The new coronavirus — COVID-19 is making people sick with flu-like symptoms. Those who show early signs of illness, such as a fever or a dry cough, are encouraged to call their provider before going into a clinic. Going to the hospital or clinic without calling ahead could expose more people to the illness. When calling the provider, be prepared to answer questions about any recent travels and potential contact with someone who was exposed to the coronavirus. Basic information helps providers determine whether there is a risk of COVID-19. In the case of a medical emergency, do not hesitate to visit the Emergency Department at the Alaska Native Medical Center.
The majority of COVID-19 cases do not require hospitalization. Some cases may experience a fever, along with other symptoms, and slowly recover over the course of a few weeks. The CDC suggests that people recovering at home stay in an isolated room away from other people and use a separate bathroom, if possible. In addition to washing hands often and cleaning high contact surfaces like doorknobs, countertops, faucets, toilets, phones, and keyboards daily; the CDC also recommends restricting contact with pets and other animals. Individuals who are sick, or caring for someone who is sick, should also avoid sharing dishes, glasses, bedding, and other household items including toothbrushes and toothpaste.
The World Health Organization recommends when caring for someone at home to limit the number of caregivers. Ideally, assign one person who is in a good health and has no underlying chronic or immunocompromising conditions. Visitors should not be allowed until the individual has completely recovered and has no signs and symptoms. Additionally, avoid direct contact with body fluids, particularly oral or respiratory secretions, and stool. Use disposable gloves and a mask when providing oral or respiratory care and when handling stool, urine, and other waste. Perform hand hygiene before and after removing gloves and the mask. Do not reuse masks or gloves. When washing hands with soap and water, it is preferable to use disposable paper towels to dry hands. If these are not available, use clean cloth towels and replace them daily.
Even if a someone is confirmed to have COVID-19, there is no specific medication for it. Much like the flu, providers treat the person’s symptoms. For example, they ensure the individual is receiving enough oxygen and are staying hydrated. Whether it is related to COVID-19, or not, Southcentral Foundation is here to support. Call your provider today if you are experiencing any health-related issues, or if you have any questions related to the health of you or your family at (907) 729-3300