FDA Coronavirus Q&As for Consumers

The FDA is working to address the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and keep you and your family informed on the latest developments. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions from consumers about treatments and prevention:
Q: Are antibiotics effective in preventing or treating COVID-19?
A: No. Antibiotics do not work against viruses; they only work on bacterial infections. Antibiotics do not prevent or treat coronavirus disease (COVID-19), because COVID-19 is caused by a virus, not bacteria. Some patients with COVID-19 may also develop a bacterial infection, such as pneumonia. In that case, a health care professional may treat the bacterial infection with an antibiotic.
Q: Should I purchase personal protective equipment such as facemasks or N95 respirators for me and my family?
A: No. Surgical masks and N95s need to be reserved for use by healthcare workers, first responders, and other frontline workers whose jobs put them at much greater risk of acquiring COVID-19. The cloth face coverings recommended by CDC are not surgical masks or N95 respirators. Surgical masks and N95s are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by CDC.
Q: Can I get COVID-19 from a food worker handling my food?
A: Currently, there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19. However, the virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person in some communities in the U.S. The CDC recommends that if you are sick, stay home until you are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.
Anyone handling, preparing and serving food should always follow safe food handling procedures, such as washing hands and surfaces often.
Q: Should I take ivermectin to prevent or treat COVID-19?
A: No. While there are approved uses for ivermectin in people and animals, it is not approved for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. You should not take any medicine to treat or prevent COVID-19 unless it has been prescribed to you by your health care provider and acquired from a legitimate source.
A recently released research article described the effect of ivermectin on SARS-CoV-2 in a laboratory setting. These types of laboratory studies are commonly used at an early stage of drug development. Additional testing is needed to determine whether ivermectin might be appropriate to prevent or treat coronavirus or COVID-19. Read more about ivermectin.
To learn more about these and other coronavirus topics, visit: Frequently Asked Questions

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