What are the usual symptoms in second wave?
People are experiencing severe fatigue, body pain, sore throat, loose motion and few experience loss of sense of smell, vomiting and chills. Other symptoms include dry cough and shortness of breath due to early lung involvement. People in their 30s and 40s are getting affected more this time. There are many cases where kids playing together have brought home the virus, eventually infecting the entire family.
What to do if one gets a false positive or false negative report?
RT PCR tests are the gold standard for detecting Covid- 19 in clinical practice. False-positive results are not common but if the sample gets contaminated due to accidentally touching a contaminated glove or surface or through contamination of reagents, it is possible.
The false-negative report can happen if the sample is not collected properly or if the patient has a less viral load.
If the patient has typical Covid symptoms and the Covid Rapid Antigen test is negative, the person should be advised to do RTPCR for confirmation.
What are the different variants circulating in India and what is transmission, infectivity?
Earlier, there have been UK, South African and Brazilian variants of the virus already circulating in 18 states of the country but now a new double mutant strain of SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in India in late March 2021.
This strain has two mutations which makes it highly infectious and has the potential to escape the immunity developed by natural infection or after taking the Covid vaccine.
Samples collected from Maharashtra were analyzed which revealed that there has been an increase in the fraction of samples E484Q and L452R mutations.
There should be comprehensive tracking of close contacts and immediate isolation of positive cases and effective treatment as per national treatment protocol.
A total of 771 variants have been found from more than 10,000 samples which were analyzed for genome sequencing, as per the Director of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
-Dr Shalini Joshi, Senior Medicine Consultant Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road