caroline Covington.


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