The World Health Organization recommended that people suffering COVID-19 symptoms avoid taking ibuprofen after French officials warned that anti-inflammatory drugs could worsen the effects of the virus.
The warning by French Health Minister Olivier Veran followed a recent study in The Lancet medical journal that hypothesised that an enzyme boosted by anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen could facilitate and worsen COVID-19 infections. Asked about the study, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told reporters in Geneva the UN health agency’s experts were “looking into this to give further guidance.
In the meantime, we recommend using rather paracetamol and do not use ibuprofen as self-medication. That’s important,” he said. He added that if ibuprofen had been “prescribed by the healthcare professionals, then, of course, that’s up to them.
His comments came after Veran sent a tweet cautioning that the use of ibuprofen and similar anti-inflammatory drugs could be “an aggravating factor” in COVID-19 infections.
“In the case of fever, take paracetamol,” he wrote. The French minister stressed that patients already being treated with anti-inflammatory drugs should ask advice from their doctor. Paracetamol must be taken strictly according to the recommended dose because too much of it can damage the liver.
In other news – SA now has the highest confirmed COVID-19 cases
South Africa now has the highest number of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in sub-Saharan Africa. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country has risen by 52 from 150 to 202. The virus has multiplied in Africa, more slowly than in Asia or Europe. However, the number of cases has started to rise more rapidly in South Africa in recent days.