Managing COVID-19 symptoms

Got COVID-19? Here’s how you can manage your condition

If you’ve had a test for COVID-19 and the result is positive, meaning you have COVID-19, there are some things you can do to help manage the virus and keep you and others safe.

If you have mild symptoms

Most people with COVID-19 will only experience mild symptoms. This includes things like:

  • Aches and pains
  • Sore throat
  • Dry cough
  • Runny nose.

If you have mild symptoms, you can manage your condition by:

  • Getting rest
  • Staying active (within your house and/or garden)
  • Eating well
  • Maintaining a good fluid intake
  • Taking any medicines as discussed with your GP
  • Taking paracetamol or ibuprofen for symptom relief.

If you have moderate symptoms

Some people experience moderate symptoms of COVID-19, such as:

  • Breathing rapidly
  • Temperature above 38 degrees
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Mild breathlessness or a persistent cough
  • Struggling to get out of bed and feeling abnormally tired and weak.

If this sounds like you, book an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

If you have severe symptoms

Although it’s rare, some people experience severe symptoms of COVID-19, such as:

  • Breathing rapidly or your heart is beating very fast
  • Severe shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Lips or face turning blue
  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Skin cold and clammy, or pale and blotched
  • Confusion (e.g. you can’t recall the day, time or names)
  • Fainting
  • Finding it difficult to keep your eyes open
  • Little or no urine output
  • Coughing up blood.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, call 000 immediately and let them know that you have COVID-19.

Review your symptoms daily

It’s a good idea to monitor and document your symptoms on a daily basis. You can do this for up to a month after testing positive to COVID-19, or until you’re feeling 100%.

Enter your symptoms on your phone or write them in a diary.

If your symptoms are tracking worse, rather than stable or better, book an appointment with your doctor as soon as you can.

Follow the government’s guidelines

As well as managing your condition, there’s a bunch of other things you need to do, from reporting your result to telling your contacts and workplace.

You can refer to the government’s checklist or this resource based on your symptoms.

You can also refer to the government’s guide to managing COVID-19 at home.

Reach out if you need help

Remember, we’re only a phone call away. Book an appointment with your doctor if you need help. And, as always, call 000 in the case of an emergency.

Source: RACGP

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs. Page last updated 17 January 2022.

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