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The value of a Covid test

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Bill Blue, Jul 30, 2020 at 8:41 AM.

  1. Bill Blue

    Bill Blue Diamond Level Sponsor

    When I went to the respiratory clinic thinking I might have pneumonia, but fearing Covid, a tech took a Covid nasal sample from me before I got out of the car. Inside, the NP immediately eliminated pneumonia and decided my symptoms were not a good fit with Covid. She strongly suspected my heart as the problem. So off to the ER for a heart workup. They too did not suspect pneumonia or Covid, but could not find any heart problems. They asked if I wanted the Covid swab sent to lab, otherwise it would be discarded. I answered "Yes".

    Got the result three days later. I was Covid negative, but should continue self quarantining for 10 days. Why would they have made that recommendation? To me it means they do not trust the test.

    Comments welcomed. No politics or screeds, PLEASE.

  2. DanR

    DanR Diamond Level Sponsor

    Bill, What "other" findings, if any, did they come up with that caused your pain?
  3. Alpine 1789

    Alpine 1789 SAOCA President Platinum Level Sponsor

    I think the lack of confidence with the test is that the false negative rate is high (I've seen estimates of 20-40%), but the false positive rate is pretty small. So, they can tell you if you definitely have it, but not when you don't. Hence the recommendation to treat a negative test with caution. That isn't very satisfying, but seems to be the best they can do at the moment.

    FWIW, my wife had all of the classic symptoms a few months ago; or at least all but the loss of taste. Her test came back negative but the Dr. said "If it looks like a duck..." and felt it was very likely she did have it. She was pretty sick for a couple of weeks but got better. She had an antibody test a week ago and that was also negative. Two false negatives from two different tests? Maybe. More likely she has some other virus with similar symptoms. That would also probably explain why I didn't get sick, even though we didn't quarantine her.
  4. nsbluenose

    nsbluenose Bronze Level Sponsor

    Quarantine, why take the risk of spreading the virus to others, I understand the fact that you may not be positive. They are erring on the side of caution, as everyone should.
  5. MikeH

    MikeH Platinum Level Sponsor

    Just heard Herman Cain died from COVID-19 this morning.
  6. 65beam

    65beam Bronze Level Sponsor


    I can tell you everything related to this virus changes on a day to day basis. The last few months tells me that there are no cut in stone guidelines when it comes to the virus. They change weekly, sometimes every day. You're aware that Jean was off work for 15 weeks for lung related pneumonia problems due to testing positive for a Corona virus OC43. There is a family of the Corona viruses classed as both Alpha and Beta viruses that range from causing the common cold to what many refer to as the stomach flu. What she had wasn't the COVID 19. The name stands for Corona Virus Disease and the number 19 stands for the year it popped up. She tested COVID 19 negative twice in those weeks. She was cleared to go back to work July 6 and started with seeing a low number of patients. She got sick at work 7/20 and the clinic tested and she showed positive for Covid 19 as did others in Cardiology. The only medication given was Tylenol for reducing her fever and she was sent home and the health department was notified so the list of folks she had been around including myself were all asked to self quarantine for ten days and monitor body temp, cough,etc.. CDC guidelines say no reason to test unless symptoms popped up and the health department nurse calls me every morning to check my vitals. Since she was on her three week rotation at the main clinic she was out of town and I haven't seen her since 7/19. Breathing got worse yesterday and pneumonia had set in and she was transferred to the Ohio State Infectious Disease center yesterday. Since she tested positive 10 days ago she's now being treated for pneumonia and will not be tested again for the virus because it has probably run it's course just like the common cold since it is also caused by two Corona virus. The guidelines say if you have no COVID symptoms such as fever or breathing problems, etc for 24 hours you can go back to a normal life. The hospital says three days before she goes back to work. Since she has several degrees and certifications in the medical field the Doctors at OSU talked to her today about testing a transfusion of anti bodies from recovered patients to see how it works as far as clearing and preventing problems.. We'll see what changes on Friday. Just take it easy and spend time in your garage. Ten days may be old news next week. You'll be OK in a few days.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2020 at 11:35 AM
  7. DanR

    DanR Diamond Level Sponsor

    I liked Herman!
  8. Bill Blue

    Bill Blue Diamond Level Sponsor

    Zilch. No evidence of anything heart related. To be more accurate, no evidence of anything. The fact that it came and went so rapidly had them pretty well flummoxed. But they want me to return if the pain returns. So at least I was not a PITA for them.

    Up to 40% false negative results is not a much better than a coin toss and explains a lot. I think the fact no one at the hospital thought I fit the Covid symptoms and I have no known exposure, yet I should self quarantine. I suppose the person that called me was unaware of my history.

  9. Bill Blue

    Bill Blue Diamond Level Sponsor

    Bob, we are very disappointed and disheartened to hear that Jean is sick again. We wish her the best.

  10. 65beam

    65beam Bronze Level Sponsor

    She called me a few minutes ago and she made a decision and signed off to become part of the Mayo Clinic / OSU testing of transfusing anti bodies from other patients recovered from the Covid. They will include her in testing of anti viral drugs, what anti bodies she has built up, etc. The Docs feel that after 12 days the virus has run it's course and she no longer is positive. Al that remains is to clear the pneumonia. I guess the health system she works for is liking the fact that she agreed to become part of the research. I'm sure she'll have something to talk about when she goes back to having college students doing their clinicals with her.
  11. Bill Blue

    Bill Blue Diamond Level Sponsor

    I don't know why a doctor would say that. The guy we bought the 69 from was an early Covid victim. Said he spent twelve days flat on his back with a fever of 102. His girlfriend had the sniffles for a couple of days.
  12. 65beam

    65beam Bronze Level Sponsor

    It affects different folks in different ways.The CDC guidelines now say no symptoms for 24 hours and you're good to go.
  13. loose_electron

    loose_electron Gold Level Sponsor

    Couple of important items here:

    1. Read the guidelines put out by the WHO, and if you want a second opinion read the Canadian ministry of Health suggestions. Generally the CDC is correct, but there has been a large amount of politically motivated modifications to their suggestions.

    2. This thing has only existed since last December, consequently the knowledge and suggestions on how to deal with it have evolved and changed, with a lot of people seeing mixed messages. That has made things pretty confusing. Always ask "when was this information last updated? If it is more than a month old go look for something more up to date.

    3. There are a bunch of different tests for CV19, and some of them have larger error margins than the other. No idea which test you took, but it could be unreliable. They need to shut down certain test methods now that better ones exist but some people are still making money off the older methods.

    4. Wash your hands, wear a mask, social distancing, all that.

    5. Don't be too surprised if we end up shutting down the country again to get this under control. (See where we are in January.) If we could do a really good lockdown for about 6 weeks we could beat this. Instead it is going to drag on for months.

    Abbott Labs has a really great testing setup for this now, you get results in under 15 minutes. If we could get this thing in every hospital, pharmacy, CVS, Walgreens, etc, we could get the sort of test-track-isolate-control strategy we need.


    There is a lot of junk information out there too! Some information that is simple to digest and from sources that I trust:




    Oh, in case you are wondering why I have so many opinions n this, as some of you know I am an electrical engineer, and for the last 15-18 years I have been concentrating on medical device design.

    Stay safe everyone!
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020 at 1:46 AM
  14. Bill Blue

    Bill Blue Diamond Level Sponsor

    Bob, I cannot understand why a Doctor would say Jean is Covid negative while still fighting pneumonia, isn't that a symptom? So they think the antibodies will help with the pneumonia with no Covid present? An interesting thought. I've been conditioned to think of antibodies as fighting foreign bodies, not symptoms. I sure hope the Docs are successful in whatever they do. Changing knowledge is central to the scientific process. Without it, the scientific process is no better than voodoo.

    Jerry, I will not be surprised if the country is shut down again, I fully expect it. A question of when, not if. Things are not pointed in a good direction.

  15. 65beam

    65beam Bronze Level Sponsor

    There is wide spread belief that this virus was around before December. The wife and others in the medical field will tell you they had patients with flu like symptoms that tested negative for Influenza A or B. They didn't have a knowledge of COVID 19 which is just Corona Virus Disease with 19 being the year the virus was named. According to the reasearch Doctors treating my wife the virus has run it's course with her and is now gone . They're treating the pneumonia and are mainly concerned with the anti bodies she produced and what plasma with antibodies from other recovered patients will do for her. She's also been given the anti viral drug that is the center of attention. She has been taking the plaquinel for 30 plus years so that's also being monitored. She no longer has the virus since it's been two weeks. It ran it's course. The research which is in conjunction with the Mayo Clinic follows CDC guidelines. We've had a total of 46 cases in our county with only two active cases with one of those being my 90 year old mother in law who is fussing that she can't go to her weekly hair appointment every Thursday. She refused all treatment last week. She'll be fine according to the health department.
  16. 65beam

    65beam Bronze Level Sponsor

    She's now negative for the Covid 19 virus. It's dead! They pneumonia was caused by the Corona virus OC 43 which is a Beta version of the corona virus family. This is one of the viruses that causes the common cold but will bring on pneumonia in folks like her with a compromised immune system due to the RA and related problems from the RA. There were several in her department that were exposed to the virus and several are still at home She's at OSU because the pulmonary Doc wanted to see her in the research and have them treat her because of her compromised immune system. With her background she can better communicate to the Docs what is going on with her. The department head says the hospital where she works wants employees to be free of symptoms for three days and then they can go back to work. Remember she works in close proximity of cardiac patients both in normal testing and in the stint lab. CDC guidelines say be free of symptoms for 24 hours. No testing required to verify negative. What changes next week?
  17. Bill Blue

    Bill Blue Diamond Level Sponsor

    "There is wide spread belief that this virus was around before December."
    That, also is very interesting. I had something that I thought was flu in late November. Did not amount to much and lasted only 3-4 days. Did a real job on my sense of taste and smell, which seems to be diagnostic for Covid.

  18. 65beam

    65beam Bronze Level Sponsor

    One of Jean's doctors just called me and we discussed her current condition. Treat the current problems and the best guess is at this point she wouldn't infect others since it's been two weeks since symptoms showed. The health department said I didn't fall within the guide lines so I was never tested and I showed no symptoms. The health nurse told me when she called me this morning that I would be dropped out of the system starting today since I have no symptoms. They will not test Jean for COVID again. The Doc said it appears that symptoms tend to set in up to five days from exposure to an infected person and then runs it's course. No one has an iron clad answer. Just treat lingering conditions. I'm waiting to see the hospital bill. The research part and all associated meds, treatment, etc. is a no charge item. Should be interesting.
  19. MikeH

    MikeH Platinum Level Sponsor

    I thought the virus is SARS-CoV-2 and the disease caused by it is Covid-19.

    I had something in February. It didn’t last long, but I had the worst muscle aches I’ve ever had, especially in my legs. I was so cold that I was shaking and could not get warm. Had a fever and was very fatigued. Took some Naproxen for the aches and was ok within a day. Never experienced anything like it before. My wife had the same thing the next day and lasted a few days. In addition with her, she was diagnosed with bronchitis a week or two before.
  20. loose_electron

    loose_electron Gold Level Sponsor

    Yeah, there is speculation of earlier dates and also that a bunch of people have had cv19 that were not diagnosed with it. Something "flu like but really nasty on breathing" passed through the San Diego area in February, that probably was cv19. Stay safe all, it's a good time to go work on the project car.

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