In the event you think you might be infected with COVID-19, here’s what you should do.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit everybody hard and while there are tremendous efforts underway to find a cure, no vaccine or antiviral agent currently exists to combat it. Unfortunately, the highly contagious nature of the virus means that everyone is susceptible to it. While social distancing and consistent mask wearing vastly reduce your chances of getting infected, it’s not 100% effective.
As COVID-19 causes respiratory illness, if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, fever, or headache and you believe you might have been in contact with an already infected person, it’s very important to get tested.
While the procedure for getting tested varies from place to place, it’s a good idea to call Sacred Heart ER ahead of time to mention you want to get tested as we have certain procedures in place to handle it.
What Happens If You Test Positive
In the event you test positive for COVID-19, you will be required to self-isolate for two weeks (14 days), although depending on the situation, more specific instruction might be given.
It’s important to avoid contact with other people to avoid spreading the virus, including people who live in the same household with you. Although it may be difficult, it’s important to follow certain procedures such as not preparing food for other household members, wearing a mask around other people, washing your hands before interacting with others, and using separate bathrooms and bedrooms from the rest of the household.
It’s also important to note that if you require any sort of medication or supplies, it’s a good idea to use some sort of delivery service or ask family members to get something you need, in order to avoid infecting other people.
Treating Mild Symptoms
The severity of COVID-19 varies considerably from person-to-person, although it’s quite common for it to act similar to a harsh cold or the flu.
Getting a lot of rest will be crucial for helping your immune system fight off the infection. Symptoms such as fever are common, which leads to a lot of sweating and dehydration. Hydration is a major part of staying healthy in general, but vitally important when you’re sick, so be sure to drink plenty of fluids.
Other symptoms of COVID-19 which can result in a great deal of discomfort include coughing and mucus buildup. For these, it’s a good idea to consume warm, non-caffeinated beverages as they will provide a soothing effect.
Discomfort can also be relieved through the use of over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen. There are numerous medications which can help with fever and body aches, although it’s absolutely critical that they don’t interfere with medications you’re already taking and that the correct directions are followed, including the correct dosage.
When the Symptoms Start to Get Severe
While most people who are infected with COVID-19 don’t require hospitalization, it’s still important to monitor the severity of your symptoms.
If your face or lips start to turn blue, you have difficulty breathing, have chest pain that won’t go away, or are experiencing confusion, it’s important to call your doctor or Sacred Heart Emergency Center for advice. Even if these symptoms are in the beginning stages and you feel them developing, it’s a good idea to get some sort of medical help.
If you feel as if your symptoms are life-threatening or might be in the future, don’t hesitate to call 911.