There’s hardly anyone today, who has been unaffected by the unprecedented rise in covid-19 cases. This is a matter of grave concern —but on the other hand, what’s even more alarming is how several people who have all the visible symptoms of covid are testing negative for the virus. Research reveals that up to 20 percent of symptomatic patients are facing this challenge, and that’s fairly a large percentage. With a false negative report, serious patients might not end up getting treatment, and even affect others around them.
Keeping this in mind, there are several doctors who are trying to push for treatment for such patients, who turn out negative in the RT-PCR test. Before we get down to what to do if you’re in a similar situation, it’s important to understand why a negative test does not mean you don’t have covid-19.
The answer is a big NO. According to a study conducted by Johns Hopkins Medicine, RT-PCR tests have the likelihood of missing more than 1 in 5 covid-19 cases. There could be several reasons for this, out of which one may be that labs are stretched in, and are unable to deal with the rising test samples. What’s more, some tests may not be able to identify the new mutant strains. In certain cases, it could also be that the swabs were not taken properly, which is why the test results are false.
The government has also advised such people to wear masks even at home to contain the spread.
According to research, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) tests help to collect samples from the lower respiratory tract through a bronchoscope. So, in case you’ve tested negative but are still suffering from covid-like symptoms, do get this done.
If you observe mild symptoms, you can assess the situation for another 2-3 days, before going for a CT scan. That’s also because serious consequences like pneumonia, cough and other respiratory issues take some time to develop, and if you get tested too early, it could be a problem again. You want the right diagnosis, so it’s important to keep this in mind.
Whatever be the situation, it is better to be safe than sorry. It is believed that if no action is taken in case of mild symptoms, it could sometimes lead to a worse situation, as time passes. Make sure to follow all the protocols – self-isolate, maintain social distancing, sanitize properly, wear a mask at home, and check SPo2 levels with a pulse oximeter.
If the situation doesn’t seem to subside in a few days, make sure to get a CT scan done and get the right treatment for your condition.