Consider OTC medicines and supplements
And finally, you can consider over-the-counter medicines and supplements after the recommendation of your doctor via online consultation or telemedicine.
- For fever, headache, and body aches, you can take acetaminophen or paracetamol.
- For coughing, it depends. Dry cough may need an expectorant or mucolytic (guaifenesin); wet cough may require cough suppressant (dextromethorphan). Some brands contain both ingredients.
- We need more studies to prove their effectiveness against COVID-19, but some reports1,2 indicate that Vitamin C and D might be helpful. Consider taking them because they generally help in boosting the immune system during viral illnesses.
Important: Many cold medicines contain paracetamol; if that’s the case, please don’t take paracetamol separately. Additionally, don’t take any antibiotics unless you are advised by your physician.
To address mild COVID symptoms at home, you need to closely monitor your signs and symptoms by:
- Taking your temperature and pulse oximeter readings once or twice daily or as needed.
- Keeping a symptoms diary. Note if you have recurring or persisting fever by the 2nd week.
- Limiting doing light activities due to excessive fatigue and shortness of breath. This way, you’ll know if you’re experiencing excessive fatigue and shortness of breath even if you’re not doing light activities.
Self-monitoring is especially crucial for elderly people and those with comorbidities.
When to Seek Medical Help Right Away
The above recommendations are only to manage mild COVID symptoms. Call for medical help right away, or ask someone else in the house to do so, if you experience the following:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pressure or pain in the chest
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- New confusion
- Pale, grey, or bluish discoloration in the lips and nailbeds.
Finally, don’t address COVID symptoms at home if you’re at risk of severe infection. Conditions that put you at risk include advanced age, heart diseases, obesity, and cancer. In these cases, you strictly need the guidance of a doctor.
On Ending Quarantine
On ending quarantine, you need to follow the guidelines set by your municipality. Although re-testing is no longer performed, municipalities often require you to complete your 14-day quarantine. You might also need to remain symptoms-free for a certain period before the health authorities allow you to go out again.
Learn more about Coronavirus here.