3 m agoCOVID-19: What is it?
Coronavirus is a class of virus that affects the respiratory system.
The coronavirus class contains about 7 different strains that can infect humans. The strain affecting us today is a newly identified 7th strain, officially known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, or COVID-19. At the end of 2019, this emerging strain was identified as the cause of a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, a city in the Hubei Province of China. It spread rapidly, resulting in an epidemic throughout China, with sporadic cases reported globally.
In February 2020, the World Health Organization named the disease COVID-19, an acronym meaning Coronavirus Disease 2019. The coronavirus is now recognized as the cause of the 2003 SARS outbreak. Additional specimens are being tested to learn more about this coronavirus, and its link with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.
COVID-19 is diagnosed two ways:
- Nasal swab test analyzed by the PCR method.
- Antibody blood test (IgM and IgG are antibodies)
If you are acutely ill and have active symptoms you should get the nasal swab test (PCR).
The antibody test is recommended for:
- Those who are experiencing symptoms after 7 days
- Those who have had prolonged exposure to a COVID-19 patient.
- Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are currently symptom free.
You can book an appointment with LabFinder by clicking the link here. Book your appointment
The COVID-19 Nasal Swab is a diagnostic test that checks whether or not you're positive or negative of the virus. This test is appropriate for those who suspect an infection, are sick, recently traveled internationally, or known exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Antibody test checks if your body has developed an immunity from the virus. This test is most appropriate for those who have recovered from COVID-19 or to know if you are a symptom-free carrier.. Book your appointment
Antibodies are cells that the body produces to fight infections. The test looks for 2 antibodies, IgM and IgG. IgM indicates current infection. IgG indicates old infection. The Antibody test is important to understand if people have antibodies to fight COVID-19. The application of this test helps determine if you are a carrier of the virus.
The antibody test is performed by a blood test from a licensed technician. Prior evaluation by a healthcare provider will determine eligibility. The video below shows blood specimens being analyzed by one of LabFinder’s partner laboratories.
What does RT-qPCR mean?
A positive result means that the COVID-19 virus is currently present in your immune system. A negative result means that the COVID-19 virus is not currently active in your immune system.
What is the difference between IgM and IgG?
IgM and IgG are the antibodies that your body makes to fight infection. IgM is the first type of antibody made to fight new infections and then IgG is the antibody that is found in your system after you have already recovered from an infection.
Your results show that you may be currently sick with the COVID-19 Virus. It is recommended that you look out for any signs/symptoms of COVID-19 and contact your healthcare provider for more information.
Your results show that you may be in the early stages of the COVID-19 Virus. If you are feeling ill, please contact your healthcare provider for more information.
LATE STAGE/RECURRENT INFECTION
Your results show that your body is starting to build antibodies to fight the COVID-19 Virus. However, it is also noted that the COVID-19 virus is still active in your body. These results mean that you are actively recovering from COVID-19, or you have a recurrent infection from the virus. If you are still feeling ill, please contact your healthcare provider for more information.
Your results show that you have antibodies present for COVID-19. It appears that you have had this virus in the past. If you are feeling unwell, please contact your healthcare provider for more information.
POSSIBLE FALSE NEGATIVE
Your results show that your body is building the antibodies for the COVID-19 Virus. You could be currently sick with the virus. However, the results do not show evidence of an active infection. This could be a false negative.
This table is based on the current knowledge about the rise and fall of SARS-CoV-2 RNA and IgM/IgG antibodies and the correlation of these level variations with the initial time of infection, onset of symptoms and recovery phase.
The key takeaway is that the results of RT-qPCR and IgM/IgG serological tests do not necessarily need to agree. A disagreement between the two tests, if any, can often be traced to the after-infection time points at which the tests were performed. Overall, while RT-qPCR testing may be appropriate for the detection of the COVID-19 virus during the acute phase, IgM/IgG is an appropriate test during the chronic phase. Since the exact time of infection is often unknown, combining RT/qPCR and IGM/IgG testing can improve the accuracy of the COVID-19 diagnosis.
COVID-19 is transmitted through respiratory droplets (i.e., a sneeze or cough). Person-to-person spread is mainly through respiratory droplets, in a manner resembling influenza. However, respiratory droplets can remain on contaminated surfaces for a period of time. Unfortunately, given the rapid outbreak and transmission of COVID-19, many risk factors associated with the virus are not yet fully understood.
- Dry Cough
- Shortness of Breath
- Malaise, or Muscle Weakness
- Loss of Taste and Smell
- Stay calm.
- Hand hygiene is paramount. Wash your hands frequently, especially after going outside or touching commonly touched surfaces (i.e., the subway handles, elevator buttons, and escalators). Rub hands with soap and water vigorously for at least 20 seconds before rinsing and drying. When soap/water is not available, use hand sanitizer.
- If you’re sick, stay home. If there is a need to go out, wear a mask to prevent spreading your germs to others.
It is 99% accurate.
- Use disinfecting wipes (greater than 60% alcohol content) to properly wipe down commonly touched surfaces (ie. doorknobs, handles, light switches, keyboards, mouse’s, and portable electronic devices).
- Breathing exercises to expand lung capacity and strengthen the diaphragm.
- Avoiding contact with sick people.
- Avoid touching your face (ie. eyes, nose, and mouth).
- Covering your mouth upon coughing and sneezing. If flu-like symptoms arise, make sure to schedule a coronavirus testing appointment as soon as possible.