Several months into the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, many problems remain with the virus detection system.
According to NBC, 90 of 144 people tested positive for the virus in Connecticut during June 15 and July 17.
In fact, however, they were not infected with a novel Coronavirus and were merely “misdiagnosed”.
Nationwide, only 35 percent of the tests performed each day are necessary to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Over the past week, an average of 747,000 people a day have been tested for the virus, well below the target of 2.1 million.
So far, only 10 states have 20 percent coverage, according to the New York Times, and at least 36 states have inadequate testing.
Ninety people were misdiagnosed as positive due to a defect in the virus testing platform
Of the 144 people tested for the virus on June 15, solstice and July 17, 90 were misdiagnosed, according to NBC news.
Although they tested positive for the virus, they were not actually infected with novel Coronavirus.
According to the U.S. Department of Health, the faulty test results were related to “a testing platform in use in Connecticut beginning June 15.”
The director of the state’s public health laboratory, Jafar Razek, said the problem was discovered when the virus test results were being reconfirmed.
“It was quite shocking when we looked at the background information of these test samples and found that they did not have a novel Coronavirus infection factor”.
A Connecticut lab has found that 90 people have been misdiagnosed as positive for the virus.
/ SCREENshot of NBC report
Connecticut officials have reported false positives to the makers of testing reagents, the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Public Health.
Local authorities also took immediate steps to ensure that everyone who was misdiagnosed, many of them nursing home residents, was informed.
The Connecticut Health Department also called on anyone who has been misdiagnosed to be retested for the virus as soon as possible.
“Accurate and timely virus testing is an effective measure to contain the outbreak,” acting State Social Services Minister Didrey Gifford said in a statement.
In order to ensure the platform’s future test results, our team has started to make corrections.
According to the Capitol, Gifford said about 650,000 virus tests have been conducted in Connecticut since March.
Normally, people who test positive for the virus assume the results are accurate.
At least 90 people in Connecticut have tested “false positive” for the virus.
/ Screenshots from the Capitol
Four reasons why America is still in a virus detection crisis
According to NBC news on July 22, as the number of confirmed cases continues to rise, Americans are facing a severe shortage of cotton swabs, chemicals and medical equipment, and testing results are getting longer.
Floridians are frustrated by the long wait for test results.
/ SCREENshot of NBC report
According to real-time statistics released by Johns Hopkins University in the United States, as of about 16:30 Beijing time on July 23, there had been a total of 3970,908 confirmed coVID-19 cases and 143,190 deaths in the United States.
In Florida, the worst-hit state by the outbreak, the number of hospitalized patients reached a new high on July 21, as intensive care units (icUs) in at least 53 hospitals were overloaded.
So far, more than 13 percent of people in the state have tested positive for the virus, and 20 percent in Miami-Dade County.
In Florida, however, the wait for test results has increased to seven to 10 days, sometimes even longer.
The problem isn’t unique to Florida, so why isn’t America out of the virus detection crisis?
- There are problems in the supply chain
Across the US, the supply chain for virus testing is flawed, according to Politico, a political news website.
Julie Haney, President of the American Association of Clinical Laboratories, says there is an imminent shortage of the disposable pipette that LABS use to move samples from transport containers to the detector.
“Due to the shortage of disposable pipette, some testing laboratories may stop taking samples.
That’s the challenge that’s coming to the lab, and we’re doing everything we can to avoid that.
Why is America still stuck in a virus detection crisis?
/ Screenshots from Politico
Us public health experts and laboratory workers have warned that a failure in any link in the virus testing supply chain could reduce the country’s ability to test for the virus.
An Austin, Texas, resident wanted to be tested for the virus after coughing and shortness of breath, the Associated Press reported.
However, due to the shortage of virus detection kits in the local area, the resident visited the testing site three times in a row, but failed to test.
- Public demand for virus detection is high
Second, the American public has a high demand for virus testing, and the accumulation of samples to be tested exceeds the speed of laboratory analysis, which extends the time for people to obtain results, thus making it more difficult to contain the epidemic.
According to CNN, Anthony Fauci, a top US infectious disease expert, said on July 21 that “the time from testing to getting results is probably a few days, which weakens the point of testing because we don’t know if someone got the results in a reasonable amount of time.”
- Poor ability to track the contact
The goal of testing is to find those infected and break the chain of transmission, which requires local governments to be able to track close contacts so they can be tested and effectively quarantined to prevent further spread, politico reported.
But the Country’s ability to track close contacts is woefully inadequate, and the federal government has left the task to state and local health departments, which are understaffed and underfunded, that simply cannot do the job.
Mike McCann, head of the California Health Department, said traditional methods of tracking had become “impractical and difficult” because the virus had spread so quickly, CNN reported.
With 1,000 deaths reported in the United States in a single day, health experts warn the outbreak could get worse.
/ Screenshots from CNN
- Racism exists in the virus detection system
More than 20 million Americans live in a “virus testing desert,” according to a report by the British Sego Foundation.
In areas where there are no virus testing sites, people of color have difficulty testing for the virus.
“If you are a black rural American, you are three times more likely to be in a ‘test desert’ than the average rural American,” said Sema Schell, executive director of the Foundation.
While the CDC has partnered with morehouse institutions to better serve minorities during the pandemic, many lawmakers believe the government’s efforts are too late.
According to Bloomberg, the current virus detection system in the US has broken down, but the federal government has not provided a “fix plan”.
As a result, the federal government needs to do more to “upgrade” America’s virus detection systems before the outbreak peaks.