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  • Writer's pictureSerita Newton

COVID-19 Basic Information

We'll review the following information in this blog post:



The difference between other respiratory infections

Types of tests



#1 What causes COVID-19?

COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that creates a respiratory illness that ranges from no symptoms at all to mild, moderate, or severe symptoms. It spreads from an infected person's mouth or nose when they talk, cough, sneeze, or sing.

#2 What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Those who are asymptomatic will not have any symptoms and are unaware that they are infected unless they have been tested.

For those who experience COVID-19 symptoms, they will vary for each individual. Most persons will experience mild to moderate symptoms that do not require hospital treatment.

Those who are more susceptible to severe symptoms are those who have chronic underlying medical conditions which include, but are not limited to, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or lung disease.

Table of COVID symptoms
Go to the ER if you experience any of the severe symptoms

#3 How do I tell the difference between COVID-19 and other viral respiratory infections?

If you have loss your sense of taste/smell, only then you will be able to distinguish between COVID-19 and other viral respiratory infections.

COVID-19 mimics other viral respiratory infections such as the common cold, the flu, and sinus infections which makes it makes it difficult to diagnose without testing. If you have respiratory symptoms (cough, congestion, etc) AND diarrhea, then it is highly likely that you have COVID-19 because other viral respiratory infections do not cause GI symptoms.

Testing will be important in the diagnosis of COVID-19.

#4 What type of COVID-19 test should I take?

There are two different COVID-19 tests available. The PCR/NAAT test is the most accurate and only needs to be taken once. It can be in the form of a rapid test or sent off to the lab.

The other type of test is an Antigen test and it has a higher chance of false negatives in the first 5 days of symptoms. It is the most common type of rapid test and includes at-home COVID-19 tests.

The type of COVID-19 test you take depends on each individual circumstance.

If you are in the first 5 days of symptoms, then the at-home test [antigen] should be taken

every 24-48 hrs until positive or until 5th day of symptoms.

Please be sure to continue to socially distance yourself and wear a mask when you have to interact with others while you're awaiting test results.

#5 How do you treat COVID-19?

You treat COVID-19 with anti-viral medications because COVID-19 is a virus.

Antibiotics only target bacteria which mean that they will not work on the COVID-19 virus. A Z-pak [Azithromycin] is an antibiotic and it is not appropriate treatment for COVID-19.

Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine have not been found to be effective against COVID-19, nor have they been approved by the FDA for COVID-19 treatment.

Steroids, anti-inflammatory medications, are generally indicated in those that are hospitalized.

Those with severe COVID-19 symptoms that require hospitalization experience widespread inflammation due to a late and overactive response from the body's immune system.

It is during this 'late phase' of the infection that steroids are useful.

If you have other chronic medical conditions, such as Asthma, then steroids may be useful during the earlier phase of COVID-19 infection [days one-seven].

The anti-viral treatments that are available for outpatient [outside of the hospital] COVID-19 treatment include the following:

Oral COVID-19 Treatment

Monoclonal Antibody Treatment

IV Antiviral Treatment

#5 How do you prevent COVID-19?

COVID-19 will likely become apart of the common viral respiratory illnesses that we experience like the common cold and flu. To decrease the spread and severity of COVID-19:

  • Get vaccinated

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or used alcohol-based hand sanitizers

  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing

  • Wear a mask when in crowded or poorly ventilated settings when appropriate physical distancing is not possible

1981MD, LLC provides direct primary care services to adults (18+) at a flat rate via Telemedicine [AL, FL, MS, TN] and in our Office servicing the Metro Birmingham, Al area.

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For more information on how to receive COVID-19 treatment from 1981md, please visit

We do not administer the COVID-19 vaccine in our office

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