MONDAY, May 18, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Most physicians believe they have seen false-negative results for a COVID-19 diagnostic test, according to the results of a recent survey.

Sermo, a social platform for physicians, has been conducting a weekly international poll. In week 7, conducted from May 3 to 5, 2020, 4,476 physicians offered their perspectives regarding false negatives and reinfection rates.

According to the results of the recent poll, more than eight in 10 physicians report they have seen some degree of false-negative test results, including 96 percent of “supertreaters” in an intensive care unit setting (physicians who have treated more than 20 COVID-19 patients) who believe they have seen COVID-19 tests produce a false negative. Just over one-third of hospital-based respondents believe that more than 20 percent of the tests have produced false negatives. Relatedly, four in 10 physicians report seeing at least one false positive. Nearly one in 10 physicians believe they have seen a patient with a reinfection, with higher rates among physicians working internationally (5 percent saw reinfections in the United States versus 15 percent in Italy and Spain and 14 percent in China).

Despite concerns about the accuracy of tests, physicians feel that providers should require COVID-19 prescreening before an office visit or procedure for transplant patients (78 percent), chemotherapy patients (72 percent), dialysis patients (67 percent), outpatient surgery centers (59 percent), dental patients (53 percent), vision patients (47 percent), and regular outpatient centers (41 percent; e.g., family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrician/gynecology, etc.).

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