by Dr. Seth Lukens
Is there a cure for COVID-19?
- There are a number of therapies being investigated that may later be found to help to reduce the severity and the duration of the illness. Studies are being done on some of the asthma medications and other therapies.
- For those who do not need hospitalization there are currently no therapies that have been proven to help significantly.
- For some, hydrothermal therapy might help. It involves moist heat applied by various ways like warm bath, shower, jacuzzi, sauna, or moist heat type of heating pad for up to 20 min at a time for 2-3 times a day. It is said to have helped in the 1918 flu.
- Check with your doctor if you have chronic conditions before doing hydrothermal therapy.
- For hospitalized patients Remdesivir (an antiviral med) and Dexamethasone (a steroid) may be use depending on severity of illness.
How about a vaccine?
- Progress is being made on a vaccine. BCG vaccination is also being studied for use with coronavirus. It helps prevent and reduces the severity of tuberculosis (TB) and is used in countries with a high burden of TB.
Do facemasks help?
- Yes, even if you are a democrat, republican, or independent. Please wear one when around other people and remember to practice good hand hygiene.
Who is at risk for more severe disease?
- Age more than 65 and the most common conditions that increase risk include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, smoking, COPD, kidney or liver disease, and those with weakened immune systems (immunosuppressive therapy, HIV, etc.)
When should I seek medical care if I am concerned I might have Coronavirus?
- If you have any of the above medical conditions.
- You are around people with those conditions.
- If you have shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, confusion, low blood pressure or generally feel very ill.
- If you have other reasons and want to know you can request to be tested.
What is self-isolation?
- For those who have or might have the virus, it involves: Staying alone in your own room, ideally with outside ventilation, having your own bathroom if possible, and not sharing utensils and plates.
- Have your own dishes that you can wash, or someone else can wash thoroughly with hot water and soap or a dishwasher.
- Practice good hand hygiene and wear a mask around others.
- One way to look at it is to assume everything you touch might spread the coronavirus and needs to be sanitized before others use it.
How can I reduce my risk?
- Stay or get healthy. Many of the conditions that increase the risk for severe coronavirus disease can be controlled or reversed with healthy lifestyle choices.
- Things mentioned before: healthy diet, regular exercise, some sunlight, drinking enough water, not smoking, fresh air, getting enough rest, stress reduction through activities like prayer and meditation.
Where can I find more reliable information?