We have been grappling with the COVID 19 or Coronavirus for two years. This deadly, highly infectious virus has turned our world upside down, and it’s not getting easier. The cases are forever on the rise, despite the various lockdowns initiated worldwide, and all sorts of precautions undertaken, for example – wearing a mask covering our mouth and nose at all times, washing our hands multiple times, sanitizing surface areas, and so on.
Most of the individuals have even vaccinated themselves against this virus, but at times, even that seems ineffective on the newer mutations of the virus surfacing every other day. All in all, it’s a big, deadly, painful mess that stuck us like a parasite.
However, since there is no fixed deadline for when this virus would decimate itself, we have to learn to live with it. To be able to do that, we should be aware of the disease and every topic related to it.
So, let’s start with the basics!
COVID-19 or Coronavirus disease is infectious and spreads from an infected person’s nose, mouth, or through small particles when the person sneezes, coughs, talks, or breathes. It even spreads if you touch an infected surface and then touch your eye, nose, or mouth with the same hand, without first sanitizing it. Sometimes, the diseases can spread through aerosols that stay in the air for a while, making it an airborne virus too.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads more easily in crowded or enclosed spaces. Therefore one should always wear a three-ply face mask, continuously sanitize or wash your hands, maintain a 6 feet distance and avoid crowded or enclosed places.
The COVID-19 virus travels down the respiratory tract and is most likely to impact your lungs and the tiny air sacs (alveoli) in it. This virus affects everyone, from kids to young adults to senior citizens.
The intensity of the infection can vary from mild to moderate in most people. These people can heal in the comforts of their own homes and won’t require any additional or special medical treatment.
However, people who already have underlying illnesses such as chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, liver disease, pregnancy, weakened immune system, cardiovascular diseases, or cancer will likely get serious and might need additional oxygen supply or might get hooked up on the ventilator. So, you should closely monitor your health, and if need be, kindly visit your nearest COVID19 center and get the medical help you require.
Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease
The average incubation period for the Coronavirus is considered to be 5.6 days. This means, if you meet up with an infected person, it takes about 5.6 days since then for the symptoms to show.
During this period, you should be careful and self-quarantine yourself, until this period has passed and you have received a negative test result after the 6 days phase. If you are or suspect that you are infected by the coronavirus, these are some of the symptoms you might be facing –
- Loss of smell and taste
- Sore throat
- Aches and pains
- Skin rashes or discoloration of fingers or toes
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Runny nose
- Chest pain
- Conjunctivitis (red-eye)
It takes 10 days to get cleared of active COVID 19 infection. During this period, one should self-quarantine, drink lots of fluids and avoid contact with another person, to stop the spread of the disease.
Even after 10 days of active infection, you might feel weak or some of the symptoms, however after 10 days it’s safe to venture out.
When to get tested covid-19 with adoctor247?
There are various reasons you should get tested for COVID-19.
- You have COVID-19 symptoms.
- You have recently been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
- You have symptoms despite having taken vaccination.
- If you have recently travelled in public transports – buses, trains, airplanes.
- If you have been a part of a large gathering or have been in crowded indoor spaces.
- You have been asked to get tested by schools, workplaces, or community gathering places.
Types of Tests
1. Diagnostics Test
Diagnostic tests include commonly conducted Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests. This test detects the genetic material of the COVID-19 virus. The samples for testing are collected by inserting a nasal swab into the nostril or the throat. The results of this test usually take about a day to be delivered. These tests are accurate and indicate an active infection.
2. Rapid Antigen or Molecular Test
The Rapid Antigen or the Antigen test detects specific proteins in the virus. The sample for this test is collected through nasal swabs and the results are available in 15-30 minutes. These tests are often self-collected, and may not be done properly. Therefore, increasing the chances of False-negatives. This means a person infected with the virus may test negative.
3. Antibody Test
An antibody test is done to look for antibodies produced into our immune system as a result of contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This test should not be done to check an active infection. It’s done several days or weeks after the infection has passed to check whether you had the virus or not. It’s mostly undertaken by people who suspect they might have had asymptomatic coronavirus. The labs’ test for antibodies from the collected blood sample.
If you test positive for the virus, there are various treatment plans that a doctor can put you on. This is decided based on the intensity of the symptoms you have. If they are mild or moderate, the doctors or the healthcare systems would advise that you treat your symptoms at home with a regular fever, cough, and cold medicines. Or they might suggest you take oral antiviral medications – Paxlovid or Molnupiravir, twice a day for five days. This is specifically for outpatients.
However, in case you are hospitalized, the doctor’s will regularly check on your oxygen levels, might get a Chest X-ray or CT scan done, and there are chances they might even put you on the ventilator if your condition worsens and you aren’t able to breathe on your own. You might even be put on Remdesivir, an antiviral drug approved by the FDA to treat hospitalized patients over the age of 12.
Now you know everything there is to know about COVID-19. You are now well-versed in the steps to follow if you contract the virus and what are the plausible treatment plans. We hope you stay safe, vaccinated, and take all precautions to avoid getting the virus!