COVID-19 updates and supportive diagnostic tools
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.
At the end of December 2019, Chinese public health authorities reported several cases of acute respiratory syndrome in city the of Wuhan, Hubei province, China. Chinese scientists identified a novel coronavirus as the main causative agent. The initial outbreak in Wuhan spread rapidly, affecting other parts of China. Cases were soon detected in several other countries. To this day the virus has spread to all parts of the world making it one of the deadliest pandemics in history. Since 2021, variants of the virus have emerged and become dominant in many countries, with the Delta, Alpha and Beta variants being the most virulent.
Coronavirus can be tested either by examining whether the virus is present in the upper respiratory area or by measuring if the body has produced antibodies to the coronavirus. Careful consideration is required in selecting the test and especially in interpretation of its result due to benefits and limitations of different methods. A negative molecular COVID-19 test result does not completely rule out coronavirus infection. An antibody test from a blood sample supports other diagnostics especially when the respiratory symptoms are prolonged or when the immunological status after vaccination needs to be verified.
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