Crucial steps you may be missing in your COVID steps

While self-testing for coronavirus infection may be more convenient than visiting a clinic or laboratory, experts warn there is at least one significant disadvantage from a public health perspective.

With a recent surge in demand for self-rapid antigen tests and a growing positive rate, “it seems evident that we are underreporting (Covid-19) cases,” according to Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association.

Positive Covid-19 rapid antigen tests findings performed by medical practitioners are eventually submitted to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, there is no obligation that individuals disclose the findings of their self-rapid antigen tests to health care doctors or local public health agencies.

Coronavirus self-rapid antigen tests – also known as home rapid antigen tests or over-the-counter rapid antigen tests – identify active coronavirus infections, not antibodies to the virus, and may be performed simply and swiftly at home or anywhere, regardless of vaccination status, according to the CDC. The majority of self-rapid antigen tests are rapid antigen tests, which are less sensitive than polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing performed in clinics or laboratories. While some home testing are PCR-based, rapid antigen tests are much more prevalent and accessible. if you want to learn more about antibodies here is a good link to follow https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2022/01/antibodies-covid-19.html

On December 7, 2021, an Easton, New Hampshire, resident prepares to take a Covid-19 self-test.

Ideally, you should notify both your physician and local health agency of favorable findings for various reasons, Benjamin said. To begin, he continued, if you test positive, your health care physician may need to intervene with medications such as monoclonal antibodies or antivirals to alleviate your symptoms, depending on your Covid-19 vaccination status and overall health.

“Secondly, of course, it assists us in maintaining a more accurate record of our case counts,” Benjamin said. “With all the self-testing, we actually don’t have a good count of cases.”

Notifying your local public health agency of positive test findings assists specialists in determining the prevalence of a new illness in various locations, he noted.

“The presence of sickness is a more accurate predictor than hospitalizations and may assist us in forecasting workforce and staffing requirements for hospitals,” he noted. “If you have a population that hasn’t seen many infections and suddenly sees it spread, you can typically anticipate that two or three weeks from now, they’re going to see an increase in hospitalizations (and) regrettably, death.”

Positive self-test results can also help public health experts better understand how vaccines are responding to the virus – and which activities may pose a higher risk of contracting Covid-19, according to Dr. Jonathan Golob, an assistant professor of internal medicine in the University of Michigan’s Division of Infectious Diseases.

All of these elements, Benjamin said, impact health professionals’ recommendations, including suggestions on safety measures and closures, mask regulations, and how the illness affects unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals differently.

“The most effective method to address all of these key issues about the pandemic that we all have is to report instances of COVID-19 to public health professionals,” Golob said in an email. “The staff at your local public health departments are professionals in analyzing case reports to find answers to these concerns, collaborating with other scientists and physicians to change treatments, advice, and planning in light of the case reports.”

Here are some ways you may assist.

Making telephone calls

If you test positive for coronavirus, Benjamin and Golob suggest notifying your primary care physician through phone or email. While some physicians will submit your findings to the local public health agency, this is not always the case – which is why you should also notify the health department, Benjamin added. Finally, if both you and your physician notify the health department of your positive case, the health agency should have sufficient information to prevent having duplicate data, he noted.

Before contacting medical professionals, Benjamin and Golob advised that you have a few key details handy, including the type of rapid antigen tests you took (rapid or regular antigen or PCR); when you took it; when symptoms began, if applicable; your vaccination status, including which vaccine you received, when your doses were administered, …

How to help your child cope if he/she has COVID

Having a swab inserted into your nose for COVID-19 rapid antigen tests is not a pleasant experience for anybody, but it may be particularly distressing for children.

It is fairly unusual for youngsters to acquire an irrational dread of the examination.

Child health psychologists Kathryn Birnie of the University of Calgary and Meghan McMurtry of the University of Guelph have created a checklist of ways to assist your children in navigating this difficult time.

“It’s critical to have a strategy for what to do before, during, and after,” McMurtry told Island Morning anchor Laura Chapin.

Distribute information that is suitable for children

It is preferable not to leave any details about what will occur to your child’s imagination. Children often envision situations that be far worse than they really are.

Describe what is about to happen in realistic, simple, and unbiased words that people will comprehend.

Create a strategy for coping

This is something you can collaborate on.

Does the youngster have a favorite toy that helps them feel better? Who do they want to sit alongside?

Explain that they will have one critical task: to remain completely motionless for the 15 to 30 seconds that the test will last.

While you wait, divert your child’s attention.

You will almost certainly have to wait in line for the test, and anxiety may spike during this time.

Prepare something to occupy their attention: games, novels, or a tablet loaded with games, movies, and headphones.

Utilize a comfortable posture

Throughout the exam, keep your kid close to you, either on your lap or with your arm wrapped over them. This is not a posture of restriction, but rather one in which the youngster may find solace in your presence.

“Restraint does not assist, even though it may help you get through that specific surgery,” McMurtry said.

“You’re creating a situation in which someone is really fearful for the next time.”

For some youngsters, gently holding their forehead may be beneficial in assisting them in keeping their head steady. Click here to check some of the critical steps you may be missing while taking rapid antigen tests.

Remind your youngster of the purpose of the plan.

As part of your preparations, you informed your children of what to anticipate. Now is the moment to remind them of their responsibilities.

Consider looking up, closing your eyes, taking long breaths, and remaining completely motionless.

Discuss with your kid what they did well.

This will assist your kid in recalling what occurred throughout the exam and focusing on the good aspects of the encounter when they reflect on the experience.

McMurtry said that this method is applicable to any unpleasant but essential event.

“This is about more than COVID testing,” she said.

“It’s also about children’s confidence and comfort throughout medical treatments in general. And we want to equip them in such a manner that they feel secure, capable, and trusting of physicians and parents.”

There are now a plethora of alternatives for viral screening, including at-home rapid antigen tests that can be bought over the counter and provide results in a matter of minutes in certain circumstances. The leading physician in Chicago has emphasized the advantages of doing COVID-19 rapid antigen tests at home for rapid and simple screening.

“It’s the one that you can take home and get a result in 15 minutes,” Dr. Allison Arwady, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, stated during a recent Facebook Live event. “It’s comparable to a pregnancy test. You immediately notice it.”

With the increase in demand for COVID-19 rapid antigen tests in Chicago and Illinois, here are ten things to know about testing at home:

1. At-home testing is classified into two broad categories. There are self-collection kits that allow for the collection of saliva or nasal samples at home and sending them to a laboratory for analysis. These are generally polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, rapid antigen tests performed to determine the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19’s genetic material.

The second kind is quick antigen testing performed at home, in which a nasal sample is taken and the patient also conducts the rapid antigen tests, which identifies certain …