There is no true “cure” for COVID-19, however, healthcare professionals can treat the symptoms while the disease runs its course. The reality is that there are very few options for treating COVID-19, and the treatments currently available have had mixed results. The following treatment options may be appropriate depending on the severity of symptoms. Talk to your healthcare provider if you experience moderate or severe symptoms, or are at high risk for serious illness.
Prevention is our best weapon against COVID-19:
Symptoms include fever, body aches, cough, head or nasal congestion, sinus pressure.
Mild symptoms plus shortness of breath
Moderate symptoms plus either:
- oxygen saturation (“O2 Sats”) < 94% without being on oxygen
- need for supplemental oxygen or ventilation support (needing oxygen or on a ventilator)
At-Home Treatment Options for COVID-19
Although there is no “cure” for COVID-19, you can manage your mild symptoms at home
- Stay hydrated (drink fluids)
- Control fever; options include acetaminophen (Tylenol) or other fever reducers
- Get plenty of rest
- Lying on one’s stomach can help support the lungs
- Supportive medications for symptoms can include cough suppressant, decongestant, vitamins
***Before taking any over the counter medications, we recommend consulting with a healthcare provider
Outpatient Treatment Options for COVID-19
Promising treatment: Monoclonal Antibodies may be a treatment option for patients who are high risk with in the first 10 days of mild-moderate COVID-19 illness. Monoclonal Antibodies have been shown to help a small percentage of people stay out of the hospital. For more information, or to see if you are eligible for this treatment option ask your doctor or healthcare provider.
Unproven interventions: At this time, no well-done studies have shown that Famotidine, ivermectin, and garlic help with COVID-19. These are experimental treatments that continue to be researched.
What NOT to do: These options won’t help and could be dangerous!
- Good research has shown that hydroxychloroquine does not help and may increase risk of heart problems
- Do not subject your body to very hot or cold temperatures, consume bleach, or expose UV light on the body/skin
ARHS Virtual Hospital: Patients who are not critical but still require physician care are treated via telehealth in our virtual hospital. Providers can communicate with patients via video, audio and secure message to keep them on the road to recovery.
Hospitalized Treatment Options for COVID-19
- Studies showed that when used in patients on a ventilator or on supplemental oxygen there was a significant reduction in death.
- Studies also showed that when used in mild cases there was not much benefit
- Studies did not show a significant reduction in death.
Tocilizumab (Actemra) or other similar agent.
- May reduce the risk of ventilation or death but more studies are needed to prove this benefit.
Pfizer and Moderna were ~90%-95% effective in preventing COVID-19 against the original strain. J&J was somewhat less effective at preventing COVID-19 but all 3 showed they were close to 100% effective at preventing death from COVID-19.
Current data shows that between April and August the effectiveness of the vaccines to prevent the disease dropped against the Delta variant. Event with increased chance of infection, it still seems that the effectiveness of the vaccines to prevent hospitalizations and most importantly death are still very high.
Rehabilitation after COVID-19
From Johns Hopkins Rehabilitation Network: Common impairments of COVID-19 include weakness, fatigue and shortness of breath with activity, and difficulty with walking and performing daily tasks. When you experience these physical impairments, it can lead to stress, which negatively affects the mind. Fear and depression can both impact the health of the body. Early intervention through exercise and activity aimed at treating the whole person will play an important role in the recovery process and can be started at home during self-isolation.
For information about recovering from COVID-19, download “Bouncing Back from COVID-19” from Johns Hopkins Medicine. Contact your primary care provider to see if you would be a candidate for Post-COVID Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation services through ARHS.