New method of diagnosing coronavirus cases introduced

By: Dhipa Palani
Reading Time: 2 minutes



A new method of diagnosing new coronavirus cases by using computerized tomography (CT) scans to look for infections has been introduced to detect infections in Hubei province, China. Laboratories in China have been searching for a more precise test to locate hidden infections in the body to replace existing test kits that possess limited capabilities.

This new diagnostic procedure could also lead to a spike in the count of the death toll due to the inclusion of previously unaccounted for cases. With new clinical methods, old data will be revised to include previously suspected coronavirus diagnosed deaths.

In a report by Reuters, head of biosecurity research at the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, Raina McIntyre, said the death toll would see an increase because there are deaths which occurred in people who did not have a proper lab diagnosis. 

“Presumably, there are deaths which occurred in people who did not have a lab diagnosis but did have a CT. It is important that these also be counted,” McIntyre told the news agency.

Previous detection methods

Previously, many patients were left undiagnosed. Until recently, infections in Hubei province were only confirmed using ribonucleic acid (RNA) tests, which can take many days to process and are known to produce four to five false negatives. This had resulted in the delay of treatment and therefore patient deaths.

CT scans can instantly reveal lung infections in its findings and this would hasten patient treatment, leading to a higher chance of recovery. 

Hubei province numbers

A total of 242 deaths were reported in Hubei province on February 12 from novel coronavirus infection, which is the highest increase in the daily count so far. A number of 14,840 new cases were reported in Hubei on February 12 alone.

A total of 1,310 deaths so far have been recorded in Hubei province, China – the epicenter of the outbreak. 

Russian quarantined patients escape

This month, Russia reported that three people had escaped different quarantine buildings designated to hold those suspected to have contracted the new coronavirus.

Concerned about contracting the virus and citing the poor condition of the facility, one woman jumped out of a hospital window. Another female disabled the electronic door locks to escape.