By Dr. Zulfikar Bux
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Vanderbilt Medical Center
As you should be aware, we are having a surge in COVID-19 infections in Region Four and the hinterland regions. We all need to be strategic, responsible and keep ourselves informed so that each of us can contribute in a greater way to help mitigate this surge. With this in mind, I have decided to compile the best evidence available thus far so that you can be able to make the right decisions and help us curb the spread before it becomes a national disaster.
Prepare your terrain (immune system)
The stronger our terrain, the better are our chances of overcoming a bout of the COVID-19 infection. We therefore need to prepare our immune system for the battle by “arming” it ahead of time. I had mentioned in a previous article on how we can prepare our immune system. I will therefore list the interventions below that science has proven to boost your immune system and studies are now confirming their importance in the battle against COVID-19.
If you need more information on how to prepare your immune system against the COVID-19 infection, you can web search using this link: https://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2020/05/10/coronavirus-a-strong-prepared-immune-system-is-our-best-bet/.
Everyone wears a mask
Regular readers of my column will know how much I have emphasized about mask wearing. If all of us wear our mask when we are out and about, we will break this surge and rid ourselves of this menace. While everyone is not compliant with mask wearing, those that comply and wear mask are at a lower risk of catching the disease and also at a lower risk of getting the severe form of the disease if they do get it.
When we speak, sneeze, cough or open our mouths, particles come out and can spread to others. While mask wearing minimizes this, we can decrease our risk further by distancing from others when we have to interact. At least six feet is the best distance but the further you can be from each other, the better. Those who are in closed spaces are at higher risk so we should avoid closed spaces with others as much as possible.
Keep yourself and others informed
There are too many myths about COVID-19 and too many persons who do not believe in the disease in Guyana. As a result, there is lesser adherence to guidelines, which increase the risk of this disease spreading. We all therefore need to spread the word about the reality of this disease and keep ourselves informed about it so that we can make the correct decisions. Try to know the hotspots and avoid visiting those areas as much as possible. Ensure you get your information from reliable sources and educate others about this disease.
Get tested if you suspect you are ill
The stigma about the disease and the fear of being isolated should not deter you from getting tested if you have symptoms suggestive of the disease. The earlier you get tested, the faster you can be placed on treatment which can help save you. You will also be able to know if you have the disease and protect your loved ones by avoiding them and getting them tested so that they can also get early care. The option of you getting isolated at home is being implemented so you do not have to fear that you will be taken away from home.
Be honest and help authorities
One of the most effective ways to curb the spread of this disease is for health authorities to know who has the disease and those that were exposed to it. The more information you give to authorities, the better are your chances of getting help and helping authorities to help others who may be at risk. Once they are aware of everyone who are at risk, authorities may be able to prevent them from getting infected and avoid those that were not exposed from becoming exposed.
Early Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin use is key
If you do get the disease, ask your doctor if you can be placed on Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine as soon as possible. There is strong evidence from studies showing patients that use these two drugs early having better outcomes from the disease. These drugs seem to prevent the virus from entering your cells and therefore prevent the progression of the disease to the severe form of the disease if used early.
There are of course other treatment options available but they are for the hospitalized patients. The goal of this article is to help you make the correct choices to prevent you from getting the disease and if you do get it, to prevent you from being hospitalized with the severe form. We are all in this together, if one of us gets sick, all of us are at risk. We need to be responsible and fight together and not each other. I have provided the best available evidence to you; be responsible, take action and encourage others to do same.
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