Medicine cabinet essentials for COVID-19 symptoms

Coronavirus

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — COVID-19 is spreading quickly once again, so News 19 wants to remind everyone about essentials to keep in your medicine cabinet, just in case.

Dr. Wes Stubblefield with the Alabama Department of Public Health says the necessities are pretty basic.

Because COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, most symptoms will be respiratory-natured like congestion, cough, sore throat, and fever.

“If you’re running a high-grade temperature and you feel poorly, muscle aches, you can definitely take a fever reducer like Tylenol,” said Dr. Stubblefield. “There was some concern about Ibuprofen early, although that’s not so much a concern now. Many experts have said maybe you should start with Tylenol and use Ibuprofen as your backup.”

Dr. Stubblefield adds there is no guarantee over-the-counter medicine will help alleviate symptoms. If you find they don’t work, he says don’t take it. Instead, you can try herbal teas or other natural remedies instead.

If you want to feel fully prepared, here’s a checklist of some types of medication to keep on hand:

  • Fever reducer
  • Cold & Cough medication
  • Cough suppressant
  • Decongestant
  • Antihistamine

Dr. Stubblefield says these medications are not recommended for any child under the age of four.

During the conversation, an oxygen monitor was also brought up. Dr. Stubblefield says if you can find one, it’s a good way to track the amount of oxygen in your blood and your heart rate.

He adds if your hands are cold or your fingernails are painted, they can be inaccurate.

“The number you’re looking for is high 90s,” said Dr. Stubblefield. “97 and up. If you notice that your number — if you try it on multiple different fingers, your hands are warm, your fingernails aren’t painted, and they’re running in the low 90s or in the 80s, that’s very concerning and you need to see someone immediately.”

Dr. Stubblefield says lower numbers means your body may not be getting the oxygen it needs.

It’s also smart to keep a thermometer to test for a fever, or lack thereof.

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