By Dr. Michele Dikkers, Physician at Cornerstone Family Practice and GMHC, Chair of Clayton County Board of Health
COVID-19 has perplexed all of us, creating many questions and concerns. Probably the most pertinent concern, for our community and your care staff, is what to do if you come down with COVID-19.
If you develop fever, cough/respiratory symptoms or shortness of breath, you may be infected. We know that 80% of the time, you will be able to manage your symptoms at home. If you have symptoms, follow these suggestions:
- stay at home, do not leave your home except for medical care.
- separate yourself from others in your home. Stay in a “sick room” if possible.
- avoid sharing personal household items (like dishes, glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, etc.).
- get rest and stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious foods. Humidification may help the breathing. Even though you need to rest, remember to get some activity to help expand your lungs, walking in your room or the hallway may be all you can tolerate, but can help.
- use acetaminophen (Tylenol) as needed.
- clean high touch surfaces daily: counters, doorknobs, phones, remotes, key boards, etc.
Monitor your symptoms carefully. If your symptoms worsen, or you have concerns, contact your medical provider by calling their office. Your provider can assess whether you need to be seen in the office, or if you can recover at home. Also, there may be options for your provider to evaluate you via telehealth or telemedicine, called a virtual visit.
There are isolation recommendations for those with COVID-19, and those with fever or respiratory symptoms. You should stay at home and isolate from others in the house until:
- you have had no fever for at least 72 hours (3 full days) without use of medicines that reduce fever
- other symptoms have improved/resolved
- it has been at least 7 days since your symptoms first appeared
Isolation is also recommended for those that live with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive for COVID-19. They should stay at home for 14 days after the last exposure.
Remember, if you have questions, call your provider. Most are now able to evaluate patients via the phone and computer, this is referred to as Telehealth and Telemedicine.
We are in this together.