Information for navigating COVID-19 with testing.
Given the unparalleled threats and uncertainty brought on by COVID-19, sharing information is more important than ever. Here you’ll gain insights, knowledge and strategies to help you navigate the challenges, improve decision-making and take control of your workplace and your life.
Which COVID-19 strains are most worrisome? Can they re-infect people who’ve already recovered from one bout of the virus? Do mutations threaten to derail our testing strategies, treatment protocols and vaccine effectiveness?
Will our efforts to gain COVID-19 herd immunity crack under the new virus strains? Here is a look at the most threatening strains that have developed so far and answers to your questions on how they’ll impact testing accuracy, mortality rates, vaccine effectiveness and more.
Superspreaders: They’re nothing to sneeze at. Some people are simply more infectious than others who have the same disease. What’s more, these folks are likely responsible for the majority of COVID-19 cases. Learn what we know about superspreaders, what we don’t know and how to lower your risk of catching the virus.
Pooled testing combines samples from several people into one test for infectious disease. It helps public health officials test more people in less time and with lower costs. Here’s how it works and when to use it.
COVID-19 primarily infects its victims via expired breath – so why are we not using breath to detect it?
Breath tests are sophisticated enough today to detect more than 900 compounds present in 60 diseases, but none that are caused by viruses. Yet dogs appear to be able to sniff out the presence of COVID-19 particles in expired air, so a simple, inexpensive COVID-19 breathalyzer can’t be far behind right? Don’t hold your breath.
Inexpensive, while-you-wait tests administered often may be the key to controlling the COVID-19 epidemic, even if those tests are less accurate. Here’s why high-accuracy COVID-19 tests don’t help prevent disease spread as well as less sensitive ones.
Early in the pandemic, information indicated that the virus was spread primarily by touching contaminated surfaces. More recent evidence shows that the primary and most dangerous form of transmission occurs by inhaling invisible airborne virus particles. A group of bus travellers in China taught us a great deal about these invisible ghosts in the air.
Analyzing wastewater samples to detect the presence of chemicals isn’t new. Health officials have long used it to ascertain the pervasiveness of opioids in communities. Using fecal samples to diagnose medical conditions isn’t new either, but researchers have begun analyzing wastewater with fecal testing tools and are finding it effective for community surveillance on the prevalence and severity of COVID-19.