Coronavirus Covid-19 Test- RT-PCR
Understanding Coronavirus Covid-19 Test- RT-PCR
What is Coronavirus Covid-19 Test- RT-PCR?
A Coronavirus Covid-19 Test- RT-PCR examination aids in the identification of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). It employs the Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) technique, which involves obtaining a nasal or throat swab. RT-PCR is the most dependable and precise test (considered the gold standard) for promptly detecting and initiating appropriate treatment for COVID-19.
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus (also called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)). The most common symptoms of COVID-19 infection are fever, cough, loss of taste or smell, breathing difficulty, nasal congestion, and diarrhea, among others. If you have one or more of these symptoms, have traveled to areas where COVID-19 prevalence is high, or have been in contact with a COVID-positive person, you should book this test.
A Coronavirus Covid-19 Test- RT-PCR uses a real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) technique that helps detect the presence of the virus's genetic material in the tested sample (usually collected from the throat or nasal cavity using a swab). No special preparations are needed for a COVID-RTPCR test; eat or drink normally per your daily routine. However, a Govt. ID card (Aadhar card preferred) is mandatory for sample collection.
If tested positive, do not panic; self-isolate and get the appropriate treatment. Most people have mild illnesses and can get better safely at home without needing hospitalization. However, contact your doctor if the symptoms worsen or if you have questions or concerns. A negative test result means the absence of an active infection during sample collection. In such a case, continue to take measures to protect yourself and others from getting COVID-19.
What is Coronavirus Covid-19 Test- RT-PCR used for?
A Coronavirus Covid-19 Test- RT-PCR test can be done:
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever or chills, shortness of breath, fatigue, sore throat, cough, running nose, and loss of taste or smell.
- If you recently came in contact with an individual already infected with COVID-19.
- If you are traveling to a new location, the specific requirements for COVID-19 testing may vary based on destination location and mode of travel.
- To monitor the treatment of COVID-19 infection.
What does Coronavirus Covid-19 Test- RT-PCR measure?
A Coronavirus Covid-19 Test- RT-PCR test is an ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) approved test that helps to identify coronavirus infection by detecting the presence of the genetic material of the virus (SARS-CoV-2) in the body. This test uses a real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) method, the gold standard for detecting the presence of viruses.
A positive test result means the presence of an active COVID-19 infection. If you test positive, stay home, separate yourself from others, and keep in touch with your doctor. A negative test result indicates an absence of an active infection at the time of sample collection. However, it doesn't mean you are safe at any time. You can get infected with COVID-19 and spread the virus to others any time after testing. Continue to take measures to protect yourself and others from getting the infection.
Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Coronavirus Covid-19 Test- RT-PCR
Frequently Asked Questions about Coronavirus Covid-19 Test- RT-PCR
Q. What is the duration between being infected with COVID-19 and testing positive for it?
Q. How is a COVID-19 RT PCR test performed?
Q. How accurate is a COVID-19 RT PCR test?
Q. What is the difference between a COVID-19 RT PCR test and an antigen test for COVID-19?
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- Zitek T. The Appropriate Use of Testing for COVID-19. West J Emerg Med. 2020 Apr 13;21(3):470-472. [Accessed 25 Jan. 2023]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7234686/
- Xiao AT, Tong YX, Zhang S. False negative of RT-PCR and prolonged nucleic acid conversion in COVID-19: Rather than recurrence. J Med Virol. 2020 Oct;92(10):1755-1756. [Accessed 25 Jan. 2023]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7262304/
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- Hirotsu Y, Maejima M, Shibusawa M, et al. Comparison of automated SARS-CoV-2 antigen test for COVID-19 infection with quantitative RT-PCR using 313 nasopharyngeal swabs, including from seven serially followed patients. International Journal of Infectious Diseases. 2020 Oct;99:397-402. [Accessed 25 Jan. 2023]. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1201971220306585