There has been the worry of how effective the tests for the coronavirus has been as of late. There are numerous talks in several countries that suggest people are having over six negative results before finally being diagnosed as positive for the virus.
The question of the effectiveness of the tests because the officials in Hubei province, China, have started to COUNT people with symptoms rather than using the tests to confirm that they indeed have the coronavirus.
In line with the counting instead of officials waiting for the tests to complete, there are now almost 15,000 cases that were reported - which in hindsight makes it about a quarter of all cases since the outbreak.
What Tests Are in Question
The tests look for the genetic code of the virus in general. Sample via blook procurement from the patient which is then sent to the lab, then repeatedly copied, making small quantities large and detectable enough to cause a positive.
The "RT-PCR" tests are widely used to diagnose viruses that are known, HIV and influenza are normally very reliable.
"They are very robust tests generally, with a low false-positive and a low false-negative rate," Dr Nathalie MacDermott, of King's College London, says as she spoke to BBC.
A study was made in the journal Radiology showing five out of 167 patients were tested and shown to be negative despite lung scans that confirm the results. On a later date, the patients were indeed tested positive for the virus.
That's not all however since there are other cases that make it really seem that the tests are indeed not working. Dr. Li Wenliang, is one of the first or most probably is the first to raise concerns about the virus after unfortunately dying from it.
Chinese officials have unearthed cases of people testing negative six times already before the seventh test confirmed they indeed are positive. This has also been the case in Thailand and Singapore.
In the US, meanwhile, Dr Nancy Messonnier, of the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says some of its tests are producing "inconclusive" results as we have covered already before on the website.
A report by Fox News states that the accuracy level of coronavirus tests is only about 30-40%!
What Might Have Caused the Issue
There is one possible reason and that would be that it is indeed flu season in China right now, and when tested they didn't have the virus then but later on contracted it. Cough, cold and flu right now in China might be confused with having the sickness of the coronavirus.
It's because the symptoms of the coronavirus are that, cough, colds, and flu. Another possibility is that they might have the illness or just because it was on the onset there is not enough of the virus to be detected.
For the Ebola Virus, test results always have a 72 hour period before knowing if the patient indeed has it or not.
The question about the results is a very hot topic now and with all eyes watching on the update and progress of the cure for the coronavirus it will only get hotter. The effectivity of all tests should be monitored indeed.