Science

False negative coronavirus tests could be due to how healthcare workers are collecting samples


The US has tested more than 1.2 million Americans for coronavirus, but some have received negative results despite being infected.

The coronavirus is a disease that forms in the lungs, but it sometimes sits in a cavity between the nose and throat where a swab is unable to reach.

Although the RT-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) detection is the ‘gold standard’ for testing, it can produce a false negative if the sample is not taken properly.

Experts also believe that because hospitals and drive-thru testing sites are being flooded by people, healthcare workers are also rushing to tend to as many individuals as possible and are not grabbing the samples properly.

Scroll down for video 

The coronavirus is a disease that forms in the lungs, but it sometimes sits in a cavity between the nose and throat where a swab is unable to reach. Although the RT-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) detection is the ‘gold standard’ for testing, it can produce a false negative if the sample is not taken properly

The coronavirus is a disease that forms in the lungs, but it sometimes sits in a cavity between the nose and throat where a swab is unable to reach. Although the RT-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) detection is the ‘gold standard’ for testing, it can produce a false negative if the sample is not taken properly

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the approval for the RT-PCR test in February for patients who meet specific criteria for coronavirus testing.

Jeff Pothof, chief quality officer at UW Health, told Slate.com that the test is ‘actually really good.’

‘So good that if we can capture a single strand of RNA, we can get a result.’

The coronavirus is known to form in the lungs and produce fluid in air spaces that causes heavy breathing – a well-known symptom of the virus.

Experts also believe that because hospitals and drive-thru testing sites are being flooded by people, healthcare workers are also rushing to tend to as many individuals as possible and are not grabbing the samples properly

Experts also believe that because hospitals and drive-thru testing sites are being flooded by people, healthcare workers are also rushing to tend to as many individuals as possible and are not grabbing the samples properly

READ  Interstellar object ‘Oumuamua believed to be ‘active asteroid’

Testing for the virus is done using a long swab that enters the nose to collect samples from the uppermost part of the throat.

One TikTok user filmed the process sharing that it ‘felt like I was being stabbed in the brain.’ 

WHAT ARE THE CORONAVIRUS SYMPTOMS?

The virus, called COVID-19, is transmitted from person to person via droplets when an infected person breathes out, coughs or sneezes. 

It can also spread via contaminated surfaces such as door handles or railings. 

Coronavirus infections have a wide range of symptoms, including fever, coughing, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.  

Mild cases can cause cold-like symptoms including a sore throat, headache, fever, cough or trouble breathing.  

Severe cases can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory illness, kidney failure and death.  

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. 

However, the coronavirus may not sit in the same spot for everyone, sometimes it forms in the nasopharynx, which is a deep cavity between the nose and the throat -an area swabs are unable to reach.

Nam Tran, an associate clinical professor at the University of California, Davis, told Slate.com: ‘There’s a misconception if a person has COVID, the virus is all over the place.’

‘That’s not true.’

Pothof and Tran both believe that one of the reasons for the false negatives is because healthcare workers are not able to reach that far back performing a nose swab.

In addition to not collecting samples properly, the experts think that with the pandemic sparking fear around the country, facilities are overflowing with individuals hoping to undergo testing.

READ  MYSTERIOUS 18 tentacled sea creature found fossilised in Southern China

This results in healthcare workers rushing from one test to another, which leaves room for error.

Because there are have been many reports of false negatives, doctors are now calling for chest CT scans to be used as a way to determine if a person is infected.

These X-rays show that the lungs are filled with fluid, allowing specialists to see the virus, rather than rely on secretion samples.

Numerous scans of patients with coronavirus show white patches in the lower corners of the lungs which indicates what radiologists call ground glass opacity – the partial filling of air spaces.

Because there are have been many reports of false negatives, doctors are now calling for chest CT scans to be used as a way to determine if a person is infected. These X-rays (pictured) show that the lungs are filled with fluid, allowing specialists to see the virus

Because there are have been many reports of false negatives, doctors are now calling for chest CT scans to be used as a way to determine if a person is infected. These X-rays (pictured) show that the lungs are filled with fluid, allowing specialists to see the virus

The US is feeling the brunt of the pandemic and has more cases and deaths than another other nation. As of Wednesday evening, more than 422,000 cases have been reported and the death toll has surpassed 14,000

The US is feeling the brunt of the pandemic and has more cases and deaths than another other nation. As of Wednesday evening, more than 422,000 cases have been reported and the death toll has surpassed 14,000

Such abnormalities identified by doctors in the scans of coronavirus patients are similar to those found in patients suffering from SARS and MERS.

The coronavirus began in China December 2019 and has now infected nearly every country in the world.

However, the US is feeling the brunt of the pandemic and has more cases and deaths than another other nation.

As of Wednesday evening, more than 422,000 cases have been reported and the death toll has surpassed 14,000.

READ  NASA asteroid tracker: A 60,500MPH asteroid will skim Earth TONIGHT twice as close as Moon

 



READ SOURCE

Leave a Reply