Natalie E. Dean, PhD+ Your Authors @nataliexdean Assistant Professor of Biostatistics at @UF specializing in emerging infectious diseases and vaccine study design. @HarvardBiostats PhD. Tweets my own. Apr. 19, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

One of my preferred statistics to monitor is the percent of tests that are positive. There are only two ways to drive this number down: test broadly, and have low prevalence of infection. 1/4

Sharing an old thread I made on this topic. If testing criteria are too narrow (only testing people with severe illness), this statistic will be high. As testing capacity expands and we are able to test more mild or even asymptomatic individuals, this number will decrease. 2/4

The fact that this statistic has held steady over time is bewildering to some of us. My best guess is that expansion in testing is counterbalanced with an increase in rate of infection. But this is purely speculation. 3/4

Until this number goes down, though, it is clear that we are not achieving the testing coverage or low infection rates we will need to safely exit distancing policies. 4/4

Are infection rates going down, but doctors are doing a better job of picking which cases to test?

A smart observation from @cmyeaton. Plausible since background rates of other respiratory illnesses have dropped.

cc: @CT_Bergstrom @andreashandel

You can follow @nataliexdean.


Tip: mention @threader_app on a Twitter thread with the keyword “compile” to get a link to it.

Enjoy Threader? Sign up.

Since you’re here...

... we’re asking visitors like you to make a contribution to support this independent project. In these uncertain times, access to information is vital. Threader gets 1,000,000+ visits a month and our iOS Twitter client was featured as an App of the Day by Apple. Your financial support will help two developers to keep working on this app. Everyone’s contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support Threader by becoming premium or by donating on PayPal. Thank you.

Follow Threader