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That sore throat and runny nose baby boomers never took seriously before 2020, suddenly scares us to death. So many physical symptoms common to minor health problems are also linked to the terrifying plague known as COVID-19. The big question on everyone’s mind is what should I do when I have symptoms of COVID-19, if I’ve been vaccinated.
We all worry that we are overreacting to the aches and pains we’ve all experienced throughout life. Just because COVID-19 can be deadly, doesn’t mean that we don’t still continue to get colds, sore throats and the flu-like we always did before the sniffles and a low-grade temperature sparked immediate concerns about being infected with COVID-19.
When the big question on your mind is whether you have been exposed to COVID-19 or not, you must quarantine until you know for sure via testing. CDC recommends going into quarantine if you think you might have been exposed. If you have been within six feet of a person who has the virus for 15 minutes or longer, then you should quarantine unless you are vaccinated. Vaccinated people do not need to quarantine unless they show symptoms.
That does not mean that vaccinated people are completely off the hook. People who are fully vaccinated who have been exposed to the virus should get tested within a three to five-day period.
Going into quarantine means staying home for 14 days, counting each day starting from the last date you had contact with the person infected. When staying at home, be sure to avoid close contact with your family or roommates that live with you. Be especially careful to stay away from people at the highest risk such as those who are older or have underlying conditions that compromise their immune system.
If you find out you have been infected with the virus, you must isolate yourself from all other people. Designate certain areas of your home as spaces where you can live away from other healthy members of your household who are not positive for COVID-19. Even in cases where you don’t have symptoms, you still need to stay away from other people since you can still spread the virus to others.
It is especially important to use a different bathroom. Never share cups, towels, or eating utensils.
It is important to monitor your own symptoms in case they get worse and you need medical care. If you start having trouble breathing, it is critical to seek medical assistance immediately.
Know Who to Call if Your Health Worsens Escalating into an Emergency Situation
Recognize that once you have symptoms, there is a chance that your condition can worsen and you might need to seek emergency help. Who can you call on if you need help under the worst circumstances?
You may need to count on family, friends or neighbors to grocery shop for you or run errands while you are isolated. In the event you develop breathing problems, then it is important to call 911 and get medical attention as soon as possible.
Other emergency symptoms are:
- Pressure in the chest
- Ongoing chest pain
- Blue lips or face
- Confusion that is out of the ordinary
- Inability to wake up
While testing is not a perfect science with some people getting false negatives and positives, it is still a valuable assessment tool for people worried about COVID symptoms to get some answers. Even if you’re fully vaccinated with a low probability of landing in the hospital with serious symptoms, you should still get tested within three to five days of exposure to someone suffering from COVID-19.
The following symptoms are associated with COVID-19. Anyone with these symptoms should get tested.
- Sudden loss of smell or taste
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Body aches
- Runny nose
Therapies to Treat COVID-19
Two emergency therapies approved by the FDA are monoclonal antibody treatments. Bamlanivimab and casirivimab have been recommended as treatments for adults who are not in the hospital and for children over the age of 12. They are designed to reduce the risk of needing to be hospitalized. They are given in the form of an IV as soon as possible after symptoms appear.
Treatment recommendations for people with mild COVID-19 sound familiar to people who have ever suffered with a cold or the flu. Staying well hydrated and resting are crucial for a quick recovery. Take medicine to reduce your fever. Be careful to read the directions first to be sure these OTC drugs are okay to take with any other medicines you take.
Baby boomers who are prone to getting normal bouts of illness associated with seasonal colds, sinus infections and the flu may worry they have COVID-19. It is easy to jump to conclusions since the symptoms of COVID-19 mimic the symptoms we’ve endured in our past related to less serious health challenges. That’s why it is important to know what to do if you fall ill.
Stopping the spread is of paramount importance. Isolation and quarantine of individuals with COVID-19 is key.
While we had all hoped that vaccinations would save the day, eliminating our worry over catching COVID-19, breakthrough infections have burst our collective bubble leaving us vulnerable and unsure of what to expect even after becoming fully vaccinated.
That’s why it is important to know when to isolate and quarantine if you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or if you’ve experienced symptoms. You can’ be too safe. Treatments also continue to be developed to lower your risk of hospitalization.