False positive? WVMC lab defends virus test process

first_imgTo date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-2019. However, possible vaccines and some specific drug treatments are under investigation. They are being tested through clinical trials. The World Health Organization (WHO) is coordinating efforts to develop vaccines and medicines to prevent and treat the disease. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. For one, WVMC-SNL emphasized it complied with and passed all the required standards and was in fact issued a proficiency testing certificate on March 31, 2020 by the Department of Health and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine. More importantly, “the RT-PCR machine is fully automated, hence, there is no way the operator can manipulate the results,” according to the WVMC-SNL. COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Esmeralda wondered if there were glitches in the testing process. Esmeralda, a physician, suspended work at the Igbaras municipal hall beginning June 2 as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19. He and the rest of the officials and employees of the municipal government – 150 in total – deemed themselves “persons under monitoring” and agreed to observe home quarantine until the result of the SB member’s repeat test had been released. They also underwent COVID testing. WVMC-SNL assured Western Visayans it was fully aware of its mandate and responsibility to release accurate, reliable and timely results, since these have “serious impact to the patient, the community and the entire region.” “A positive COVID-19 (SARS Cov-2) RT-PCR result means SARS CoV-2 RNA is detected in the specimen. The testing cannot determine whether the viral RNA is active / infectious or inactive / dormant / non-infectious,” part of its statement read. Most people (about 80 percent) recover from the disease without needing special treatment, according to WHO./PN In a statement addressing the issue, WVMC-SNL stressed such scenario was “very remote, if not nil.” The laboratory also explained what a positive test result meant. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. “Damo kami ginalantaw. One, indeed when specimens were extracted from the SB member for his first testing, positive gid man sia pero patay na ang virus kag remnants na lang didto…Indi man ma-discount ang possibility nga may human error. Puwede na-inter-change ang specimens, puede nga may clerical error,” said Esmeralda. “A quality management system had been installed and designed to eliminate errors in order to ensure identity of specimen being processed,” it stressed. Mayor Esmeralda said on Friday he was not discounting the possibility that the SB member’s first test was a “false positive.” Except for a trip to Iloilo City on May 1, Patient No. 114 did not have a history of travel to areas with confirmed COVID-19 cases, Esmeralda pointed out. WVMC-SNL led Dr. Stephanie Abello, chief pathologist, insisted that every procedure of the RT-PCR test had stringent verification and validation process. Esmeralda also said 100 of the 150 Igbaras local government unit (LGU) officials and employees tested may now heave a sigh of relief. Results of their tests showed them negative for COVID-19. For everybody’s piece of mind, the mayor said, a third RT-PCR test on the SB member may be conducted. ILOILO City – The Western Visayas Medical Center Sub-national Laboratory (WVMC-SNL) brushed off insinuations it could be releasing “false positive” coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) test results. The results of the rest were yet to be released. Esmeralda also said some close contacts of the SB member also tested negative for the disease. Thus, according to the laboratory, “the completion of the 14-day quarantine is required to ensure safety of the patient, and prompt contact tracing is made to ensure that all contacts are swabbed, quarantined and advised.” In the case of the Igbaras SB member or Patient 114, according to the WVMC-SNL, his was the only positive specimen in the plate of 93 specimens, thus it ruled out contamination from another specimen. WVMC-SNL was forced to defend itself following the concern aired by Mayor Jaime Esmeralda of Igbaras, Iloilo over the diverging results of the two reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests conducted on one of his Sangguniang Bayan (SB) members just five days apart. To ensure accuracy in all the tests, the laboratory added, all positive specimens are isolated and undergo a repeated testing procedure by a different group of medical technologists. In the first test, the 55-year-old male SB member tested positive for COVID-19. In the second or repeat test taken five days after, he tested negative.last_img