As multiple states find test positivity rates rising, more patients are calling their providers or seeking telemedicine consults asking what they should do if they have COVID.
Some courses of COVID-19 are mild with symptoms such as cough, fever, fatigue, and muscle aches resolving in a few days.
Yet other people may find their symptoms linger or worsen.
Symptoms of a COVID-19 infection may include:
* Body aches
* Nasal congestion
* Sore throat
* Loss of taste
* Loss of smell
* Loss of appetite
* Chest Pain
* Shortness of Breath
* Poor concentration
So many ask, what can I do at the start of COVID?
Inform contacts and work
If you think you have COVID or tested positive, you should make those aware who have worked, lived, or socialized with you during the last 14 days (as SARS-CoV-2 may have an incubation period of 2 weeks).
This is easier said than done but must be executed immediately.
* Wear masks and maintain at least 6 feet of distance from housemates.
* Open windows periodically to get fresh air (if weather, safety, and low pollen counts allow).
* Sleep in your own quarters (if possible).
* Disinfect surfaces that you touch and avoid sharing items such as the remote, utensils, doorknobs, etc….
* Wash hands regularly
Stay hydrated, well-nourished and well-rested
Many of us when we’re feeling ill go for the hot chocolate and carbs, but remember to eat a balanced diet and stay hydrated. Sleep may also be difficult so make sure you get some well-needed rest when your body tells you too.
Look for worsening symptoms and seek medical care
If one has difficulty breathing, for example, not only can this symptom imply COVID but it may also suggest bacterial pneumonia or cardiac issue (which can both be complications of COVID as well). Seek medical care when any of your symptoms worsen or persist or include any of the following: chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, confusion, poor concentration, severe fatigue, severe muscle aches, non-blanching rash, and bluish lips or skin.
Formulate a plan
Know, before an emergency can arise, where you will go and who will take care of the kids, pets, etc. Contact your insurance carrier to find out which hospital or doctors are in-network. If you have a medical provider reach out to them and inquire what they wish for you to do in case you start to see severe symptoms.
Are there preventative/post-exposure medications one can take?
Unfortunately, we lack sufficient evidence to suggest taking certain medications for prevention or during early COVID. The National Institutes of Health does NOT recommend any use “of agents” pre- or post-exposure unless enrolled in a clinical trial.
However, some medical experts have suggested Vitamin C, Zinc, and Vitamin D supplementation as well as daily famotidine.
Dr. Paul Marik of Eastern Virginia Medical School developed the following protocol:
However, because clinical evidence has not been shown for these to be used outside of a clinical trial, most hospitals and medical institutions do not encourage their use.
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