Currently we are in a middle of a worst pandemic the world has seen. All countries are putting in their best efforts to contain this virus and some countries are adopting measures to lessen the effect and severity of this epidemic.
While we are struggling to deal with this epidemic in our day today life which has dramatically changed in the last few weeks. It is extremely crucial to get the right facts and information to understand this infection better and help ourself’s in the best way possible.
This pandemic is also been called as “Infodemic“ as we have so much data and information through social media it is hard to decipher what is true and what isn’t.
So this is my attempt to put out more recent and updated information which is based on studies or recommendations by reputable institutes.
1. Should ibuprofen be avoided if you have symptoms of COVID-19?
We have some data from France and UK suggesting that Ibuprofen can aggravate or worsen the symptoms and disease. Similarly, NHS in UK have also changed their guidelines on Ibuprofen to avoid its use if you have symptoms for COVID-19.
For the record, currently there are no studies or data that suggest the above but this is a novel virus and we are learning each and everyday about this virus.
At this point we should use all data available from different parts of the world from people who are fighting the same epidemic as we are and use this information to our benefit.
So if you have symptoms of COVID-19, please use Acetaminophen or paracetamol as your first choice and avoid taking Ibuprofen.
If you are already taking Ibuprofen for other conditions - please don’t stop taking those without consulting your physician.
2. Should I wear a face mask when going out in public ?
Recommendations on Mask use in community setting
It is not recommended by general population who are at low risk to wear a mask.
If you are healthy - Some countries recommend wearing a mask when taking public transportation or staying in crowded places.
WHO recommends wearing a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected or known COVID-19 infection.
If you have respiratory symptoms - it is recommended to wear a mask in most countries.
3. What is difference between self quarantine and self isolation ?
Self Quarantine - According to CDC, quarantines are meant to restrict movement of individuals who may have been exposed to a contagious disease to see if they develop symptoms and to avoid spread of the virus. Self Quarantine is for 14 days.
Self isolation - Isolation refers to separating those who are already sick from rest of the population to prevent spread of the virus . General guidelines for people who are in self isolation due to COVID-19 infection.
- Absence of fever for 72 hours (No fever present for full 3 days without use of medications to reduce fever) AND
- All other symptoms have improved . AND
- At least 7 days have passed since developing first symptom.
Please speak to your physician further regarding when you can come off of Self Isolation.
4. Does Plaquenil ( Hydroxycholoquine /Chloroquine ) antimalarial drug + Azithromycin ( antibiotic ) work for Coronavirus or COVID -19 Infection .
Hydroxychloroquine/Chloroquine are prescription drug used for treatment of malaria and certain inflammatory conditions. These medications have shown activity against Coronavirus and there have been studies from china showing that patients with COVID-19 have shown benefit and improvement. Hence this drug was recommended antiviral for treatment of COVID-19 in China.
There is a French study which showed combination of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin has shown that Hydroxychloroquine treatment is significantly associated with viral load reduction /disappearance in COVID-19 patients and its effect is reinforced by azithromycin.
Currently in United States these medications are used for hospitalized COVID-19 patients. There is no general recommendation for use in mild infections.
Hydroxychloroquine is also being studied for prophylaxis to prevent development of COVID-19 infection.
This as we know is ever-changing situation and we learn everyday - what is true might not be few weeks down . But Hydroxychloroquine seems promising in preventing and treating COVID-19 infection.
Stay safe and Stay well.