PEORIA — The vast majority of people who get COVID-19 will be able to nurse themselves back to health at home, but what's the best way to do that?
Dr. Hayley Ralph, a family medicine physician at OSF Medical Group -- Primary Care in Kewanee, offered these tips.
* The over-the-counter medications must be chosen according to your medical history and what prescription medications you take. Always consult with your doctor first to ensure OTC medications don't interact negatively with your prescription medications or worsen any health conditions you might have.
* Acetaminophen is what's usually recommended for fever and body aches. There have been reports from overseas about negative effects from using ibuprofen in the treatment of mild COVID-19 symptoms, so consult with your doctor before taking it. If he or she recommends alternating ibuprofen and acetaminophen, be sure to write down the timing of each dose of each medication to avoid overdosing. You could also try logging this in a note on your smartphone. You can take one dose of the different medications every 3 hours. So if you take acetaminophen at 8 a.m., take ibuprofen at 11 a.m., then acetaminophen again at 2 p.m., and so on. Do not exceed the recommended dosing in a 24-hour period listed on the medication label.
People are also reading…
* You may consider treating cough with products containing dextromethorphan or guaifenesin. If you are unsure which products contain these ingredients, ask your pharmacist. Always follow dosing instructions on the labels.
* Take frequent sips of water to avoid dehydration.
* Call or seek immediate care if symptoms are worsening, such as uncontrolled fever, shortness of breath, dehydration with inability to maintain oral fluids and decreased urination.
Patients should call ahead so health-care workers can take the appropriate actions to protect themselves and other patients.
Get questions answered without leaving home through OSF HealthCare's chatbot, Clare, osfhealthcare.org, or by phone at (800) OSF-KNOW. If you don't have a doctor or insurance, call 2-1-1.
A little preparation makes things easier if you do get sick. Troy Erbentraut, director of the office of preparedness and response at OSF HealthCare, suggests keeping enough food and medications to last 14 to 21 days in your home. If you live alone, connect with someone who will check on you.
"A phone-a-friend," Erbentraut termed that person. "Make sure you are connected with somebody else, so if you start to feel worse, someone will know that. We need to make sure we are communicating with people who live alone because nobody should ever be isolated."