What to Do If You Think
You’ve Been Exposed to
You went to a restaurant or the grocery store and someone nearby was coughing, and you think you may have been exposed to the coronavirus. What do you do? You may be tempted to rush off and get tested ASAP, but that actually isn’t recommended. What you should do if you suspect you may have been exposed to coronavirus is to self-isolate yourself for at least a week before getting tested. That way, you lower the risk of inadvertently spreading the disease to other people. What is more, the virus doesn’t show up on tests right away. It can take some days before the virus develops enough to become noticeable, and in many cases by that point, even people who were exposed to the virus will be asymptomatic.
As far as testing goes, in most situations, you should wait until you start to show symptoms. When that happens, you may not want to go to your primary care doctor or a hospital for testing, due to having to pay out of pocket or because you want to limit exposing other people to the virus as much as possible. One alternative currently available to you is to get a lab test done with the help of Genesis Medical Diagnostics. We offer COVID-19 testing services, and do not require you to have a doctor’s note, health insurance, or to make an appointment.
Our affordable, transparent process is very simple:
- Order your coronavirus test kit online
- Visit one of our 2,500+ lab sites around the country and schedule the time that is best for you to have a teleconference while administering the blood test, with a doctor walking you through the process
- Send out your sample and wait 1 to 3 days for the results to come in
The laboratory we send your tests to are the same ones that internal and family medicine physicians use. Genesis Medical Diagnostics can provide you reliable, affordable, simple to use coronavirus testing solutions, so you can stay in control of your health. Contact us now to get started or if you have any questions.
Symptoms of Coronavirus
When is it time to call your doctor or order a test online? When you start experiencing some of these symptoms and they appear in tandem or persist for more than 24 hours:
- Muscle or body aches
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
Be aware that some people infected with coronavirus will be totally asymptomatic. The more common symptoms of people who have it though include fever, dry cough, body aches, chills, sore throat, loss of smell, and loss of appetite. Less common are symptoms like severe fever and difficulty breathing, which may indicate pneumonia.
People infected with the coronavirus may also experience neurological or gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, along with the respiratory symptoms. For example, some people feel dizzy, confused, lose their sense of smell, or experience seizures due to the infection. GI symptoms will, if they occur at all, include things like loss of appetite, diarrhea, and nausea. These symptoms are known to sometimes occur before some of the main symptoms of COVID-19, like fever, cough, and body ache.
Is It COVID-19 or The Flu?
The flu is nothing to sneeze at either, being a widespread and dangerous virus. However, we have more means of preventing and treating the flu than we do for the coronavirus currently. How can you tell if you have the flu or coronavirus? You may want to get a blood test to know for sure, but your doctor may suspect you have coronavirus if:
- Respiratory symptoms merge
- You have been exposed to someone who is suspected or confirmed as having the virus
- Your local region has experienced a surge of cases
Is There a Chance a Coronavirus Test Will Tell Me I’m Not Infected When I Actually Am?
What are the chances of a false negative? It depends on what type of test was used and at what stage in the course of infection it was performed. The two main types of tests used for coronavirus are:
- Nasal/throat swab
- Blood tests
Nasal/throat swab tests can give you a false negative in the following situations:
- On day one of being exposed to the virus, as there are so few viral particles in your saliva that the test will be unable to detect them)
- Roughly 40% of tests four days after initial exposure come back as false negatives
- Around 20% of the time after you get tested within three days of showing initials symptoms
As for blood tests:
- Since blood tests look for antibodies, not the virus itself, it takes many days after the initial exposure for it to provide you a reliable diagnosis.
- Wait at least a week after symptoms initially emerge before getting tested, for more reliable results
Why Social Distancing?
As testing is not reliable right away, you may be wondering whether you should practice social distancing before you have been confirmed positive or negative. You definitely should do your best to isolate yourself as much as possible, if you suspect you have been infected. While the specific details of COVID-19 aren’t thoroughly known, we do know that you can be infectious 2 to 3 days before symptoms emerge. Emerging research suggests that the most common time for the spread of the virus is the 48 hours before symptoms start to be shown. This is why social distancing, wearing masks, and contact tracing are all such important measures for reducing the risk of spreading the virus more.
How Long Are You Contagious For?
Most people who have coronavirus will be no longer contagious 10 days after their symptoms resolve. The same goes for people who tested positive but never had symptoms — after 10 days, you are most likely no longer contagious; though there have been exceptions. It is still recommended to practice isolation for about 14 days, just to be safe. The thing about the coronavirus is that it affects different people in all sorts of different ways. If you want to rely on a more scientific way to know if you are contagious or not, saliva or blood tests are the way to go.
Get Tested For COVID-19 Online
Genesis Medical Diagnostics partners with the Baylor College of Medicine to provide you reliable, fast blood test results for COVID-19. All the tests we offer are conducted in a CLIA-approved laboratory. If you want peace of mind knowing whether you have been infected or whether you are still contagious, contact us today or order a lab test from home; we will ship it out to you ASAP!