Doctor advises how best to recover from COVID-19 at home
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - With thousands of Kansans getting diagnosed with COVID-19, Eyewitness News took some of your questions to an emergency room doctor to find out how best to recover at home.
While hospitals have reached critical levels due to the virus, most people who do test positive are able to get well in the comforts of their own homes. Even in cases that don’t require hospitalization, Ascension Via Christi St. Francis Emergency Room Dr. Howard Chang said many COVID-19 patients get what he describes as a bad case of the flu that lasts longer and is more dangerous.
He also cautioned people about social media posts that claim effective at-home treatments against the virus.
‘You’re going to receive with time, must plenty of fluids and, of course, getting oxygen if that’s what you need,” Dr. Chang said. Of course, if you get hospitalized, there are certain medications we can give you in the hospital.”
One social media post doctors caution about says two drugs help, but Dr. Chang reminds patients that you shouldn’t take medications unless your doctor prescribes them for that illness.
“A Z-Pak doesn’t really work if it’s viral pneumonia. It might help fight a bacterial pneumonia. But I don’t think that’s usually what most people have. They have the COVID 19 virus,” Dr. Chang said. “If you do not require oxygen, the most recent studies have shown that dexamethasone increases your risk of harm, actually.”
The CDC shows 10 things you can do to manage your symptoms at home. This includes staying home and calling your healthcare provider. Dr. Chang said you can monitor your oxygen levels by buying a pulse oximeter. With that, you can make sure your oxygen levels don’t dip below 92 percent. There is no exact remedy to cure COVID-19. The CDC also offers guidance for caring for someone else sick with COVID-19 at your home or in a non-healthcare setting.
“It sort of feels like a really bad case of the flu. That might last much, much longer and (is) much more dangerous,” Dr. Chang said. “Of course, you treat it pretty much the same way as the flu.”
With that, Dr. Chang said while recovering from COVID-19 at home, getting plenty of rest and staying hydrated are important.
Dr. Chang said you shouldn’t hesitate to call our doctor or to go to the emergency room if you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms that include severe chest pains, seizures, or severe dehydration, just to name a few.
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