The Dorchester Reporter interviews state Rep. Liz Miranda (D-5th Suffolk) on her recovery, along with her father, who is now out of the hospital. Of 20 family members, 15 tested positive for the virus.
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Now she needs to have a little talk with a certain city councilor from Malden about "family parties" and "what moms need to do".
Her father and grandmother were both sick, but tested negative for the virus. ... Miranda’s grandmother was not re-tested for COVID-19 after her first negative test, she said, “so the family went to the burial, and everyone thought they would be okay.”
This drives me nuts. While a good nasal swab collects more virus than a buccal swab, bad swabbings cause false negatives. People are getting sick and dying because the FDA and CDC don't have their shit together.
I'd say that this is what happens when you trust your family.
Everyone wants more testing but no one wants to explain why the number of false positives and negatives is so high.
explain why the number of false positives
The number of false positives for diagnostic tests (are you currently infected) is approximately 0%. The false positive rate for serological tests (were you infected) is unacceptably high because it has poor specificity. In essence, it may be picking up antibodies for other viruses in the coronavirus family. This really, really sucks.
explain why negatives is so high
Diagnostic tests have a high false negative rate. Serological tests have a very low false negative test. A major reason why the false negative rate is high is swabbing. In nasopharyngeal swabbing, someone jams a giant q-tip up your nose and all the way back. This is challenging and there's evidence that some technicians are better than others. We should be augmenting nasopharyngeal swabbing with buccal swabs or saliva samples. The specimens can be combined and tested together so the additional burden is low.
20? How did that level of exposure occur?
This is why we have to pretend like everybody we encounter has the virus AND that we also have the virus. So grandma tests negative, turns out it was a false negative but if there were 10 people in that funeral home how was it just assumed the others were healthy? Then this somehow becomes 20 because in addition to the ten people in the funeral home, another ten visited grandpa?
I understand the desire to get rid of the stigma and yes we need to tell people it is ok to go get the test and yes it is ok if you are positive. I do think the other half of this story needs to be addressed... STOP. Stop what? Stop all of this. The father became the spoke in a wheel connecting all the corners of the family. That is how these things burn so quickly, they go from one spoke to another to another. Because everyone thinks because they just spent time with these ten people it is ok. Yet those ten people then went to spend time with another ten people.
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