By: Umme Kulsum
December 14 2021
The CDC revised the tests to check for influenza and COVID-19 simultaneously. It does not mean the RT-PCR tests are erroneous.
The CDC revised the tests to check for influenza and COVID-19 simultaneously. It does not mean the RT-PCR tests are erroneous.On December 13, 2021, a Facebook user posted a screenshot of a CDC report claiming that "the CDC admitted that the PCR test gives a positive result for all types of Influenza." On July 21, 2021, the CDC released a laboratory alert stating that starting January 2022, the agency will withdraw the RT-PCR diagnosis for detecting COVID-19 infection and asked the clinical laboratories to select other FDA-authorized COVID-19 diagnostic methods. However, this alert was not because the RT-PCR test was incorrect, but to adopt the "multiplexed method" that can check for both influenza and COVID-19 simultaneously to save time and resources. Moreover, the CDC's initial PCR test gave accurate results for COVID-19 infection. According to Science Direct, the multiplex method is a molecular biology technique for amplifying multiple targets in a single PCR test. According to Nebraska Medicine, pathologist and microbiologist Jana Broadhurst said, "Just because the original test wasn't built to detect influenza doesn't mean that it wasn't accurately reporting results." The pathologist also noted that PCR tests did not confuse COVID-19 cases for influenza cases. The positive result from the PCR test indicates that the person is infected from COVID-19. In contrast, the negative result means the person doesn't have COVID-19 but may have influenza or another Coronavirus. However, a multiplexed test can determine both viruses simultaneously, saving the patient an uncomfortable nasal swab, Nebraska Medicine stated. Hence, the step taken by CDC is not due to PCR's tests' inaccuracy or that it cannot differentiate the SARS-CoV-2 and influenza. But to use an FDA-authorized alternative that can detect both COVID-19 and influenza viruses. The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.