A STUDY OF REVERSE TRANSCRIPTASE-POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION NEGATIVE COVID-19 CASES IN A RURAL TERTIARY HEALTH CARE CENTRE
Taseena Banu R., Chandrashekar T. V., *Vasantha Kamath, M. J. Jacob and Dharani Mohan
Introduction: It is reported that many „suspected‟ cases with typical clinical characteristics of COVID-19 and specific computed tomography (CT) images went undetected by RT-PCR. Our study aims to review the clinical features, laboratory test, radiological results, complications, and management of such patients who are clinical COVID but RT-PCR negative. Methodology: It is a descriptive study of RT-PCR negative COVID-19 patients done in a rural tertiary care hospital, Hoskote, Karnataka for a period of 6 months. Out of 1807 who presented with clinical suspicion of COVID-19, 1754 tested positive and 53 patients whose nasopharyngeal swab tested negative for RT-PCR were included in the study. Result: Out of 53 patients, median age of patients was 49 years, 31(58.49%) were males and 22 (41.51%) females. Most were in the age group <40years (41.51%). Most common clinical symptom noted in our study was myalgia, productive cough, breathlessness. Diabetes Mellitus (26.42%) was the most common comorbidity in our study. Fatality was seen in 8 cases with a case fatality rate of 15%. Conclusion: In patients presenting with clinical symptoms of Covid but with a negative RT-PCR, the diagnosis must not only rely on RT-PCR test results but on the clinical suspicion and on the findings from other tests, most notably chest CT and elevated inflammatory markers.
Keywords: RT-PCR swab negative COVID-19, clinical suspicion, Inflammatory markers, CT thorax.
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