Despite initial hurdles in getting coronavirus testing widely available to the local population, the American government is finally learning from its mistakes.
You have mild temperature and cold. You fear that you could be infected with Coronavirus. You head to a coronavirus testing center get yourself tested, but to your dismay you are turned away. Don’t worry. You are not the only one.
Rapid Spread Of Coronavirus — America Struggles
As America struggles with the rapid spread of the coronavirus, tests have been hard to come by. Though it is important that coronavirus testing should be done for as many people as possible to slow down the spread of infection, the reality is rather depressing.
President Donald Trump told our media reporters that there was no shortage of coronavirus test labs in the US. But later in the White House briefing — top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said:
In reality the US is behind on testing capabilities because many Americans don’t have easy access to tests.Source: CNN
Due to a series of failures by the US government and the centers for disease control, there have been delays in making diagnostic tests for coronavirus widely available across the US.
As per a report in the New York Times, while 278,000 people have been tested for Coronavirus in South Korea since February, only around 82,000 have been tested in the US.
What you need to know: CNN Update
- The numbers worldwide: More than 278,000 people have contracted the virus and at least 11,570 have died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
- Threat of severe economic downturn: A global recession is on us and experts believe coronavirus could drag the world economy into a depression.
- US death toll rises: More than 250 people have now died from the novel coronavirus in the United States.
However, in an attempt to expedite the availability of more tests across the country, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a policy which gave permission to certain American labs to develop and validate their own coronavirus testing.
As a result, several diagnostic companies as well as commercial labs have manufactured their own tests.
So now if you show any symptoms of the coronavirus or cover-19, all you need is a doctor’s permission to get tested. He will first ask you questions to ascertain if you need coronavirus testing or not. He might not be able to test you himself, but can inform you about the nearby testing location — where you can be swabbed for the virus.
Before you get into the panic mode, let us walk you through some information about coronavirus testing in the US —
How does the test work?
If doctors believe that a patient could have coronavirus, he will be given a mask and put in a room for safety. Then doctors will perform other tests first to rule out possibilities such as viral fever or the flu.
Mark Spievak, the clinical nurse manager for the Jewish Hospital Emergency Department, told WDRB — that doctors would order a rapid flu test and a respiratory viral panel.
For that a swab from your nasal passage and the back of your throat will be taken to get a sample of your cells.
Then these cells are sent for processing to a lab. If those flu and viral tests come back negative, then doctors can pursue for coronavirus testing.
As per a report in Elemental, most labs use routine lab technique called polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, to detect the existence of the virus’s genetic material in your cells.
If they find virus’s genetic material in your cells that means you are infected by COVID-19.
How accurate are these tests?
PCR is a widely used lab test and is in most cases accurate. There are rare cases of showing incorrect results, if the sample has not been collected or stored properly.
What are the costs of these tests?
You don’t have to worry about paying for the tests as the coronavirus relief package has made testing free for all Americans. Some insurance companies are also waiving fees for coronavirus treatment.
Since there is no cure for coronavirus yet, it is important to make tests accessible to as many Americans as possible so that preventive measures can be taken in time.
America is finally learning from its mistakes. The new policy has allowed labs and other companies to make tests and soon testing would be more widely available. Also they are following south korea footsteps and have opened drive through centers and free testings.