Why Should I Test for COVID-19?

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a highly contagious disease that affects all ages. It attacks the respiratory system and results in fever, fatigue, cough, and loss of taste and smell. Other less common symptoms may include diarrhea, sore throat, headache, aches, and pain. Older adults and individuals with a suppressed immune system may develop severe symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath, and the disease could be life-threatening. Since you can be asymptomatic, experts recommend Covid-19 testing in Southaven as a risk-reduction measure. Here is why you should test for the virus.

Why is COVID-19 testing necessary?

Testing has been by far an effective measure to control the spread of the virus. Experts recommend testing for individuals with cold symptoms such as fever, loss of smell and taste, and fatigue. However, testing is also necessary for individuals with no symptoms since they could be asymptomatic. A positive test helps you isolate yourself from others, preventing the spread of the disease. It also allows individuals to seek early treatment, which reduces the risk of death.

Who should test for COVID-19?

You should test for COVID-19 if you have symptoms such as fatigue, fever, shortness of breath, and cough. Specialists also recommend testing if you have had close contact with anyone that tested positive for the virus. If you have been within two meters of a person with COVID-19, you may need to test at least five days after contact. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated need to get a diagnostic COVID-19 test.

Diagnostic testing is necessary for certain groups, such as responders working in a healthcare facility, individuals living in long-term care homes, and hospital patients are also considered a high priority for diagnostic testing.

Types of covid-19 tests

Molecular test

Physicians use a lab technique called reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction to detect the virus’s genetic material for this test. During testing, the healthcare provider inserts a swab in your nostril to collect fluid from the back of your nose. You may feel some discomfort, but the process is far from painful. Sometimes the doctor may insert a long swab into the back of your throat, or you may provide a sample of your saliva for testing. Usually, the results are out in minutes, but this can take longer if there are processing delays. The rapid test is very accurate when performed by a professional, but it can miss some cases.

Antigen test

An antigen test detects particular proteins in the virus and can be highly accurate when the healthcare provider follows the instructions to the latter. The doctor uses a nasal swab to collect a fluid sample sent to the lab for analysis during an antigen test. You can get your results in minutes or longer in locations with processing delays. Although an antigen test can be accurate, it may result in false-negative results, meaning that you have the virus, but the test result is negative. Sometimes doctors recommend an RT-PCR test to confirm negative antigen test results.

If you have further questions about COVID-19 testing, consult your doctor today at Desoto Family Care Clinic.