Due to rising cases amidst the second Covid-19 wave in India, there’s a lot of panic, confusion among the common people regarding the disease. This can be reduced by creating awareness and understanding about the disease, its treatment & prevention.
Covid-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and will recover without hospitalization.
• Common symptoms: cold, cough (mostly dry), fever, bodyache, headache, fatigue, weakness.
• Other symptoms: Loss of taste and/or smell (gen. takes 2-3 days after an infection), nausea/vomiting, diarrhoea, blocked nose, congestion, redness in eye.
• Emergency symptoms: Trouble breathing, constant pain/pressure in your chest, bluish lips/face, sudden confusion.
Severity of illness:
Depending upon the severity, the infection can be classified into 4 categories:
• Asymptomatic: Individuals who test +ve but shows no symptoms that are consistent with Covid-19.
• Mild: Individuals who have any of the various signs & symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, sore throat, , headache, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of taste and smell) but who do not have shortness of breath or abnormal chest imaging.
• Moderate: Individuals who show evidence of lower respiratory disease during clinical assessment or imaging and with saturation of oxygen (SpO2) ≥94% on room air
• Severe: Individuals with (SpO2) <94% on room air, respiratory frequency >30 breaths/min, needs hospitalisation.
What Needs To Be Done If One Gets Infected?
• Check for emergency symptoms (described above) like breathing issues, chest pain etc. If not, then the case might be mild/moderate.
• Isolate the patient in a separate room with a separate washroom.
• In case beds in isolation ward isn’t available and there isn’t a separate washroom, then disinfect it with Sodium Hypochlorite solution after every use. Though it is a bit risky but still better if there is no access to beds in an isolation/quarantine ward for the patient.
• Monitor the temperature & percentage oxygen saturation (spO2) of the patient regularly. Though pulseoxymeter is recommended for (spO2 )measurement, but in its absence one can use their smart watches, mobile health apps etc. (spO2) < 94% needs hospitalisation.
For patients with mild/moderate symptoms under home isolation:
• A healthy, fresh home made balanced diet is recommended.
• Avoid anything sour/cold as it may aggravate the cough.
• High fluid intake. Proper hydration must be maintained via ORS, AYUSH kadhas, juices, coconut water etc.
• Chyawanprash can also be taken as it’s a good source of Vitamin C, immunoboosters & cough relieving herbs like Mulethi (glycyrrhiza) etc.
Breathing exercises with spirometer is advised generally by the physicians. In its absence, Pranayam or deep breathing and breath holding can be practiced by anyone. It must be avoided in case the patient is already suffering from breathing difficulty and other emergency symptoms.
Medicines & Treatment:
Self medication must be avoided & proper treatment should be taken from Registered Medical Practitioners only.
As per Clinical Guidance of Covid-19 Management, published by AIIMS, New Delhi, on 7th April 2021:
• For asymptomatic/mild to moderate patients, doses of Zinc, Vitamin C, Multivitamins alongwith anti-allergics, antipyretics (mainly paracetamol) are given. Antibiotics like azithromycin; doxycycline alongwith Ivermectin (an anti-parasitic drug, interferes with spike protein of virus to human cell membrane) may be used for mild/moderate cases.
• For moderate/severe cases, antiviral drugs such as Favipiravir, Remdesivir are given not to patients with renal/hepatic dysfunction. Steroids like dexamethasone, prednisolone are given for anti inflammatory therapy. Anti coagulants like low molecular weight heparin is used.
• Tocilizumab (interleukin 6 inhibitor) is given in severe cases with significantly raised inflammatory markers with no improvement despite steroid use, with no active bacterial/fungal infection to the patient.
• Convalascent Plasma therapy, a process of giving passive immunity to the patients via. plasma (containing antibodies) of a Covid19 cured patient can be considered for treatment of severe/critical patients.
Also as per recent studies, it has been established that early administration of inhaled budesonide (common inhaler for asthmatic patients) reduced the likelihood of needing urgent medical care and reduced time to recovery after early COVID-19.
Link to the research paper:
Coronil kit of Patanjali may also be taken for symptomatic/systematic treatment of mild/moderate cases.
Link to the research paper:
Do get vaccinated as per the eligible age groups in accordance to India’s vaccination drive. Newer strains of Covid-19 may still infect despite vaccination but it significantly reduces the severity of the disease, even to those who’ve taken a single dose of it. The goal of the vaccination is to decrease the severity and fatality due to the disease. As per the recent vaccination data from Nashik, of 150 people who developed an infection after the first dose, none of the patients turned critical and almost all of them recovered after home-isolation and medication.
Status of Shortage of Medicines & Repiratory care facilities:
Currently, the shortage of medical oxygen, ventilators, medicines like Remdisivir, Tocilizumab etc. has been reviewed recently by PM Narendra Modi and will be taken care off in coming days.
Last but not the least, wear masks properly, maintain social distancing, avoid going to public places, wash/sanitise your hands regularly and follow a healthy lifestyle and create awareness about the disease & its prevention and contribute towards a Healthy India!
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