Medford 25-year-old braces for fifth COVID-19 test

A Medford woman has been tested for COVID-19 four times, but her results keep coming back differently.

BOSTON — She’s been tested for COVID-19 four times, but her results keep coming back differently.

Boston 25 News introduced you to 25-year-old Kara VanGuilder earlier this week when she shared her month-long journey with coronavirus.

VanGuilder first spoke with Boston 25 News after her third COVID-19 test, which came back negative.

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She’s since been tested again and is confused by the results – which came back positive.

“I don’t want to have to take another test,” said VanGuilder, in an interview with Boston 25 News Reporter Drew Karedes on Thursday. “Every time I take a COVID test, I cry. The test itself is very painful. The last time, I had a nose bleed.”

VanGuilder first began experiencing symptoms in early March.

Her first COVID-19 test happened on March 20. That’s when she definitively learned she had the virus.

Her second test on April 1st was inconclusive, and her third test on April 3 was negative.

VanGuilder’s fourth test on April 8 came back positive. She’s now waiting to take her fifth COVID-19 test on Monday.

“Does this mean the last time I tested negative was a false negative or was this time a false positive,” she questioned. “If I do test positive Monday, it starts my quarantine time all over again.”

VanGuilder said she no longer has any symptoms and currently feels 100% better. She’s currently under orders to quarantine with no human contact.

“I’m not sure how long this will go on for,” added the Medford resident. “Currently, I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Dr. Michael Misialek, associate chair of pathology at Newton Wellesley Hospital, told Boston 25 News that many people with negative results may actually have the virus.

According to Misialek, the inconsistencies could be linked to the technique of the swab.

He pointed out that the virus lurks where the back of the nose meets the throat – an area that’s not easily accessible.

“The swab goes quite a distance back in the nasal cavity. It should feel uncomfortable to the patient. That is a sign it was done appropriately,” Misialek explained.

He said Newton Wellesley Hospital and other Massachusetts medical facilities are hoping to use a less painful, less intrusive method of testing in the near future as an acceptable alternative. Early results show a simple nasal swab to be just as accurate as the long nasal pharyngeal swab currently being used.

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