What to Do if Someone in Your House Has COVID
The variant Omicron is not only far more dangerous but also spreads faster than its predecessors. If someone in your house has COVID-19, several crucial steps need to be taken depending on the COVID-19 symptoms. Some people may show mild symptoms, while others suffer from severe illness. Many others can be asymptomatic. In any case, however, normal activities and contact with people should be avoided. This blog serves as a guide for people whose household member has COVID-19.
How to Understand Whether Someone in Your House Has COVID
Recognizing the potentially fatal COVID-19 disease requires familiarity with its signs. It is important since you may be living with someone with COVID-19 at your home without realizing it. Frequently, patients show symptoms like sore throat, which can be misunderstood as a throat infection. Identifying the existence of COVID-19 infection and seeking timely medical care is necessary to inhibit the spread of the disease.
A person in your house may have COVID if they exhibit the following sickness-related signs:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- Sense of taste or smell disappearing
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
The intensity of these symptoms may vary from mildness to severity, depending upon the variant of the virus, the person’s age and health conditions. It also depends on whether the person has been vaccinated or not. In any case, the first step is to get tested as soon as the symptoms are detected, whether at a testing facility or at home, for COVID-19.
Steps to Do if You Live With Someone Infected With COVID
If someone in the household has COVID-19, then you are the close contact of a confirmed case person and subjected to certain obligations. You are required to make sure that you are taking proper precautions to protect yourself from getting the disease. Remember, you can become ill even if you have been vaccinated. Therefore, a caregiver, as well as the family members, may need to take these steps while being in close proximity of a COVID-19 patient:
- Wash hands with water and soap for a minimum of 20 seconds frequently;
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth without washing or sanitizing your hands;
- Use a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when necessary;
- Use well-fitting face masks of high quality for 10 full days;
- Regularly clean your home, especially places that are frequently touched like remote controls, doorknobs, etc.;
- Keep bedding and utensils of the sick person separate from the regularly used items;
- Do not allow new people into your residence as long as the patient does not recover completely;
- Observe yourself for 10 days for COVID-19 symptoms.
If the condition of the patient gets worse, contact a healthcare provider instantly.
Getting a Covid-19 Test
If you are living with someone with COVID-19 or taking care of them, it is advisable to not only take preventive measures but also get tested for COVID-19 even if you have no symptoms of the respiratory infection. The good news is that you can now perform the test at your home. Self-test kits like Healgen rapid antigen test or Flowflex antigen test are a faster and easier way of knowing whether you are an infectious person or not. If you get a positive COVID-19 test result, this is confirmation of the existence of the disease. And if the test result is negative, it does not imply that the virus has not yet made it into your body. A re-test should be performed in this scenario and if the result comes negative again, go for a PCR test as a final confirmation.
The Essentials of Home Isolation and Quarantine
Home isolation applies to people who have a positive COVID-19 test result. These people are the infectious ones and can act as carriers of the illness if they continue their normal activities. It is mandatory for them to avoid contact with people completely, as well as stop using public transportation, to inhibit the spread of this potentially fatal respiratory infection. However, this constraint on the movement is only effective when certain conditions are met.
Home isolation is preferred for patients with mild symptoms and an adequate supply of basic necessities like food and hygiene products, as well as medical supplies. There should be a healthy caregiver present at home, with a proper communication link between the quarantined person and the caregiver. Take into consideration the needs of quarantined individuals who use wheelchairs, are nursing, or are pregnant. Close contacts, whose household member has COVID-19, are also obligated to quarantine for at least 14 days or as long as the patient does not recover completely if they are providing care.
Patients must avoid contact with expecting ladies, older people, individuals with co-morbidities, and children. A distance of at least 1 meter should be maintained between the patient and the caregiver if they need to share a single room. If there are any emergency warning signs, contact healthcare providers or visit hospitals recognized by the government. Inform the hospital beforehand about the intensity of the situation. Emergency warning signs may include:
- Sleepiness or failure to maintain alertness;
- Breathing issues;
- Recurrent chest pain;
- Changing the colour of the lips, face, or nail beds;
- Ambiguous actions.
If you are the caregiver or the close contact living with someone with COVID-19, watch for the development of symptoms in yourself, too. Follow all the steps when you are with someone who has a COVID-19 infection. Also, avoid using public transport and maintaining contact with people.
Other Tips for People Who Possibly Have Been Exposed to COVID
People who have been exposed to COVID by any means should discontinue normal activities and quarantine for 14 days from the day of contact with a confirmed case. They should also inform relevant authorities that someone in my house has COVID-19. Do not share indoor spaces with other healthy persons generally or persons with weak immune systems, as well as those who are at greater risk, particularly. All people – a patient and family members – who are supposed to observe home isolation and quarantine should be sensitized and counselled on the significance of the matter. Ensure proper ventilation, the use of appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment), and a satisfactory mechanism of waste disposal. Keep lateral flow test kits for self-testing in case you start developing symptoms.