COVID-19 Education: How to do a coronavirus infection test

by Mar 30, 2020Articles, Health Education0 comments

A sample medical laboratory testing. Image by Belova59 from Pixabay

 

 

COVID-19 Education: How to do a coronavirus infection test (The RT-PCR Test)

How to test someone if he has coronavirus (COVID-19)

5 Steps to perform coronavirus infection test

So many people who have the coronavirus do not know they have until after a couple of days. That is why the infection rate surges in a short period of time in a particular where it has been detected.

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How can someone be tested to know if he or she has been infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19)? The steps below show how to perform a coronavirus test to detect a carrier of the virus:

Step 1

Collect a sample by placing a sterile thin pad (of about 3 mm in diameter at its tip) at the back of a patient’s nasal passage, where it connects to the throat via the nasopharynx. Leave if for about 45 to 50 seconds so as to absorb secretions. This will make the person feel some discomfort but he can still talk and breathe.

Step 2

Put the thin pad into a liquid-filled tube and take it to the lab for testing.

Step 3

Extract a viral genetic material called RNA, if present in the sample, in the lab

Step 4

Produce a complementary strand of DNA from the extracted RNA in the lab

Step 5

Perform Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test

A Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test kit is used to test the strands of DNA for the presence of a coronavirus gene. The positive predictive value or likelihood of a positive test result correctly shows that the person has coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test kits which are designed to target regions on a coronavirus gene preferably the one that codes for the protein that makes the virus’s nucleocapsid, works by amplifying or making thousands of copies of the DNA, to get a quantifiable result. The nucleocapsid is like an envelope that houses the coronavirus’s RNA.

There is a risk of having a false-negative result if the sample is not taken correctly. A carrier of the virus who tasted negative would go about living his normal life while infecting others with the virus unknowingly until he starts feeling the symptoms after a couple of days.

A good way to learn how to do a coronavirus test (COVID-19) is to practice with another with the thin pad and get acquainted with it.

Written by Ekene Ifechukwu

Ekene Ifechukwu is an education writer. He has over 7 years of experience in teaching and tutoring. He has taught in primary and secondary schools. He has affection for training children and young people. He aims at improving other people's lives through education.

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