Coronavirus treatment: Avoid taking this medicine for the virus as it ‘may worsen bug’

Coronavirus outbreaks across the world have led to school and workplace closures, the banning of mass gatherings and town and city shutdowns. In the UK, every Briton over the age of 70 will be told “within the coming weeks” to stay at home for an extended period to help protect themselves against the virus.

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COVID-19, as it’s been named, has resulted in 171,046 confirmed cases and 6,526 deaths worldwide.

With COVID-19 being a new virus, there’s currently no cure, but scientists are currently working towards creating a vaccine.

For the time being, thousands are being advised to self-isolate and to treat symptoms at home.

But when it comes to treating coronavirus, French health minister Olivier Veran, a qualified doctor and neurologist, has issued a warning against taking ibuprofen.

The French government has issued a warning that over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs may make coronavirus worse.

Olivier tweeted on Saturday: “The taking of anti-inflammatories [ibuprofen, cortisone…] could be a factor in aggravating the infection.

“In case of fever, take paracetamol. If you are already taking anti-inflammatory drugs, ask your doctor’s advice.”

Anti-inflammatory drugs are a known risk for people with infectious illnesses because they can decrease the response of the body’s immune system.

Instead, people should take paracetamol because “it will reduce the fever without counterattacking the inflammation”.

Since January, all French residents have been urged to seek advice from a pharmacist if they want to buy popular painkillers.

Jean-Louis Montastruc, the head of pharmacology at Toulouse hospital, told RTL radio: “Anti-inflammatory drugs increase the risk of complications when there is a fever or infection.”

The NHS is advising people stay at home if they have coronavirus symptoms.

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You should stay at home for seven days if you have either:

  • A high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • A new, continuous cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly

The health body adds: “Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

“You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.

“Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.”

If you stay at home you should follow NHS advice:

  • Try to keep at least two metres (three steps) from other people in your home, particularly older people or those with long-term health conditions
  • Ask friends and family and delivery services to deliver things like food shopping and medicines – but avoid contact with them
  • Sleep alone if possible
  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
  • Try to stay away from older people and those with long-term health conditions
  • Drink plenty of water and take everyday painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, to help with your symptoms

You should:

  • Not have visitors (ask people to leave deliveries outside)
  • Not leave the house, for example to go for a walk, to school or public places

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