Medical experts remind public to seek consultation before DIY treatment

ALBANY COUNTY — As testing for the coronavirus lags while the disease continues to spread and hospitals experience stress, it can be tempting to look for advice on home-treatment options for suspected COVID-19 symptoms. 

Experts, however, say this isn’t a good idea. 

When The Enterprise asked Elliott Garcia, a telephone operator for the Albany County Department of Health’s precautionary quarantine and general concerns line, about what at-home treatments would be safe and effective in treating potential or confirmed COVID-19 symptoms, he deferred. 

“That information is best to get from your primary care doctor, who knows your situation,” he said.

When The Enterprise asked Family Nurse Practitioner Jill Martin, owner of Hilltown Healthcare in Berne, the same question, she echoed the sentiment.

“Unfortunately I am unable to give generalized medical advice as it differs depending upon [a] patient’s age, medication allergies, and co-morbidities or pre-existing conditions,” she said in an email, adding that the internet is “full of misleading information.” 

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do not recommend any over-the-counter medications for treatment of COVID-19 symptoms, instead focusing advice on the prevention of spreading the disease alongside adequate rest and hydration. 

And for emergencies, the CDC website says to look out for critical COVID-19 symptoms such as trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, and bluish lips or face. A disclaimer notes that the list is not exhaustive and that, as for any medical concern, people should reach out to their primary-care provider for help and dial 9-1-1 when an urgent response is needed. 

“Use your best judgment when using that 9-1-1 line,” Garcia said.

More Regional News

The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.