Everyone is different you have heard this regarding many issues, but this especially comes into the forefront as the healthcare system responds to the novel virus pandemic. Medicine is an art not a precise field of science. I listen to so many concerns, confusion, and complaints regarding all aspects of the pandemic. It is not fake, it is gravely real! In this blog, I want to offer some medical insights in an attempt to clarify and hopefully not confuse you more. Let’s start with recognizing the illness, well it is a virus, it is everywhere, and it needs a living ‘host’, us humans to multiple and then making us ill – ‘attack’ our organs. Allot more complicated than the common cold virus (there are many of them). We are all unique so how our bodies respond is different. How long it takes feel ill, if it causes illness at all varies – husband may get it bad and wife never turns positive! This brings me to the myriad of tests for the presence of the virus – SARS- CoV-2. There are so many all have varying accuracy. You can be sneezed upon by a COVID-19 ill person and it can take anywhere from 5-14 days for your test to turn positive.* Why? Well, for a test to pick up the presence of this virus it has to have multiplied a specific number of times, and how quickly it does that depends on our individual immunity. Has your body been primed by small dose exposures to the virus? No way to tell, I’m afraid. Why can a mother contract COVID-19 and feel better after 2 weeks yet not have a positive antibody test for 45 days, yet her son can have measurable antibodies – tested within 10 days of feeling better. You get the sense there is no fixed formula.
*CDC is considering at the time of this blog to shorten quarantine after finding that 50% become ill with symptoms in 5-6 days, 9% in 10 days while only 2% in 14 days.
Medicine is an art not an exact body of knowledge that can apply to all.