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Province tackles lingering coronavirus questions: ibuprofen, daycare, working from home

Last Updated Mar 17, 2020 at 8:07 pm PDT

In this illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). This virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. (CDC via AP, File)

The Provincial Health Officer has been trying to address the public's questions about COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry says it is 'biologically plausible' ibuprofen could have a negative impact on someone with the virus

As for work, Henry says employees should alternate days in and out of the office

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — As Canada ramps up precautions for tackling the spread of the novel coronavirus, B.C.’s provincial health officer has been trying to answer the public’s questions.

Whether or not it would be worse for someone who might have the virus to take ibuprofen was one of the questions.

“It’s biologically plausible we would say, but I don’t know the details of it yet for treating fevers,” Dr. Bonnie Henry explained. “Ibuprofen is something that we use commonly or plain Tylenol –acetaminophen– would be an alternative.”

Over the weekend, France’s health minister warned against taking anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen. In a tweet, Olivier Véran said anti-inflammatories could be a factor in aggravating the infection.

As for ongoing efforts to help more people work from home, Henry said effective strategies include having employees alternate days out of the office. She asked employers again to make changes to keep the virus from spreading in the workplace.

“People work at home on certain days. They come in, but not everybody is there at the same time. There are many different strategies people can use to try and reduce the number of people that are in that airspace, so that we reduce the possibility of somebody coming in sick and spreading it to others within that environment,” she said.

If someone came to work sick, Henry said their coworkers could end up infecting friends or family and could even end up shutting down a business.

For now, though, it is not necessary to close daycares province-wide, said Henry.

“So there is a strategy being worked out to make sure that we can have a strategy that best protects people across the community and that’ll be coming in the coming days.”

On Tuesday, the province declared a public health emergency because of coronavirus as three new deaths and 83 new cases were reported in B.C.

Alberta and Ontario also declared a public health emergency.