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#327412 - 07/17/20 07:07 PM Covid-19 Testing
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 3603
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
I have been trying to figure out just how accurate the Covid-19 tests are. I am referring to tests as to whether you are infected or you have had it. As far as I can tell, and from what I have read, there are problems on several levels.

First, what test are being used. Apparently there are multiple tests available for both ends of this. Some good, some bad, some OK'd, some not, etc. The tests being used, in the United States have been cleared, in theory, but maybe not. I have seen accuracy/reliability figures that run from something like errors in the range of 15% up to 80%!

So, we are now in to this whole thing for almost 6 months. During that time the tests have, pretty much, remain the same and static and not really all that reliable. Now we are being told that there are new tests coming out which will be more accurate and faster. The problem with that one is that is the same claim that has been made, regularly, for at least the last 4 months!

I am also read about the possibility that those who have had Covid-19 can/may/will/not get infected again. One of the reasons for this is the accuracy of the tests in question. Apparently all tests are not all that accurate so nobody wants to stick their necks out until they can rely on the tests to see if somebody had it, didn't have it, have it right now, etc.

So, the United States of American. The leader in all things, doesn't really have reliable tests to take care of the problem. I did learn that there is an army of companies 'developing' tests that will be easier to take and easier and faster to get the results from. They may or may not be out there but they are working on them and they will appear, now, very quickly. (starting to sound like Trump!)

So, I would really be interested in anybody's thoughts on this. I find it really very, very, strange indeed. Seems we are actually basing just about everything we do on tests that cannot really be relied on and its been going on since this thing started and thousands continue to work on it and nothing has changed!

Fauci may be right. We are headed for what was experienced in 1917 and, again apparently, we don't know because we just don't.

Thoughts?

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#327420 - 07/17/20 07:59 PM Re: Covid-19 Testing [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 10351
Loc: North San Diego County
Most PCR tests are now very accurate, if you get a positive result. The big problem is that the results depend on finding virus RNA in your throat, and they may not even though you are infected. They may also find virus fragments after all the functional virus is gone, for a long time. So the test does not tell you if your are currently infected. But it can tell you if you are infected or were recently infected. A negative result does not tell you anything.

Antibody tests are a mixed bag. The FDA let any company self-verify so we got a lot of very bad tests at first. Then the FDA started testing the tests, and banned many of them. I know Abbott and Euroimmune are very accurate. The problem now is that people don't develop antibodies sometimes. So a negative antibody test does not mean you didn't have the virus. Some antibody tests will also give you a positive result if you had any of four other corona viruses that circulate as common colds. So a positive antibody test doesn't tell you you had the virus!

So the tests can be great. Reality is just complex. Symptoms seem to be much more reliable indicators: A CRP blood test measures your inflammation level, and the value is way above normal when you have Covid-19 cytokine storm. A D-Dimer blood test shows if clotting is occurring, and again the value is way above normal if you are forming micro-clots or DVTs.

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#327435 - 07/18/20 04:49 PM Re: Covid-19 Testing [Re: jgw]
jgw Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 3603
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
I have read, and watched, several experts talking about "herd immunity" and the fact it doesn't exist if you can get infected again and again. They have all said that one of the problems with it all is the inconsistency in the testing which doesn't allow them to actually rule on herd immunity. They then go on to start talking about the inconsistencies in the testing.

My problem with the entire thing is that the tests themselves seem to be a bit inconsistent and accuracy is not always to be relied on. I know of one instance where two nurses, in Montana, sent in tests for infection. The results were both positive. The tests sent in were blanks. They did this to test because they didn't believe the results were right. I was told this by a friend who returned from Montana. (she has now been back for 3 weeks and continues to be negative)

I think my point, however, is that we are well into this thing and yet there continues to be problems with tests. There seems to be not enough tests and taking the tests seems to be more problematic than it should be in this stage of Covid-19. Everytime if do a search on the tests all of this is recognized and every story then goes on to talk about the really neat tests just on the horizon (easily taken, even at home. Instant results, etc.). That horizon, as far as I can tell is at least a month or more old. Oh, there is also a group claiming that those neat tests exist but the FDA won't recognize them because there are companies favored by Trump pulling the strings.

Its kinda like vaccines except, seemingly, more immediate. When one mixes in the screw ups, on the part of the FDA, I think there is a little room for questions as to what the hell is going on?

Then, on top of everything, there are all the conspiracy theories which, apparently, are ignored rather than being dealt with. I pretty much blame the Dems, and media, for that as they remain above it all?


Edited by jgw (07/18/20 05:02 PM)

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#327438 - 07/18/20 06:31 PM Re: Covid-19 Testing [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 10351
Loc: North San Diego County
Quote:
Then, on top of everything, there are all the conspiracy theories which, apparently, are ignored rather than being dealt with.


How do you "deal with" a conspiracy theory? If you show evidence of why it's fake, true believers just consider you one of the conspirators. People who believe in them are going to believe in them, despite any facts otherwise. Democrats could waste all their time and money on this. Seems the only way "hoax virus" fans figure it is real is when one of them or a family member gets sick.

The only good thing is that Trump's fans are the ones congregating without masks, so they DO get sick. All the sensible people have to do is wait and stay safe. Most of the morons don't die, but in the future many will need continuing medical care so they just might be in favor of single-payer medicine or at least subsidized ACA.

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#327445 - 07/18/20 09:37 PM Re: Covid-19 Testing [Re: jgw]
rporter314 Online   content
veteran

Registered: 03/18/03
Posts: 7267
Loc: Highlands, Tx
For a couple of weeks now (3 aunts, 1 cousin, my brother, 1 in-law and one death) I have concluded, based on all the "good" people who do not wear masks, that a significant number of people will become infected. Numbers approaching Spanish Flu are not out of the realm of possibility. All I can say is be safe and stay away from all the inconsiderate, selfish folks out there.
_________________________
ignorance is the enemy
without equality there is no liberty
Get off the crazy train!!! ... dump Trump

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#327449 - 07/18/20 10:34 PM Re: Covid-19 Testing [Re: rporter314]
Greger Offline


Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 17279
Loc: Florida
The one thing we all know for sure about this is that a lot of people have died and a lot more are going to die. Any one of us may be in that number.

We know that the federal government has not responded to it in any meaningful sense and is focusing entirely on other issues. Like kidnapping protesters and selling beans. And of course, getting more money into the hands of the wealthy.
_________________________
Good coffee, good weed, and time on my hands...

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#327452 - 07/19/20 03:06 AM Re: Covid-19 Testing [Re: Greger]
rporter314 Online   content
veteran

Registered: 03/18/03
Posts: 7267
Loc: Highlands, Tx
Quote:
getting more money into the hands of the wealthy
If Mr Trump vaguely senses he will not win the election, I suspect he will rob the bank while he has a chance. Remember, he operates the country (notice I did not say governs) as if he is a mob boss. Also remember, he has enough money to keep him out of jail and prison for the rest of his life.
_________________________
ignorance is the enemy
without equality there is no liberty
Get off the crazy train!!! ... dump Trump

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#327453 - 07/19/20 05:42 AM Re: Covid-19 Testing [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 10351
Loc: North San Diego County
My real question is what he does between November 4th and January 20th? When he knows he's lost so badly that nobody is going to believe his BS about a rigged election. And enough Senators have lost so the Senate will flip.

Does he stick around to face the music? Or does he run off to some other country where he can keep on lobbing potshots at his enemies via social media. Does his administration do their best to sabotage the country and then take off with him, to set up a "government in exile" in Argentina? Because quite a few of them are headed for prison if they stay.

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#327455 - 07/19/20 06:46 AM Re: Covid-19 Testing [Re: jgw]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 10351
Loc: North San Diego County
Or if it's bad enough, does he resign before the election just so he doesn't have to face a humiliating defeat. He does have a real fixation on winners and losers, and he feels perfectly fine with crapping on Republicans for any reason at all. It's going to be very interesting for mental health professionals to see what happens to his psychological status.

And if he did that, would Pence pardon him?

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#327463 - 07/19/20 04:07 PM Re: Covid-19 Testing [Re: pondering_it_all]
Greger Offline


Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 17279
Loc: Florida
I don't think we'll see any such excitement. He's headed to Mar-A-lago where he will live out his days. His various minions and lackeys will find other jobs. All it takes to stay out of jail is money and these cretins have plenty of it. The jails are NOT full of people with money.

There is always another appeal, another string to be pulled and another crime to be committed. Jails are for the little people, for proles who stepped out of line. Even the children of the affluent are awarded "get out of jail" cards at birth.

There will be no resignation, no Pence pardon, and the current president will go to his grave believing the election was rigged and that it wasn't fair. Republicans will believe him and fight harder next time to take their miserable little small minded racist sh*t hole of a nation back.
_________________________
Good coffee, good weed, and time on my hands...

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