We now live in an unprecedented time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As an informed individual, it pays to know what the COVID-19 is and how it impacts you, your family, and the community. Most importantly, it helps to know what steps to take when you’re sick and already infected with the SARS-CoV-2.
COVID-19 is a disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, a coronavirus. This novel coronavirus is believed to have come from bats, and they now come in various strains. The virus spreads when particles get transmitted from an infected person to another (via eyes, nose, or mouth).
When individuals have the virus, they will experience mild symptoms. But older people, those with underlying health conditions, and those with low immune systems can become severely ill and may even die. So when someone is sick, it’s best to get tested and seek medical treatments right away.
If you think you’ve been infected with COVID-19, here’s what you have to go through:
1. Identifying COVID-19 symptoms
The rule of thumb is to get yourself tested once you aren’t feeling well. But before doing so, be wary of the COVID-19 symptoms such as the following:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Loss of taste and smell
Other alarming symptoms include the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
Symptoms that are considered emergency cases are as follows:
- Difficulty breathing
- Persistent chest pain
- Unable to stay awake
- New confusion
- Pale skin
2. Getting RT-PCR testing
If you show some signs or symptoms mentioned above, the best course of action is to get yourself immediately tested. The most common COVID-19 testing is the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.
The RT-PCR test is a real-time test for COVID-19. It works by detecting nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2 in the upper and lower respiratory specimens collected from individuals. Anterior nasal swab specimens can also be collected from individuals for this test.
Another testing type is Point-of-Care (POC) testing. This includes the NAAT, antigen, and antibody tests. These tests are ideal for getting results in a few minutes after the specimens are collected. You can get these tests in medical settings like a doctor’s clinic, urgent care centers, pharmacies, and drive-through sites.
3. Undergoing diagnostic testing
Testing positive for COVID-19 doesn’t necessarily entail having an inpatient stay in a hospital or medical facility. For the most part, you’ll have to coordinate with your local health authorities to ensure isolation for typically fourteen days. In most cases, you’ll be isolated at home isolation or in a local facility.
But if you’re showing severe health conditions such as difficulty breathing, disorientation, or utter weakness, you’ll be confined in a hospital. Your doctor will undergo proper diagnosis through imaging services such as a simple X-ray, MRI test, or CT scan. This is to check the severity of your infection and avoid complications such as pneumonia.
4. Getting medical treatments
There is no established cure yet for the COVID-19 infection as of the time in writing. However, global health institutions have been carrying out researches to find a drug for the COVID-19 infection.
In fact, more than 40 different drugs are being explored for their efficacy against the COVID-19. Also, existing medications considered antivirals and antibodies are being studied for their potentials in treating COVID-19. These include chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, ribavirin, and favipiravir, among others.
But as of the moment, health professionals rely on standard medical treatments to help alleviate the patients’ conditions and avoid infections. For instance, if they have a cough, they are given antibiotics to kill the bacteria infecting the upper respiratory system, not necessarily the virus. The rule of thumb is to boost the immune system to help the body naturally kill the virus.
5. Getting vaccination thereafter
There has been a significant focus on developing vaccines for the SARS‐CoV‐2. Vaccines are now being rolled out in local communities from different parts of the world.
Three types of vaccines are authorized and recommended in the United States and worldwide: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considered these vaccines as safe and effective. They basically help individuals develop immunity against the novel coronavirus causing the COVID-19 infection.
That said, see what your local community has to offer as far as vaccination is concerned. Get yourself vaccinated as soon as possible for protection from the novel coronavirus.
At this point, you now know what a COVID-19 patient has to go through. Consider all the valuable information discussed above, from identifying symptoms up to getting vaccinated. While you don’t want to be COVID-19 positive, it pays to know what steps to take. In case you are infected, you know what to expect and how to rise above your situation. But ultimately, prevention is better than cure.