DOH-7: Newborn COVID-19 patient a ‘false positive’
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The newborn boy from Cebu City who tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) right after birth may be a “false positive” case.
In a repeat test, the boy rendered a negative result for COVID-19 this Wednesday, April 22, 2020, or just a day after he tested positive for the coronavirus infection.
“The short span of time from birth and the supposed infection to viral clearance with negative result can be attributed to a false reading,” the Department of Health in Central Visayas explained.
DOH-7 earlier reported that the baby and his mother were tested for COVID-19 because the latter is exhibiting flu-like symptoms.
The mother’s tests returned negative for COVID-19 but her newborn son was tested positive for it and was reported as among the seven new cases of the coronavirus infection in Cebu City on Tuesday, April 21.
Dr. Jaime Bernadas, regional director of DOH-7, said there are several factors that may have affected the rendering of the false positive reading.
“Results that are doubtful due to certain events should undergo repeat testing for validation. However, in the drive to be transparent and provide the latest information, the result was recorded and released pending the repeat test,” Bernadas said.
Bernadas assured that the false positive reading is an isolated case. The boy has already been removed in the tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Cebu City as of this writing.
When the DOH-7 released the report of the newborn case, Bernadas said they will have to further validate how the transmission occurred since the mother was not infected.
Due to the removal of the baby from the list of COVID-19 patients, Cebu City now has 311 confirmed cases as of April 22. /rcg
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