For the past year, COVID-19, has impacted the entire world. It has caused over 1 million deaths and left many millions with moderate to critical symptoms. Overall, the virus has shown our vulnerability to certain viruses we have not built a up immunity to.
With common symptoms of a cold or flu being possible indicators of a far more serious condition, it is natural that even a sore throat, minor fever, or a sense of fatigue can cause concern. Not all symptoms are indicative of a possible COVID-19 infection; however, knowing when to opt for a medical opinion or a test becomes important.
As a rule of a thumb, if you suspect a likely exposure to someone who has tested positive for the virus you should immediately get tested for COVID-19. Beyond that, an understanding of the symptoms of the virus can help you get the medical assistance you need.
Regardless of your age, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call your medical care provider immediately.
If you fall under any of these categories and are experiencing one or more of the symptoms, seek immediate medical assistance.
If you are exhibiting any of the symptoms listed above, or if you are in a group with a higher risk of infection and are experiencing even mild symptoms, it is important to get a COVID-19 test immediately.
What if you are asymptomatic? If you are not experiencing any of the symptoms and don’t qualify for any of the risk criteria but suspect a likely exposure to someone who has tested positive for the virus or have an impending travel, it is best to get yourself tested for COVID-19.
It is important to remember that there are no specific treatment plans or medicines that are available to treat COVID-19 yet.
The best option is preventing exposure by taking the following precautions: Follow the guidance of local health authorities, such as:
However, in case of more serious manifestations of the symptoms, your physician might advise you to immediately admit yourself into a COVID hospital to expedite treatment. While there are no universally accepted treatment plans yet, doctors are treating symptoms on a case by case basis
Symptoms usually manifest themselves between 2 and 14 days of exposure. If you have a mild infection, recovery is usually a maximum of 2 weeks. Approximately 80% of people who contract the virus get the infection in a mild form and recover at home. Approximately 15% of cases result in serious illness and require oxygen. An estimated 5% of cases may become critically ill and need to be in the intensive care unit) with recovery taking as long as 6 weeks. In most cases, isolation and precautions are discontinued after 10 days of initial symptoms with an improvement in fever without the need for medication.
In some cases, patients continue to experience symptoms even in post recovery such as fatigue and other neurological and respiratory signs – even after they are discharged.
It has also been observed that in some patients, chances of reinfection can reoccur after antibodies diminish within 3 to 5 months, however, this is very rare.
The findings regarding COVID-19 (or SARS-COV-2) are still coming in as scientists across the world work on discovering a way to end the outbreak of this novel coronavirus. Until then, precaution and prevention remain the best protection against contracting the virus.
The antibody test is not able to detect a current infection as the body makes antibodies only 1 to 3 weeks after recovery from the infection. This test is only used to check if you have had the infection in the past couple of weeks.
Many healthcare providers and laboratories are equipped to conduct antibody tests. Here at Integra Urgent Care, we offer this test at our three Dallas/Fort Worth-area urgent care clinics: Irving/Las Colinas, Grand Prairie and Weatherford.
Coronaviridae is a family of viruses to which COVID-19 belongs and is not a bacterial infection but a viral one. Because of this, antibiotics do not work as part of the treatment for viruses. In rare cases, however, a bacterial infection could be a side effect of the actual infection, which will then be treated with antibiotics.
If you are experiencing the following symptoms, get immediate medical assistance:
Remdesivir is the only antiviral drug that is currently under evaluation for its possible usage against COVID-19. However, its efficacy has not been proved.
Masks are considered to be the main measure to control the transmission of the virus as they reduce any potential risk of infection from symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. The usage of masks is effective when combined with practices such as social distancing and frequent washing of hands.
All viruses mutate and so does COVID-19. The antibodies which are produced by our immune system can help protect us for 3 to 5 months; however, there are cases where patients are getting re-infected with a different strain of the same virus. It has been observed, though, that reinfection cases are usually much milder.
Even patients who recover can continue to have the virus strain in their upper respiratory system for about 12 weeks and shed detectable SARS-CoV-2 RNA during that time period. However, there are no studies/cases to prove that prolonged shedding of the virus strain has resulted in the transmission of the virus to others.
Approximately 1 in every five infected patients exhibit stronger symptoms requiring hospital care. About 15% become seriously ill and require oxygen. Approximately 5% may become critically ill and need to be in the intensive care unit. 80% of people who contract the virus recover at home.
Start by isolating yourself at home, and informing everyone that you may have come into contact with in the past 2 days of your positive test since they may want to get tested as well. Reach out to your medical care provider to understand your test results and any subscribed treatment plan.
COVID-19 is primarily a virus that strikes the lungs; however, it has been seen to damage several other organs as well. Even post complete recovery, imaging tests have shown, in some cases, prolonged damage to the heart and other organs. While this is still under clinical evaluation, do follow all precautions and consult your medical care provider for any concerns.