Skip to content

If You Feel This, Get Tested for COVID-19, Says CDC

The CDC director says, "we're challenged with this virus."
doctor or healthcare worker in protective wear, medical mask and face shield making coronavirus test and taking sample from patient

You have heard about the symptoms of coronavirus and subtitle signs you may have already had it. But the CDC wants you to know you don't need to have symptoms to get tested. On the contrary: "Anyone who thinks they may be infected—independent of symptoms—should get a test," Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Robert Redfield told Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News' chief medical correspondent, and Aaron Katersky, ABC News Radio correspondent and host of the Bringing Back America podcast. 

"Redfield said the numbers of asymptomatic people infected with the virus is particularly alarming and thwarting traditional methods of tracking outbreaks," reports ABC News. "Investigations into specific cases have shown that anywhere from 20% to 80% of people infected don't have symptoms, particularly those younger than 45, he said. The CDC has said 1 in 2 people with the virus don't know where they got it from."

"We're challenged with this virus," Redfield said.

Coronavirus Cases Spiking

Redfield's comments come in the wake of coronavirus spikes in Arizona, Texas, Florida, California and other states, and scientists have discovered a mutated strain ("It does have characteristics that in fact it's become more infectious," he said. "We have no evidence though that that's associated with increased pathogenicity at this time."). The country has 2.93 million cases and 132,000 deaths and rising. And those numbers may be woefully underreported. "The traditional approach of looking for symptomatic illness, and diagnoses obviously underestimated the total number of infections," Redfield said recently. "Now that serology tests are available, which test for antibodies, the estimates we have right now show about 10 times more people have antibodies in the jurisdictions tested than had documented infections."

"We Don't Really Know This Virus"

Redfield admitted even he doesn't know much about the ins and outs of COVID-19, all the more reason to get tested if you suspect you might be infected. "We do have to stay humble and recognize that we've just been introduced to this virus," he said. "We don't really know this virus. This isn't like flu, where you could sit down and ask me questions, and I can have a high degree of confidence that I know what to predict."

As for yourself, remember the basics: wear a face covering, don't go into indoor spaces with people you aren't sheltering with unless it's essential, wash your hands frequently, practice social distancing. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these  Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.