DNA Special: When should a person with COVID symptoms go for CT scan?

Nowadays, you must be hearing from a lot of people that they are undergoing CT scans even on having mild symptoms of coronavirus because the new COVID variant is not caught in the RT-PCR test but in the CT scan test.

However, a new study has come up that says that a CT scan should not be done if there are mild symptoms because the radiation resulting from it can lead to cancer.

CT stands for Computed Tomography. Chest or brain is scanned with the help of this technique. There are a total of 11 types of CT scans. In the case of COVID, patients undergo a CT scan of the lungs, which allows them to know whether the virus has spread in their lungs.

The great thing is that the new variant of the COVID can dodge the RT-PCR test but it is caught in the CT scan. That’s why people are relying more on CT scan. But CT scan also has its disadvantages. And it can also cause cancer.

So, in today’s show, we will tell you when to have a CT scan done if you’re COVID positive.

In a CT scan, the internal organs of the body are captured in-depth. And while doing so, one is exposed to a significant amount of radiation, which can also cause cancer. An important thing to note is that a CT scan is equivalent to 300-400 chest X-rays.

AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria on Monday also advised avoiding unnecessary computerised tomography scan (CT scan) in cases of mild symptoms of Covid-19 and warned against use of steroids in the early infections of the deadly disease.

The CT scan machine takes cross-sectional images of the body using computers and rotating X-ray machines. They are being used to detect Covid infections by detecting signs of pneumonia or white patches in lungs. More people are relying on the expensive scan than last year as reports suggest the mutant variants of the virus can go undetected in the gold standard RT-PCR test.

“There have been studies which show that around 30-40 percent of people who are asymptomatic but are Covid positive and got a CT scan done… they also had patches which ended without any treatment,” Guleria said.

“CT scan and markers are being misused. A lot of people are getting CT scans done. There is no use of the scan in early stages as it will not detect (Covid) properly in mild cases,” he said.

The AIIMS chief suggested going for a chest X-ray first, if necessary. “The doctor will give proper advice whether a CT scan is needed or not.”

He said asymptomatic patients with normal oxygen saturation should not go for CT scans.

Dr Randeep Guleria told another important thing. He said that all people should get both doses of the vaccine. If a person has contracted coronavirus after the first dose, then he should wait for 2 to 8 weeks after being cured to get the second dose of the vaccine. And most importantly, even if you have mild symptoms, fever or cold, doctors recommend not to get vaccinated. You can get inoculated after recovery so that next time, the vaccine will act as a protective shield in your body to fight the virus.


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