Dilemma : I've taken quick Covid tests for the last... - PMRGCAuk


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Q-owl profile image

I've taken quick Covid tests for the last 3 days - all negative. Started with runny nose and tickly sore throat, Wednesday, which responded to hay fever tabs, Thursday. Began to feel chesty yesterday. Have just woken (thunder and lightening) a little wheezy, with lots of clear mucus and chesty productive cough. I'm staying miles away from home with 80+yr old cousin, I'm 70+, both double vaccinated. I'm due to drive us both to a family party later today, then drive on my own, tomorrow, hundreds of miles to another event. Am I just over worried? Just a regular cough and cold? Or reality check? What to do? No idea what services are available in South of England. Pred tapered to 2mg daily, but feeling very vulnerable.

42 Replies

Hi Joan,

Sorry to hear how you feel, first things first, you need to get a PCR Test & l think you should apply the Sick Day Rules & increase your Prednisolone.


If you type into your phone ‘Where to get a PCR Test near me’ it should bring up the nearest Test Centre or try this gov.uk link below.


Wether it’s a ‘regular cough & cold’ or Covid is it fair to everyone else if you decide to go? A very hard decision for you but what if it is Covid?

Let us know how you get on

Get Well Soon 🌺

Angela x

Constance13 profile image
Constance13 in reply to MrsNails

Do you think Q-owl was having us on?

Seems such an unbelievable post!!!!

Boss302Fan profile image
Boss302Fan in reply to MrsNails

I just followed your link and read the sick day rules and before I’d ever consider following that, I’d discuss with my doctor because to me it doesn’t make sense, i.e., not logical. Unless doctor told me to do otherwise I base my Pred dose on how I’m currently feeling whether sick or not. If I start feeling pain (PMR) I’ll treat it like a flare and respond accordingly, else I’m staying with the protocol.

Now, my wife has COPD. If she gets sick AND it progresses from an upper to lower respiratory infection with a cough, she (Dr.’s orders) is to start taking 30mg Pred daily until the cough has ceased for 24 hrs, then tapers. If it’s a weekday she is to call the office and confirm before start of Pred, if Friday after hours or weekend she is to start immediately and call the office Monday morning and notify doctor. Makes perfect sense, to control inflammation in the lungs and reduce build up of fluid in same.

Otherwise, prednisone is an immunosuppressive medication and I sure as heck don’t want to increase the dose and suppress my immune system while it’s fighting off an infection unless absolutely necessary.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Boss302Fan

Since they were compiled by expert endocrinologists I doubt they are illogical.

The increase in pred dose for sick days are an endocrinology factor: when we are ill, injured, under exceptional stress, the body would normal shed spikes of cortisol to prepare the body to fight the threat. When we have been on long term pred that response is blunted - at any dose and in that situation more corticosteroid is required to avoid an adrenal crisis effect. It is nothing to do with the PMR nor, as in your wife's case, the inflammation in the lungs. It parallels the use of hydrocirtisone intraoperatively in patients on long term corticosteroids.

MrsNails profile image
MrsNails in reply to Boss302Fan

As PMRpro has taken the words out of my mouth, l refer you to her reply below….

Hi, Q-owl. What a predicament, particularly in the circumstances you describe. Do you normally suffer with hay fever?Lateral flow tests can be unreliable. You really need a PCR test and should consider your options which may include ringing 111 immediately or locating an emergency GP in your current area.

Driving while feeling ill is never advised, especially in poor weather conditions and on top of everything you don't want to risk a flare.

I'm so sorry that you find yourself in this situation. Let us know how you get on.

If I had those symptoms I wouldn't want to spread them to my friends and family - and it would do you good to stay safely at home for your own sake.

What to do?

Stay at home and leave the car in the garage. Family events can wait and to even think of driving hundreds of miles for another event when not feeling fit and healthy ...........not only puts you at risk but other road users.

Get a PCR test and buy a bottle of your favourite drink and celebrate your family party in spirit with your friend and stay safe.

DorsetLady profile image
DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer

Others have given good advice, and tbh I wouldn't be driving 100s of miles in your state COVID or not, unless you’re Dominic Cummings. And surprisingly we do have all the mod cons in the south ….don’t rely on horses and carts and smoke signals any more😉.

Hope you soon feel better, whatever it is.


Kendrew profile image
Kendrew in reply to Constance13

Definitely take the good advice given. My friend thought she just had a bad cold (all the same symptoms you've described) She had 2 negative lateral flow tests but went for a PCR test which was positive! (I'm sure I've heard somewhere that lateral flow tests are only to be used if you're asymptomatic!) I'm sure you'll know what the right thing to do is.....sometimes the right choice is the most difficult one.

Take care.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Kendrew

Andrew Marr had 2 negative lateral flow tests - and a positive PCR. I'm sure their precious lateral flow tests are adding to the confusion and numbers.

SnazzyD profile image
SnazzyD in reply to PMRpro

And it drives me mad that they are being used asa green light!

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to SnazzyD

Absolutely - ours are different and actually seem to be fairly effective. But above all - they are only done by trained personnel. They have what they have dubbed "nose picker" tests for the schools but the staff were taught how to use them and the kids were supervised. We've had a few lateral flow tests at the hospital - I can't imagine any ordinary person shoving the swab that far up their nose!!!

Constance13 profile image
Constance13 in reply to PMRpro

Last sentence! Most of course don't and then wonder why it is positive when they have actually had it done by the doctor or nurse.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Constance13


stillsdisease profile image
stillsdisease in reply to PMRpro



I agree with the others. Whether it’s Covid or not you shouldn’t be going. Very disappointing I know but from the way you’ve worded your post I think you already knew the answers you’d get didn’t you...? Be safe and you’ll be able to see everyone another time when you’re feeling better. Oh, and yes, get a PCR test asap.

PMRpro profile image

Do you really feel well enough to drive? Especially since the forecast for the south of England today is really not ideal driving weather. AND it is Saturday so the world and his nephew is likely to be out.

DorsetLady profile image
DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer in reply to PMRpro

…and his dog, not forgetting the caravan!

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to DorsetLady

... and inflatable boat ...

DorsetLady profile image
DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer in reply to PMRpro


This is annoying. I had a terrible cold recently and even though I’m double vaccinated I went for a PCR test. This is because the variant comes on like a cold to go throat sneezing. When I went to the clinic to be tested I had expected to do a media test but the doctor said to me they’re not reliable do the PCR. My test was negative and I got over the cold. But if you do have Covid would you want to spread it to someone else?

Stay at home! I was just about to go away for weekend and my daughter who lives locally and who I see a lot tested positive with a LFT. I tested and was negative. No brainer … abandoned plans to go away, lost £200, and staying at home. She had a positive PCR this morning and they were going on holiday today and my granddaughters birthday as well. That’s life. I’m awaiting for my PCR kit to arrive today. Have a pile of good reads and plenty of food in fridge. It is what it is! 🥲

Irrespective of the PMR and Covid, do you feel up to being part of these events? I am pretty sure I wouldn’t, particularly as this weekend is the great exodus at the beginning of the summer hols.

Nothing to add to the other comments, the answer is a no brainer - stay at home.

Stay at home! I have been really ill this last week with a very bad chest infection—— it started with a horrendous sore throat, I was terrified it was Covid but the PCR came back negative yesterday and yes—— I really poked the tester as far as it would go 😂😂😂. My lovely Doctor said there are lots of bad respiratory infections swirling around , both viral and bacterial, and because we have all been locked away we are very susceptible to them, especially we who are immune compromised. I started on strong antibiotics two days ago , hope they work quickly!

MrsNails profile image
MrsNails in reply to Smokeygirl

Hope you’re feeling better 💐

Smokeygirl profile image
Smokeygirl in reply to MrsNails

Thank you so much dear Angela! xxx

There are lots of ‘normal’ colds and chest infections circulating, and we have all forgotten what they are like.

Thelmarina profile image
Thelmarina in reply to Swim2swim

I think that is so true! We’ve protected by Lockdown and now we are moving more freely we’re getting some of the commoner ailments. It’s really hard to judge the symptoms but when in doubt do nowt as my Nan used to say!

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Thelmarina

Of course - wearing a mask also protects you from colds and flu ...

MrsNails profile image
MrsNails in reply to Thelmarina

I just don’t want a cold of any sort tbh 🤧 & if you did catch one you’d have to stay home because everyone would think it’s Covid anyway! 🦠

Morning Q-owl How are you feeling today? Did you manage to arrange a PCR Test?

Kind Regards

Angela 🌺

Q-owl profile image
Q-owl in reply to MrsNails

Hi Angela

It was difficult to make a decision, as I wasn't at home in the first place. One of the relatives is a new doctor, and I relied on his advice in the end. My temperature was normal. He commented and, I noticed him observing me, that my symptoms indicated an ordinary cold and there were lots of them about. I took lemsip and an early night, the cold symptoms are over now, although I'm still taking the hay fever meds.

Thanks to everyone for their advice. I did still keep social distance and masked, just in case.

Q-owl, I'm having similar issue. started four days ago with little cough, then nasal congestion, then yesterday runny nose, more congestion, slight sore throat and even more tired than usual. taken 2 30 minute Covid tests, so far negative, no fever.

i too am wondering what to do - although i have read sick day rules, i am afraid to increase my preds because of my bone health, and currently recovering from a broken wrist.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Bennijax

What dose of pred are you on?

Bennijax profile image
Bennijax in reply to PMRpro


PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Bennijax

You don't need the sick day doses for more than a few days while actually ill - that isn't going to make much difference to your bones.

Same symptoms. I had not used my ventolin for 18 months but straight after all that rain a week ago I got the wheezies. Still using the ventolin.

Interesting! I have not needed an inhaler for decades (!) but my chest went all tight with that old familiar feeling and some wheezing. Sore throat too. Put me in a bit of a panic. I’ve been using the inhaler for a week now. We’ve had endless rain and moderate to poor air quality for much of the month. (I’m in the US, East coast).

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