Treating COVID 19 at Home

If you or anyone around you is affected with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and you've decided to choose home quarantine, you might have several questions. How will you know when emergency care is needed? How long should the person stay in isolation? What care should be taken to prevent the spread of the virus? How can you support a sick loved one and manage your stress? Here's everything you need to know.

At-home treatment

Most of the people infected with COVID-19 only experience mild fever and often recover at home with proper care. The symptoms might last a few days, and people who have the virus would start to feel better in about a week. Treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms and generally includes taking rest, medications and pain relievers.

However, older adults or people of any age with existing medical conditions like Heart disease, blood pressure or any serious health issue should consult their doctor immediately as symptoms start. These factors might put the people at greater risk

In addition, it is important to follow the doctor's recommendations about care and home isolation for yourself or your loved one. Keep in touch with your doctor if you have any questions about treatments.

It's equally important to consider how caring for a sick person might affect your health. If you are older or suffering from an existing medical condition, such as heart or lung disease or diabetes, you may be at higher risk of getting affected by the virus. In such cases, consider isolating yourself from the sick person and finding another person to provide care.

Emergency warning signs-

Carefully monitor yourself or your loved ones and check for the symptoms. If any symptom appears to be getting worse, call the doctor immediately.

In such a situation, the doctor might recommend the use of a home pulse oximeter, especially if the infected person has risk factors for severe illness and COVID-19 symptoms. A pulse oximeter is a device that can be used like a plastic clip that attaches to a finger. The oximeter can help check breathing by measuring how much oxygen is in the blood. A reading of less than 92% might increase the need for hospitalization. From your end, make sure to keep the medical device handy in case there's a need. Moreover, check out tutorial videos on how to use them just so when the situation arrives you measure it accurately. Post taking the reading inform your doctor for future guidance.

If the infected person experiences emergency signs, immediate medical attention is needed. Call Ambulance or your local emergency number if the sick person can't be woken up or you notice any signs, including:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent chest pain or pressure
  • Bluish lips or face
  • Inability to stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds — depending on skin tone

How to protect others if you're the patient?

If you're affected with COVID-19, here's how you can help prevent the spread of infection with the COVID-19 virus.

  • Stay home from work, school and public areas.
  • Do not use public transportation.
  • Stay isolated in one room, away from your family, as much as possible. This includes eating in your room.
  • Open windows to keep air circulating.
  • Use a separate bathroom, if possible.
  • Avoid shared space in your home.
  • Limit your movements.
  • Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from your family members
  • Clean often-touched surfaces in your separate room and bathroom, such as doorknobs, light switches, electronics and counters, every day.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items, such as dishes, towels, bedding and electronics.
  • Wear a face mask when near others. Change the face mask each day.
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

How to protect yourself while caring for someone with COVID-19?

You can do the following-

  • Help the sick person get groceries and any medications and, if needed, take care of his or her pet.
  • Keep your hands clean and away from your face.
  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in close contact or in the same room as the sick person.
  • Wear a face mask around the infected person.
  • Stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from the ill person.
  • Clean your home frequently. Every day, use household cleaning sprays or wipes to clean surfaces that are often touched, including counters, tabletops and doorknobs.
  • Be careful with laundry.
  • Wear gloves when handling dishes or utensils used by the sick person.
  • Avoid direct contact with the sick person's bodily fluids.
  • Avoid having unnecessary visitors in your home.

Steps to stay mentally strong-

As you or your loved one are in the process of recovery, seek emotional support. Stay connected to others through texts, phone calls or video calls. Share your thoughts with them. Talk about general topics instead of the virus. You can focus on leisure activities, like reading, watching movies or playing online games.

While you take care of a loved one who is suffering from COVID-19, you might yourself feel stressed. This can affect your ability to eat, sleep and concentrate, as well as worsen chronic health problems or push you towards the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.

In case you are suffering from a mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression, continue with your treatment even in quarantine. Contact your doctor or mental health professional before your condition worsens.

To care for yourself, follow these steps:

  • Maintain a daily routine, including showering and getting dressed.
  • Take breaks from COVID-19 news, including social media.
  • Eat healthy meals and stay hydrated.
  • Exercise or light physical activities.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Stretching, breathing deeply, or meditating.
  • Focus on hobbies or activities that provide joy.
  • Connect with others and share how you are feeling.

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