While no one seems in that ideal condition with the current pandemic, Covid 19 Testing remains in high demand. Covid-19 was no less in itself, where social media stories started to spread a variety of false medical information. After several trials, renowned health organizations concluded keeping RT-PCR as the diagnostic tool for Coronavirus Testing.
Unlike in the past, no diagnostic tests were capable enough to identify the outbreaks like Spanish flu or plague, we now have advanced technologies. One must undergo RT-PCR on the very first day of experiencing symptoms of the virus. Covid19 symptoms are now varying from strain to strain but the most common cases according to the ICMR and American association depicts the following:
- A mild fever which if not kept under control, can become severe.
- Dry cough with soreness in the throat.
- Slight breathlessness in less than 500 meters of walks can increase if ignored.
- Loss of taste and smell in progressive causes.
This test does not require a blood sample. It requires two swabs, one from your nose (nasopharynx) and the other from the throat (oropharynx). A blood test for Covid 19, known as the CRP test (C-Reactive Protein), indicates inflammation in the body. We will talk about this in the upcoming section of the article.
An early tested case of coronavirus is likely to recover faster from Covid 19 treatment. It not only promotes quick treatment but also prevents community spread. Seeing the current scenario, one should not wait for their RT-PCR report to arrive and must seek consultation from day 1 of symptoms. Keep your families, neighbours, loved ones informed about your status and ask them to get tested if they were in your contact lately (contact-testing). Thus, there is a need for a coronavirus test.
As discussed above, people with Covid19 symptoms should first isolate themselves, keep their contacts informed, and get tested for Covid-19. It would lead to the prevention of community spread. Apart from the most obvious case, others who must go for coronavirus testing are:
- Those in close contact with Covid-19 positive cases. It is highly applicable to non-vaccinated people. Fully vaccinated individuals can take a day or two to analyze their bodies for symptoms of Covid 19 if present,
- If you travelled or are travelling for work, education, or any other activity,
- If you were prescribed an RT-PCR test by your healthcare provider,
- To prevent the load on laboratories, ICMR has advised not to get tested for coronavirus after a positive result or those fully recovered from Covid-19.
How Can One Get Tested For Covid-19?
Currently, there are two prevalent methods to test for coronavirus, in-home and in Covid 19 testing centres. Let us brief both of these methods:
1. In-home RT-PCR
Various labs started with a home collection service for the ease of the individual. To get yourself tested, you can find a slot (or whichever available time) for the professionals to visit and collect the samples for further testing. The procedure involves minimal risk, no transportation, and no interaction with other suspected or confirmed Covid-19 cases in public.
2. In Covid 19 Testing Centre
It is the most common method employed by the public. It will require you to find and visit the nearby laboratory timely within the sample collection time for your hassle-free testing.
Everyone should ensure hygiene be it in-home or in-centre. It includes wearing personal protective equipment. One needs to lower the mask for testing, but remember not to touch your face in the meantime until you sanitize yourself.
3. What After Covid-19 Test?
The basic prescribed test for detection of the Covid-19 virus is RT-PCR. There can be either a positive or a negative result.
- Result: POSITIVE – Do not panic! It indicates that RNA specific to SARS-CoV 2 is detected in your sample. Take all necessary precautionary measures. One can start by isolating themselves, using a separate washroom, eating on disposable plates, and wearing a mask even at home.
- Result: NEGATIVE – Glad to hear! It indicates that RNA specific to SARS-CoV 2 is not detected in your sample. Even though you are tested negative, continue to stay protected and keep your surroundings sanitized.
- Result: INCONCLUSIVE – Well, you might have to undergo the test again! It indicates that the sample was not good enough to be tested or viral load was too low.
It is essential to identify the disease at a mild stage and prevent it from getting severe seeing the current outbreak. To reduce and prevent the severity, your doctor will most likely recommend a blood test for Covid 19, CRP Test, to conclude whether the treatment prescribed is working or not. A high CRP level will indicate that infection has spread in your lungs and inflammation is severe. Sciences are correlating C-Reactive Protein with Covid-19 severity.
Everyone everywhere is talking about coronavirus, and that is what we just did. So let us help you cope up with this stress in a healthier manner. The foremost thing is to take a break from news, social media stories, or reading the newspaper. It is essential to be informed, but it is more important to stabilize our mental health when Covid-19 is doing its job of making us unhealthy. Try new things, keep your mind distracted from what is going on outside, hydrate yourself, and sleep well. Connecting with your old friend and reminiscing memories is the best calming methodology ever. Cope yourself and help others cope. Although we are physically isolated, let us connect virtually.