Questions and answers about COVID-19

(RxWiki News) With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, many questions about the virus are still unanswered.

However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have answered some of the most common questions. Read on for more information.

1. Are there any at-home tests for COVID-19?

Currently, the FDA has approved two tests that are, at least in some respects, "at-home" tests. These tests require a prescription, but the collection of samples, whether it is a saliva or nasal swab, is done at home.

In fact, on May 8, the FDA approved the first COVID-19 test that uses at-home saliva sample collection. This test's approval was granted to the Rutgers Clinical Genomics Laboratory.

Another at-home test (prescription only) was approved last month. This test, made by LabCorp, requires patients to collect samples by swabbing their nose.

With these recently approved tests, people do not have to go to the hospital, a doctor’s office or a testing center to get tested. Instead, they can collect their own saliva or nasal swab at home and send their samples in for testing.

However, there are no currently approved COVID-19 tests that are completely used and processed at home, the FDA noted.

2. What is multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C)?

The CDC is currently investigating reports of MIS-C tied to COVID-19.

Those diagnosed with MIS-C report with fever and various signs and symptoms that involve many organs, including the heart, kidneys, stomach/intestines, skin and brain. The reports have also included high levels of inflammatory markers. The CDC said it continues to learn more about this syndrome.

3. What are the current treatments for COVID-19?

Currently, no medications have been approved to prevent or treat COVID-19.

However, remdesivir is available as a treatment for hospitalized patients (adults and children) through an FDA emergency use authorization. Remdesivir is also being investigated in clinical trials. Through an emergency access program, it is also available for children and pregnant patients.

Chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine is also being used to treat some patients.

4. If I have asthma, what do I need to know? Do I need to change my therapy if I am taking inhaled corticosteroids?

The FDA recommended continuing your asthma treatment plan. There is no evidence of increased risk of issues tied to COVID-19 with the use of inhaled corticosteroids. In fact, the opposite is true. Some research shows that there is a lower risk of asthma flare-ups (exacerbations) with the continuation of your asthma management medications.

Patients who use a nebulizer should continue to do so, the CDC recommended. However, if you or a loved one has a nebulizer and has symptoms or a diagnosis of COVID-19, use the nebulizer in a location that will avoid exposing other people in your household.

The agency recommended using the nebulizer in areas of the house where the air is not recirculated into the home. These areas include a porch, patio or garage.

Speak with your health care provider if you have any questions.