By Ted Karkus, CEO at ProPhase Labs |
Across the nation, attention has largely shifted from COVID-19 testing to vaccination. More people in the United States are now getting vaccinated and fewer people are getting tested for the novel coronavirus. The U.S. has continued a downward trend, with a 30% decrease in the number of daily COVID-19 tests, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.
I believe that every person in The United States has the power to help our country control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccinations do an excellent job of diminishing symptoms of Covid. However, those who are vaccinated can still become infected with Covid and with diminshed symptoms, unknowingly spread it to others. Therefore, we must not and should not lose sight that consistent COVID testing is critically important to the world’s ability to manage this virus.
By wearing a mask, washing our hands, social distancing and getting tested frequently, each of us can follow these proven public health practices that not only reduce our chance of getting infected, but they also reduce the risk for us infecting others.
Testing for COVID-19 is essential as we work towards a ‘normal world’ again. Testing can keep a close pulse on numbers by helping to determine for sure if someone is infected with SARS-CoV-2 – especially folks that are asymptomatic. Taking these measures seriously will help to slow the spread of the deadly virus and will be an effective strategy for getting us safely back to ‘normal life’.
With that said, here are some key points as to why widespread testing is necessary and still very important.
Testing Saves Lives
Case numbers remain high, and doctors still need to easily identify people who have contracted the virus so that they can receive the proper care. Therefore, testing of all people for COVID-19 is still important; this includes people who do not show any symptoms, those who are showing symptoms and people who might have been exposed to virus. Identifying those that are sick in a timely manner will continue to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Anyone that tests positive for COVID can sequester himself or herself – reducing the chances of infecting others and seeking treatment earlier.
For people who have been exposed to someone that has COVID, testing is essential as well. While a negative COVID test doesn’t mean that the person is in the clear, as they could become infectious later on, if someone does have a positive test, they know right away they need to isolate themselves and they can alert anyone that they have been in contact with so that they can get tested as well.
Lastly, for people that are asymptomatic, testing plays a major role here as well in order to provide a realistic snapshot of overall positive case numbers. Recent studies show that 59% of COVID cases stem from asymptomatic spread.
Testing Is Reliable, Easy and Quick
At ProPhase Labs, we offer saliva-based RT-PCR testing that can quickly detect and identify COVID-19 and any of its 17+ current viral mutations. This new, efficient, and cost-effective RT-PCR multi-viral testing product has been engineered to increase testing accuracy (99.7% accurate) and overcome the challenges of previous testing methods, limited samples and costly analysis. ProPhase Labs has significant capacity for testing that provides results in less than 24 hours.
A positive COVID test alerts an individual that they have the infection. Not only can they get treated faster, but they can take steps to minimize the spread of the virus. Therefore, it is so important to get the results quickly, ideally within 24 hours, which our COVID PCR testing can provide.
Preventing Another Pandemic
Many experts now believe that the coronavirus will become endemic, and it is unlikely that it will disappear completely. That said, even if the virus continues to circulate only at very low levels, it is important to keep track of it.
The virus will continue to mutate, and new genetic variants will emerge, and my prediction is that like the flu, even with vaccines available, COVID testing will continue to be important in knowing who may be sick with the virus. In addition, it will help to catch more deadly variants of the coronavirus early.