COVID-19 Diagnostic Viral Testing


COVID-19 RT-PCR Nasal Swab Testing

COVID-19 RT-PCR Diagnostic Swab Tests are the most effective tests in the market for results of active coronavirus infections. Our team is ready to deliver you, your family, and colleagues with personalized service, discretion, best medical advice during these uncertain times.

FAQ’s About Nasal Swab Testing

What is Diagnostic Testing?

Diagnostic testing for COVID-19 looks for the virus in individuals and is used when there is a reason to suspect they may be infected. Healthcare providers may recommend a diagnostic test if a patient is symptomatic, the patient has had a recent exposure to someone who tested positive, and for individuals who are in a high-risk group.

How does the FDA regulate diagnostic tests?

The FDA regulates diagnostic tests as in vitro diagnostic devices and has provided recommendations and information regarding EUA requests for COVID-19 diagnostic tests in the Policy for Coronavirus Disease-2019 Tests. (Source: FDA)

When should I use diagnostic testing?

Diagnostic testing should be used when testing symptomatic individuals, testing individuals who indicate that they were exposed to an individual with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, and testing all individuals present at an event where an attendee was later confirmed to have COVID-19. Diagnostic tests may also be appropriate in areas of high community spread, at the discretion of the ordering healthcare provider.

What should I do if I think I need COVID-19 RT-PCR Diagnostic Swab Test?

A COVID-19 nasal swab test must be prescribed by a doctor. If you believe you need to be tested for COVID-19, contact Gentera and one of our doctors will be able to help you.

What actually happens during a COVID-19 nasal swab test?

The medical practitioner will insert a long stick with a very soft tip on the end, up the individual’s nasal cavity and twirl it for a couple of seconds. The soft brush will collect a sample of secretions that carry cells and fluids that run along the entire passageway that connects the base of the nose to the back of the throat. This is the most accurate manner to collect a good nasal specimen.

Our bodies are not used to having an object in that area so expect to feel an odd sensation. This procedure may activate the lacrimal reflex, meaning that it’ll bring tears to your eyes if it’s done correctly. The swab will also touch the back of the patient’s throat, and may trigger a gag reflex.

What is the turnaround time for RT-PCR testing?

Our median turnaround times have been approximately 48-72 hours once the sample is received by the laboratory. In some extreme cases of demand, delays may occur.

How accurate is COVID-19 nasal swab testing?

The test used in our FDA authorized clinical laboratories is very sensitive. “PCR assay,” also known as “polymerase chain reaction”, is a specific type of nucleic acid test. It looks for traces of the coronavirus’ genetic material collected during the swabbing process. In the lab, we can prove a PCR assay can detect very small amounts of the coronavirus.

When you get exposed to COVID-19, it starts replicating in your upper respiratory tract. And the more coronavirus there is, the easier it is to detect. The plateau occurs pretty early on, within a few days of showing symptoms. But if we test you earlier than that, the results aren’t nearly as reliable.

Is the RT-PCR Swab Test easy? Is it comfortable?

Getting a well-collected specimen is a challenge and uncomfortable but the process is necessary to get the most accurate results. Some collectors don’t feel comfortable inserting the swab as far as they must go, and patients may jerk back. That’s why we’ve trained our health practitioner appropriately to improve the quality of the specimens we collect while keeping our patients as comfortable as we can. Our medical personnel are highly trained, specifically for the purpose of COVID-19 nasal swab testing.

How specific is the COVID RT-PCR test? Does it cross-react with the “coronavirus” test on an extended respiratory panel?

All of the offered assays are highly specific for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, with no known cross-reactivity to either other human coronaviruses or to other human respiratory pathogens. The coronavirus assay on the extended respiratory panel does not detect SARS-CoV-2.

What is the positive and negative predictive value?

Because the test is highly specific, positive results have a very high positive predictive value and should be treated as true cases of COVID-19 infection. Negative results must be interpreted within the patient’s context and should not be taken as the sole determining factor in ruling out the disease. Patients with a high index of clinical suspicion may require additional testing.

What are the chances that I might have a false-negative PCR swab test result?

A negative test result may occur in a patient who is in the early stages of the infection and shows no symptoms. A repeat test for this individual may well be positive, as the amount of virus in their body increases to detectable levels. If our medical practitioners feels the index of suspicion is high for COVID-19, they may order repeated testing to confirm the initial results.

What happens if my COVID-19 nasal swab test results are negative, but doctors still suspect I have the coronavirus?

First, Gentera doctors will look at your symptoms. Then, they’d consider additional testing, or whether your COVID-19 status could be determined using an alternative method, such as an X-ray or the antigen/antibody test.

The coronavirus often starts in the upper respiratory tract causing symptoms like a sore throat, runny nose and dry cough. If you’re having these symptoms and they’re being caused by the coronavirus, a COVID-19 nasal swab test should come back positive. As the virus evolves, COVID-19 may transgress into the lower respiratory tract where it can cause breathing trouble, heavier cough and a lack of oxygen in the patient’s circulatory system. At that point, doctors might order imaging, like a chest X-ray or a CT scan of the lungs, to determine if you have COVID-19.

What is Gentera doing to reduce the chances of getting a false-negative when running COVID-19 nasal swab testing for its patients?

The chances of a false negative at Gentera in a symptomatic patient due to a COVID-19 are very low, provided the lab receives a good-quality specimen.

Gentera takes extra measures to ensure a low false-negative rate. First, we use a dedicated team of properly trained medical practitioners to collect swabs, ensuring that a high-quality specimen is collected during every test. Also, the tests used in our FDA authorized laboratory have undergone a verification process to confirm that they perform as expected. Lastly, we actively track when repeat tests return positive in patients who had previously tested negative.

****Negative results do not preclude COVID-19 and should not be used as the sole basis for patient management decisions. Negative results must be combined with clinical observations, patient history, and epidemiological information.

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