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For Covid-19 patients

What should you know when treating Covid-19?

Last update 22.06.2021

Treatment depends on the symptoms, manifestation, and severity of the disease, and it is aimed at preventing health problems caused by the disease, reducing the symptoms, and, in severe cases, maintaining the body’s functions. The symptoms may last for a few days and the patient should start feeling better after about 7 days.


Treatment at home

In the case of home treatment, the patient must comply with the following conditions:

  1. Call your GP for instructions on further treatment. When contacting your GP, provide information about your medical condition as accurately as possible and follow all the advice given by your doctor.
  2. Observe strict isolation! It is not permitted to leave the place of treatment, residence, or stay, unless the person needs medical assistance in accordance with a doctor’s prescription
  3. Isolation can only be stopped with the permission of a doctor.
  4. Do not expose other persons to the risk of infection! Avoid being in direct contact with other people (do not receive guests, do not go on private visits, to work, public places and premises).
  5. Whether the person with a confirmed Covid-19 infection is being treated in hospital or at home, the people living together with the patient are subject to home quarantine.

If symptoms become severe (very high temperature, fever, severe cough, shortness of breath), the State Emergency Medical Service must be called immediately on 113! Also in this circumstance, it is forbidden to go to a medical institution without notifying them via phone beforehand.
 

To purchase basic necessities or food, one of the following options must be used:

  • home delivery, avoiding contact with the delivery man;
  • delivery of food or goods organised by relatives, leaving the purchases at the door;
  • getting help from the municipal social service, avoiding direct contact with the social worker.

When requesting and receiving a service, the service provider must be informed about the patient’s infection with Covid-19!



How should you take care of yourself?

To reduce the discomfort caused by the disease, it is important to:

  • Observe a restful regime
  • Have enough sleep and follow a healthy daily routine.
  • Drink liquid (at least two litres of still water or herbal tea without sugar a day).
  • Use painkillers correctly - the use of any medication should be approved by your GP.
  • It is not recommended to drink alcohol, eat unhealthy food, smoke, or consume too much caffeine.
  • Take care of your mental health.
What should you know about having a high temperature?
 
  1. An increase in body temperature is a normal reaction of the body to an infection. If the temperature does not exceed 38.5 °C, it should not be reduced with the help of medication, otherwise it will also reduce the body’s natural defences and extend the time of recovery. If the high temperature causes severe discomfort (severe headache, muscle pain, disturbed sleep), the temperature may be reduced.
  2. The temperature must be reduced very gradually - it does not have to immediately drop to normal level (36.6°C) for a successful recovery process. A high temperature indicates that the body is naturally fighting the virus, so it is advisable to only take medicine if you feel very bad.
  3. Consuming an appropriate amount of liquid will help remove toxins, a result of the infection, from the body and speed up the reduction of muscle and headaches. The basic treatment for fever is to drink enough liquid (at least 2 litres a day). Juices, sweetened drinks, and drinks containing caffeine or other stimulants are not recommended.
  4. If your body temperature exceeds 41 °C, call the Emergency Medical Service on the emergency number 113 immediately!
What should you know about having shortness of breath?
 
  1. Shortness of breath may indicate impaired respiratory function or damage to the cardiovascular system. In either case, if you experience shortness of breath, definitely consult a doctor.
  2. At home, oxygen supply interference can be detected by measuring oxygen saturation with a pulse oximeter. It is a simple device that gets attached to your finger. It is advised to measure repeatedly.
  3. You can also measure your heart rate. If your heart rate exceeds 90 times per minute, it indicates a serious health problem and you should consult a doctor.
  4. A malfunction of the oxygen supply is detected if the oximeter reading falls below 94%. If it falls as low as 92%, call the Emergency Medical Service on the emergency number 113 immediately!
What should you know about being in pain?
 
  1. The virus produces toxins in the body that cause headaches and/or muscle aches. These pains can be very severe and tend to be reduced with paracetamol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen). Muscle pain is normally felt in the back, legs, chest.
  2. Pain can cause severe discomfort, but it is a normal reaction to the virus in the body. After recovering from a viral infection, the pain usually disappears without a trace.
  3. Consuming an appropriate amount of liquid will help remove toxins, a result of the infection, from the body and speed up the reduction of muscle and headaches.
  4. If you experience sudden pressing, strangling, tearing, or burning pain behind your breastbone, accompanied by shortness of breath and heart rhythm problems, immediately call the Emergency Medical Service on the emergency number 113!

Recovery and stopping isolation


The decision about a Covid-19 patient’s recovery and discontinuation of isolation is made by a physician, based on the following criteria:

  • In asymptomatic infection cases:
    • on the 10th day from receiving confirmation of a Covid-19 infection from a laboratory. In some cases, isolation may be stopped earlier based on the result of a serological examination of a blood sample.
  • In mild to moderate infection cases:
    • on the 10th day from the beginning of the infection with Covid-19 (as determined by the treating physician by questioning the patient), provided that at least 72 hours have elapsed since the disappearance of symptoms.
    • an alternative: a negative SARS-CoV-2 RNA test for hospitalised patients by examining two consecutive airway samples taken with an interval of 24 hours.
  • In severe infection cases and for certain risk groups:
  • on the 20th day from the beginning of the infection (as determined by the treating physician by questioning the patient), provided that at least 72 hours have elapsed since the disappearance of symptoms;
  • an alternative: a negative SARS-CoV-2 RNA test for hospitalised patients by examining two consecutive airway samples taken with an interval of 24 hours.

Rehabilitation after recovery from Covid-19
 

Rehabilitation is based on breathing exercises, as well as recovery of strength for daily activities after particularly severe cases. The rehabilitation programme is available both within the state-paid medical services in various medical institutions and as a paid service.

In order to take part in a state-funded rehabilitation programme, a doctor's referral is necessary.

Rehabilitation programmes after recovery from Covid-19 are available at the National Rehabilitation Centre, the VCA polyclinics in Riga and Liepāja, Līgatne Rehabilitation Centre, Riga 1st Hospital, and the Prosthetics and Orthopaedics Centre. Medical rehabilitation is available for Covid-19 patients in the same way as for other patients. Find out more about medical rehabilitation on the National Health Service website.

Source reference

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Veselības ministrija

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