COVID -19 or Coronavirus as it is commonly called is the biggest threat to the world at the present time. More than 85 million people across different countries are infected off and more than 4 million people have succumbed to the virus. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is sending daily updates of the pandemic and modifying the preventive measures you need to take to prevent contraction.
But what if you have already contracted the highly contagious virus? How to keep your family safe from being contracted with it? What measures do you need to take to check the further spread of the infective virus? What the self-care tips you should follow to keep yourself monitored all the time?
Hundreds of questions may be crowding in your minds regarding the measures you should take once you are tested Covid-19 positive. It is primarily because there is no vaccine yet invented of the virus and its highly contagious nature. According to WHO, Coronavirus is spread mostly through human to human transmission i.e. if you come in close contact with a Covid-19 infected person. The droplets spurted out while talking, sneezing, or coughing is the primary cause of transmission. Also, it has been proved fatal to those with comorbid health conditions.
So here is an overview of the ‘do’s and ‘don’t’s you need to remember and act accordingly if you are COVID positive:
How Long Can You Stay at Home?
As per the directives of the Centre for Disease Control Prevention, testing is recommended only to high-risk individuals due to limited seats in the hospitals. High-risk individuals include senior citizens (those above 60 years), those with underlying ailments (comorbid conditions), and whose immunity is compromised due to all the above-mentioned conditions.
So, if you have mild flu symptoms e.g. runny nose, sore throat, body ache, feverish body, and tastelessness you can simply isolate yourself from other family members. But if you have shortness of breath and diarrhea do not wait for long and rush to the hospital immediately.
In short, you should not venture out of home until:
- Seven days have passed since your symptoms first showed up.
- You did not have a fever for consecutively 34 days (72 hours) without taking any medicine.
- Other symptoms i.e., cough, sneezes, shortness of breath, and body ache have subsided.
- Your overall health condition has improved.
What Precautions do You Need to Take During the Self-isolation Period?
It is said that “Prevention is better than cure.” Once you are tested COVID 19 positive the first thing you should do is take some necessary precautions to stop the virus from spreading. The first step to it is “break the chain” through self-isolation. While you are isolating yourself from others, there are some guidelines as directed by WHO you should follow:
- Constantly monitor your symptoms and keep your healthcare expert updated.
- If your symptoms worsen immediately seek medical intervention.
- Take plenty of rest during your isolation phase. A sound sleep gets you a good dose of immunity booster.
- Drink lots of fluids in the form of water, juices, tea, coffee, health drink, etc. More you are hydrated more you can flush out toxins out of your system through urine and sweat.
- Keep yourself warm by consuming warm food and drinks.
- You can use a humidifier or gargle with salt water for a sore throat.
- Take medicines for fever and other symptoms as per your doctor’s prescription. Do not go for self-medication.
- Stay away from your family members and pets at home.
- Eat foods that are nutritious and boost your immunity.
- Wash your hands with soap or hand wash quite often, before eating your food, after coughing, sneezing, using the toilet, before and after preparing food (if you are cooking for yourself). While washing your hands rub soap or hand wash for at least 20 seconds in all parts of your palms up to elbows and rinse well with water.
- If hand wash is not available use a hand rub with at least 70% alcohol content for sanitizing your hands after every 30-45 minutes. Rub the sanitizer for at least 20 seconds on both sides of your hands.
- Wash your clothes every day with detergent and hot water (if available) and dry them in sunlight for 5 hours (preferably).
- Wear a mask while talking to someone. Keep your mask clean by washing them with detergent and hot water and drying them in sunlight.
- Isolate yourself from people who are susceptible to contraction viz. those above 65 years, having underlying medical conditions (diabetes, high BP, cardiac problem, bronchitis, pneumonia, kidney problems, and cancer) and children below 10 years.
- Use separate bathrooms and toilets if possible. If not make sure the bathroom is well disinfected (with 1% sodium hypochlorite solution) after you use it every time.
- Use separate towels, utensils, and all other belongings if you are staying on the same floor with your family members.
- Fold your arms and cough or sneeze into the fold of your elbow. You can even use a tissue or cover your face with hands while coughing or sneezing. Throw the tissue into a closed bin once it is used or washes your hands with handwash or hand rub.
- DO not use personal household items such as cups, saucers, spoons with anyone during your self-isolation period.
- Clean and sanitize the high touch things of the place where you are staying during self-isolation every day with a disinfectant viz. tabletops, countertops, desktop keyboard, doorknobs, etc.
- Keep the windows of your room open for better air circulation of air and light. The virus spreads rapidly in closed areas.
When Should you be Hospitalized?
If you have the following symptoms seek prompt medical care:
- Difficulty in breathing is the main symptom you should never neglect. You can understand if you feel like not having enough air around, gasping, unable to speak without taking a breath, or distressed. If these symptoms persist, call your doctor or caregiver for immediate medical help.
- Weakness, dizziness, and chest pain are also included in the symptoms which you should never neglect.