Things to do if you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19

What happen when you get the Coronavirus Disease?

The chances of you getting exposed and sick is increasing as the coronavirus has started spreading across the globe. If you came in close contact with someone who has been infected with the coronavirus or if you start to experience some of the symptoms of COVID-19, you should self-quarantine. This is the first and foremost step to ensure that other members of your household are not getting sick. 

Some people with mild symptoms can recover at home with proper care. A healthy lifestyle can be your best defence for such a time. Eating healthy food, getting enough sleep, washing hands thoroughly, disinfecting objects, practising social distancing and consulting Family Physicians in Homer Glen will ensure that you recover at home.

Even after getting infected by the virus, some people do not show any symptoms at all. The common symptoms of the virus include loss of smell, body ache, headache, sore throat, fatigue, dry cough and loss of appetite. Severe symptoms caused by coronavirus include high fever, shortness of breath and severe cough. It takes around four to five days to show symptoms after getting infected so getting tested should not be the first step just after coming in close contact with a COVID-19 infected person. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the symptoms can take up to 14 days to emerge. So it is mandatory to isolate yourself for 14 days even though you do not see any of the symptoms. 

What to do if you have to self-quarantine?

Self-quarantining can be a challenge if you live in close quarters with others. 

Look for places that must be disinfected. You must be aware of all possible high- touch surfaces (things that are touched over and over) and disinfect them. For example the refrigerator door, the handle of the faucet or even the countertops where you prepare food. Disinfect all the devices such as phones and remotes that you have used along with others. During such a time it is necessary to use your own utensils and you must not share any clothing items, beddings or towels with any of your family members. 

Monitor yourself

Even if you do not show ant visible sign of the illness, it is still required that you monitor yourself at home. Look out for your temperature twice a day when you begin to feel feverish. The coronavirus tends to spread from asymptomatic people who never really show any signs of the illness. So, if you are not careful during the quarantine period then you might put others at risk of the illness and even death. You must lookout for any kind of health issues like breathing problems, pain in the chest along with weakness. As per the estimates of CDCs, asymptomatic spreaders are almost 40 per cent of all the cases of coronavirus. You can contact Dr. Sudarshana Chakrabarti who is an Internal Medicine Specialist in Homer Glen immediately and avail of her telemedicine services. She will help you to determine if you need a medical evaluation or not. 

Wear your mask

You don't need to wear a mask when you are alone at home but you must cover your coughs and sneezes using your elbow or by use of a tissue or handkerchief. The mask you wear should cover your nose and your mouth especially when you have to go outside or when you are around your family members. A distance of six feet is mandatory at all times to protect other people from getting infected.

Clean your hands

Washing your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds is mandatory especially before eating or preparing food, after sneezing or coughing or after going to the bathroom. When soap and water are not readily available then a sanitiser must be used on the surfaces of your hands until they start to feel dry. The sanitizer must contain at least 60% alcohol and you must refrain yourself from touching your mouth, eyes and nose with unwashed hands. 

What's the best way to seek medical advice?

When you develop a fever and other symptoms of the coronavirus you must call the doctor’s office or an urgent care clinic for medical advice. This will also ensure that your healthcare provider is prepared to take the necessary precautions if you have to visit the healthcare premises. If you reside in Homer Glen, you can contact Dr. Sudarsana Chakrabarti. She is a Family Medicine Specialist in Homer Glen and she provides patient-centric primary and urgent care. You can also use the telemedicine services powered by PatientMD for any queries regarding the illness. Such virtual video visits are an ideal way of getting treatment at the comfort of your home without having to go out.  

Get Tested

It is fine if you want to get tested while you are in quarantine. However, you also need a test at the end of your quarantine period to ensure that you can come out without being contagious. Wait until the test results come out and continue with your self-isolation until then. In the case of positive test results, contact Dr. Sudarsana Chakrabarti of Suburban Wellness for further guidance.