Nova Scotia has made it easier for eligible resident to receive treatment while infected with COVID-19.

Nova Scotia Health said Wednesday it is encouraging anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, “even one mild symptom,” to get tested and complete an online assessment form.

“Those considered high-risk may be eligible for COVID-19 medications and treatments to help reduce the risk of severe illness and hospitalization,” read an NSH release.

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The treatment options include Paxlovid — an oral pill that fights the COVID-19 virus by inhibiting the way the virus makes copies of itself. The province first received a supply of the medication in January, in a shipment of 900 doses.

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Other treatments may include the following: budesonide, commonly sold under the name Pulmicort; remdesivir sold under the name Veklury;  sotrovimab sold under Xevudy.

The criteria for a COVID-19 treatment prescription is specific, said the health agency, as “treatment for early and mild COVID-19 does not benefit everyone.”

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Dr. Lisa Barrett, infectious disease specialist with Nova Scotia Health, said most people won’t be eligible.

“It’s for a very specific group who are at a higher risk of serious illness and meet other criteria. There is also a very small window of opportunity for the medications to be effective,” Barrett said in the release.

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“That’s why it’s critical when Nova Scotians are booking their test that they fill out the Report and Support form right away. That way, if they test positive with a PCR (test) we know almost immediately if they may be eligible and can follow-up with them.”

Those who get a rapid test instead of a PCR should also fill out the Report and Support screening form.

“Filling in the form is a great way to help us, help you,” Barrett said. “Please fill in the form – it is short, and the questions are only about you and your health so you will know the answers!”

Those who fill out the form but don’t hear back from NSH are not eligible for a prescription.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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