COVID-19 update: WE have test kits!
- COVID-19 PCR Testing now available at 411 Pediatrics.
- COVID-19 Rapid antigen testing coming soon.
- Flu shot preparations.
- Update on well checks.
- Blood Types and severity of COVID-19.
- Decisions on activities.
Hello again! We are back with some key updates about testing and other burning questions you probably have.
A few quick housekeeping items first:
>If your child is scheduled for a well child visit and he or any family member has ANY symptoms of illness —no matter how minor it may seem (runny nose, cough, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, fever); or anyone in your family is waiting on COVID-19 test results, please reschedule the well check for another day. We are trying to protect everyone.
>When you arrive for your appointment, please call the office outside the front door to review COVID-19 screening questions prior to entry.
- COVID-19 PCR testing now available!
PCR testing is the most accurate way to test for current infection with COVID-19. It looks for the virus genetic code (RNA). Our office has obtained a limited number of test kits. We hope to get more in the coming weeks. Here are the details:
- We will perform the nose swabs by appointment only starting on July 21, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4-5pm in our parking lot.
- We will send specimens to a private lab by UPS/Fedex. Results should be back in 3-4 days.
- Testing procedure fee is $25 and the test itself is billed to your insurance.
- Due to limited availability, we are only able to test our patients (not parents).
- We need your help! The test accuracy depends on the quality of a deep nose swab (nasopharynx) which feels uncomfortable and hurts even more if the patient squirms and jerks backwards. We will ask your child to freeze like Elsa or a statue. Practice at home. If you have young or anxious children, watch this Mayo Clinic video with them.
- For people who are exposed to COVID-19, but do not have any symptoms, testing for infection is most accurate 5—8 days after the exposure. We will determine the optimal time for your child to be tested based on that.
2. COVID-19 Rapid antigen testing coming soon!
Antigen testing is the quicker (but less accurate) test for active COVID-19 infection. It looks for protein fragments of the virus. The test will be done in our office with a nose swab and takes 15-60 minutes for results. Test is less accurate than PCR test in detecting virus but a positive result confirms diagnosis. Patients with symptoms and a negative antigen test should get a PCR Test.
We were fortunate to obtain a contract for the Sofia/Quidel tests but we do not have the machine yet. We hope to have it in the next few weeks.
- Flu shot preparations. Flu vaccine shipments arrive in late August or September. With COVID-19, we will modify our usual flu shot walk-in clinics. We need your help to make flu shot visits as quick and touch-free as possible. Please take a moment now to check your portal account to be sure we have current profile, contact, and insurance information. Send us any updates via the portal.
- Update on well checks. Please schedule your child’s well check now. The need for sick visits will increase as cold and flu season overlaps with COVID-19. We will reduce the number of daily well child visit appointments available to adjust and keep well child visits separate from sick visits during office hours.
- Blood types and severity of COVID-19. This has become a popular question! One preliminary study raised concerns that people with A blood type may be at greater risk of severe COVID-19 infection compared to those with O blood type. But a more recent study debunked this theory and you can read the details about it in this Harvard Medical School In case you are curious, newborns do not routinely get their blood type tested, so we probably do not have your child’s blood type in our records. Hospitals only test a newborn’s blood type if the mom has O blood type because a O mom and baby with A or B blood type can potentially lead to severe jaundice. And, in the event of needing an emergency blood transfusion, everyone gets O- blood anyway.
- As the pandemic wears on, many of you are trying to decide what is ‘safe’ for your child to do. But when our positivity rate and cases in Austin hover around Stage 5, it is important to remain vigilant and selective about any activities outside the home. Texas Medical Association has a helpful guide to compare risks of different activities. In short, outdoor and more solitary activities (running, tennis) are safer than indoor and group activities (basketball, dance class). It may be helpful to explain to your children that once our community spread drops, it will be safer for everyone to do the things we want and need to do.
|COVID-19 and school, COVID-19 antigen testing 411 Pediatrics