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COVID-19: Testing to Treat

Many have heard the phrase, “Test to Treat,” but what is the reasoning behind the initiative? Since the onset of the pandemic, various treatment options are now available. However, in order for the treatments to work, most must be started within five days of when symptoms begin. Therefore, testing is imperative. The sooner people are tested, the sooner they can self-isolate and limit the spread of the disease while simultaneously receiving such treatments as oral antiviral medications or monoclonal antibody therapies. These types of treatments have proved to help prevent hospitalization and death from COVID-19. However, it is important to recognize that treating COVID is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Once an infection has been identified, patients should consult with their primary care physician to determine the best treatment option for them. Although treatment options are available, vaccination continues to provide the best protection against COVID-19. So, we encourage individuals to consider receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and stay up to date on eligible booster doses. 

Here are some key takeaways:

  1. Do you have or suspect you have COVID?
    • If you think you may have contracted COVID-19, schedule a test at a local testing facility or administer a self-test. 
    • If you have tested positive for COVID-19, inform your doctor and follow the CDC’s recommendations for self-isolation. Those who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness may be candidates for oral antiviral treatment or monoclonal antibody therapy. Both forms of treatment have been proven to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death.
  2. Why is testing so important?
    • Getting tested for COVID-19 is critical in order to reduce the spread and effectively treat it. As mentioned above, most treatments must be administered within five days of a positive test or the start of symptoms. 
  3. What are my therapeutic options? 
    • Fighting COVID-19 continues to be a top priority in medical research and pharmaceutical development. Treatment for COVID-19 depends on the severity of the infection. Some therapeutics include:
      •  Oral antiviral pills—Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s Lagevrio (Molnupiravir) are used to treat mild to moderate cases of COVID-19. If eligible, this treatment is administered through a series of pills taken over a specified length of time.
      • Monoclonal Antibodies– Monoclonal antibodies are medicines that act like your own antibodies. After entering your body, monoclonal antibodies attach to the spike protein that sticks out of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. After attaching, they work to block the virus’s ability to enter cells and decrease the rate of infection. This type of treatment is NOT a replacement for the vaccine. It will only treat current COVID-19 infections.

At Primary Health Network, we are administering the Moderna vaccine for those 18+ and the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11, offering on-site testing and other COVID-19 therapeutics. For more information, please visit https://primary-health.net/COVID-19.aspx. 


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