Phillip Schofield, 57, feared he should self-isolate at the end of last month following an increase in the number of confirmed coronavirus in the UK. Today, prior to a sixth patient death in England, the This Morning presenter asked whether coronavirus could be passed on through sex during a segment on the show. The question came about as the presenter and co-host Holly Willoughby sat down with This Morning’s Dr Sara Kayat and Immunologist Dr Al Edwards.
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As they dispelled some of the myths surrounding the virus, named COVID-19, Phillip asked: “Can you get it from sex? That’s another question being asked.”
Dr Sara explains you cannot spread coronavirus through sex itself, as it’s not a sexually transmitted disease, but that there is some concern.
She added: “It can be transmitted through respiratory droplets, which can be spread from direct contact. As such you are more likely to catch coronavirus through intimacy with an infected partner.”
Phil pointed out that during sex, partners get pretty close.
Dr Sara added: “You’re pretty close unless you’re having sex through like a plastic sheet which is not very sexy at all.”
The This Morning doctor went on to explain that UK modelling estimated a 1 percent mortality rate for coronavirus – which is the same as flu.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus in the most vulnerable.
When asked if coronavirus can be caught from pets, Dr Al answered: “We are fairly sure that cats and dogs are not infected with this new coronavirus, and its extremely unlikely that people will catch it from their pets.
“The way the virus is transmitted is from person to person.”
People have also questioned whether coronavirus can be transmitted via packages.
On this matter, Dr Al said: “The good news is that this type of virus is actually quite fragile and doesn’t live very long outside the body.
“It particularly doesn’t like paper – hence the ‘catch it, bin it’ advice. So it’s very unlikely you will get it from a parcel.”
When it comes to coronavirus spreading by contaminated food, there is no major need for concern.
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Dr Sara explained: This is an illness spread by respiratory droplets, and as such it is unlikely you will catch coronavirus by eating food prepared by someone with coronavirus and it is likely to be killed by the cooking process.
“However there have been some cases of the virus being detected in the stool, so it cannot be entirely ruled out.”
It is unlikely someone will get coronavirus twice, according to Dr Al, but he added there is still some uncertainty because it’s a new illness.
When it comes to shaking hands, he said: “Shaking hands is not going to pass on the infection on its own, as we don’t get infected through the hands – but think how often you touch your face.
“It’s a good idea to practice hand hygiene before eating, and the same goes for putting on make-up.”
Dr Sara added: “You cannot catch coronavirus by touch alone, so it is safe to shake hands provided you then wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser prior to eating or touching your face.”
Coronavirus – what you need to know
The symptoms of coronavirus are:
- A cough
- A high temperature
- Shortness of breath
NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do.
The health body says you should use this service if:
- You think you might have coronavirus
- In the last 14 days you’ve been to a country or area with a high risk of coronavirus
- You’ve been in close contact with someone with coronavirus
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