Indeed, nobody can pretend that the Covid-19 pandemic hasn’t been a challenge. However, due to the drastic measures of CDC regarding isolation and Covid-19 testing, there was a visible decline in active cases by the end of 2021.
Regardless, all that could not have been possible without the widespread availability of vaccines and tests, advances in treatments, and increased immunity levels in people through vaccination or previous infection. Even nowadays, many people agree that although we can’t prevent all cases of COVID-19, we can continue to limit the spread and save each other from severe illness or worse.
To keep the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic in check, being vaccinated has become mandatory. Only a few countries have opened their borders without travel restrictions and do not demand a negative Covid-19 test upon entry. But how do these precautions help, and where should we go for reliable Covid-19 testing in Chicago? Let’s have a look and learn more about it.
How does Covid-19 spread?
The coronavirus can access the human body in several ways: the nose, mouth, eyes directly from the airborne droplets or from the hands to your face. After that, the virus spreads to the mucous membrane in the back of the throat and the nasal passages. It binds to the cells there, multiplies, and extends into the lung and other body tissues.
Furthermore, when a Covid-19 infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, sings, or breathes near you, respiratory droplets discharged into the air carry the virus within 6 feet. So, if you inhale these droplets, you become infected.
Symptoms of Covid-19
The symptoms might emerge between two to fourteen days after being exposed to the virus. Fever, chills, dry cough, breathing difficulties, tiredness or muscular pain, and headaches are considered the main signs and symptoms of Covid-19. But sometimes symptoms vary, such as a distinct loss of taste, sore throat, nasal congestion, vomiting, or nausea, and the infected patients have also experienced.
What is a PCR test?
The COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing is a molecular diagnostic that looks at ribonucleic acid or RNA of SARS-CoV-2. The virus causes infection in the upper respiratory specimen; the PCR Test is considered the gold standard for detecting COVID-19 because it accurately detects the virus.
RT-PCR (Gold Standard) and Rapid Antigen Test
RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Testing are the two most common tests available. The RT-PCR test stands for Reverse Transcription–Polymerase Chain Reaction Test and is considered the gold standard for diagnosing viral diseases like COVID-19 and Ebola. The turnaround time varies, but it might take anywhere from 24 hours or a few days to receive findings during a spike in cases.
Rapid Antigen tests are designed to directly detect SARS-CoV-2 virus proteins (antigens) in respiratory specimens. Usually, the test requires nasal or swab samples or deep throat saliva samples. As the test is easy to perform and the testing results are typically available within 30 minutes, many have started to administer the test in the comfort of their homes. Even though Rapid Antigen testing is quicker than RT-PCR tests, they are considered less reliable because, in some cases, the infected with the COVID-19 virus has received a negative outcome (a false-negative test).
To be or not to be tested?
Suppose you have been in direct contact with somebody who has tested positive for the viral infection or is a first responder. If you begin to feel the Covid-19 symptoms, you should consider getting tested based on specific health restrictions; 3 to 5 days after exposure is recommended and seek treatment as soon as possible.
Or suppose you have been in a medical situation or have stayed in a hospital for a long time. In that case, it’s time to opt for United Covid Care for professional Covid-19 tests in Chicago, whether it’s RT-PCR or Rapid Antigen Testing services.
Covid-19 PCR swab test
A physician, nurse, or laboratory technician uses a small, flexible stick with cotton at the tip into your nose to get a sample of your mucous for RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests. Swab samples from both nostrils may be necessary to gather enough mucus for the testing; the procedure can be a little unpleasant, but not too painful.
What should I do when tested positive for Covid-19?
If you are Covid-19 positive, you should be careful because sometimes Coronavirus symptoms do not develop immediately following interaction with an infected person. The following precautions will help you contain the virus:
- Isolate or quarantine yourself once detected Covid-19 positive.
- For the next 10 to 14 days, avoid going out in public.
- Keep yourself away from the rest of your family, keep an eye on your condition.
- Consult your physician.
Covid-19 Rapid Antigen and RT-PCR tests for travel
We all know spring and summer are traditionally a time for family weekend getaways and business meetings. Most people love to travel abroad, but COVID-19 has made us reconsider several preferences. An RT-PCR test for travel can be your golden ticket to freedom in such a scenario.
Covid-19 testing in Chicago
United Covid Care offers Covid-19 testing services in the main Chicagoland, with results from CAP-accredited and CLIA-certified lab and testing services that are easily accessible and reliable. Let’s protect ourselves and others from the coronavirus.