If you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath and suspect you have been in contact with an infected person, please stay home and contact a doctor at Telephone Medical Advice +48 500 900 510 or book a telemedical advice at Medicover OnLine (mol.medicover.pl). During the interview, the doctor will assess your condition and provide you with recommendations on how to proceed.
If you have returned from outside Poland, you are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
You should follow the procedures of the Chief Sanitary Inspector and stay home for the next 14 days and monitor your health condition (daily body temperature measurement, paying attention to the occurrence of flu-like symptoms, i.e. general feeling of discomfort, muscle pains, coughing, fever).
If you exhibit such symptoms, please contact the doctor of Telephone Medical Advice +48 500 900 510 or book a telemedical advice at Medicover OnLine (mol.medicover.pl). During the interview, the doctor will assess your condition and provide you with recommendations on how to proceed.
1. I have a respiratory tract infection, what should I do to keep my family from getting infected?
2. Which antipyretic drugs should you take for COVID-19?
3. Are antibiotics used to treat COVID -19?
4. Can I get a prescription for antiviral drugs used to treat COVID-19?
5. What SARS-CoV-symptoms should I look for and what should I do if they occur?
6. Can I have a COVID-19 test at Medicover?
7. Can Medicover doctors refer to free COVID-19 tests?
8. How long does it take to get results for a SARS-CoV-2 test?
9. Which test is better: RT-PCR or FRANKD?
10. I have symptoms of a respiratory infection. On what day of illness is it best to test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus if I suspect I may have it?
11. What is the Home Quarantine app? What is it for?
12. I have a confirmed/suspected SARS-CoV-2 virus infection and symptoms of respiratory tract infection. I do not have a selected NHF Primary Care physician, where should I turn?
13. I need a sick leave (ZUS ZLA form) for taking care of my wife after childbirth, can a Medicover doctor issue this sick leave, and what documents do I need?
14. Should we perform a test for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2?
15. How to prepare for the SARS-CoV-2 test? Are any preparations necessary?
16. Can the quarantine time be reduced?
17. Can the isolation time be reduced?
18. Can I have COVID-19 if I have taken an antigen test and the result has come out negative but I have the symptoms?
19. Can I have COVID-19 even though I did an antibody test and it came out negative but I have the symptoms?
20. If I had COVID-19 and now I am healthy, can I get vaccinated against flu?
21. If I had COVID-19 and now I am fine, when can I get vaccinated against flu?
22. I was sick and had a positive PCR test result, and now I'm healthy – but my smell and/or taste is still gone. Should I continue to stay in isolation?
23. Is the FRANKD screening test recognised when crossing the border?
24. Can I get my test results by email?
25. Can I get the test result in English?
26. Which test do I need to have if I want to go abroad?
27. Do the antibody tests show the COVID-19 infection?
28. How long do you need to wait for the results if the test is done at the weekend?
29. Should I make an appointment at Synevo if I have already a package for tests, or can I come without an appointment?
1. What is SARS-CoV-2? What is COVID-19?
2. Where do coronaviruses come from?
3. Is this virus comparable to SARS or to the seasonal flu?
4. How severe is COVID-19 infection?
5. What is the mode of transmission? How (easily) does it spread?
6. What are the symptoms of COVID-19 infection?
7. Are some people more at risk than others?
8. Are children also at risk of infection?
9. What about pregnant women?
10. Is there a treatment for the COVID-19 disease?
11. Where can I get tested?
12. How can I avoid getting infected?
13. What should I do if I have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19?
14. Are face masks effective in protecting against COVID-19?
15. Is there a vaccine against the virus? How long will it take to develop a vaccine?
16. Am I protected against COVID-19 if I had the influenza vaccine this year?
17. How prepared is Europe for COVID-19 and what is the EU doing?
18. Am I at risk of contracting COVID-19 infection in the EU?
19. How many people have been infected in the EU/EEA?
20. How long will this outbreak last?
21. What is the risk of COVID-19 infection from animals or animal products imported from affected areas?
22. What is the risk of COVID-19 infection from food products imported from affected areas?
23. What is the risk of COVID-19 infection from contact with pets and other animals in the EU?
24. Are there any special medicines that prevent or treat the new coronavirus?
25. Are antibiotics effective in preventing and treating the new coronavirus?
26. Does the patient already infect within 14 days of virus development?
27. Do dogs and cats carry coronavirus?
28. Does coronavirus infection often end in death?
29. Is coronavirus more infectious than other viruses we know?
30. Does drinking alcohol protect against the virus?
31. Does frequent drinking water fight coronavirus?
32. Will Warsaw be surrounded by a sanitary cordon?
33. Has the army been led out onto the streets of Polish cities?
34. Will there be a shortage of food in Poland?
35. Are home coronavirus tests effective?
36. Will the stores close? Will you not be able to get food and medicine?
FREQUNTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Stay in an isolated room so as not to expose other household members to infection. Follow proper hand, coughing and sneezing hygiene, and air the rooms in the house. Also, cover your mouth and nose when you are in a shared space.
You may take over-the-counter antipyretics, e.g. paracetamol or ibuprofen, especially if your temperature is above 38.5°C and you have other symptoms (such as pain). However, if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, make sure to call your doctor for a teleconsultation. The doctor will decide about further treatment.
Treatment is always decided by the doctor. As COVID-19 is a viral disease, antibiotics are not used for mild to moderate cases. However, in severe cases that require hospitalization, antibiotics may be used, depending on the patient's clinical condition.
In each case, the doctor decides on the treatment, including taking prescription drugs. For COVID-19, antiviral drugs are used in severe cases that require hospitalization.
Alarming symptoms related to COVID-19 include: high fever above 39°C, shortness of breath, chest pain/tightness. If the above-mentioned alarming symptoms appear, immediately contact the Medicover Hotline at +48 500 900 999 or emergency medical services at 112.
Testing for COVID-19 is not performed at Medicover medical centres. The COID-19 test are performed only at specifically designated collection points.
Both genetic (PCR) tests detecting the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, as well as tests to check if you’ve had the virus, which detect anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies are available. The tests for detecting current infection include the FRANKD genetic screening tests (PCR), RT-PCR tests, and a home self-testing kit. Swabs can also be taken at the patient’s home by a nurse or at specifically designated collection points.
For more information about the tests please visit https://www.medicover.pl/koronawirus/test/?vcid=offer
No, Medicover doctors cannot order commercial, fee-based tests for their patients.
A Medicover doctor cannot issue a referral for a free RT-PCR test, nor order or extend formal isolation through the application gabinet.gov.pl because he/she is not a primary care physician who works within the National Health Fund.
The waiting time for test results depends on the type of test performed. Results of the genetic (PCR) test are available within 24 hours, while results of the antibody detection test may take up to 3 business days. However, due to the current scale of infections, waiting time for results may be longer.
Both tests are used to detect current SARS-CoV-2 infection, however, obtaining a positive FRANKD test result requires confirmation by performing (from the same sample, at the same price) the RT-PCR test, which is the standard test in COVID-19 diagnostics. However, if we want a quick screening test, it is worth choosing FRANKD.
If you have symptoms of a respiratory tract infection and you suspect you have SARS-CoV-2, you should immediately book a teleconsultation with a doctor and be tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is best to test within the first 5-7 days of symptoms.
Currently, the main indication for the RT-PCR test is a symptomatic case of suspected COVID-19, i.e. acute respiratory infection with sudden onset, along with symptoms such as temperature above 38OC, cough, shortness of breath, or loss of smell and/or taste.
It is an app that allows you to confirm the place of quarantine and provides a basic health assessment (not a medical consultation). It also facilitates contact with a social worker or a psychologist, as well as request help with shopping. The purpose of the application is to monitor the quarantine process.
The Home Quarantine application must be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. After installing it, you need to sign up with your telephone number. The account will be verified after entering the code which will be sent via test message. Details on the installation and rules of using the application can be found at: https://www.gov.pl/web/koronawirus/kwarantanna-domowa (accessed on 27 October 2020).
You are always entitled to a teleconsultation as part of your Medicover insurance. Book a telephone consultation for a specific day and time via Medicover OnLine or by calling the Hotline, and the doctor will call you, or call the Telephone Medical Advice service at 500 900 510 and immediately talk to an internist or paediatrician.
You are also entitled to a teleconsultation with a primary healthcare physician under the National Health Fund (NFZ). Even if you are not insured by the National Health Fund, you can use public health services for free due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The list of primary healthcare centres is available at https://www.gov.pl/web/koronawirus/teleporady-poz (accessed on 27 October 2020). Please call the National Health Fund (NFZ) hotline at 800 190 590 for information on what to do if you suspect you have coronavirus.
If, after giving birth, a Medicover patient contacts a doctor in person or via telephone because she cannot take care of the child herself and needs help from her partner or husband, the Medicover doctor may issue an electronic sick leave for her husband to take care of his wife (ZUS ZLA form for care of the spouse). The doctor may request access to the hospital records or other records for treatment provided outside Medicover.
14. Should we perform a test for antibodies against SARS-CoV-2?
That depends on the purpose. The test is carried out on individuals who are likely to have had an infection but it has been symptomless or mild – in this group, a positive result must be confirmed by a negative RT-PCR test in population studies to determine the percentage of individuals who have already acquired resistance to SARS-CoV-2, and in all the individuals who recovered from COVID-19 to obtain plasma to treat other patients.
Compared to tests that use molecular techniques, serological tests (detecting anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies) are faster, cheaper and can be performed on a larger scale. However, it has been noted that they confirm past SARS-CoV-2 infection, but are not the basis for its diagnosis. They are only complementary to molecular diagnostics. An antibody test does not allow to determine when a person has had an infection, and a negative antibody test does not rule out the infection, because the antibodies may not have appeared yet
Yes – you need to prepare for the FRANKD and RT-PCR tests. The swab should be taken in the morning (preferably on an empty stomach) or about 4 hours after the meal, before the application of any intranasal antimicrobial agents (drops, ointments, aerosols). You must not smoke, brush your teeth, use mouthwash, throat suction tablets or chew a gum 4 hours before the swab is taken. You must not rinse or blow your nose before taking the material. Any removable dentures should be taken out of your mouth.
In justified cases, the State District Sanitary Inspector may decide to shorten or release the quarantine – for instance, if a coronavirus test is carried out during quarantine and the result of the test is negative.
It is up to the doctor to decide how long the isolation will finally last. The decision is made on the basis of an assessment of a patient's health. In exceptional cases, for instance in the case of healthcare professionals or in clinically justified cases, if a decision has been made to have a test, the isolation is terminated after a two negative RT-PCR test results from samples taken at intervals of at least 24 hours.
If the test was done at the wrong time, the result may be false negative. The antigen test should be performed within 5-7 days of the appearance of COVID-19symptoms. A negative result of the antigen test in a person with symptoms of COVID-19 and an epidemiological history including certain irregularities must be confirmed by a molecular RT-PCR test within the next 1-2 days.
Yes, it is possible. A negative result does not rule out an infection with SARS-CoV-2. This applies to patients who are in the early stages of the disease. The possible delay in the body's production of antibodies (the so-called serological window – it is the time it takes for the organism to produce the antibodies) must be taken into account.
20. If I had COVID-19 and now I am healthy, can I get vaccinated against flu?
Yes, it is possible – and it is recommended. There is currently no strict time period between the end of COVID-19 and the flu vaccination. Standard qualification rules apply, i.e. general good physical state, lack of symptoms of any acute infection. A doctor qualifies a patient for a vaccination.
There is currently no strict time period between the end of COVID-19 and the flu vaccination. A doctor will qualify a patient for a vaccination on the basis of their health assessment.
It is up to a doctor to finally decide when the isolation period is over. If a patient has any symptoms of COVID-19 confirmed by a positive RT-PCR test, the isolation should end after 3 days without fever and without symptoms of respiratory infection, but not earlier than 13 days after the day when the symptoms appeared. Some disturbances or loss of smell and/or taste may persist long after the respiratory symptoms have disappeared and they are not the basis for prolonging the recommended isolation.
No, it is not. The only recognised and recommended test is the RT-PCR test – the gold standard in COVID-19 diagnostics.
It depends on who commissioned the test and where it was carried out. The results of the RT-PCR test performed at the Damian Medical Centre are available in 2 working days – online at https://wyniki-badan.damian.pl. If the test was commissioned by a primary care doctor, the result will be available on the Patient's Internet Account (IKP – Internetowe Konto Pacjenta).
Yes, this is possible for the PCR tests performed at the Damian Medical Centre. The result of the test can be issued in Polish or in English – depending on the patients preferences. If you need your test results in English, please inform our collection point staff about that.
Before going abroad, you need to have an RT-PCR genetic test.
The presence of antibodies confirms that the patient has been in contact with the virus – however, it is not a proof of the actual presence of the virus in the organism. An antibody test does not allow to determine when a person has had an infection, and a negative antibody test does not rule out the infection because the antibodies may not have appeared yet.
Serological tests allow to determine the anti-SARS antibodies in the IgM, IgG, IgG/IgM classes produced by the organism in response to contact with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (please note that they do not detect the virus itself). They cannot be used to diagnose a current infection or to evaluate if the treatment is effective. The positive results should not be used to diagnose or inform about the phase of infection; a molecular RT-PCR test should be performed to finally confirm the SARS-CoV-2 infection.
FRANKD test results are usually available online on the next working day after 10:00 a.m. on the test results platform: www.geneme.eu/wynik.
Please note that the result only reflects the moment when the test sample was taken. If the contact with an infected person occurred shortly before the test, the virus may not yet be detectable.
The RT-PCR test result is usually available within 24 hours – however, due to the increase in the number of infections, the waiting time may be longer.
Before you come to the collection point, please make sure to book an appointment for the test for a specific day and time – please call the Damian Medical Centre Helpline: +48 22 566 22 22 22. You can also make an appointment on the Internet at DAMIAN ONLINE.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the name given to the 2019 novel coronavirus. COVID-19 is the name given to the disease associated with the virus. SARS-CoV-2 is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.
Coronaviruses are viruses that circulate among animals or in the human population. In some cases, the virus mutation breaks down the interspecies barrier. An example of this was SARS-CoV-1 - severe acute respiratory distress syndrome or MERS-CoV – Middle-East respiratory syndrome. The source of these viruses was animals, but the infection occurred between people.
The ECDC (European Center for Disease Prevention and Control) estimates that around 1 in 1,000 infected people die prematurely due to seasonal influenza. Despite the relatively low mortality, because of the large number of people who suffer from it each year, many people (each year 15,000 - 75,000 in the EU, UK, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein alone) die of seasonal flu.
The novel coronavirus detected in China is genetically closely related to the SARS-CoV-1 virus. SARS emerged at the end of 2002 in China (more than 8 000 cases in 33 countries over a period of 8 months). Around one in ten of the people who developed SARS died.
While the viruses that cause both COVID-19 and seasonal influenza are transmitted from person-to-person and may cause similar symptoms, the two viruses are very different and do not behave in the same way. The concern about COVID-19 is that, unlike influenza, there is no vaccine and no specific treatment for the disease. It also appears to be as transmissible as influenza if not more so. As it is a new virus, nobody has prior immunity which in theory means that the entire human population is potentially susceptible to COVID-19 infection.
Preliminary findings indicate that the mortality rate for COVID-19 is 20-30 per thousand people diagnosed. This is significantly less than the 2003 SARS outbreak. However, it is much higher than the mortality rate for seasonal influenza.
The virus appears to be transmitted mainly through the droplet route (when people sneeze, cough or exhale). The virus can also survive for several hours on surfaces such as tables and door handles. There are also reports that the virus may persist for several hours in the air.
Although animals are the primary source of the virus, it is now spreading from person to person. There is currently insufficient epidemiological data to determine how easily and permanently the virus spreads between people, but it is estimated that on average one infected person will infect between two and three more.
The incubation period for COVID-19 (i.e. the time between exposure to the virus and onset of symptoms) is currently estimated at between two and 14 days. At this stage, we know that the virus can be transmitted when people who are infected show flu-like symptoms such as coughing. There is evidence suggesting that transmission can occur from an infected person with no symptoms; however, uncertainties remain about the effect of transmission by non-symptomatic persons on the epidemic.
The virus can cause mild, flu-like symptoms such as:
More serious cases develop severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, sepsis and septic shock that can lead to death.
Generally elderly people and those with underlying health conditions (e.g. hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and cancer) are considered to be more at risk of developing severe symptoms. People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus. WHO recommends people of all ages to take steps to protect against the virus, e.g. through self-isolation and compliance with hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene.
Disease in children appears to be relatively rare and mild. A large study from China suggested that just over 2% of cases were under 18 years of age. Of these, fewer than 3% developed severe or critical disease. Children often go through the disease asymptomatically. At the moment, it is not known to what extent they infect others.
There is limited scientific evidence on the severity of illness in pregnant women after COVID-19 infection. That said, current evidence suggests that severity of illness among pregnant women after COVID-19 infection is similar to that in non-pregnant adult COVID-19 cases, and there is no data that suggests infection with COVID-19 during pregnancy has a negative effect on the foetus. At present, there is no evidence of transmission of COVID-19 from mother to baby occurring during pregnancy. ECDC will continue to monitor the emerging scientific literature on this question, and suggests that all pregnant women follow the same precautions for the prevention of COVID-19, including regular handwashing, avoiding individuals who are sick, and self-isolating in case of any symptoms, while consulting a healthcare provider by telephone for advice.
There is no specific treatment for this disease, so healthcare providers treat the clinical symptoms (e.g. fever, difficulty breathing) of patients. Supportive care (e.g. fluid management, oxygen therapy etc.) can be highly effective for patients with symptoms.
If you feel unwell with the symptoms of COVID-19 (such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing, muscle pain or fatigue), it is recommended to contact your doctor via the Telephone Medical Advice Center (at 500 900 510) or via the Medicover OnLine application. If the doctor decides that there is a need for further testing, they will inform you about the procedure to follow.
The virus enters your body via your eyes, nose and/or mouth, so it is important to avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
Washing of hands with soap and water for at least 20-30 seconds, or cleaning hands with alcohol-based solutions, gels or tissues is recommended in all settings.
It is also recommended to stay 1 metre or more away from people infected with COVID-19 who are showing symptoms, to reduce the risk of infection through respiratory droplets.
Notify sanitary-epidemiological station in your area which will provide guidance on further steps to take. If you develop any symptoms, you should immediately call your healthcare provider for advice, mentioning that you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 or, if the symptoms of the infection get worse, go to a hospital for infectious diseases directly.
If you are infected, the use of surgical face masks may reduce the risk of you infecting other people, but there is no evidence that face masks will effectively prevent you from being infected with the virus. In fact, it is possible that the use of face masks may even increase the risk of infection due to a false sense of security and increased contact between hands, mouth and eyes.
There are currently no vaccines against human coronaviruses, including the virus that causes COVID-19. This is why it is very important to prevent infection and to contain further spread of the virus.
The development of vaccines takes time. Several pharmaceutical companies are working on vaccine candidates. It will, however, take months or years before any vaccine can be widely used, as it needs to undergo extensive testing to determine its safety and efficacy.
Influenza and the virus that causes COVID-19 are two very different viruses and the seasonal influenza vaccine will not protect against COVID-19.
WHAT IS THE CURRENT SITUATION IN THE EU REGARDING COVID-19?
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) is in continuous contact with the European Commission and the World Health Organization regarding the assessment of this outbreak. To inform the European Commission and the public health authorities in Member States of the ongoing situation, ECDC publishes daily summaries and continuously assesses the risk for EU citizens. ECDC and WHO have developed technical guidance to support the EU Member States in their response. The European Commission is ensuring the coordination of risk management activities at EU level.
This outbreak is evolving rapidly and the risk assessment is changing accordingly. ECDC is continuously assessing the risk for EU citizens and you can find the latest information in the daily updated ECDC risk assessment.
See the ECDC daily situation update for the latest available information. Given the extensive movement of people and the fact that the virus is transmitted from person to person, further cases are expected in Europe.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to predict how long the outbreak will last and how the epidemic will unfold. We are dealing with a new virus and therefore a lot of uncertainty remains. For instance, it is not known whether transmission within the EU/EEA will naturally decrease during the northern hemisphere summer, as is observed for seasonal influenza.
COVID-19 AND ANIMALS AND FOOD PRODUCTS
There is no evidence that any of the animals or animal products authorised for entry into the European Union pose a risk to the health of EU citizens as a result of the presence of COVID-19.
There has been no report of transmission of COVID-19 via food and therefore there is no evidence that food items imported into the European Union in accordance with the applicable animal and public health regulations pose a risk for the health of EU citizens in relation to COVID-19. The main mode of transmission is from person to person.
Current research links COVID-19 to certain types of bat as the original source, but does not exclude the involvement of other animals. Several types of coronaviruses can infect animals and can be transmitted to other animals and people. There is no evidence that companion animals (e.g. dogs or cats) pose a risk of infection to humans. As a general precaution, it is always wise to observe basic principles of hygiene when in contact with animals.
To date, there is no specific drug recommended for the prevention or treatment of the new coronavirus. People infected with the virus receive symptomatic treatment and treatment for any bacterial complications. At the same time, on March 13th, 2020, the Office for Registration of Medicinal Products, Medical Devices and Biocidal Products (URPL) issued a positive decision to amend the marketing authorization for a drug containing chloroquine, by adding a new therapeutic indication: "Supportive treatment for coronavirus type infections beta such as SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 ". To date, no data is available regarding the efficacy of chloroquine in COVID-19 patients outside the People's Republic of China. The manufacturer has secured a supply of medicine for the needs of the Ministry of Health and the Material Reserves Agency. According to the manufacturer's declaration, chloroquine will be distributed to patients with COVID-19 in accordance with the instructions of the Minister of Health. Even before the decision of URPL, after obtaining the consent of the bioethical commission, chloroquine in combination with lopinavir and ritonavir was used in patients with severe COVID-19 in the Gromkowski Provincial Specialist Hospital in Wroclaw.
No, antibiotics work against bacteria, but they don't work against viruses. The new coronavirus is a virus, therefore antibiotics should not be used as a preventive or curative measure. People hospitalized for coronavirus may receive antibiotics if a bacterial infection secondary to viral occurs.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the incubation period, i.e. the period from the patient's infection to the onset of symptoms, in the case of the virus causing COVID-19 ranges between 2-14 days, most often it is about 5-6 days (WHO reserves the right to update this information as new data is gathered). However, some infected people may not have any symptoms at all. Unfortunately, people with no symptoms can be a source of infection.
WE FIGHT FALSE INFORMATION
No. There is no evidence that pets can carry the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
No. Over 80 percent patients have a mild course of the disease. Severe complications occur in the elderly, with reduced immunity and with chronic diseases.
Coronavirus is very contagious, but not nearly as infectious as viruses such as measles or chickenpox.
No. Drinking alcohol does not protect against the virus. Alcohol reduces the body's resistance.
No! To reduce the risk of infection, observe hygiene rules and avoid contact with large clusters of people.
No! There is no decision to place Warsaw in lockdown.
No! The army did not go out onto the streets; it does not put cities in lockdown.
No! There will be plenty of food in Poland. Poland is one of the largest food producers in Europe.
No! Only a medical institution can perform a reliable test for coronavirus.
No! All grocery stores, drugstores and pharmacies are open - including those in shopping malls and shopping centers.