Coronavirus in questions and answersArticle
03. 05. 2021
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the correct designation for the new strain of coronavirus identified in 2019. It causes a disease that is designated COVID-19. In animals, coronaviruses cause a broad range of diseases, often mutate (change) and can then infect other animal species, including humans. The name of this family of viruses is derived from their appearance – in a flat projection, they resemble a crown.
- How can I recognise that I may have the coronavirus? What are the most common symptoms?
The main symptoms of the disease include high temperature, a dry cough, loss of smell/taste, and fatigue.
Do you have rhinitis, sore throat, headache and a cough, or are you not sure if you have the symptoms of Covid-19? Ask Doctor online 24/7.
- I have a sore throat, rhinitis, a slightly elevated temperature around 37˚C, and faintness. Should I get tested or wait a few days and see if the symptoms subside?
If you have these symptoms, consult with your general practitioner – by telephone or e-mail if you have been in contact with a person who is positive for COVID-19. If such COVID-19 positive person and his/her contact (in this case, you) had their mouths and noses covered with a mask at all times (except for contact shorter than 15 minutes or at a distance of more than 1.5 meters) and you do not have symptoms, you will not have to go into quarantine. A condition is that the face covering may not be an improvised mask in the form of a scarf, t-shirt, etc. Monitor your health condition for ten days following your encounter with the COVID-19 positive person and in the event of problems lasting more than three days, contact your general practitioner by telephone. A physician or public health office will determine when, after any contact with the infected person, there is already demonstrable positivity and it is necessary to get tested.
If you have not come into contact with a COVID-19 positive person and you do not have another serious chronic illness, stay home. If the symptoms do not abate within three days, contact a physician.
- I recently met with someone who was COVID-19 positive or I am with such a person in the same household, or I have symptoms of a respiratory illness (cough, rhinitis, high temperature). What should I do?
Stay home. Contact your general practitioner or a public health office. The collection of a sample will be performed within 1-5 days following contact with the sick person. Because it usually takes several days for the disease to appear, it is necessary to comply with all measures in order to limit the transmission of the disease to other persons in your vicinity. You can spread the infection even if you feel healthy. The result of the test will be communicated to you by telephone or SMS message either by the laboratory or by the public health office. If the test result is positive, you will subsequently be contacted by an employee of the public health office.
- I recently met with someone who was COVID-19 positive or I am with such a person in the same household, or I have symptoms of a respiratory illness (cough, rhinitis, high temperature). I have been tested and the result is positive. What should I do?
You have COVID-19. Stay at home and avoid contact with people so that you do not spread COVID-19 further. Wait until you are contacted by telephone by an employee of the public health office (the date and time for contacting the public health authority depends on the current operational situation of the relevant public health authority), who will carry out an epidemiological investigation with you, or provide the information (questions about your contacts, etc.) online on the website of the public health office. You will then be informed of the next step to be taken. People with whom you have been in close contact in recent days and who the epidemiologist considers to be at risk will also be contacted by an employee of the public health office and they will also be required to have a sample taken. You will remain in isolation for a period determined by your general practitioner or by the public health office. Isolation is terminated if you no longer have any symptoms of the disease. The minimum period of isolation is ten days from the date of collection of a positive sample. It is not necessary to take another sample after you have recovered.
- I recently met with someone who was COVID-19 positive or I am with such a person in the same household, or I have symptoms of a respiratory illness (cough, rhinitis, high temperature). I have been tested and the result is negative. What should I do?
You will be ordered into quarantine (i.e. you will stay home and avoid contact with other people). The duration of quarantine is ten days. You may be ill, but have not yet displayed signs of the disease. Upon termination of quarantine, no follow-up test will be administered and you can return to your ordinary life.
- I live in a shared household with my husband and my adult son, who received an SMS that they are COVID-19 positive. My other adult son is negative. I do not have any symptoms. Should I go into quarantine or can I go to work? How should my other son proceed?
Even if you have been tested and you are negative, you must be in quarantine for ten days. Quarantine should end with a test. If you have not been tested, you should go for a test after five to seven days. A request form for the test should be issued to you. You have the option of choosing the testing location. You will then act accordingly based on a positive or negative result. If the result is negative, remain in quarantine. If the test is positive, contact your general practitioner by telephone.
- I have rhinitis, a cough and a high temperature, but I have not met with anyone who is demonstrably ill with the coronavirus and I do not live with any such person in a shared household.
You are probably suffering from an infectious disease other than COVID-19. However, such disease can be transmissible to other people. Therefore, it is appropriate to stay home throughout the period of clinical symptoms, refrain from coming into contact with other people and to follow your attending physician’s instructions. Because this does not involve COVID-19, you are not subject to government-mandated isolation.
- If a physician or the public health office determines that I should get tested, how do obtain a request form for a test?
The request form will be entered into the system electronically. If you wish to have the request form with you, ask the physician who issued it to print it out for you. Testing is necessary in the case of all epidemiologically significant contacts as well as when it is recommended by the public health authority or by a doctor. This applies for all age categories, including children. This involves a legal obligation; parents are obligated to take their children for testing. Testing of children is not different from testing of adults.
- How long is the request form valid?
If you have a request form, i.e. a physician or public health office has ordered you to undergo an examination, you will be tested as soon as possible.
- Can I go for a test without a request form from a doctor or public health office?
Yes, you can get tested as a private payer, in which case you do not need a request form. There are rules for undergoing an examination paid for by a health insurer. This refers to those who are ill and suffering from any of the symptoms (e.g. dry cough, loss of smell/taste, etc.) or for whom an examination has been ordered by a public health office.
- Where can I get tested?
In Prague, you can use four EUC Laboratories and clinics collection points. It is necessary to make an appointment for testing.
- Prague 6, Veleslavínská 30/1, (EUC Lab), Mon - Fri 8:00 – 16:00, Sat: 8:00 - 12:00 - reservation
- Prague 5, Kartouzská 204/6 (EUC Clinic, building B, přízemí), Mon - Fri 8:00 - 13:00 - reservation
- Prague 11, Šustova 1930/2 (EUC Clinic, paid parking area), Mon - Fri 8:00 - 13:00 - reservation
- Prague 20 - Horní Počernice, Náchodská 754 (Local public library), Mon - Fri 8:00 - 13:00 - reservation
For more information:
- How long do I have to wait for the test results and how will I be informed of the results?
Currently, test results are usually available within 48 hours; the client receives the results by secure e-mail (the password for opening the results is sent to the client via SMS).
- I am a foreigner and I do not have a Czech insurer – will you issue me a request form for testing or will I pay for the test?
If testing is ordered by a physician, we issue a request form; the client pays on the spot and then settles the issue with his/her insurer.
- I am a foreigner and I receive care by means of Direct Billing – how will I go about getting tested?
If a physician orders an examination, testing is carried out in the EUC Laboratories testing tent at Veleslavín Chateau (Veleslavínská 1/30, Prague 6).
- What should one do or not do when waiting for the test results? Proceed in the same manner as when in quarantine with a positive result?
Yes. You should stay home and wait for the test results.
- How is the nasopharyngeal swab test carried out? Is it painful?
The nasopharyngeal swab test is unpleasant, but it is not painful. The virus multiplies in the cells of the mucous membrane of the upper respiratory tract, so it is necessary to swab a piece of this mucous membrane so that the examination in the laboratory is as accurate as possible.
- How long does testing take?
The entire nasopharyngeal swab process takes a maximum of three minutes.
- What does the test result actually mean? There are different types of tests, one with a “stick in the nose”, another with a blood sample. What is the difference between them?
PCR tests for detecting the virus in the body are carried out with a nasopharyngeal swab. Antibody tests (ELISA) are carried out using venous blood, rapid tests with a drop of blood, and their results express the level of antibodies in the body, i.e. it is determined whether the person in question was infected with SARS-COV-2, i.e. COVID-19, in the past. If the PCR test is positive, it means that the SARS-COV-2 virus is present in the patient’s body.
- When is an antibody test sufficient, and when do I need a PCR test?
A PCR test is necessary if the patient needs to know whether or not he/she is infectious, or if such a test has been ordered by a physician or public health office (patients with symptoms). Antibody tests determine whether the patient has had COVID-19 or, as the case may be, may indicate an ongoing infection (IgM, IgA). However, this is encumbered with a “diagnostic window” – antibodies develop approximately 7-10 days after encountering the virus, i.e. if the test is performed during this period, the result could be a false negative.
- Can the test result be wrong, i.e. false positive/negative?
With antibody tests, yes (see the diagnostic window). With a PCR test, false negatives/positives occur only in a very small number of cases (if, for example, the patient is tested too soon after being infected). It is recommended that testing be done approximately five days after contact.
- COVID-19 vaccine
Although immunisation against COVID-19 is now available in the Czech Republic, the vaccines are currently only being administered in designated vaccination centres. Unfortunately, as of yet, we do not know when the vaccines will be available at our clinics, however, we would like to assure you that we are continuously monitoring the situation in cooperation with the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic. Information about the availability of the vaccine and the conditions for its administration will be available on our website as soon as practicable.
- What is antigen testing? Who can get an antigen test and how does it work? Where can I get tested?
It is a diagnostic measure used to determine the presence of the SARS CoV-2 virus antigen by means of a POC (point-of-care) antigen test. A sample is collected via a nasopharyngeal smear. As of the 16th of December, testing is free for people covered by Czech public health insurance every 3 days.
- Prague 6, Veleslavínská 30/1, (EUC Lab) - reservation
- Prague 5, Kartouzská 204/6 (EUC Clinic, building B, přízemí) - reservation
- Prague 11, Šustova 1930/2 (EUC Clinic, paid parking area) - reservation
- Prague 20 - Horní Počernice, Náchodská 754 (Local public library) - reservation
Book your test here: https://rezervace.euclaboratore.cz/
You will find out the results within 20 minutes.
In the case that the EUC Laboratories testing sites are at full capacity, please visit the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic website for a full list of testing sites around the Czech Republic and their up-to-date capacity.
- What if the result of the antigen test is positive?
If your antigen test comes back positive, it is necessary to undergo a PCR test immediately. The referral will be made by the testing site where you got your antigen test; The result should be available within 48 hours; in which case you are not required to pay anything.
- What is the next step if my PCR test result is positive?
In the case that you test positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the client is required to contact their registered general practitioner or the Regional Hygiene Station. The doctor will record the necessary information in their medical documents and talk the client through the next steps.
Asymptomatic patients who receive a positive antigen test, will be required to undergo a PCR test. The result should be available within 48 hours. The patient is not required to pay. Patients who present with the common symptoms of the disease and who receive a positive antigen test, will be required to go into 10 days of isolation and their test result will be forwarded to the Regional Hygiene Station.
- You can find more important information on SARS-COV-2 (coronavirus) on the website of the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic: