Treat mild to moderate Omicron at home | Covid-19 Symptoms

7 Top Tips to Treat mild Omicron Covid-19 symptoms at home

Treating and tracking omicron symptoms will be something every family needs to be ready for in 2022. Dr Jayani Kannangara has put together a guide to help you prepare.

Chances are that in the foreseeable future, you or a family member will test positive or have symptoms of Covid-19. Try not to get too anxious about this, as it should be manageable at home. In the past, we have all had to look after ourselves when we have had a cold or the flu. And fortunately for most people, the Omicron variant presents as a mild illness that can be cared for at home. 

How can I prepare for Omicron (and ease my mild symptoms)

Quite simply, if you are fully vaccinated, it’s unlikely you’ll get a severe case or need hospital care. Also, healthy kids under 5 tend to be pretty robust. However, whānau with underlying health conditions like heart disease, asthma, diabetes and cancer may be at greater risk of more severe symptoms, so take extra care of them, and our Highbrook team are here for support.   

To help you prepare, we have put together some simple information on treating and tracking Omicron symptoms at home. Also, we’ve added some helpful tips for keeping track of symptoms and advice about when to get more help.

Common Covid-19 Omicron symptoms that you may expect to experience

It’s normal to experience the following with the omicron variant:

  • A scratchy or sore throat (korokoro mamae)
  • Sneezing (tihe) or a runny nose (ihu mātihetihe)
  • Fever (kirikā) – a temperature of 38°C and over
  • Tiredness (ngenge)
  • A new or worsening cough (mare tauraki)
  • Shortness of breath (hēmanawa)
  • Loss of smell
  • Headache / Body aches (ānini)
  • Nausea/vomiting (ruaki)
  • Diarrhoea or loose bowel movements

What should I do if whānau or I have symptoms?

Firstly, don’t go to work or school if you have these symptoms. Stop the spread by isolating, track your Omicron symptoms and rest up. Then, if you have not already had a Covid test, we can arrange for you to have a Rapid Antigen test or a PCR test.

Naturally, you’ll want to protect your extended whānau and community by isolating and caring for your family at home. Reach out to your friends and neighbours about getting help to deliver food, assistance with pet care, or other things like collecting prescriptions. You can use 0ur Patient Portal to order regular medications directly to your pharmacy of choice.  

7 Quick and easy tips and ways to treat Omicron at home

Understandably, it is not easy having to stay at home and look after ourselves or tamariki. So we’ve put together some simple ideas to help you treat mild to moderate symptoms of Covid-19 at home. 

Our Top Care advice:

  1. REST: Getting enough rest is really important to help with any tiredness and helps your body fight the infection.
  2. FLUIDS: Meanwhile, it is essential to drink plenty of fluids. Frequent sips of water or sucking an ice block helps with hydration to keep temperatures down.
  3. FOOD: Eat little and often. Simple, fresh and easy options. If you feel nauseous, try small amounts of regular fluids to stop you from getting dehydrated. Soup can be a light and nutritious option.
  4. PARACETAMOL: Furthermore, taking paracetamol will help reduce fever and body aches or relieve headaches. You can take a maximum of eight paracetamol tablets in 24 hours. It’s a good idea to write down the time you take pain relief to track your doses. When using liquid Pamol for children, helpful dosage and frequency instructions are on the bottle to tell you how much they need based on weight and how often to use it.
  5. HONEY: One easy way to soothe a scratchy or sore throat is to sip a honey drink. Another good remedy is sucking throat lozenges if you have them.  
  6. SALTWATER GARGLE: Otherwise, another tip is to gargle with salt water, which is quite soothing. Make up half a teaspoon of salt in 200 ml of water and gargle around your throat; try not to swallow as it doesn’t taste great!
  7. STAY ELEVATED: Prop yourself up in bed with pillows as it is better not to lie flat on your back if you’re coughing. In addition, see the helpful diagrams on Health Navigator, showing good positions to help your lungs expand better if you have more moderate to severe cough symptoms.  

Of course, remember to take any of your regular prescription medicines.

Fresh air and sunshine are great for Omicron recovery (plus our top clinic soothing tip)

Another simple thing to do is to open windows. Fresh air helps reduce the spread of the infection and keeps the air cooler. If it is possible to sit in your garden for a while, the fresh air and sunshine are suitable for your recovery and mental wellness. 

Finally, our top tip from our team is to use a gel eye pack fresh from the fridge! Magic at relieving the headaches commonly reported and an Omicron variant. Stock up with one from your local pharmacy.

How to keep track of your Covid-19 Omicron symptoms 

Ideally, keep track of your Omicron symptoms. Download a printed Symptom Diary to help you track your symptoms easily. Take note if you feel better, the same or worse than the day before. 

A valuable item to have at home is a pulse oximeter that shows your heart rate and how much oxygen there is in your blood. Look for the Sp O2 reading on the device. If it shows under 92 % or you get blueness around your lips, seek immediate medical care.  

Along with this, a temperature (fever) over 40°C, worsening fatigue, dehydration, or a rapid worsening of symptoms all indicate severe illness. 

The good news is the worst symptoms generally pass after a week. However, if you are getting better but then worsen, call us for more advice.

When to get help when ill with Omicron (and you need support with treating symptoms at home)

Importantly, do not wait: call 111 for an ambulance if at any time you have:

  • increasing breathlessness while resting
  • coughing up blood,
  • become confused,
  • have severe chest pain

As always, contact us for a phone consultation on how to treat omicron symptoms at home or to arrange an in person consult if required.  Covid-19 symptom management support of businesses, including RATs testing,  is also available.