Shock: Study Finds Coronavirus Tests Are Not Fit For Purpose
Written by John O'Sullivan
Latest US-backed Chinese study on the efficacy of existing COVID-19 coronavirus tests shows they are unreliable and are wrongly indicating a false-positive as high as 80.33%.
This is a U.S. federal government NCBI report and concludes that half of the tests may not be reliable and are wrongly pointing to a far higher level of contagion.
Published March 05, 2020, in the U.S. National Library of Medicine the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) approved study, ‘Potential false-positive rate among the ‘asymptomatic infected individuals’ in close contacts of COVID-19 patients’ reveals that doctors, patients and governments are likely receiving a skewed picture of the incidence of infection in the current novel coronavirus outbreak.
According to the NCBI paper, the evidence has been collated from cases examined in mainland China at the height of the epidemic by ” active nucleic acid test screening” in close proximity of patients in many parts of China.
Less than one in five tests performed had correctly identified the disease.
The authors express grave concerns that not enough has been done to convey the very real problem that testing for COVID-19 is far from reliable and the ‘”false positive” susceptibility is likely wrongly indicating the disease is far more prevalent than is actually the case.
From the paper’s Abstract;
Methods: Point values and reasonable ranges of the indicators which impact the false-positive rate of positive results were estimated based on the information available to us at present. The false-positive rate of positive results in the active screening was deduced, and univariate and multivariate-probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed to understand the robustness of the findings.
Results: When the infection rate of the close contacts and the sensitivity and specificity of reported results were taken as the point estimates, the positive predictive value of the active screening was only 19.67%, in contrast, the false-positive rate of positive results was 80.33%. The multivariate-probabilistic sensitivity analysis results supported the base-case findings, with a 75% probability for the false-positive rate of positive results over 47%.
Conclusions: In the close contacts of COVID-19 patients, nearly half or even more of the ‘asymptomatic infected individuals’ reported in the active nucleic acid test screening might be false positives.
The full text of the study can be downloaded at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
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