Coronavirus questions answered: 'Can pets contract coronavirus?'

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Fox News contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier joined "Special Report with Bret Baier" Wednesday to answer viewer questions about the coronavirus pandemic, including the safety of takeout ordering and whether virus could impact your pets.


Question: We have been vigilant about washing our hands. I'm just wondering, is it necessary to have antibacterial soap or can we use just the soap that we have on hand?

Dr. Saphier said the "the truth is" people don't necessarily need antibacterial or anti-viral soap.

"Actually a lot of our data shows that those don't necessarily work any better than just plain old soap and water. The most important thing is you wet your hands first. You rub it together for about... 20 seconds," Saphier said. "Make sure that your fingertips, in between your fingers, the back of your hands, really get those suds going and then rinse it all off. Rinsing it off is key. And make sure you don't just use your hand to turn off the faucet, dry your hands first and  whatever you use to dry your hands, then turn off the faucet."

Question: I'd like to know what our risk is with takeout service from restaurants in light of the many people behind the scenes.

Saphier says "we don't necessarily know," noting that there is data showing that the virus can live for several hours on cardboards and plastics.

"Take off some of the packaging outside of your house when you bring it in your house. Make sure you're really washing your hands, wipe down any surfaces it touches," Saphier said, "Use your own utensils. Honestly, it's really hard to reduce your ends to zero. But by practicing these methods, you definitely are reducing your risk."

As for the safety of the food itself, Saphier said "we don't necessarily know."

"You can absolutely call ahead to your restaurant and ask them ... what are they doing?" Saphier said. "Are they having their food handlers and their cooks with the mask on to protect any aerosol transmission of the virus?"


Question: Can pets contract coronavirus?

Saphier says some studies say no but that you should use caution anyway.

"You still want to keep your pet safe as well," Saphier said. "I like to say that everyone should just pretend that they're infected and everyone around them is infected. So maybe humans should just also consider that their pets may be infected, although the likelihood is they actually are not."

Question: Is ibuprofen OK to take if you contracted the virus? There were reports ibuprofen can make the virus worse.

Saphier says that taking anti-inflammatory drugs is not recommended if you have contracted the coronavirus as it may make symptoms worse.

"The World Health Organization just came out today [Wednesday] recommending not to take anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen and Motrin or naproxen," Saphier said, adding that "there have been some whisperings and some reports out of France over the last few days that are actually saying when you take these anti-inflammatorities, it seems to be exacerbating symptoms."


Question: Will the measures taken to contain the coronavirus impact regular contagious diseases like the influenza?

Saphier believes we should see a decrease in the number of flue cases as a "silver lining" to following the protocols laid out to protect us from the coronavirs.

"And the truth is, all of these monster pharmaceutical methods that we're doing right now, this  social distancing, the washing of the hands and not touching of the faces," Saphier said. "I mean, these are all great things. And I would imagine that we would be seeing fewer flu cases there, actually."