Sunday, May 22, 2022

You have flu-like symptoms. What should you do to get tested? [Free read]

“Transmission electron microscopic image of an isolate from the first U.S. case of COVID-19. The spherical viral particles, colorized blue, contain cross-sections through the viral genome, seen as black dots,” CDC’s image caption states. (Port City Daily photo/Courtesy CDC)

SOUTHEASTERN, N.C. — You have a fever or other flu-like symptoms. What should you do?

Due to limited supplies provided to state and local health departments from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), tests will only be made available to individuals what meet the following criteria:

  • 1) You have a fever or lower respiratory symptoms like coughing or shortness of breath and 2) have been in close contact with someone who has confirmed case of Covid-19 over the past two weeks.
  • 1) Have a fever and lower respiratory symptoms and a negative flu test.

If you meet this combination of criteria, immediately call your local doctor or local health department before arriving at a doctor’s office, walk-in clinic, or public health office.

Testing for Covid-19 is available at local health departments and became available through private labs last week. Supplies are limited and testing will only be available to those who are symptomatic.

If you are symptomatic, consider implementing the following best practices established by the CDC: stay home except to receive medical care, separate yourself from people or animals in your home, and avoid public areas and public transportation.

Tests involve taking a swab from a patient’s nasal cavity. Call your local health department for further guidance if you meet the symptomatic criteria:

Brunswick County DHHS: (910) 253-2250
New Hanover County DHHS: 910-798-3500
Pender County DHHS: 910-259-1230

Covid-19 testing is covered by most insurance plans, Medicare, and Medicaid. Flu tests are available at most urgent care facilities and many pharmacies, however, the cost and level of accuracy of different tests vary. Officials recommend contacting your local health department for advice on how to make sure you’re getting properly screened.

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