[ExI] Virus testing

Dylan Distasio interzone at gmail.com
Thu May 21 14:04:30 UTC 2020

Sadly, Spain was also doing the same thing until relatively recently.  I
follow the Johns Hopkins updates daily and noticed it around a month ago.
 There's really no excuse for this kind of incompetence.   This is from the
April 24th JH update:

Spain appears to be updating its COVID-19 reporting methods. On its
COVID-19 dashboard, the cases reported in the past 24 hours now refer only
to those confirmed with a PCR test, which appears to be a change.
Previously, Spain did not specify how many cases fell under this category,
and after a review of other daily reports, it seems as though Spain has
been including individuals with positive serological tests since
approximately April 15. We have noted in previous COVID-19 briefings that
Spain’s reported daily incidence has not been decreasing like we have
observed in some other European countries. If these recent reports included
positive serological tests (whereas previously reported data did not), it
could potentially explain why the daily incidence was not decreasing as
expected. Spain’s April 24 daily report shows 202,990 confirmed cases (PCR
test), including 2,796 new cases. This is considerably fewer new cases than
have been reported over the past several weeks. Additionally, the daily
report shows 219,764 total cases—including both PCR and serological
tests—which matches the total cases reported on the dashboard. The change
in total cases reported on the dashboard from the previous day is 6,740 new
cases, but it seems that this would include new positive serological tests
as well. As of today, the dashboard appears to include a mix of data for
both types of test in the total reported cases and just the PCR test for
new cases, and it is unclear how Spain will proceed with its COVID-19
reporting in the future.

On Thu, May 21, 2020 at 8:38 AM John Clark via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> The news just broke that in a boneheaded move the US Center for Disease
> Control has been combining the results from the virus test with the results
> of the antibody test in its statistics without telling anybody, and that
> makes the results almost impossible to interpret. The virus test is the
> gold standard and tells you if you have the virus right now; if you're
> sick but the test is negative then something other than COVID-19 is making
> you ill. The less accurate antibody test tells you if you've ever been
> exposed to the virus and a positive result may mean you are immune from the
> virus. One test looks ahead the other looks behind.
> The virus test is only administered to those who already have symptoms of
> COVID-19, but the antibody test is being given to the general population at
> random and has a much higher false negative result than the virus test, so
> combining those results will very strongly drive down the positive rate
> statistics. And states have been using these very questionable statistics
> to decide when it is safe to reopen!
> How Could the CDC Make That Mistake?
> <https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/05/cdc-and-states-are-misreporting-covid-19-test-data-pennsylvania-georgia-texas/611935/>
> Meanwhile a disease computer model says that if the lockdown had started
> just one week earlier in March at least 36,000 American lives could have
> been saved.
> Delay in Lockdown Led to at Least 36,000 More Deaths, Models Find
> <https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/21/us/coronavirus-live-updates.html?action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage>
> John K Clark
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> extropy-chat mailing list
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
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