Puan municipal authorities confirmed that there was a false-positive case of Covid-19 in the district’s main city, a situation they attributed to an error made by the Bahía Blanca laboratory, to which they sent the first swab performed to the suspected patient.
“We have decided not to send more samples to that laboratory and, from now on, to deal with another private one and with that of the Penna Hospital,” said the director of municipal health, Dr. Lucrecia Baglioni.
The official confirmed, in this way, that the employee of the Municipal Geriatric Home “Melvin Jones” who had tested positive for Covid-19 last Tuesday was never infected, so both she and her close contacts should not continue with the mandatory isolation. .
Lucrecia Baglioni, director of Health of Puan.
“From the beginning the case did not close us,” Baglioni acknowledged. The Covid-19 is very contagious and has certain characteristics that we did not see here. Furthermore, we could not find the epidemiological link, which disoriented us all. ”
Baglioni said “three or four probable links” were detected, but they were ruled out.
“In addition, other health personnel who had been with the patient, in a small and unprotected environment, were swabbed and tested negative. Clinically, it was not closing what was happening, “he added.
As a result of all these doubts, specialists from Sanitary Region I recommended a new swab, which was done in another laboratory. In addition, the first was asked to re-analyze the original sample.
“Later we returned to make a new sample with the same protocol, which we sent to a third laboratory,” he explained.
The results of the second and third tests on the same patient, he added, yielded negative results.
“As for the second analysis on the original swab, we learned that it did not return positive. The laboratory did not inform us in writing, but we can infer it because they told us that they had obtained an ‘inconclusive’ result. ”
“With all these data we determined that the patient had not been infected.”
“The patient was very distressed by her clinical picture. Beyond that she, her partner and her children felt good, the repercussion of the case and what people were talking about on the networks generated anguish for her, ”she indicated.
The woman who suffered the false positive worked at the Puan Nursing Home. Her case had generated deep concern.
What happened to the first test?
According to Baglioni, the error of the first analysis could be due to a specific processing problem.
“We are not suspicious of the laboratory at a general level; what we assume is that on Monday the 13th, when we sent to analyze (the sample) there was an error in the sample processing method of that day. That mistake led us to report a positive patient when in fact it was not, “he said.
At this point, the official clarified that the other results released by the studies so far in the pandemic are not distrusted, which allowed more than 25 suspected cases to be ruled out and one confirmed in Villa Iris.
“This case was different from the others because the patient’s clinical analysis did not coincide with laboratory analyzes. And all the members of the district medical clinic team doubted. With the rest of the cases we had no doubts, “he emphasized.
Baglioni also pointed out that he does not question “the ethics or the quality of the laboratory.” And, although he did not want to enter into controversy, he made it clear that they will not work with him again.
“It is a good and renowned laboratory, but we are not going to send samples back to that laboratory in Bahia. For us it lost reliability. We are going to deal with another private one, from that city, and with that of Penna ”, he said.
Regarding the need to work with one private and another public, Baglioni clarified that the one from the provincial hospital is “excellent”, although it is in such high demand that it cannot cope with generating results as quickly as private ones.
“Another decision we have made is that from now on, when there is a positive case, the second sample sent is immediately analyzed,” he said.
The lawyer Cristian Haag, head of the Decentralized Health Entity, added that there are other cases in the region that have left the same doubts.
“In Patagones, for example, they had a case and, despite the intense work done to detect the epidemiological link, it was never possible to determine who infected the patient. Maybe that was also a false positive, “he said.