Coronavirus testing (1 Viewer)

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dtc

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What is the deal with the tests?

Seems like I'm reading we are processing 30% fewer tests this week than last and we've never been testing anywhere near what we should have been.

What happened to the drive-thru testing and all that and why in this nation are we having a hard time putting our hands on freaking cotton swabs?

I find it terribly unnerving to know we haven't been able to test as well as Korea or really anywhere yet.

What gives?
 

Beach Friends

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Dr Fauci and has said several times that asymptomatic people spread the virus. I don’t need to cite a source, because it should be common knowledge at this point that asymptomatic people spread the virus.

I can’t believe that you don’t know asymptomatic people can spread the virus.

You haven’t really been paying attention.
But he didn't say that asymptomatic people can't spread the virus, did he?

He cited the statement from the WHO which specifically gave the reason they say the risk is low - which was that people who are asymptomatic are not coughing all over the place.

I think a counter that is actually helpful would be - yes, that's true but viral shedding is actually higher early in the illness.
 

samiam5211

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But he didn't say that asymptomatic people can't spread the virus, did he?

He cited the statement from the WHO which specifically gave the reason they say the risk is low - which was that people who are asymptomatic are not coughing all over the place.

I think a counter that is actually helpful would be - yes, that's true but viral shedding is actually higher early in the illness.
I’m not going to debate someone over whether or not asymptomatic people can spread the virus.

If they don’t already know that they have to be intentionally avoiding information.
 

SystemShock

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Why do you think we are having an outbreak that more resembles, say, Italy, rather than Germany or South Korea, or really any number of other countries who have managed this well?
That's kind of an unfair question, don't you think? There are so many factors that could be at play, and testing alone is definitely not a determining factor.

Speaking of testing, there is a study that was published by Stanford U., and while it has not been peer reviewed, it suggests the exposure rate is understated by a factor anywhere between 50 and 85. If we could test everyone in the U.S. and found that, instead of the reported 725,000 or so cases, there really were some 60,000,000 million cases of exposure, we wouldn't be having this conversation. It all would be business as usual.
 

MT15

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Testing and acting on testing results is one of the most important factors in gettin a handle on an outbreak. I have no clue where you get the idea that testing doesn’t matter. If we had tested like our lives depended on it from the beginning, we wouldn’t have the complete economic meltdown we are having right now. We would have had an easier time of it, for sure. Much fewer deaths, targeted social distancing, targeted shutdowns.

We are forced to do this widespread shutdown because we didn’t test anyone and everyone from the start. For quite a while the CDC was the only entity doing testing and they wouldn’t accept any samples unless the person had recently traveled overseas in a known outbreak area. They stubbornly refused to test people who had textbook cases. They should have started testing every pneumonia of unknown origin immediately. It is quite likely we had community spread in this country before Trump put in his famous China travel “ban” but we were blind to it because the CDC was testing hardly anyone.

As for “business as usual”, well, this virus is definitely not “business as usual”.

It will be great news if there are many more people than we thought who have recovered, but it doesn’t change what is happening to those people who are dead and dying. You rightly recognize that we need widespread testing to know whether the Stanford study is correct, at least. The CDC and the administration have completely blown any chance we had to contain this and avoid a widespread economic shutdown.

C99CD7D4-6ED4-4805-9DAE-344D7529F4DC.jpeg
 

surada

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Testing and acting on testing results is one of the most important factors in gettin a handle on an outbreak. I have no clue where you get the idea that testing doesn’t matter. If we had tested like our lives depended on it from the beginning, we wouldn’t have the complete economic meltdown we are having right now. We would have had an easier time of it, for sure. Much fewer deaths, targeted social distancing, targeted shutdowns.

We are forced to do this widespread shutdown because we didn’t test anyone and everyone from the start. For quite a while the CDC was the only entity doing testing and they wouldn’t accept any samples unless the person had recently traveled overseas in a known outbreak area. They stubbornly refused to test people who had textbook cases. They should have started testing every pneumonia of unknown origin immediately. It is quite likely we had community spread in this country before Trump put in his famous China travel “ban” but we were blind to it because the CDC was testing hardly anyone.

As for “business as usual”, well, this virus is definitely not “business as usual”.

It will be great news if there are many more people than we thought who have recovered, but it doesn’t change what is happening to those people who are dead and dying. You rightly recognize that we need widespread testing to know whether the Stanford study is correct, at least. The CDC and the administration have completely blown any chance we had to contain this and avoid a widespread economic shutdown.

C99CD7D4-6ED4-4805-9DAE-344D7529F4DC.jpeg

I hate it that you are 40 IQ points ahead of Trump.


"If we had tested like our lives depended on it from the beginning, we wouldn’t have the complete economic meltdown we are having right now. We would have had an easier time of it, for sure. Much fewer deaths, targeted social distancing, targeted shutdowns."


Bravo, Bravo.
 

SystemShock

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Testing and acting on testing results is one of the most important factors in gettin a handle on an outbreak. I have no clue where you get the idea that testing doesn’t matter.
Given the "business as usual" quote I take it you were replying to me.
Where do I state that testing doesn't matter? Please point out where I said that. Double dare you.

If we had tested like our lives depended on it from the beginning, we wouldn’t have the complete economic meltdown we are having right now. We would have had an easier time of it, for sure. Much fewer deaths, targeted social distancing, targeted shutdowns.
But we really didn't need testing for that, did we? And before you go there, that is not the same as saying testing doesn't matter. That is to say, we knew how the virus spread, the consequences of it, and that as any other virus, they always affect the people with certain medical conditions.

We are forced to do this widespread shutdown because we didn’t test anyone and everyone from the start.
More like we panicked.

As for “business as usual”, well, this virus is definitely not “business as usual”.
If we knew 60,000,000 in the U.S. were exposed, sure, it would be.

It will be great news if there are many more people than we thought who have recovered, but it doesn’t change what is happening to those people who are dead and dying.
People die every day, and are dying right now of other things besides coronavirus. And preliminary statistics show that the overwhelming majority have some sort of health issue like diabetes, heart disease, etc. Take diabetes alone... according to the ADA, in 2017, diabetes was mentioned as a cause of death in a total of 270,702 death certificates. You can read more in the link provided, but I don't think one has to be an epidemiologist to figure out there is a huge overlap between serious medical conditions and this virus, or other viruses.

You rightly recognize that we need widespread testing to know whether the Stanford study is correct, at least.
Well, gee, thanks for your endorsement.
 

surada

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Given the "business as usual" quote I take it you were replying to me.
Where do I state that testing doesn't matter? Please point out where I said that. Double dare you.


But we really didn't need testing for that, did we? And before you go there, that is not the same as saying testing doesn't matter. That is to say, we knew how the virus spread, the consequences of it, and that as any other virus, they always affect the people with certain medical conditions.


More like we panicked.


If we knew 60,000,000 in the U.S. were exposed, sure, it would be.


People die every day, and are dying right now of other things besides coronavirus. And preliminary statistics show that the overwhelming majority have some sort of health issue like diabetes, heart disease, etc. Take diabetes alone... according to the ADA, in 2017, diabetes was mentioned as a cause of death in a total of 270,702 death certificates. You can read more in the link provided, but I don't think one has to be an epidemiologist to figure out there is a huge overlap between serious medical conditions and this virus, or other viruses.


Well, gee, thanks for your endorsement.

Yes, US shipped donated personal protective equipment to ...
www.politifact.com › factchecks › apr › facebook-posts

www.politifact.com › factchecks › apr › facebook-posts

Claim: “On February 7, the WHO warned about the limited stock of PPE. That same day, the Trump administration announced it was sending 18 tons of masks, gowns and...
Claimed by: Facebook posts
Fact check by PolitiFact: True
 

SystemShock

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MT15

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System I can’t make you see what you refuse to see. You yourself are hanging your hat on millions of mild cases. If we had tested everyone, we would have a clue whether you are right about that or not. We could have targeted the outbreak areas for shutdown, rather than paint with such a wide brush. You call it panicking, I call it flying blind due to lack of testing.

The deaths are multiplying exponentially. That’s reality. We need to do what we are doing, we just didn’t need to do it as broadly as we did. The failure of testing has a lot to do with that.

I’m not willing to say that 40% of the aged population should just die so that we can have a banging stock market. I don’t think you think that either, but doing nothing is a big risk that that level of carnage would happen since we don’t have the testing. And the underlying conditions that you talk about don’t have to be as serious as you say. Well controlled diabetes and well controlled high blood pressure are still counted as underlying conditions. This virus is killing people with mild underlying conditions and no underlying conditions.

Testing has been a monumental failure of the CDC and the Trump Administration.

You said that testing alone isn’t an underlying reason for the difference in the way the virus hits various countries. I very much disagree with that, obviously. I don’t know how else I can put it. It may not be the only reason, but IMO it’s the biggest reason.
 

Beach Friends

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I’m not willing to say that 40% of the aged population should just die so that we can have a banging stock market.
Look at what you are having to do to make your argument work. You are making a caricature out of the concerns about what effects remaining on lock down will have.
 

JimEverett

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you have pretty much cherry picked a single sentence. The rest of the answer makes it clear that people are contagious who have very mild symptoms, so mild that they don’t really feel ill:

“However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill. WHO is assessing ongoing research on the period of transmission of COVID-19 and will continue to share updated findings.“

So you are splitting a very fine hair.
I don't think that is splitting fine hair. If someone is coughing, mild or not, that is a "symptom."

Sure, it is possible to get it from someone who is truly asymptomatic, but that seems virtually impossible if you are practicing any degree of proper social distancing.


Back to testing, which is the actual topic at hand in this thread: I would like to know why you think our testing has been adequate. Why do you think people who aren’t symptomatic should NOT be tested? You have indicated you feel this way, can you defend these positions?

Why do you think we are having an outbreak that more resembles, say, Italy, rather than Germany or South Korea, or really any number of other countries who have managed this well?
There are probably man many reasons for countries experiencing this differently than others. For example - this: https://www.researchgate.net/public...ing_the_spread_and_fatality_rates_of_COVID-19 points out that demographic factors can play a large role and looks at Italy vs. Korea closely. As far as Germany - there is substantial skepticism of their numbers. Germany says they count any death of someone infected as a corona-death, regardless of other sickeness or potentia causes (like other countries) but they do not test post-mortem, which is what Italy, and I think France does. The fact that you have such a huge difference between death rates in Germany vs its two large neighbors: France and Italy - seems weird.
Another possibility that people have mentioned is that the old are far less likely to live and interact with family as they are in Italy and France.

Certainly early testing could play a big role as well, not discounting that. It does appear that Germany, for instance, was probably more ahead of Italy and France in terms of testing early in the outbreak.


Do you think there is a causative effect between more testing and fewer deaths in general? I mean that as opoposed to testing at the very start of the outbreak? Perhaps there is, but I do not see it. Or I should say that I do not think once there is a widespread outbreak that there is much correlation. Perhaps Germany was more on top of testing, as you seem to be saying early in the process

Trying to find nations that have similar testing rates and compare death rates it seems like there is little relevance:

Norway has tested 26,224 per 1 million, Switzerland 25,566 per 1 million. Yet Switzerland's death rate is over 5 times that of Norway.

Portugal has tested 23,133 per 1 million, Italy 22,436 - yet Italy has a death rate that is 5.5 times greater than Portugal.

Germany, Austria, and Spain have tested roughly 20,000 per 1 million. Yet Austria has a death rate of 50 per 1 million, Germany 55 per 1 million and Spain's rate is 454 per 1 million.

Granted, such large differences might be explained, in part, by the fact that they are experiencing the virus at different stages. If that is the case, you might expect German numbers to turn worse shortly. Or perhaps not.
 

not2rich

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I don't think that is splitting fine hair. If someone is coughing, mild or not, that is a "symptom."

Sure, it is possible to get it from someone who is truly asymptomatic, but that seems virtually impossible if you are practicing any degree of proper social distancing.
The problem with your rationale is that many, many people are not practicing proper social distancing, or any other precautions for the matter. And in the population that is NOT asymptomatic, those people are much more likely to dismiss the need for precautions and thus spread it.

If we're only testing symptomatic people and properly isolating them, it makes no sense that asymptomatic people are not a major contributor to the spread given how it is developing.

There are probably man many reasons for countries experiencing this differently than others. For example - this: https://www.researchgate.net/public...ing_the_spread_and_fatality_rates_of_COVID-19 points out that demographic factors can play a large role and looks at Italy vs. Korea closely. As far as Germany - there is substantial skepticism of their numbers. Germany says they count any death of someone infected as a corona-death, regardless of other sickeness or potentia causes (like other countries) but they do not test post-mortem, which is what Italy, and I think France does. The fact that you have such a huge difference between death rates in Germany vs its two large neighbors: France and Italy - seems weird.
Another possibility that people have mentioned is that the old are far less likely to live and interact with family as they are in Italy and France.

Certainly early testing could play a big role as well, not discounting that. It does appear that Germany, for instance, was probably more ahead of Italy and France in terms of testing early in the outbreak.


Do you think there is a causative effect between more testing and fewer deaths in general? I mean that as opoposed to testing at the very start of the outbreak? Perhaps there is, but I do not see it. Or I should say that I do not think once there is a widespread outbreak that there is much correlation. Perhaps Germany was more on top of testing, as you seem to be saying early in the process

Trying to find nations that have similar testing rates and compare death rates it seems like there is little relevance:

Norway has tested 26,224 per 1 million, Switzerland 25,566 per 1 million. Yet Switzerland's death rate is over 5 times that of Norway.

Portugal has tested 23,133 per 1 million, Italy 22,436 - yet Italy has a death rate that is 5.5 times greater than Portugal.

Germany, Austria, and Spain have tested roughly 20,000 per 1 million. Yet Austria has a death rate of 50 per 1 million, Germany 55 per 1 million and Spain's rate is 454 per 1 million.

Granted, such large differences might be explained, in part, by the fact that they are experiencing the virus at different stages. If that is the case, you might expect German numbers to turn worse shortly. Or perhaps not.
I'm not sure testing prevalence has anything to do with death rate, other than it gives us much better data on the death rate, infection rate, and so on. Early on, massive testing may have given us a chance to contain the outbreak, but of course the Feds botched that. At this point, the real importance of testing is to give us information that will be useful in making informed decisions about our public health and reopening policies. Otherwise, all we are doing is flying blind and hoping whatever policies we implement do more good than harm.
 

MT15

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At some point, we are going to try to go from mitigation back to containment. To think this can happen without major testing is just foolish. Yet, I heard Trump say we don’t need widespread testing to do that. 🤦‍♀️

Jim, I think its true that it’s not comparing apples to apples with the different countries. I think you are getting at that when you say various countries are at different stages with the virus. You are correct in that our lack of early testing has cost us dearly. We lost our chance at mitigation because we weren’t testing and following up properly. That was a function of the federal government just botching the testing. And we still haven’t fixed it. It frustrates me to no end, since that is my field. To be clear, Spain, Italy and UK are in the same boat, basically. But we should have known better, and we are still facing an uphill battle because people refuse to take this seriously.

The only connection between testing and death rate during mitigation would be if once someone is diagnosed, their close contacts are immediately tested and quarantined if positive, which wouldn’t stop them from getting Covid, but it may stop them from infecting the 2-3 other people they are likely to infect if not tested until they are symptomatic. So it slows the spread, which would therefore reduce the number of deaths. Even now, I do not think we are testing close contacts of positive cases.

One of my team members is symptomatic and had a test done yesterday, so I suppose we will see if they offer to test everyone who works with her if she tests positive. To me that would just make sense, so that anyone who did pick up the virus will know right away and can self isolate. My general impression is that they will not, they will just ask us to monitor our temps and isolate if we become symptomatic. This will not keep some people from spreading the virus though, to my way of thinking. I think they cannot do that scale (volume) of testing yet, or they would be doing it.
 

UncleTrvlingJim

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Is there a downside to over-testing?

I'm operating under the assumption that more data is better, and can lead to better decision making, and more testing will lead to better data. Is there a down-side to too much testing?
 

MT15

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Not in my book.

Im also worried that we will repeat our testing errors with antibody testing. We need to be getting that up to speed for widespread testing like yesterday.

This administration‘s lack of attention to testing just baffles me.
 

not2rich

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Is there a downside to over-testing?

I'm operating under the assumption that more data is better, and can lead to better decision making, and more testing will lead to better data. Is there a down-side to too much testing?
Of course more testing is better. Arguments that our testing is adequate, despite what health care workers in the trenches are saying, seem to me to have no real purpose other than to defend the Trump WH and the Federal failure in this regard for partisan reasons.
 

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