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Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/17/2020 3:25 AM

The other day, I heard that Elon Musk took four Covid tests in one day. The results were 2 positive and 2 negative. All the test types were the same (non-PCR). They were taken a short time from each other too.

What I read is that he didn't properly test. The tests were accurately administered and the labs did the work correctly. So why the discrepancy? The article I read is that the test he took is only to confirm a suspicion that someone has Covid.

The article states that a negative doesn't mean anything - if you feel you have Covid, then move to the next test, a PCR type, which is suppose to be much more accurate. If the test comes back positive, it also doesn't mean anything and he/she needs to take a PCR type test. So, if this is true, then what's the purpose of the test? Both a positive and negative result means that the next step is a PCR test.

Maybe I heard it wrong or the person who wrote the article got it wrong? I don't know, but if he's right, then there really is no need for a non-PCR test.

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#1

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/17/2020 6:44 AM

There is a lot of rushing to do something with a considerable amount of fear and political motivation behind what should be good science/medicine.

By chance I have seen some medical forms. Below are the four "check boxes" for COVID tests that were listed on the form. They provide specific terms for Googling, Duck-Duck-Go-ing or other research:

Note that Google is often politically biased and many other internet sources are too. Trump wants to distribute quickly which will both benefit people and benefit his image. Biden wants to take the program and the glory before he officially has any power. Journalism and freedom of the press are pretty much dead in America and most of what you read will have an anti Trump bias to it. You may be left, you may be right or you may be in the middle but what you read is often biased either as click-bait or anti Trump. COVID19 is not biased. Where truth exists it is hard to find. In this election cycle politics cost people's lives.

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#16
In reply to #1

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/19/2020 7:27 AM

Freedom of speech is also almost non-existent.

Here is an article along these lines from Cornell:

https://news.cornell.edu/stories/2018/05/psychologists-there-no-alternative-free-speech

"A house divided cannot stand." A.Lincoln

And IMHO,the press is driving the wedges into the crack of the Liberty Bell.

"Bye Bye Miss American Pie"

I believe it was Stalin that said:" It's not the people who vote that count, it's the people who count the votes."

Sound familiar?

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/19/2020 10:36 AM

Credit where credit is due: Read Matthew 12:25 or Luke 11:17. Beat Abraham Lincoln by almost 2000 years. -- JHF

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#34
In reply to #17

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/20/2020 11:47 AM

I was thinking that too, but didn't have the reference.

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#18
In reply to #1

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/20/2020 1:37 AM

The media here in CA is horrible. I know it's bad in the rest of the country, but here it's soooo bad.

Earlier this year, our media jumped all over this one! Our Governor was standing at a podium, scaring the daylights out of everyone. Then to top it off, he brings up a young gal in her late 20's or so. He tells the story of her husband dying from Covid and that it can happen to anyone. That poor gal was crying the whole time she was there with him - he didn't care, he just wanted to make his point. Anyone can DIE, so do everything possible to keep SAFE!

Today, our Governor shut down the state again! Curfew from 10 pm to 5 am. Fines, tickets, threats if you see your family/friends for Thanksgiving. Mandatory quarantine if you do. Yet, he got caught at a birthday party and of course no mask. This double standard is amazing!

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#25
In reply to #18

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/20/2020 1:58 AM

Failure to wear face covering should be a misdemeanor, punishable by $100 fine for the first violation, doubling for each succeeding violation.

Arguing with grocery clerks or other service providers should be a felony, 30 days for the first offense, double for each successive violation.

Getting violent with mask protests should be capitally punishable right on the spot. Some people are simply not worth saving.

When the hospitals get full, people who fail to use masks and social distancing should be triaged to the back of the line, or simply ignored altogether.

Gavin Newsom should be fined. No damned excuses. But the fact that he messed up doesn't excuse anyone else.

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#30
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Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/20/2020 2:52 AM
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#40
In reply to #30

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/20/2020 7:11 PM

Its not a law, but a mandate?

in my opinion, more mandates are to come,... not so much for a public service, as much as it for a source of revenue. But thats just my cynical view of the topic and location where it’s coming from.

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#57
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Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/04/2020 1:10 AM

The Governor's mandate has the backing of Congress, so even though it's a mandate, it's enforceable and can be called a law. That's what I've been told and it follows what I know about our state.

More mandates are to come! Oh my - many more and some will sound absolutely silly.

My sister still lives in a suburb outside of Chicago (Cook County). She told me that they can only eat in an outdoor setting, however since its cold, the restaurants erect a tent, put seating and heaters inside and serve food/drinks. She's a doctor and she told me that it would be better to open the indoor dining and require restaurants to fulfill an air filtration standard and of course distance tables from each other and require patrons to wear a mask when not seated at the table.

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#73
In reply to #57

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/04/2020 10:07 AM

I looked into that, and didn’t get a chance to update it.

yes, there are (2) ways that a law can come about.

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#87
In reply to #57

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/08/2020 12:15 AM

More shut downs for CA, beginning this morning!

If things weren't bad enough for small mom and pop businesses, we have the most extreme level of shutdowns.

Essential businesses are open - everyone else is closed. And we're not suppose to visit anyone outside of our own household. This will last through Christmas!

One of my clients told me he's had enough of this and he's walking out on his lease (commercial) and he's leaving the state. He sold his house a few years ago and he's been renting, so it's pretty easy for him to pack up and leave.

Another friend told me that the analysts at his office think that 30% of retail commercial real estate will go into foreclosure! And that was before this recent tightening.

We've had 20,000 Covid deaths in CA. We have 40M people in the state. I'm not sure what this has done to CA GDP, but I do know that the state will be down nearly $74B from the excess in 2019 to a deficit in 2020. I know this isn't a way we "should" look at things, but doing the math, we're looking at $3,700,000 in lost state revenue for each Covid death. If we add the business losses, personal income lost, assets lost, etc - my guess is we're looking at maybe $10,000,000 per Covid death. I'm not asking if it's worth is, because that's for each one of us to decide. I wanted to share the numbers.

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#89
In reply to #87

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/08/2020 4:53 PM

Conjecture: Depending on your belief system, what if God, or the earth, decided that the population is too large. Thus COVID was brought to us to eliminate a bunch of people and reset a bunch of other things. We didn't let COVID perform, so now it surges back.

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#90
In reply to #89

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/08/2020 6:07 PM

Well if we want to get metaphysical.....
God has a real problem with inhumanity.

Nationalism/facism/authoritarianism is responsible for the worlds worst inhuman atrocities.

All of the above has been on the rampant rise worldwide.

God sends a plague that is easily beaten if we stop being assholes and work together.

So far its beating us.

Fr. Michael will now show himself out.

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#91
In reply to #90

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/08/2020 6:57 PM

That’s a rabbit hole you’re taking.. but since you took the lead... there are the people/organizations that stood by and let it happen.

just don’t get me started on how the mob used this very same organization to launder its money.

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#111
In reply to #89

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/14/2020 10:53 PM

Whether it's God or the planet, I believe that population "correction" is suppose to happen. Were we suppose to reset when Aids hit? Or SARS? Or MERS? Or even cancer?

And was COVID suppose to take a portion of our population, but "we" were too smart and slowed it down - and as you say, it's going to surge back?

Great questions and unfortunately, we don't know the answers.

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#92
In reply to #87

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/08/2020 8:14 PM

Your math may be spot-on, as far as it goes. Could I suggest that you continue your calcs by using CDC data to look at the number of Covid hospitalizations, and the number of 'excess deaths' (above projections, and above Covid-classified deaths) this year, and figure out both the direct costs (in terms of treatment) and indirect costs (in terms of 'disposal', and lost productivity, of those either in hospital or dead).

The scientists have had a pretty good handle for at least 6 months on how to reduce spread. They've told us how to do it. We won't do it, because close to 50% of us are basically in a cult now, and believe their Dear Leader instead of the scientists. The CDC has been saying that transmission (and consequently, hospitalizations and deaths) could be reduced by something like 70%, if most of us just wore masks and tried to minimize large gatherings (*not* mass closings; just reasonable precautions). But we won't do it.

So....businesses get closed. Again. Because we won't follow 'minimally invasive procedures', the various gub'mnt entities are trying to protect the general population's access to health care, needed for all the things we truly have no control over (cancer, car wrecks, heart attacks, etc). 100,000+ people, above the projected death rate, have died in the US, between 2-1-2020 and now, *in addition to* deaths classified as Covid. This is almost certainly due to diminished care due to the medical system being overloaded by Covid patients.

If you have any friends who work in hospitals (or funeral homes/crematoriums), ask them what they think. I can tell you what the ones I know think. They are exhausted, demoralized, and beginning to regret ever going into medicine. One friend is now treating nothing but Covid patients, working 14 days on (and staying in the hospital for his sleep time) and 5 days off, then getting called in on off days.

So I agree that it's senseless to have to shut down completely for Covid. But we seem to have become a largely senseless society.

To recap, simple refusal to wear a mask is going to kill about 60,000 people *this month*. Did you wear your mask today?

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#93
In reply to #92

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/08/2020 9:22 PM

On your last sentence,... it appears the people that preach to wear a mask, and close and shut down the economy are the biggest offenders that actually go out and patronize an establishment such as a restaurant.

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#94
In reply to #93

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/08/2020 10:02 PM

Please don't conflate the two things. Infectious disease scientists have repeatedly said (and I repeated, in the post you reference) that if we would all wear masks in public, we *wouldn't need* to shut down the economy.

Contrary to conspiracy theorists' rants, *no one* *wants* to shut down the economy. Shut downs are the last resort when the public won't do the easy, sensible stuff.

Having said that, I'd agree that 'Karens' do exist, in almost all contexts.

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#95
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Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/08/2020 10:11 PM

The point is the hypocrisy of people shutting down the economy with mandates as well was wearing masks, are the biggest offenders of this two items. I won’t call conflating the two things but only responding to your post.

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#96
In reply to #95

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/08/2020 10:21 PM

I can't agree that the biggest offenders are the ones asking us to stop the spread. While you will find some acting hypocritically (the Denver mayor comes to mind), *everyone* who screams about it being their constitutional right to go maskless, is maskless while they scream. And while they're not screaming. Etc. Etc.

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#97
In reply to #96

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/09/2020 9:47 AM

It’s interesting, For the most part, people in my area wear masks, and the establishment may have mask available at the door. And with very little problems, there may be some examples

Now Canada on the other hand, do trust their government, which requires to have a masks, and is followed the. why are they spiking?

Is there something that we don’t understand about this virus?

Are they using masks that are subpar, or don’t work?

Do mask limit the spread?

one thing is, (for a lack of a better word) ‘regular’ flu has dropped by the possible measures taken for COVID-19.

They don’t separate the infected and mortality, and instead group COVID-19, and influenza cases together. I’m sure because it’s a combination between the two and difficult to separate.

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#104
In reply to #97

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/09/2020 2:07 PM

Using your link to Canada 'spiking', click on 'add country', then click on 'usa', then view the graph again.

Canada's population is ~37.6M; US is ~328.2M, so we have 8.7 times Canada's population. Canada's new case rate, on your chart, is ~6500/day, so if we were spiking like Canada, we'd be at 6500*8.7= ~57,000/day (again, your reference). But since we *aren't spiking like Canada, we're only at 206,000 a day (your reference).

Whew...so glad we aren't spiking like Canada. ;-)

Case and death rates are going up all around the world (at least in the northern hemisphere) as we spend more time indoors, but mis-apply what Orwell said, 'some are more equal than others'.

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#105
In reply to #104

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/09/2020 5:28 PM

Yes one can do the comparison... but the question I have and like to know is why it’s spiking in Canada,... (just using arbitrary numbers for an example) is it because masks are only 80% (arbitrary) or is it something else.

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#106
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Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/09/2020 5:56 PM

To venture a guess I'd go with the weather. It starts getting cold quite a bit earlier up there than down here. So folks started moving indoors sooner. Thats all it takes.

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#116
In reply to #106

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/15/2020 12:46 AM

If Canada is the role model for "following the science", then why the spike?

Iceland looks like they have this under control and its much colder there than in CA.

Ditto for Greenland!

However Indonesia is on the rise and they're at the equator. Brazil? Colombia?

Someone must have a theory on why certain spots get hit harder than others. And yes, I do agree that things are going to get worse as we move to winter.

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#107
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Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/09/2020 6:46 PM

If you believe what the scientists say, infection rates (for most airborne-transmitted diseases) tend to go up in cold weather because we stay inside in confined spaces more and there's more 'opportunity' for the contagion to spread to new hosts. (Run a water sprinkler outdoors, and you can avoid getting wet. Run one in a bedroom; you're likely to get wet.) Also, in my *opinion* (I'm not in Canada) is that they, like us here in the USA, are probably getting isolation fatigue, and just deciding to start going about their normal routines again, with a lower percentage wearing masks, etc.

I guess you can pick your own version of 'spike', but my definition is a thin, sharp point; not a gradual grade increase on a highway. The US curve certainly seems to meet *my* definition of a spike.

CDC doesn't claim 100% effectiveness for masks, but they do have strong evidence that they greatly reduce spread, primarily through their use *by those who are already infected* and likely don't know it yet. (As happened to a friend of mine just a couple of weeks ago; another friend came over & hung out in his kitchen for a few hours (no masks), showed symptoms the next day, and my friend had symptoms a little over a week later.) Using the crude sprinkler example again, if you put your hand over the sprinkler nozzle, your friend in the same room has a lower risk of getting wet. The virus isn't jet propelled, nor does it have wings, but moves pretty well if we provide projectile mass (moisture) and propellant (air from sneezes or coughs, or yelling, singing, or even talking). You don't want your surgeon breathing into your open surgical wound, and I don't want someone else's virus laden moisture getting into any of my orifices. Nor do I want mine getting into theirs, if I happen to be infected.

I provided a link earlier to a CDC study of counties in Kansas, where mandatory mask wearing was a county by county option. The counties wearing them went down in infection rates over the test period by, IIRC, around 6%. The counties without mask mandates had infection rates increase by just over 100%. That's probably as close as we'll ever get to a controlled test of mask effectiveness; same general population, same area, with a 'control group' and 'test group'.

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#117
In reply to #107

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/15/2020 1:05 AM

@rv7charlie

Spending more time indoors is definitely going to increase the chance of infection. Though there are other factors to consider as well. Since we're spending more time indoors, we're also getting less sunlight (and less intense even if we're outdoors), so less Vit D. And we're exercising less, maybe gaining weight and lower immunities.

I read that our large muscles, quads and glues, produce chemicals that increase our immune system. https://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/health/conditions_treatments/2020/05/1140-who-gets-sick-covid.pdf

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#115
In reply to #104

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/15/2020 12:37 AM

Here's some facts:

Thailand is no spiking and they're in the northern hemisphere.

Taiwan - same

Singapore - same

Viet Nam - same

Cambodia - same

China - same

Laos - same

They common link? They're all Oriental countries. Japan and South Korea also are, but they're not handling Covid as well. Of the countries who aren't doing so well, we can say they're the most Westernized of the list. The answer lies there.

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#98
In reply to #96

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/09/2020 12:12 PM

Hey Charlie,

And here you see the reason we are in this shape. Listen to some of the incredibly stupid things people spout as fact or believe as gospel.

It is a "Cult" and a death cult at that.

We have blown past the Vietnam war total of 47,000 in the first few months. We are now closing in fast, probably before years end, the World War two total of 295,000.

Mind you no one is shooting at us. We are doing this to ourselves through a devastating combination of ignorance and arrogance in less than a year.

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#99
In reply to #98

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/09/2020 12:18 PM

You should stop being an opinionated ********, stop letting your bias interfere with reality.

This is a forum for discussion. The data referenced is by the CDC... that may be below your standards, but then again, the rest of us are grounded on earth.

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#100
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Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/09/2020 1:02 PM

I did cite CDC numbers. NUMBER OF DEATHS.

If you want to argue about that fine, but you are the one putting personal opinions and whataboutism into this. Stick to the facts: wear a mask, social distance, stay home is the advice from the CDC which you seem to find all sorts of unrelated things to throw out as reasons to do it or be a good citizen.

That is truly sad, That is an opinion btw.

But everything in my previous post is accurate and verifyable and not opinion.

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#101
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Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/09/2020 1:12 PM

This is a forum,... where you ask question, which I did,... if you have anything to add, fine, if you do what others tell you with out questioning the conflicting supporting data, you don’t belong in research,... that’s an opinion.

and stop being a blow hard.

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#102
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Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/09/2020 1:19 PM

cult [kəlt] NOUN

  1. a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object. "the cult of St. Olaf"
    • a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister. "a network of Satan-worshiping cults" synonyms: sect · religious group · denomination · religious order · church · faith · faith community · belief · persuasion · affiliation · movement · group · body · faction · clique
    • a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing. "a cult of personality surrounding the leaders" synonyms: obsession with · fixation on · mania for · passion for · idolization of · admiration for · devotion to · worship of · veneration of · reverence for
    • a person or thing that is popular or fashionable, especially among a particular section of society. "a cult film" synonyms: craze · fashion · fad · vogue · thing
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#103
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Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/09/2020 1:23 PM

Your responses are way too emotional,... if people like yourself are the ones working to solve this pandemic, I can see why it’s so much more difficult to come to a reasonable conclusion.

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#114
In reply to #96

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/15/2020 12:27 AM

What about the BLM ers who ran around this summer having demonstrations and rioting? Were they practicing social distancing? And there were a lot who weren't wearing masks too!

Here in CA, the politicians are so scared of this group, that they allow protests - there's actually a guideline for how to safely protest, but you can't go to your kids house for Thanksgiving Dinner.

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#113
In reply to #94

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/15/2020 12:24 AM

@rv7charlie

I think you give the average Joe too much credit.

I've seen, and not on just one occasion, someone pull down their mask to sneeze, then pull the mask back up.

I've seen someone pull down their mask to wipe their nose/mouth with their hand, then pull their mask back up - while they're in a store shopping.

I've seen someone wipe their kid's nose, then touch things in the store or office.

I find far too many masks on the side of the trail as I'm hiking. Why? Because it's hard enough to climb a mountain, but try doing it with a mask on!

I see people driving in their car with a mask on - they're the only one in their car!

I see people who wear a face shield cough in public.

I have a different belief, which is based on things I learned in college. I loved seeing the initial response we had to Covid. Remember how we were suppose to flatten the curve - that would get us to herd immunity without overloading our medical system. Then things changed and we were sold on "save every life". We were so cautious that we didn't increase the size of our immune population - when things were easier in the summer. Now we're in late fall and we still have an entire winter to fight Covid ... and with too small of a population that's built an immunity.

We're not a culture like the Far East, so we should've chosen a different way to tackle this. Maybe the politicians wanted votes, so they threw the "save every life" idea at us, or maybe it was the media trying to gain viewers. Either way, we didn't think it our properly and I feel we blew a good opportunity.

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#112
In reply to #92

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/15/2020 12:07 AM

I don't think anyone knows enough about controlling the spread of Covid, except for the people in the Far East. For some reason, most of that region has been able to control the spread.

For those who believe it's about wearing masks, I think they're only seeing what the media is leading them to see. Sure, masks help - it's obvious. However you must remember that early on, we were told that masks don't help and aren't necessary. And then we were told that we should only use N95 masks. Now we're told not to use them. This is science?

I drove across country in October and there were very few people who weren't wearing a mask indoors. Definitely not close to 50%.

I have a good friend who is from Thailand. He told me that "we in America" are too selfish - he feels that's the reason why we can't stop this thing. We don't see society as a whole - something that needs to be protected. Instead, we see ourselves as the most important thing to protect. Is is wrong? I don't think so - it's what gives us the ingenuity and feeling of self worth that helps us be successful.

And remember who wasn't doing his job to protect our society as a whole. https://www.kusi.com/photos-emerge-of-mask-less-gavin-newsom-breaking-his-rules-for-private-gatherings/ Can we say he's a hypocrite? Did he get sick? Did people in his party get sick?

And if you want to know if I wore a mask today, the answer is no. Why? Because I worked from home and I didn't interact with anyone outside my home. Am I going to wear one tomorrow. Yes, because I'm at the office and I plan to meet my clients.

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#51
In reply to #25

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/23/2020 1:48 PM

this is an example of what the left can do to probably a once normal intelligent person.

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#76
In reply to #25

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/04/2020 11:21 AM

Unfortunately, with the leadership qualities of “What’s good for me, but not for thee,...” one should also question the mandate itself.

as far as your fines, that may be good intentions, yah let’s make another law, that may or may not be enforced, especially with the defunding of law enforcement by these very same people.
You’re the community’s word/grammar guru, please share what word is the opposite (Antonym) of synergy to describe this, to have a law, yet defunding the people that supposed to enforce this new law.

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#19
In reply to #1

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/20/2020 1:38 AM

Sorry Bruce, I got off on a tangent.

Do you know which test Elon Musk took? I know it wasn't an antibody test.

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#2

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/17/2020 9:00 AM
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#20
In reply to #2

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/20/2020 1:45 AM

Good info! Thanks

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#3

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/17/2020 11:32 AM

A low rate of infection can make an accurate test inaccurate.

For example, suppose that the test is 95% accurate, meaning that for infected people, 95% will test positive and 5% will test (false) negative, and also for uninfected people, 95% will test negative and 5% will test (false) positive.

(Disclaimer: these figures are for example only and may or may not reflect actual test accuracy and infection rate.)

If the infection rate is 1% and you test 10000 people, 9900 are well and 100 are really infected. A test with 95% accuracy will return:

Infected (100) - positive 95, negative 5

Well (9900) - positive 495, negative 9405

So, if you receive a positive test, the odds are 95:495 or about 16.1% that you are actually infected.

The actual accuracy is a function of both the test accuracy and the infection rate.

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#10
In reply to #3

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/18/2020 6:39 AM

You are right about the actual accuracy (GA from me). What is interesting is the fact that the infection rate is today still low, so your numbers might reflect the reality. For low infection rates the number of false positives is much higher than the number of true positives. Considering the 95% test accuracy, if nobody is infected you will have 5% (all false) positives, if 1% of the population is infected you will have 0.95% true positives and 4.95% false positives (5.9% in total), if 2% is infected you will have 1.9% true positives and 4.9% false positives (6.8% in total). As you can see, (for these small infection rates) the number of false positives is almost constant at around 5%. The question is: how are they considered in the results given to people: false positives or asymptomatics? Because if there is a political agenda to “inflate” the results, we might know for example a result of 5.95% infected people (instead of 1%) with 83.2% of them being asymptomatic (while they are in fact not infected)! This might explain why some “asymptomatics” (who were kept in isolation for 2 weeks for nothing) got infected several months later with symptoms (although they should have been immune).

Regarding how useful are the test results for those who are tested, a 95% test accuracy is obviously not enough. If you get a negative result there is still a 0.053% (5/9410) chance to be a false negative (which is fairly low) but if you get a positive result, there is a chance of 16.1% (95/590) that it is a false positive (which is quite high). For higher accuracy you should take more than one test (in a very short time interval) but taking 2 tests and having one positive and one negative result will be inconclusive. If you take 3 tests you might have 3 results of the same kind (either positive or negative) with an accuracy of 99.99% or 2 results of a kind and one of the opposite kind with an accuracy >99.75%.

The 4 tests taken by Elon Musk with 50/50 results represent a strange case. Even the lower accuracy tests are claimed to have 85% accuracy. The chances of having 50/50 results on 4 tests are in this case 0.051%. Either Elon was very unlucky or the test accuracy is actually much lower. Claiming a better accuracy than the real one wouldn’t be a surprise, considering that the “big pharma” is driven by profit (as any other kind of company) and claiming a higher accuracy will increase sales.

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#13
In reply to #10

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/18/2020 11:12 AM

If you have a test of 85% accuracy, the probability of being correct is 0.85 and being incorrect 0.15.

Assuming the test accuracies are independent (maybe true, maybe not) the odds various combinations of tests being correct (in this case, 2 correct and 2 incorrect,) can be calculated using the coefficients in Pascal's triangle (1,4,6,4,1):

A diagram that shows Pascal's triangle with rows 0 through 7.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal%27s_triangle

(x+y)4 = x4 + 4x3y + 6x2y2 + 3xy3 + y

where (x=0.85) is probability of correct result and (y=0.15) probability of incorrect result

The probability of getting

4 tests correct: (0.85)4 =0.377

3 tests correct: 4 * (0.85)3 * (0.15) = 0.368

2 tests correct: 6 * (0.85)2 * (0.15)2 = 0.0975

1 test correct: 4 * (0.85) * (0.15)3 = 0.0115

0 tests correct: (0.15)4 = 0.000506

The probability of getting 2 correct and 2 incorrect test results is 9.7%, unusual but not statistically significant.

I'm wondering how they can quantify the accuracy of these tests. It seems we may not be dealing with a binary situation, but measuring a gray area.

You have sick patients with a large virus load that the tests are probably very close to 100% accurate, and you have people who have been exposed but whose immune system has fought off the virus. They have a range of light to very light virus load and are probably asymptomatic. The accuracy of the same test would be less in the latter case.

I'm suspecting that Mr. Musk might fall into the latter group.

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#28
In reply to #13

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/20/2020 2:27 AM

Wow! I haven't seen Pascal's triangle in 30+ years. You amaze me!

Per Dr. Fauci, asymptomatic people are dangerous, because they spread the virus unknowingly. This implies that asymptomatic people have enough virus load to spread the virus, therefore they would test positive on an accurate test like a PCR. With a non-PCR test, who knows what the result is.

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#48
In reply to #13

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/21/2020 10:47 AM

You’ve brought up some good points,...

It been so long since I’ve seen Pascal’s triangle,...

Going off topic... it got me myself thinking (actually shaking up some cobwebs) when I was in college, can’t recall the class,... like to think it was a math or physics class,... but it was probably a philosophy requirement where I was called upon to explain the difference between Pascals Triangle and Fibonacci Sequence.

... not understanding the question or the type of answer they were looking for, and also having the train of thought to give an answer even if it’s a WAG...

So I responded, one is a linear function while the other is a multi-deimensional array... not quite right on the later, but his reaction wasn’t what he was looking for, but it stumped or distracted the professor long enough that he had to think about it...

and this, right here, right now, here on CR4 was the first time I reference Pascals Triangle since then... who says you only use 2% of what you learn in school... that’s another item to cross off my list...

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#63
In reply to #48

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/04/2020 2:05 AM

I love this site, because it brings back a lot of "lost" concepts from over 30 years ago!

Though I have used Fibonacci for some investment ideas. There's actually a stock charting method that uses Fibonacci to plot support and resistance levels. It's remarkably accurate. The theory is that the stock market consists of people making decisions of buying an selling. Since people are a natural being, Fibonacci fits perfectly in the modeling. If my memory is correct, Fibonacci studied the number of pedals on a flower, leaves on a branch, etc to determine the Fibonacci numbers or sequence.

I remember this a little better, since I did a pretty deep analysis on Fibonacci and investing.

As always, thanks for sharing!

ps, I got a great laugh when I read your post!

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#26
In reply to #10

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/20/2020 1:58 AM

When I read the article about how to properly use Covid tests, I was shocked. They've been telling us to test. Remember Masks, Masks, Masks and Testing, Testing, Testing. People take tests and if they're not PCR, then why take them? The article stated - If you feel like you have Covid and your test result is negative, then you should take a PCR test.

If you take a test, because you're not sure if you have Covid or not and it comes back positive, you should take a PCR test to confirm you have Covid. So why take a test? And why are we basing closures on a test we can't trust? In CA, each county is "punished" for having a high rate of positive test results, ie we get more shut down orders. It has nothing to do with how full the hospitals are or if people are asymptomatic - it's based on the number of positive test results. And here's the kicker, if one day you get a small group with a high positive percentage, it'll throw your moving average off and whamo, time to kill more small businesses!

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#37
In reply to #26

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/20/2020 1:01 PM

The statistic I see quoted most and the one that it seems the politicians are using to make their decisions is "percent positive".

There are a couple of problems here. The first is that it is not an unbiased sample. I suspect that a majority of people being tested are sick with something, and would have a higher percentage of COVID than the general population. Anything that affects whether people are tested would corrupt the data. Before the holidays, there will more healthy people getting tested, so it will be interesting to see if the "percent positive" goes down.

The second problem, of course, is test accuracy, which is almost never specified. For example, a test with 90% accuracy would never report a positive rate less than 10% due to false positive, even with none infected.

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#56
In reply to #37

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/04/2020 1:00 AM

Good point! Even if the test is 98% accurate, if 0% are truly negative, 2% will test positive.

I like the way you put things!

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#38
In reply to #26

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/20/2020 3:20 PM

ADMIN note

This post has been redacted for political content.

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#47
In reply to #38

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/21/2020 10:21 AM

I don’t know why your post was marked OT...

I follow your point, but since this is the here and now,... COVID is understood... 5 years from now (hopefully)... you would be correct... too wide a paint brush...

otherwise, Would that also apply to Kleenex,... XEROX,... SPAM...?

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#52
In reply to #38

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/23/2020 3:32 PM

ADMIN note

This post has been redacted for political content and a personal attack.

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#67
In reply to #52

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/04/2020 2:36 AM

ADMIN note

This post has been redacted for political content.

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#70
In reply to #67

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/04/2020 6:09 AM

Misplaced trust will not help you in any quest for truth.

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#77
In reply to #52

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/04/2020 12:41 PM

They didn't censor it. They simply said you are wrong. Deal with it. LoL

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#79
In reply to #77

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/04/2020 1:11 PM

Admin note:

This post has been redacted for political content.

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#80
In reply to #79

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/04/2020 2:37 PM

Or maybe you just offended some of the easily offended members/admin under the guise of political content as an excuse.

I hope I didn’t offend the seemingly easily offended,... but that’s just my opinion...

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#81
In reply to #80

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/04/2020 4:19 PM

Hey Wait a damn minute I am offended that you think someone was offended, I need a safe space!

love you guys!

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#82
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Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/04/2020 5:13 PM

My job here is done...

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#65
In reply to #38

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/04/2020 2:19 AM

I'm on the fence about this. At first, I was 100% in the keep things open camp. I was waiting for the good news from Sweden - build herd immunity! In fact, I'm still hoping they conquer this. I hate seeing small businesses get crushed. My business side says to let them stay open and the people who are susceptible should be self quarantining themselves - the ICU ward at a hospital is a good analogy. As long as our hospitals aren't being overrun, let this thing run it's course. And yes, it would be interesting to see the total deaths in the US in 2020 vs 2019. If anyone has numbers, please share with us.

A good friend of mine reminded me that China (we can't believe them, but I don't think they have a problem anymore), Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, etc have not had much of a problem. We came to the conclusion that people in those countries have been through this before (Hong Kong Flu H3N2, Asian Flu H2N2 and SARS). We, on the other hand, are infants when it comes to this, so our society doesn't know how to act. Also, our nation is based on freedom - our Bill of Rights.

Thanks for your post.

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#21
In reply to #3

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/20/2020 1:46 AM

That is excellent! Great example!

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#4

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/17/2020 12:13 PM

Just in case anyone wants look up the vaccines that are making headlines:

  • Pfizer & BioNTech vaccine BNT162b2
  • Moderna vaccine mRNA-1273
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#22
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Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/20/2020 1:47 AM

This is what pushed the cyclical stocks up last week.

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#5

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/17/2020 1:54 PM

Perhaps the tests are designed to generate revenue instead of results?

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/17/2020 7:52 PM

That's the first sensible thing I've heard you say in quite some time.

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#7
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Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/17/2020 10:37 PM

We're still waiting for you to say something sensible.

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#8
In reply to #7

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/17/2020 11:14 PM

We've given up on you altogether...

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#14
In reply to #7

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/18/2020 1:37 PM

<something sensible>

Happy now?

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#39
In reply to #14

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/20/2020 4:21 PM

Good one, SG!

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#23
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Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/20/2020 1:49 AM

That would be very upsetting if true. And it's very upsetting that you may be right.

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#9

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/17/2020 11:21 PM

So, it's now newsworthy that Elon musk is taking " tests " ?

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#24
In reply to #9

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/20/2020 1:50 AM

I have a feeling he was trying to make a point. He does these kinds of things.

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#11

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/18/2020 7:23 AM

Then it's quite possible that <...Elon Musk...> has something else...

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#12

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/18/2020 10:18 AM

Hey AB, I have been on the front line of this discussion with the doctors at UW since we converted our R&D labs to produce carrier solutions and buffers for UW's testing.

Answer One, Yes, many companies rushed crap to market to make money. Lack of an active federal government allowed this to happen damaging consumer confidence. This was intentional.

Answer Two, Many places that offer testing, Costco comes to mind, are buying tests based on pricing not efficacy. This allows even symptomatic cases to stay in population. Then there is the delay in results that is atrocious.

Answer Three: UW, in the absence of any kind of federal guidance began work on a test of their own as it is kind of a big thing when you run world class research hospitals that you be able to track infections. Many other organization did the same with varying results depending on how they went about it.

Answer Four: People trying to make the world fit their beliefs.

This is an international health crisis that some people have turned into political circus and the deaths keep piling up.

This is tragic: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2020/11/17/south-dakota-nurse-jodi-doering-covid-19-patients-denial/6330791002/

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#27
In reply to #12

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/20/2020 2:20 AM

Thanks for the info.

I think someone has to be pretty stubborn to believe that this isn't a real problem. 1.34M deaths worldwide = something is definitely going on!

Junky tests - where's the media to let us know? Which tests should we take if we really want to know? After reading the Musk story, I realize that PCR is the way to go. I may be wrong, so anyone who knows, please post something here.

Costco - I don't shop there and I'm not a fan of the company.

The question we're all trying to find an answer to is "What are we suppose to do?" I just read (per Faucci) that people who are vaccinated will still be carriers, just like asymptomatic people. I remember being told that masks don't help, then it changed to masks help other. Then I heard a commercial that masks help the wearer? My sister is a doctor and she said that in an OR, masks are worn to minimize the chance bacteria getting on the patient - that's what they tell the patient, but studies have shown that they're not as effective as we think and they lose effectiveness over time and if they get wet. She told me that many hospitals were considering stopping the practice to cut costs.

Anyway, I think the general public is thoroughly confused about what really works. And those who say "follow the science" - well, I remember way back in college about the scientific method. All the misdirection and contradictions don't seem very scientific to me.

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#32
In reply to #27

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/20/2020 3:20 AM

Toward the end of your post, you allege misdirection and contradictions from the scientific method, but you don't name any. Do it now, lest your soul be divinely condemned for lying.

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#44
In reply to #32

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/21/2020 1:34 AM

I’ll answer that...

an example would be in the 70’s science claimed earth was going into global cooling...

I suggest you stop with your childish labeling of members of lying along with any other labeling per your own personal definition... it takes away the actual value of the word.

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#45
In reply to #44

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/21/2020 2:24 AM

I don't know that "science" claimed that, but IIRC Stephen Schneider did (and then later on switched to being concerned about global warming).

If you think he was lying, do you now think that global warming is occurring?

A little later, Carl Sagan became concerned with the chance of "nuclear winter." In the absence of nuclear war, that has not happened. However, maybe it would be a countermeasure to global warming.

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#46
In reply to #45

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/21/2020 7:19 AM

You asked, you received and now you’re being difficult, and what you don’t realize, you’re proving Autobroker Statement that you initially question, is correct by your own response above.

Autobroker: “Anyway, I think the general public is thoroughly confused about what really works. And those who say "follow the science" - well, I remember way back in college about the scientific method. All the misdirection and contradictions don't seem very scientific to me.”

You may try to cover it by imposing global cooling was brought on by one person, but the fact is, it wasn’t one person, it was a consensus of scientists at the time, we were even being taught ‘global cooling’ is happening in school, it wasn’t just one person like you imposed, Global cooling was a conjecture just like global warming is now.

that I believe was the point Autobroker was making, and you just unwittingly reinforced. And to drill it down further,... some of the proponents who claim “Follow the science”, is treating science as a fad, and that’s what can confuse the general public with just this example. A crude example, but an example none the less.

And secondly, it has nothing to do with lying like you tend always fall back on to throw at a member who disagrees with you, and shouldn’t even be brought up, that is a weak defense of your platform, but is your goto response.

My opinion of global warming has nothing to do with this thread, I was making a point to answer your question with an example.

But to settle your persistence, and get back on track, My opinion of global warming is, Climate is cyclical.

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#62
In reply to #46

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/04/2020 1:57 AM

Your spot on! The people who are saying "Follow the science" don't understand the science. The word "fad" is so accurate!

And yes, you're correct about the point I was trying to make. I thought it was pretty obvious and there was no intent on lying about anything.

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#61
In reply to #45

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/04/2020 1:53 AM

Why all this "lying" stuff?

Okay, I have something for you to consider - please humor me for a moment.

Let's say you were told that a used car has good tires >4/32" tread left on all four. Clearly stated in the description of the car. The description was done by a used car dealer at his facility. Per the rules, he's suppose to go over the car and list all the defects. A wholesale transaction would occur if the buyer chose to match his asking price. Remember, this is wholesale, so the purpose of the purchase is to resell the vehicle. The buyer accepts the asking price and money is traded, title is given and the buyer goes to pick up the car. It's at night and he notices that the tires don't seem to be >4/32, however only the guard is at the lot, so he takes a picture of all four tires and the next day takes the car to his mechanic for a safety inspection. The mechanic gives him the bad news, two tires are 1/32 and two are 0/32. You will need new tires to pass the safety inspection and for the car to be legal to sell (retail sale). The mechanic uses a standard tire depth gauge to determine the tread depth - there's no grey area - it is what it is.

So, what happened? How could the seller put >4/32" on all four tires on the report, yet the mechanic measures 0/32 and 1/32. And no, there's no trick question - the car wasn't driven more than 50 miles and the alignment is correct and nobody did anything to alter the depth of the tread or add considerable wear to the tire.

I'd like to hear your explanation.

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#69
In reply to #61

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/04/2020 5:48 AM

Why are you asking me that question? In post 45, I wasn't accusing anyone of lying; instead, I was asking about someone else's such accusation.

However, to answer your example, the car dealer was lying.

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#74
In reply to #69

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/04/2020 10:31 AM

Let me put on my myoptia glasses on so I’m seeing the same thing as you... yep, you’re right, on post #45, you using the word lying is not there.. now, unless AB is talking about posts of yours in general, that I and like most, can’t defend you,..

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#84
In reply to #69

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/07/2020 11:32 PM

I'm not answering to your post 45 response. It's your post 32 response, which was directed at me.

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#85
In reply to #69

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/07/2020 11:45 PM

Tornado, please do not take this as me trying to preach to you. Maybe I'm off base on this response, but I ask that you hear me out.

In my example, you feel the car dealer was lying. Years ago, I would've agreed with you. It's easy, since used car dealers are considered liars and it's hard to make a mistake so bad. And there are different levels of lying too. One can do so with the intent to deceive others. One may also do so to cover his laziness. And one may also lie to cover up for something he has done. There may be other reasons, but these are the ones that come to mind.

The car dealer checked the box that said the tires are >4/32". The three conclusions I came up with are:

1. He tried to deceive the buyer.

2. He was too lazy to check and blindly checked the box - or maybe all boxes.

3. He meant to check the "no" box and made a mistake.

My initial thought was #1. That's because I have a pre-conceived notion that he's a low life used car lot salesman. Then I took a step back and gave some additional consideration. What else could've happened. That's when I came up with #2 and 3. I also asked if it's possible that he misread the tire depth gauge and the answer is no, since anyone in the business knows what 4/32" looks like - and it sure doesn't look like 0/32 or 1/32! It's too obvious a difference. Though he may have inspected all four tires and was going to mark the box (on his piece of paper) with no, but somehow his attention was diverted and when he got back to his job, instead of rechecking, his memory told him yes and that's the box he checked. Or he could've forgot to check the tire depth and when he got to the computer, he thought the tires were good, so he checked yes. Similar to #3 at the top of this post.

At this point, I wish I would like to confront him in person and see his response. That would give me a good idea, though he could be a great "actor" and fool me. Still, I'd feel much better being able to do this, but I can't, so I'm sticking to the idea that he didn't mean to deceive me and he just got lazy or he made a mistake and checked the wrong box. Either way, I want him to pay for a set of tires - I'm currently in process to do so.

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#60
In reply to #44

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/04/2020 1:43 AM

I remember global cooling - they sure tried to scare us with that. And it was scientifically backed!

Damn, you have a good memory!

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#53
In reply to #32

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/04/2020 12:47 AM

I'm not trying to start an argument. I'm just very upset how certain people use the phrase "follow the science" and they have no idea how we (science minded people) solve problems.

If you want a few examples, here are a few.

At the start of the pandemic, we were told not to wear masks - they needed to be used by the medical community. Then they tell us that we should wear masks to protect others, because wearing a mask doesn't protect the wearer. Then they tell us that N95 masks are the only ones that can do anything. Then they tell us that any face covering is good. Now they tell us that wearing a mask protects us. If we base this on science, the answer is obvious. If one wears a mask, it will protect the people around him if he sneezes, coughs or spittles as he speaks (if he is infected). If someone is near him and sneezes, coughs or spittles as he speaks, the mask will protect him. Why is this obvious? Using physics, any barrier will reduce the particles that contain a virus. It blocks particles coming in and going out. Follow physics, which is a science!

There are many, many other examples based on misdirection of advice/information. The general public doesn't get it, because they only had a few science classes in their education. Think of how many times someone has said that we must us sanitizer to kill the virus! Since when has the virus molecule been alive?

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#41
In reply to #12

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/20/2020 7:20 PM

Good responses...

especially the last,..

This is an international health crisis that some people have turned into political circus and the deaths keep piling up.

career politicians will always do this, never let a crisis go to waste or for self enrichment as an example (off topic). Global Warming, Climate Change.

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#58
In reply to #41

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/04/2020 1:22 AM

ADMIN note

This post has been redacted for political content.

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#15

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/18/2020 10:55 PM

ADMIN note

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#29
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Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/20/2020 2:31 AM

ADMIN note

This post has been redacted for political content.

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#31

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/20/2020 2:54 AM

Somehow, the posts have gotten off topic. Yes, I'm guilty of it too!

Can we get back to testing and which tests are accurate and which ones we should avoid.

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#33
In reply to #31

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

11/20/2020 10:30 AM

Ok, in a world not gone insane the CDC would have been on top of this. They would have been the guiding hand to ensure the tests were accurate and distributed.

Instead the entire first series of tests from the CDC were so bad the CDC immediately lost all credibility and have been summarily ignored since as their advice and guidelines all bear the fingerprints of partisanship making them ineffective.

This is what prompted the universities and major hospitals to quickly design their own testing. its kind of a big deal in a hospital setting to have accurate information. What they are dealing with is hard to imagine for most people. The strain on the healthcare system is beyond the breaking point. We no longer have enough LIVING nurses and doctors to handle the projected surge over the winter.

FACT: They are literally calling retired HCPs to come in and work. We have hospitals in Wisconsin that are using nursing students and fourth year med students on the floors of the wards because they have no one else.

Hospitals are requiring you make a will and decide on life saving measures so they know not to waste time and resources on you. This mindset is devastating to people in this field, many have already quit.

So what test is good and what is bad is something that we have no answer to because the central testing clearing house, the CDC, was rendered useless by politics leaving America vulnerable. If a bad international actor released a disease right now America would be done for that is how dangerous this situation is.

Your best bet if you need to be tested is to contact your doctor and do what they recommend so that they can have the results as soon as you do. Third party testing and its related delays in results and accuracy issues is making it hard for the medical people to really know what they are dealing with.

Its going to be a long dark winter folks. That much is guaranteed at this point. If you have a question ask your doctor. (BULLSHIT ABOUNDS) they will have the most accurate and up to date information. Never forget, this is a "novel" situation and things can change rapidly as we gather more information and the bugger mutates in its new hosts.

Stay Smart, Stay safe. AB.

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#54
In reply to #33

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/04/2020 12:53 AM

I heard on either Bloomberg or CNBC that there are 10 known mutations of Covid. Yes, 10 known mutations.

I just read this article, which says there are 12,000 mutations! Though they say that none have made it more contagious. https://www.cnn.com/2020/11/25/health/coronavirus-mutations-no-big-deal-scn/index.html

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#72
In reply to #54

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/04/2020 10:05 AM

Mutate, that’s what viruses do...

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#75
In reply to #72

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/04/2020 10:35 AM

And they do it very well...

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#86
In reply to #75

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/07/2020 11:47 PM

And this is how the virus continues to attack the host (humans).

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#78
In reply to #54

Re: Covid Test Types and Accuracy

12/04/2020 12:42 PM

So far.

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