Worried That You Have COVID-19 Symptoms? Here’s What You Should Do
With the second wave of coronavirus, more and more cases are being reported every day in India. While most people experience mild to moderate illness, the new strain of COVID-19 has triggered the spread from one person to another. So, if in the past few days you’ve been experiencing single or multiple symptoms including dry cough, fever, fatigue, body ache, shortness of breath, loss of smell or taste, sore throat, nausea or runny nose, read on to know your next immediate steps.
What to do if you think you have symptoms of COVID-19?
While not all people affected with COVID-19 might experience all the early symptoms, keep a check on symptoms of the new strain including conjunctivitis, vomiting, diarrhea and persistent headaches. If you think you have any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it’s important to take the following measures:
- Stay at home
The first step if you experience any COVID-19 symptoms is to stay at home and prevent the spread. Step out of your house only if you need immediate medical care.
If you share your room or home with others, make sure you isolate yourself immediately in a well-ventilated room. Along with it, using a separate bathroom can help you prevent spreading the virus to others.
- Consult a doctor
Make sure you call your doctor for a timely diagnosis of your symptoms. Your doctor will guide you regarding the next steps on how to take care of yourself and if you should get tested for COVID-19 if you haven't already. You can even book an RT-PCR test online for home sample collection & receive a report within 48-72 hours.
- Keep a check on your symptoms
Monitor your symptoms and don’t hesitate to get immediate medical attention if your symptoms get worse. Usually in mild cases, home care is recommended whereas immediate hospitalization is advised in severe cases of COVID-19.
What steps should you take if tested positive?
If your RT-PCR results are positive, it means you have COVID-19 and should consult a doctor as soon as possible. Depending on the severity and duration of your symptoms as well as whether you have comorbidities like diabetes, asthma, hypertension arthritis or not, your doctor will recommend home care for treatment or hospitalization.
The first step for home care treatment of COVID-19 is to self-isolate. Here are a few measures you should keep in mind while undergoing self-isolation.
Do’s for home care & self-isolation
- Consult a doctor before starting your medication. Take prescribed medicines at the advised time.
- Complete your course of prescribed medication to keep the symptoms from getting worse.
- Keep a check on your body temperature & oxygen levels every six hours or as recommended by your doctor.
- Take steam and include salt-water gargles to your daily routine or as suggested by your doctor to ease a sore throat and dry cough.
- Stay hydrated and continue having nutritious meals each day.
- Try including a few breathing exercises, especially proning for at least 30 minutes to maintain your oxygen levels. Make sure you consult your doctor before starting any new exercises.
- Wash your hands frequently and sanitize most-touched surfaces with an alcohol-based surface disinfectant.
Don’ts for home care & self-isolation
- Don’t wait for your RT-PCR test result as it might take 48-72 hours and self-isolate to prevent the spread if you experience any symptoms.
- Don’t share personal items like utensils, phone, bedding, towels or water bottle with others.
- Don’t forget to wear a mask if someone enters your room or if you step out for medical care.
- Don’t ignore if your symptoms get worse & make sure to consult a doctor immediately.
- Don’t smoke or consume alcohol until you recover.
What’s the takeaway?
If you experience any COVID-19 symptoms, make sure to consult your doctor and self-isolate to prevent the spread. Timely diagnosis will speed up your recovery while helping you figure out the next steps as per your doctor’s recommendation. Even if you get a negative result for your RT-PCR or rapid antigen test make sure you consult your doctor to confirm if you need to self-isolate or take the test again.
By: Navreet Kaur | on 2021-05-11