Kevin Bae

Non-Social in a Socially Networked World

PCR tests created past fake epidemics

The story linked here is from 2007. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center thought they had a Whooping Cough epidemic on their hands. What they actually had were PCR tests run amok.

With pertussis, she said, “there are probably 100 different P.C.R. protocols and methods being used throughout the country,” and it is unclear how often any of them are accurate. “We have had a number of outbreaks where we believe that despite the presence of P.C.R.-positive results, the disease was not pertussis,” Dr. Kretsinger added.

At Dartmouth, when the first suspect pertussis cases emerged and the P.C.R. test showed pertussis, doctors believed it. The results seem completely consistent with the patients’ symptoms.

“That’s how the whole thing got started,” Dr. Kirkland said. Then the doctors decided to test people who did not have severe coughing.

“That’s how we ended up with 134 suspect cases,” Dr. Kirkland said. And that, she added, was why 1,445 health care workers ended up taking antibiotics and 4,524 health care workers at the hospital, or 72 percent of all the health care workers there, were immunized against whooping cough in a matter of days.

New York Times

They thought they had an outbreak they needed to control and took reasonable steps to stop it. But what they were seeing with the PCR tests wasn’t what was actually happening.

The Dartmouth doctors sent samples from 27 patients they thought had pertussis to the state health departments and the Centers for Disease Control. There, scientists tried to grow the bacteria, a process that can take weeks. Finally, they had their answer: There was no pertussis in any of the samples.

New York Times

They were mislead by a test that wasn’t designed to work as they were using it.

“The big message is that every lab is vulnerable to having false positives,” Dr. Petti said. “No single test result is absolute and that is even more important with a test result based on P.C.R.”

New York Times

Could we be experiencing the same thing now with COVID-19? Are we witnessing a casedemic rather than a pandemic? The numbers coming out of the government don’t give the entire picture of what might be happening. Try to find definitive survival rates. Try to find the cycle threshold used on the PCR tests. It appears to me that we’re being fed the statistics we need to see in order to push us in the direction the government wants to go. The media doesn’t ask critical questions. All they do is repeat what they’re told.

We need answers on these PCR tests.

Image by Christian Dorn from Pixabay