COVID-19 Testing Specialist

Spring Valley Internal Medicine

Internal Medicine located in Washington, DC & Bethesda, MD

Cases of COVID-19 continue to proliferate throughout the United States. Testing helps you get an accurate diagnosis and proper care. Testing is also paramount to know whether you should quarantine to prevent spread. The team at Spring Valley Internal Medicine in Washington, DC, and Bethesda, Maryland, offers COVID-19 testing so you can take the necessary steps to reduce transmission and take care of yourself. If you’ve been exposed or are showing symptoms, call the most convenient office to schedule your test or book your appointment online.

COVID-19 Testing Q & A

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus, meaning it’s not been previously identified or encountered. It’s not the same as other coronaviruses that manifest as the common cold.

COVID-19 causes no symptoms in some people while other people become extremely ill and many die. The long-term effects of a COVID-19 infection are unknown. The virus spreads quite easily but is controllable with proper hygiene, social distancing, and wearing a mask.

Who needs COVID-19 testing?

If you’ve been exposed to someone with an active case of COVID-19, it’s a good idea to get tested. Even if you have no symptoms, you can have the virus and transmit it to other people who may get severely ill.

You should definitely get tested if you’re exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever or chills
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Researchers discover new things about the COVID-19 virus regularly, so more symptoms may be added to this list as virus infections increase.

Symptoms show up 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

How does COVID-19 spread?

Respiratory droplets carry the COVID-19 virus. When you sneeze, cough, talk, yell, or sing, you expel these droplets that may land on surfaces or be breathed in by people near you. The virus also may be passed when droplets land on a surface that you touch and then touch your face.

What types of COVID-19 testing is available?

COVID-19 tests consist of a viral test and an antibody test.

If you have symptoms or think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, you need the viral test. This test tells you if you currently have the condition and may be contagious.

The antibody test tells you if you had COVID-19 at some point in the past. The antibody test is the most accurate 1-3 weeks after a COVID infection has resolved. Your body needs this time to make the antibodies detected by the test. 

It’s not currently clear if antibodies give you protection from getting COVID-19 again and how long this potential protection lasts. 

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19?

If you’re found to have COVID-19, you’re sent home to recover. To prevent spread, stay at home and away from other people, even if you feel okay.

At home, you should avoid everyone in your household, even immediate family. Isolate yourself in a separate room and use a dedicated bathroom, if possible. If you do need to come in contact with other people, wear a mask.

While recovering from COVID-19 at home, stay in touch with the team at Spring Valley Internal Medicine. If you notice a worsening of your symptoms, contact the office right away to get the care you need.

COVID-19 testing can help the community manage the outbreak and ensure you get the care you need if infected. Call Spring Valley Internal Medicine if you’re concerned you may have the virus or book an appointment online.