COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus (a type of coronavirus). Its symptoms can range from mild flu-like symptoms (fever, dry cough, dyspnea, malgias …) to more serious forms such as pneumonia, sepsis…
The SARS-CoV-2 PCR test gives us information on whether the individual is in a contagious phase.
The serological study informs us whether the individual has been in recent (IgM) or distant (IgG) contact with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
It is important to keep in mind that measuring contact with the coronavirus (serological study) is not enough to diagnose COVID-19 and it does not tell us whether or not you are contagious at this time (which would be assessed by a PCR test).
IgM (-) | IgG (-): This result indicates that there has been no contact with the virus. If you have symptoms of disease, a PCR test is recommended.
IgM (+) | IgG (-): This result indicates that the infection has been very recent and that the disease is in the acute phase. A PCR test is recommended to determine if it is in the contagious phase.
IgM (+) | IgG (+): This result indicates that the infection is relatively recent but has already developed antibodies. A PCR test is recommended to determine if it is in the contagious phase.
IgM (-) | IgG (+): This result indicates that the patient has antibodies and therefore the infection has passed. It is not necessary to perform a PCR test.
In case of obtaining a positive result in PCR, it should be evaluated by a doctor to evaluate the hemodynamic stability, the presence of respiratory distress and / or the need to go to a hospital.
- Home isolation until symptoms cease
- Family members and cohabitants should stay in a different room, having minimal contact with the case. Avoid direct contact with body fluids, especially oral or respiratory secretions, and feces. Items of personal use such as toothbrushes, glasses, plates, cutlery, towels, etc. should not be shared.
- The patient must remain in a room or room for individual use with the door closed until the isolation is completed. If it is essential to go to the common areas of the home, you should use a surgical mask and perform hand hygiene when leaving the room. Common areas will be well ventilated. You can communicate through an intercom or mobile.
- Inside the room or room, a garbage can should be placed, with a pedal opening lid, and inside a plastic bag that closes hermetically for waste.
- The patient should wash their hands frequently with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing or handling tissues that they have used to cover themselves when coughing. You can also use hydroalcoholic solutions if available.
- It is recommended to have hygiene utensils for individual use and products for hand hygiene such as soap or hydroalcoholic solution.
- The towels must be for exclusive use and dry. They will need to be changed periodically.
- All cohabitants should wash their hands with soap and water or hydroalcoholic solution after any contact with the sick person or their immediate surroundings.
- If the case under investigation is a nursing mother, breastfeeding is discouraged until infection is ruled out or confirmed. In the latter case, you must follow what is indicated by the corresponding health personnel. In any case, you should wear a mask when you are around your baby and perform careful hand hygiene before close contact with the baby.
- Family members and partners will be informed that, if the patient is an investigational case and becomes a confirmed case, they will be considered contacts.
- Family members, cohabitants and caregivers will self-monitor the appearance of symptoms of acute respiratory infection such as fever, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing; consulting with health services if they appear.
There are two diagnostic tests: PCR and rapid antigenic test. If PCR is performed, the isolation should be maintained until its result is known *. If a test is done for being a case contact and it is negative, the quarantine will be saved.
- If you have COVID (symptoms and POSITIVE test): 10 days from the beginning of the symptoms, as long as it has been at least 3 days without illness.
- If the test is POSITIVE but without symptoms (ASYMPTOMATIC): 10 days from the day you were tested.
- If the test is NEGATIVE but with a close PRIOR CONTACT **, but no longer, with a positive person: 10 days of quarantine from the day after the last day of contact.
- If the test is NEGATIVE but with a MAINTAINED CONTACT, without the possibility of isolation, with a positive person: 20 days of quarantine; the 10 days after the isolation of the positive case with which they live, plus the 10 after the last day of contact with the possibility of contagion.
* A symptomatic person with a negative test does not require isolation, but if the result is not immediate (CRP), they must wait in isolation until it is known.
** Close contact: it is defined as more than 15 min less than 2 meters away from a person with a positive test, from 2 days before it had started with COVID symptoms or from 2 days before the detection of the positive test, in the case of asymptomatic patients.