The FDA Botched Covid Testing in 2020. Nothing Has Changed Since Then.
Ah, the covid-19 test results—much maligned by some and worshipped by others! As part of the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, the results of covid-19 tests are repeatedly blasted at us from many places, often with analysis. It is easy to understand why this is the case. News media and information outlets of all types can present the absolute numbers of positive tests and data trends, which are easy to find, and many viewers can seemingly grasp what’s happening and where. And people are concerned about the spread of a novel virus and what it might do to them, their families, and their communities. In short, this is information that people demand. As such, they will get it.
It’s important to understand the basics of the two main types of tests being used to detect the virus. First, a PCR test is used to amplify and detect the presence of a DNA segment that is highly specific to covid-19. Second, an antibody test is used to detect the presence of an antigen (often a specific protein) that is present on the outside of a pathogen like covid-19. Both of these tests take biological processes and manipulate them to detect the presence of something specific—in these cases, markers of covid-19. There’s nothing magical or sacred about what’s happening. Anyone with the supplies and proper training can run these tests and report findings. And, like with any analytical procedure, there are restrictions on what can be detected. False positives and false negatives are possible, detection levels have limits, and sampling technique affects the results. All of these can be examined to better defi
Article from Mises Wire