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Patients with mild symptoms can be treated at home while watching for the signs of disease progression. Symptoms include fever, cough, breathlessness on exertion, loss of smell and taste, weakness, body pains, and headache.
Patients should be in home isolation. Get an online consultation from a physician and follow the treatment as suggested by them. Wear a mask even at home. Use paracetamol for fever and body aches. Avoid NSAID analgesics. Monitor pulse and oxygen saturation frequently. Take adequate fluids.
Breathlessness while at rest, oxygen saturation falling down below 90%, chest pain, altered mental status, may indicate disease progression. Go to emergency to check if there is a need for hospital admission. Physician may order blood investigations, chest X Ray and/or HRCT Scan chest to check the severity of the disease and decide treatment accordingly. Hospitalised patients need oxygen to maintain saturation, intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration. Since there is shortage of hospital and ICU beds, it is preferable to reserve the hospital and ICU beds for patients with severe disease.
Several of the patients admitted in the hospital require ICU care. Patients who are unable to maintain oxygen saturation even with oxygen support require endotracheal intubation and ventilator support. They require antibiotics to prevent secondary lung infections. They also require several medications including steroids to prevent or treat cytokine storm.
Patients feel weak and lethargic for several days after recovery.
Because of residual lung damage, patients become easily tired and breathless. It can take several weeks to become normal again.
Generally recovered patients develop immunity against future Covid-19 infection, but how long this protection lasts is unclear. Recovered patients with high levels of antibodies in their blood can donate plasma which can help people suffering from severe Covid-19.
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