Mangaluru, August 2, 2020: Several incidents of contrasting swab test results shown by different hospital labs have been reported in Dakshina Kannada, putting the individuals involved and their kin through huge mental trauma.
A man with fever underwent an RT-PCR test for Covid-19 after visiting a private hospital. The test report came positive. But fresh tests, ordered by another hospital, showed that he didn’t have the coronavirus infection and was actually suffering from dengue. The patient is recovering.
His family members, while relieved that he doesn’t have Covid-19, voiced displeasure about the conflicting test reports. A post on the case has been widely circulated on social media.
The patient’s brother told media that the family took him to a private hospital in the city on July 24. There, he underwent multiple tests, including one for Covid-19. “After two days, the hospital informed us that he had tested positive for coronavirus and he was advised home isolation. Four days later, we took him to another private hospital and new tests were conducted,” the brother said. “This time, the result showed him to be positive for dengue and negative for Covid-19. He is recovering from the illness.”
The issue has been brought to the notice of district deputy commissioner KV Rajendra.
“There are two major types of tests — rapid antigen and RT-PCR. A positive report in the rapid antigen test is 100 per cent confirmation. If the result comes negative though the person has some symptoms, a RT-PCR test is ordered for further confirmation. In a few cases, there have been false positive or negative reports. It may be because of the viral load or testing method,” Rajendra said. “Ninety-nine per cent of the reports of RT-PCR tests are accurate. We cannot suspect the method just because of two or three cases. We have been trying to create awareness on the issue”, he said.
Reduction in the viral load can also influence the result of the second test. “RT-PCR is accepted across the world,” Rajendra added.