A team of researchers from George Washington University has come up with a new blood test that can detect Covid infection and severity within a short duration of time. As of now, there is no sure method to know immune system response to the infection as it depends on the severity of the infection and other factors.
However, the researchers say that this test can predict the immune response to the infection. This will give doctors the crucial information needed to choose the appropriate treatment plan for the infected patients.
Researchers Develop A Blood Test To Detect Covid Infection And Severity Quickly
When the researchers analyzed the whole blood RNA of infected patients, they found some change in the cells of those infected patients. When the infection was more severe, there was a decrease in T cell activity and an increase in neutrophil activity. In this way, the analysis of whole blood RNA has opened up new doors for doctors in treating covid patients.
According to researchers, the method they used can also be beneficial for identifying other infections apart from Covid. The degree of accuracy is very high in this case as the blood sample gives the complete picture of the infection, unlike the swab samples taken for Covid tests.
As of now, the researchers are conducting various tests to measure the effectiveness of their method. If the new blood test method is successful, the researchers are likely to seek authorization from FDA. It is interesting to note that it may take around six months to get emergency use authorization from the FDA.
This method will be very useful for doctors in the future to analyze the presence of infection and also to assess the severity of the infection. It can help avoid serious outcomes in many cases as early detection of the severity will help doctors choose the best treatment plan.
Current methods of detecting Covid infection include the rapid test and the RTPCR tests. While anyone can use the at-home test kits and rapid test kits, RTPCR needs a lab technician to conduct the test. Due to this reason, it takes about a day or two to get the results in case of an RTPCR test. However, it is considered more accurate than the rapid test kits.
The federal government plans to provide millions of at-home Covid test kits to the public to improve testing across the country. The existing testing centers are overloaded at the moment, and people have to wait for many hours before they can get tested.
To avoid such inconvenience, the Biden administration announced recently that they are providing free test kits for the public. In this way, more people will get tested, leading to a better diagnosis of the infection.
Several people who are at high risk need to get tested regularly to rule out infection. In this way, they can stay safe during the pandemic. Even though Omicron is not causing high levels of hospitalizations, it is still infectious and can create complications in unvaccinated people. For this reason, it is important to boost the vaccination program across the country.
There is no proper method of testing that can help doctors choose the best treatment plan for patients. However, the new research about detecting the severity of the infection by analyzing whole blood RNA can open new doors for medical professionals.
If doctors can get accurate information about the severity of infection, they will be in a good position to choose the appropriate therapy depending on the overall health condition of the patient. This saves a lot of time for the patients in the early stages of infection. In this way, patients have better chances of recovery without extreme outcomes.
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