#2911  
Old 10-20-2020, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay Dub View Post
I saw a new test on the news yesterday(?) that was like a mouth wash. Swish it around and spit it back out. They said it's what the NFL is using.
I'd prefer that to the swabs up the nose.
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  #2912  
Old 10-20-2020, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by JuanA View Post
I'd prefer that to the swabs up the nose.
That was a big part of that story also. They showed videos of the swab on kids, I don't blame them for not wanting that.
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  #2913  
Old 10-20-2020, 04:21 PM
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The test seems useless if there are so many false positives. Give me a few seconds of discomfort as long as I know the results will be at least somewhat trustworthy.
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  #2914  
Old 10-20-2020, 04:30 PM
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Our Gov said today:

Quote:
DeWine: If COVID-19 spread doesn’t slow down in Ohio, the result may be a shutdown of in-person school for children.
And COVID-19 hospitalizations in Ohio are at their highest since pandemic began.
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  #2915  
Old 10-20-2020, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by McCready View Post
The test seems useless if there are so many false positives. Give me a few seconds of discomfort as long as I know the results will be at least somewhat trustworthy.
If the test is quick & cheap, then repeat it before treating the result as a true positive. False negatives are a much, much larger danger.
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  #2916  
Old 10-20-2020, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by McCready View Post
I guess they’re using different testing now, because initially we were told negative results were only ~70% accurate, but positive was 99.9% accurate. Now false positives are rampant? We continue to be the laughingstock of the rest of the world.
It's important to understand the purpose of testing and point of using different types of tests. It's also dangerous to draw conclusions from what seems like very accurate tests.

I'm going to give you an example, because I know someone who this happened to, and it's also a good example. If you ever get a life insurance policy, especially a big one, you're probably going to get an HIV test, along with a bunch of other tests. Insurance companies lose money if they accidentally give cheap policies to someone who has a big hidden risk factor, so they will give you a test with a very high sensitivity (which means very few true positives will go undetected). At this point they're not real worried about accidentally flagging a few people as positive that aren't truly positive. So you get the test back and it's positive, and your initial thought is "OMG I have HIV", and then the insurance guy says don't worry it's very unlikely that you have it, and you're like "WTF, why are you using such a crappy test????", and he's like, well, it's complicated but we need to do a follow up test. The first test actually has a very high specificity of around 98.5% (this is the amount of positive results that are truly positive). The issue is if you're in a low risk demographic (heterosexual, non iv drug user, limited sexual partners) the prevalence of HIV is very low, below 1 in 1000. So when the insurance company screens 1000 people, 1 person comes back positive because they actually have HIV, and 15 come back as a false positive. So your odds of actually having HIV based on that test are one out of 16, even though the test itself is extremely accurate. They will do the more expensive follow up test with very high specificity, and odds are after a couple days freaking out, your results will come back negative.

The question then becomes why would you use one test rather than another. There are a lot of reasons why you might sacrifice accuracy. Take for example long term care facilities. There have been a number of increased protections put in place. One of them is frequent testing of staff for screening purposes. The ideal test is something that is rapid, cheap, and has a high sensitivity. You might even give up sensitivity if the test is fast and cheap enough because you can make up for it with speed and volume. Specificity really isn't that big of a deal, if you have to tell 10 healthy people to stay home from work for a few days, in order to prevent one sick person from coming to work, that's a tradeoff you're most certainly willing to take. Now if you're in a different setting like a hospital, then the type of test you need may be very different. You have a very sick person and you're trying to pinpoint the cause with accuracy.

So if you view the purpose of testing as a means to control the infection (which in my opinion should be the primary purpose), sensitivity and speed of testing are the important factors. False positives aren't such a big deal, because telling someone to quarantine who isn't sick isn't such a big deal, but telling someone who is sick they're ok is. If you view the purpose of testing as being for large scale population monitoring you might opt for different testing.

At any rate I believe the majority of tests being done in the US are PCR tests and they have a pretty high specificity. I think estimates are in the 96-99.6% range. I'd say it's close to the higher end otherwise you wouldn't see places reporting positivity rates below 4%. Additionally from a technical standpoint, a PCR test should have extremely high specificity if administered properly. But let's just say for discussion purposes it's 99.6%. There are over a million tests being performed in the US daily right now, even at a 0.4% rate, 4,000+ daily cases would be false positives. That being said, in actuality the PCR test is a pretty crappy test to use as an infection prevention tool. It's slow, it's expensive, and it doesn't have great sensitivity. You can't test as many people as you would like, you can't test as often as you would like, you can't get results fast enough to be useful, and many sick people aren't identified. Ideally you would use a cheap, fast, test with high sensitivity. However we're just finally getting cheap rapid tests on emergency authorizations because we've had a bureaucracy who's approval process is based on outdated pre-pandemic guidelines.

At any rate, the moral of the story is this: don't confuse the accuracy of a test with it's usefulness. Oftentimes it's worth sacrificing accuracy if it means more and faster testing. Just think about it. Imagine if we had a dirt cheap lick a piece of paper style test we could all take every morning before we left the house? How much better off would we be even if it was wrong a lot of the time?

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  #2917  
Old 10-20-2020, 06:43 PM
DanJon DanJon is offline
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Originally Posted by MikeK View Post
Dear Sheeple,

Your bleating is quite loud, yet it doesn’t change the fact that Sweden’s recent Covid deaths are very low. 65 deaths in the last 30 days in fact.

Somehow the Swedes are not dying off in the record numbers that you predict.

I know it’s tough when the media relentlessly beats you over the head with their incessant paranoia and fear-mongering, but the choice is yours. Live free or die.

Sincerely,
The Voice of Reason


Just a quick little point, then I'll go back to grazing:

Right-Wing Idiots: "We can't compare ourselves to New Zealand and enact those types of restrictions, it's a totally different country."

Also Right-Wing Idiots: "Sweden is doing great, we should do what they're doing, it will work great since we are exactly the same!"

Baaaaaahhhhhhhh.


Last edited by DanJon; 10-20-2020 at 06:47 PM.
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  #2918  
Old 10-20-2020, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by DanJon View Post
Just a quick little point, then I'll go back to grazing:

Right-Wing Idiots: "We can't compare ourselves to New Zealand and enact those types of restrictions, it's a totally different country."

Also Right-Wing Idiots: "Sweden is doing great, we should do what they're doing, it will work great since we are exactly the same!"

Baaaaaahhhhhhhh.
I forget which thread it was in but I dug into the baseline health of Sweden vs US. Turns out they live 4 years longer than us on average, and if you look at minority populations, it’s more like 7 years. Think they might be at lower risk for severe covid over there?

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  #2919  
Old 10-20-2020, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Hampstead View Post
Average daily US coronavirus cases have climbed more than 30% over last two weeks via
@CNN
:

Right now: 58,397
2 days ago: 55,493
4 days ago: 53,405
6 days ago: 51,038
8 days ago: 49,475
10 days ago: 47,956
12 days ago: 45,754
14 days ago: 44,482
USA! USA! USA!



Thanks for making Canada look good. Yes, I'm being facetious. I work in health care up here and this fall is going to suck. No doubt about it. Case counts are climbing in my neck of the woods too.

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  #2920  
Old 10-20-2020, 10:55 PM
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ThrowaEnvy ThrowaEnvy is online now
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Originally Posted by JedV View Post
USA! USA! USA!



Thanks for making Canada look good. Yes, I'm being facetious. I work in health care up here and this fall is going to suck. No doubt about it. Case counts are climbing in my neck of the woods too.
Well we are only 6 months away from the USA if we aren't careful, but come month #3 they will smack our whole country into lockdown before we get there! I hope. Canada is like the US in April... I hope the lessons are learned and we don't blunder our way into that mess... but -20 C for 5 months isn't going to help. Well maybe not in "cascadia" yeah I know where you are..

Seems like masks aren't the worst idea..

Last edited by ThrowaEnvy; 10-20-2020 at 10:57 PM.
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