In a new study, scientists from National Institute for Occupational Health (NIOH) Ahmedabad have claimed that the cycle threshold value of RT-PCR tests, which indicates the viral load of a patient should be an integral part of the Covid management strategy. The research paper has been authored by NIOH scientists Bidisa Sarkar and Paramita Sengupta. People with low Ct value have high viral load and vice versa. Hence, Ct value of initial viral load of already diagnosed cases mandatorily be mentioned in each individual report for further management.
“Individuals with high viral load are super-spreaders – they take the centre stage in person to person transmissions of coronavirus. This appears to be true as similar observations (few people spread most and most people spread few) were also made during severe acute respiratory syndromes (SARS) epidemics,” claims the paper.
The paper states that in case of Covid-19 a 10% of all those infected with Covid-19 are responsible for spreading 80% of all local transmissions.
The paper points to drop in cases achieved after Ct-based strategy was followed by Ahmedabad district administration since third week of June where cycle threshold-based segregation of laboratory-confirmed positive cases was adopted for home quarantine, institutional quarantine and hospitalization based on symptomatology. Apart from Ct-based segregation the scientists also pointed out that “Contact tracing of the previous five days of the cases with higher viral load is to be done rigidly considering as transmission starts on an average four to five days prior to first appearance of symptoms.”