The following is advice from a doctor on how to help deal with mild Covid-19 symptoms. It should not replace medical advice and if you experience symptoms you should contact your GP immediately.
Auckland based GP Dr Sandhya Ramanathan released an 18 minute video on YouTube last year to offer advice on how to cope with mild Covid-19 symptoms. The video has been dubbed in many languages and has been seen by millions around the world. You can watch the video below.
She has discussed her own guidance in an interview with the Irish Times. Last March she was “panicking, as we were seeing all these doctors getting sick and dying, so she started researching the illness. I like to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.”
Dr Ramanathan was upset at seeing people and doctors dying due to Covid-19. She was also frustrated at the lack of guidance from official sources and how to cope with mild symptoms of the virus.
She then did her own research and read journals and scientific articles about the virus and developed a plan to deal with mild symptoms. It is important to note that this is just advice and if you experience symptoms, you should contact your GP.
The Immune System
People can help build up immunity to viruses like Covid-19. This entails taking daily supplements of vitamin C, D and Zinc. Radio Nova reported on the benefits of vitamins in the fight against Covid-19 and you can read the report on it here.
As well as vitamins, Dr Ramanathan recommends a healthy and balanced diet and has highlighted the importance of a good sleeping routine to help keep the immune system strong.
Reducing The Viral Load
This entails reducing the viral load or the amount of virus that is in the nose. It is recommended that people use saline gargles, with a couple of drops of an antiseptic solution twice daily, combined with saline nasal sprays.
She has created a recipe for a home-made nasal rinse that includes 250ml cooled boiled water, half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, half a teaspoon of salt and a few drops of antiseptic liquid.
For people who have lost their sense of smell, she recommends steam inhalation with vicks. Dr Ramanathan also recommends the use of a nasal decongestant such as Otrivine nasal spray and antihistamine tablets.
People infected with Covid-19 are at risk of hypoxia. This is when there is a low level of oxygen in the blood. She has recommended that people purchase a pulse oximeter. This is a medical device that can measure the oxygen levels in the blood stream.
If you are to purchase one of these devices, make sure you buy from a reliable source and that they meet EU standards. The normal level of oxygen is said to be between 95 and 100%. If it drops below 93%, this could be an indicator of a problem and you should contact your GP if this happens.
Breathing and Sleeping
In the Irish Times article, Dr Ramanathan discusses the benefits of good a breathing routine. She has suggested blowing up a balloon while seated or blowing bubbles through a straw into a glass, to stimulate the pressure that is experienced with a mechanical ventilator.
However, it is important to note, this is not a substitute for a ventilator which is vital in treating serious cases.
Other medical experts have agreed with her routine and some have called it “fascinating“. The full report can be read here.
These are measures which you can use if you diagnosed with the virus and are isolating at home. To minimise the chances of being infected with the virus, you should continue to wear masks in public spaces, wash your hands regularly and sanitise them frequently. The best way to avoid catching the disease is to cut your contacts and to stay at home.