Prevention and Control for Fever Patients at Home
Winter and spring see high incidences of respiratory infections. Common colds, influenza and COVID-19 can all lead to fever, but their other symptoms differ. The symptoms of a common cold are obvious in the upper respiratory tract, such as sneezing, runny nose, and sore throat, and also there may be some mild general symptoms with transient fever or no fever. People with influenza may have severe general symptoms, often including high fevers, and other signs such as feeling chills, headaches, body aches, runny or stuffy nose, dry cough, chest pain, nausea, and lack of appetite. The main symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, fatigue, and dry cough. A few patients also have runny or stuffy noses, diarrhea and other signs.
According to the Prevention and Control Protocol for Novel Coronavirus (1st Edition), home quarantine is recommended for those with symptoms of fever and cough if any of the following conditions is met: (1) body temperature below 38℃, mild symptoms without obvious shortness of breath, tachypnea, chest distress, or breathing difficulties, and steady vital signs including breath, blood pressure and heart rate; (2) no severe underlying disorder in the respiratory or cardiovascular system, and no severe obesity.
As advised in the Protocol, fever patients at home should get good rest, keep a light and well-balanced diet, and take warm water instead of cold drinks to ensure normal functions of the spleen and stomach. Unprescribed or improper use of antibiotics should be avoided. Separate meals are encouraged at home. They should wear a mask correctly, and maintain at least 1.5-meter distance from other family members
For symptoms of feeling chills, fever, myalgia and cough, Chinese patent medicines (CPMs) for releasing heat, dissipating cold, detoxifying, and diffusing the lung to suppress cough can be taken; for fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, and diarrhea, CPMs for resolving dampness and releasing the exterior; for fever and obvious sore throat, CPMs for releasing heat, detoxifying, and soothing the throat; and for fever and poor bowel movement, Chinese medicine preparations for relaxing the bowels and purging heat can be added.
If the temperature of a fever patient at home rises above 38.5℃, such measures as warm and wet towels and ice packs could be used for physical cooling, and oral administration of CPMs for releasing heat, easing pain, and detoxifying is recommended.
If the high temperature remains for more than 2 hours and symptoms such as chest distress, shortness of breath, increased heart rate, diarrhea or vomiting develop, it is advised to visit a designated hospital or fever clinic.
If the respiratory frequency is higher than 30/minute, and there are symptoms of breathing difficulties and blue lips, call 120 for first aid to have the patient moved to a designated hospital or fever clinic by medical personnel.