Our Top Tips for Recovering at Home
Thankfully flu season ended in March, and COVID-19 cases are down throughout the state. For the most part, those who are contracting unpleasant viruses this spring are able to avoid hospitalization and recover in the comfort of their homes.
If that happens to be you, what should you do? Here are some suggestions to consider from NorthBay Health Chief Medical Officer Seth Kaufman, M.D., to minimize spread and make you a little more comfortable as you recover. However, Dr. Kaufman notes that everyone is different, and advises you check in with your doctor to confirm what’s best for you.
- Stay home and isolate. No need for anyone else in your family to suffer.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Stay hydrated!
- You can consider over-the-counter medications to ease the pain or reduce a fever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. (Unless your doctor has advised otherwise.)
- Lozenges can sooth a sore throat.
- Wash your hands frequently, or use hand-sanitizer. Otherwise you’re leaving a trail of germs that others may pick up.
- A humidifier or vaporizer can make breathing a little easier.
- Don’t just lay there: Move! If you can take a lap around the room or do some stretching, it can help open up the lungs and make breathing easier.
- Get tested for COVID. If you test negative, consider a second rapid test, just to make sure. If you are COVID-positive and in a high-risk group, consult your doctor to see if you’d benefit from treatment. Paxlovid is an oral antiviral medication that is considered the first choice for treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Even if it’s not COVID, consult your doctor if you’re in a high-risk group, advises Dr. Kaufman. There are some medications that can prove effective, if taken within 48 hours from the time when symptoms pop up. Those symptoms include fever, chills, headache, sore throat, congestion, body aches and fatigue.
Although flu season is officially over, there’s still germs floating throughout the community, so vigilance (and a fitted N95 mask) is always a good idea.
“However, if you’re having trouble breathing or experiencing chest pain, visit the emergency department right away,” said Dr. Kaufman. “You can never be too careful.”
Use common sense if you’re suffering flu-like symptoms. Contact your primary care physician via the patient portal, or by calling (707) 646-5500 for an appointment if you are a high-risk patient. There could be some treatments that could ease your discomfort.