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Publications

Masks, false safety and real dangers, Part 2: Microbial challenges from masks – ResearchGate

Masks have been shown consistently over time and throughout the world to have no significant preventative impact against any known pathogenic microbes. Specifically, regarding COVID-19, we have shown in this paper that mask use is not correlated with lower death rates nor with lower positive PCR tests.

Masks have also been demonstrated historically to contribute to increased infections within the respiratory tract. We have examined the common occurrence of oral and nasal pathogens accessing deeper tissues and blood, and potential consequences of such events. We have demonstrated from the clinical and historical data cited herein, we conclude the use of face masks will contribute to far more morbidity and mortality than has occurred due to COVID-19.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344661022_Masks_false_safety_and_real_dangers_Part_2_Microbial_challenges_from_masks

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Opinion

Is Moonshot testing a waste of money? – UnHerd

Recently, the Government agreed a £161 million deal with a British company called DnaNudge to provide 5.8 million Covid tests, as part of its “Moonshot” programme for mass testing of the population at the point of care. The CovidNudge test is “a rapid, accurate, portable and lab-free RT-PCR test that delivers results at the point of need and in just over an hour”, according to DnaNudge’s own promotional material. DnaNudge is a spinoff company of Imperial College London.

https://unherd.com/2020/10/is-moonshot-testing-a-waste-of-money/

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Opinion

Lies, Damned Lies and Health Statistics – the Deadly Danger of False Positives – Dr. Mike Yeadon

I believe I have identified a serious, really a fatal flaw in the PCR test used in what is called by the UK Government the Pillar 2 screening – that is, testing many people out in their communities. I’m going to go through this with care and in detail because I’m a scientist and dislike where this investigation takes me. 

…In the last 40 years alone the UK has had seven official epidemics/pandemics; AIDS, Swine flu, CJD, SARS, MERS, Bird flu as well as annual, seasonal flu. All were very worrying but schools remained open and the NHS treated everybody and most of the population were unaffected. The country would rarely have been open if it had been shut down every time.

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News

Up to 90 per cent of people diagnosed with coronavirus may not be carrying enough of it to infect anyone else, study finds as experts say tests are too sensitive – Daily Mail

Up to 90 percent of people tested for COVID-19 in Massachusetts, New York and Nevada in July carried barely any traces of the virus, a new report says

Experts say it could be because today’s tests are ‘too sensitive’ 

In the US PCR testing is the most widely used diagnostic test for COVID-19 

PCR tests analyze genetic matter from the virus in cycles and today’s tests typically take 37 or 40 cycles

Experts say this is too high because it deems a patient positive even if they have small traces of the virus that are old and no longer contagious

They suggest lowering the number of cycles, which would hone in on people with a higher viral load and who are more contagious 

Today there are 5.9million cases of COVID-19 in the US and there have been more than 182,000 deaths

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8679307/Experts-say-USs-coronavirus-positivity-rate-high-tests-sensitive.html

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Publications

Diagnosing COVID-19 infection: the danger of over-reliance on positive test results – medRxiv

Unlike previous epidemics, in addressing COVID-19 nearly all international health organizations and national health ministries have treated a single positive result from a PCR-based test as confirmation of infection, even in asymptomatic persons without any history of exposure. This is based on a widespread belief that positive results in these tests are highly reliable. However, data on PCR-based tests for similar viruses show that PCR-based testing produces enough false positive results to make positive results highly unreliable over a broad range of real-world scenarios. This has clinical and case management implications, and affects an array of epidemiological statistics, including the asymptomatic ratio, prevalence, and hospitalization and death rates. Steps should be taken to raise awareness of false positives, reduce their frequency, and mitigate their effects. In the interim, positive results in asymptomatic individuals that haven’t been confirmed by a second test should be considered suspect.

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.26.20080911v3

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Opinion

Coronavirus: Why everyone was wrong – Dr. Beda Stadler

Professor Dr. Beda M Stadler is the former director of the Institute for Immunology at the University of Bern, a biologist and professor emeritus.

Novelty:

Sars-Cov-2 isn’t all that new, but merely a seasonal cold virus that mutated and disappears in summer, as all cold viri do — which is what we’re observing globally right now. Flu viri mutate significantly more, by the way, and nobody would ever claim that a new flu virus strain was completely novel.

Immunity:

In mid-April work was published by the group of Andreas Thiel at the Charité Berlin. A paper with 30 authors, amongst them the virologist Christian Drosten. It showed that in 34 % of people in Berlin who had never been in contact with the Sars-CoV-2 virus showed nonetheless T-cell immunity against it (T-cell immunity is a different kind of immune reaction, see below). This means that our T-cells, i.e. white blood cells, detect common structures appearing on Sars-CoV-2 and regular cold viri and therefore combat both of them.

…almost no children under ten years old got sick, everyone should have made the argument that children clearly have to be immune. For every other disease that doesn’t afflict a certain group of people, we would come to the conclusion that that group is immune. When people are sadly dying in a retirement home, but in the same place other pensioners with the same risk factors are left entirely unharmed, we should also conclude that they were presumably immune.

Modelling:

Epidemiologist also fell for the myth that there was no immunity in the population. They also didn’t want to believe that coronaviri were seasonal cold viri that would disappear in summer. Otherwise their curve models would have looked differently. When the initial worst case scenarios didn’t come true anywhere, some now still cling to models predicting a second wave.

Asymptomatic transmission:

The term “silent carriers” was conjured out of a hat and it was claimed that one could be sick without having symptoms.

The next joke that some virologists shared was the claim that those who were sick without symptoms could still spread the virus to other people…But for doctors and virologists to twist this into a story of “healthy” sick people, which stokes panic and was often given as a reason for stricter lockdown measures, just shows how bad the joke really is. At least the WHO didn’t accept the claim of asymptomatic infections and even challenges this claim on its website.

Testing:

So if we do a PCR corona test on an immune person, it is not a virus that is detected, but a small shattered part of the viral genome. The test comes back positive for as long as there are tiny shattered parts of the virus left. Correct: Even if the infectious viri are long dead, a corona test can come back positive, because the PCR method multiplies even a tiny fraction of the viral genetic material enough [to be detected]…The crux was that the virus debris registered with the overly sensitive test and therefore came back as “positive”. It is likely that a large number of the daily reported infection numbers are purely due to viral debris.

Kawasaki Syndrome:

If an infected person does not have enough antibodies, i.e. a weak immune response, the virus slowly spreads out across the entire body. Now that there are not enough antibodies, there is only the second, supporting leg of our immune response left: The T-cells beginn to attack the virus-infested cells all over the body. This can lead to an exaggerated immune response, basically to a massive slaughter; this is called a Cytokine Storm. Very rarely this can also happen in small children, in that case called Kawasaki Syndrome. This very rare occurrence in children was also used in our country to stoke panic. It’s interesting, however, that this syndrome is very easily cured. The [affected] children get antibodies from healthy blood donors, i.e. people who went through coronavirus colds.

Second Wave:

The virus is gone for now. It will probably come back in winter, but it won’t be a second wave, but just a cold.

Face masks:

Those young and healthy people who currently walk around with a mask on their faces would be better off wearing a helmet instead, because the risk of something falling on their head is greater than that of getting a serious case of Covid-19.

Lethality:

People below 65 years old make up only 0.6 to 2.6 % of all fatal Covid cases. To get on top of the pandemic, we need a strategy merely concentrating on the protection of at-risk people over 65.

https://medium.com/@vernunftundrichtigkeit/coronavirus-why-everyone-was-wrong-fce6db5ba809

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Publications

Interpreting a covid-19 test result – BMJ

No test gives a 100% accurate result; tests need to be evaluated to determine their sensitivity and specificity, ideally by comparison with a “gold standard.” The lack of such a clear-cut “gold-standard” for covid-19 testing makes evaluation of test accuracy challenging.

A systematic review of the accuracy of covid-19 tests reported false negative rates of between 2% and 29% (equating to sensitivity of 71-98%), based on negative RT-PCR tests which were positive on repeat testing. The use of repeat RT-PCR testing as gold standard is likely to underestimate the true rate of false negatives, as not all patients in the included studies received repeat testing and those with clinically diagnosed covid-19 were not considered as actually having covid-19.

Further evidence and independent validation of covid-19 tests are needed. As current studies show marked variation and are likely to overestimate sensitivity, we will use the lower end of current estimates from systematic reviews, with the approximate numbers of 70% for sensitivity and 95% for specificity for illustrative purposes.

https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1808

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Publications

Variation in False-Negative Rate of Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction–Based SARS-CoV-2 Tests by Time Since Exposure – Annals of Internal Medicine

However, new research from Johns Hopkins University (MD, USA) has found that the chance of these tests giving a false negative – stating no infection when the individual actually is infected – is greater than 1 in 5, at times being far higher. The study, which analyzed seven previously published studies that evaluated RT-PCR performance, calls into question the accuracy of the predictive value of such tests.

Biotechniques, 29 May 2020

https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-1495

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News

Different paths to the same destination: screening for Covid-19

At present, polymerise chain reaction (PCR) and antibody testing are the dominant ways that global healthcare systems are testing citizens for Covid-19. Both techniques have their caveats, and as the crisis unfolds researchers are looking into alternative ways to screen for the deadly disease. Chloe Kent looks into the science behind PCR and serology, and what alternatives are starting to present themselves.

Different paths to the same destination: screening for Covid-19

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News Opinion

The Corona Simulation Machine: Why the Inventor of The “Corona Test” Would Have Warned Us Not To Use It To Detect A Virus

We’ve been hijacked by our technologies, but left illiterate about what they actually mean. In this case, I am in the rare position of having known, spent time with, and interviewed the inventor of the method used in the presently available Covid-19 tests, which is called PCR, (Polymerase Chain Reaction.)

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Publications

Discrepancies between Antigen and Polymerase Chain Reaction Tests for the Detection of Rotavirus and Norovirus – PubMed (2016)

We compared the results of an antigen test (ELISA) with those of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection of rotavirus and norovirus in stool specimens. Rotavirus and norovirus antigen-positive stool specimens were collected, and rotavirus and norovirus PCRs were performed on these specimens. Of the 325 rotavirus antigen-positive specimens, 200 were positive for both assays and 125 were PCR negative. Of 286 norovirus antigen-positive specimens, 51 were PCR negative. Comparison of the lower limit of detection showed that rotavirus PCR was 16 times more sensitive and norovirus PCR was over 4,000 times more sensitive than the ELISA. Discrepant results between ELISA and PCR were common, and the possibility of false-positive and false-negative results should be considered with rotavirus and norovirus assays.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27312553

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Publications

How is the COVID-19 Virus Detected using Real Time RT-PCR? – IAEA

Real time RT-PCR is a nuclear-derived method for detecting the presence of specific genetic material from any pathogen, including a virus. Originally, the method used radioactive isotope markers to detect targeted genetic materials, but subsequent refining has led to the replacement of the isotopic labelling with special markers, most frequently fluorescent dyes. With this technique, scientists can see the results almost immediately while the process is still ongoing; conventional RT-PCR only provides results at the end.

While real time RT-PCR is now the most widely used method for detecting coronaviruses, many countries still need support in setting up and using the technique.

https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/how-is-the-covid-19-virus-detected-using-real-time-rt-pcr