Remember when coronavirus had just begun to spread in March 2020, and we knew little to nothing about it? Well, as it turns out, we're back to square one a year later. With the virus constantly mutating, several variants are now present in different countries across the globe. And each more infectious than the next.
Researchers believe that a newly mutated Indian variant of the virus (B.1.617) is behind the second COVID-19 wave in the country. Another alarming trend is that many people are testing negative after an RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) test despite having all symptoms of coronavirus. Though there is no direct link between the two yet, medical experts are saying that the virus' constantly changing form might be behind this.
This is dangerous because it stops a COVID-positive patient from seeking medical help at the right time. Additionally, they also might end up infecting others around them, believing that they have not caught it. So if you are showing signs of COVID-19 like sore throat, cough, headache and fever, but get a negative RT-PCR test, don't take it lightly! Here's what you should do instead:
Ideally, this should be done the moment you begin to exhibit symptoms. You may or may not have the virus, but it is always better to be on the safe side. This way, you will not spread the virus to other members of your household.
This may be a futile exercise, but it is worth a shot. Sometimes test reports can give false-negative results. So a second test might be able to give more accurate results.
Even if your test report is negative, make sure you track your symptoms every few hours if you have any. Track your temperature, blood oxygen levels, blood pressure and blood glucose (if you are diabetic). Maintain a journal of these figures so that it is easy to catch any suspicious changes.
Instead of going by speculations, it's better to consult a doctor and get expert advice. They will prescribe medications to treat your symptoms and direct you to further testing.
Currently, this is the most common medical advice given to patients who are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 but test negative on RT-PCR. Research has shown that chest CT scans may be helpful to diagnose COVID-19 in individuals with a high clinical suspicion of infection. However, make sure you get one only after consulting your doctor. Our healthcare system is overburdened, so don't show up to get a test you may not have needed to begin with.
Remember to stay hydrated, eat nutritious meals and constantly monitor your symptoms.
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