People with confirmed coronavirus (Covid-19) infection are being taken to isolation centres set up in government and private hospitals.
Such centres include the ones at Mbagathi Hospital, Kenyatta National Hospital and Nakuru General Hospital.
But since there is no vaccine against the coronavirus and antibiotics are ineffective, just what help are doctors offering patients?
People with coronavirus exhibit several symptoms including fever, shortness of breath and flu-like symptoms — coughing, sore throat and fatigue.
Current efforts across the world — including in hard-hit countries such as Italy, China and the US — are being focused on managing the symptoms of the coronavirus.
However, efforts towards finding a cure and a vaccine are also being made.
If your symptoms are more severe, medics offer supportive treatments, which may involve:
• Fluids to reduce the risk of dehydration
Illness, including fever, infections, or other common illnesses can increase the body’s fluid intake while also decreasing the person’s urge to drink.
As such, it is recommended that a patient takes in as much fluid as possible to avoid dehydration.
• Medication to reduce fever
Elevated body temperatures may indicate the presence of a fever and drugs are administered to bring it down. The normal body temperature of a human being is 37 degrees Celsius, therefore, a temperature of 38 degrees indicates a fever.
However, doctors advise that people should stay clear from anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen as studies have shown these drugs might dampen your body’s immune response to a respiratory infection, and so lead to more severe illness.
Doctors further say that painkillers like paracetamol can be effective in managing symptoms, such as a high fever and can be taken by patients with the coronavirus.
• Getting plenty of rest
Doctors have advised that getting plenty of rest is critical in enabling your body to fight off the virus, noting that deficiency of sleep makes it harder for your body to battle coronavirus and may make your symptoms feel worse.
If you have a sore throat, it is advisable to eat soft or cool foods to ease the pain.
• Supplemental oxygen in more severe cases
Patients who have breathing difficulties due to coronavirus may be put on respirators.
Symptoms of a coronavirus usually go away on their own. If the signs get worse than a common cold, contact your doctor.
• Promising treatment plans
Last week, the World Health Organisation announced a large global trial, called SOLIDARITY, to find out if certain known drugs can treat infections with the coronavirus.
These drugs include malaria drug chloroquine, and Ebola antiviral drug remdesivir among others.
In China, the use of anti-viral drug Favilavir was approved as a treatment for coronavirus.
The drug has reportedly shown efficacy in treating the disease with minimal side-effects in a clinical trial involving 70 patients in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province.
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