Hello!

August 12, 2020

25 Comments

With cases of COVID-19 on the rise, many Australians are asking: what happens if I tested positive? With no known cure and no vaccine, what are my treatment options?

Finding trusted answers amid the widespread coverage of questionable claims and dubious data on unproven treatments is not easy. The good news is there are clear guidelines and growing evidence on treatments that can have a dramatic effect on COVID-19.

Here’s a snapshot of how this knowledge and guidance is likely to apply to you, if you have mild, moderate or severe COVID-19.



Read more:
How are the most serious COVID-19 cases treated, and does the coronavirus cause lasting damage?


I’ve Tested positive and isolating at home

If you have tested positive, you must self-isolate at home. Your local public health service will contact you with advice and information about how long you’ll need to do so.

If you are like most people with COVID-19, you won’t need to go to a clinic or hospital, and can safely self-manage the illness at home. Even so, it’s important to connect with an appropriate health-care service (either by contacting a dedicated COVID-19 service or by calling your GP) for an initial assessment and continuing contact throughout your illness.

How Will I Feel?

Initially, you may experience flu-like symptoms such as cough, sore throat, fever, aches, pains and headache. You might temporarily lose your sense of smell and taste; less common symptoms include nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Whatever your symptoms, you’ll need plenty of rest, fluids and paracetamol for aches, pains or fever.

Day 5 Is When Things Can Go Wrong

Take particular note of how you’re feeling from day five onwards, as this is the time some people begin to deteriorate significantly. Around 20% of people fall into this category, with older people and those with pre-existing health conditions more likely to require hospitalisation. Watch out for intense fatigue, difficulty breathing or an overall deterioration in how you’re feeling.

If your symptoms worsen, you’ll need to contact your care provider, or if your symptoms are very serious (such as difficulty breathing), call 000 and ask for an ambulance, and don’t forget to tell them you have COVID-19.

What if things get worse still?

If you are taken to hospital, doctors will measure your oxygen levels and perform a chest X-ray and blood tests to determine whether you have pneumonia (infection in the lungs, which is a sign of moderate or severe COVID-19). If pneumonia, low oxygen levels or other signs of severe infection are detected, you’ll need to stay in hospital and will probably be given oxygen.

If this is the case, you’ll also be given a strong anti-inflammatory medicine called dexamethasone. This is a widely used, low-cost drug that was recently found to reduce the risk of dying from COVID-19 (by 15% for people on oxygen and by about a third for people on a ventilator). However, for people who are not on oxygen, dexamethasone may increase the risk of death — probably because inflammation is not such a big factor at that stage of disease — and the side-effects of dexamethasone would outweigh any potential benefit to those patients.



Read more:
Dexamethasone: the cheap, old and boring drug that’s a potential coronavirus treatment=


For moderate or severe cases, doctors may also consider a newer antiviral medicine called remdesivir. Originally developed to treat Ebola, this drug has recently been shown to reduce the time to recover from more severe forms of COVID-19 — but not to reduce the risk of dying from the disease.



Read more:
Remdesivir explained – what makes this drug work against viruses?


If you become even more unwell, these treatments will continue but you may need more support for breathing, such as high-flow oxygen or a ventilator, and will likely be cared for in an intensive care unit.

Recovery

Your recovery depends on many factors, including your previous health and fitness, and how sick you became with COVID-19. The recovery phase is not yet fully understood, but we do know some people suffer prolonged symptoms, including fatigue, breathlessness, and joint and chest pains.



Read more:
Here’s what we know so far about the long-term symptoms of COVID-19


As scientists continue to grapple with the complexities of understanding and treating this virus, we will have more questions than answers for some time yet.

Fortunately, Australia moved quickly at the start of the crisis to establish a National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce. A collaboration of 29 peak national health organisations, the taskforce works around the clock to rapidly identify, evaluate and summarise global COVID-19 research findings. Each week, guideline panels with more than 200 experts use this evidence to review and update national “living guidelines” to inform consistent, high-quality patient care around the country.

This pace of updating rigorous, trustworthy guidelines weekly is a world first. Whatever the global headlines or social media outrage of the day, Australian health workers will continue to have a single, accessible source of consistent, evidence-based guidance in a time of great uncertainty.The Conversation

Have you or do you know anyone who has tested positive to COVID-19? Tell us in the comments below.

Julian Elliott, Executive Director, National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce, and Associate Professor, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

  • Thanks for sharing this information. It is so hard to know what to do if you should by some horrible means get this infection. Hopefully we will sail through until a vaccine is developed with summer coming on and the virus preferring cold climes.

    Reply

  • This is so scary.

    Reply

  • I don’t have it or know anyone who does. There is one case at the moment in my town and I’m hoping that we don’t get any more. Thanks for sharing this information

    Reply

  • This is great info to know. I didnt realise how things can change in day 5. I hope everyone stays safe out there.

    Reply

  • I know someone from the very original cruise ship in Japan who caught Covid, then so did her husband. It was so traumatic for them stuck in Japan as they had just ended their trip of a lifetime and had no idea how things would play out. They’re both back home now but with lingering effects and long-term illnesses exacerbated by Covid.

    Reply

  • There is a lot of information out there about covid and it does take time to go through the information. We have chosen reputable evidence based sources. Thanks for sharing resources.

    Reply

  • Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

  • So far we are doing okay in Western Australia. Lets just hope that things improve everywhere and people stay home to stop the spread of this virus

    Reply

  • I feel so blessed to be in Tassie where things are almost normal.

    Reply

  • So interesting. It’s so scary what can happen

    Reply

  • Very interesting article, thank you for compiling and sharing this information. Fingers crossed that our current situation starts to improve rather than get worse!

    Reply

  • very informative. Thank you

    Reply

  • Thank you for the article. I hope I will not get it, but in case I am now more prepared about what to expect.
    Luckily so far I haven’t met anyone who turned out positive on the test.

    Reply

  • Very informative article. I do not know anyone who tested positive to covid.

    Reply

  • Interesting to read comments from ppl who don’t actually know anyone who’s tested positive to covid19.

    Reply

Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Please enter your comment below
Would you like to include a photo?
No picture uploaded yet.
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.
Your MoM account


Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like

Loading…

Looks like this may be blocked by you browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating
Join