Flash; You may not want to be tested for COVID-19 using the Abbott ID NOW.

Today, a paper available online reinforced concerns that the Abbott ID NOW, a rapid molecular (genetic) detection test for COVID-19 viral RNA, is significantly less sensitive than traditional genetic assays employing the polymerize chain reaction. The major advantage for the Abbott test is that it is a small device that can be transported to testing sites andContinue reading “Flash; You may not want to be tested for COVID-19 using the Abbott ID NOW.”

I am having a meltdown about today’s Senate hearing.

I tried to write a rational assessment of today’s hearing, but that effort seemed much too polite given the actual proceedings.  What seems clear now is that the government does not know what to do next about COVID. It is whipsawed between being accused of being too restrictive and destroying the economy, or too aggressively reducingContinue reading “I am having a meltdown about today’s Senate hearing.”

More news on COVID antibody screening

Three interesting articles came out concerning antibody testing in COVID-19. The first was a prepublication on antibody testing from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. The study was conducted from March 26 to April 10, 2020 and looked at 1,343 mildly symptomatic outpatient subjects (only 3% had been ill enough to be seen in the emergency department).Continue reading “More news on COVID antibody screening”

The FDA puts the hammer down on unapproved blood tests – sort of.

The FDA today took action to clear up the mess in COVID-19 blood testing. You might remember that blood tests for COVID-19 were allowed to enter the US under a special emergency use approval (EUA) called Part D. Under this special exemption, a test could be imported and sold on a “promise” that the manufacturerContinue reading “The FDA puts the hammer down on unapproved blood tests – sort of.”

Biscuit returns, albeit a bit hoarse…

Biscuit and Nindy return to talk about their dumbest COVID-19 ideas of the week. Nindy had to do most of the talking though since Biscuit tried to drink the Lysol. Poor dog just believes everything he hears on TV…. 1) Underestimating COVID-19 infection rates. Infection rates have been remarkably underestimated, which gives people a false senseContinue reading “Biscuit returns, albeit a bit hoarse…”

Why COVID-19 antibody assays can be unreliable.

As discussed in the blog post yesterday, the COVID-19, lateral flow antibody test is a remarkably simple, very stable and consistent platform. It requires no machine to run, it can be stored at up to 86°F for up to a year, and as long as the reagents are unused it gives very consistent results. DespiteContinue reading “Why COVID-19 antibody assays can be unreliable.”

How COVID-19 Antibody Tests Work

Most COVID-19 antibody tests available to use outside a laboratory involve “lateral flow assays” named because they use diffusion of serum antibodies laterally in a paper strip. Blood or serum is placed at one end of the strip, and if it binds to a gold nanoparticle coupled to coronavirus proteins the nanoparticle is captured atContinue reading “How COVID-19 Antibody Tests Work”

What are COVID-19 antibody tests and why are so many failing……?

Antibody blood proteins may be the key to knowing who has been infected with CORONA-19 virus. They may also identify individuals who have immunity (protection) against viral infection. Many assays for antibodies are currently available, but some don’t work and give false results. Understanding the immune response to COVID-19 and how antibody assays work isContinue reading “What are COVID-19 antibody tests and why are so many failing……?”

Half of NYC Infected With COVID-19.

Antibody studies are now indicating much higher rates of COVID infection A PCR study showed 15% of random NYC woman giving birth were positive for COVID virus by early April Given the timing and limitations of the PCR testing, the percent of random NYC COVID-19 infected is now approaching 50% Last Sunday, for Passover andContinue reading “Half of NYC Infected With COVID-19.”

It Truly Is Getting Better (and the US is not worse than the rest of the world!)….

Today I have received a great deal of concern that the pandemic is not improving, especially in the US. The reasons for this are, in part, due to confusing and contradictory dialogues in the news. Some also have used graphics showing total death numbers to suggest the US is doing worse than the rest ofContinue reading “It Truly Is Getting Better (and the US is not worse than the rest of the world!)….”