COVID-19 Prevention and Self Management
Avoiding Infection Help Yourself and Help Others
For more information follow advice from Public Health England (Mental Health and Wellbeing aspects of corona virus).
Follow these simple steps to strengthen your body’s defences to fight the good fight:
1. Stay at home, stay apart, stay protected – avoid close contact – keep 6 feet (2 metres) apart (that’s two arms lengths) and don’t go out unless it is essential. Remember – just one infected person can infect more than three other – do your bit to save lives and keep the NHS running
2. Keep Moving – make sure your heart and lungs are geared up for a fight:
a. Don’t stay sitting down
stand up, move around, run up and down the stairs, get the hoover out.
Walk – go into the fresh air, walk for half an hour each day – keeping your distance – walking briskly raises the heart rate and keeps it fit
For those with internet, some good 20 minute exercise programmes on You Tube – for free.
Physical Activity - Do all those jobs you meant to do but didn’t get round to – clearing out those cupboards, sorting out the garden shed
3. Breathe - Practice this: take a deep breath, hold it, and now
steadily count to 30 without breathing in – this will help keep your lung improve their capacity (most needed). Don’t worry if you cannot reach 30, practice will improve it.
4. Less food – more water:
Hydrate - drink more water to help flush your system and softens your throat secretions.
Eat Sensibly go for quality not quantity, avoid the temptation to reach for the biscuits and sweets increasing your sugar intake works against your immune system by reducing important nutrients.
Broccoli and green veg; fresh fruit are rich in the vitamins that will boost your immune system.
If you can, give your immunity a boost with vitamin supplements - Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Zinc are all good for boosting you defence
5. Sleep Well – aim for eight hours if you can, and keep windows open enough for some fresh air to circulate.
6. Look after your Body and Brain – don’t leave your brain out of your defence plan. Read everything you never got round to reading, do crosswords, learn something new – things that give you a sense of achievement. Gardening or sitting in sun will help – brain and boost vitamin D.
STOP smoking – this will definitely help (reducing might also help). There could not be a better time – you need your lungs to stay in good working order and continuing to smoke puts you at risk of worsening infection and delays recovery. It is going to offer benefit no matter when you stop.
Lose Weight – it will help improve breathing and activity levels.
7. Manager you Fear – don’t let it win out. This is an infection that 80-90% of us will be able to manage at home – all it needs is sensible measures and calm thinking. Keep a sense of proportion – look for one positive event each day that’s not related to the Corona Virus. Remember: “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength”.
For more more information regarding prevention of infection at home please website produced by Southampton University on the link as follows http://germdefence.org/ - This advice was developed by health experts. People who followed the advice in Germ Defence were less likely to catch pandemic flu or other viruses - and if they did become ill the illness was shorter and milder on average.
MANAGING CORONA VIRUS WHAT TO DO WHAT TO EXPECT and HOW TO TREAT WHAT TO LOOK FOR
YOU CAN MANAGE THIS!
If you have any of the symptoms listed, the VERY FIRST
thing to do is to isolate yourself and inform ALL the people you have been around and in contact with over the previous 5-7 days.
Remember – one infected person can infect more than three other – so please contact them, and insist that they isolate now for SEVEN DAYS to try and slow the spread of infection.
The next thing to do is not to PANIC! For 80-90% of people this is an infection which they can manage themselves – while there is no direct treatment to kill the virus, there are things you can do to manage it, so please DO NOT contact emergency services unless the infection worsens (see below on what to look for)
WHAT TO EXPECT (based on experience of many patients)
This is how it is likely to progress - Remember – not everyone has all of these symptoms, but if you have cough and fever you should assume it is Corona Virus:
Days 1 to 4:
A high temperature and fever. You do not need to have a thermometer to know if you have a temperature – you feel hot, sweaty, tired. The temperature will come and go – sometimes it goes and you feel better, then it comes back. And it can go on like this for three or four days
Cough – a dry cough which is persistent – that means coughing more than three times in an hour, coughing at night. Sore throat – feels scratchy and hoarse
Feeling tired and exhausted – the temperature makes you feel tired, but general feelings of tiredness can come and go – for some people they feel reasonably OK in the mornings, but in the afternoon feel lethargic and tired. Generally, the first three days are where you tend to sleep more, gradually as you move on there are periods of time when you feel better.
Loss of appetite:
Just like having flu, you don’t feel like eating much. You may also find that you lose your sense of taste and smell – which doesn’t help – but it will come back Headaches –can accompany the high temperature. It is usually all over the head but may be only in the forehead.
Days 4 to 7:
Temperature may still be high – moving up and down Feeling tired and exhausted - this might gradually lessen, giving sufficient space for small bouts of exercise Breathlessness - this can happen after moving around – say going upstairs, or just come and go
Around day 7 you should see some improvement in symptoms. But it takes some people longer than others – so be patient. Gradually build up exercise – seize the time when you are feeling less tired and go for a short walk – but you MUST still avoid any contact with others. However, at this stage lookout for breath related symptoms (see below what to look for).
Paracetemol helps with fevers and temperature – its better than Neurofen or Ibroprufen
Drink as much water as you can – it is important to stay hydrated Lemon juice and honey (you can avoid honey if you have diabetes) – mix together to sooth cough and boost your vitamin C. Ginger - a piece the size of your thumb, peel and grate it, put into a teapot to make fresh ginger tea to help digestion and well-being
Deep breathing – take some time to take five deep breaths three times a day to keep your lungs flexible and improve capacity
Sleep as much as you can - until you are feeling less tired during the day. It will help your body marshall its defences
Exercise – its important to keep moving, so do what you can each day – a walk around the block or garden (if you are lucky enough to have one is fine, but you must stay isolated
Food - food like soup, scrambled eggs, light meals might work best
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Breathlessness that persists and gets worse overtime – usually you will get breathless around day 5 or 6 – but if it gets more prolonged, or worsens you should:
Look – how often is this happening? Keep a note of the number of times in the day when it happens – are your usual activities becoming troublesome.
Look – number of times you pass urine and its colour and smell - try to make sure you go frequently and colour is pale (drinking water will help)
Look – colour of your phlegm – dark or thick phlegm suggest need for water
Listen – listen to your chest – what can you hear? Rattle, phlegm? If this persists, and breathlessness increases, ring 111 to seek further advice