SIOUX CITY (KTIV) — As Siouxland continues to battle COVID-19, many have questions and some of KTIV’s viewers shared them with us. Doctor Mike Kafka, from UnityPoint Health-Saint Luke’s in Sioux City, joined KTIV’s Matt Breen and Stella Daskalakis to answer some of those questions. Matt Breen: If someone had pneumonia with valley fever several years ago, are they among the more susceptible to COVID-19? Dr. Kafka: My short answer would be no. Just for the viewers, valley fever is a fungal infection that usually occurs in the southwest portion of the United States. Often people are not symptomatic with it, some may require treatment and it can actually cause pneumonia. I weren’t suspect them to be any more susceptible to the infection, but if they were to come down with it and if they had any residual lung damage they may have more of a difficult time getting over the infection once it develops. Stella Daskalakis: What is the treatment for COVID-19? Dr. Kafka: No there is no specific treatment that’s been identified, it’s all symptomatic and supportive. There are a number of different of medications, things that have been used for ebola, HIV, things like lupus, malaria are all being tested right now. But none of them have gone through those stringent testing that determines if those kinds of things are going to be effective. Matt: Is there a vaccine for COVID-19? Dr. Kafka: No, there is no vaccine. I think there are about 12 different companies in the U.S. that are working on vaccines. Three of them actually have some clinical trials going. So hopefully one or all of those may end up being effective, but it is going to take a number of months in order to collect enough data to really be convinced that it’s safe and also effective. Stella: Dr. Kafka many families find themselves in this position, how can I care for a family member with COVID-19 at home? Dr. Kafka: That can be a challenge, but things that people have to keep in mind is one, you just need to keep track of folks to make sure they are not getting ill and they need to go to the hospital. Ideally if you can get them into their own room and have their own bathroom, that tends to isolate them and prevent them from potentially contaminating other parts of the house. And then it is paying attention to good hand hygiene, having them wear a mask if they are capable of it, if not, as a caregiver, you put a mask on. Don’t share any personal items, make sure to keep areas clean and decontaminated and disinfected on a regular basis. Keep visitors to a minimum. Matt: Can I catch COVID-19 from my pet? Dr. Kafka: Again I think the short answer is no. There were some single case things reported from China, but I think in the U.S. there hasn’t been any demonstration of any transmission from pets or livestock […]

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