How to Find Out if You are Positive for the Novel Coronavirus
The novel coronavirus or the SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of the COVID-19. It first made international headlines after it had an outbreak in China in December 2019, says an article.
To know if you are positive for the illness, you have to be tested first.
The Novel Coronavirus Test
The available techniques used for the diagnosis of the coronavirus are molecular tests. This type of test makes use of the polymerase chain reaction or the PCR. The PCR is used to detect small particles of the virus.
The test makes use of biology's natural features. It primarily scans through all of the RNA of a sample, The samples can be gathered through a throat or nose swab or phlegm. This will help identify the presence of the coronavirus RNA. The scanning process occurs with the usage of test components such as probes and primers. These are sequence-based. This means that it can be specifically made in -relation to the virus.
If the coronavirus is present in the sample, the DNA's short snippet gets copied multiple times. This will allow a machine to read out the virus.
In the situation where there is an absence of the deadly coronavirus in the sample, then there is no DNA fragment created and there is no signal to detect.
The test of the CDC was crafted to make us of three primary sets of primers and probes. Two are uniquely able to match the novel coronavirus and the third one matches various highly similar viruses.
Testing Positive for the COVID-19
A person infected with the novel coronavirus should test positive for the three primary sets of primers and probes. Someone without the illness tests negative for the three. A person positive for SARS will only test positive with the third probe and primer sets. This allows a better distinction between the SARS-CoV-2 and other identical viruses. However, it should be noted that this is a hypothetical case and there is no SARS outbreak.
Discovery of a New Test Procedure
Eventually, the CDC will develop a different serology test. This test will help identify if a person can create antibodies to fight the novel coronavirus infection. This test can be used without the need of having a person actively infected by the virus. This will help provide answers about the total number of COVID-19 cases. Also, it will provide an insight into how deadly the new coronavirus is in large populations.
The CDC Test Kits: What Went Wrong?
At the beginning of the outbreak of the COVID-19, all of the testing for the deadly virus was made exclusively at the CDC with its kit. The tests performed well. The CDC's COVID-19 testing kits were used to detect the first case of the dangerous virus in the United States of America on January 20. The patient traveled from Wuhan to the state of Washington.
A report originating from the CDC revealed that from January 18 to February 23, the CDC had already tested 2,620 samples from 1,000 people.
Problems started surfacing on February 5 when the CDC started sending its testing kits to qualified states and local public health laboratories. This was the agency's effort to expand the testing for the virus. However, when the kits were sent out, laboratories reported having experienced issues with verification tests.
The CDC is yet to clarify the issue. However, they said it was a manufacturing-related concern.
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