What You Need to Know About COVID Testing

A medical professional inserting a cotton swab into a tube reading “COVID-19” in Oak Lawn.

With COVID testing more essential than ever, it’s important to understand what it is and what options are available. COVID testing is a way to determine if someone has been infected with the novel Coronavirus and is the only way to accurately diagnose an active infection. 

With an increased understanding of the virus and its effects on the population, pediatric urgent care centers like Pediatrics on Demand in Oak Lawn are equipped to provide safe and reliable COVID testing for children and adults alike. We will provide an overview of what you need to know about COVID testing.

If you need COVID testing done or are interested in the COVID vaccine, Pediatrics on Demand is here to help. Contact us online or call (708) 424-0900 to learn more about our services.

Symptoms of COVID-19

COVID-19 is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The symptoms of COVID-19 can vary from person to person, and some individuals may not exhibit any symptoms at all. However, it’s important to be aware of the common symptoms so you can take the necessary steps to protect yourself and others.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include the following:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Fatigue

Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, and runny nose. In severe cases, COVID-19 can lead to pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and even death.

When to Get Tested for COVID-19

Getting tested for COVID-19 is an essential step in controlling the spread of the virus. If you think you might have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing any symptoms, getting tested as soon as possible is essential.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, the new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible. Additionally, if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or recently traveled to an area with high transmission rates, it is recommended to get tested even if you are not experiencing symptoms.

Types of COVID-19 Tests

Viral tests check for a current COVID-19 infection by testing samples from your nose or mouth. The two main types of viral tests are:

  1. NAATs (Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests): This works by amplifying the genetic material in a sample collected from the nose or throat using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This allows even a small amount of viral genetic material to be detected and analyzed, making NAATs a highly sensitive test for COVID-19.
  2. Antigen Tests: These tests are designed to identify infected individuals with the virus quickly. Antigen tests are often used in settings where rapid results are needed, such as point-of-care testing, screening programs, and outbreak investigations.

Get COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Services from Pediatrics on Demand

In these uncertain times, it’s essential to have access to reliable and professional medical care. At Pediatrics on Demand, we understand the challenges and concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are here to provide the support you need. Our pediatric doctors and certified professionals are committed to serving the community with the tools and services necessary to help us get through this pandemic together.

We offer COVID-19 testing and vaccines to ensure the safety and health of our patients and their families. To take the first step towards a healthier and safer future, contact us online or call (708) 424-0900 to schedule an appointment for COVID-19 testing or vaccination today.