A panel of experts at CNN’s ongoing global coronavirus town hall are answering questions sent in by viewers.
If I touch an infected surface and touch my mouth, I could get infected, but you say if I eat contaminated food, I will be fine. How do you explain this?
You won’t get sick from eating the virus because it’s not a food-borne illness — it’s a respiratory illness, said CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta. When you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, the danger is that you could be infected by inhaling the virus or by touching the mucus membranes in those areas.
Is there a way to disinfect and reuse face masks?
N95 masks and other types of face masks are meant to be single-use, said Dr. Leana Wen, the former Baltimore health commissioner.
But hospitals and medical staff have run out of N95 masks, forcing some to find ways to reuse them. There are some “promising” studies that suggest vaporized hydrogen peroxide or UV light could be used to disinfect the masks, but it’s still not optimal, Wen said.
How can I avoid being contaminated by my groceries?
Here are three things you can do to lower the risk, said Wen.
- Reduce the frequency you’re going to the grocery store — you’re more likely to be infected by someone coughing at the store than by touching your groceries.
- Wipe down the shopping cart and the handle of the basket — things you touch a lot at the supermarket.
- When you get home, put the bags on the ground, and wipe down the containers and groceries with soap and water.