Ever since the Coronavirus (Covid-19) was first identified in Wuhan, China, everyone has been cautious and wary about their surroundings and health. Towards the end of March 2020, everyone who became sick or had the slightest symptoms of flu were encouraged to go for a Covid 19 test. This will help determine whether the individual has the virus. Fast forward to a year later, there are sales of antigen rapid test kits in Singapore for anyone who wants to purchase it. This makes it more convenient for individuals.
The Covid-19 disease first came about on 17 November 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei, China. To prevent an outbreak from happening, the Chinese government tried their best to contain the spread of it. However, it was not successful. From there, it started to spread to other parts of mainland China and around the world.
On 30 January 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) is a formal declaration by the World Health Organisation (WHO). It is an extraordinary event which is determined as a public health risk through the international spread of disease. Later on 11 March 2020, it was declared as a pandemic.
Since the start of 2021, there are many different varieties and forms of the virus. With Delta, Alpha and Beta variants being the most common and severe form among every other variant. As of today, there are more than 221 million cases around the world and an estimate of 4.57 million deaths have been confirmed. Making Covid-19 one of the deadliest pandemics in world history.
The symptoms for the Covid-19 vary and range from mild symptoms to severe illness. The common symptoms are:
- Loss of smell and taste
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Breathing difficulties
As you can see, the symptoms of Covid-19 are very similar to the symptoms of having a flu. However, different people tend to react to the virus differently, meaning that there are other symptoms you should look out for. There are 3 common clusters of the Covid-19 symptoms that has been identified:
- Respiratory symptom cluster – cough, shortness of breath, fever and sputum (mucus that is coughed up from the lower airways)
- Musculoskeletal symptom cluster – muscle or joint pain, headache and fatigue
- Digestive symptom cluster – abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea
Of everyone who showed symptoms around the world, 81 percent developed mild to moderate symptoms. 14 percent developed severe symptoms and 5 percent suffered critical symptoms. Critical symptoms include respiratory failure, shock and/or multiorgan dysfunction.
Like other infections, there is a delay from when someone first becomes infected and the appearance of the first symptoms. The delay is roughly about 4 to 5 days. Most people tend to experience the symptoms within 2 to 7 days after being infected, and almost all will experience at least a symptom within 12 days after being infected.
The transmission of the disease is mainly airborne. When people inhale droplets and small airborne particles that infected people breathe out as they talk, cough, sing, shout or even breathe. The transmission of the virus is higher when the infected person is physically close. Infections can also occur over long distances, especially if it is indoors. People who are infected tend to remain contagious for up to 20 days after getting infected. Even if you do not exhibit any symptoms, you can still spread the disease to others.
The standardised testing of Covid-19 is by performing a nasopharyngeal swab on the suspected infected person. A nasopharyngeal swab is a method of collecting a test sample of the nasal secretions from the back of the nose or the back of the throat of a person. The sample is then tested for diseases like SARS, MERS and Covid-19. Other than the nasopharyngeal swab, chest scans can also help identify the infection for patients who are highly suspected of having Covid-19 but cannot do the nasopharyngeal swab.
However the government has put in place antigen rapid test kits for anyone who wants to test for Covid-19 themselves. You will be able to find the antigen rapid test kits at pharmacy stores like watsons or guardians. These test kits are a quick screening tool to help pick out any possible infections. The results from these antigen test kits tend to be faster than the normal nasopharyngeal swab which can take hours of days to get the results.
To help combat against the virus, the Singapore government has provided food and business places free antigen rapid test kits for the employees to test once every week. This will help stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus and prevent a new cluster from forming. By testing once every 2 weeks, it will ensure that the employees at the restaurant, cafe or bar are healthy and do not have any infectious disease.
It is important to do regular medical check ups or going to the doctor when you have any symptoms of the Covic-19 virus. Testing helps to determine whether an individual is infected and they can be treated as soon as possible. By doing this, you are helping to take measures to prevent the spread of the infection. Even if you are vaccinated, you should be wary of your surroundings and health. This is because even with the vaccine, we are still able to get infected with the disease as the vaccine is not 100 percent effective. That is why it is always good to take care of yourself.
Some preventative measures to help fight against the Covid-19 virus would be:
- Stay at home
- Avoid crowded places
- Wear a mask when you are not eating or drinking
- Keep a distance from strangers if possible
- Get vaccinated
- Washing your hands with soap
- Sanitize regularly
- Avoid touching you eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
- Ventilate indoor space
None of us are sure how long this Covid-19 virus is going to last. It may be part of our lives forever. Even then, we have to try our hardest not to spread the virus around. So whenever you feel like you are coming down with a flu, head down for a Covid-19 test. If not, you can get the antigen rapid test kit in Singapore. We should all do our part to overcome this pandemic together as a country.