Frequently Asked Questions about Testing
There is no specific treatment available to combat the novel coronavirus. The treatment of severely ill people focuses on treating the symptoms. The doctors can, for example, provide oxygen to patients with breathing difficulties. Experiments are being carried out with various medicines, such as chloroquine, a medicine that is prescribed for malaria. There are some indications that chloroquine helps with the treatment of COVID-19, but this still needs to be scientifically verified (proven).
Chloroquine is not freely available and can only be prescribed by doctors. This substance should not be confused with chloroquine phosphate; this is not a medicine, but a substance used to clean aquariums.
More can be found also about this subject on our (Medical) Research part on this page.
NO. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are dry cough, tiredness and fever. Some people may develop more severe forms of the disease, such as pneumonia. The best way to confirm if you have the virus producing COVID-19 disease is with a laboratory test. You cannot confirm it with this breathing exercise, which can even be dangerous.
This question is still difficult to answer the question and the World Health Organization (WHO) is warning that “there is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection.”
While US officials have championed the Antibody Test as a way to determine who is immune to the virus, others, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have urged caution as it’s not yet clear what immunity means for this virus.
It seems that it is thus possible, but again very early to have a sure answer.
More info about this can be found at the following sites:
Update (February 2021): For more information about the different ways of testing and the reliability have a look here.
Old: For now (April 15th) these tests seems highly unreliable and should not be used as a reliable indication if you have had the Coronavirus COVID-19 and/or are immune to it. Take a look at these (news) sites with information about it.
Not everyone needs to be tested says the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) for COVID-19. Here is some information that might help in making decisions about seeking care or testing.
- Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home.
- There is no treatment specifically approved for this virus.
- Testing results may be helpful to inform decision-making about who you come in contact with.
A very good explanation of testing is provided here, it shows that testing is important especially for the future and to know all the details about this pandemic and future treatments and precautions.
A specific graphic about the “Total tests for COVID-19 per 1,000 people” for India, Italy, South Korea, Turkey, the USA, France, The Netherlands and the UK to show the amount of tests performed
Here you can find out about the different ways of testing done at this moment as well as their reliability.
- The tests currently being used in hospitals and other facilities are to see if somebody currently has COVID-19.
- These are done by taking a swab of the nose or throat, which is sent off to a lab to look for signs of the virus’s genetic material.
- The other type of test governments & people wants to use is an antibody test. These are done to see if someone has already had the virus.
- They work by looking for signs of immunity, by using a drop of blood on a device, a bit like a pregnancy test. These tests are yet (April 15th) still very unreliable.
image from the BBC.
Currently several vaccines have been developed or are being developed. (see below for more info on how long it takes for a vaccine to be developed)
Current information about Vaccines can be found here.
Info: The development of vaccines take time. Several pharmaceutical companies and research laboratories are working on vaccine candidates. It will, however, take months or years before any vaccine can be widely used, as it needs to undergo extensive testing in clinical trials to determine its safety and efficacy. These clinical trials are an essential precursor to regulatory approval and usually take place in three phases. The first, involving a few dozen healthy volunteers, tests the vaccine for safety, monitoring for adverse effects. The second, involving several hundred people, usually in a part of the world badly affected by the disease, looks at how effective the vaccine is in the field, and the third does the same in several thousand people.