There are SO MANY concerns about rapid tests for the coronavirus but a real-world experiment in SF has found that Abbott's BinaxNOW is just as good as PCR at detecting people who are infectious…
The study is small, and it has limitations. But the team tested people at a train station in a Latino neighborhood. Looking at a likely range for infectiousness (CT < 33), the test detected 15 of 16 cases picked up by PCR. 2/x
But not rapid tests are equal. and neither, by the way, are all PCR tests. One analysis by the FDA found massive differences in sensitivity, with another Abbott test, ID now, towards the bottom. 3/x
Abbott says that's because the test uses a dry sampling method, which the FDA test kit did not include. Regardless, the bottomline is that you can't generalize across PCRs or rapid tests 4/x
Back to the BinaxNOW, it looks promising for screening although as researchers themselves say, borderline tests should be confirmed by PCR. 5/x
Lots more detail in the story about this clever real-world experiment.

Feat. @DHavlir, Yuka Manabe, @kj_seung
@Jon_Jacobo @SBtotheDub @JenniferNuzzo @RanuDhillon & Kelly Wroblewski, Joe DeRisi…

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More from @apoorva_nyc

14 Oct
NEW: President Trump has been saying his immunity makes him feel like Superman. But the treatments he got may have prevented his body from making antibodies of his own, leaving him more susceptible in a few weeks than the average Covid-19 survivor. 1/x…
The Regeneron antibodies have a half life of 21 and 25 days. meaning that by Oct 23, their levels in his body will fall by half and then keep declining. 2/x
Mr. Trump did not have antibodies of his own when he got the Regeneron cocktail. The cocktail suppresses virus + dexamethasone tamps down immune system, so there's a good chance he didn't make any antibodies. 3/x
Read 5 tweets
13 Oct
NEW: Reports of reinfection with the coronavirus, like the one in Nevada, evoke a nightmarish future: Repeat bouts of illness, impotent vaccines, unrelenting lockdowns — a pandemic without an end. But that nightmare doesn't reflect reality. Here's why 1/x…
What these cases tell us is that reinfection is possible, and in at least 3 cases so far, have been more severe. But that’s well within the natural variation in immune response and happens with every pathogen. 2/x
Take a look at the numbers: > 38 mil reinfections; fewer than 5 confirmed with peer review. “That’s tiny — it’s like a microliter-sized drop in the bucket” said @angie_rasmussen 3/x
Read 6 tweets
12 Oct
NEW: Everyone is talking about the Regeneron and Lilly monoclonal antibodies. But some scientists are betting on "Prometheus," a ragtag group of scientists who are months behind in the competition — and yet may deliver the most powerful antibody. 1/x…
The Prometheus antibody won’t enter human trials till December, but unlike other mabs which would last weeks, the Prometheus would last up to 6 months. 2/x
It is also one of the only mabs that broadly neutralizes the new coronavirus, SARS and also other bat-origin coronaviruses. Meaning it’s a good weapon in the arsenal for any future coronaviruses that might decide to drop by. 3/x
Read 6 tweets
8 Oct
BREAKING: It's not just the monoclonal antibodies the Prez took: Remdesevir, and many coronavirus vaccines also rely on cells derived from fetal tissue -- exactly the kind of research the administration has curtailed 1/x…
And yes, I do know that the policy excludes the fetal tissue derived before June 2019. But it's exactly the kind of research that would not be possible under the ban today. 2/x
Even if the ban applied to these cells, Regeneron, Lilly and Gilead would be exempt because they are not funded by the government. Same would not be true of the vaccine companies which do get federal funds. 3/x
Read 6 tweets
5 Oct
SCOOP: The White House has decided not to trace the contacts of guests and staff members at the Sept. 26 Rose Garden celebration for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, where at least eight people, including the president, may have become infected…
Because no one tested positive within 48 hrs of the event, it's technically not required to be part of contact tracing, is the stance, and also doesn't represent a super-spreader event. 2/x
That, by the way, is the opposite of what public health experts told me. There are at least 8 people directly connected to the event, but several more secondary cases seem to be popping up 3/x
Read 6 tweets
5 Oct
NEW: The CDC is acknowledging evidence that the virus can be "airborne" and travel further than 6 feet, especially when "the infected person was breathing heavily, for example while singing or exercising.” 1/x…
This is why the presidential debate could be risky to Joe Biden. Even 12 feet may not be enough when you have an infected person, possibly at the height of their infectiousness (jibes with timing), talking loudly and at length for 90 minutes. 2/x
The CDC's definition of close contact --- 6 feet for 15 minutes -- is a minimum that doesn't account for this sort of high-risk scenario. But every public health expert I talked to has said Mr. Biden may have very well have been exposed and should probably quarantine. 3/x
Read 6 tweets

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