Written by Bernie Carr
I have been reading a new book by William Forgey, M.D., called The Prepper’s Guide to Surviving Pandemics, Bioterrorism and Infection Disease. In case you’re wondering, Dr. Forgey is a full-time practitioner of family medicine and is also a member of the board of trustees of the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers, a fellow of the Explorers Club, and a past president of the Wilderness Medical Society. He also wrote The Prepper’s Medical Handbook, which is also a great resource.
I’ve always wondered if it was possible to get a false negative COVID-19 test but still feel sick with COVID-19. In the book, Dr. Forgey explains it is possible, and what to do if it happens.
What do you do if the test is negative, but you are sick with COVID-19 symptoms?
Some of the rapid tests that look at antigens may be fooled by a variant. Also, as seen in the discussion on testing accuracy, there may false negative tests even under the best of circumstances. In this situation, it is best to have a repeat test, perhaps using a different technique (rather than an antigen test, perhaps a PCR test). In medical parlance, this is called orthgonal testing. It is basically any method of testing-or test kit, which could be the same type of test-that provides a different sensitivity or specificity.
If you are ill, even with a negative test:
– Treat yourself as if you do have COVID-19. Rest and use acetaminophen for fever and aches. Severe joint pain might respond better to a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen.
– Follow your fever course with a good thermometer.
– Obtain a pulse oximeter and follow your percentage blood oxygen level. If it drops below 94 percent and your feeling weak and ill, go to the hospital. If it drops below 90 percent, you are in trouble and must go immediately to the hospital.
I cannot overemphasize the important of rest and adequate hydration. If you have risk factors for complications from this illness (age, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.) call your local hospital as you may qualify for infusion of antibodies (either monclonal or hopefully polyclonal) and other antiviral therapy early in the disease course. Self-treating with other modalities such as vitamin D, zinc, and so on, is not a substitute for reaching out for the latest version of antifiral therapy that has been developed by modern science.
This is a disease that can progress very gradually. In might incubate with a mild onset and there suddenly become explosive in its behavior. If you have appropriate symptoms, particularly aching, malaise, and fever, even with a negative test, take care of yourself and reach out for help if your condition seems to worsen.SOURCE: William Forgey, M.D., The Prepper’s Guide to Surviving Pandemics, Bioterrorism and Infection Disease.
About the book
The Prepper’s Guide to Surviving Pandemics, Bioterrorism and Infection Disease is an informative book. It contains a lot of other fascinating and useful information about current and past pandemics. You don’t have to consider yourself a prepper to read this book. You’ll learn relevant information on different types of testing, accuracy, minimal infectious dose of the virus, vaccines, how it spreads, herd immunity and a lot more. I won’t lie and say everything is super simple – there is some technical information to follow, but written so that you don’t need a medical background to understand it. I like the practical and down to earth style the information is presented. I did receive a review copy, but even if I hadn’t, I do feel it is worth saving a space in your library for this book.
The final word
Regarding the title question: What If You Test Negative for COVID-19 but Feel Sick with Symptoms? Don’t try to tough it out. Even with a negative test, if you are feeling very sick with symptoms, and especially if you start to feel worse, go to the hospital for treatment. I wish I had read this before I had gotten sick, I would’ve gone to the hospital sooner.
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Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Bernie’s latest e-book, FRUGAL DIY has just been released on Amazon. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and Clark.com, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.