Can hot drinks help to kill the virus? Dr Hilary answers your coronavirus questions – The Sun

WE may be in the grip of a national health crisis but one of Britain’s most respected doctors is here to tell you what you should – and shouldn’t – be doing.

Many of you are understandably worried about yourself and your loved ones catching the virus, and more than 4,000 of you have contacted us with questions for Dr Hilary Jones.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

Dr Hilary – health editor for ITV’s Good Morning Britain and Lorraine – is back once again responding to the queries that are flooding in from Sun readers. Today, he busts some myths surrounding the coronavirus – and gives tips on how everyone can help to prevent its spread . . .

Q: I’ve heard hot drinks can kill the virus. Is this correct?

A: There is absolutely no truth whatsoever in that, unfortunately. People are reading all sorts of information and perhaps they have got this from the fact the virus is affected by high temperatures. But hot drinks would have no effect on the virus in the eyes and nose, which is often where it gets in. There is also no evidence hot drinks could prevent the virus or make it more mild.

Q: Will the UV light from the sun help stop the coronavirus?

A: Ultraviolet light can weaken and kill the virus because UV radiation can destroy lots of microorganisms. That is why it is OK for people to go out in the fresh air and exercise — but not in groups of more than two people from the same household. But if you already have the virus in your nose and throat UV light won’t have any effect.

Q: You said you shouldn’t take ibuprofen. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties too. Is it still safe to eat it?

A: Herbs such as ginger and garlic do have anti-inflammatory properties but the effects are so mild they would not have an appreciable effect. There is no reason to avoid culinary herbs.

Q. If I get the virus, what should I do?

A: Stay at home and self-isolate for seven days if you live alone or for 14 days if you live with other people. Treat your symptoms as you would with any other upper-respiratory infection. Take paracetamol to help bring down your temperature, use cough medicine to help ease your cough, use lozenges or a spray for your sore throat, and if you have a bunged-up nose, use a decongestant. Drink plenty of fluids.

Q. Should I still take my child for their routine vaccination?

A: Yes, you should still take your child. Routine immunisations continue to protect children from all the usual infections. They are being held in a safe clinical setting.

Q. I am heavily pregnant and due to have my baby in hospital in a few weeks. Is this still safe?

A: Antenatal and obstetrics care is continuing. All midwifery teams are taking every precaution for services to continue as normal. No one needs to be frightened going into hospital to have a baby. Hospitals are a safe clinical environment and you will be discharged as soon as is appropriate and practically possible.

Q: We are waiting on a cancer diagnosis for our daughter. Will they delay starting treatment because of the virus?

A: No. Serious and emergency treatments will continue despite the virus outbreak. This cannot be postponed.

Q: The streets are now full of runners and some push past me on the pavement. Can they pass the virus through their sweat?

A: This is a respiratory virus, transmitted through droplets in the air we breathe out and through sneezing. Our hands can be contaminated and when we put our hands to our face that’s how the virus gets into the body. Sweat and blood are not thought to transmit the virus.

Q: I’ve always had a weak immune system and I seem to catch everything going. How much at risk am I?

A: There is no evidence that people who are prone to catching ordinary colds are more susceptible to coronavirus. Just take the necessary precautions and keep on physically distancing from others.

Q: I ride a motorbike. Is there any reason I can’t?

A: In theory there is no reason why you can’t continue to ride. But the main risk is of you getting injured and requiring hospital treatment. Certainly, the last thing we want to do is overload the NHS with injuries that can be avoided so keep the consequences of what you do in mind.


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Q: My husband is a self-employed gardener working on his own. Is he safe to go to do someone’s garden when he has no contact with the people?

A: While it sounds very strict, the Government’s advice is now clear. That is that everybody should stay at home unless their work is absolutely essential. Even if your husband’s work involves travelling by car on the road, needing to fill up with petrol for example, that increases human-to-human contact, which is how the virus is transmitted.

Q: I’m 73 and a volunteer driver for cancer patients. Is it safe for me to still be doing my voluntary work?

A: While you do a wonderful job, your age puts you in the vulnerable category and you should stop doing what you’re doing. We now have more than 500,000 NHS volunteer responders who will all be younger than you and can take up this kind of work.

  • Watch Ask Dr Hilary: Coronavirus Explained, a Sun YouTube and talkRADIO show hosted by Dan Wootton from 4pm Mon-Thurs. Go to

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