Tested positive for covid-19? Here’s what to do next according to a doctor

Don’t panic if you are showing covid-19 symptoms. Just read this one to know the way forward.
covid-19 positive
Being COVID-19 doesn’t mean that you are going to die. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Team Health Shots Updated: 22 Jun 2020, 11:43 am IST
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Even a minor fever or cough nowadays rings the terror bells of covid-19 and makes us want to get a test done. The time period between getting tested and receiving the result is full of anxiety but the panic also gets extended to the whole family.

The reason behind all this panic is the sheer lack of resources 

We have seen multiple reports of people being unable to get beds in hospitals, in metro cities like Delhi and Mumbai. So naturally, the fear of getting infected is striking our hearts. 

The government has already given an advisory saying that people with mild symptoms can stay in home isolation and deal with this infection.

That’s why we have created a step-by-step guide for you to deal with covid-19 infection if you or someone in your family is found to be positive.

Here, Dr Vikas Maurya, director and head of the department of pulmonology & sleep disorders at Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh told IANS the steps you can take in case of an infection.

For starters, knowing the symptoms are very important
According to Dr Maurya, following are the main symptoms to be vary of: 

  • Fever, cough, and breathlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Chills
  • Body ache, headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of smell and taste
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

It is also important to note that if you have an elderly person at home, or someone with comorbid conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, lung diseases, cancer, etc then you be more cautious because people from these groups are more prone to this virus. Also, covid-19 infection can prove to be fatal for them.

Do you know that according to the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), smokers are most vulnerable to covid-19 infection? So, keep that in mind as well.

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Here are the steps that you should follow if you think you have COVID-19:

1. Don’t rush to a hospital immediately
If you see any of the symptoms, then go for teleconsultation or e-consultation. If you are not positive but still go to a hospital or clinic, there are high chances of you catching the infection and in case you do have coronavirus, then you might become a carrier for the others visiting it.

2. Hear what your doctor has to say about the test
Once you’re done with the consultation, the doctor will decide if you need to get a COVID-19 test done. If he feels it should be done, he will write a formal note indicating the same. Nowadays, tests are done at the hospital nearest to you or the sample can be collected from your home. Once your sample has been collected, you will need to wait 24 to 48 hours before the results.

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3. Let the doctor decide whether you need to be admitted or home quarantined
Don’t take a call on getting yourself admitted right after getting your report. First, get it checked by the doctor and let him advise you on the step to be taken.

In mild cases, doctors advise patients to stay at home and quarantine themselves within a single room. In more serious cases, patients need to get admitted to the nearest hospital. They will be put into isolated COVID-19 wards which have a separate staff that only tends to them. Symptomatic treatment is usually advised along with multivitamins.

This is what you have to do if your doctor asked you to be home quarantined:

1. E-consult your doctor daily
When going for a home quarantine, the patient can either avail home care packages for covid-19 patients or continue e-consultations with the doctor who prescribed the test.

Your doctor is now just a tap away. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Stay away from your family and check your temperature on a regular basis
At home, regular temperature check along with high fluid intake is of paramount importance. The rest of the family should be completely cut off from the patient. There should be no contact or interaction. A significant distance should be maintained, and shared dishes and other items are a strict no.

3. Keep sanitizing your hands
The patient should sanitise his/her hands often and should always use a triple-layer medical mask. The mask must be replaced after 8 hours of use or earlier (if it becomes wet or visibly soiled). Disposable masks are never to be reused. A used mask should be considered as potentially infected.

4. Wearing a mask is a must
Patients, caregivers, and people who are in close contact during home care should definitely wear the mask. Also, disinfect the masks using ordinary sodium hypochlorite solution (1%) and then dispose of it either by burning or deep burial.

Homemade face mask
Don’t forget to wear a mask if you are living with a patient of covid. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Keep monitoring the symptoms
When you’re observing quarantine at home, it is important to keep monitoring if the symptoms are getting worse. If they are, it is important to get admitted to the nearest hospital because otherwise the patient’s condition can get aggravated and lead to pneumonia, respiratory failure, septic shock, and death.

But in case, things get out of hand then you should also know the symptoms of a worsening condition. 

  • Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
  • Ongoing chest pain or pressure
  • Cannot wake up fully
  • Bluish lips or face

In such a situation, the patient needs to be admitted to the hospital. And once the patient is shifted to the hospital (in serious cases) or has recovered, his living quarters need to be completely cleaned out and disinfection of all belongings and the entire area needs to be done by professionals.

Also, panicking in such a situation is not going to help. All you need to be is a little vigilant and follow the sanitizing and social distancing norms to the T.

(With inputs from IANS)

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