Covid Test Accuracy Has Doctors Concerned

First things first, we needed access to testing and it appears that we finally got it in most places. However, the new conundrum is whether or not the test results are something we can rely on for accuracy.

False positive and false negative results are an accepted problem in the scientific community. 100% just doesn’t exist anywhere in nature, including in the science lab.

One of the major problems with the Covid-19 pandemic is the speed with which it hit us. We had insufficient time to develop new tests that could be validated through the accepted governmental channels with proper checks and balances, which is a tedious process. The emergent nature of the global health crisis forced governing bodies like the FDA to grant emergency approval to testing entities, without sufficient data to know positive and negative predictive values of these tests.

When we didn’t have testing we had to err on the side of caution and assume anyone with symptoms could have Covid-19. Our new problem is that testing causes us make assumptions about Covid status based on testing data that is inaccurate far more often than we’d like to admit.

False negative are a serious public health risk, but false positives create unnecessary quarantines, social stigma, and potentially fear and anxiety on behalf of the patient and their loved ones.

This article by The Scientist discusses the reality of testing accuracy (click link below to read the article).

Take a look at our Covid-Page for a volume of fact-checked authoratative information about Covid-19.

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Justin Groode MD | Patient Advocate Alliance LLC