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Important information about the home treatment of COVID-19
Over 9,000 infections with the new coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 have already been confirmed in Germany. (As of March 18, 2020, source: Johns Hopkins University). Germany is currently one of the five most affected countries worldwide. However, over 80 percent of infections are mild or moderate and can be cured in home quarantine. What is to be considered?
"Quarantine is important," emphasizes the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in an information sheet on the domestic isolation of those affected by COVID-19. This measure serves to protect the population. The quarantine should prevent the spread of the disease. Home quarantine could not only be arranged for sick people, but also for people who were in a risk area or who had close contact with a sick person.
14 days quarantine - if no complaints arise
Quarantine without symptoms is 14 days, according to the RKI, since this is the maximum period of an incubation. If there are complaints during this time that indicate COVID-19, i.e. flu-like symptoms, a doctor or the responsible health authority must be contacted - initially by phone.
The main rules of home quarantine
"Home care for COVID-19 patients could expose other household residents to an increased risk of infection," emphasizes Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Secretary General of the World Health Organization WHO. Therefore, it is very important that people living together in a household adhere to strict rules if a roommate, family member or partner falls ill. Here are the most important precautions according to WHO and RKI:
- If sick and non-sick people are in the same room, everyone should wear a mouth-nose mask.
- The sick person should sleep in a separate room and, if possible, use their own bathroom.
- Sick people should only cough and sneeze in the crook of their arms or in a disposable handkerchief - especially when there are other people nearby.
- Non-sick people should always keep a distance of one to two meters from the sick.
- Ideally, the person taking care of the sick person should be in good health, not belong to a risk group (old and immune deficient) and not suffer from an underlying disease.
- Hands should be washed thoroughly after any contact with the sick person.
- The coronavirus can also be transmitted if the symptoms subside or disappear. For this reason, these rules should continue to apply two weeks after the symptoms have subsided.
- Visitors should not be received until this period has ended.
- Contact the responsible health authority immediately if you feel sick or have symptoms such as cough, runny nose, shortness of breath or fever.
- In the event of severe or life-threatening conditions, emergency call 112 must be called immediately. It should be mentioned here that the person concerned is under quarantine.
"Ask family members, friends or neighbors to help you," suggests the RKI. The purchases should be parked in front of the door. If you cannot be supported by fellow human beings, you should contact the fire brigade, the technical aid organization (THW) or volunteer helpers from the communities.
Quarantine mental stress
"A quarantine can be associated with psychosocial stress," warns the RKI. This could be expressed, for example, by fears, worries and loneliness or the feeling of being excluded. As a result, tension, stress and sleep disorders can occur. The following tips can help to avoid this.
- Talk to friends and family on the phone, on the Internet, and other media on a regular basis.
- Practice activities that you enjoy.
- Think about what might help you to counteract the burden.
- Take advantage of telephone support services such as the pastoral telephone (free of charge at 0800/111 0 111; 0800/111 0 222; 0800/116 123).
- Exercise at home - only if you don't feel sick. Simple gymnastics exercises or strength training are suitable, for example. In this way, negative stress can be reduced.
Alleviate COVID-19 complaints
Since there are no targeted medications for COVID-19, proven home remedies for flu should be used. Rest and relaxation have top priority. In addition, a lot of tea, fruit and vegetable juices or hot water with lemon should be drunk. The classic chicken soup can also give strength. On the other hand, several sources are currently warning against taking ibuprofen with COVID-19. The drug is suspected of worsening the course of the coronavirus infection. More information can be found in the article: Coronavirus: warning against ibuprofen justified? (vb)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek
- Robert Koch Institute: Coronavirus infection and domestic quarantine (as of March 13, 2020), rki.de
- Live from WHO Headquarters: Daily press briefing on COVID-19 (published: March 16, 2020), youtube.com
- Johns Hopkins University: Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) (accessed on March 18, 2020), coronavirus.jhu.edu