How is COVID-19 currently being treated?
Since COVID-19 is caused by a virus...
…there is no specific FDA-approved antiviral treatment or medicine officially recommended for COVID-19 yet. Antibiotics are not effective against COVID-19, a viral infection, as they only treat bacterial infections.
Note: You should only take antibiotics if your healthcare professional diagnoses you with a secondary bacterial infection.
The supportive management of confirmed COVID-19 will be guided by the patient’s symptoms and signs.
Mild to moderate support treatment
“Anyone displaying mild to moderate signs and symptoms of COVID-19 may not necessarily require hospitalisation and can be safely managed in the out-of-environment guided by a healthcare professional. Should symptoms worsen, an evaluation by a healthcare professional is advised and a decision on the appropriate care will be decided,” says Dr Nematswerani.
For home care to be considered, a healthcare professional needs to ensure that:
The person is stable enough to be able to recover in their home environment
Appropriate caregivers are available to assist if needed
A separate bedroom can be used for recovery, and that it will not be shared with anyone else
The person is able to safely access food and the other supportive care essential for recovery.
The person and any other people who live in the household have access to appropriate protective gear or equipment such as face masks, gloves and eye protection
There are no other household members living in the same environment who are at high risk of infection, such as, older people and those with underlying chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic lung disease or individuals with compromised immune systems.
Supportive care involves:
Plenty of rest and fluids
It’s recommended that a sick person drinks plenty of fluids (such as water to prevent or alleviate dehydration.
In the case of severe illness, a person who is not able to drink fluids on their own will be cared for in a hospital environment and a healthcare professional will administer an IV line (drip).
Bed rest helps the body’s immune system to fight the infection and to speed up recovery.
This can involve over-the-counter or prescribed medicine, such as paracetamol or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) to help alleviate fever.
More severe illness treatment
If the signs and symptoms of severe or critical illness are evident, more comprehensive supportive care is needed. In such instances, a person will require hospitalisation under the care and management of a healthcare professional.