COVID-19 is officially declared as a pandemic, and many countries have lockdown to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. While you may be taking every step to stay protected at home, some people may be infected with the coronavirus.
Although there is no need to panic because most cases of coronavirus are mild, and people usually recover from it. However, it is essential to take precautions when you are sick to minimize the risk of worsening the symptoms. Typically, the symptoms of COVID-19 mimic those of cold and flu, but they are highly contagious. It is essential to follow social distancing and wear a face mask when you feel sick. Moreover, it is necessary to protect your family from the disease spread.
Today’s article will highlight the warning signs of COVID-19. Furthermore, we will discuss in detail the precautions that you must follow at home, especially when you feel sick.
What are the warning signs of COVID-19?
According to the health authorities, the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to that of a common cold, which includes cough, high-grade fever, headache, and muscle pain. Additionally, the CDC (1) has revealed some critical warning signs that are typical for the novel coronavirus –
- Difficulty in breathing
- Fever with chills
- Loss of smell and taste
- Persistent chest pain
- Severe joint pain
- Bluish lips or face
It is necessary to seek emergency medical help if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above.
What precautions should you take if you feel sick?
Below are the steps you must follow to stay protected and prevent the worsening of the symptoms at home. Moreover, these precautionary steps will also protect your family and community from disease spread.
Medical experts have revealed that many people with mild symptoms of COVID-19 recover at home without extensive medical care. Therefore, it is essential to self-isolate your self at home.
Limit or, in the best case, avoid moving out of your house even for buying essential things. Ask a friend or a family member to get the essential needs. Rest and hydrate yourself. Monitor your symptoms regularly. Seek medical help if you feel the symptoms are getting worse.
In case you have to access emergency care, avoid public transportation like taxi and ride-sharing. Use personal transportation or take help from a friend to drive you to the hospital.
- Practice social distancing inside your home – Isolate yourself. In a specific room away from other members of your family. Additionally, use a separate bathroom if available. If you need to be around your family members, wear a protective face mask.
People with pets must also try to maintain distance from their pets. Although there is no scientific data or research that proves that the infection spreads to animals, it is in the best interest of the sick member of the family to avoid contact with their pets.
- Avoid sharing personal items at home – Know how to clean your smartphone.
- Wear a protective face mask – If you feel sick, it is essential to wear a face mask and cover your nose and mouth when you are around your family or pets. Usually, the medical-grade face masks are reserved for healthcare professionals and some first responders. (2)
However, you may not worry if you don’t have a face mask. A cloth face covering is sufficient to protect your loved ones from getting infected. You can make one at home using a scarf or bandana. If you cannot put a face mask, stay attentive while sneezing and coughing. It is crucial to cover your nose ad mouth in some way or the other. Maintain a six feet distance from people around you while coughing.
- Use tissues over handkerchiefs – Falling sick due to coronavirus will lead you to frequent sneezing and coughing. While you may be tempted to use a cloth or handkerchief to wipe your nose and mouth, it may cause severe damage to your and others’ health.
Disposable tissues are best to wipe your nose and mouth quickly. Throw the used tissues in a lined trash can that has a lid over it. after sneezing, wash your hands immediately with soap and water for 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60% alcohol.
Regular monitoring of the symptoms
The typical symptoms of COVID-19 include dry cough ad high-grade fever. These symptoms are usually treated in the same manner as a common cold. However, worsening of the symptoms may lead to the next stage, which includes difficulty in breathing. It is a more serious sign of coronavirus, which may require emergency medical attention. (3)
- Suggested read: Vaccine for Coronavirus & How Close are We to Build One?
In such cases, contact your local health authority and provide information on your regular symptoms. People with an underlying illness such as diabetes, heart disease, and lung disorder must be more cautious about their health as they are at a higher risk of contracting coronavirus. Moreover, having systemic disease often compromises the immunity of the body. Therefore, it is essential to stay protected and regularly monitor your symptoms.
Call your doctor for help
If you are unsure about your symptoms or notice that your symptoms are worsening, call your doctor for advice. Provide them all the information about your medical history, travel history, and current symptoms. (3)
Usually, the doctor will lasses your condition based on the information provided by you. He will then advise you on staying home or visiting the hospital. Sometimes, the doctor may also ask you to schedule a video call to examine the physical symptoms and gauge the severity of your symptoms. People who may seem to be at a higher risk of COVID-19 may be advised to visit the nearest emergency care and get tested for coronavirus.
Emergency medical care
Currently, every physician at the emergency care is working with the CDC ad state laboratories to determine the need for testing a person for coronavirus. Usually, the doctor physically examines the health condition of the patient and take a blood sample to perform initial tests to rule out any other possible infection. (4)
COVID-19 testing is typically reserved for severely ill patients and those who show the warning signs of coronavirus. This is because of the limited testing kits available all round the world. Therefore, every step is taken to ensure that testing is performed for people who need it. It usually takes a week or two for the results to come back. Coronavirus positive cases are then admitted in the isolation wards.
Take away message
The novel coronavirus is one of the deadliest pandemics we have ever witnessed in our life. It typically causes flu-like symptoms. However, some coronavirus specific symptoms may include difficulty in breathing, loss of taste and smell, blue lips and face, and persistent chest pain.
It is essential that people healthy or sick must follow safety precautions such as social distancing, self-isolation, and hygiene measures to prevent the spread of infection. people who are suffering from similar symptoms should take extra care. Usually, it is best to maintain distance from your family, including pets. Furthermore, monitor your symptoms regularly and contact your doctor as soon as you feel that your health is being compromised.