Just last week we saw some excellent reports about the coronavirus that only confirm what many of us thought from the start.
First, we got a report from the CDC showing numbers that only about 6% of all deaths from COVID are actually from COVID alone. In other words, 94% of the people who died had a disease that was more serious than COVID, such as diabetes, dementia, or high blood pressure.
Many other contributing factors actually, because the average person who has died had 2.6 other co-illnesses along with COVID.
BUT ... the biggest bomb dropped came from data gathered from tests in three states. This suggests that the vast majority of people who have tested positive for the virus are no longer contagious.
In other words, as long as we all have been isolated and in quarantine, it may all be in vain.
In three sets of testing data that include cycle thresholds, compiled by officials in Massachusetts, New York and Nevada, up to 90 percent of people testing positive carried barely any virus, a review by The Times found.
On Thursday, the United States recorded 45,604 new coronavirus cases, according to a database maintained by The Times. If the rates of contagiousness in Massachusetts and New York were to apply nationwide, then perhaps only 4,500 of those people may actually need to isolate and submit to contact tracing.
One solution would be to adjust the cycle threshold used now to decide that a patient is infected. Most tests set the limit at 40, a few at 37. This means that you are positive for the coronavirus if the test process required up to 40 cycles, or 37, to detect the virus.
NEW: All these months into the pandemic, we may have been testing the wrong way. Data from some state labs suggest up to 90% (!!) of people who get a positive result are no longer contagious and don’t need to isolate.
Strap in, this is important. 1/xhttps://t.co/rR4aBDK4Xl
— Apoorva Mandavilli (@apoorva_nyc) August 29, 2020
This could be a reason why so many other countries that didn't isolate have done much better than the U.S. and why they were able to eliminate the virus much more quickly. That plus some countries were allowed to take hydroxychloroquine.
New York Times
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