The outbreak of any communicable disease such as the SARS-COV-2 or coronavirus as it commonly called usually triggers actions and reactions from the public as people usually feel like they are going to be on the receiving end. Due to this, the response of health professionals and medical experts who everyone else looks up to is very crucial. The appropriate response by public health officials was to advise the public on the best ways to avoid contracting the infection and to begin administering tests to those most at risk.
Preventing infection is the best option for public health because it helps to nip the problem in the bud before it becomes a health crisis like the current COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. A pandemic is what happens due to a failure to contain a local outbreak of disease as we witnessed in 2020. Some of the reasons why the coronavirus spread quickly were because many carriers of the virus were asymptotic and testing was not readily available to those at risk. Consequently, the virus was carried across borders especially by people who were unaware of their positive virus status. Therefore, it was only a matter of time before it crossed the borders of Uganda.
Following the outbreak of the coronavirus, it soon became apparent that testing is a major part of fighting the disease. This is because it allows us to identify and isolate positive cases and trace their contacts, processes that have long been used in disease epidemiology. This not only allows targeted intervention but also helps to limit the risk of spreading the disease. Therefore, when a risk of infection is suspected, testing for the virus is the recommended common sense action to take.
Why you should test for the coronavirus
There are several reasons why coronavirus testing is carried out, which we listed below. Go through the list to understand why you may need a coronavirus should one or more of them apply to you. If so, you should immediately contact a healthcare provider to help you get tested. Alternatively, you can also contact TestXpress and we would immediately arrange testing for you.
Here are some of the reasons why you may need a coronavirus test:
- Testing for the COVID-19 will lead to prompt and fast identification of positive cases anywhere around the community, area or country where the virus has been reported. If you or anyone around your axis happens to be found positive for the coronavirus, quickly identifying it is an advantage to the health workers and everyone else in the management of the infection.
- You should test for coronavirus to have quick treatment, which can save your life and others around you. If you had exposed yourself by not following the guidelines to protect yourself against the coronavirus, then you should go for a test immediately.
- When you take a test to know if you have been infected with the coronavirus, the first action you would be advised to take is to isolate yourself for about 14 days. This is a standard procedure done for preventing the spread of the virus especially if you are positive but asymptomatic or if the symptoms of the virus begin to show up after a while. This is because asymptomatic carriers can spread the virus to others who may suffer severely or even die from COVID-19.
- Another way to prevent the rapid spread of the coronavirus is to identify quickly all those who were exposed to a person who has been infected. In doing this, these persons can also be tested, isolated, managed and quickly treated for the virus. Because the coronavirus has no known cure for now, the prevention methods are to be followed judiciously. However, little, unexpected and seemingly unidentifiable slips in following the guidelines have led to some people becoming infected. Asymptomatic carriers who do not know they have been infected thus, going about their regular lives with friends and family, may infect others. It is only a coronavirus test that can help to identify such groups.
- Obviously, but unfortunately, not many countries can effectively manage the coronavirus pandemic. One of the issues that have led to this is a lack of appropriate testing, which remains very crucial for managing COVID-19. The summary of the importance of testing is that it helps in the identification, hence the isolation, hospitalization and treatment of infected persons. Where access to testing is not readily available, managing the disease becomes more challenging.
- On a larger scale, testing aids the public health workers, professionals and experts. Testing helps in the efforts to mitigate the spread of the infection. Data obtained from tests carried out, amongst other information, aids investigators in the characterization of how much the virus might have prevailed and spread. Also, information on how contagiousness of the infection, its effects in specific regions and on a particular group of people can be gathered by continuous testing.
- Further the coronavirus antibodies tests, helps us to determine if an individual had been infected with COVID-19 in the past even if the person was asymptomatic and had been infected several months past. This is because the disease triggers the immune system. We know that the function of the immune system is to fight and shield the body from foreign bodies such as viruses. Hence, the production and mobilization of several protective cells and molecules (called antibodies) are activated by the immune system. These go after the foreign bodies. After this initial raid, the virus will be recognized by the immune system if it returns and the immune system will shield the body from its effects by destroying it.
Why are antibodies important?
During a test, when a disease specific antibody is noticed, it means that there is evidence of a past infection or exposure to the virus. However, even though the individual in question is not infected anymore and is not in danger any longer, that information stating his or her past infection is very valuable to public health stakeholders.
Information regarding someone who had been infected and is now immune to it aids public health officials and other stakeholders to estimate the immunity level in a population. The effect of this is that a good percentage of immune persons is an addition to the group of immune people, which in essence, shields the larger number of a community or society. This essentially is how vaccines work to eradicate infections.
Another advantage of this is that coronavirus immune people can work safely in healthcare, public safety and service. Furthermore, they can also fit into settings with not much need for major personal protection.
This process of moving from not infected to infected and to the immune helps us to identify those whose plasma has coronavirus specific antibodies. In theory, this can be used in treating people with the disease by infusion, thus preventing severe complications.
In conclusion, when we look at the coronavirus wave and its effects, testing information gives us a bigger picture of the sum of factors controlling the presence or absence of this infection. Data and information put us in the driving seat when dealing with an enemy. What you do not know about can be either useless or dangerous to you. In this case, it is the latter.
Testing information can enable us to put bits and pieces together to get a lasting solution and put a final stop to this pandemic as quickly as possible.