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Is RT-PCR test failing to detect new Covid-19 strains in India?

Apr 13, 2021 18:36 IST | By Editorji News Desk

As India battles a fresh wave of Covid-19, the new virus strains, which have been more contagious, may also be more difficult to detect.

Multiple reports says that the commonly used RT-PCR test are giving negative results even in people who have visible and scientifically established symptoms. Doctors say the deadly virus even escapes the scanner with multiple RT-PCR tests.

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A leading doctor told The Times of India even patients who show one of defining characteristics of Covid-19 such as the gray patches in lungs, have also tested negative. Researchers explain that in such cases it is possible that the contagion doesn’t colonise the nasal or throat cavity. Therefore swab samples taken from these areas don’t yield a positive result and it is only through bronchoalveolar lavage or BAL virus can be detected.

For many people, whose RT-PCR test came negative on subsequent BAL tests, they came out positive. Such patients, can continue to spread the infection while remaining undetected for the coronavirus, makes the fight against Covid-19 more daunting.

Also Read | New Covid-19 symptoms to watch out for