Tampa Bay health officials clarify questions about testing – CBS Tampa

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) — Amid a further rise in coronavirus cases, Tampa Bay health officials are ahead of unanswered questions by breaking down the differences between PCR and rapid tests and what must be considered before picking one up.

“Rapid tests are great because they are exactly that – they are fast. They are less technologically sophisticated,” said Dr. Kami Kim, director of infectious diseases and international medicine for USF Health and Tampa General Hospital. She says you should consider your situation before deciding.

“The PCR test is more accurate. It is less likely to have what is called a false negative. In other words, if you have Covid, a PCR test is the gold standard,” Dr Kim said.

With huge demand for the PCR test, however, Dr Kim says it’s essential to assess your situation before making a decision. For example, medical professionals suggest that immunocompromised patients undergo the test you have access to at that time.

“Take whatever test you can get. If you are worried and symptomatic, you should contact your health care provider and see if it makes sense to go ahead and have a PCR test as well. But if you live a fast-paced lifestyle and need to know sooner, she says symptoms can outweigh preferences. “Getting tested quickly when you have symptoms is probably more important because you don’t want to pass it on to other people, you may have to make decisions about work and other types of things, so you may have to -get to know quickly,” Dr. Kim said.

What local doctors keep telling Floridians is that vaccinations and guidelines should be a top priority.

“If you are not vaccinated, you must get vaccinated. If you’re not boosted, you need to be boosted. Masks, distancing, everything we tried to do during the pandemic,” Dr Michael said. teng, also with USF Health.

“The vaccine works. It keeps people out of trouble until they land in the hospital,” Dr Kim said. “Wearing masks, keeping your distance, washing your hands, it makes a difference. Is it perfect? No.”

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