(05/05/20) Over the last few months, health care officials have had to adapt and adjust their fight of the Coronavirus. While there have been some added symptoms, there is a main core of symptoms doctors still look for.

“The biggest things of concern for us still fever, cough, significant shortness of breath, anything effecting sense of smell, to rapid onset of breathing problems” said Dr. Billy Branch, M.D. Board Certified Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Glenwood Regional Medical Center.

The window to receive test results has also closed quite quickly, with testing becoming more widespread.

“Most primary care offices have pretty quick turn around now, you know two days I think, maybe even sooner in some cases for outpatient testing. In the hospital they have the ability to test within an hour” Branch said.

As well as newer, more accurate testing options.

“The next hot button topic is the antibody testing. It’s a pretty simple blood draw. Alot of places are drawing blood, send it, you have it back usually the next day or day after” Branch said.

And while there is still no definitive cure, a wide rage of treatments have become more available; “including antivirals, plasma infusions for patients who have had coronavirus with their antibodies, and then a lot of supportive care, so obviously ventilator and breathing status support for critically ill patients” Branch said.

Health officials will be more prepared in the future as hospitals are not over capacity due to social distancing.

“We’ll be ok, and there’s been some ability to catch up a bit, you know, for hospital and critical access as far as PPE, ventilators.” Branch said.

He also says the best way for residents to help them is to donate plasma if they test positive on the antibody test. This can help doctors treat the critically ill more effectively, potentially saving more lives.