With the number of cases increasing rapidly in the capital and around, everyone is in a state of panic. School and offices have been shut down, people are advised not to travel and everyone is asked to take proper precautions in order to avoid getting infected.
But what if despite taking all the measures, someone gets infected by the coronavirus? Worry not, Dr Yugal Kishore Mishra, Chief of Clinical Services, Head of Cardiac Sciences and Chief Cardiovascular Surgeon, Manipal Hospital, Delhi, tells us what you should do in case you or someone you know catch the COVID-19 infection.
Here’s what the doctor has to say:
Individuals who have a travel history to countries severely affected by the virus should get themselves tested even if they do not have any symptoms. Also, people who have been in contact with such people and display some symptoms, should be vigilant and get themselves tested.
According to Dr Mishra, coronavirus infection can be categorized into three categories – mild, moderate and severe.
Symptoms of mild, moderate and severe infection
Mild infection – Mild headache and fever
Moderate infection – Bouts of coughing, difficulty in breathing and severe body ache
Severe infection – Blood in the cough, very high fever, severe breatlessness. These people might require ventilation.
People who have severe and moderate infection must be immediately hospitalised without any delay. People with mild symptoms can be kept at home. But in such cases, people around them must be very careful.
The patient should cover their mouth so that they do not infect other people. These people should self-quarantine themselves in their homes. They must take care of their fluid balance and ensure their body temperature is not very high. If that happens, they should be immediately rushed to the hospital.
Since there is no treatment for the coronavirus yet, the symptoms can be managed by paracetamol and oxygen therapy. Blood in the cough and difficulty must be taken seriously and the patient must be hospitalised if he displays such symptoms.
People infected must not visit public places. They should take care not to touch objects like doorknobs, elevator buttons, etc. They must quarantine themselves in their room and avoid contact with their family members too. Family members must wear masks and should wash their hands with soap and water, or use a hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol. General surfaces can be kept clean with chlorhexidine 0.1% to 0.5% solution, adds Dr Mishra.
Dr Mishra says, “If someone suspects that they have coronavirus infection, they should immediately seek medical help and get tested. Currently, 51 centres have been sanctioned by the Indian government to test for coronavirus infection. Do not delay in seeking medical help if you are displaying symptoms of coronavirus, which can be dry cough, sore throat, high fever, breathing problem, among others.”