With the huge surge of cases taking over the nation once again Covid-19 testing is being conducted on a massive scale. While our corona warriors are trying their best to clear the test backlogs, studies are regularly reporting testing issues and these efforts seem to be going in vain. People who have tested negative still complain of having common Covid symptoms like cough, fever, loss of taste and smell which is concerning. Is there a possibility of false results? Or there might be other reasons for this.
Here are a few reasons that could justify the occurrence of symptoms-
#1 Long COVID
Long COVID is a condition wherein some people might experience symptoms of COVID-19 infection for weeks or months even after testing negative for it. These issues go well beyond the initial illness and vary according to the immunity level of the person.
Several studies are being conducted to identify how long people might face these symptoms or whether they can be classified into the category of chronic illness. Some people in the US and Europe have been physically struggling with the effects of the infection for over a year.
With the testing system overloaded, the efficacy of COVID-19 tests has declined sharply. Due to this reason, there is a chance that your test report might have come out as a false negative. Rapid Antigen Test that is used to detect COVID-19 infection reportedly has a success rate of less than 70%. Several international health bodies including the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have made it compulsory to verify results of rapid antigen tests with a follow-up RT-PCR COVID-19 test.
Change in Virus
The virus responsible for COVID-19 is mutating at a very fast pace and is changing its pathogenicity because of which people might face severe symptoms and early stage of the infection, even before the virus could be detected by RT-PCR or rapid antigen tests. The Indian double mutant strain of Coronavirus (B.1.617) is being considered the most advanced version of the virus that is infecting far more people than the original variant.
While several other factors could lead to COVID-19 symptoms without a positive test, the chance of a false report could be considered to affect the most.
Factors that Can Lead to False reports
Despite the obvious symptoms, 25-30% of Covid test reports are giving false results and below stated can be one of the reasons-
- Early Testing- There is an even possibility that you took the test earlier than you should have. According to research, one out of every five people who were infected by the coronavirus tested negative irrespective of testing technique.
- Poor Sample Extraction- If the sample on the sterile swab does not have the appropriate virus load, it will not give proper results due to poor viral detection.
- Human Errors- There can be sample transportation issues if the method used to collect and store the specimen was wrong which may lead to misdiagnosis.
What to Do if You Still Have the Covid Symptoms?
RT-PCR tests are feasible and are being considered a gold standard taking into account their effectiveness (93%) over viral isolation or any other methods of detection. However, one should note there is a circle of doubt (Did you forget the remaining 7%?) that surrounds these tests. Here’s what you can do in such a situation-
#1 Get Yourself Retested
Perhaps the best way to reassure yourself if you are suffering from Covid-19 would be to go for another round of tests after 3-4 days. Don’t step out rather book Covid RT-PCR test online on The Wellness Corner. Trained staff from IMCR labs would safely collect samples via the right technique, right from your doorstep and get results 48-72 hours.
You can now book RT-PCR test at home @best price right in your city-
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#2 Isolate Until You Feel Better
Even after retesting (twice preferably), if the result status is the same, separate yourself from other people so that you don’t risk them from getting infected. Wait and continue to take precautions for 5 days until you feel better.
#3 Monitor Your Health Regularly
Keep your health tracking tools by your side and analyze the pattern. Check your body temperature and oxygen level regularly. If your oximeter (Spo2) reading falls below 92, seek medical help immediately.
#4 Consult a Doctor
Stop panicking and consult a doctor online at The Wellness Corner app if you are confused. Mild cases can even be cured at home with proper professional guidance. Your doctor may ask you to go for additional tests like d-dimer tests if required in your case.
#5 Get Yourself Vaccinated if Eligible
Unite to fight corona and get yourself vaccinated if you are eligible as per the ongoing vaccination drive. You can book an appointment by registering yourself online or simply walk into your nearest center.
Second wave of corona in India is deadly and we as a nation weren’t really prepared for it. We are the world's largest Covid-19 vaccine producers, we have helped more than 20 nations during these tough covid times, but have fallen into the Covid pit again due to our carelessness and lenient behavior. Don’t take the coronavirus pandemic lightly! Get yourself vaccinated at the nearest center if you are eligible.
Keep taking necessary precautions because what needs attention is your health and not the report.
The biggest challenge then was to find a cure for the deadly coronavirus but the biggest challenge now is to unify people to get vaccinated. Don’t let the sleepless nights of our corona warriors go in vain. If you aren't feeling well, please get yourself tested and if you are eligible, please get yourself vaccinated because there’s nothing more valuable than the life you are blessed with. Save the world from another mass destruction by saving yourself! #IndiaFightsCorona