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When Should You Get Tested for COVID-19?

When Should You Get Tested for COVID-19?

What are the signs you should get tested for COVID-19?

One of the ways the risk of spreading COVID-19 can be reduced is through testing.

If more people get tested, it will be easier to identify infected individuals. This way, we can treat those who are sick, and isolate both patients and their close contacts.

But what exactly are the signs you should get tested for COVID-19?

And what can you do if you test positive for the virus?

What are the signs you should get tested for COVID-19?

Based on current information, the number of cases of COVID-19 has surpassed the 47 million mark.

And so far, 1.2 million people have died because of this disease. This is why scientists around the world are racing to find a potential cure for coronavirus.

However, this does not mean that we are helpless against this pandemic. Through rigorous testing, isolation, and a focus on public health, countries such as Korea have been successful in containing any potential outbreaks.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), aside from social distancing, testing potential cases, and isolating confirmed cases of coronavirus and their close contacts is an effective way of fighting the virus, even if there is no cure yet.

At the moment, testing in the Philippines is prioritized for people who have exhibited severe symptoms, or those who have mild symptoms but are pregnant, elderly, or whose immune systems have been compromised. However, most clinics do offer testing for people who are not exhibiting any symptoms.

However, the Department of Health (DOH) released a statement that they might include those with mild symptoms in an effort to curb the spread of the disease in the Philippines.

Knowing the signs you should get tested for COVID-19 can help prevent unnecessary testing, and helps ensure that the test kits are used on those who need it most.

So what exactly are the signs you should get tested for COVID-19? Here is a list of the possible symptoms:

  • High fever
  • Dry cough
  • Pain in the chest
  • Trouble breathing
  • Body aches and pains
  • Persistent cough
  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is a good idea to get get in touch with your physician. They will be the one to determine if you need to get tested in order to find out if you are infected with COVID-19.

Early testing can help prevent further infection, and can save lives, especially in the case of the at risk population.

What about those who are asymptomatic?

Based on what we currently know about COVID-19, the average incubation period of the virus is 5 days, but the range is anywhere from 1 to 14 days.

However, there are rare cases where it can go up to 21 days. The incubation period is the period of time from when a person first gets infected, and when they start exhibiting symptoms of the virus.

People who exhibit symptoms of the virus are more likely to infect other people, compared to those who are asymptomatic, or those who do not show any symptoms.

According to a report by the WHO, asymptomatic infections are very rare, and shouldn’t be a significant cause for concern.

However, it is also a good idea to stay in self-quarantine, even if you do not exhibit any of the symptoms yet.

What if you test positive for COVID-19?

signs you should get tested for covid-19

If a person tests positive for COVID-19, there are a number of things that they can do to take care of themselves.

Mild COVID-19 symptoms

For those who are asymptomatic, exhibit mild symptoms, or have traveled to an area where there is an outbreak, here is what you can do:

  • Stay at home, and avoid being in contact with other people as much as possible.
  • If living with your family or housemates, it would be best if you can stay in an isolated room, and be sure to disinfect any surfaces you have come in contact with.
  • If possible, use a separate bathroom, since there is the possibility that COVID-19 can be acquired through fecal transmission.
  • Drink lots of liquids, and get enough rest.
  • Wear a face mask in order to prevent spreading germs around the house.
  • Monitor your symptoms, and if you experience trouble breathing, or worse symptoms, then it is best to contact your physician to get medical help.
  • Wash your hands to avoid contaminating any surfaces and spreading the virus.

Moderate COVID-19 Symptoms

For those who exhibit moderate symptoms, such as high fever, persistent cough, or weakness and fatigue, it is a good idea to get in touch immediately with your doctor.

They would best be able to know what steps to take in order to best manage your condition. If the symptoms can be managed at home, hospitalization usually is not necessary.

Severe COVID-19 Symptoms

For those who are experiencing severe symptoms, then you would need to call the doctor immediately. Severe cases of COVID-19 require hospitalization.

If you have COVID-19, be sure to monitor your symptoms, and stay under quarantine. Staying away from people helps prevent further infection, and can potentially save lives.

At the moment, there are only a limited number of test kits available in the Philippines, and there are also only a limited number of facilities that can handle the strict requirements of testing for coronavirus.

Upcoming testing centers for COVID-19 in the Philippines

  • Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa City
  • Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City
  • Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City
  • Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center in Benguet
  • San Lazaro Hospital in Manila

Knowing the signs you should get tested for COVID-19 helps reduce unnecessary testing. It can also ensure that institutions prioritize those who urgently need to be tested.

Just as important are taking the necessary precautions such as social distancing, self-isolation if you are sick, and maintaining the cleanliness and sanitation of your surroundings.

For those interested in donating or helping out, you can do so through the following channels:

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

 

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-criteria.html

www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19—23-march-2020

www.nytimes.com/2020/03/23/world/asia/coronavirus-south-korea-flatten-curve.html

www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19—23-march-2020

www.cnnphilippines.com/news/2020/3/24/doh-eyes-revision-coronavirus-testing-protocols.html

 

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Nov 04, 2020
Medically reviewed by Mike-Kenneth Go Doratan, M.D.
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