New records of coronavirus infections are being made across the country. The second wave of coronavirus in India saw some of the highest death rates and patients being infected. It is also being described as more dangerous than before and it is certain that the second wave of the coronavirus is very different from the first wave. A new version of the coronavirus, that is, SARS-CoV-2 aka COVID-19 Double Mutant B.1.617, has been mutating since the beginning and is also associated with the high viral load. So far, many variants have been witnessed and while some variants are more life-threatening, some are only faster in transition, and in effect are similar to the initial variants. Not only this, but the symptoms of coronavirus variants have also changed in the last year. COVID-19 Double Mutant B.1.617: How Dangerous Is This Indian Variant of SARS-CoV-2? Everything You Want to Know.

What is High Viral Load?

The high viral load is the measurement of the pathogens in the blood. This was used previously used in HIV-infected people and their response to the antiviral treatments. This is important because a high viral load screening can determine the disease progression. Several studies have been carried out focusing on COVID-19 and the viral load of SARS-CoV-2. It is believed that the knowledge of the viral load can help to determine the severity of the infection with a lot of ongoing research it may be possible to figure out and categorise patients on its basis. Pulse Oximeter: How to Take a Reading on This Device Used to Measure Oxygen Saturation At Home? Uses, Price, Availability, Everything You Need to Know. 

What is the CT value? Its Importance

Scientifically, a CT refers to the number of cycles needed to amplify the viral RNA to a detectable level. In diagnostic terms, a CTV report is always given a CT value, which informs the suspected patient whether or not they are infected with COVID-19 and at what percentage they are if they have symptoms of COVID-19. The CT value in the RT PCR test shows the viral load in the patient. This suggests the level the patient should be considered. When the CT value is low in the RT PCR test, which means that the patient's condition is more serious, however, it is totally dependent on the doctor's diagnosis whether or not they should be hospitalised.  An NCBI article captioned No correlation between Ct values and severity of disease or mortality in patients with COVID 19 disease stresses that the CT values and the severity of the diseases are not correlated. An individual is considered COVID-19 negative, only if the CT value is 35 in the RT-PCR test and if the CT value is below 35 in the RT-PCR test, then the patient is said to be coronavirus positive. However, it is for the medicos to determine the severity of a patient.

COVID-19 Second Wave- High Viral Load: Does It Lead to Severe Symptoms?

The link between high viral load and disease progression is difficult to figure and needs more research. The process and possibilities to detect the presence of a virus in the case of COVID-19 patients haven't been completely determined. When it comes to disease progression and severity of the symptoms, a lot of factors are taken into consideration. But based on the initial knowledge of SARS, MERS, and influenza, a higher viral load usually leads to severe symptoms but cannot be completely asserted without a doctor's diagnosis. According to research published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, viral load in severe cases is mostly 60 percent higher than in mild cases, which clearly indicates that the higher the viral load the risk of developing severe symptoms is also high.

With the help of high viral load screening along with the coronavirus test, the doctor can divide the patient into two parts. Patients with higher viral loads may be placed in wards with oxygen and ICU support. Those with low viral load may likely be treated in the general ward. Most coronavirus patients do not have severe infections. In such a situation, mental stress can be tackled with the knowledge of viral loads. Viral load screening will help fight the virus. Through this, doctors can also estimate that the risk associated with the patient is high, or in how much time can it turn fatal. On this basis, the virus can be treated through different types of drugs.

(This article is written for an informative purpose and should not be substituted for medical advice. Kindly consult your doctor before trying any tips.)

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 27, 2021 10:25 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website