What about rapid tests?

Rapid tests (sometimes known as a rapid diagnostic test – RDT) detect viral proteins (known as antigens). Samples are collected from the nose and/or throat with a swab. These tests are cheaper than PCR and will offer results more quickly, although they are generally less accurate. We are still learning about how well they perform and when to use them.

What test should I get to see if I have COVID-19?

In most situations, a molecular test is used to detect SARS-CoV-2 and confirm COVID-19. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the most commonly used molecular test. Samples are collected from the nose and/or throat with a swab. Molecular tests detect virus in the sample by amplifying viral genetic material to detectable levels. For this reason, a molecular test is used to confirm an active infection, usually within a few days of exposure and around the time that symptoms may begin.

When should I get a test for COVID-19?

Anyone with symptoms should be tested, wherever possible. People who do not have symptoms but have had close contact with someone who is, or may be, infected may also consider testing – check with your local health guidelines. While a person is waiting for test results, they should remain isolated from others. Where testing capacity is limited, tests should first be done for those at higher risk of infection, such as health workers, and those at higher risk of severe illness such as older people, especially those living in seniors’…

What happens to people who get seriously ill?

Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing hospital treatment. About 20% of those who get COVID-19 become seriously ill and require oxygen, with 5% becoming critically ill and needing intensive care. Complications leading to death may include respiratory failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), sepsis and septic shock, thromboembolism, and/or multiorgan failure, including injury of the heart, liver or kidneys. In rare situations, children can develop a severe inflammatory syndrome a few weeks after infection.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are Fever Dry cough Fatigue Other symptoms that are less common and may affect some patients include: Loss of taste or smell, Nasal congestion, Conjunctivitis (also known as red eyes) Sore throat, Headache, Muscle or joint pain, Different types of skin rash, Nausea or vomiting, Diarrhea, Chills or dizziness. Symptoms are usually mild. Some people become infected but only have very mild symptoms or none at all. Symptoms of severe COVID‐19 disease include: Shortness of breath, Loss of appetite, Confusion, Persistent pain or pressure…

Protect yourself and others from COVID-19

If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, stay safe by taking some simple precautions, such as physical distancing, wearing a mask, keeping rooms well ventilated, avoiding crowds, cleaning your hands, and coughing into a bent elbow or tissue. Check local advice where you live and work. Do it all! What to do to keep yourself and others safe from COVID-19 Maintain at least a 1-metre distance between yourself and others to reduce your risk of infection when they cough, sneeze or speak. Maintain an even greater distance between yourself and others when…