AT HOME • TEST What to do
MANAGEMENT OF COVID-19 SYMPTOMS – ADOLESCENTS and ADULTS (based on WHO guidelines from May 2020)
While most people with COVID-19 develop only mild (40%) or moderate (40%) disease approximately 15% develop severe disease that requires oxygen support, and 5% have critical disease with severe complications ending in organ damage.
Age more than 60 years (increasing with age), smoking and underlying chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiac disease, chronic lung disease cerebrovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, immunosuppression and cancer have been reported as risk factors for severe disease and death.
Clinical manifestations of COVID-19 are generally milder in children compared with adults.
Presenting signs and symptoms of COVID-19 vary. Most persons experience fever (83–99%), cough (59–82%), fatigue (44–70%), anorexia (40–84%), shortness of breath (31–40%), muscle pain (11–35%). Other non-specific symptoms, such as sore throat, nasal congestion, headache, loose stools, nausea and vomiting, have also been reported. Loss of smell or loss of taste preceding the onset of respiratory symptoms has also been reported.
Older people and immunosuppressed patients in particular may present with atypical symptoms such as fatigue, reduced alertness, reduced mobility, loose stools, loss of appetite, delirium, and absence of fever.
Patients with risk factors for severe illness should be monitored closely by their GP, given the possible risk of deterioration. If they develop any worsening symptoms (such as light headedness, difficulty breathing, chest pain, dehydration, etc.), they should seek urgent care through their GP or emergency department in hospitals or call 155.
This is a recommendation only which is not to substitute a consultation with a medical professional.
Can only be used for adults with mild symptoms = adults WITHOUT clinical signs of pneumonia (fever >37.5C, persistent cough, any breathing difficulty, fast breathing >15breaths/min, fast heart beat >100/min).
- muscle pain and fever can be managed by antipyretics such as paracetamol 2tbl of 500mg taken at once up to 4times a day (daily maximum) OR non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen 400mg up to 3times a day
- dry cough (you cannot bring anything up) can be controlled by Levopront 60mg tbl (1 tbl to be taken 3times a day), occasionally Codein (prescription only medicine)
- productive cough (you produce phlegm in your airways) can be managed by ACC long eff tablets (once a day) or Erdomed sachets (1-3 a day)
- adequate nutrition and appropriate rehydration (2-3l a day) is also crucial
- we are also quite keen on recommending vitamins (healthy patients without any kidney/endocrinology conditions) – vitamin C 1000mg daily + vitamin D 1000IU daily (these are especially needed in Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) + Zinc