DANVILLE, Ind. — While Indiana has now seen the state’s first confirmed case of coronavirus, some worry that inadequate testing could be fueling the virus’s spread.
Trying to confirm if COVID-19 can be a difficult. The state has only been able to test for the last six days and local doctors don’t have the ability to confirm the virus.
One woman in Hendricks County believes she contracted the illness in Washington State, but has struggled to get tested.
Karen Neville says she was visiting family in the Seattle area over the weekend, which has seen an outbreak of coronavirus. When she returned home to Danville, Karen fell sick this week.
“I had a fever. I’ve got a sore throat. I’m coughing. I am short of breath,” said Karen Neville. “I kind of just feel like crap.”
Karen explained that after displaying symptoms associated with COVID-19, she began making calls to confirm her illness, but days later hasn’t gotten an answer.
“I contacted my doctor’s office who said they don’t do it. They told me to call the ER. I called the ER and they said they don’t do it,” said Neville.
State health leaders advise anyone showing signs of coronavirus to start by calling their doctor or the state health department, but don’t simply rush into the office.
“If you are concerned you have been exposed and have the symptoms. Please call first,” said chief medical officer at Community Health Network Dr. Robin Ledyard. “Call your primary care provider, the county health department or the state department of health. You will be triaged whether you need to come in to be tested.”
“Please call ahead first. When you are going to get treatment, we don’t want anyone to spread virus in a waiting room,” said Dr. Virginia Caine with the Marion County Health Department.
“I’m not worried about my own health. I’m just worried that I could give it to someone who is more vulnerable than I am obviously,” said Neville.
Karen says trying to confirm her illness has been a hassle and wonders how many cases haven’t been reported.
Until Wednesday, the CDC had only been testing patients who traveled to affected areas or had contact with someone who did. Now anyone with a doctor’s recommendation can be tested.
There are three types of tests that can confirm COVID-19, but those tests are not readily available.
“I feel like it should be easier. It’s just a nasal swab they have to do. I feel like it should be an easier thing to accomplish,” said Neville.
This week, federal health officials announced they are working with the private sector to mass produce more tests, but that too will take time.