The novel coronavirus causes a respiratory infection that can produce everything from mild symptoms to severe disease which can be fatal in certain circumstances. Some people can contract COVID-19 without developing symptoms. This is especially true of children and young adults. Hospitalisation, intensive care and death are more likely among the elderly and persons with underlying illnesses, especially the elderly with underlying illnesses, but it can also affect persons who have no known risk factors.
There is currently no specific treatment or vaccine to combat the disease.
At the hospital
You will be screened for COVID-19 upon arrival at the hospital. This consists of answering some questions that will help the hospital assess your situation before you can be admitted to the COVID ward. Some questions you will be asked:
Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19? Do you have a respiratory infection, with one of these symptoms: Coughing, shortness of breath or fever? Do you have a fever and do not know the cause? Experiencing diarrhoea and/or vomiting?
You will be sent to the COVID clarification ward if you have not been tested for COVID-19 yet.
A medical practitioner wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) will use a swab to collect samples from the back of your pharynx by holding it there for about 5 seconds. The same swab is then carefully fed into your nasal cavity until it reaches the end and held there for approximately 5 seconds. The test is not painful, but you may experience discomfort inside the nasal cavity.
Your current state of health will determine where you will await the test result.
Most patients will not be admitted to the hospital if they have the opportunity for being monitored at their residence. Shortness of breath is the most critical symptom in assessing whether you need to stay at the hospital. If you are sent home, please contact the hospital if your breathing or general health deteriorates to any degree.
You will be admitted to solitary confinement at the bed ward if you test positive for COVID-19 and require hospitalisation. Several patients diagnosed with COVID-19 will share an isolation room; so-called cohort isolation.
Only medical staff who are directly involved in treatment are granted access to these rooms.
Strict restrictions are in place at the hospital for visitors. If a visit cannot be avoided, the department/ward in which the patient was admitted must be contacted by phone before arrival, so the necessary infection control measures can be implemented.
There is currently no specific treatment for COVID-19. The general approach to treatment consists of fever-reducing medication, oxygen supply and intravenous fluid therapy as needed. The use of respirators is restricted to the critically ill in the intensive care ward. Specific antiviral treatment to combat COVID-19 does not yet exist, but many Norwegian hospitals are participating in a WHO study to test several antiviral drugs at this time.
Respirator treatment is made available to COVID-19 patients who develop acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
A respirator is a machine that breathes for the patient.
Most respirators push air into the lungs, either at a predetermined frequency (controlled ventilation) or only when the patient tries to inhale (assisted ventilation). The inhalation stage is followed by an exhalation stage, where the lungs are given time to empty.
Your general health must improve significantly before you are discharged from the hospital and you no longer need extra oxygen. You must remain at home until you are healthy, which means being quarantined at home for 7 more days.