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The blood test that is available to diagnose coronavirus disease (COVID 19) is a blood culture for viruses. However, viral culture is not used in clinical settings, instead, this test is reserved for research purposes. The best test for the clinical setting is still the upper respiratory tract swab for rapid detection or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Other than blood culture, blood samples are useful in detecting virus antigen or patient antibody. Antibody tests are good in diagnosing those suspected to develop a late infection. There is no blood test currently that is considered as the gold standard in diagnosing COVID 19. Blood tests, on the other hand, may be needed as additional tests in helping doctors manage patients with complications or comorbidities.

 The sample for PCR can be obtained by:

  • Nasal swab
  • Nasopharyngeal swab
  • Nasal wash and aspirate
  • Nasopharyngeal wash and aspirate
  • Oropharyngeal swab

Those who are infected 3 months before exposure can be exempted from testing and quarantine. Work and research are still ongoing in developing vaccines to prevent COVID-19. The signs and symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle or body ache
  • Loss of smell sensation
  • Loss of taste

The strategy in overcoming this disease is via infection control. The preventive measures are:

  1. Proper and frequent hand washing
  2. Avoid touching your face
  3. Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects
  4. Wearing mask (non-medical mask)- cloth or fabric
  5. Physical distancing, at least two meters apart
  6. Other public health measures that can be implemented by the authorities, such as stay at home orders, closure of businesses and schools, stop public gatherings, active identification and isolation of infected individuals, contact tracing, quarantine, and travel restriction

The above preventive measures have been proved to reduce the number of cases. For those who recently came back from traveling or those who have close contact with infected individuals, they must:

  • Self-quarantine at home
  • Twice daily temperature check and monitor of symptoms

It has been reported that 20 million individuals have suffered from COVID-19. There are cases in all continents except Antarctica. Initially, the study of the transmission of this disease in Wuhan associated it with the seafood market which sold live animals. Most patients at that time either visited the market or worked there. The main route of transmission of this disease is person to person. This disease can infect others through close contact with infected individuals. Respiratory droplets are the medium in which the viruses are released. Droplets are a result of sneezing, coughing, and talking. However, respiratory droplets do not travel more than 2 meters.

Last year, in late 2019, a novel coronavirus was detected in China causing pneumonia. The spread of this disease is fast and that COVID-19 has become epidemic. Later, this disease spread to all over the world. The virus that causes this disease is now known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Previously, the virus is known as 2019-nCov. The genetic sequencing of this virus is closest to two bat coronaviruses. Till now, it is most likely that the bat is the primary source of this infection.

 Covid-19 specific treatments that can be given in hospitals are:

  1. Dexamethasone
  2. Remdesivir
  3. Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine
  4. Favipiravir
  5. Interferons

SARS-CoV-2 has also been found in patients’ stool, blood, semen, and tears. The transmission via stool, blood, and semen is still inconclusive. Infected individuals are most likely to infect other healthy individuals in the earlier phase of this disease. Although infected individuals are asymptomatic, they can still transmit the infection and infect other healthy individuals. Infections most likely to happen among:

  1. Individuals who live together
  2. Healthcare workers without proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  3. Prisoners
  4. Cruise ship workers

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