Coronavirus Testing 101
Coronavirus Testing 101
March 27, 2020 by eMedEvents

The US has officially become the country with the most coronavirus cases in the world. This has caused widespread panic across the country, which in turn has led to a shortage in testing. Perfectly healthy people, feeling the need to get tested, is actually hurting the US, in identifying just how many coronavirus victims we have. Professional sports leagues, such as the NBA, have been blasted for testing their players, instead of allocating their resources to help the sick and poor. In fact, even New York City mayor Bill de Blasio weighed in on the controversial situation surrounding the NBA, after four Brooklyn Nets players tested positive for the disease, saying “with all due respect, an entire NBA team should not get tested for COVID-19, while the critically ill patients are waiting to be tested”. Rationing these tests is extremely important, it is essential to keep others in mind before wasting resources. This article will explain who should get tested, who to visit and what the procedures are like, should it be decided that you need to be tested for coronavirus.

People who should be tested:

The coronavirus symptoms are vague to say the least, and can easily be confused for the common cold, or the flu. Symptoms include shortness of breath, loss of smell, fever, cough and in severe cases extreme weakness. It is important to call your doctor and explain in detail, what exactly you are experiencing, that way they can determine if it is necessary for you to come in for a doctor’s visit. Other people that should also be tested, are those who have knowingly come in contact with someone who carries the disease. Even if you don’t feel sick at all, it is important to get tested, because in some people symptoms can take as long as 14 days to show up, after contracting the disease. Remember, just because your doctor asks you to come in for a visit, that does not necessarily mean that you will get tested. Doctors may still determine that what you have, is nothing more than the common cold/flu, since that is far more likely than having corona. They may also determine based on where you live, there are simply not enough cases of a corona outbreak to warrant a test.

If you get tested:

If your doctor believes you have COVID-19, then they will contact local health departments, and determine where you will get tested. There are five different ways the coronavirus test is admitted, one way is the nasal aspirate, where saline solutions are injected into your nose and samples are removed with a suction. Then there is the classic blood test, where a needle is injected into your vein, to remove your blood samples for testing. The most common way to test for COVID-19 is the swab test, where a special swab is inserted into your nose, to collect samples. If you are very sick and are coughing up mucous, you will probably be asked to take the sputum test, this is when the patients coughs up mucous into a special cup, so that the doctors can evaluate it. Lastly, there is the tracheal aspirate, where doctors insert a thin tube down your throat into your lungs to collect bodily samples.

After the test:

Once you’re done with any of these five tests, it should take no longer than two days to receive your test results. If you have tested positive for coronavirus, you must take the following precaution, to make sure you do not infect anyone else with the disease. Self-quarantine, stay in your house at all times, do not allow friends over, stay six feet apart from everyone, do not go to any events with large amounts of people, cover your face with a mask, wear gloves, practice proper hygiene, and clean any contacted surfaces regularly.

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