Doctors have made significant progress in treating people who become seriously ill with COVID-19 and the mortality rate is dropping in the U.S.
"There have been several therapies now that have been demonstrated to be beneficial," in patients who are hospitalized, said Dr. Bob Wachter, Chair of the Department of Medicine at University of California, San Francisco on KCBS Radio’s "Ask An Expert" Tuesday morning.
Those therapies include remdesivir and dexamethasone, and Dr. Wachter says there are some signs that convalescent plasma therapy can be helpful.
But what can patients do if they are sick, but not sick enough to go to the hospital?
"The answer is nothing, which is a very disappointing answer," said Dr. Wachter. "There is nothing, and I repeat, unfortunately nothing that has been demonstrated to be beneficial in someone who tests positive and is well enough to be home."
Dr. Wachter said these therapies need to be administered and monitored very carefully and are meant to address more severe symptoms of COVID-19. For patients who are able to manage their illnesses at home, he advises treating the symptoms as you normally would: lots of fluid and rest and Tylenol for aches and fever.
Patients should also monitor their symptoms carefully and be in consistent communication with their doctor in case their condition grows serious.