The coronavirus panic is just that, an irrational panic, based on an unproven RNA test, that has never been connected to a virus. And which won’t be connected to a virus unless the virus is purified. Furthermore, even if the test can detect a novel virus the presence of a virus is not proof that it is the cause of the severe symptoms that some people who test positive experience (but not all who test positive). Finally, even if the test can detect a virus, and it is dangerous, we do not know what the rate of false positives is. And even a 1% false positive rate could produce 100,000 false positive results just in a city the size of Wuhan and could mean that a significant fraction of the positive test results being found are false positives.
The use of powerful drugs because doctors are convinced that they have a particularly potent virus on their hands, especially in older people, with pre-existing health conditions, is likely to lead to many deaths. As with SARS.
There is very little science happening. There is a rush to explain everything that is happening in a way that does not question the viral paradigm, does not question the meaningfulness of test results, and that promotes the use of untested antiviral drugs. And, given enough time there will be a vaccine developed and, for some of the traumatized countries, it may become mandatory, even if developed after the epidemic has disappeared, so that proving that it reduces the risk of developing a positive test will be impossible.
1. Officially the virus is called SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it is believed to caused, COVID-19. We will just refer to coronavirus for the current virus panic, and SARS for the 2003 panic.
2. References are available upon request. Dates are of the report
3. I am not including references for this section due to the sheer number, but I’m happy to provide them to anyone who is interested. Dates are of the news reports, the cases were probably identified earlier.
1. Zhu N et al. A Novel Coronavirus from Patients with Pneumonia in China, 2019. N Engl J Med. 2020 Jan 14. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2001017
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3. Chan J F-W et al. A familial cluster of pneumonia associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus indicating person-to-person transmission: a study of a family cluster. Lancet. 2020 Jan 24. https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30154-9/fulltext
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8. Fourth case of novel coronavirus confirmed in Canada. Globe & Mail. 2020 Jan 31. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-fourth-case-of-novel-coronavirus-confirmed-in-canada/
9. Rothe C et al. Transmission of 2019-nCoV Infection from an Asymptomatic Contact in Germany. N Engl J Med. 2020 Jan 30. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2001468
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11. Population pyramid for China. https://www.populationpyramid.net/china/
12. Kim C-R. Three Japanese evacuees from Wuhan test positive for virus, two had no symptoms. Reuters. 2020 Jan 29. https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-china-health-japan/three-japanese-returnees-from-wuhan-test-positive-for-coronavirus-nhk-idUKKBN1ZT02K
13. Li Q. Early Transmission Dynamics in Wuhan, China, of Novel Coronavirus-Infected Pneumonia. N Engl J Med. 2020 Jan 29. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2001316
14. Singapore confirms first cases of local coronavirus transmission: What we know about the 6 new cases, Health News & Top Stories. The Straits Times. 2020 Feb 4. https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/singapore-confirms-first-cases-of-local-coronavirus-transmission-what-we-know-about
15. Haiyun W. China To Begin Testing Ebola Drug on Coronavirus Patients. Sixth Tone. 2020 Feb 3. https://www.sixthtone.com/news/1005155/china-to-begin-testing-ebola-drug-on-coronavirus-patients
16. Global Surveillance for human infection with novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV): Interim guidance. WHO. 2020 Jan 31. https://www.who.int/publications-detail/global-surveillance-for-human-infection-with-novel-coronavirus-(2019-ncov)
17. Diagnosis and treatment: COVID-19 prevention and control. China CDC. 2020 Feb 16. https://www.chinacdc.cn/en/COVID19/202002/P020200217499154038416.pdf
18. Countries/areas with reported cases of Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19). CHP. 2020 Feb 22, 27. [This is a regularly updated page, and the PDF file will change] https://www.chp.gov.hk/files/pdf/statistics_of_the_cases_novel_coronavirus_infection_en.pdf
19. Corman VM et al. Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR. Euro Surveill. 2020 Jan; 25(3). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6988269/
20. Korea Coronavirus Cases. KCDC. 2020 Feb 25-27 [accessed]. https://www.cdc.go.kr/board/board.es?mid=a30402000000&bid=0030
21. Novel Coronavirus Outbreak 2020. Washington State Department of Health. 2020 Feb 24 [accessed]. https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus
22. Koop F. A startling number of coronavirus patients get reinfected. ZME Science. 2020 Feb 26. https://www.zmescience.com/science/a-startling-number-of-coronavirus-patients-get-reinfected/
23. Feng C et al. Race to diagnose coronavirus patients constrained by shortage of reliable detection kits. South China Morning Post. 2020 Feb 11. https://www.scmp.com/tech/science-research/article/3049858/race-diagnose-treat-coronavirus-patients-constrained-shortage
24. Young BE et al. Epidemiologic Features and Clinical Course of Patients Infected With SARS-CoV-2 in Singapore. JAMA. 2020 Mar 3. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2762688
25. Letter to the editor: Plenty of coronaviruses but no SARS-CoV-2. Eurosurveillance. 2020 Feb 27. https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.8.2000171?fbclid=IwAR1yaTgICfc15rO6mkI90pBb45j1EnT87KA5p9gcfnixqS ciJWsFeQb4j5I
Additional reference (added by GMI Editors)
[Potential False-Positive Rate Among the ‘Asymptomatic Infected Individuals’ in Close Contacts of COVID-19 Patients]
Objective: As the prevention and control of COVID-19continues to advance, the active nucleic acid test screening in the close contacts of the patients has been carrying out in many parts of China. However, the false-positive rate of positive results in the screening has not been reported up to now. But to clearify the false-positive rate during screening is important in COVID-19 control and prevention. Methods: Point values and reasonable ranges of the indicators which impact the false-positive rate of positive results were estimated based on the information available to us at present. The false-positive rate of positive results in the active screening was deduced, and univariate and multivariate-probabilistic sensitivity analyses were performed to understand the robustness of the findings. Results: When the infection rate of the close contacts and the sensitivity and specificity of reported results were taken as the point estimates, the positive predictive value of the active screening was only 19.67%, in contrast, the false-positive rate of positive results was 80.33%. The multivariate-probabilistic sensitivity analysis results supported the base-case findings, with a 75% probability for the false-positive rate of positive results over 47%. Conclusions: In the close contacts of COVID-19 patients, nearly half or even more of the ‘asymptomatic infected individuals’ reported in the active nucleic acid test screening might be false positives.
Keywords: COVID-19; Close contacts; False-positive; Nucleic acid test; Screening.
Thank you t BF for contributing this article