While a lot of people recover well under home quarantine, in some cases the symptoms of SARS-COV2 can quickly progress from mild to worse and require attention. The first week of infection is crucial since this is the time when the viral load peaks. Even in asymptomatic cases, patients need to constantly monitor and look out for symptoms of worsening to determine whether a case has become severe and hospital care is needed.
Here are 4 signs that one needs to be shifted to the hospital in such a scenario:
- Experiencing difficulty in breathing
Breathlessness and chest pain can be signs of a worsening infection. Coronavirus is a respiratory infection and the virus attacks the healthy cells in the upper tract and the airways, making it difficult to breathe. If your breathing feels laboured, you feel out of breath if you pace about the room or walk up a flight of stairs, these can point to signs of trouble. Connect to a doctor and take immediate action to prevent infection from worsening if such symptoms exist.
A dip in oxygen levels
Low oxygen saturation can be a cause of concern in any illness. When a person contracts COVID-19, there are chances that he/she may also develop COVID pneumonia which inflames the air sacs in the lungs and they may get filled with fluid or pus and lead to dip in oxygen levels in the body. While hospitalized patients are constantly monitored for their vitals, in cases of a worsening infection, oxygen levels can often go down pretty quickly without the patient even realizing. Hence, some states started to supply a pulse oximeter for patients under home quarantine to keep a check on their readings. If you run low on oxygen, you may experience difficulty breathing and that is a sign you need medical care.
Delirium, or experiencing confusion of any sort
COVID-19 also affects the brain and nervous system in mild ways. A clear change in how you feel, experiencing bouts of confusion, feeling sleepy or sluggish or a brush with delirium is a symptom of the infection worsening. Experts also say that another point of worry is if the patient finds it difficult to carry out simple tasks, or speak a sentence without slurring, immediate care is needed.