Nashville doctor says he has COVID-19, even though test is negative

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — It’s happening all across the world— people suffering from severe symptoms of COVID-19, but when their test comes back, it’s negative. Doctors say that could be a false negative. That’s what one Nashville doctor thinks happened to him.

“I’ve had symptoms from being so weak I couldn’t weak to drenching sweats, to nausea, to sore throat,” said Dr. Scott Trochtenberg, “You can read the list of symptoms, I had just about all of them.”

He says all of them, believe it or not, except a fever, and he’s had them for 11 days now.

“I’ve had kidney stones, I’ve had arthiritis flares, I’ve had the flu, I’ve had other viruses, I’ve had pneumonia, this is the worst I’ve ever felt from an infection,” he told News 2.

Trochtenberg thinks he got COVID-19 from an a-symptomatic patient. It took him 6 days to get his test back from a Vanderbilt University Medical Center clinic, and by then, he couldn’t walk or talk.

“People talk about this feeling like the flu, I wish I felt as good as the flu,” he described.

It wasn’t the flu and according to the test it also wasn’t COVID-19, so he consulted five of his colleagues.

“They told me that basically this had to be,” he said as he coughed, “It had to be COVID because of the way its going, how long its lasted and that the test just has to be a false negative.”

Meaning he probably has the virus, but for some reason, it wasn’t detected.

Research out of China suggests about 30 percent get a false reading.

“It could be anything from the specimen not being collected properly, to it not being handled properly, to it not being run in a reasonable length of time, and the re-agents being spoiled,” Trochtenberg explained, “Or, I may just not have had enough virus to show up on the test at that time.”

For now, he’s self-quarantining at home per his doctors, where he thinks his wife may likely get the virus as well.

“I had one of these little finger oxygen meters and my oxygen fell down to 92% and normal is 99,” he explained, “91 being where you hightail it to the emergency room.”

Monitoring his own vitals is something he’s able to do from home and encourages others to monitor their symptoms as well.

“It is scary,” he said, “If you’re really having trouble breathing, go to the ER don’t wait.”

Hospitals suggest patients with concerns call before showing up to the ER so they can be prepared.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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