Home Health COVID-19: the answers to your questions

COVID-19: the answers to your questions

by drbyos

Many of you are still asking us questions about the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are the experts’ responses to some of them.


I am taking hydroxychoroquine (Plaquenil) for some time now for the treatment of white tongue. The medication allows me to eat more normally and decreases my tongue pain. I learned yesterday from my pharmacist that I will no longer have access to this medication because the entire stock is withheld for tests to treat the coronavirus. Will there be exceptions and if so, who can continue to to receive? (Michel Houde)

“Last Friday the National Institute of Excellence in Health and Social Services (INESSS) issued an opinion according to which, with certain exceptions, we would stop using this medication, especially when we have other options. We prefer that these people stop taking hydroxychloroquine to eventually see how it is best used in the treatment of COVID-19. Out of nine Canadian studies, Quebec is currently participating in six of these studies and a number of them use, not exclusively hydroxychloroquine, but use it. We must not put all our hopes in this molecule, but several researches are in progress. We keep this medication for the moment, for very severe cases who are hospitalized. We don’t want it to be in ambulatory circulation. ”

– Diane Lamarre, pharmacist, on LCN

According to a national prescription sent to pharmacists by INESSS, a copy of which we have obtained, people with chronic diseases who have a prescription for hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine (Plaquenil, Aralen and their generics) must stop using it, except in four specific cases:

  • Diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Pregnancy
  • Child or adolescent under 18 years of age with juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Prescription by family doctor or family doctor indicating continuation of treatment during the COVID-19 health emergency

The document specifies that the stocks of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine currently in pharmacies are temporarily intended for these patients and are NOT intended for the treatment of Quebec patients suffering from COVID-19.

I heard on American television that if COVID-19 is infected, a nasal shower could direct the virus to the lungs and make the symptoms worse. Since then, I have stopped submitting my 2 year old daughter to the daily saline nasal shower which is used to prevent her ear infections. However, she started snoring because we no longer clear her nose as usual. What do you think? (Sessé Koffigoh)

“Our natural air filter is our nose. Nasal showers, that is, saline water in the nose, is generally good because it cleans the filter. On the other hand, if someone had a COVID-19 infection, nasal douches could actually make the virus progress to the bronchi and lungs. We are caught between two messages. Almost all pharmacists and doctors will suggest a nasal wash to someone with cold and flu symptoms. Besides, if a child uses it on a regular basis, especially for chronic rhinitis or chronic nasal obstructions, it really helps. I would say if there are no signs of COVID-19 infection, I would continue to administer the showers. However, if other symptoms develop such as fever or difficulty breathing, I will stop. So, basically, it would be to resume using the product, while being vigilant by monitoring symptoms closely. ”

– Dr Christian Fortin

How do we get out of quarantine without causing a second wave of contamination? The three weeks requested by the government Legault will be, obviously, too short. If China got it of them months, does that mean that Legault did not have the courage to tell us things in full face? (Sylvie The post office)

“We must take into account the epidemiological portrait that we will find in all regions of Quebec. It is possible that our ways of doing things will be different after the crisis. “We are probably going to allow more essential companies than others, companies that have rethought their ways of doing things, to take over to allow society to function.”

– Horacio Arruda, National Director of Public Health, at the Sunday press conference

I applaud the Quebec government’s decision to arrest all snowbirds returning from the United States via eastern border crossings, to register them and to explain the need for a complete quarantine. However, what about those who enter Canada through Ontario and then return to the Quebec? Highway 401, which crosses Windsor, London, Toronto and Kingston, among others, is frequently used by people returning from Texas, Arizona and even from Florida. (Karen Filion)

“All people entering Canada – regardless of their country of origin and in all modes of entry – are forced to self-isolate for 14 days. All travelers arriving in Canada at the air, land, sea or rail border in all provinces are asked what the purpose of their visit is and if they feel sick or ill. The border services officer may ask additional questions to determine whether the trip is essential or not. CBSA officers will observe visible signs of illness and refer any traveler they suspect to be sick to the Public Health Agency of Canada for further medical examination, regardless of the traveller’s response to questions from sanitary control. All travelers – regardless of country of origin and in all entry modes – are assessed upon arrival in Canada. Entrance screening is an important public health tool in times of uncertainty and part of a multi-layered government response strategy. ”

Judith Gadbois-St-Cyr, Spokesperson, Canada Border Services Agency

Why is the situation in Quebec the most risk? How is it that the other provinces have far fewer cases than the Quebec? When the government started closing schools and everything, Quebec was following the progress of the other provinces, even though the situation was slightly lower. It’s not just about screenings, since three other provinces are doing better than us on this, including British Columbia. (Elisabeth Authier)

“It is rarely a single cause. We are going back to a previous period when there were trips. […] It depends on where they went, it depends on the profile of the travelers, it depends on how they behaved when they returned. It is too early. […] I don’t know what the testing strategies are for British Columbia and Ontario. There are many phenomena to analyze. The question of the evolution of the pandemic, how it appeared in Quebec compared to elsewhere, there is how we test and how we count hospitalizations, how to make the diagnoses and how to take the measures in place, but it is only in a while that we can analyze everything. […] The curve is not yet flat, but we are below what we had planned for the moment. ”

– Horacio Arruda, National Director of Public Health, at the Sunday press conference

“When we look at flights over Europe, between Quebec and France, we have more flights. In the rest of Canada, it’s mostly the United Kingdom. Go see the figures between France and the United Kingdom. There are many more cases in France than in the United Kingdom. But there is also a question of evolution. […] I’m not saying that’s the explanation. The fact that our school break was not the same time as Ontario did not help us either, because there were more people who traveled during our school break. In Ontario, the leave occurred when international travel had already been prohibited. ”

– François Legault, Premier of Quebec, at the Sunday press conference


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