I have COVID-19: the 5 keys to understanding how to treat the disease at home

Tiredness and exhaustion may be among the symptoms of COVID-19 (Getty Images)

Your partner develops a dry cough and says he has a fever. Or a co-worker begins to feel achy, exhausted, and out of breath after discovering that a co-worker has tested positive for COVID-19. With the appearance of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus and its rapid spread around the world, the risk of catching the coronavirus today is high. Some of the affected people may develop severe symptoms and many will have mild symptoms. Experts in infectology today recommend that it must be considered that it is a disease and that it should not be minimized.

The global risk related to Omicron remains very high, the World Health Organization warned on Tuesday, January 11. “First, the global risk of COVID-19 remains very high overall. Second, current data indicates that Ómicron has a significant growth advantage over the Delta variant, leading to rapid community spread. The rapid increase in cases will lead to an increase in hospitalizations, can place overwhelming demands on health care systems and cause significant morbidity, especially in vulnerable populations, ”said the United Nations health agency.

Today, if a person has COVID-19 confirmed by a test or by epidemiological link, they must be kept isolated at home. You should also reduce the probability of infecting people in your immediate environment. The coronavirus spreads mainly when infected people come into close contact with others.

If a person is with COVID-19 and cohabitants, they should isolate themselves inside the house and keep the windows open / Getty / Archive
If a person is with COVID-19 and cohabitants, they should isolate themselves inside the house and keep the windows open / Getty / Archive

The coronavirus is transmitted by being close to an already infected person both indoors and outdoors. It is also transmitted from infected people and can become suspended in the air, especially in poorly ventilated places. People who breathe it out in drops or sprays can be infected without showing symptoms. A home in which people spend many hours a day together is a privileged place for contagion to occur. But it is not inevitable, and there are steps that can be taken to avoid it.

Here are five recommendations on how COVID-19 should be treated if a person is diagnosed and at home:

1- Isolate yourself inside the house if you live with other people

With the high transmissibility of Omicron, Experts agree that it is best for someone who is ill with COVID-19 symptoms or tests positive for the virus to isolate themselves as soon as possible. “Right now, we are seeing a lot of infectivity in homes, where someone who is sick infects other people they live with,” said Dr. James Merlino, director of clinical transformation at the Cleveland Clinic in the United States.

A study supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that it is common for coronavirus to spread between people in a household, often shortly after a person begins to feel ill. To avoid this, you should ideally stay in a separate room and preferably use a separate bathroom as well. On the other hand, if you live in a closed place and you cannot follow these tips, you have to produce the greatest air circulation possible in the house by opening the windows permanently.

A person with mild COVID-19 can be in contact with the healthcare professional via video calls or by phone.  You should wear a chinstrap if you live with other people (Getty Images)
A person with mild COVID-19 can be in contact with the healthcare professional via video calls or by phone. You should wear a chinstrap if you live with other people (Getty Images)

2) Wear a mask or chinstrap

As he told Infobae doctor Javier Farina, from the Argentine Society of Infectious Diseases, “in addition to cross ventilation, the chinstrap should also be used if a person has COVID-19 and lives with other people. They should minimize contact within the home ”. The chinstrap must be used properly: it must be placed from the nose to the chin. If that doesn’t happen, people can breathe out the coronavirus to others. Or people close to you can breathe it in and catch it.

3) Contact the doctor and rest

The first step is to make sure that the person sick with COVID-19 is in contact with a health professional to report it to the health system. You also need rest and probably some help from other people to be able to stay isolated. But they should consider that they should have as little contact as possible.

“Every person with COVID-19 can have a telephone monitoring today with a health professional. If the symptoms of infection do not increase, daily monitoring is not necessary. In this context today, you can have an oximeter at home, especially when there are people with risk factors, “said Dr. Farina.

A pulse oximeter is a small device. It is placed on the finger and in a few seconds lights with numbers turn on that indicate the level of oxygen in the body and the heart rate. Most healthy people will have an oxygen reading of between 95 and 98 percent. Some people with pre-existing conditions may have a lower normal reading. Contact your doctor if the number drops below 92 percent.

If a person with COVID-19 begins to have signs of shortness of breath, persistent chest pain, confusion, trouble waking up or staying awake, or blue lips or face, they should get immediate medical attention.

Having a thermometer at hand is one of the advice of doctors / MARTIN-DM / Archive
Having a thermometer at hand is one of the advice of doctors / MARTIN-DM / Archive

4) Have a thermometer handy

The person with COVID-19 should have a thermometer on hand to monitor temperature and detect fever. The person may also need medications such as pain relievers and fever reducers that must be prescribed by a health professional. It is important for the sick person to drink plenty of fluids and rest.

5) Be in virtual contact with others

Being physically isolated by COVID-19 can be lonely and boring. “Supporting the emotional state of people is really important,” highlighted Dr. Merlino. He suggested making video calls with the rest of the family from another area of ​​the house or making handwritten notes under the person’s bedroom door each day to stay in touch.

KEEP READING:

“With Ómicron, hospitalizations in South America will be lower than in the previous wave,” US expert Ali Mokdad told Infobae.
One year after vaccination against COVID-19, variants like Ómicron exposed problems in distribution
With the Omicron “tsunami”, will everyone have COVID-19?

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