Is a Positive Truly a Positive?

Today, a new article came out in ๐—ก๐—ฌ๐—ง on whether the ๐—–๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฑ-๐Ÿญ๐Ÿต ๐—ฃ๐—–๐—ฅ ๐˜๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ผ ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ถ๐—ณ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฎ ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜.

So letโ€™s look into this a tad more.

๐—ฃ๐—–๐—ฅ ๐˜๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฐ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐˜€. What this means is that imagine you are using your camera to take a close-up picture of something and you use the zoom function to take a picture with higher magnification. In PCR tests, the amplification is done to make the signal of the virus be brighter so it can be detected. This amplification is done in cycles. If you need more cycles to amplify, it means your viral load in the sample was low. If less amplification cycles are required, then it means there was a higher load of virus in the sample. ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ป๐˜‚๐—บ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ฐ๐˜†๐—ฐ๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—พ๐˜‚๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐˜€ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ธ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ป ๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—ฐ๐˜†๐—ฐ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ต๐—ผ๐—น๐—ฑ, ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜€๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐˜€ ๐—–๐—ง.

There is debate on what should the threshold for cut-off should be. Currently it is set at 40 cycles. Some believe it should be lower, between 30 and 40. ๐—œ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜๐—น๐˜†, ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ฒ๐˜…๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ป๐—ผ ๐—ฐ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜€๐˜‚๐˜€.

We already know that ๐—ฃ๐—–๐—ฅ ๐˜๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—ปโ€™๐˜ ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—น๐—น ๐˜‚๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐˜€ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ฐ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—น๐˜† ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ถ๐—ณ ๐—ถ๐˜ ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—น๐˜† ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ณ๐˜๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฏ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜€. This is a known flaw of the test. Theoretically, it could be picking up virus from a Covid-19 infection in the recent past vs being currently infectious. ๐—ช๐—ฒ ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—บ ๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฎ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐˜๐—ต ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ฒ, ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ณ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐Ÿญ๐Ÿฌ ๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐˜†๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜€๐˜†๐—บ๐—ฝ๐˜๐—ผ๐—บ ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ฒ๐˜ (๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ ๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐˜†๐˜€ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ฒ).

Lowering the cycle threshold means that those with lower viral loads will not show up as positive. This could potentially help weed out those with leftover viral debris, vs those who are currently infectious.

๐™ƒ๐™ค๐™ฌ๐™š๐™ซ๐™š๐™ง, ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™š ๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™จ๐™š๐™ซ๐™š๐™ง๐™–๐™ก ๐™ž๐™ข๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฉ ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™จ๐™ž๐™™๐™š๐™ง๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™จ:

– ๐—ฉ๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—น๐—ผ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐˜†๐—ฝ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐˜† ๐—น๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฟ. If we have a lower cut-off threshold, we could potentially be missing those with a new infection. Some experts argue that a repeat rapid test should be done in these individuals within 24hrs; however, testing is still inaccessible in most of the US.

– ๐—š๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐˜‚๐—ฒ๐—น ๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ โ€˜๐˜„๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ผ ๐—บ๐˜‚๐—ฐ๐—ตโ€™ ๐—ฟ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฐ (as weโ€™ve seen with new CDC testing guidelines). This will be used in arsenal to further reduce/limit testing โ€” which is not what we need to be doing right now. While the article itself does not suggest this, and in fact, states the opposite โ€” that more frequent and quick turnaround testing is require โ€” this message will be lost and infact, misappropriated.

– Determining whether you are currently infectious vs previously infected does have important sequalae especially for those with ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ณ๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜…๐—ถ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ธ ๐˜€๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—น๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ธ ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ.

– This also stresses the urgency for the uptake of ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐—ถ๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด.

***๐—จ๐—น๐˜๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—น๐˜†; ๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ, ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ-๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐˜‚๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜€ ๐˜ƒ๐˜€ ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ-๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜†๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป.***

Signed,

Unambiguous Science