January 8, 2021

UW Health offers guidance on milder cases of COVID-19

Madison, Wis. — While COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to be a concern for health officials, thousands of patients who experience milder COVID-19 symptoms have managed them at home. Experts want to offer some tips to help those who manage symptoms and recover at home.

"There are many very sick patients in hospitals across the country right now that need expert medical care and equipment," said Dr. Jeff Pothof, UW Health chief quality officer and an emergency room physician. "But, for those managing milder symptoms at home, there are a few things you can do to take care of yourself and make the experience less miserable."

UW Health offers the following tips for those recovering at home:

  • Stay at home and isolate from others in the home. Use a separate bedroom and bathroom if possible.

  • Stay hydrated. Drink water, tea or even Pedialyte. Sports drinks with electrolytes are OK, but they often have high sugar levels that could perhaps worsen gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea.

  • For aches and pains use Tylenol or ibuprofen, but never take more than what is listed on the bottle unless a physician directs you to do so.

  • For a cough or sore throat, use over-the-counter medication like cough syrup.

  • If you have an upset stomach, consider a bland diet for a few days.

  • Monitor symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, and stay in touch with your doctor if symptoms worsen.

  • Rest. Let your body recover and don't exert yourself too much.

While many patients recover from COVID-19 at home, employing the tips listed above, we recommend that you consult with your health care provider to determine the most appropriate course of treatment.