Published: 05/28/2020 13:24
“Communicating the positivity of a swab referring to the date on which the report is issued is a great epidemiological nonsense“, something that translates into daily bulletins that do not reflect the real trend of new coronavirus infections in Italy. He explains this to Adnkronos Salute Maria Rita Gismondo, director of clinical microbiology, virology and diagnostics of bio-emergenciesSacco hospital in Milan. “The date on which a person is positive or negative at Sars-CoV-2 – the expert specifies – is that of the collection” of the sample to be analyzed, “not that on which the report is issued”. In other words, reporting the numbers of Covid-positive patients as it is done is like showing Italians a picture of the epidemic that has now passed. An old photo.
“I’ve been saying it for days, maybe even months,” says the microbiologist, hoping that sooner or later “we will understand what I try to make people understand. The swabs – says Gismondo – should be aggregated on the basis of the withdrawal date and not the report one. It is nothing difficult, “he assures, because” when a swab arrives in the laboratory, it says above the date of collection: is that is the real moment when a positive or a negative has been detected“.
An example to better clarify: “If I receive 100 swabs in the laboratory, but I miss the reagents and I process them in a week, after a week I will say that all people are positive. It is not true, they are not positive that day, they were positive or negative the week before. Positivity or negativity is that of the sampling day, “insists the expert. Understanding it, and acting accordingly, “would be an extremely important thing”.
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