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Coronavirus: Your questions answered

The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department answered some frequently-asked coronavirus questions.

TOLEDO, Ohio — We're answering your questions about the coronavirus. 

The Toledo-Lucas County Health Commissioner is urging folks not to panic. 

One question viewers asked us is: 

"Should I be more worried about the flu or coronavirus?" 

Health Commissioner, Eric Zgodzinski put it into perspective.

"Let's talk about worldwide on the average for flu deaths, worldwide per year. 200,000 flu deaths to 600,000 flu deaths worldwide. We're at 3,000 deaths right now for the coronavirus."

The health commissioner said folks can prevent both the flu and coronavirus by washing your hands often.

Another question viewers asked is: 

"How do you treat the new coronavirus?"

The health department said, there are no medications specifically approved for coronavirus. Most people with a mild case will recover on their own and may not require hospitalization. However, some people develop pneumonia and require increased medical care or hospitalization.

"Does wearing a mask help me to not catch coronavirus?" 

The surgeon general urges the public to stop buying masks, warning that it won't help against the spread of the coronavirus but will take away important resources from health care professionals.

The most effective are the so-called N95 masks, which block 95 percent of very small particles. 

"The problem is, you've got to be trained to use them. If you don't take it off properly, just think of that, it's a sieve. And there's a bunch of bacteria and coronavirus on the outside of that. If you take it off the wrong way, you're more likely to infect yourself than if you were just breathing naturally," said Zgodzinski.

Viewers also asked: 

"How long do coronaviruses live on surfaces?" 

The health department said, it is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).

If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.

If you have more questions, the Toledo Lucas County Health Department has set up a hotline. 419-213-4161.

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