By MARY DORT, RN
COVID-19 by the CDC numbers:
8,553,827 total cases of COVID-19 in the U..S, to date.
224,221 deaths in the US, to date.
2,585 cases per 100,00 people, to date
These numbers represent People. We have not stopped this pandemic and have only slowed it. Now we are faced with FLU season, in addition to COVID-19, which will complicate the detection and understanding.
Since grade school, we have been taught that testing shows us how we are learning and progressing in school. Similarly, COVID-19 testing is used and must be continued to give us the baseline information needed to track progress, in addition to knowing how to properly treat our patients.
COVID Viral Testing per Mayo Clinic:
- Authorized assays for viral testing include those that detect SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid or antigen. Viral (nucleic acid or antigen) tests check samples from the respiratory system (such as nasal or oral swabs or saliva) to determine whether an infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is present. Viral tests are recommended to diagnose acute infection of both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals, to guide contact tracing, treatment options, and isolation requirements.
- Culture-based testing: Culture based testing is the standard in the industry which relies on growing cultures in a petri dish of a suspect sample. While this has been the norm for the industry for decades, it has limitations of accuracy and specificity as well as can take 4-7 days for results versus molecular based testing in the market today.
- PCR testing: This molecular based COVID-19 test detects the genetic material of the virus using a lab technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Also called a molecular test, a health care worker collects fluid from a nasal or throat swab or from saliva. Results may be available in minutes if analyzed onsite or 48 hrs. or less if sent to an outside lab. PCR tests are faster, more accurate, with improved reliability and increased sensitivity versus culture testing when properly performed by a health care professional.
So, you are sick, and you think you may have COVID or maybe the FLU. Which test are you going to want done?
As a person with medical knowledge, I have made my decision on how I wish to be treated as a patient. If I am sick, I will be having the PCR testing done. As Thomas Jefferson said, knowledge is power.
Mary Dort has been a Registered Nurse for 35 years. She is currently co-owner of an Rx2Live Franchise in Cape Coral and serves as a Medical Business Consultant to medical practices, elder care facilities, dental practices and businesses interested in implementing Health and Wellness programs. Prior to her current role, Mary served as a Chronic Care RN for the Bay Pines VA health care facility in Cape Coral. Prior to this role, she served in a similar capacity at the VA in Salisbury, NC as well as in Wichita, KS. Mary received her RN degree from Olney Central College in Olney, IL.