10 ways to care for yourself if you have COVID-19
Editor’s note: As what we know about COVID-19 evolves, so could the information contained in this story. Find our most recent COVID-19 blog posts here, and learn the latest in COVID-19 prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- At least 10 days since symptoms first appeared and
- At least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) and
- Symptoms have improved.
- Sleep and rest as much as possible. Feeling weak and tired for a while is normal, but your energy will return over time.
- Keep track of your symptoms, which may include fever, cough, loss of taste and smell, difficulty breathing, among others.
- Drink plenty of water and other caffeine-free fluids to keep your urine light yellow or clear. If you have kidney, heart or liver disease and have to limit fluids, ask your physician before increasing the amount of fluids you’re consuming.
- Follow medication prescriptions precisely. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil) can help control fevers and ease body aches, while cough medicine can help reduce your cough so that you can rest better.
- Follow care instructions from your health care provider and local health department. Your local health authorities may give instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information.
- Avoid contact with people and pets in your home as much as possible. Maintain at least six-feet social distancing and wear a face mask when around others. Don’t sleep or spend time in the same room with others. Use a different bathroom, if possible.
- Don’t share bedding, towels, dishes, utensils or drinking containers. Wash dishes in hot water or use a dishwasher.
- Tell your close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. If you’re infected, you can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours (or 2 days) before you have any symptoms or test positive.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Be sure to wash your hands after blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing; after using the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
- Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in your household every day, including door knobs, tables, countertops, light switches, keyboards, phones, remotes, touch screens, toilets, faucets and sinks.
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face