What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?
The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (also called COVID-19) is a serious respiratory illness. It is caused by SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2), one of the most recently discovered types of coronaviruses. It was first identified in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019 and has spread globally, becoming a worldwide pandemic. Those who have this disease may or may not experience symptoms, which range from mild to severe.
What are the symptoms?
Individuals with COVID-19 typically develop fever and/or symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing) but the full clinical spectrum of disease is not yet known. Signs and symptoms may appear any time from 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. Based on preliminary data, the median incubation period is approximately 5 days, but may range 2-14 days. Please see the CDC website for a complete list of symptoms and to access their symptom checker tool: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
Am I at-risk for COVID-19?
COVID-19 is extremely contagious. It spreads from person-to-person when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or exhales air. The droplets containing the virus go into the air and onto the surfaces and objects around them. Breathing in these droplets (or then touching your mouth, eyes, or nose) or touching infected surfaces exposes you to the virus. The risk of getting COVID-19 is increased if you have close contact with people who have symptoms of COVID. Additionally, where you live and work may also increase your risk to contract the virus. Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. To protect yourself from exposure, it is important to follow the guidelines and recommendations issued by the federal, state, and local governments.
Who is considered high-risk for the disease?
Most people have mild symptoms. Severe cases are more likely to occur in older adults (65 years of age and older), as well as pregnant women, those with weakened immune systems, and those with underlying health issues (such as lung disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, heart conditions, stroke, kidney disease or on dialysis, liver disease, cancer, transplant, AIDS, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis). However, serious disease (such as stroke) can also occur in younger, healthy adults.
Should I get testing for COVID-19?
- This test may also be helpful for anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 and wants to check to see if they have the virus and can pass it on to others.
- If you are a healthcare professional, first responder, frontline worker, critical infrastructure worker, or live or work in a place where people reside, meet, or gather in close proximity (such as assisted living facilities, group homes, schools, homeless shelters, prisons) and believe you have been directly exposed to someone with COVID.
- If exposure is suspected, then you should consult your place of work for specific occupational health guidance about testing and whether to stay home or continue working while waiting for your results. You should adhere to recommendations set forth by your employer or the department of health, as they may differ from the CDC’s guidelines for testing https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/priority-testing-patients.pdf.
- Individuals with the highest risk of infection should also consider testing.
How can I protect myself and prevent the spread of COVID-19?
- There are currently no vaccines for COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself is to avoid being exposed to the virus.
- Everyday actions can help protect you and prevent the spread of respiratory diseases such as COVID-19. These include:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick (within 6 feet of one another), even within your home.
- Stay home when you are sick, unless you are seeking medical care.
- Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home.
- Restrict any activities outside your home and maintain a safe distance (around 6 feet) between yourself and other people. Stay out of crowded places (such as public transportation, religious gatherings, shopping plazas) and avoid mass gatherings.
- Wear simple cloth face coverings in public settings (like grocery stores and pharmacies) where social distancing is difficult. The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected. Remember individuals without symptoms can still have and spread COVID.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks).
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water aren’t available. Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Please see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html for additional information.
When should I seek medical care?
- If you think you have been exposed, it is important to closely monitor for symptoms. Most mild cases of COVID-19 resolve within 2 weeks without treatment. Seek medical attention immediately if you develop severe symptoms, especially if you experience any of the following:
- Severe trouble breathing and shortness of breath
- Continuous pain or pressure in your chest
- Feeling confused or having difficulty waking up
- Blue-colored lips or face
- If you seek medical attention, be sure to call ahead before visiting the facility. This will help the facility keep other people from possibly getting infected or exposed.
- Tell any healthcare provider that you may have COVID-19
- Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis
- Put on a facemask before you enter any healthcare facility
What is an EUA and what does it mean?
- EUA stands for Emergency Use Authorization, which is a declaration allowing for the emergency use of an in vitro diagnostic (IVD) test for the detection and diagnosis of the coronavirus (COVID-19). An EUA is declared by the FDA and supported by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
- This test has been authorized only for the detection of nucleic acid from SARS- CoV-2, and not for any other viruses or pathogens.
- This test has not been FDA cleared or approved.
- This test has been submitted to the FDA for authorization FDA under an EUA for use by authorized laboratories.
- This test is only authorized for the duration of the declaration that circumstances exist justifying the authorization of emergency use of in vitro diagnostic tests for detection and/or diagnosis of COVID-19 under Section 564(b)(1) of the Act, 21 U.S.C. § 360bbb-3(b)(1), unless the authorization is terminated or revoked sooner.
When will I get my myGenome report?
- Your myGenome report will take 16 weeks starting from the date our lab receives a viable sample and validates the order
- Your account portal allows you and your physician to check in on your report status to see where your sample is in the process
- Reports can be and normally are distributed to both the customer and the customer’s authorizing physician or healthcare provider
- It is our normal practice to release a patient’s report to their physician 72 hours before they get a copy as this time lag allows the doctor to discuss any sensitive findings with you before you see them, if they/you wish
What is the turnaround time for each test?
- The duration is 16 weeks for myGenome tests
- The duration is 16 weeks for myGenome with Diagnostic Interpretation (myGenomeDx)
Can I get my raw data file?
- Yes, Veritas offers raw data in the form of a Variant Call File (VCF, a specific format of a text file used in bioinformatics for storing gene sequence variations) for certain tests
- To receive this file you can place an order after your report is released by emailing Customer Support at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The VCF costs $99 and is available to be delivered 5 to 7 days after your order is placed. Pricing is subject to change.
Why do I need a doctor to authorize the myGenome test?
- It is our policy that all tests require a physician to authorize the test, because:
- A physician can help guide you to better understand and review your test results.
- our physician can assist you in making medical and lifestyle decisions based on your myGenome report.
- It is important for your doctor to be aware so he/she can help you make informed medical decisions for your future.
- If you don’t have a physician, prefer not to involve your physician/healthcare provider, or if your provider is not responsive/ willing to sign off, we offer access to third party physicians to streamline ordering and increase privacy, for an additional fee.
- For anyone who wants to be proactive about their health
- Insights on 59 highly actionable conditions and 24 carrier conditions
- Genetic results informing drug sensitivities
- Information on 50+ traits and ancestry
- NEW Veritas Risk Section on lower-impact genetic findings that contribute to 15 common diseases whose risk can be minimized proactively by lifestyle changes
- Review of actionable medical findings with a genetic counselor
Can I change my doctor?
- Yes, please call Customer Support to receive the proper form.
Am I eligible for genetic counseling?
- If you have a finding located in the red, “Very Important”, section of your report, you are eligible for a complementary 15-20 minute Genetic Counseling session
- If you have no red, “Very Important” findings, but would still like to receive genetic counseling, a 60 minute session is available for $299.
- The genetic counselors will NOT review your raw data
What is myGenome with Diagnostic Interpretation (myGenomeDx)?
- myGenome with Diagnostic Interpretation (myGenomeDx) is a genetic test that utilizes whole genome sequencing (WGS) with diagnostic interpretation to help identify a condition suspected to have a genetic cause.
- Additionally, if requested, the test can include genetic results informing drug sensitivities and, for adults, a full myGenome report.
Who is myGenomeDx for?
- myGenome with Diagnostic Interpretation is for patients with a complex medical history or symptoms suggestive of a genetic condition, even if other genetic tests have shown a negative result.
How do I order myGenomeDx?
- myGenome Diagnostic orders must be initiated by a physician.
- Please contact Customer Support for further information for you and your doctor
- If you don’t have a physician, prefer not to involve your physician/healthcare provider, or if your provider is not responsive/willing to sign off, we offer access to third party physicians to streamline ordering and increase privacy, for an additional fee.
How do I upgrade from myGenome to myGenomeDx?
- Please call Customer Support for assistance
Does myGenome test for specific genes?
- We do not test for specific variants
- We test for the most actionable genes put forth by the ACMG59. ACMG refers to a list of 59 genes deemed medically actionable by the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (Kalia, 2017 PMID 27854360).
- If you have a common variant in your genome, we will find it
- If you are searching for a specific gene or variant, consult with a Genetic Counselor before you purchase the test
- Please reference our resources page for the specific list of genes tested for in myGenome: https://www.veritasgenetics.com/ mygenome/technical
Does my data get deleted or is it saved by Veritas Genetics?
- Your data is encrypted in our cloud once the DNA sample has been sequenced
- We do not sell this information to 3rd parties without your consent
How does Veritas ensure my data is safe?
- Veritas adheres to US law for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to protect confidentiality
- Veritas also adheres to European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and is in the process to applying this protection for consumers in the US. This means, for example, that you are able to update data and contact consents you have provided when placing your order or subsequently.
- If you are ordering through the website, your report is only given to you and your primary care physician
- If you decide you want us to remove this information from our encrypted cloud, we have a form that we will ask you to sign to authorize Veritas to remove this record.
- It is Veritas Genetics’ policy that genomic data, including VCF (variant call file) and BAM, be kept for 10 years for regulatory and legal archival purposes and no other use.
- If you request to have your data destroyed, it will NOT be used for research; however, it remains securely filed for 10 years as stated above.
- Be aware that you will not be eligible for any future updates in our services if you have requested to destroy your records.
- If you want to have your data removed from our system, please call Customer Support for assistance
I am a physician, may I authorize my own test?
- AMA discourages physician self orders however it is not disallowed. Thus Veritas may accept self ordered tests.
- Veritas also highly discourages customers from using relatives who are physicians for their test order
Where am I able to order a myGenome test from?
- We can fulfill orders from anywhere within the United States, but we are unable to ship to New York due to differences in regulations regarding genetic testing. Because of this, if the physician authorizing your test is based in New York, kindly ensure they are licensed to practice in an additional state.