QUICKLINKS AND VIEW OPITONS
Up to 90% of Covid-19 “cases” carry very little virus notes The New York Times
Sunday, September 06, 2020 12:49 pm Email this article
“[Up]p to 90 percent of people testing positive [for Covid-19] carried barely any virus”,” notes The New York Times.
“The PCR test amplifies genetic matter from the virus in cycles; the fewer cycles required, the greater the amount of virus, or viral load, in the sample. The greater the viral load, the more likely the patient is to be contagious,” the article notes.
“Most tests set the limit at 40, a few at 37. This means that you are positive for the coronavirus if the test process required up to 40 cycles, or 37, to detect the virus.”
“Tests with thresholds so high may detect not just live virus but also genetic fragments, leftovers from infection that pose no particular risk — akin to finding a hair in a room long after a person has left, Dr. Mina said [Dr. Michael Mina, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health].
“Most tests set the limit at 40, a few at 37. This means that you are positive for the coronavirus if the test process required up to 40 cycles, or 37, to detect the virus.
“Any test with a cycle threshold above 35 is too sensitive, agreed Juliet Morrison, a virologist at the University of California, Riverside. “I’m shocked that people would think that 40 could represent a positive,” she said.
“A more reasonable cutoff would be 30 to 35, she added. Dr. Mina said he would set the figure at 30, or even less.
“Those changes would mean the amount of genetic material in a patient’s sample would have to be 100-fold to 1,000-fold that of the current standard for the test to return a positive result — at least, one worth acting on.
“The C.D.C.’s own calculations suggest that it is extremely difficult to detect any live virus in a sample above a threshold of 33 cycles.”
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