The medical information provided in testing for coronavirus, Wuhan virus, China virus and Coronaviridae is for informational purposes only,
and is not to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice,
diagnosis or treatment. Please contact your health care provider with
questions you may have regarding medical conditions or the
interpretation of test results.
In the event of a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.
. coronavirus infection in nasal secretions, blood, or other body fluids. Coronaviruses are types of viruses
that infect the respiratory system. (Most positive coronavirus tests do NOT mean you have the coronavirus disease of 2019). Coronavirus infections) are found in both animals and
people. Coronavirus infections in people are common throughout the
world. They don't usually cause serious illness. Serious coronavirus infections can "sometimes lead to pneumonia. Pneumonia is a life-threatening condition in which fluid builds up in the lungs".
Three of these new coronaviruses have been discovered in recent years:
SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), a serious
and sometimes fatal respiratory illness. It was first discovered in
China in 2002 and spread around the world. An international effort
helped quickly contain the spread of disease. There have been no new
cases reported anywhere in world since 2004. MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome), a severe
respiratory illness discovered in Saudi Arabia in 2012. The illness has
spread to 27 countries. Only two cases have been reported in the United
States. All cases have been linked to travel or residence in or around
the Arabian Peninsula. COVID-19
(coronavirus disease 2019). It was discovered in late 2019 in Wuhan
City, in the Hubei Province of China. Most infections have occurred in
China or are related to travel from Hubei Province. There have been some
cases reported in United States. The outbreak is being closely
monitored by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health
How is it used?
Coronavirus testing is used to help diagnose infections and help prevent the spread of disease.
Why do I need a coronavirus test?
You may need testing if you have symptoms of infection and
have recently traveled to parts of the world where infection rates are
high. You may also need testing if you have had close contact with
someone who has traveled to one of those areas.
Symptoms of coronavirus infections include:Fever Cough Shortness of breath Sore throat Headache Symptoms of COVID-19 are usually milder than those of SARS and MERS.
The symptoms of COVID-19 (like the symptoms of a cold or a flu) include:
Fever, Cough, Shortness of breath. Parts of the world that may put you at risk for infection:China, which has a high rate of COVID-19
infections. Currently the CDC is recommending that people avoid all
nonessential travel to China.The Arabian Peninsula. There are no known current
cases of MERS in the United States. But if you have symptoms and have
recently traveled there, you should be tested for the infection.
If you have symptoms and have not traveled to one of these
areas or been exposed to someone who has, it's highly unlikely that you
have one of these new coronaviruses. You may have another type of virus,
such as the flu. The flu is much more common in the United States than the new coronaviruses. Flu
| Flu Symptoms | Stomach Flu | Influenza | MedlinePlusDo you know the
difference between a cold and the flu (influenza)? Or looking for
information on the "stomach fl...
What happens during coronavirus testing?
If your provider thinks you may have COVID-19, he or she will contact
the CDC or your local health department for instructions on testing.
You may be told to go to a special lab for your test. Only certain labs
have been allowed to do tests for COVID-19.
There are a few ways that a lab may get a sample for testing.
Swab test. A health care provider will use a special swab to take a sample from your nose or throat. Nasal aspirate. A health care provider will inject a saline solution into your nose, then remove the sample with gentle suction. Tracheal aspirate. A health care provider will put a
thin, lighted tube called a bronchoscope down your mouth and into your
lungs, where a sample will be collected. Sputum test. Sputum is a thick mucus that is
coughed up from the lungs. You may be asked to cough up sputum into a
special cup, or a special swab may be used to take a sample from your
nose. Blood. A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm.
The FDA has approved more widespread use of a rapid test for
COVID-19. The test, which was developed by the CDC, uses samples from
the nose, throat, or lungs. It enables fast, accurate diagnosis of the
virus. The test is now allowed to be used at any CDC-approved lab across
Will I need to do anything to prepare for this test?
Your health care provider may ask you to wear a facemask to your
appointment. Your provider will let you know if you should take other
steps to prevent the spread of infection.
Are there any risks to the test?
You may feel a tickle or a gagging sensation when your nose or throat
is swabbed. The nasal aspirate may feel uncomfortable. These effects
There is a minor risk of bleeding or infection from a tracheal aspiration.
There is very little risk to having a blood test. You may have slight
pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most
symptoms go away quickly.
What do the results mean?
If your results were positive, it means you probably have a
coronavirus infection. There is no specific treatment for these
infections, but your health care provider may recommend steps to relieve
your symptoms. These include:
Drinking plenty of fluids Resting Taking over-the-counter pain relievers You may need to go to the hospital if your symptoms get worse, which
may be a sign of pneumonia. Symptoms of pneumonia include a worsening
cough, increased trouble breathing, and a high fever.
If you were diagnosed with a coronavirus infection, you should also take the following steps to prevent others from getting sick: Stay home, except to get medical care. Wear a facemask when you are around other people. Do not share drinking glasses, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items with people in your home. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue, not your hands. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water for at
least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an
alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. If your results were negative, you may need further testing and/or an
exam by your provider. Until you get a diagnosis, you will still need
to take steps to prevent spreading the infection.
Is there anything else I need to know about coronavirus testing? You can lower your risk of getting an infection by taking the following steps:
Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water for at
least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an
alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. When possible, keep away from people who are coughing and sneezing. Clean frequently-touched objects and surfaces with a household disinfectant spray or wipe.
Get the latest information on COVID-19.
Related Health Topics
Coronavirus Infections Coronavirus
Infections | Coronavirus | MedlinePlusCoronaviruses are common viruses
that most people get some time in their life and cause upper-respiratory