COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Infection with the virus can range from being asymptomatic to life-threatening respiratory illness. Infection has been detected globally and in all 50 states. Symptoms associated with COVID-19 include cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or new loss of taste or smell.
COVID-19 can present with severe illness in individuals of any age and without any previous health problems, but the risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age, with older adults at highest risk. Having underlying medical conditions may also increase one’s risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Conditions and other risk factors that may be associated with severe illness and death are listed below.
If you have any symptoms concerning for COVID-19 and any of the following conditions or risk factors, which may put you at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, you should consult with your healthcare provider before using this test:
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
- Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher)
- Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
- Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
- Liver disease
- Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
- Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus
Regardless of your risk status, if you are experiencing any of the following emergency warning signs for COVID-19, it is recommended that you immediately seek emergency care:
- Trouble breathing
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
Inability to wake up or stay awake
Bluish lips or face
Specimens that are self-collected will not be tested with an internal control to confirm that the specimen was properly collected. As such self-collected specimens from SARS-CoV-2 positive individuals may yield negative results if the specimen was not collected properly.
If you are experiencing severe symptoms of COVID-19 you should seek medical attention immediately. For more information visit here.