Sunday, October 04, 2020

testing negative and being non-infected with Covid - slight comment

I wasn't planning on doing this but after a few days of hearing news from all over the place (thanks to being involved with someone who listens to Fox and "christian radio", I've gotten a view from there as well as the European sector that I cover on a regular daily basis and then the NPR and "liberal media" we both listen to....).

Anyhooo..... since part of what I'll be writing here shouldn't be an issue on anyone - regards republican or democrat - since it is fact.

The facts are as follows:

SARS-CoV-2 replicates in upper lung or lower lung, but most often is detected in respiratory part of the back of the nose (nasopharyngeal part). 

The PCR tests are designed to find the RNA in the swabs that are put in our noses - or sometimes the back of the throat - and will pick up virus and parts of the virus to show detection when run through the test.

The quick test - is having a high degree of certainty when positive (that means there is presence of virus in you) but the degree of false negatives is pretty high. This means that the Limit of Detection (LOD) as I previously wrote about, will be higher than 0. There's also a pure biological reason that the rapid test is having a low detection level of people "who might be infected but test negative" since there virus need to replicate to a point of detection. None of the test on market - understandably so - can say that they know you are infected the same day or day after (or even up to day "before you have symptoms") - since there LOD is not as sensitive as that.

Short explanation is this: you meet your friend and hug them. They are infected with SARS-CoV-2 and breathe when they say "Happy to see you". You get some of that breath, and viral particles, in your breath that you take into your lungs/upper respiratory tract (back of the nose/throat). The virus is all happy getting cells to infect and starts getting to work.... that means multiplying.

Depending on how well the virus is multiplying inside your cells, the number of cells and number of viral particles and RNA in your system (cells in the nose/lungs, bloodstream or stool) will vary. That's why some people show "positive" on the testing after 2 days after exposure, or others don't show it until 10 days. Either of them could be sick, have symptoms, and get others sick - it's all individual. That's why the guidelines say 5-14 days for quarantine.

As I explained to my parents - both over 70 - when I went to see them. I had a high risk event when flying, and I said "I want to wait 10 days before meeting you outside" (I'd still wear a mask since I'm the potential spreader at that point). The key facts for me are the scientific articles that say "after 11 days of quarantine without symptoms from a high risk/positive covid19 encounter, 97% are non-positive") .

When I re-entered USA to go to home to my house, I lived in my guest room for 9 days  - monitoring my temperature and symptoms - since it was important to me not getting anyone else potentially infected, and then I got a PCR test on day 8 since if my flight was the potential spreader moment. The test would pick up me as infected after 8 days even if I was symptomatic due to the viral replication rate as reported.

I feel like this aspect has been lost in the discussion. The test will NOT pick up on you being exposed today, yesterday, day before yesterday and maybe not day before that. Why? Because there isn't enough virus in you to get a positive in the test. the Swab is only so good. The swab doesn't go everywhere where the virus might be. The amount of virus is not what the Swab need it to be to pick it up.

This is what's mentioned in the discussion as "wait to test until 4 days after exposure" and quarantine until then. It's also why "going to work every day without social distancing even if you test every day will keep you safe from potential infections" (since you don't know who met someone infected the night before since the test will show up as negative that morning after....). 

Everyone with a basic biology degree should know this. 

Anyone having an infectious disease degree or knowledge knows this. Anyone with a pandemic preparedness knows this.

That's why I'm so confused seeing the "Rose Garden Event" from last Saturday since people are not only kissing and huggin (outdoors), they are also gathering indoors without any social distancing. It's confusing on a Risk level, and on a "protection level"

The only conclusion I can draw from this is that; people in the WH really didn't think Covid19 was an issue from the President, not any of the people surrounding him, since otherwise they would've taken precautions like social distancing, mask wearing indoors and no people cheek kissing and then talking to the president.  

Again, I feel like repeating - "What do I know? I'm just a PhD in microbiology with a speciality of virology and pandemic".....