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Your common COVID-19 questions, answered

Local News

We continue our weekly discussions with the state’s Chief Health Strategist Dr. Joshua Wynne.

He answers several lingering coronavirus questions that have come from our viewers, newsroom staff, and other things frequently googled lately.

First, does supplementing your diet with vitamin D help prevent catching the virus?

It’s been a hot topic online, even being mentioned by a Bismarck City Commissioner ahead of implementing a mask mandate.

“People who don’t have adequate exposure to sunlight may actually be Vitamin D deficient,” Dr. Wynne explained.

“So it’s not unreasonable for people in long-term care and who don’t get outside to take supplemental vitamins, especially vitamin D.”

He adds, there’s no concrete proof in relation to COVID-19, and, that taking more than a recommended dose (about 600-700 units a day) can be harmful.

Next, how long after you know you were exposed, should you go get a test?

“So the average time from contact to really having a good viral load and symptoms is typically day 5-and-a-half, but it ranges a fair amount,” Dr. Wynne responded.

He says a test on day 6 or 7 is more likely to be accurate, though, than day 3 or 4.

Next on the list, why are some people super-spreaders of the virus?

“If someone shouts a lot or sings, or does something like that, that probably can spread it more than someone who doesn’t,” Dr. Wynne shared.

“But secondly, for reasons we don’t know yet, certain people have extremely high viral loads (that’s the amount of virus that they have in their upper airways).”

Lastly, we asked how you know for sure you’re no longer contagious after an infection.

Dr. Wynne says a test is not necessarily good enough because they may pick up an inactive piece of the virus in your system, resulting in a false positive when you can no longer spread it.

He says to be sure, isolate for 10 days if you’re asymptomatic, and if you have symptoms, for 10 days after they subside.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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