You and your household are in lockdown. You’ve all taken the necessary precautions when going out for your grocery shop, armed with your face mask and hand sanitizer and keeping a safe social distance from other shoppers. But what if you start showing symptoms of having contracted the COVID-19 virus?

The good news is that 80% of people will recover from the virus without medical treatment and will only present with mild symptoms which include a fever, shortness of breath and a dry cough.

Older people, and people with other medical conditions or weakened immune systems are at risk of the illness becoming more serious or even fatal. So it’s important to phone and notify your GP of your symptoms. They will advise whether they feel you should come in for a check-up, and can take the necessary precautions on your arrival. Take care not to arrive unannounced as you may be putting medical staff and other patients in danger of contracting the virus.

Here are 10 tips to help you manage and reduce the risk of spreading the infection onto others in your household.

  1. Limit contact with other members of your household to a minimum and when you are in the same room, keep at least a two-meter distance from them and wear a face mask.
  2. Keep your room well ventilated.
  3. Throw your tissues away as soon as you’ve used them in a separate rubbish bin to the rest of the household.
  4. Wash your hands often.
  5. Don’t share your towel with other people and keep your towel separate.
  6. Eat separately from other family members, and wash and keep crockery and utensils separate to the rest of the household.
  7. Maintain thorough household cleaning habits by cleaning surfaces often with a bleach-based disinfectant.
  8. Wash clothing separately from the others.
  9. If possible, use a separate bathroom.
  10. Don’t leave your house to do grocery shopping. If you live alone, ask friends or family to deliver essential groceries and medicines, or arrange for them to be delivered through a home delivery service.

Make sure others in the household have the GP’s emergency contact details at hand, so that if symptoms worsen, you can get immediate medical attention. More serious symptoms include persistent chest pain and alarming shortness of breath.

It’s safe to resume contact with other family members once you’ve had no fever for at least 3 days, and 7 days after your first symptoms.

While these are uncertain times and falling ill can be concerning, following these simple measures can help you manage your illness and not pass it onto others.

Medical Second Opinion

To all FMI policyholders, if you are diagnosed with COVID-19, you can make use of our complimentary Medical Second Opinion service to help you better understand the diagnosis, and review your health and medical needs.

To access the benefit, simply email our FMI team on [email protected]. A consultant will then put you in touch with MediGuide, who will guide you through the process. You will need to verify your FMI policy number or ID number, so have these ready.

Emotional Support Service

We are also proud to offer mental health support to all our FMI policyholders during the lockdown period, in partnership with Global Choices. You have access to The Talking Point’s national network of qualified professionals and counsellors through their 24-hour emergency call centre. During these difficult times, the counsellors are available to provide guidance on how to handle the stress of the current circumstances more effectively. They will engage with empathy, listen, guide, counsel and assist where they can to deal with issues relating to anxiety associated with COVID-19, financial stress and how to stay physically and mentally healthy during this time.

To access this service, simply call 0861 887 887. Case managers are available from Monday to Saturday between 07h00 – 21h00 to assist.

NOTE: This article is not intended as medical advice. If you suspect you have contracted the COVID-19 virus, it is important to phone your GP and follow their instructions.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/care-for-someone.html

https://www.netcare.co.za/News-Hub/Articles/what-to-do-and-not-to-do-if-you-suspect-you-might-have-covid-19

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