By Robin Clutters

Coronavirus is a rapidly changing situation, and we know so many of you have questions. That’s why CBSN Denver is launching a new, weekly segment with CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida answering some of the most pressing questions about COVID-19.

DENVER (CBS4) – We all have so many questions about the coronavirus. That’s why we’ve started a new segment on CBSN Denver. It’s called ‘Q&A with Dr. Dave.’ We’re getting your coronavirus questions answered by CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida.

One of the biggest concerns with coronavirus is that about one in four people who have been infected have no symptoms. So how is it possible for them to spread the virus? Dr. Dave says every time they speak, their saliva can travel onto surfaces, spreading the virus. It’s one of the reasons many cities have made it mandatory to wear masks.

“It winds up going from someone who has no symptoms whatsoever, to giving you symptoms, and you had no idea whatsoever you came into contact with someone who was sick,” said Dr. Dave.

JBS beef meat packing plant in Greeley

(credit: CBS)

Coronavirus has had a huge impact on Colorado’s meatpacking industry. We’ve seen outbreaks at plants like JBS in Greeley and Cargill in Fort Morgan. That has some people wondering, is it safe to eat meat when workers have been sick?

“The temperatures that are used in order to cook things like poultry or meat are more than enough to kill the virus,” said Dr. Dave. “Even if you ended up ingesting the virus, the stomach acid in your body would be so harsh that it would kill the coronavirus germ.”

Pot shops have remained open during Colorado’s stay at home orders. Dr. Dave says coronavirus could have a big effect on people who smoke marijuana, and it’s simply not safe to smoke right now.

People stand in line to buy marijuana products from High Level Health on March 23, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. Residents stock up on essentials before stores close for three weeks amid a shelter-in-place order starting Tuesday evening due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced liquor stores and marijuana dispensaries would be allowed to stay open as long as they enforced extreme social distancing practices. (Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

“We know that it can not only increase your risk of catching coronavirus, but if you do become infected, your complication rate ends up going higher,” said Dr. Dave.

Dr. Dave says when you smoke, the cells in your nose and airwaves get damaged, and are no longer able to push bacteria and viruses out. He says the same thing goes for vaping and smoking cigarettes, but there’s one thing about smoking marijuana that could make you more prone to the virus.

“You wind up inhaling longer, and more deeply, so even if you just have a little bit of marijuana, it’s the equivalent of smoking more than a pack a day.”

RELATED: How Much Does Wearing A Mask Help Prevent Coronavirus?

We know so many people are taking important steps to prevent the virus like handwashing, social distancing, and wearing masks. But are there any vitamins or over-the-counter medications that could reduce your risk?

Dr. Dave says researchers have taken 13,000 compounds from common medications like anti-histamines and mixed them with coronavirus to see if any would stop the virus.

“Unfortunately, none of these things have really shown much promise,” said Dr. Dave.

(credit: CBS)

When it comes to vitamins, in a hospital setting, doctors have found higher doses of vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin D can make a difference. But Dr. Dave warns that does not mean you should be rushing to buy vitamins.

“Experts do not think if you take these in large quantities you’re going to help yourself. There’s a possibility you could have an issues with some of these, even overdosing on some of them,” said Dr. Dave. “The things we keep talking about: social distancing, wearing a mask, lots of hand washing, those are the things we’ve found to be the most effective at preventing yourself from becoming infected with coronavirus.”

Q&A with Dr. Dave airs every Monday at 11am on CBSN Denver.

Robin Clutters

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