Medical Associations: No need for young COVID-19 patients to quickly visit clinics

Courtesy of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases
Electron micrograph of the omicron coronavirus variant

COVID-19 patients aged under 65 who have no chronic diseases do not need to quickly consult a doctor, according to a statement issued by four medical associations on Tuesday.

The associations, including the Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases and the Japanese Association for Acute Medicine, also presented some benchmarks to determine whether patients need to see a doctor. They also urged the public to “be cooperative in helping patients who absolutely need access to medical care,” in response to the latest surge of infections putting pressure on the nation’s medical system and fever outpatient clinics.

In the case of the currently dominant omicron coronavirus variant, the number of patients who become severely ill is about one in several thousand, according to an estimate presented in the statement. COVID-19 patients who are young with no chronic diseases and are able to eat and drink should be able to recuperate at home. Therefore, they do not need to immediately visit a clinic to be tested or have a medical examination.

However, medical examinations are required for those who can neither rehydrate nor breathe well, including infants and toddlers who look pale, show other severe symptoms or have a fever of 37.5 C or higher for four straight days. Elderly people, people with a chronic disease and pregnant women are at risk of developing severe symptoms, the statement said.

As well, an ambulance may be needed if the patient’s face is noticeably pale or if their lips are purple.

The associations recommend that people call their primary care doctor or dial #7119 for consultation if they are unsure whether or not to call an ambulance.