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Covid-19: Are we sampling to determine infection rates?

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martincymru
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Covid-19: Are we sampling to determine infection rates?

Post by martincymru » Sat, 25 Apr 2020 3:06 pm

If not then how do we know if we are nearing herd immunity and thus closer to exiting the Circuit Breaker?

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/23/nyre ... pdate.html

Anyone like to guess? 5%, 10%, 20%.........

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Re: Covid-19: Are we sampling to determine infection rates?

Post by BBCDoc » Sat, 25 Apr 2020 10:15 pm

Far more complex than that. Some indications are that some people may not be generating enough antibody to be useful. Furthermore, some people may get re-infected.

This will have implications on the efficacy of the candidate vaccines, plus also possible side effects if they are pushing hard to generate a stronger immune response .

Under such an environment, I expect quarantine and effective drugs are the tools to bring things around.

People are going to fear the cure more than the malady...


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Re: Covid-19: Are we sampling to determine infection rates?

Post by martincymru » Sun, 26 Apr 2020 11:51 am

BBCDoc thanks.

"some people may get re-infected"
- true but jury is out as to what % of pop. Most scientists believe the re-infection rate is very low

"efficacy of the candidate vaccines"
- I agree but if rate is very low then it's our best / only shot

"quarantine"
If you mean the lock-down measures in totality then I agree. But for how long will society tolerate? Also increased death rate due to the shutdown must be part of the matrix

"effective drugs"
- I believe you mean approved treatment for those who catch the virus.
Presently, there are none, as I understand

//
If you opine that we should not perform a random sample here in Singapore to determine infection spread then why do you think the New York state did?

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Re: Covid-19: Are we sampling to determine infection rates?

Post by MikeJones » Sun, 26 Apr 2020 12:46 pm

From the quoted article: "It was unclear just how telling the preliminary data was, as Mr. Cuomo acknowledged. And the accuracy of the antibody testing available in the United States in general has been called into question."

To test if someone has been infected and recovered, assuming they had not been picked up by swap testing while infected, you need accurate and reliable antibody tests. My understanding from various news reports is that no-one is confident that any of the currently available antibody tests is either of these things so you need to take the report from New York with a large grain of salt. I'm sure Singapore will do random community testing once a reliable antibody test is available as that is the only way they will be able to confidently relax the current lockdown measures.

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Re: Covid-19: Are we sampling to determine infection rates?

Post by martincymru » Sun, 26 Apr 2020 3:11 pm

yes Mike, concur.

but is it "the only way they will be able to confidently relax the current lockdown measures"?

what if new community infections are on average below 10 (say) per day; will they not relax the current lock-down measures ?

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Re: Covid-19: Are we sampling to determine infection rates?

Post by PNGMK » Sun, 26 Apr 2020 6:22 pm

Australia and NZ are gunning hard to become the first Covid19 free nations. I suspect Singapore was trying to get there but their giant f....g blind spot got them. However in an Island nation it's possible to get there in my opinion but needs a serious ramp up in testing and isolation of the community which I do not understand why it's not happening. We are effectively now two groups in the country - the normals and the poor bloody foreign workers in isolation.
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Covid-19: Are we sampling to determine infection rates?

Post by BBCDoc » Sun, 26 Apr 2020 10:02 pm

Antibody testing is very dependent on good assays, because you may have to test individuals up to 3 times to understand their status, spanning several weeks. This, it is far from simple to do an antibody test on the population as you only get a cross-sectional snapshot of a dynamic situation.

HBV has the best antibody testing practice, followed by HIV and HCV. All those have had DECADES of development to get them to current standards. COVID barely has 2 months of development.

Most countries are focused on RT-PCR as the reference method for determining active infection and making real clinical decisions on patient management.

TBH, there is a lot of dogshit tests on the market now. I work in the lab testing industry, and would prefer to spend up to 18 months building a solid assay before releasing to the market - depending on a few things being available and cost not an issue.

The things I have mentioned - poor immunity and reinfection - these screw up the value of antibody testing big time.

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Re: Covid-19: Are we sampling to determine infection rates?

Post by PNGMK » Mon, 27 Apr 2020 10:55 am

Thanks BBCDoc.
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Re: Covid-19: Are we sampling to determine infection rates?

Post by martincymru » Mon, 27 Apr 2020 11:27 am

Thanks. Perhaps we can return to this topic in a couple of weeks when we may hopefully have more clarity and better news on testing per se.

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