FEB 21, 2021 10:18 PM PST

Math Model Detects False-Negative COVID19 Rates

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Millions of Americans are receiving their COVID19 vaccine everyday—however, officials say that it will take months before enough of the population is protected from the virus. Now, a team of researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) have developed a mathematical model that can assess a COVID19 tests' false-negative rate.

Learn more about the false-negative rate in COVID19 tests:

"For getting back to business as usual, we all agree we've got to massively ramp up testing to figure out who's negative and who's infectious -- but that's only going to work optimally if you can catch all the positive cases," said co-corresponding author James E. Kirby, MD, Director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratories at BIDMC. "We found that clinical sensitivities vary widely, which has clear implications for patient care, epidemiology and the social and economic management of the ongoing pandemic."

Findings were published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

"These results are especially important as we transition from testing mostly symptomatic individuals to more regular screening across the community," said co-corresponding author Ramy Arnaout, MD, DPhil, Associate Director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratories at BIDMC. "How many people will be missed -- the false negative rate -- depends on which test is used. With our model, we are better informed to ask how likely these people are to be infectious."

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
  • Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
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