As the world is struck with COVID- 19 pandemic, we face the challenge of an overabundance of information related to the virus. Some of this information may be fake and potentially harmful. Inaccurate information is very misleading and spreads like wildfire, making it harder for the public to identify verified facts and advice from trusted sources, such as WHO. The importance of reliable and accessible testing to screen for the disease has become increasingly apparent. Since debunking myths about COVID-19 testing is the need of the hour; here are some common myths about COVID-19 testing procedure along with the correct information regarding them.
A blood test is required for COVID-19 testing.
This is a myth as COVID-19 testing procedures don’t require drawing of blood. Apparently, the RT-PCR test that is considered as the gold standard for detecting COVID-19 uses nasopharyngeal swab/ oropharyngeal swabs /throat swab/nasal swab for the identification of virus particles in the patients. The test is carried out by trained professionals with the help of an RT-PCR test kit.
Covid – 19 testing kits can cause COVID-19.
This is untrue as Covid-19 testing kits are highly sensitive to detect the SARS-Cov-2 virus. They are very useful and are updated with new techniques depending upon the latest research developments. For instance, the approved home-based rapid antigen testing (RAT) kit costs very less and provides quick results within 15 minutes leading to prompt treatment and isolation.
Testing centers are taking advantage of the pandemic by charging very high for COVID-19 tests.
This is a false statement. There are a lot of agencies and companies that strive to provide accessible and affordable healthcare along with diagnostic services to all. For instance, Many independent companies like Spicehealth have SpiceHealth testing labs that have been successfully conducting the country’s cheapest RT-PCR tests starting from just INR 499/-.
Covid-19 testing procedures require a lot of time to generate accurate results.
Many testing centers are processing a large volume of tests everyday that is leading to a delay in the results. Therefore, Certain companies or agencies have emerged that strive on providing these services at a faster rate. For instance, In SpiceHealth covid-19 testing labs, test results are made available within 24hours of sample collection.
CT scan can detect covid-19.
This is a myth since CT scan findings are not specific enough to confirm COVID-19. A CT scan cannot accurately make a distinction between COVID-19 and other respiratory infections. Because COVID-19 is highly infectious, using imaging equipment on COVID-19 patients could be a stern risk for other people including healthcare workers.
We can’t find out whether we have covid-19 in past or not.
This isn’t true as Antibody tests can be used to tell us whether someone had covid-19 in past or not. It detects the antibodies produced by our immune system as a response to covid-19 infection. Moreover, Antibody tests cannot be used to diagnose COVID-19 in the early stages of infection or disease but can indicate whether or not someone has had the disease in the past.
A negative result by PCR certifies a complete Covid-19 recovery.
This is false as a negative PCR test result just means that the individual is not currently affected by Covid- 19. It neither confirms recovery from COVID-19 nor confirms that the patient is no longer infectious. In fact, repeat testing is essential for identifying SARS-CoV-2-positive individuals at initial diagnosis.
Children are not required to get tested
Children are less susceptible to COVID-19 than adults but they can still catch the disease since they are more likely to be exposed to the virus and spread it to others. Thus, testing them is crucial too.