Your Questions On COVID-19, Answered By Medical Professionals

Two local physicians answer listener questions about COVID-19 on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson.

Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson has been hosting hour-long specials on 101.9 WDET where local physicians answers listener questions on COVID-19.

For this special, Dr. Paul Kilgore answered questions from tweets, email and call-ins.

Click on the player above to hear Dr. Kilgore answer listener questions on COVID-19, and read some select answers, edited for length and clarity, below.


  • Dr. Anne Messman, emergency room doctor at a Detroit Hospital
  • Dr. Raquel Orlich, family doctor at Plum Health Direct Primary Care in Corktown, Detroit


I live alone and have been sheltering in place. Is it OK for me to visit other people who have also been sheltering in place by themselves? 

No. The social distancing guideline still stands not to visit people. Until we know how to identify asymptomatic carriers, we must stay apart, unfortunately.


Do asymptomatic people ever show symptoms, or do they stay asymptomatic? 

“Asymptomatic carriers, by definition, never get sick or show symptoms, but they can still pass on the virus,” says Dr. Messman.


Can COVID-19 survivors get infected by coronavirus after they have recovered? 

We don’t know, yet. We do know the coronavirus has mutated several times, so, at this time, we believe it is possible that a survivor could get the virus again.


How long does it take for someone to shed the virus? 

It varies greatly. Some people stopped shedding the virus soon after recovery, and for others, it took up to a month. We also don’t know yet if you can infect someone while you’re shedding the virus.


I was exposed to someone who later tested positive for coronavirus. I have had symptoms including a cough and low energy, and I passed out recently. What should I do? 

Since there is still no treatment for COVID-19, if you are experiencing mild symptoms, it is best to stay home and recover. Do not take NSAID medications like ibuprofen or Motrin. It is okay to take Tylenol if you want to treat a fever. If your symptoms are severe and you need medical attention, you should go to the hospital.


I had a cold last month and some of those symptoms are still lingering. Is that a symptom of coronavirus? 

If you’ve had a cold, or have had seasonal allergies in the past, don’t worry. A tickle in the throat can last weeks after having a cold. However, if you have symptoms that are unusual for you, pay attention for symptoms of COVID-19 and take extra care. If you experience sever symptoms, go to a hospital.


Does using Tylenol to treat a fever negatively impact my immune response? Should I just leave the fever untreated? 

Healthcare providers have differing opinions on this question, but if you have a fever and want to treat it, Tylenol is OK. A very high fever can be very dangerous and should not go untreated.


Does wearing a mask protect me, or other people? 

Wearing a mask protects both you and other people. The main function of the mask is to catch droplets from someone coughing or sneezing before they get in the air. It is best to wear a mask if you need to go out.


I had a stomach virus recently. Is that a symptom of COVID-19? 

Some patients who tested positive have experienced symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting. There are other reasons you might experience gastrointestinal issues including influenza or food poisoning.


I may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, but I’m showing no symptoms. Can I get an antibody test to find out if am an asymptomatic carrier? 

We do not have an antibody test, yet.

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  • Detroit Today
    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.