You may all know how to read some of your blood reports. What you may not know, however, is how to read the RT-PCR test results. It can be confusing, especially if you are not familiar with the terminology. In this blog, we will break down what each term means and what it tells you about your test results. So, let’s get started.
What is coronavirus?
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large group of viruses that can cause a wide range of illnesses, from common colds to acute respiratory tract infections. Symptoms of the infection can include pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, and even death.
A coronavirus is a virus that can cause respiratory infection. The most common infection detected is the common cold. In some patients, more serious diseases were diagnosed, such as SARS. The coronavirus is so named because it has a crown-like (corona) appearance when viewed under a microscope.
China’s Hubei Province’s city of Wuhan reported mysterious cases of pneumonia on December 31, 2019. Symptoms of the disease were first identified as COVID-19 by the WHO on January 7, 2020, which was due to a new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). More than 210 different countries and territories have been exposed to the virus after spreading out from the Wuhan region of China.
The symptoms of coronavirus infection include fever, headache, and muscle aches. The illness is usually mild, and most people recover without treatment. However, the infection can be more serious in some cases and may lead to pneumonia.
The symptoms were similar to those of the common flu and, in some cases, there were no symptoms at all because it is a new disease. Detecting and preventing the spread of Covid-19 was difficult; so, Covid-19 tests became mandatory for every traveller.
Diagnosis of Covid-19
Coronavirus is diagnosed by taking a sample of mucous from the nose or throat and testing it for the presence of the virus. This can be done using various techniques, including viral culture, RT-PCR assay, and immunofluorescence assay.
The RT-PCR assay is the most sensitive test for diagnosing coronavirus, as it can detect even small amounts of the virus. This assay involves using a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to amplify the viral DNA so that it can be detected.
The assay results will help your doctor decide on the best course of treatment. If you have a positive result for coronavirus, your doctor may prescribe antiviral medications to help you recover. If you have a negative result, your doctor may still recommend taking antiviral medications as a precaution.
How to read coronavirus test results
The coronavirus result determines the presence or absence of a particular virus in a sample. The RT-PCR report is a laboratory report that documents the results of a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay to detect a particular coronavirus.
A positive result indicates that the virus is present in the sample, while a negative result indicates that the virus is not present. An equivocal result means that the test cannot determine whether the virus is present or not.
However, a negative result does not necessarily mean that the virus is not present; it may only mean that the virus count was too low to be detected by the assay.
RT-PCR test process
The RT-PCR process begins with RNA extraction from a tissue or cell sample. RNA is a type of molecule that carries the genetic information of cells. Next, a particular enzyme called reverse transcriptase converts the RNA into DNA. The DNA is then amplified, or copied, using a process called polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The amplified DNA can then be detected and measured.
Reading an RT-PCR report
To read an RT-PCR report, you need to understand what each of the terms in the report means. The report will include the following terms:
- Test name: The name of the test that was performed
- Sample type: The type of sample that was tested
- Positive result: A positive result means that the virus is present in the sample.
- Negative result: A negative result means that the virus is not present in the sample.
- Equivocal result: An equivocal result means that the test cannot determine whether the virus is present or not.
- CT value: The cycle threshold (CT) of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is determined during RT-PCR testing. When an RT-PCR test is performed, RNA is extracted from a patient’s swab. RNA is then converted into DNA and amplified using amplification technologies.
- Viral load: This denotes the amount of viral RNA in the sample. This is reported as a number (e.g., “positive at 10 copies/mL”). An infection requires a certain amount of virus to take hold in every infectious disease. How much virus an individual can handle is determined by their immune system. Regardless of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI), such as physical distance, masks, well-ventilated spaces, or quarantine, the higher the viral load, the greater the risk of serious disease, hospital admission, and transmission to others. It is likely that a patient with a lower virus load is not capable of transmitting viruses.
- The report will also include a diagram of the RT-PCR assay, which will help you to understand how the test was performed.
Are there any risks involved?
RT-PCR is a safe and widely used laboratory test. There are no known risks associated with the RT-PCR process.
How can I get an RT-PCR test done?
An RT-PCR test can be administered by a healthcare professional. If you are concerned that you may be infected with the coronavirus, you should speak with your doctor about getting a test. There may be a fee associated with the test, but most insurance plans will cover it.
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, a coronavirus RT-PCR test result is an important piece of information that can help people determine one’s risk of exposure. Always consult a healthcare professional if there is any doubt about whether or not someone has been infected with the coronavirus.
Ultimately, a coronavirus RT-PCR result should always be interpreted in conjunction with other information, such as symptoms and recent travel history.
What does the RT-PCR report mean?
The numbers in an RT-PCR Report indicate the likelihood that someone has been infected with the coronavirus. The higher the number, the more likely it is that someone has been infected. A lower number means that the person is less likely to have been infected.
You can tell if you’ve been infected with the coronavirus by looking at an RT-PCR report. Understanding an RT-PCR report can help you and your loved ones protect their health.
Three vaccines are used in India’s vaccination program, including Oxford University – AstraZeneca’s Covishield vaccine (manufactured by the Serum Institute of India), Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, and Russia’s Sputnik V.
However, it is important to note that these numbers are not always 100% accurate. You must always consult the doctor to know what your reports mean.
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