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COVID-19: Home quarantine patients need to monitor for happy hypoxia

28/07/2021 03:18 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, July 28  -- Patients in Category One and Two of COVID-19 disease, who experiencing mild symptoms and undergoing home quarantine, should constantly monitor their blood oxygen levels using a pulse oximeter for early detection of a condition known as happy hypoxia. 

 A clinical microbiologist specialist from Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) Assoc Prof Dr Nurul Azmawati Mohamed said happy hypoxia is a condition when blood oxygen level dropped below 95 per cent but the patient was unaware of it because they can still breathe normally. 

"For Category One and Two patients who are undergoing quarantine at home, they do not need special treatment but need to do self-monitoring for symptoms and if the symptoms are quite severe, they need to immediately contact the COVID-19 Assessment Centre.

“There are patients who do not realise they are experiencing a decrease in oxygen levels because they can still breathe normally and this condition is called happy hypoxia,” she said.

Dr Nurul Azmawati said this in the ‘Koresponden’ programme entitled ‘Pengambilan Vaksin Sebagai Perisai’ (Vaccination as a Shield) on Bernama TV today.

Dr Nurul Azmawati said blood oxygen levels should be monitored at least three times a day and patients must immediately go to the hospital if the oxygen levels are less than 95 per cent.

“Apart from monitoring the oxygen levels, those who undergo quarantine at home must also drink enough water and no medication is needed unless they have a fever, then they can take Panadol. They can recover on their own, it just takes time,” she said.

Meanwhile, Dr Nurul Azmawati said the public should really understand how vaccines work because many people think that they are immune to COVID-19 after getting the vaccination.

"Vaccines do not make us immune but prepare our bodies by stimulating the production of antibodies and memory cells so that when the actual infection occurs, they immediately fight the virus," she said.

She said infection among those who had received vaccination did not indicate that it was ineffective, but it could reduce the risk of severe infections associated with the virus.


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