COVID-19 Test Decision-tree “Lets contagious horses out of the barn” 

The flow chart is missing a most vital point.

Mark Langfan

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Mark Langfan

I’m not a medical expert. I just try to use common sense when I see a problem, and I love graphics.

At the Friday, March 13, 2020 COVID-19 National Emergency Rose Garden press conference, Dr. Deborah Birx showed a graphic of the Federal Government’s upcoming GOOGLE website’s COVID-19 decision-tree upon which the federal government is telling the public whether COVID-19 testing is indicated for an individual.

There seems to be a problem with this upcoming COVID-19 “test or no-test” decision tree. Dr. Birx’s proffered COVID-19 flow-chart decision-tree has an initial question: “Symptoms” or “no symptoms.”  So, if you have “symptoms,” you are “indicated” to be tested; and, if you “don’t have symptoms,” you are “not indicated” to be tested.

The problem with this initial “decision-tree” testing question is that based on all the news reports, COVID-19 is transmittable BEFORE one has any symptoms. Therefore, if you don’t test a person for COVID-19 when there are “no symptoms,” you are specifically missing contagious people who have no symptoms, but are still contagious, and actively propagating the COVID-19 virus to other uninfected people.

Dr. Birx’s COVID-19 testing decision-tree is letting the COVID-19 “contagious horses” out of the barn to be able to infect more uninfected people. 

One would think that the only logical way to stop the front-edge of an asymptomatic contagion to to comprehensively test asymptomatic people in the ambient population so as to quarantine the asymptomatic people before they can infect other people.  Therefore, a more useful “First question” in the decision-tree should be: “Has there been a news report of ‘Community Spread’ in your county?” That way the testing will create a larger net that can catch people who are asymptomatic, but in the possible contagion zone.

Why not start now?




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