What to Do If You Think You Have COVID-19
Written by: DCCF-er Dr. Rashad Usmani
Fitness friends – we are going through some unprecedented times right now. We are in the midst of a global pandemic that has changed day-to-day life for most of us drastically. I am hopeful that this message finds you in good health. However, if you are feeling under the weather, you may naturally be asking yourself “Do I have COVID-19?” and “What should I do?”
The most documented initial symptoms of the Coronavirus are fever, dry cough, fatigue, lack of appetite, and shortness of breath. Symptoms usually begin 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. If you develop any of the aforementioned symptoms, the first and most important thing to do is to stay at home and isolate yourself from others. Do not visit any public areas. If you live at home with other family members or roommates, do your best to isolate yourself and avoid sharing personal household items. It is not necessary to seek medical care when symptoms first present, as a majority of infected persons (approximately 85-90%) will get better on their own. Instead, it is recommended that you rest on your own and stay well hydrated.
If you do have symptoms that are concerning for Coronavirus, you should monitor them closely. If you are having increased trouble breathing, worsening shortness of breath, or persistent chest pain, you should seek medical attention immediately. Additional emergency symptoms include sudden confusion or the presence of a bluish hue to the lips or face, which is suggestive of poor oxygenation. As mentioned previously, if you are not having any emergency symptoms, it is recommended that you stay home in isolation and rest. You may take Tylenol as needed to reduce fever and help alleviate muscle fatigue.
People with suspected Coronavirus can stop isolation under the following conditions: No fever for the last 72 hours (without any fever reducing medicines), improvement of other symptoms (reduced cough/shortness of breath), and at least seven days have passed since the initial onset of symptoms. It is not necessary to have a test performed that comes back negative to come out of isolation.
The recommendations I have given above are quite general and there is still quite a bit that we do not know about the virus and how it behaves. Early evidence has shown that most patients do recover from Coronavirus uneventfully, and many of those that do develop more severe symptoms have underlying risk factors (older age, asthma, COPD, etc.). If you are having significant concerns, please contact your doctor immediately for further recommendations.
Finally, I encourage all of you to remain healthy and active during this time. Our bodies are dependent on adequate exercise, nutrition, hydration, and sleep to stay healthy and fight off infection. Keep up with the Derby City At Home Workouts or find other ways to be active while maintaining appropriate social distance (walking, running, cycling, hiking, etc.). Please utilize all of the great resources DCCF has provided to continue your fitness journey during these trying times. Be safe, and I hope to see all of you back at the gym soon!