COVID19 Testing | W Fullerton Ave

1. What is PCR Test?

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is a highly accurate laboratory technique used to detect the presence of specific genetic material from a pathogen, such as a virus. It is most commonly used for diagnosing COVID-19, but it can also detect other infectious diseases, genetic disorders, and certain types of cancer. PCR tests work by amplifying small amounts of DNA or RNA from the sample to detectable levels, making it one of the most reliable methods for detecting infections early.

2. Benefits of PCR Test

PCR tests offer several key benefits:

  • High Accuracy: PCR tests are known for their high sensitivity and specificity, reducing the chances of false-negative or false-positive results.
  • Early Detection: They can detect the presence of a virus even in the early stages of infection, which is crucial for early intervention and preventing the spread of disease.
  • Versatility: PCR tests can be used to diagnose a wide range of infections and diseases, making them a versatile tool in medical diagnostics.
  • Quick Turnaround: Results can often be obtained within a few hours to a couple of days, allowing for timely medical decisions.
  • Monitoring: PCR tests are also used to monitor the progression of a disease or the effectiveness of treatments.

3. How to Prepare for the Test

Preparing for a PCR test is straightforward, but there are a few guidelines to follow to ensure accurate results:

  • Schedule an Appointment: Contact the Women’s Health Center of Chicago to schedule your PCR test with Dr. Adeeb Alshahrour.
  • Follow Pre-Test Instructions: You may be advised not to eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum for a certain period before the test, typically around 30 minutes.
  • Gather Necessary Documents: Bring your identification, insurance information, and any relevant medical records.
  • Symptom Reporting: Be ready to discuss any symptoms you are experiencing and any recent exposure to infectious diseases.

4. What to Expect During the Test

The PCR test procedure is quick and usually involves the following steps:

  • Sample Collection: A healthcare provider will collect a sample from your nose or throat using a long swab. This might cause slight discomfort but is not painful.
  • Processing the Sample: The sample is then sent to a laboratory where it will undergo PCR analysis. The lab uses specific enzymes to amplify the genetic material in the sample, making it detectable.
  • Results: Depending on the lab and the urgency, you may receive your results within a few hours to a few days. Dr. Alshahrour will discuss how you will be notified of your results.

5. Aftercare

Aftercare for a PCR test is minimal, but it’s important to follow a few guidelines:

  • Monitor for Symptoms: If you were tested due to symptoms or exposure, continue to monitor your health and follow any quarantine or isolation guidelines until you receive your results.
  • Follow-Up: If your test is positive, Dr. Alshahrour will provide guidance on the next steps, including treatment and isolation protocols. If negative, continue to follow preventive measures as advised.
  • Report Any Issues: If you experience any adverse effects from the sample collection, such as prolonged discomfort or nosebleeds, contact the Women’s Health Center of Chicago.

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Dr. Adeeb Alshahrour, MD

About Dr. Adeeb Al-Shahrour

Dr. Adeeb Alshahrour is an obstetrician-gynecologist in Chicago, Illinois and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital and St. Anthony Hospital-Chicago. He received his medical degree from University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

Frequently Asked Questions

PCR tests are highly accurate, with sensitivity and specificity rates often exceeding 95%. This makes them one of the most reliable methods for detecting infections.

Results can be available within a few hours to a few days, depending on the lab’s processing time and the urgency of the test.

The PCR test is not painful but may cause slight discomfort due to the swab being inserted into the nose or throat. This discomfort is brief and subsides quickly.

Follow the pre-test instructions provided by Dr. Adeeb Alshahrour, such as avoiding eating, drinking, or smoking before the test. Ensure the sample is collected properly by a trained healthcare provider.

If your test is

positive, follow the guidance provided by Dr. Adeeb Alshahrour. This typically includes isolating yourself to prevent the spread of the infection, informing close contacts, and following any prescribed treatment or management plans. Dr. Alshahrour and the team at the Women’s Health Center of Chicago will support you through your recovery and advise on the necessary steps to protect your health and the health of others.