Rapid testing for SARS-CoV-2 would change the game, but your help is needed to make these tests available. Current tests described as “rapid” still require equipment and the results arent as rapid as possible. The sticking point is around FDA requirements about test sensitivity. The most rapid tests aren’t authorized yet because they are less sensitive than clinical tests. However, although clinical-grade tests are necessary to diagnose cases for treatment, disease surveillance using rapid tests can greatly deter community spread even if they are somewhat less sensitive.
A couple months ago, I did a back-of-the-envelope calculation of the human cost of herd immunity to SARS-CoV-2. I estimated the U.S. would not see herd immunity until it reached another 195 million cases and, grimly, the deaths that would accompany them. I believed herd immunity was impossible. Shortly thereafter, I saw an article from Johns Hopkins University that did the calculation the same way I did and came up with a similar estimate of 200 million cases.
News reports in the U.S. of coronavirus test positivity do not necessarily interpret the metrics consistent with the public health objectives for collection of these data. Other metrics easily reviewed on data reporting websites can better serve the typical news viewer. Why do we track a disease or, in public health terms, conduct surveillance? How do we define a case of a disease, and to what ends? Surveillance can have many objectives, and the objectives can differ by disease.
Cool tip from Adrian Olszewski about avoiding the “anti-pattern” of a ladder of if then else statements. Posting here to remind me to try that out when I have a chance.
Dr. Anthony Fauci appears in this interview during an online convention of the American Federation of Teachers.
I see CDC Director, Dr. Robert R. Redfield, MD all the time on the news and appearing before Congress. The interview below is a live stream from July 14, 2020. Seeing Dr. Redfield in a loosened up environment in conversation with a colleague revealed a lot more of him. I learned about his background, his experience, and who he is as a man. It solidified my respect. In his interview, Dr.
Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared in a live virtual event for Georgetown University on July 14th, 2020. I would like to post expert opinion on a regular basis as a public service for access to authority and an antidote for misinformation. The talk was co-sponsored by Georgetown University’s Global Health Initiative, the Institute of Politics and Public Service at the McCourt School of Public Policy (GU Politics), the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and the Kalmanovitz Initiative on Labor and the Working Poor.
I surveyed friends on Facebook a while back asking what they hoped the results would be if they got a SARS-CoV-2 antibody test. They gave a range of answers. Some hoped for positive results, others negative. This question has scaled up. Seroprevalence is 6-24 times higher than indicated by reported cases. Seroprevalence of Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in 10 Sites in the United States, March 23-May 12, 2020 I see some news outlets reporting this in dire tones.
The biggest challenge in the public health response to the coronavirus pandemic appears to be communication. Health policy has been inconsistent, suppressed or ignored, governors have rescinded mandates about masks, and health departments have faced resistance to policy, with individual health officials even suffering harrassment and death threats. We observe that public health messages meet resistance and are ineffective when issued as mandates. Health agencies and departments are limited in their legal authority and their power to enforce policy.
I’m sitting in class at my old high school from decades ago. Sweating. It’s the final exam. I didn’t read anything from the textbook all semester. I thumb through it now. Chemistry. The tests are being passed out this very minute. I’m going to flunk. It gets worse. My high school diploma is invalid. After flunking this test, I’ll have to repeat my senior year. I’ll be the oldest graduating senior in history.