Experts say US’s coronavirus positivity rate is high because tests are ‘too sensitive’ | Daily Mail

Up to 90 percent of people tested for COVID-19 in Massachusetts, New York and Nevada in July carried barely any traces of the virus, a new report says.

 

Up to 90 per cent of people diagnosed with coronavirus may not be carrying enough of it to infect anyone else, study finds as experts say tests are too sensitive

  • Up to 90 percent of people tested for COVID-19 in Massachusetts, New York and Nevada in July carried barely any traces of the virus, a new report says
  • Experts say it could be because today’s tests are ‘too sensitive’ 
  • In the US PCR testing is the most widely used diagnostic test for COVID-19 
  • PCR tests analyze genetic matter from the virus in cycles and today’s tests typically take 37 or 40 cycles
  • Experts say this is too high because it deems a patient positive even if they have small traces of the virus that are old and no longer contagious
  • They suggest lowering the number of cycles, which would hone in on people with a higher viral load and who are more contagious 
  • Today there are 5.9million cases of COVID-19 in the US and there have been more than 182,000 deaths

Source: Experts say US’s coronavirus positivity rate is high because tests are ‘too sensitive’ | Daily Mail Online

Up to 90 percent of people tested for COVID-19 in Massachusetts, New York and Nevada in July carried barely any traces of the virus and it could be because today’s tests are ‘too sensitive’, experts say.

Health experts say PCR testing – the most widely used diagnostic test for COVID-19 in the US – are too sensitive and need to be adjusted to rule out people who have insignificant amounts of the virus in their systems because they’re likely not contagious.

Today the PCR test, which provides a yes or no answer if a patient is infected, doesn’t say how much of the virus a patient has in their body.

PCR tests analyze genetic matter from the virus in cycles and today’s tests typically take 37 or 40 cycles, but experts say this is too high because it detects very small amounts of the virus that don’t pose a risk.

Doctors say fewer cycle thresholds, meaning the number of cycles needed to detect the virus, hone in on those with greater amounts of the virus who do pose risks, according to the New York Times.

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