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Surprise: Rapid Chinese Coronavirus Tests Are No Guarantee

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Biden’s been on a roll as of late, pushing rapid at home tests and N95 masks. He wants to send people tests for use at home (and you know the COVID cultists are ordering them right now without need, and those who actually need them won’t get them when they think they might be infected). How well will those tests work? (at Washington Post behind paywall)

They relied on rapid coronavirus tests to gather safely. Some wish they hadn’t.

Rona MacInnes, 54, was determined to do everything possible to protect her elderly mother as her family prepared to gather for Christmas in Pennington, N.J.

With her son returning from study in Dublin, MacInnes hoped serial at-home coronavirus tests would catch a coronavirus infection he might bring home. The college junior would take six rapid tests before the holiday, all of which returned negative results. But it would become clear only later – after he had spent time with his grandmother – that he had been infected the whole time. Several days after gathering for Christmas, he got a positive result back from the first available lab-based PCR test he was able to book.

The result floored and frightened MacInnes, creating fresh worries about her 80-year-old mother. The family quickly booked an appointment to get a PCR test for her mother that came back negative.

“Thankfully none of us have developed symptoms,” MacInnes said.

The promise of at-home tests to tell people whether they are infectious has been undercut not just by anecdotal reports like MacInnes’s, but by preliminary data that suggest some of the rapid tests may be less sensitive to the now-dominant omicron variant. Studies suggest they detect infections most reliably two to five days after exposure in people with high viral loads who are experiencing symptoms, which is why people are urged to take the tests serially. But even then, they are not foolproof. And for those who have taken pains to find out if their sniffle and sore throat might be harbingers of covid-19 to protect others, contradictory test results are often dismaying.

So, you have a bunch of COVID cultists constantly taking test after test after test, burning them up, while having no symptoms. Like using pregnancy tests after having no sex for a couple months. All to think they’re safe. Rather than not putting themselves in position to catch Wuhan flu. Much like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She wasn’t careful, even though vaccinated and boosted.

A New York woman who relied on negative rapid test results to go out with her friends on New Year’s Eve only to get back a positive PCR test result afterward said she believes the at-home tests offer “a false sense of security.”

They aren’t protection. They aren’t security. They’re for if you think you’ve been exposed and/or showing symptoms.

The Food and Drug Administration acknowledged the issue on Dec. 28, noting that “early data suggests that antigen tests do detect the omicron variant but may have reduced sensitivity.” A week later, a small preprint study that has not yet been peer-reviewed found the rapid tests failed to detect the virus on day zero and day one after infection for 30 individuals in New York and San Francisco. In 28 of those cases, PCR tests indicated that the patients’ virus levels were high enough on those days to make them infectious. (Several authors of the study serve as unpaid board members of SalivaDirect, a PCR test protocol affiliated with the Yale School of Public Health.)

A different big study found that Abbott’s BinaxNOW rapid test failed just 10% of the time. But, for the most part, the rapid home tests require a certain level of antigens to be detected. The smarter decision would be to focus more on the full PCR tests, find a way to bring costs down.

“Some people turn positive two days after exposure, some three days, some four days, some five days,” said William Schaffner, professor of infectious diseases and preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University. “All of this leads to a great deal of confusion.”

That uncertainty is why the tests were never designed to be used “as a ‘Get Out of Jail Free card,’ ” to leave quarantine or isolation, he added.

So, the vaccines do not prevent this? Huh. Still worth taking, since they mostly protect people from getting the harsh symptoms. But, Brandon’s idea to send the tests? A joke.


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