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Friday, August 14, 2020

COVID-19: What to Expect While Recovering

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Being diagnosed with COVID-19; What to expect while recovering, how to take care of yourself while you recover, and how to protect the people around you while you recover should be running through your mind.

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Covid-19 is the world’s current pandemic, and because it can spread from person to person by direct contact and indirect contact (when you pick up the virus from an object that has the virus on the surface and then finds its way into your system), it is highly contagious.

The media may have tried to under-report this virus while some are spread terror and panic about it. You may be wondering what is in for you if you get diagnosed with the virus or perhaps, you have already tested positive for COVID-19.

Considering the fact that this disease is a new human coronavirus infection, much is not known about this virus, but experts are trying their bests to see that this pandemic is defeated.

Coronavirus Recovery Rates

The recovery rates of the infection are seriously tracked in order to obtain and to preserve the necessary information relating to COVID-19.

However, the efforts of our scientists and researchers are highly challenged by the fact that they only work with the available data at hand, and that is information only on the number of confirmed cases without the inclusion of patients who are positive with COVID-19 but do not get tested for COVID-19.

Some of them may be asymptomatic and may easily pass it on to others who might actually fall sick. The bottom line is that we have more COVID-19 cases that the confirmed recorded cases which are quite difficult for them to state specifically.

They also do not have data on the outcome of every case of infection. But then, early estimation indicated that the prediction that the general recovery rate on COVID-19 is between 97% to 99.75%.

What To Expect While You Recover From COVID-19

Recovering from COVID-19, how quickly you are expected to recover, depends on whether you are a sufferer of COVID-19 mild, moderate, or severe.

This depends on the severity of the symptoms manifested.

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Recovering from mild COVID-19 illness

About 80% of COVID-19 infected people are either completely asymptomatic, or they may experience mild symptoms of COVID-19. Individuals with slight symptoms are most likely to recover and bounce back healthy in about a week or more.

Recovery from COVID-19, If you have mild symptoms is almost the same as recovering from flu.

Recovering from moderate COVID-19 illness

If the symptoms you manifest are more acute than People with mild symptoms that you have to visit an ER (Emergency Room) or even have your hospitalization, then, the recovery process is a long journey that would take several weeks for them to recover.

Patients are likely to experience symptoms such as; cough,  difficulty in breathing, extended fatigue.

Recovering from severe COVID-19 illness

The cases of severe COVID-19 illness are about 14%, and these people make take about many weeks to many months to recover.  This depends on how much damage caused your lungs and how much strength you had lost.

The severity of this condition is off the hook as you may be severely ill (if you develop pneumonia) that you would need to be treated in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). A lot of patients who get treated for so long in the ICU then to lose their strength and suffer from weight loss. You are also likely to have memory problems after recovery.

Some people develop complications known as Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) due to the immune system trying to eliminate the virus using a powerful inflammatory response. This may lead to lung tissue damage and possibly even respiratory failure.

This can lead to damaging your lungs,  thereby, making it so difficult for you to breathe that you need medical help breathing. You would need a ventilator. Again, this can possibly lead to respiratory failure.

Your medical team will surely work with you for the management and treatment of the severe these symptoms to ensure your recovery.

However, you are advised to take precautions after recovery because you are still a potential carrier of the virus and might spread the virus to others.

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Recovery Outlook

Researchers are still not certain about the response of the human immune system to Covid-19. They are also not sure if it is possible for a patient who has already recovered from COVID-19 to get infected again.

An early study carried out on monkeys showed that they did not get infected again. But you might be a carrier of the virus in your body for a week and more.

Therefore, you are advised to stick to following official advice by washing your hands very often, keeping surfaces sterilized clean, and staying home to curb the spread.

How to Feel Better

Although there are no approved treatments nor vaccine for COVID-19, there are things that you can do to speed up your recovery from COVID-19.

These things are easy and simple tips that you can when you have a cold or flu.

Healthy dieting

Adopting a healthy diet plan with the proper combination of foods to give you the adequate diet that you need.

A healthy diet is a way of fueling your body right, and you can do that by eating foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in the right proportion and by reducing if not stopping completely your sugar intake and the consumption of extremely processed foods such as soft drinks, cookies, biscuits, etc.

Always stay hydrated

Always stay hydrated because your body requires fluids and plenty of fluids. However, there are certain liquids required in the body such as water, fresh fruit juices, juice extract from vegetables, etc.

Just stay hydrated by drinking anything that does not contain alcohol or caffeine such as beer, alcoholic beverages, coffee, soft drinks, etc. You are advised to do this even when you do not feel thirsty or hungry, just sips by sips will do the trick.

More so, you may choose to consume foods with lots of liquid, for example; soups.

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Lower your fever

Medications that can be gotten over the counter medications can help to manage your symptoms. Follow the instructions provided by your health care provider, and you are free to ask them for advice if needed.

Take medications to help control your body temperature if you are burning up. Medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help regulate your body temperature until it is stabilized. However, you are to be cautious enough not to consume not more than the sum of 3,000mg per day.

Relaxation and rest

Relaxation and rest are highly recommended. Get as much rest as possible; your body needs it. Relax, take in the fresh air, take part in your hobbies in order to get away from any thought that may affect your mental health.

Exercise and yoga

Depending on what your body allows, follow it. If your body does not permit vigorous exercises, then go with mild ones or yoga. Exercises help in strengthening,  not only your body but your immune system as well.

This also encourages deep inhalation, which helps to get enough fresh air into your lungs and exhalation of carbon dioxide.

Monitor your symptoms carefully

Monitor your symptoms carefully, if you notice that your symptoms are getting worse, then you should contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Get medical attention as soon as possible, If your symptoms worsen and develop into emergency warning signs. The emergency warning signs are as follows:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent sharp chest pain
  • Inability stay awake
  • Bluish face or lips
  • Sustained high fever (101 degrees or over)

Eventually, you are probably going to feel better and be alright, but If your symptoms worsen, please do contact your healthcare provider.

What you should do while recovering

While you are recovering from COVID-19, you can as well transmit it to the next person to you; your family, friends,  partner, health care professionals, and everybody at large.

It is therefore important that you help protect them from getting infected as well as help curb the spread.

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By following the following tips you can achieve this:

  • Stay home and avoid workplace, school, store, and other public places except you are going to obtain medical care. If you must leave home, avoid public transportation and maintain physical and social distancing with up to or more than 6 feet away from others
  • If you have any medical appointment, you are advised to contact your healthcare provider ahead of time and inform them that you may have COVID-19
  • Avoid those you live with as much as possible
  • Always self-isolate in a specific room and away from others in your home
  • Always keep your door closed to shut away from others, and you are advised to make use of a separate bathroom, if available
  • Make sure that all surfaces that you share with others are cleaned always
  • If there is a need for you to be with other people within or outside of your home, then you should wear a facemask, but if you are not able to maybe because you find it extremely difficult to breathe with it, then other people should be in the same room as you
  • Use your elbow or preferably a tissue paper to cover your cough and sneezes. Used tissue papers are disposed of immediately then you should  wash or sanitize your hands
  • Make use of soap and water to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Or you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% – 80% alcohol to kill the virus and other germs habiting in your hands. It is very important that you do this more often than not; after coughing, blowing your nose, sneezing, using the toilet, and before you prepare food or eat
  • Avoid the sharing of personal belongings with others as you might get them infected. Personal belongings such as; towels, beddings, cutleries, and dishes
  • Avoid handling pets and other animals if you are sick
  • If you are the only adult, make sure clean surfaces that are often touched
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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative & educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

Emmanuella Ekokotu
Ekokotu Emmanuella is a sociologist and Anthropologist, writer, and fashion model who lives in Benin city, Edo state,Nigeria.

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