As the outbreak fans out across the country, many worry whether their symptoms indicate covid-19. In response, the city of San Antonio set up an online self screening tool to help individuals determine whether they need to test or not.
While not a diagnostic tool, the self screening questionnaire, available here, asks specific questions. The 9 simple questions allow for yes or no answers. For example, the first question asks if you have a temperature of 99.6 or higher.
Essentially, the questions utilize basic information regarding symptoms. While a lot of information exists online, this self screening tool distills common symptoms into brief, easy to answer questions.
If answers align with covid-19 symptoms and indicate inclusion in an at-risk group, the results recommend testing. Furthermore, the results provide valuable information for those not recommended to get tested. It offers links to preventative measures and other educational content.
Metro Health Director Dawn Emerick noted while the tool doesn’t replace diagnostic tools, it provides a valuable resource to those frightened they may be infected. “This webpage is a useful screening tool, to provide assurance and direction for possible next steps,” she said.
She also noted not everyone needs to test.
Primarily, testing focuses on the elderly, those with underlying health conditions, and anyone experiencing severe symptoms. Since testing resources in the US lack the capability to test anyone, officials urge those not requiring testing to simply stay home.
Examples of underlying health conditions include diabetes, high blood pressure, lung disease, and heart disease.
If you experience mild symptoms, officials urge you to self-isolate and stay home. Only seek a test and further medical treatment if your symptoms progress dangerously. Consultation with primary care physicians can assist you in determining the need for testing or possible hospitalization.
Ultimately, if you struggle to breathe, seek immediate health care. However, those experiencing symptoms akin to the common cold or flu can self-care at home.