When to seek medical attention ?
People who are experiencing mild COVID-19 will typically be able to recover at home without hospital treatment.
However, around 1 in 5 people with a coronavirus infection will become seriously unwell and develop breathing difficulties.
Anyone noticing the following symptoms should seek medical attention immediately:
- trouble breathing
- constant pain, or pressure, in the chest
- inability to wake up
- blue tinted lips or face
A person with any of these symptoms, or other symptoms that are severe or causing concern, should call the Doctor immediately.
People should also tell the Doctor that they think they have contracted coronavirus. If possible, they should put on a cloth face mask or covering before help arrives.
What to do about early symptoms
If a person notices that they or a child has symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, they should:
- self-isolate at home, keeping separate from others in the property
- stay indoors, unless seeking medical aid
- get plenty of rest
- stay hydrated with plenty of liquids
- take over-the-counter (OTC) cold and flu medicine to soothe symptoms
- monitor symptoms and phone the doctor if necessary
- wear a face mask when around other individuals
- follow local health department guidelines
- cover their mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- wash hands regularly and thoroughly
- avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- keep separate glasses, cups, dishes, eating utensils, towels, and bedding if sharing a house with others
- clean and disinfect surfaces, such as doorknobs, counters, remote controls, phones, keyboards, bathroom surfaces, or tables frequently
People who have symptoms of coronavirus infection should continue to self-isolate and follow these guidelines for 14 days, even if they begin to feel healthy.
How to care for someone with early symptoms
If a person is caring for someone with early symptoms of coronavirus infection, they should ensure they follow guidelines to protect themselves and the patient.
These can include:
- helping the patient follow any instructions from a doctor
- keeping them hydrated
- helping with groceries, prescriptions, and other requirements
- caring for any pets
- providing the care receiver with OTC medications when appropriate
- monitoring their symptoms and looking for signs that they may need more medical help
- washing cloth face masks after use
- monitoring their own health for coronavirus symptoms
- wearing disposable gloves when washing the care receiver’s dirty laundry
- cleaning and disinfecting surfaces daily
- using a separate bedroom and bathroom from the patient
- ensuring good air ventilation to reduce chances of getting the virus
- The person giving care should make sure they limit contact, as much as possible, with the individual they are caring for.
The carer should wear a face mask when near the sick person, and gloves if they come into contact with their blood, stool, or bodily fluids.
If the patient has trouble breathing easily, they should also always wear a face mask when the carer is nearby.
Frequently washing hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap and water is critical for the carer.