coronavirus test positive? Maybe it shouldn’t be.

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Covid tested positive ? Dont panic. Most of these people are not likely to be contagious, and identifying them may contribute to bottlenecks that prevent those who are contagious from being found in time.

by Apoorva Mandavilli for economic times :

One of the nation’s leading public health experts are raising a new concern in the endless debate over coronavirus testing in the United States: The standard tests are diagnosing huge numbers of people who may be carrying relatively insignificant amounts of the virus.

“The decision not to test asymptomatic people is just really backward,” said Dr. Michael Mina, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, referring to the CDC recommendation.

“In fact, we should be ramping up testing of all different people,” he said, “but we have to do it through whole different mechanisms.”

In what may be a step in this direction, the Trump administration announced on Thursday that it would purchase 150 million rapid tests.

The most widely used diagnostic test for the new coronavirus, called a PCR test, provides a simple yes-no answer to the question of whether a patient is infected.

But similar PCR tests for other viruses do offer some sense of how contagious an infected patient may be: The results may include a rough estimate of the amount of virus in the patients body.

It’s the amount of virus that should dictate the infected patient’s next steps. “It’s really irresponsible, I think, to forgo the recognition that this is a quantitative issue,” Mina said.

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https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/science/is-your-coronavirus-test-positive-maybe-it-shouldnt-be-/articleshow/77831794.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst


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