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COVID-19 Specialist

EC Primary Care Physicians

Board Certified Primary Care Practitioners & Board Certified Pediatrician located in Columbia, MD

The COVID-19 virus has dictated the behavior of people around the world for over a year now as governments, health care providers, and individuals work to control the spread. At EC Primary Care Physicians, PA, in Columbia, Maryland, Nadeem Hashmi, MD, and the team offer COVID-19 testing to qualified patients. To find out if you qualify for a test, call EC Primary Care Physicians, PA, or book your visit online today.

COVID-19 Q & A

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19, known to many as coronavirus, is a contagious virus and the cause of widespread closures and mask mandates. The disease usually causes respiratory issues and mild to moderate symptoms in most healthy people who get it. 

Elderly patients and people with underlying illnesses like cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are at risk of severe complications. Since COVID-19 is highly infectious, it’s important for everyone to take precautions to slow its spread, like wearing masks in public and keeping a safe physical distance from others. 

Symptoms and complications from COVID-19 can vary based on your overall health and other factors. Common symptoms include:

  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Loss of taste
  • Loss of smell
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Congestion

If you experience shortness of breath, you should call EC Primary Care Physicians, PA, right away and describe your symptoms. Your provider can help you figure out which steps to take next.

How does COVID-19 testing work?

EC Primary Care Physicians, PA, uses the Quest Scientific COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Your provider uses a nasopharyngeal swab to gather a sample from far in the back of your sinus via your nostril. They test the sample for nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2, the virus associated with COVID-19.

With this test, there is a possibility of a false-negative result. This means that a negative result doesn’t necessarily mean you’re completely clear of the virus. You should still behave safely to prevent the spread. 

You should schedule an evaluation for a COVID-19 test only if you have symptoms or have been exposed to someone who received a positive COVID-19 test result. When your provider approves you for a test, you must bring along an identification card. 

What should I know about the COVID-19 vaccine?

The state of Maryland prioritizes distribution of the vaccine to these groups:

  • Health care providers and front line hospital staff
  • Nursing home staff and residents
  • Emergency medical workers, firefighters, and law enforcement
  • Correctional officers and staff
  • Front line judiciary staff

The authorized vaccines require two doses. They teach your immune system to recognize the virus and prevent future infections. It takes several weeks for you to develop immunity after your vaccine, and infection may still occur in those who are vaccinated, so continue to practice social distancing and wear a mask until your community is protected. 

To find out more about COVID-19, the test, or the vaccine, call EC Primary Care Physicians, PA, today or book an appointment online at your convenience.