COVID-19 – Symptoms, Testing, and Early Diagnosis


COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that has impacted the lives of many in the United States. For some people, the symptoms are extreme, while for others, the symptoms are very mild or negligible. However, they are still at risk and can spread the infections to others. Therefore it is essential for early diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 before the condition becomes severe. Once infected by the coronavirus, the symptoms will be seen in 7 to 14 days.

Proper testing of COVID-19 will ensure early and effective treatment based on how severe the disease is. COVID-19 laboratory services in Otsego, MN, provided by GatherWell, offer various testing procedures for COVID-19 and give you results in just 15 minutes. Get tested for COVID-19 if you notice any of the following symptoms.

  1. Gradually increasing fever and chills.
  1. One significant indication of COVID-19 is shortness of breath. This may be accompanied by dry and persistent coughing.
  1. Getting or feeling tired without involving in any tiresome activity.
  1. The infected person may experience muscle and body aches.
  1. There may be a complete loss of taste and smell.
  1. Headaches.
  1. Cold with a sore throat, congestion of nose, runny nose, etc.
  1. Nausea due to vomiting and diarrhea.
  1. Low oxygen levels measured on an oximeter.

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Various tests for COVID-19:

  1. Molecular tests like PCR – A polymerase chain reaction are primary tests used for COVID-19 diagnostic testing. It works by amplifying the viral nucleic acid to detect the presence of viral genes through the reverse transcriptase technique. PCR was earlier used to test symptoms of SARS. The healthcare provider will collect the sample by performing a swab test of the nose or back of the throat; the sample can also be collected from the aspirated fluid obtained from the lower respiratory tract. This is very effective in the detection of COVID-19.
  1. Antigen testing- the health provider, takes nasal swabs of the patient to detect the proteins from the coronavirus. This detects active infection caused by coronavirus. Antigen testing sometimes gives false-positive results. The results are provided within 15-20 minutes.
  1. Antibody testing – the healthcare provider takes blood samples of the infected person to check for antibodies against the coronavirus. This test, however, cannot determine if the tested patient is currently suffering from COVID-19. Antibody testing helps you to determine if the coronavirus ever infected you in the past.
  1. CT scans – the doctor may suggest doing a CT scan of the chest of the infected person to know the severity of the infection and how it has spread.

Call your healthcare provider if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 for early diagnosis so your doctor can get started with the treatment as early as possible.


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