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Unsure you have Covid-19? Just do a five minute CT Scan

HEALTH & SCIENCEBy NIKKO TANUI | Mon,Mar 22 2021 00:00:00 EAT
By NIKKO TANUI | Mon,Mar 22 2021 00:00:00 EAT

 The CT-scan machine the county government of Kericho creatively used to diagnose Covid-19.

Whereas it can take up to four days before a Covid-19 patient can receive their test results,  medics in Kericho County have adopted high-resolution CT- scan (HRCT) to get results under five minutes.

At the second peak of pandemic last October and when reagents were in short supply, the county used the Sh200 million 64-slide machine to conduct chest scans on 55 patients, which PCR tests later confirmed were Covid-19 positive.

These included two medics at the county who exhibited signs of coronavirus and the HRCT indicated that they had classic Covid-19 signs on the scan.

They were placed on treatment and by the time PCR results arrived, the patients were stable, which was highly unlikely had they been in any other counties that rely solely on the lab PCR testing.

Covid 19 Time Series


Kericho County Health Chief Officer David Ekuwam said clinicians may use chest imaging to diagnose the disease while the patients await lab results, or in situations where lab results are negative and the patient has Covid-19 symptoms.

“When Covid-19 broke out and patients began streaming into the hospital, our radiographers noticed after conducting the scans that the patient’s chest scans had ground-glass opacities which are bilateral and peripheral which is synonymous with Covid-19. That is how we moved first to place the patients in isolation as we awaited PCR results,” Dr Ekuwam explained, adding that out of all the patients placed in isolation after the chest CT-scan turned out positive.

Dr George Owiti, the county’s chief radiographer, says the quick diagnosis saves people’s lives due to quick medical action, which is “unlike relying only on PCR tests which you cannot start any treatment until the results come out, which could take a couple of days to the detriment of the patient.”

Director-General of Health Amos Amoth said: “I challenge the team to publish the study in an international journal to share the good things that you have done during the critical Covid-19 times.”  


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