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Should You Be Tested for COVID-19?

Misinformation about COVID-19 is rampant and is made worse by all forms of media sharing every opinion and controversial idea that comes along in an effort to be the first to report something new. Small wonder that the average person is unsure about the symptoms and whether or not they should be tested. 

Dr. Ramesh Kumar and the medical team at LifeWell M.D. want to provide the latest and most accurate information available about the coronavirus, including the symptoms that should grab your attention and what you should do about getting tested.  

The facts about COVID-19

One fact that may surprise you is that coronavirus has been around for a long time and is considered common. Strains of it have been on our radar for decades and they typically only cause mild upper respiratory problems. 

Why all the excitement then? The global concern is over a new strain of coronavirus that’s never been dealt with. This new strain is designated COVID-19. This stands for corona (CO) virus (VI) disease (D) and the year of its discovery (19).  

Because it’s an unknown virus, medical authorities are unsure about how to treat patients effectively and were also unfamiliar with its lethality. Because of these unknowns and the initial speed with which it spread, governments across the globe took drastic measures to protect their populations from COVID-19. 

Protecting yourself from COVID-19

The CDC recommends that everyone maintain a safe distance from other people (about 6 feet) and avoid large gatherings. This is meant for everyone outside your immediate family group. 

Face coverings should be worn to help prevent the spread of the virus to others in settings where maintaining a safe distance from others is difficult. They aren’t intended, nor are they proven to be effective, at keeping you from contracting the virus. 

At look at the symptoms of COVID-19

A basic knowledge of the symptoms that present with COVID-19 enables those who may be exposed to get treated as quickly as possible. This allows you to protect those around you and begin treatment early. 

COVID-19 can spread quickly and you could become infected and not experience symptoms for several days, sometimes up to two weeks. If you exhibit any combination of these symptoms, you should contact your health care provider about being tested: 

Cough

Most patients report a dry, persistent cough as one of their earliest symptoms. Such a cough can propel tiny droplets of moisture into the air and possibly spread the virus to others. 

This is the primary reason for the social distancing protocol. If you develop a cough, stay away from family members and contact your health care provider to be tested for COVID-19.

Fever

Fever is always a sign that your body is combatting some sort of illness from within. A relatively high fever is also a sign of COVID-19. If your temperature rises much above 98.6℉, most health care professionals recommend you get tested.  

Shortness of breath

If you notice any shortness of breath that is uncharacteristic for you or you begin having trouble breathing — especially with a cough or fever — you should contact your health care provider to arrange for testing as soon as possible.  

Take charge of your health 

More severe symptoms, such as pain or pressure in your chest, sudden confusion, inability to arouse, trouble breathing, and a bluish tint to your face or lips, require immediate medical attention. Don’t debate or hesitate — call 911 or seek medical attention right away.  

Older people or those who already suffer from underlying medical conditions can contract the virus more easily than the average person. It’s therefore vitally important that these people contact their health care provider if any symptoms develop, however mild. Those with weak immune systems or underlying medical conditions will need extra care to combat the virus. 

To reduce the chance of exposure or possibly spreading the virus to others, you should contact your health care provider before visiting their office. They will advise you of the best course of action. 

Knowing the facts will help you protect yourself and others from the spread of COVID-19. LifeWell M.D. offers COVID-19 testing, as well as the new 15-minute rapid antibody testing to check for the presence of the virus. Call one of our offices in Port Saint Lucie, Palm Beach, and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, or request an appointment online today to inquire about testing options and which one is right for you. 

For rapid antibody testing, you may send a text message containing your contact information to 772-332-9975 to arrange an appointment.

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