Clinical Knowledge Question Results

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Question: Which is the preferred method for diagnosing COVID-19 in a patient who presents with signs and symptoms of acute infection (eg, fever, cough, and shortness of breath).

18% of
Medical Professionals
Chose A


67% of
Medical Professionals
Chose B


15% of
Medical Professionals
Chose C

Answer: B. The diagnosis of COVID-19 is typically made by detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in respiratory specimens using nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs), primarily reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Tests that identify SARS-CoV-2 antigen in respiratory specimens offer the possibility of point-of-care testing but are generally less sensitive than PCR, and well-validated antigen tests are not widely available. Serologic tests that detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in the blood may be able to identify some patients with current infection (particularly those who present late in the course of illness), but they are less likely to be reactive in the first several days to weeks of infection.

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