Coronavirus questions answered: Are vapers more vulnerable?

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Fox News medical contributor Dr. Janette Nesheiwat and chief medical officer at Ascension Texas Dr. Maria Granzotti joined “America’s News HQ” to answer viewer questions on the coronavirus pandemic Sunday.

Question: If a pregnant woman has COVID-19, is the baby born with antibodies or any sort of immunity?

“Right now, there’s no information that a pregnant woman with the coronavirus transmits this to an unborn child,” Granzotti explained. “The critical part is, if there’s any suspicion of that mother upon delivery having the coronavirus, that the hospitals have protocols in place to separate, for a time period, the baby from the mom.”

Granzotti emphasized the importance of “practicing good hand hygiene and staying away from those that are ill” to help protect expectant mothers from contracting the virus.

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Question: I was a long-time smoker but quit three years ago. Am I still high-risk?

“If you developed COPD [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease] or heart disease or cancer when you were a smoker, then yes, you are at a higher risk of complications of coronavirus,” Nesheiwat explained. “Otherwise, just continue with preventative-measure precautions such as hand hygiene, six-to-10-feet distance from other people and that sort of thing.”

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Question: There have been some doctors who suggested that perhaps vaping could also increase your risk of getting COVID-19. Is that true? 

“Smoking and vaping [cause] irritation and inflammation in the lining of the lungs. It could put you at a higher risk of complications from any type of disease, whether viral, bacterial or fungal,” Nesheiwat warned.

She advised viewers to avoid “putting anything in our bodies that’s toxic that could make you more prone to complications and put you in the hospital.”

Question: Can you disinfect a mask if you put it in a microwave?

“There’s mixed information on that, but it can actually do more harm than good, especially if there’s metal in the mask,” Granzotti warned. “You don’t want to set your microwave on fire. But,” she added, “it’s better to [use] soap and water and wash, hand-wash the hand-made masks. That’s the best option right now.”

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“There’s a lot of misinformation out there on the microwaving of these masks,” she added, “so it’s really not recommended at this time.”

Fox News’ Leland Vittert contributed to this report.

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