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why the enormous focus on testing those without symptoms?

(16 Posts)
PineappleDanish Thu 30-Apr-20 13:08:18

I totally understand why anyone who is showing symptoms needs to be tested pronto, so they can isolate themselves and stop the spread. Yes those people should have access to testing swiftly, and results processed as quickly as possible.

But now they're talking about testing people who aren't symptomatic, in care homes, hospitals, other vulnerable groups.

But if I take a test today and it's negative, that doesn't mean that tomorrow, or in three days, or in a week, that it will still be negative. Surely if you're going to start people in vulnerable groups purely because the're in vulnerable groups and not because they've been in contact, you'd have to repeat that testing weekly (or more), for the foreseeable future?

Or am I missing a fundamental point here?

OP’s posts: |
dollface19 Thu 30-Apr-20 13:11:45

Because if you have Zero symptoms and it comes back positive then you are a super spreader and you have to quarantine 14 days. They track n trace every person and place you have been to prevent more spread.we can all pick it up again but isolating people with no symptoms are positive decreases spread. For now until we get immunity test or vaccine.
Everyone will have the test eventually, symptoms or no symptoms. It really is that simple.

DaisylovesDonald Thu 30-Apr-20 13:13:30

Also, the more people out there who actually have it then the lower the death rate is - if there are lots of people out there with no or extremely mild symptoms that is a good thing in many ways!

Lindy2 Thu 30-Apr-20 13:17:33

It looks quite likely that a fairly high proportion of people have it with no or hardly any symptoms. These people will spread the illness a lot more than people who have symptoms and isolate.

I'm also assuming some wide spread testing of people without symptoms will help give a bit clearer idea as to how many people may actually currently have it but simply don't know. The % positive and asymptomatic now might also give some indication about how many people may already have unknowingly had it without knowing.

PineappleDanish Thu 30-Apr-20 13:19:17

Because if you have Zero symptoms and it comes back positive then you are a super spreader and you have to quarantine 14 days.

But in order to catch all those people you'd have to test EVERYONE, every week or fortnight. That's impossible.

OP’s posts: |
sleepyhead Thu 30-Apr-20 13:22:13

The most "successful viruses are those that have an asymptomatic infectious period.

The infected don't know they're sick and we can't avoid contact with them (without avoiding contact with everyone).

The more you test, the more you can identify the asymptomatic infected and isolate them, the lower the spread.

sleepyhead Thu 30-Apr-20 13:24:14

No, you can't catch ALL of them, but the more you do catch, the lower the spread.

Not perfect is still something.

FlowersAreBeautiful Thu 30-Apr-20 13:26:03

The government have set a target of 100k tests a day as one of the 5 criteria to meet before lifting lockdown and they're still nowhere near so it's possible they're trying to get as many tested as possible regardless of need for box ticking

PineappleDanish Thu 30-Apr-20 13:26:42

No I understand that there's an asymptomatic period and that you can spread before you're aware you've got it.

But you can't test everyone. I know they're gearing up for a trace and test service and of course if I get a text recommending a test because I've been in contact with someone who has it I'll take a test.

There is no way though that the NHS can test everyone, weekly, to identify everyone who potentially has symptoms and doesn't know about it.

OP’s posts: |
pocketem Thu 30-Apr-20 13:30:24

The current push for testing is to use tidy the point prevalance of the infection

pocketem Thu 30-Apr-20 13:30:43

"to identify" not "to use tidy"

Alone07 Thu 30-Apr-20 13:32:15

I can understand people that are going into a care home, as if you have no symptoms but have the virus it would be horrendous if they were to take it in and expose a lot of vulnerable people.
And they do need to take a sample of people to see who is positive without any symptoms to see how much of the population can have no symptoms.
It would then help with how the virus is spreading undetected.

jasjas1973 Thu 30-Apr-20 13:39:18

Germany has done 2.5m tests, the UK 760k, who has the lower death rate and now, slowly, coming out of lockdown?

The UK and Germany had the same plan in february, we changed ours.

frogsareflyinginfromthewest Thu 30-Apr-20 13:40:11

As previous posters have said, you can have no symptoms at all while carrying it, not just an asymptomatic phase, but absolutely no idea ever if you have had it.

These people are super spreaders, and would self isolate for 14 days, thereby curtailing the spread.

Layladylay234 Thu 30-Apr-20 14:04:55

I'm also confused about this as the gov.uk website says the test is most effective within the first 3 days of symptoms. So if you're symptomless,the test will still be accurate?

The8eves Thu 30-Apr-20 14:48:57

I know what you mean OP. It seems a good idea for the reasons pps have mentioned, but in reality, the vast majority of people tested (who have symptoms) don't even have it. To think you'd start randomly testing healthy people and locate many cases does seem unrealistic.

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