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COVID-19 Positive: Earlier this year, the entire country was put under a strict lockdown to combat the COVID-19 crisis that has brought the world to its knees. Almost everyone stayed at home and stepped out only if essential. However, with the gradual easing of the lockdown, more people started stepping out. As the number of cases continues to rise at an alarming rate in India, people are slowly learning to accept the new normal.
Businesses are reopening and so market. With the unlock happening in phases, these markets are now seeing lots of visitors. In situations like these, it is getting more likely that we will come across someone who is COVID-19 positive. In such cases, if we get to know that the person we met a few days ago has tested positive, what do we do? Here are a few points to keep in mind when we are faced with a situation like this.
The incubation period of this virus is ranging from 1 day to approximately 12 days. This can sometimes extend to 14 days too. Therefore, if we realize that we have come in contact with an infected person, the next few weeks can be nerve-wracking for us. Even something like a sore throat can leave us panicked. Here, we need to try to gauge how we were in contact with the person in question.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if we are within a 6 feet distance of someone with COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes, it is termed as a close contact. This is applicable from two days before the onset of illness, or in the case of asymptomatic patients, two days before a positive test result. This is irrespective of whether the person was with or without a mask.
The first thing we need to do in case of close contact is to isolate ourselves at home. It is essential that we cut down our interactions with everyone for at least 14 days. We also need to ensure that we maintain a distance of at least 6 feet with family members. We need to ensure that our toiletries and other personal belongings are separate and not shared. We need to ensure we avoid total contact with people who are at high risk of the infection.
Once we have isolated ourselves, we need to monitor our symptoms carefully as the coronavirus causes different symptoms in different people. We need to keep a watch for any symptoms that are out of the ordinary. Some symptoms we need to check are fever, loss of smell or taste, dry cough, and extreme exhaustion. According to the CDC, we should also keep a check on our temperature twice a day for 14 days since contact. Most people who have contracted the disease show symptoms within 11 days of infection, with the mean incubation time being roughly 5 days. If we feel we have developed symptoms, we should contact our doctor who can advise us about getting tested. It is also a good idea to invest in an oximeter to monitor oxygen saturation and pulse.
We should inform anyone we may have come in contact with recently. This should be done even if we have not yet developed symptoms. It is also not a good idea to self medicate without consulting our doctor. If we feel any unusual symptoms, we should consult the doctor and follow the necessary steps as recommended.