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Myths dispelled at daily COVID-19 briefing

By Lorraine Graves

Published 11:20 PDT, Fri March 20, 2020

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addressed myths around COVID-19 during the province’s daily briefing Thursday.

Henry said non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS), like ibuprofen and aspirin, are safe to use. “There is no evidence that the use of NSAIDs has any detrimental effect on people who have COVID-19,” she said, adding that the World Health Organization made a similar statement.

Heat—for example, in a hot yoga facility—does not kill the virus. 

“Yoga studios are a perfect place to spread this virus if someone is shedding it,” said Henry. However, warmer weather and additional sunlight seem to correlate with a drop in some respiratory viruses’ spread, like seasonal colds and flus. 

“There is no cure for COVID-19. There is no vaccine,” added BC Health Minister Adrian Dix. “If anyone’s making such claims or suggestions, if you encounter it online, block them. If they are registered as health professionals, report them because those claims are false.”

Henry named a few of the drugs undergoing trials, including one for malaria and one for HIV. It is still unknown whether or not these drugs will work on COVID-19, or how well they might work. 

Until there are effective vaccines and treatments, said Henry, prevention is the best tool. This includes taking the measures outlined: staying home, staying away from others, avoiding trips to the store and playdates.

By not passing on the virus now, Henry said, we may keep enough people from catching it and buy enough time that there will be medicines that work on it later.

“It is in your best interest to take these precautions now,” said Henry. “The things we are doing today are going to save us in the next two weeks. This is our time. We need to be kind. We need to be calm and we need to be safe.”

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