Thursday , December 9 2021

Quick tests and the fear factor. How Madrid halved the incidence of the virus


Using rapid antigen analysis, replacement of conventional PCR (staining sampling) and population behavior are perhaps two factors that have halved the incidence rate of new coronaviruses in Madrid over the past month.

Although cautious in analyzing the data, the three experts listened Earth indicate these reasons as a possible cause of the fall recorded in the region. The cumulative incidence of the virus ranged from 735 cases (September 30) to 339 infections, data were recorded on Wednesday.

The Executive Board of Madrid, led by Isabel Díaz Ayuso, is focusing on the measures it has put in place to respond to the pandemic, which has often been in conflict with the central government. In his view, for example, the “surgical” closures and restrictions aimed at specific areas of health in the region have “worked”. But, according to experts, the data analysis should be more accurate and changes in the strategy to deal with the pandemic should be taken into account.

Presentation of quick examinations

These data need to be carefully analyzed, as several changes have been made that affect the way cases are counted: the type of diagnostic tests used, the environment used, and the criteria applied. “said Miguel Ángel Royo, a specialist in preventive medicine and public health and spokesman for the Spanish Epidemiology Association.

One of the changes to the pandemic strategy was the implementation of rapid antigen testing, “success and advancement in transmission control,” Royo points out. Cheaper and faster diagnostic tool that allows early isolation.

However, these tests are not comparable to PCR. “They do not have the same sensitivity or the same criteria for use,” he explains of this covid-19 diagnostic method, which refers to “people with symptoms and close relationships in the first five days of disease progression”.

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