A lot has happened since January 31, 2020 when COVID-19 was officially declared a public health emergency in the United States.
Here’s a quick summary.
The first-known COVID-19-related deaths in America were reported in February. Cases were confirmed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in March, prompting the declaration of a national emergency. Countless millions of people then followed a public health strategy to slow the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and flatten the curve. June brought a second rise in nationwide COVID-19 infections, and the number of cases passed 3 million by July 9. Confirmed cases have continued to tick higher and higher: 4 million cases by July 23; 5 million by August 9; 6 million by August 31; and 6.297 million cases on September 8, which is a sobering reminder that the disease is extremely prevalent.
Initially, testing was available only to a narrow set of people who met strict criteria. But as the virus spread and the production of test kits ramped up, testing was made available to larger groups of people. More than 93.43 million tests have now been reported and the count continues to increase on a daily basis.
All COVID-19 Tests Are Not Created Equal
Three types of COVID-19 tests are available currently: PCR tests and antigen tests, which detect current infection, and the antibody test, which detects a past infection.
Antigen testing administered by a nasal swab has been the most widely used COVID-19 testing method. As testing has become more prevalent, there have been many reports about false-positives, false-negatives, incorrect collection techniques, long wait times for results and sample degradation. With those issues also has come skepticism about antigen testing.
While a positive antigen test is generally considered to be accurate, it has a higher likelihood of producing a false-negative result. Translation: a person may be infected with COVID-19 but receive a negative test result, which jeopardizes that patient and the community. If the patient is symptomatic or considered to be at high risk for having contracted the virus, a physician may then recommend a PCR test, translating to two tests with two costs and too much initial uncertainty.
A PCR test, which also collects the sample with a nasal swab, looks for genetic material of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to determine if there’s an active infection. A positive PCR test result indicates an active COVID-19 infection. A negative test only indicates that the person is not infected at the time of testing.
Antibody testing isn’t designed to diagnose a current infection. Rather, it checks the blood for antibodies, which the body may take up to one to three weeks to produce after an infection, to determine if a person was infected previously with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The Gold Standard for COVID-19 Testing
Given the prevalence of designer drugs and the tremendous dangers associated with their use, healthcare professionals should familiarize themselves with these illicit drugs and how they present in patients so they can identify patients that should be tested in a timely manner. Without testing, there cannot be a potentially life-saving diagnosis and treatment.
To ensure the highest level of testing accuracy, Diax Labs provides PCR testing, which quickly has become the gold standard for COVID-19 testing.
Diax Labs’ PCR testing technology raises the bar by:
DIAX LABS PCR TESTING
√ Highest sensitivity and specificity
√ 48-hour turnaround
√ Extracting and amplifying genetic material from the novel coronavirus
√ Being much more sensitive than rapid antigen testing
√ Detecting very tiny amounts of SARS-CoV-2
√ Having the highest likelihood of detecting COVID-19
√ Preventing false-negative test results that can jeopardize the health of both the patient and the public
Our reliable test ensures that the real problem is diagnosed expeditiously with a 48-hour turnaround so that an appropriate treatment plan can be developed and, if necessary, the patient can contact trace and self-quarantine.
Molecular Diagnostics Beyond COVID-19 Testing
Diax Labs’ reliable COVID-19 testing is a logical place to start for patients who are symptomatic or who suspect or know they’ve been exposed to the novel coronavirus. For patients who are symptomatic but test negative for COVID-19, a next step in making an accurate diagnosis is molecular testing for similarly presenting respiratory viruses.
Our molecular test, which is only performed elsewhere in a hospital setting, uses one nasal swab to test for 18 respiratory bacteria and viruses.
- Influenza A and influenza B share several commonalities with each other and with COVID-19, including fever, cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, fatigue, a runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, body aches and muscle pains. COVID-19 and flu are both upon us this fall and winter, and Diax Labs’ molecular testing quickly identifies and diagnoses flu through various target gene assays.
- Common human coronaviruses – HKU1, 229E, NL63 and OC43 – present with similar symptoms associated with acute respiratory disease. Diax Lab’s molecular test pinpoints 18 viruses associated with mild-to-moderate respiratory illnesses, and our molecular bacteriology for diagnosing respiratory pathogens is significantly more advanced than conventional microbiological methods.
- Diax Labs’ test, based on reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, diagnoses respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) that causes inflections of the respiratory tract and lungs. Extreme cases of RSV are very dangerous to young children, and this disease is the No. 1 reason cause for the hospitalization of infants under 1 year of age.
- The most common cause for adult hospitalization is pneumonia, and our highly sensitive pathogen detection provides a highly improved diagnosis rate.
As compared to the rapid assays commonly performed in clinics and doctors’ offices, Diax Lab’s panel is inordinately more sensitive and more specific. It also relies on laboratory science, not assumptions or personal knowledge about viruses and seasonality, for an accurate diagnosis.
Now more than any other time in recent history, an accurate diagnosis is imperative to protect patients and populations, and Diax Labs’ COVID-19 and molecular tests eliminate dangerous, potentially life-altering doubt.
Here to Assist You
Diax Labs remains committed to performing reliable testing in our freestanding laboratory and adhering to professionalism, excellence, teamwork and attentiveness. These values held true before the COVID-19 global pandemic and will continue to be cornerstones or our daily service to physicians, their patients and our distributor community throughout this crisis – and beyond.
If you are an independent physician or laboratory marketing professional that sells to these independent physicians, we welcome the opportunity to talk with you one on one. To learn more or to schedule a virtual presentation, please click Learn More below.