Confirmed COVID-19 cases may develop varying symptoms. What should be done at each stage and when is recovery determined?

Treatment and Medical Care

Is there treatment for COVID-19?

In most cases there is no need for special COVID treatment. You can lower fever, relieve pain and relieve cough with over-the-counter medications.

Antibiotics cannot help in case of a virus.

There are drugs that reduce the chances for severe illness in high risk populations. These drugs have received the FDA's (American Food and Drug Administration) emergency approval, and the Ministry of Health approved their use in Israel.  

  • Paxlovid – an anti-viral drug by Pfizer for the treatment of COVID-19. The drug inhibits the activity of the enzyme required in the replication process of the virus in the body, and it is effective against all variants of the virus. Studies show that the drug has reduced the relative risk for severe illness, hospitalization and death in about 89% of the patients treated within 3 days from the onset of symptoms.
    Paxlovid is prescribed for self-administration at home, and is intended for COVID-19 patients aged 12 and older, with mild to moderate symptoms, who are at high risk for complications of COVID-19. The drug is orally administered and requires medical supervision that includes blood tests.
  • Molnupiravir – an anti-viral drug by MSD for the treatment of COVID-19. The drug induces errors in the virus' genetic code and thereby prevents its continued replication. it is effective against all variants of the virus. Studies show that the drug reduced the risk for hospitalization and death in about 30% of the patients treated within 3 days from the onset of symptoms.
    Molnupiravir is prescribed for self-administration at home, and is intended for COVID-19 patients aged 18 and older, with mild to moderate symptoms, who are at high risk for complications of COVID-19, for whom no other medical alternative is available.
  • Regeneron – a drug which combines two antidotes against coronavirus. The drug received the FDA's emergency approval, and the Ministry of Health approved their use in Israel. However, its use is declining since it proved to be effective only against some varieties.

Additionally, patients in severe condition are being treated with experimental treatments that have yet to be approved for use among the general public or among patients in mild or moderate condition.

 

Medical supervision and deterioration

The HMOs are responsible for monitoring COVID-19 patients' condition, and their representatives call each patient according to his or her condition. As needed, patients may receive a thermometer and a saturation meter in order to check blood oxygen levels and pulse.

In case of deterioration in your condition, your case will be referred to your primary care physician or to a physician on duty to examine the need for medical treatment at home or for hospitalization.

If evacuation to the hospital is required, you may arrive in the COVID-19 ER with a phone referral given by the hotline of your insuring HMO or your primary care physician. In case of significant deterioration, you may also arrive in the ER without a referral.

Evacuation to the ER will be by Magen David Adom ambulance. During the ambulance dispatch call, you are required to inform the operator that the person requiring evacuation is a confirmed COVID-19 patient.

 

Taking regular drugs

Over the course of your illness you must not stop taking your regular drugs without consulting your primary care physician, since sudden stoppage of medical treatment can be life-threatening. This is especially true for vulnerable patients suffering from hypertension, diabetes and heart and lung diseases, among other conditions.

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