WHAT TO DO IF YOU FEVER
Coronavirus, what to do if you have a fever. Healed after 14 days without symptoms
Many people find themselves at home with fever, cough, sore throat. Swabs are not performed but for family doctors they have Coronavirus. Here are the rules for home treatment and how to ascertain clinical healing
In these days of great alarm for the growing mass of coronavirus, many people find themselves at home with a fever, without knowing what to do. We asked the Italian Family Doctors Federation, how to behave.
What if you find yourself at home and have a fever?
Those who have a fever over 37.5 in these days must contact their general practitioner by phone without going to the office. The doctor will ask a series of questions on, such as those of the emergency room to evaluate signs and symptoms. It is important to contact your doctor because it is he who knows the patient, personal history, risk factors such as hypertension or diabetes in some way related to a worsening of the coronavirus situation.
What are the symptoms that must alarm?
The three main symptoms that should be of concern are in addition to fever, dry cough and breathing difficulties. Fever can go up a lot and is usually worrying when it doesn't go down with antibiotics. The rise in temperature is the most frequent symptom (87.9% prevalence). The cough is described as dry, irritating and persistent, not with phlegm (present in 67.7% of cases). Shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing and speaking is present in 18.6% of cases. Other less and less common symptoms are fatigue, sputum production, sore throat, headache, muscle and joint pain, chills, nausea and vomiting, nasal congestion, diarrhea, conjunctivitis.
What happens if the doctor estimates that my symptoms are compatible with Covid 19?
In Lombardy, those who currently have a fever almost certainly contracted Covid-19. Therefore the patient must immediately put himself in home isolation for at least 14 days trying, as far as possible, to avoid contact with the rest of the family. It is important that the patient never leaves the house. Even if the swab is not performed, which today at least in Lombardy is done only to those who experience severe symptoms, isolation must be maintained.
What are the recommended drugs?
The treatment must be agreed with your doctor, however, generally uses antibiotics, essentially paracetamol, 1 gram for no more than 3 times a day, which in addition to lowering the fever is also a pain reliever. It is very important to drink enough to hydrate the mucous membranes. For intestinal disorders, classic anti-diarrhea drugs can be used. If the situation develops favorably, the fever usually passes in 5-7 days. Sometimes there is a feverish return after 1-2 days. The weakness can be long to dispose of.
Who controls the course of your illness?
It is the family doctor who always takes care of how the disease is evolving by telephone. The patient has the task of keeping three parameters monitored on a daily basis: the frequency of breathing (respiratory acts in one minute, up to 20 is normal); arterial frequency (need the meter purchasable in the pharmacy); oxygen saturation, assessable with the oximeter, an instrument that allows you to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood and to identify any dyspnea before symptoms are felt. It is a very important low-cost tool to evaluate the course of the coronavirus but at the moment they are exhausted and can no longer be found. We in the studio have some that we turn to the patients who need them after having carefully disinfected them. Alternatively, the heart rate monitors that many people have can also be used, even those that measure oxygen saturation.
What if your situation gets worse?
If the parameters that need to be monitored on a daily basis should cause serious concern, the doctor himself will initiate the procedure for hospitalization by calling 112. The patient can also do so, but in this case the time is longer. At this point, a team will visit the patient at home and re-evaluate the entire clinical situation, deciding whether or not to be hospitalized.
How to manage coexistence in the family?
Those who are ill must wear a surgical mask and gloves and stay in a personal room. Home care patients should also wear protective equipment. The patient should consume meals alone and, if possible, use a personal bathroom. The bathroom and room surfaces used by the patient must be disinfected with household disinfectants, chlorine-based products or with 70% alcohol. Clothes, sheets and towels should be washed in the washing machine at 60-90 °
Are patients diagnosed with Covid-19 clinically reported?
It is very unlikely that anyone who has a fever, respiratory pain, tiredness, lack of appetite, cough at this time has contracted a disease other than coronavirus. If the swab were made it would be positive and would only be a diagnostic confirmation. So we doctors report the numerous cases to the MAINF surveillance system that monitors the incidence of infectious diseases.
How can you tell if you are healed if you haven't swabbed?
After 14 days without symptoms, there is almost absolute certainty of being cured of the disease even without having made the tampon. For these patients, clinical healing is valid, which consists precisely in the disappearance of fever, cough, general malaise, difficulty in breathing.
Is there anyone who certifies the return to the community?
No, there is no certification by the attending physician because it is still a presumption of recovery. It is the common sense of patients to remain in home isolation for another 14 days after the symptoms end. The medical certificate is made only in the presence of the double negative swab, that is when not only clinical, but also virological healing is certified. But this can of course only apply to those who tested positive for the swab.
Precautionary self-isolation is recommended to protect yourself and others. If after 14 days no symptoms arise, it is possible to return to the community, always naturally maintaining the rules in force today, from hand washing to social distancing
What do you recommend to the population?
Anyone who tries to exorcise the idea of having coronavirus by minimizing symptoms makes a big mistake. The doctor should be called.