New Scientist has revealed that the test for coronavirus may be less precise than previously thought.
In a paper published on Monday, the scientists found that a CT scan could reveal the presence of the virus if it is done within three days of the last exposure.
The researchers also noted that the method is likely to be more accurate than a test for the coronaviruses SARS-CoV-2 and West Nile virus, which are detected on a more thorough basis.
“It’s going to be very difficult to say how accurate it is,” said Dr Paul Dickson, a research fellow at the Centre for the Study of Emerging Infectious Diseases at Imperial College London.
The new tests are based on data from a team of scientists at Imperial and the National Centre for Scientific Research in Britain, who analyzed the CT scans of 4,857 people from the US and China.
“If you can do a simple test of the COVID genome, and that is done at three to five days after exposure, it’s pretty good,” said Prof Michael Stacey, from the University of York in the US.
The scientists have been using the CT scan to find the coronovirus DNA in a sample of tissue taken from the respiratory tract.
The team then compared that to the CT data collected from people who had previously been infected.
“The CT data is very different,” Dr Stacey said.
“We have to use more sophisticated methods to make sure that the data is accurate.”
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