Imagine this scenario: you’re exposed to COVID-19. After a few days, you begin experiencing symptoms so you get a test done.
When it comes back positive, you begin to wonder how to treat your symptoms properly. It’s become a much more common occurrence, as new COVID-19 infection rates across the state have continued at elevated levels since the beginning of December.
If you have mild symptoms and don’t need to go to the emergency room, these are some of the steps doctors recommend for COVID-19 treatment at home.
First and foremost, Floyd Medical Center Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kenneth Jones recommends Tylenol “around the clock” to keep the fever down. People should take it about four times a day or every six hours to keep the fever down.
Some studies have shown that ibuprofen doesn’t help so he’s been telling patients to avoid it as much as possible.
One of the most common hospitalizations for COVID-19 patients is dehydration from fever, vomiting or diarrhea. Emergency Care Director Dr. Kevin Hardwell recommends drinking about two liters of water a day.
“The cough is a little more difficult to treat, but some over-the-counter cough medicines works well,” he said.
Hardwell said many people come to the ER scared because they don’t know the warning signs, such as extreme difficulty breathing, bluish discoloration of face, excessive dizziness and feeling confused or disoriented.
Jones also recommends people to get a blood oscillator from a local pharmacy to keep track of their oxygen saturation in their blood. If your oxygen level drops below 90%, you should immediately seek emergency medical attention.
Dr. Jagdeep Singh from Redmond Regional Medical Center said that while no actual supplements have been directly proven to help fight coronavirus, he recommends a variety of different vitamin supplements for his COVID-19 positive outpatients. Specifically, zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin D3 and melatonin.
While Melatonin is more commonly known as a sleeping supplement, it also helps with lung health and breathing. Zinc, Vitamin C and Vitamin D3 help combat cold and flu-like symptoms.
Before taking any of these supplements though, Singh recommends people to talk to their primary care physician to see if it would affect any of the current medications they’re taking.
All of the doctors recommend people sleep on their stomach, which makes it easier for a person to breathe and lungs to clear.
Dr. Amine Baurbia, a pulmonologist from Harbin Clinic, said Robitussin should help with any cough and to look up breathing exercises online to help with difficulty breathing.
He also recommends people to rest as much as possible, but when they do get energy back, they should move around their room or house.
There aren’t any specific foods or diets doctors recommend for patients, but to generally eat a balanced and healthy diet. Singh in particular recommends foods that are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, such as green tea, apples, oranges and onions. He also recommends people to get about 10 minutes of sunlight a day for Vitamin D.
Baurbia urges his patients to avoid smoking and alcohol while they’re symptomatic.
For those who experience loss of taste and smell, there aren’t any suggestions to help recovery. Jones said it’s more of a process of waiting it out.
When it comes to quarantine and isolating, the doctors recommend to stay away from everyone, including pets.
Even after recovering, doctors recommend patients to continue isolating at least 10 days after symptoms appeared. Most importantly, the doctors recommend people to get the vaccine as soon as its made available to them.
“If we have any chance of getting out of this, I think the vaccine will be it,” Baurbia said. “I encourage everyone to get the vaccine.”