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Monday, March 23, 2020

Mailvox: testing results

A lab technician emails and reminds of the important efforts that are taking place behind the scenes.

I work in a medical testing lab and have been involved in reporting out COVID lab results. From my experience, the negative result to positive result ratio is roughly between 5:1 to 10:1. Only the positives are being reported to public health agencies, and that's what eventually makes its way to the Hopkins page and other pages.

As an aside, there is probably a 2-to-3-day delay in what happens in the lab, and what shows up on the internet. The latest numbers of new cases reported in the US for today are about 8,000. So this probably represents 40,000 to 80,000 new test results reported in a day. If you understand the work involved to produce a single test result, that is an astounding amount of test results for a test that no clinical labs had just one month ago.

The point is that the private sector industry has done an amazing job responding to this demand in a short amount of time. They are doing much better than any government effort could muster.

Labels: ,

41 Comments:

Blogger Crew March 23, 2020 6:52 PM  

When you really want to fuck things up big time, call in the Government!

Blogger Keith March 23, 2020 6:53 PM  

Are these Laboratory Developed Tests? If so, I wonder if any work is being done to facilitate sharing the efficacy and cost data of the different approaches the labs might be taking.

https://www.acla.com/issues/laboratory-developed-tests/

Blogger thechortling March 23, 2020 7:17 PM  

The emphasis on "what Trump (isn't) doing" is pure politics just like today's counterproposal from Dems. Imagine if the Anointed One were still in office with this crisis. The MSM would be a complete emo mess fawning over his every precious word and repeating it as the Anointed Gospel of Secular Salvation.

Blogger Ray - SoCal March 23, 2020 7:24 PM  

US is up to 66,000 daily tests:
https://covidtracking.com/us-daily/

And Monday an fda approved 45 minute test that uses standard machines goes into use:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-fda-idUSKBN218105

Blogger Hammerli 280 March 23, 2020 7:34 PM  

I'm watching the press conference. Trump is sending clear signals...the lockdown will end. Might be one week more, might be three weeks more, but we're talking weeks, not months. It's a good sign. I'm trying to stuff money into my S&P 500 index fund, and having a hard time. Which I suspect is a Good Sign.

Blogger Sterling Pilgrim March 23, 2020 7:49 PM  

For what it’s worth, the intensivist at my wife’s hospital has told them to treat any moderate to severe cases with the “Trump cocktail” as I’ll be calling it from here on out.
It’s the hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin combo.

Blogger Unknown March 23, 2020 7:59 PM  

"The point is that the private sector industry has done an amazing job responding to this demand in a short amount of time. They are doing much better than any government effort could muster."
Government is necessary, unfortunately. But when it comes to speed and efficiency, government generally comes in dead last.

Blogger Salt March 23, 2020 7:59 PM  

Seems when government gets out of the way (medical innovation) things get done.

Blogger Brett baker March 23, 2020 8:16 PM  

How dare this man interfere with the Narrative!

Blogger APL March 23, 2020 8:38 PM  

Theranos is on the case. Go Woman power.

Blogger SeaPho March 23, 2020 9:02 PM  

No, for the most part the lab running the test did not develop it. There are two global companies that make high volume automated test systems (Roche, ThermoFisher), and they also make test kits to run on the systems. This is all well and good until they say "sorry, all our inventory of test kits are going to your competitor."

Blogger Steve March 23, 2020 9:24 PM  

So many people doing hard/dangerous work during this from store clerks to test lab folks. To all keeping the world working - nice job!!!

Blogger KPKinSunnyPhiladelphia March 23, 2020 9:25 PM  

The point is that the private sector industry has done an amazing job responding to this demand in a short amount of time. They are doing much better than any government effort could muster.

I'm shocked, SHOCKED, that the private sector is doing more efficient and timely work.

Shocked.

Blogger Attila is my bro March 23, 2020 9:27 PM  

This jives with what a friend told me. His brother is a doctor at a Manhattan hospital who said about 10% of those tested came back positive. They only test if the patient has symptoms.

Myself, my wife and my 5 year old have all been mildly sick at different times in the past 2 weeks. I just assumed it was Corona-chan but the anecdote from the friend - and especially now with this confirmation - make me believe I just had a cold or something.

Blogger KPKinSunnyPhiladelphia March 23, 2020 9:36 PM  

Hammerli 280 wrote:I'm watching the press conference. Trump is sending clear signals...the lockdown will end. Might be one week more, might be three weeks more, but we're talking weeks, not months. It's a good sign.

I watched too. The shift in tone was unmistakable.

Did you note that the Cassandra Fauci was absent? Reporters noticed, but Trump deflected nicely.

I think what is going to happen are directives to decentralize and stratify lockdowns. Highly dense big cities -- New York, Seattle, San Francisco will go longer until the curve flattens there. Ventilator and mask resources will go to the hot spots.

Smaller cities and rural areas will start to loosen up, but there will be "task force plans" to bring into motion when new hot spots arise.

Older retired people everywhere will be asked to "shelter in place" voluntarily for longer, and go outside only for necessities.

With wider testing beyond those with symptoms, individuals working in important manufacturing industries will get tested first. Pass, and it's back to work.

Restrict international travel for another 30-45 days.

Meanwhile a wider testing regime beyond those with symptoms will give us a better sense of the true level of infection and the true "calculated fatality rate."

Omaha is not Bergamo, or Hubei, or even Seoul. Let's be smart about this, but vigilant.

Blogger Crew March 23, 2020 9:44 PM  

If these trials work the way it looks like they will work, the God Emperor will be elevated to true Godhood!

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/03/president-trump-chloroquine-and-hydroxychloroquine-clinical-trials-will-begin-tuesday-in-new-york-video/

Blogger kurt9 March 23, 2020 9:50 PM  

The lockdown should be for a month. It takes two weeks for people newly infected to show symptoms and another week for them to stop shedding virii. Thus, a proper lockdown should last 4-6 weeks. There is no reason to extend it longer.

The point is that the private sector industry has done an amazing job responding to this demand in a short amount of time. They are doing much better than any government effort could muster.

No shit, Sherlock.

Blogger Kordl March 23, 2020 9:55 PM  

I actually lol'd at that

Blogger Silly but True March 23, 2020 9:59 PM  

It’s part of the required response: we’ve progressed to that time of the crisis when media plays “Kick FEMA for not being the private sector.”

Do reporters think FEMA is just supposed to sit around all day manufacturing N95 masks to better help those times ice storms hit Colorado or a hurricane hits Mobile?

Blogger MNW March 23, 2020 10:01 PM  

They would downplay it the same way they did in 09 and 10 with the last asian flu

Blogger VFM #7634 March 23, 2020 10:08 PM  

There are two global companies that make high volume automated test systems (Roche, ThermoFisher), and they also make test kits to run on the systems.

I remember that at one of Trump's coronavirus newsers a few days ago he or at least someone specifically mentioned working with Roche.

Blogger Damelon Brinn March 23, 2020 10:20 PM  

It's hard to see how they could start planning to loosen things up yet. Italy *might* have peaked, based on the last two days, but the US has been running about 10 days behind Italy, and the situation isn't the same. States are doing their own thing on different timelines, and it's just now getting to some areas.

I think what is going to happen are directives to decentralize and stratify lockdowns.

That would be great, but it would definitely take federal orders. It would mean essentially dividing off cities like Chicago, telling them they have to stay locked up while the rest of the state gets to live again. The governor definitely wouldn't do that, because it would be admitting the city is a fragile hellhole. It could spark the riots they're desperate to avoid.

Blogger Sean March 23, 2020 10:41 PM  

I think they are doing a good job but in reality other countries (e.g. South Korea with their drive-thru testing) has worked out how to do this efficiently with government effort. Perhaps the quote to be renamed to the USA swamp infested agencies are really bad.

Blogger MNW March 23, 2020 10:42 PM  

My wife and have been sick mitch of the winter. The mild winter and a toddler in day care has made this a rough year. My Drs office has been busy all season.

Honestly, I think the Chicoms has thus thing spreading for weeks or months before they noticed.

Blogger furor kek tonicus ( what do you get if you make a honey bear Gen Sec of China? Winnie the Flu ) March 23, 2020 10:52 PM  

Arkhaven OT:
as per Cataline, Diamond Comics is suspending acceptance and distribution of ALL new product immediately.

https://darkherald.net/2020/03/23/and-comics-are-now-over/

https://www.polygon.com/comics/2020/3/23/21191579/dc-marvel-diamond-comics-stops-shipping-new-books

there may be some hope if an agreement can be reached that the economy should be treated as if it were suspended for the duration of the quarantines. after all, a lot of comic book stores are considered "non-essential" and are in Q zones, they're not going to be open anyways.

but even if that happens, a LOT of stores are going under.

if no such agreement is reached? the entire existing retail sector just went up in a fireball.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd March 24, 2020 12:01 AM  

Damelon Brinn wrote:It's hard to see how they could start planning to loosen things up yet. Italy *might* have peaked, based on the last two days, but the US has been running about 10 days behind Italy, ...
The only people who need to be quarantined are the CCPV-positive. Widespread testing enables effective but very limited lockdowns, while the rest of us get back to work. The Trump Cocktail is probably going to be effective enough to backstop the inevitable mistakes.

Blogger VFM #7634 March 24, 2020 1:25 AM  

For comparison, specimen positive percentages during the last flu season — which was a double one, with both influenza B then A — peaked at about 20% for each.

So if Corona-chan operates like the flu, it should peak in two or three weeks or so, then drop off in a bell curve.

Blogger Scuzzaman March 24, 2020 2:44 AM  

The Chinese have admitted that their test is inaccurate.

How reliable are these new test kits going to be?

Blogger APL March 24, 2020 4:19 AM  

MNW: "Honestly, I think the Chicoms has thus thing spreading for weeks or months before they noticed."

Absolutely, in the UK we've had Chinese students ( young healthy don't succumb or show symptoms ) travelling back and forth throughout last year and the Christmas and new year period.

It's impossible that it only broke into the West after January.

Blogger Matrick March 24, 2020 4:52 AM  

My brother works for a small town veterinary lab. He says they've been in talks with the hospital to run CV antigen tests, that each test costs about £5 in consumables, no special kits are needed and they could run 300 per day on top of normal workload. These tests are better than the antibody tests for determining whether the virus is active now. There must be other labs in the area that can do the same and I feel that they could have shifted focus weeks ago.

Blogger Gregory the Tall March 24, 2020 6:00 AM  

The Gateway Pundit linked to a video of family physician Dr. Zelenko, who says he received a lot of positive tests in his area and treated everybody who tested positive with Zinc, Chloroquien and Azithromycin. All these people were in the early stages of the disease, none of them went to hospital, none of them need a respirator, none of them died he says. Here is his video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7h9UXkDaI5A

And here is a written document from him:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SesxgaPnpT6OfCYuaFSwXzDK4cDKMbivoALprcVFj48/edit



Blogger Gregory the Tall March 24, 2020 6:01 AM  

I forgot to say: the report from Dr. Zelenko means that widespread testing and early treatment could avoid a lot of problems.

Blogger Avalanche March 24, 2020 7:23 AM  

Steve Sailer hits it out of the park, as always:
...
So it's entirely possible for there to be race differences in the magnitude of sex differences in susceptibility to diseases, including Covid-19.

According to the new Chinese study, Covid-19 uses "angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 ACE2 as its host cell receptor," as did SARS. The authors explain that

" Epidemiology studies found different sex and age groups have different susceptibility to infection, and very skewed severity and mortality of the virus infection, with male, old age, and comorbidity being the most inflicted."

Using a database with "thousands" of samples in it, the Chinese scientists found

" …significantly higher expression [of ACE2] in Asian females compared to males and other ethnic groups, an age-dependent ACE2 expression decrease and a highly significant decrease in type II diabetic patients. Consistently, the most significant expression quantitative loci (eQTLs) contributing to high ACE2 expression are close to 100% in East Asians, >30% higher than other ethnic groups."

So this Chinese study demonstrates, yet again, that races differ, for genetic reasons, in their susceptibility to Covid-19—and that "East Asians" (the Politically Correct term for Orientals) are likely to be particularly susceptible.

However, it also implies that, among East Asians, ACE2 is more common in women and, specifically, in women who are not elderly, because the expression of ACE2 decreases with age.

This finding would potentially help to make sense of some very strange observations about race differences in the prevalence and seriousness of the virus.
...

https://vdare.com/articles/it-s-complicated-chinese-scientists-find-coronavirus-discriminates-by-race-and-sex

Blogger Avalanche March 24, 2020 7:44 AM  

If anyone wants a great photo for their Trump shrine.... here it is!!

https://vdare.com/articles/never-let-a-crisis-go-to-waste-trump-should-listen-to-salvini-on-coronavirus-impose-nationalist-agenda

Blogger Mr.MantraMan March 24, 2020 7:46 AM  

Way off topic, it looks as if some kook has taken over Bill Lind's blog, thought I would mention it in case you have contact with him and he does not bother to look at it on a daily basis.

Blogger TruthsGotMyBack March 24, 2020 8:16 AM  

Here in Vancouver, the city is currently considered a hotbed of coronu, with 10 deaths, and over 400 cases. The local news claims the emergency departments are overflowing with cases, taxing resources and gutting crucial supplies.

So I went to visit those emergency rooms at all four big downtown hospitals yesterday morning, and it was complete crickets. Parking galore, a few patients milling around, a few drunks snoring, no new patients arriving... I told the greeters I have a friend with a broken arm that is too freaked out by the news reports to come in. He said my buddy was being ridiculous, and that it hasn’t been much busier than that all week.

Like many situations in life, they try to scare you into not discovering the truth. Fear not, because
#virusesarebullshit

Blogger Ken Prescott March 24, 2020 11:52 AM  

Some of this is that fewer women smoke than men do in China.

Blogger Kiwi March 24, 2020 2:50 PM  

"Only the positives are being reported to public health agencies"

Welcome to peer review.

Blogger Akulkis March 24, 2020 4:14 PM  

"So if Corona-chan operates like the flu, it should peak in two or three weeks or so, then drop off in a bell curve."

Flu has an incubation period of 2-3 days.

Blogger eclecticme March 24, 2020 4:23 PM  

I found an article on how the US FDA and CDC dropped the ball. The twitter version has less detail and should be read first. Anyone outside the US should read this to understand why health care in the US is screwed up.

https://twitter.com/AlecStapp/status/1241027712233410560
https://thedispatch.com/p/timeline-the-regulationsand-regulatorsthat
Timeline: The Regulations—and Regulators—That Delayed Coronavirus Testing
There have been three major regulatory barriers so far.
Alec Stapp
Mar 20

Also
President Trump: "We must try hydroxychloroquine & azithromycin."
The Media: "That's false hope! It's not approved for use yet!"
New York Gov. Cuomo: "We must try hydroxychloroquine & azithromycin."
The Media: "This is real leadership! What a fantastic idea!"

Blogger Duke Norfolk March 24, 2020 6:42 PM  

I'm just amazed to find out through all of this that the world is apparently chock full of epidemiological experts. Who could have known? ;-)

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