Testing is a window onto the virus and its spreading patterns. The National Institutes of Health is spending almost $248.7 million on technologies to develop a rapid test for Coronavirus in America. Without it we can’t understand the pandemic. If you have common symptoms such as fever, loss of smell or cold, you can get tested for COVID-19. A QED test in America is our way to protect each other.
How sensitive are rapid diagnostic tests for the Coronavirus disease?
Rapid COVID-19 tests are a low-cost alternative to blood testing. This is the perfect solution for hospital emergency situations, workplace and home testing and occupational health departments. These tests are easy to perform and get accurate results. Accuracy of any test is measured in sensitivity. The term defines the ability of the test to identify people with and without antibodies.
The newest tests developed in the US are very sensitive with almost all people who have been infected having the right result. A rapid test is also sensitive enough to flag all people without the disease. Testing serves two purposes. The first one is diagnostic – you can confirm the presence or the absence of Covid in people with symptoms. The second one is quantitative – it allows doctors to screen people out of large groups.
What should I do if I test positive for the Coronavirus disease?
Health experts agree that getting an antibody test for Covid is vital for winning over the pandemic. When it comes to people, it can tell you whether you have caught the virus. When the result is positive, you should isolate yourself, while contact tracers will try to find people you have exposed. The best thing you can do to protect others is to stay at home. These simple measures will prevent spread to vulnerable people in your wider community who are at risk for the severe Coronavirus disease:
- Isolate yourself from people and use a separate bathroom, if possible.
- Limit contact with pets and if possible, ask a relative to take care of them. You should wear a face mask before and after you interact with your pet.
Some people confuse isolation with quarantine. However, these are two completely different things:
- isolation is what you do if you have symptoms of the disease or have tested positive;
- quarantine is what you do after you’ve been exposed to the virus.
While staying at home, you should drink more water or clear fluids and get enough rest. As of today, there are no unique Coronavirus treatments recommended by doctors. You can buy over-the-counter medication to ease the symptoms. Never exceed the recommended dose and use these medications according to instructions on the label.
How is the presence of COVID-19 detected in testing?
Antibody tests for Covid use highly purified antigens to detect the virus. This test can detect the presence of pathogen-specific antibodies in symptomatic and non-symptomatic patients. They can be performed by health professionals and ordinary people outside of a laboratory. A standard test gives results within 15-30 minutes.
It’s recommended to perform a test within the first week from the time symptoms are first spotted. Positive and negative results may require further testing to confirm whether or not a patient has the virus. Nonetheless, rapid tests provide low-labor, low-cost data that allow everyone to return to normal life quicker.
How long does it take to test for Coronavirus in America?
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already given approval to some new COVID-testing devices that give results in 15 minutes. These rapid tests don’t require machine processing, laboratories or special skills. They are faster and cheaper than blood tests and equally good at detecting viral RNA. Some tests can pick up the smallest amounts of the virus that cause Covid.
Chemists, who help co-develop rapid tests, say that the goal is to make them faster, cheaper and easier. Even though antigen-based assays aren’t the one-fits-all solution, it’s the fastest thing scientists can get going right now.
Is a headache a symptom of the Coronavirus disease?
Scientists already know that almost 50% of all patients show no symptoms whatsoever, and some people experience very mild symptoms. A headache, indeed, is one of the rarest symptoms. Studies have shown that only one in ten people with COVID-19 reported headaches. It’s important to note that a headache can also come from emotional distress, stress, high blood pressure or migraine. People with the virus can also experience fever, dry cough and tiredness.
According to studies, there is only a handful of symptoms that may indicate a severe disease:
- constant pain in the chest;
- trouble breathing;
- sudden confusion;
- bluish lips.
Many people experience flu-like symptoms that vary from very mild to severe. Some people feel pretty good while others can’t move. According to studies, symptoms get worse within the first 4 days and then improve. The majority of people feel normal in 2 weeks. However, older people need more time to recover.
What is the recovery time for the Coronavirus disease?
According to the numbers, the vast majority of people can ride out of the sickness and completely recover. Scientists say that it can take up to two weeks to make a full recovery in mild cases. Severe cases can take six weeks or even more:
- Some patients, especially children and teenagers without underlying medical conditions, may feel weak for a few days before they improve.
- Patients with moderate symptoms often have fever and respiratory problems. Some of them can still recover at home, but it tends to take longer. It can take up to a month for people in their 60s and 70s to be fever-free, not coughing or fatigued.
Some patients have felt sick for 9-10 days. On average, most people feel the worst for seven days after symptoms start. However, viral load depletes quickly while other symptoms, such as fatigue and cough, can stay for weeks. In rare cases recovered patients complain about mental distress and heart issues.
Can I breastfeed my child if a COVID-19 test showed I am severely ill?
The short answer is yes. You can still breastfeed your child or give breast milk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. Those mothers who catch the virus shortly before starting breastfeeding and those who get the virus while breastfeeding will develop antibodies in their milk to protect their children. This, in return, will enhance their child’s immune response.
Immunologic factors will help babies fight the infection or even avoid getting it. In order to reduce the virus transmission, make sure to follow proper hygiene practices. You should wash your hands before nursing. If possible, wear a face mask and wash your hands before touching bottles and breast pumps. Carefully clean everything after every use. If you’re sick, you can ask a healthy relative to give your child expressed breast milk. Try to limit face-to-face contact with the child and only cough into a tissue.
Who is at risk of serious problems from COVID-19?
The risk of developing serious problems is higher in older people and patients who already have severe health problems – a weak immune system, lung and heart defects, diabetes or severe obesity. The same is true for similar respiratory illnesses, e.g. influenza. WHO says that these groups of people are at the highest risk of getting the virus:
- people in detention facilities;
- people in aged care facilities;
- those who have recently been abroad;
- cruise ship passengers;
- those who have been in contact with a person who have been diagnosed with the virus;
- people diagnosed with high blood pressure;
- people in communities with higher rates of chronic illnesses.
Any person of any age can catch the disease. However, it usually affects elderly and middle-aged adults. The risk of serious problems increases with age, with people aged over 85 being at the highest risk. In America, over 80% of deaths from COVID-19 have been in people aged over 65. The risk is a little bit higher in seniors with other serious health conditions.
An immune system of a healthy individual can fight the virus. However, many sicknesses can weaken the body. Even if a person has other sicknesses, they can still take a QED test in America to detect antibodies in their blood.
Is there a vaccine, drug or treatment for COVID-19?
Scientists have said that a vaccine may be ready by the end of 2020, if everything goes as planned. Moreover, President Trump has announced that a vaccine can be available even before the election on November 3rd. It usually takes years to develop a vaccine and test it properly. In America, several vaccines have already passed tests on animals and human studies should follow.
According to FDA guidelines, there should be three phases of clinical trials, each phase with an increased number of participants. For example, the final stage typically involves thousands of people. Dr Anthony Fauci, a Coronavirus expert, has already said that the working vaccine will be ready by January 2021. However, many people believe that an earlier introduction is possible. Fauci has announced in several interviews that scientists have been collecting data from the last-phase trials. Once this phase is over, the vaccine can be cleared for emergency use.
Can the Coronavirus disease be transmitted through food?
Every time you go to the market or grocery store to get some groceries, you might have wondered if you’re increasing the risk of getting COVID-19. However, scientists have said that you aren’t risking your health or the health of your loved ones. There is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted through food. Still, this doesn’t mean that food packages are totally safe.
When it comes to meat, there are several things to know:
- WHO recommends cooking meat properly.
- In the US, meat is subject to strict controls. It’s prohibited to sell meat from diseased animals.
- All meat can contain other microorganisms. You should do your best to prevent cross contamination.
Before eating any packaged food, make sure to wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds. You should also wash your hands throughout the day after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose. It’s possible that you catch the disease by touching a package that has a virus on it. Still, this is not the main way the Coronavirus spreads. As a rule of thumb, because the virus has poor survivability on food packages, there is a low risk of spread from packaging that is shipped at refrigerated temperatures.
Can the Coronavirus disease be transmitted in hot or humid climates?
According to the latest studies, hot and humid climates slow the transmission of the virus. According to the study from the University of Connecticut, there is a 1.7% reduction in transmission rate per degree Fahrenheit. Besides, the reproduction of the virus increased 0.8% for every millibar of air pressure.
It means that if someone in New Orleans, for example, makes an antibody test for Covid during the summer, they are less likely to see a positive result than someone in Seattle or other cities with a cooler and damper climate. Besides, places with a humid climate usually have a steady stream of COVID-19 cases throughout the year.
Studies have already proved that the temperature has an impact on the virus. This, as well as the UX index and humidity, has been associated with the rates of transmission. However, human contact is still the main spread force. Nonetheless, the rate of spread is lower in hot places than in northern states.
Even though the World Health Organization has labeled the Coronavirus a pandemic, it doesn’t mean you should freak out. A pandemic refers to how widespread the virus is and not to its deadliness. For everything we don’t know, there is a lot that we know. While the situation is hard to predict, focus on things that you can control.