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Avoiding COVID-19 Hospital Outbreaks: RT-PCR Swab and Clinical Assessment
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  • Luca Allievi,
  • Amedeo Bongarzoni,
  • Guido Tassinario,
  • Stefano Carugo
Luca Allievi
Author Profile
Amedeo Bongarzoni
University of Milan, Department of Cardiology, Department of Cardiology, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, ASST Santi Paolo e Carlo, University of Milan
Guido Tassinario
University of Milan, Department of Cardiology, Department of Cardiology, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, ASST Santi Paolo e Carlo, University of Milan
Stefano Carugo

Abstract

Nasopharyngeal RT-PCR swab test for COVID-19 diagnosis has a high specificity but also a low sensitivity. The high false-negative rate and the overconfidence in negative results sometimes lead to hospital outbreaks. Therefore, we recommend always integrating the clinical assessment in the diagnostic process, mostly after the test, to determine what degree of confidence can be attributed to a negative result.