An Interesting and Informative Experience!
|Punta Mita Hospital Emergency Room|
As soon as I noticed the sore throat, I took some Emergen-C and a Cold-Eeze lozenge. It was especially frustrating because we had been so careful when we flew down to Puerto Vallarta from Tucson in mid-February. Sitting on a plane full of people for five hours is a sure way to pick up a bug, so we took Emergen-C three times on the day we traveled to try to prevent getting sick. This was in addition to the 2000mg of vitamin C and other vitamins we take daily. But I guess we should have taken Emergen-C for two or three days to build up our immune system.
Then the cough started. The intense chills lasted a full day. I took ibuprofen or acetaminophen for the aches and headaches. The cough intensified until Vicks Formula 44 syrup had little effect. I resorted to using a Ventolin inhaler every four hours for the cough, which worked better and eased my breathing. Bed rest, Vitamin C, and zinc helped me heal.
Jon, my husband, caught my cold a week later. His case wasn’t as severe but the symptoms were similar, minus the chills. Though most symptoms disappeared in less than a week, my cough lasted for three or four weeks.
Remember, the coronavirus infections had not been labeled a COVID-19 pandemic at that point.
|Ready to Go for Our SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Test|
Three months later, as we educated ourselves with reliable COVID-19 pandemic information, I began to wonder if we had already had the dreaded infection back in February and March. Could we have acquired SARS-CoV-2 antibodies and possible protection from the virus? We continued to be cautious when out in public to avoid contracting or spreading this virus, but hopeful that we were carrying protective antibodies in our blood.
We recently learned that the antibody test is available in the area where we live, Nayarit, México. We deliberated about whether it was worth it to go to a hospital and have the test administered. After all, if we didn’t carry the antibodies in our blood, a hospital is a risky place to go—we might contract the virus while at the emergency room having the test done. We decided to do it.
|SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Test Package at Punta Mita|
Two hospitals near our home offer the SARS-CoV-2 Antibody test, St. Luke’s in Sayulita and Punta Mita Hospital. We decided to go to Punta Mita because it was significantly less expensive, has good reviews, and we could turn the afternoon into an adventure in the town of Punta Mita with lunch on the beach.
I made an appointment over the phone for Jon and me to both have the test done. I spoke with Dr. Franco and made it very clear that we wanted the antibody test, meaning we had already had COVID-19 months ago, not the test for the virus. He assured me that they had the serology antibody test. The price was quoted as $116 U.S. dollars or 2297 Mx pesos for each test, including a 16% tax. We were told to come to the emergency room reception area when we arrived where they only allowed one person at a time. All people with respiratory symptoms that could be active COVID-19 infections entered a different part of the hospital.
|Punta Mita Hospital Reception Sign|
We masked up and entered the emergency room reception area. They allowed Jon and me to come in together but others were asked to wait outside. After the technician tested our blood oxygen level, blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and asked if we had any symptoms of COVID-19, we were declared healthy and could proceed with the test.
|Jon Having His Finger Pricked to Draw Blood for the Test|
|Jon's Blood is in the Well, Serum Wicking Up the Test|
|Jon's Test Shows Negative for COVID-19 Antibodies|
We were impressed with the staff, the procedures, and the facilities at Punta Mita Hospital. The technician explained that Jon’s serology test results for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) Antibodies was negative because the line stopped at the “C” on the stick, meaning he has not had the COVID-19 infection in the past.
If a line appears at the M, it indicates the person has IgM antibodies. If a line appears at the G, it indicates the person has IgG antibodies. From my reading, I have learned that if a person tests positive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, meaning they have had the COVID-19 infection at least two weeks previously, giving the body time to produce both of these antibodies, a line will appear at the G and the M.
My SARS-CoV-2 serology test was negative for antibodies also.
As we left the hospital, I told Jon I was disappointed. I had felt sure that we had Covid-19 back in late February and early March. I had been hopeful that we had developed antibodies against the virus and, therefore, most likely had protection against getting it again. Jon agreed with me. He was discouraged, too.
It’s possible that the test results were false negatives, meaning the tests themselves were faulty. I have read that not all SARS-CoV-2 Antibody tests are created equal and many have been found to give false readings. But we will trust the results. We will assume we do not carry any protective antibodies in our blood. We will continue to be extra careful when we are in public, washing our hands often and distancing ourselves from others. We still plan to live our lives as close to normal as possible while avoiding the risk of spreading the virus. We will still dine out at reputable restaurants, enjoying life every day. We believe living in fear is unhealthy.
|Entrance to La Pescadora Restaurant in Punta Mita|
We walked the half-mile from the hospital to “restaurant row” on the beach in Punta Mita and had a wonderful meal at La Pescadora where the staff followed all precautionary steps to keep us safe from the dreaded virus. We enjoyed the cool ocean breeze on that hot afternoon, the view of the sea, and the entertaining wind-surfer getting a wild ride in the strong wind, as we were on the fringe of Tropical Storm Cristina.
|The Bay View from La Pescadora Restaurant in Punta Mita|
Thank you for reading my books and blog articles. If you are interested in reading more about Serology Testing for COVID-19 from the CDC here's the link
Living and Traveling in Mexico is becoming popular again!
|Healthy Living in Mexico Book #2|
|New Release on Amazon!|
Read more about traveling and our expat lifestyle in México at www.HealthyLivingandTravelinginMexico.com
I invite you to SIGN UP for my Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico Monthly Newsletter, published monthly with stories about our latest adventures, my recent blog articles, and news about my books.
|Terry L Turrell|