MAYVILLE, NY:-- Testing positive for COVID-19 means that you are infected with a contagious virus and must isolate for 10 days from symptom onset or 10 days from the day you were tested if you have no symptoms.
Follow the recommendations of your health care provider as everyone is different and these are general recommendations.
CARE TIPS WHEN YOU ARE HOME WITH COVID-19
Everyone needs to STAY HOME when sick and this is critical if you have COVID-19. Follow the isolation directions that you receive from the Chautauqua County Health Department.
Most people who become sick with COVID-19 will only experience mild illness and can recover at home. Symptoms might last a few days and people who have the virus might feel better in about a week. However, you may still be contagious for longer, which is why there is a 10-day isolation period from the start of your symptoms.
Treating your symptoms will help you recover as quickly as possible; this includes rest, fluid intake and over the counter pain relievers. The body is designed to fight viruses and for most people, it does so successfully on its own. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved one drug, remdesivir (Veklury), to treat COVID-19, and it is only available from your doctor. Any treatments that are used for COVID-19 should be taken under the care of a healthcare provider. Please be wary of any products that claim to prevent or treat the coronavirus at home. Additionally, antibiotics only treat bacteria and are NOT effective in treating viruses, including COVID-19.
Currently there is no robust research to support supplemental therapy for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. Certain nutrients, including vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc and potassium, may help strengthen your immune system's ability to fight the virus. Check with your healthcare provider to determine if nutrient supplements are appropriate for you.
If you or the person with COVID-19 experiences emergency warning signs, call 911.
Emergency signs include:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent chest pain or pressure
- New confusion
- Bluish lips or face
- Inability to stay awake or be woken up.
The main symptoms of the novel coronavirus are fever, cough and shortness of breath.
For a fever
- Take an over the counter fever reducer; Tylenol (acetaminophen) is usually recommended but not for all; check with your health care provider if you are unsure.
- Stay hydrated. Drink lots of fluids - preferably water or juice. Beverages with electrolytes such as Pedialyte or Gatorade Zero may also be appropriate but not for all so check with your health care provider if you are unsure. Fruit and vegetable smoothies are also recommended for hydration as well as nourishment. Avoid soda and high sugar and caffeinated beverages.
- Rest. Your body needs energy to fight the virus.
For a cough
- Sip on drinks throughout the day. This keeps your throat moist and comfortable and it helps keep you hydrated.
- Drink warm beverages, like tea or broth. These heat up the airways, keep you hydrated and break up any mucus you might have in your throat and upper airway.
- Try a teaspoon of honey in hot tea or hot water. A little bit of honey tends to soothe a sore throat. However, children under 1 year old should not try honey.
- Breathe in steam. Use a hot shower, humidifier, vaporizer or other means of making steam. It will soothe a sore throat and open your airways, making it easier to breathe.
- Suck on cough drops or lozenges. These will keep your mouth and throat moist.
- Try cough medicine. If you have a wet cough with lots of mucus, you want to take an expectorant to help get the mucus out. If you have a dry cough, a cough suppressant is what you want. Make sure to choose a cough medicine that is right for the type of cough you have and check with your health care provider for potential interactions with your other medications.
For shortness of breath
- Take slow breaths. Slowing things down can help you start breathing again properly.
- Try relaxation or meditation techniques to help calm the body and get your breathing more regular.
- If you were previously prescribed an inhaler, you may need to use it. Pay attention to how your chest feels and what symptoms your inhaler was prescribed for. Do not use someone else's inhaler.
- Experts recommend that you sleep on your stomach or side.
CARING FOR SOMEONE AT HOME WHO HAS COVID-19
Limit contact. COVID-19 spreads between people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) through respiratory droplets, created when someone talks, coughs or sneezes. Staying away from others helps stop the spread of COVID-19. The person who is sick should isolate – separating themselves from others in the home; use a separate bedroom and bathroom. Avoid having visitors.
Eat in separate rooms or areas. Wash dishes and utensils with hot water.
Do not share personal items – dishes, cups/glasses, silverware, towels, bedding, cell phones.
Everyone over the age of 2 should wear a mask when in the same room as the sick person.
Keep living spaces well ventilated. Open windows to keep air circulating.
Clean your hands often. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Tell everyone in the home to do the same, especially after being near the person who is sick. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Clean and then disinfect around the house. Clean and disinfect “high-touch” surfaces and items every day, including tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, and electronics. Clean the area or item with soap and water if it is dirty and then, use a household disinfectant. If sharing a bathroom, the person who is sick should clean and then disinfect it after each use. If this is not possible, wear a mask and wait as long as possible after the sick person has used the bathroom before coming in to clean and use the bathroom.
Wash and dry laundry. Do not shake dirty laundry. Dirty laundry from a person who is sick can be washed with other people’s items. Use the warmest water setting you can. Wash hands after handling dirty clothes. Dry laundry completely and on hot if possible. Wash hands after putting clothes in the dryer.
Use a lined trash can. Wash hands after taking out trash.
Stop the spread of COVID-19: Wear a mask; maintain a social distance of 6 feet; wash your hands often.