Please note: These FAQ:s may not be completely updated due to the rapid change in the pandemic situation, the increasing knowledge about COVID-19 and hence the continuous review of preventive measures recommended in Sweden.
There are tests that can show if you have a current infection and tests that show if you have already had a COVID-19 infection and have developed antibodies.
PCR-tests and rapid antigen tests show if you have an active COVID-19 infection. The PCR test is used today on a large scale. It detects the virus’s genetic material. An antigen test shows if there are viral proteins in the sample.
An antibody test shows if a person has previously been infected with COVID-19 and has developed antibodies in response to the virus. An antibody test is taken 2–3 weeks after falling ill. We recommend that antibody tests be taken by health care providers.
A positive PCR test result shows that you have a current COVID-19 infection, or that you recently have had an infection. The same applies to a positive antigen test result. People who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection that has been confirmed with a PCR test or an antigen test are considered to run a very low risk of being re-infected for at least six months.
If you have received a positive PCR or antigen test result, it is important to stay at home and follow the rules of conduct that you will get from your doctor, so that you don’t infect others.
Antigen tests are also available as self-tests. This means that you take the test yourself and read the result. If the self-test shows that you have COVID-19, you need to self-isolate for at least five days until you feel well and have been fever-free for at least 48 hours.
In most people, COVID-19 manifests as a respiratory tract infection, and many different symptoms may be present. It is not possible to distinguish COVID-19 from other infections from only the symptoms – a laboratory test is required.
Among the reported symptoms are:
Muscle and joint pain
Loss of smell and taste
Most people get mild symptoms and can recover at home without professional medical care. The symptoms often appear gradually. Some people get a severe form of the illness, with breathing difficulties and pneumonia.
It is very important that you stay at home if you feel ill. If you can no longer manage the illness on your own, please call 1177 for medical advice (available in English).
COVID-19 is mainly transmitted between people via respiratory droplets or secretions from the respiratory tract. Transmission via droplets happens when an infected person coughs, sneezes, speaks or breathes out and the droplets reach mucous tissue in someone's eyes, nose, or mouth.
There might be places and situations where the risk of transmission is higher, even if we keep a distance from each other, e.g. in cramped areas with bad ventilation.
The virus can be transmitted via contaminated surfaces, so-called indirect contact transmission, but the risk of getting infected via contaminated surfaces is considered to be low.
If you have had COVID-19, you have some protection against reinfection. This means that you are less likely to become infected and seriously ill, and less likely to infect others if you are exposed to the virus again. Over time, the protection that you get after an infection wanes and there is an increased risk of getting infected again. At present, we estimate that the protection after having had COVID-19 lasts at least six months from the time of infection.
A child with new symptoms of a respiratory infection such as a runny nose, sore throat, fever, cough or feeling generally unwell, needs to stay home until their condition has improved. If the child has had a fever, they must have been fever-free for at least 24 hours before returning to preschool. The child can return to preschool and other activities, even if they still have some respiratory symptoms. As their parent or guardian, you determine when your child can return to preschool.
Follow these guidelines each time new symptoms appear.
Contact your regular healthcare centre or 1177 if you need medical advice.
Other procedures may apply in conjunction with contact tracing.