Accurate and early diagnosis is essential to curb the spread of the coronavirus and improve health outcomes.
Keep reading to know what you can do if you have symptoms and what type of tests are available to you, including getting a rapid Covid test in Tustin or other local areas.
If you have symptoms or are exposed to the virus, you can call your doctor to advise how and when you should get tested. And avoid going to the doctor’s office as you may be contagious,
Symptoms to look for include:
- Shortness of breath
- A sore throat
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Loss of taste or smell
- Muscle aches
These symptoms usually occur within 2 to 14 days following the virus exposure.
Some people may have few symptoms or are asymptomatic, but they can still spread the infection to others.
It is best to isolate yourself after exposure to the virus, even in the absence of symptoms.
Currently, testing for COVID-10 is recommended for people with symptoms or those exposed to the virus.
You can visit a clinic or center that offers COVID-19 diagnostic tests. Many centers offer fast covid tests in Tustin and surrounding local areas.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also approved the use of home testing kits. You can collect a sample using a nasal swab and send it to a testing laboratory.
The steps required depend on the type of tests.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
This test remains the gold standard test for diagnosing COVID-19 in Tustin. To get a sample, the healthcare provider may take testable material through a nasal swab, take a saliva or stool sample, or aspirate fluid from your lungs.
The PCR test looks for a viral genome, and a positive test indicates an active infection. In addition, your doctor may order a chest CT scan to get a better understanding of where the virus has spread.
Antigen and antibody testing
The sample for an antigen test is collected through a nasal swab, while that for an antibody test is collected through a finger prick or drawing blood from a blood vessel.
The PCR test may take up to 48 hours to give a result, But it is the most accurate test for diagnosing COVID-19 infection.
Antigen and antibody tests are faster, and you can get results within 15 to 20 minutes. However, they are not as accurate as the PCR test. Antigen tests are usually used for screening large groups of people at once, while the antibody test helps in understanding whether you had a past infection or developed immunity against the virus.
A positive antibody test may make you eligible to donate plasma to help people with a severe infection recover faster.
PCR test remains the primary method for detecting an active COVID-19 infection in Tustin. Some clinicians may also advise CT scans to confirm the diagnosis and understand the extent of infection.