It’s been more than a year since the news of the Corona Virus was first reported from Wuhan, China, in December 2019. March 2020 when the government declared lockdown in the Philippines. Since then, thousands of people already got infected with the virus. And those with serious cases died. The most vulnerable are those with comorbidities which include diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure (hypertension), psychiatric disorders, or substance abuse, and senior citizens 60 years old and above.

What you need to know about the Corona Virus?

  1. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus that was first identified in December 2019.

2. COVID-19 symptoms include cough, fever or chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle or body aches, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, headache, new fatigue, nausea or vomiting and congestion or runny nose. COVID-19 can be severe, and some cases have caused death.

3. The new coronavirus can be spread from person to person. It is diagnosed with a laboratory test.

4. Prevention involves frequent hand-washing, coughing into the bend of your elbow, staying home when you are sick and wearing a cloth face covering if you can’t practice physical distancing.

5. It appears that symptoms are showing up in people within 14 days of exposure to the virus.

What are the symptoms of Covid-19?

  • Cough
  • Fever or chills
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • New fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • In rare cases, COVID-19 can lead to severe respiratory problems, kidney failure or death.

If you experience one or any of these symptoms, it would be safe to get yourself tested right away. Most people who have had close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone with confirmed COVID-19 should also get tested. Different testing kits are as follows:

  • PCR swab test.  A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is performed to detect genetic material from a specific organism, such as a virus. The test detects the presence of a virus if you are infected at the time of the test. The test could also detect fragments of virus even after you are no longer infected. You can get the results within 24-48 hours. Price usually range between Php3000-Php5000.
  • Antigen nasal/saliva test. Antigen tests — often referred to as rapid tests — work by mixing the sample with a solution that unleashes specific viral proteins. Antibody test reveals if a person has already been exposed to an infection, by detecting antibodies in their blood or serum. Results can be supplied within 48 hours. Price usually range from P1500-P2500.
  • Saliva test. Home test kits can be bought individually or per box. Saliva tests are self-administered.You will spit several times into a funnel attached to a tube, and then screw on a cap to complete the test. DOH The conduct of saliva tests should only be done on certain conditions and are deemed valid when such conditions are met. Saliva test kits are available anywhere between P500-P800.

What to do if you tested positive for Covid-19?

  • Once you tested positive, you should quarantine yourself from the rest of the family members at home. This means being quarantined to your own room for 2 weeks or 14 days.
  • There is really no cure for Covid-19. If you experience fever, just take medicines you usually take when you have the flu. Take Paracetamol or Ibuprofen every 4 hours and monitor your temperature.
  • You may want to report it to your Local government so they can send someone to monitor you. Chances are, you will initially be asked to do self-monitoring at home. Barangay health workers will provide with a monitoring sheet that you need to fill-out within 14 days. They will also assign a doctor to check on you via phone to monitor your recovery.
  • Have a pulse oximeter handy. In extreme cases of Covid, patient lose oxygen that’s why it’s important to monitor the oxygen levels of the patient. There may be times when the patient may need alternative oxygen supply.
  • Eat healthy foods and take a lot of vitamins. Drink lots of citric juices. Boosting your immune system can help you recover faster.

Disclaimer: Writer is not a medical personnel but is someone who recently contacted with the virus.

Sources: Minnesota Department of Health, CDC, DOH