MADISON COUNTY, Va. (WVIR/WHSV) — A Madison County man has tested positive for COVID-19.
The Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District announced on Monday, March 23, that the patient had mild symptoms and is being treated as an outpatient while staying isolated from the public.
The man, who health officials identified as being in his 50s, was already self-quarantined before he developed symptoms because he had been previously identified as a close contact of someone else with a confirmed coronavirus case.
As soon as symptoms appeared, he was tested.
Health officials will now be reaching out to anyone he may have been in contact with to ask them to self-quarantine for two weeks and monitor for symptoms.
“Social distancing is one of the most effective strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We all have a duty, and an opportunity, to do everything we can to protect ourselves, our loved ones and those around us,” RRHD Health Director Dr. Wade Kartchner said.
Who gets tested for the virus?
Currently, there are two main reasons someone would be tested for the coronavirus: having symptoms and/or exposure to an infected person.
The main symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, are fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. These look a lot like the flu and the common cold, so it takes a physician to determine if testing for the virus is necessary.
In our area, to received a test, you have to have both symptoms and also have either traveled to an area with confirmed COVID-19 cases or been in contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.
How does the coronavirus test work?
For a patient, the process of being tested for the virus is easy and can potentially be done almost anywhere. It typically involves taking a swab from deep in a patient’s nasal cavity to collect cells from the back of the nose.
The sample is then sent to a lab, where it will be tested to determine if the patient’s cells are infected with the virus. The same process is used to collect a sample from a patient who is tested for flu.
What to know about preventing the virus
Most people don't suffer much from COVID-19, but it can cause severe illness in the elderly and people with existing health problems.
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can cause mild to more severe respiratory illness. In a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can cause death, particularly among those who are older or who have chronic medical conditions. Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person. COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
To lower the risk of respiratory germ spread, including COVID-19, the Virginia Department of Health encourages the following effective behaviors:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Avoid contact with sick people.
• Avoid non-essential travel.