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COVID-19

What is COVID-19?

COVID -19, also known as coronavirus disease 2019 is an illness caused by a novel coronavirus. It is also referred to as severe acute respiratory syndrome due to its ability to affect and cause damage to the respiratory tract. This was first identified amid an outbreak of respiratory illnesses in Wuhan City, China.

It was brought to the notice of the WHO towards the end of December 2019, a month after which, it was declared a global health emergency.Very soon thereafter, the WHO declared COVID-19 as global pandemic, the first of its kind since the H1N1 influenza outbreak in 2009.

When to perform COVID-19 test?

Symptoms

COVID-19 affects different people in varying ways.

Most infected people will develop mild to moderate symptoms which can be managed at home and will not need further medical intervention or hospitalization.

Some mild symptoms include

  • Fever
  • Slight cough
  • Tiredness

Some of the less common symptoms are

  • Aches and pains
  • Sore throat
  • Diarrhoea
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • A rash on skin, or a discoloration of fingers or toes

The serious symptoms which would require immediate medical assistance are

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Loss of speech or movement
  • Chest pain or pressure

Type of tests & advantages

With the rampant spread of this disease across the globe, testing has become imperative. There are currently two types of tests available.

The RT-PCR (Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test detects nucleic acid, such as RNA, belonging to the coronavirus. These tests are highly sensitive and extremely accurate.

On the other hand, the rapid antigen test (also known as the Rapid Test RAT) are generally quicker and relatively cheaper as compared to the RT-PCR test. These are also less sensitive and less accurate than its counterpart.

RT-PCR over Antigen

The RT-PCR diagnostic test is a more reliable way to get tested owing to its accuracy and high sensitivity to an active infection. This is very useful when testing is needed before resuming work or school/college. The test involves taking a sample of the mucus or saliva in the nasal or oral cavity using a specialized swab stick.

The Antigen test is quicker owing to the quick turnaround times of collected samples. The main drawback of this test is the possibility of missing an active infection. A negative result of the Antigen test, coupled with symptoms would generally be followed up with an RT-PCR test to confirm the result.

Advantages of RT-PCR test at Krsnaa Diagnostics

Our state-of-the-art facility has made it easy, accurate and timely to undergo a PCR at one of our centres and has several advantages:

  • Our labs are ICMR-approved and use PCR instruments with modern and advanced features
  • The use of a 3 gene kit for has heightened efficacyand gives accurate and appropriate results.
  • We have developed our own integration tool which is used for transferring PCR graph of samples. This has been crucial for doctors to plan proper treatment.
  • We offer the use of saliva-based COVID-19 testing and optimization of Saliva Protocol with ThermoFisher scientific.
  • We are the first company to launch Isothermal rapid molecular testing for COVID-19 in support with ABBOTT in India which is also known as Point of care testing.
  • We are the first company to launch Isothermal rapid molecular testing for COVID-19 in support with ABBOTT in India which is also known as Point of care testing.
  • Stringent testing of UV chambers for COVID-19 and an effective sanitization protocol aids in viral surface control.

Role of Radiology in COVID-19 diagnosis?

HRCT & advantages
Mild symptoms of COVID-19 are known to mimic upper respiratory viral infections, with advanced symptoms citing respiratory dysfunction as the principal cause of morbidity and (seems negative word). In a scenario such as this, chest imaging is crucial to evaluate the level to which the respiratory system may have been impacted.

The HRCT (High resolution computed tomography) provides a robust method of examination in the diagnosis and monitoring of diseases of the lung tissue and surrounding airways.

Non-invasiveness and avoidance of contrast solutions give this test an added benefit since it eliminates the possible allergic reactions that can be caused by contrast solutions.

X-Ray & advantages

The conventional chest X-ray is a strong and reliable method to evaluate problems related to the lungs, heart and chest wall.

It is also an effective diagnostic tool for shortness of breath, fever or a persistent cough. It uses a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce images of the inside of the chest cavity, making it very advantageous over alternate diagnostic methods.

Chest X-rays are very quick and easy. They require very little or no prior preparation, making them useful at times of emergency diagnoses.

What is COVID-19 Antibody test?

Antibodies are normally produced by the body’s immune system in response to an outside stimulus, namely a virus.

It is primarily a blood test and can detect whether a person has ever contracted the virus, albeit in the past. This test is particularly useful if you are showing COVID-19 symptoms but do not have access to the RT-PCR test.

A key factor to note is that antibodies are produced only about one or two weeks after the onset of symptoms. It is hence not advisable to take this test if you have been experiencing symptoms for less than a week.

Antibody tests are useful in determination of exactly how many people have been infected by and recovered from the virus. This would give a better understanding of the rate of the virus’ spread.

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How to Stay Safe Important Precautions

If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected covid infection.

Boil your food

Cover when Coughing/Sneezing

Follow Social distancing

Take a Regular Sleep

Use soap & antibacterial gel

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