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COVID 19 Testing:
Virus Test by RT-PCR
Significance of the Test:
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, previously called 2019-nCoV) belongs to the family of coronaviruses and, like SARS-CoV, is classified in the genus Betacoronavirus . The new coronavirus originated in China in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province. It caused an infection wave, which has spread rapidly within the country and worldwide [2, 3]. Just a few days after the first report about patients with pneumonia of unclear origin, the causative pathogen was identified as SARS-CoV-2 [2-4]. SARS-CoV-2 is predominantly transmitted by droplet infection via coughing or sneezing and through close contact with infected patients [2, 3, 5].
The incubation time of SARS-CoV is three to seven, maximally 14 days . The symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 infection are fever, coughing, breathing difficulties and fatigue [2, 3, 5]. In most patients the infection manifests with symptoms of a mild febrile illness with irregular lung infiltrates. Some patients, especially elderly or chronically ill patients, develop severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The disease is fatal in around 3% of cases [2, 3, 5]. In February 2020, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 was named COVID-19 by the WHO.
COVID-19 RT-PCR test is a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test to detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
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Wang G, Jin X. The progress of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) event in China. J MedVirol. doi: 10.1002/jmv.25705
Gralinski LE, Menachery VD. Return of the Coronavirus: 2019-nCoV. Viruses 2020, 12(2), 135
Corman VM, Landt O, Kaiser M, Molenkamp R, Meijer A, Chu DKW, et al. Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR. Euro Surveill. 2020; 25(3): pii=2000045
Xiao SY, Wu Y, Liu H. Evolving status of the 2019 novel coronavirus Infection: proposal of conventional serologic assays for disease diagnosis and infection monitoring. J Med Virol. 2020; 1-4