How to protect you and your family against COVID-19

Cai Wenjun
Here are some frequently asked questions that international hospitals have recently received.
Cai Wenjun

With COVID-19 controls further relaxed, a rising number of infections will be expected at the community level. Shanghai hospitals are offering online and in-person medical consultation.

Here are some frequently asked questions that international hospitals have received recently. Dr Tracy Zhai and Dr Li Jun from Jiahui International Hospital give the answers.

Q: Is the COVID-19 medication recommended online reliable? What medication should I get?

A: People infected with COVID-19 may experience various symptoms, however, typically these symptoms vary depending on the individual. Therefore, all of the recommended COVID-19 medications may not be required.

It is important to treat each patient's specific symptoms accordingly.

Symptoms and suggested medication:

How to protect you and your family against COVID-19

Other symptoms and medications:

How to protect you and your family against COVID-19

It should be noted that if your symptoms (1) are not relieved, (2) are aggravated after taking the medicine, or (3) if you are unsure about the severity of your condition, please consult with a doctor online or go to the hospital as soon as possible.

If you suffer from underlying diseases and are taking other medication, please consult with your doctor first to rule out the possibility of medication interactions before starting to take the new medication.

Q: How can you confirm whether you have COVID-19?

A: Both COVID-19 and the flu may have symptoms such as sore throat, cough, fever and fatigue.

It is possible to distinguish between the two based on epidemiological history and conducting relevant laboratory tests. The flu typically occurs in winter and spring, while COVID-19 typically affects people who have contact with a confirmed case.

If you have related symptoms and cannot determine whether you are contracted, it is recommended that you go to a fever clinic for further check.

Recent studies show that people who have been vaccinated against the flu are approximately 90 percent less likely to become seriously ill with COVID-19 in the following months than those who have not been vaccinated.

You can get a flu vaccination. It's recommended for everyone who is aged 6 months and above.

Note: The recommended interval between the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine is two weeks.

Q: How can I enhance my personal protection?

A: Wear a mask in public places; maintain an appropriate social distance; regularly wash your hands.

In addition, it is recommended to get fully vaccinated (including booster shots) against COVID-19 in addition to getting the flu vaccination annually.

For people above the age of 65, it is recommended to also get the pneumococcal vaccination.

Q: Is it safe for children and the elderly to take the COVID-19 vaccination?

A: Some elderly people are worried about getting vaccinated against COVID-19 due to their age or chronic diseases.

As long as contraindications of the COVID-19 vaccine are excluded, the vast majority of elderly people can be safely vaccinated. These contraindications include severe allergic reactions to previous vaccinations, such as anaphylactic shock and laryngeal edema.

Vaccination should be postponed for:

1. Patients in the fever stage of acute infectious diseases.

2. Patients with severe chronic diseases in the acute attack stage, such as cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, patients with hypertensive crisis, myocardial infarction in patients with coronary heart disease, advanced autoimmune nervous system diseases, and epileptic patients with seizures.

3. Patients in the terminal stage of severe chronic diseases.

Children over the age of 3 can be vaccinated unless they experience contraindications.

According to research, the COVID-19 vaccine can help to prevent severe illness and reduce death in immunocompromised people.

Q: What should I do if I feel unwell and am not sure whether I need to seek medical treatment?

A: Many hospitals (both international and public ones) offer services such as online consultations and medication delivery. If you feel unwell and cannot determine whether you need to go to the hospital immediately, have an online consultation with a physician to determine the next step.

Q: Can COVID-positive people visit a surgery department?

A: Most COVID-19 patients have no or only mild symptoms, so they can visit a surgery department concerning their condition. The infection should impact the diagnosis and treatment for other diseases. Surgeons will do protection while serving people who are positive to COVID-19.

Q: Should I reschedule my surgery during this special period of time?

A: The current medical resources can meet clinical demand. Patients needn't reschedule their surgery reservations. Proper protection like wearing a mask on the way to the hospital and good nutrition, especially protein, are suggested.

Q: What should I pay attention to while taking after-surgery medicines?

A: Patients usually should take painkillers after surgery. It is important to inform the doctor if you are infected with COVID-19 and need to take fever medicine. The doctor will evaluate the components in painkillers and fever medicines to control dosage.

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