As a radiologist, I am excited to report that according to a recent study published in Radiology, Chest CT has been deemed more diagnostic in the detection of COVID-19 compared to RT-PCR testing. In a recent study, "RT-PCR testing detected COVID-19 in only 59% of the cases. In comparison, 88% of the patients showed chest CT findings indicative of COVID-19. Among those with negative initial RT-PCR results, 93% showed CT features consistent with COVID-19 diagnosis prior to eventual confirmation on RT-PCR four or more days after the initial test". For those statistically inclined, that translates to a positive predictive value of 65% and the negative predictive value was 83% for chest CTs. Let's hope we continue to make advances when it comes to preventing, diagnosing, treating and vaccinating against such highly contagious infections.
“It’s not so much of a question of if this will happen anymore but rather more of a question of exactly when this will happen,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, in a recent news briefing.
Although these facts are rapidly updating, it's paramount we continue with prevention tactics that are helpful. Influenza infections secondarily weaken the individual's immune system as well as strain the hospitals and emrgency rooms. It's crucial for those without contraindications to receive annual flu vaccination, to continue practicing universal precautions, to wear personal protective gears when warranted and abstain from large crowds when possible. By so doing, you are not only practicing self care but packing into the stream of life and helping the greater human good.