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Covid II: Medical Info and Implications


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30 minutes ago, Harry T. Clark said:

This is what the CDC says about the flu - lower than usual.

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm

They say flu like illness is "probably" related to covid-19 here:  https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/index.html

Is it possible that the CDC is conflating the two?

Flu cases are lower than normal this year "despite a higher than normal number of tests performed". 

These numbers are based on actual flu test results (which is separate from "flu like illness" tracking), why would they be conflated?  No one is taking a positive flu test and saying it is Covid!

We seem to be diverging from talking about misattributing flu deaths with Covid deaths to suspicion of conflating flu test results with Covid test results - which is completely unreasonable.  I don't understand the seemingly desperate attempts to chip away at confidence in public health and deflate the numbers.  Actually, I think I do understand it in part, but we won't go there. 

More flu tests and lower flu numbers - you can't blame that on conflating tests.  

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1 hour ago, Harry T. Clark said:

They say flu like illness is "probably" related to covid-19 here:  https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/index.html

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    Elevated influenza-like-illness is likely related to COVID-19.

    "Elevated influenza-like-illness" and "lower than usual" flu "despite higher than normal flu tests performed".

Hmmmm... what should I make of this?

Option 1)   Higher than normal flu like illness and lower than normal flu?  It must be that they are conflating flu with Covid!!! 

Or..

Option 2) Ummmm, yes,...doesn't it seem reasonable to suspect that Covid (which is classified as a flu-like illness) is the reason for elevated "flu-like illness" this year, especially given the lower number of  positive flu cases?  Seems like a "duh!" conclusion to me!  They are just stating the obvious.   

Sorry for being so snarky, but I am just trying to make it abundantly clear that there is absolutely no reason to place doubt in the CDC on this issue.  

Edited by pogi
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4 hours ago, Calm said:

What do you think of masks and social distancing?

While overdoses are dramatically higher this year than the previous two, 2017-18 was at a low point and there was an increase of almost 20% in 2018-19 and 2019-2029 was already higher before Covid hit. So it might be better to take a longer view when comparing. 

https://www.tfah.org/article/drug-death-rates-continue-rise-during-pandemic/

Undoubtedly overdoses have increased due to the pandemic for a variety of reasons. I have seen some claims that there were more deaths due to increase suicides than Covid, but the data doesn’t seem to agree from what I have seen at least nationwide. Increased overdose deaths were approximately 13,000 up till May 2020 for the past year.

In April Covid related deaths more or less matched that each week. 
 

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/COVID19/index.htm

While lockdowns may not be the best solution, without significant compliance to masks and social distancing, it appears likely that Covid would have continued to outpace overdose deaths as it did in April. 

Would any of it have to do with new laws?

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1 hour ago, pogi said:

This is a diversion from my question.  What is the source for the CDC not tracking the flu?  
 

Flu like illness is a separate  indicator from positive flu or Covid, etc.  most diseases are a “flu like illness”,  that is what they call it when someone shows up with flu like (which are also Covid like) symptoms but they don’t have a diagnosis yet.  Flu like illness numbers will always be higher than actual flu cases for that reason.

Valley Fever is fungus, but has similar symptoms.  Would it be a flu like illness?

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7 minutes ago, Rain said:

Would any of it have to do with new laws?

The increase over the past 20 years?  Or something else?

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48 minutes ago, Rain said:

Valley Fever is fungus, but has similar symptoms.  Would it be a flu like illness?

Absolutely, it could be.

Basically, ILI (influenza-like illness) is anything that causes fever and a cough or sore throat, but with an unknown etiology.  That basically covers the gamut of infectious disease before diagnosis can be confirmed. 

For example, in early April I had typical covid symptoms but no one would test me back then because I hadn't traveled out of the US or had contact with a known Covid case.  They did test me for flu and strep - negative with both.  The ICD code the doctor would have used is for ILI.  This would have inflated ILI numbers early in the pandemic before testing for Covid was easy to receive. 

If someone went to their PCP with these symptoms and they referred them to go get tested for Covid, the PCP will code this as an ILI.  Or if the doctor is not using a rapid test, they could code the visit as an ILI becaue they won't have results back for a few days.   Or, if everyone in a patients family has Covid and the patient has the same symptoms as everyone else but receive a negative Covid test, this will be coded as an ILI even though it is a probable Covid case with a false negative result.  This is why a Covid pandemic will inflate ILI cases even if actual flu cases are low. 

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1 hour ago, pogi said:
  • "Elevated influenza-like-illness" and "lower than usual" flu "despite higher than normal flu tests performed".

Hmmmm... what should I make of this?

Option 1)   Higher than normal flu like illness and lower than normal flu?  It must be that they are conflating flu with Covid!!! 

Or..

Option 2) Ummmm, yes,...doesn't it seem reasonable to suspect that Covid (which is classified as a flu-like illness) is the reason for elevated "flu-like illness" this year, especially given the lower number of  positive flu cases?  Seems like a "duh!" conclusion to me!  They are just stating the obvious.   

Sorry for being so snarky, but I am just trying to make it abundantly clear that there is absolutely no reason to place doubt in the CDC on this issue.  

So, I'll walk you through where I see where there could be confusion with Flu and Covid-19.  I just want to know what's going on and you have experience.  Feel free to be snarky if you like.

The following is from the CDC regarding how a case is defined:

https://wwwn.cdc.gov/nndss/conditions/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/case-definition/2020/

Here is how the CDC defines flu:

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/index.html

In the coronavirus article, a case becomes a case if certain criteria are met from clinical and epidemiological evidence and a positive test.

Fever plus cough is common to both flu and covid-19.  Epidemiological evidence is satisfied if someone was in close contact with another that had a probable case of covid-19 in the last 14 days.  A probable case could be someone exhibiting fever plus cough and that could be just the flu as defined.  Then, there is a high false positive rate from the rna amplification test.

Combining all of the above, it is highly possible that there is confusion between flu and covid-19 from the above criteria.  One could present with the flu (fever and cough).  Further, one could have  been exposed to someone with the same flu (fever and cough) in the last 14 days.  Then, that same person could be a false positive under the pcr test.  https://medical.mit.edu/covid-19-updates/2020/11/pcr-test-result

This is how flu could be confused with covid-19.

 

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6 hours ago, pogi said:

That's why I commented about there being no "definition of what it means to die" from any disease.  Your comment made it sound like Covid cases are much more difficult to classify because there is no definition for Covid deaths, so the ambiguous nature of it may cause doctors and examiners to falsely attribute other deaths to Covid.  I was just clarifying that it is just as straightforward as classifying death for any other disease. 

I am not accusing anyone of falsely attributing deaths to Covid.  What I have learned is that the numbers reported as COVID death aren't Death from COVID Necessarily but death with COVID.   I just noticed that our local paper just started changing the title of their headlines to reflect this.  Of the deaths with COIVID, according to my doctor friend, the connection of the death with covid can be strong (death from respiratory failure, from pneamonia caused by an ongoing COVID Infection), Not as strong (Cardiac arest while having an active COVID infection of someone who already had congestave heart failure),  Weaker still (Had covid several months ago, recovered, tested negative, then had a stroke), and really weak (fell off a ladder and broke neck, then tested positive).  He said there was one case that was contriversial in his area where the patient tested negative for COVID and still got classified as a COVID death.

He said the first two examples he would classify as a COVID deaths, the third and fourth examples he wouldn't but he has seen others put them down as covid deaths.

What I would like to something like a liert scale for the deaths with COVID to give more information on exactly how dangerous this virus is. 

I don't think the current reporting gives enough information.  

I am not trying doubt but to learn.   

6 hours ago, pogi said:

This is true, it is much more difficult for coroners and medical examiners, which makes them so much better at what they do than doctors.  They do a thorough investigation into the medical records of the person and interview family members/friends as to the condition around time of death.  Sometimes they will do an autopsy or take other tests.  I have no doubt that there may be some lazy (this is true in any profession) coroners who don't do a thorough investigation and misattribute deaths to Covid out there.  But I don't think it is right to suggest that the entire profession is corrupt or lazy, or not properly doing their jobs (which you weren't necessarily doing, but it may lead some to assume as much) because of your doctors friend's experience. 

I don't want to suggest that the medical examiners are lazy in any way.  My doctor friend didn't imply it.  They are, however required to make their reports on COVID deaths rather quickly, perhaps before they can complete their investigations.  I think that is why he thinks that the medical examiners are more liberal with the covid number than the doctors. The need to report quickly combined with less information.

Hopelfully after all of this is over we can get mored detailed information.  By that time, I fear only the academics amoung us will have access to the information. 

Edited by Danzo
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1 hour ago, Harry T. Clark said:

So, I'll walk you through where I see where there could be confusion with Flu and Covid-19.  I just want to know what's going on and you have experience.  Feel free to be snarky if you like.

The following is from the CDC regarding how a case is defined:

https://wwwn.cdc.gov/nndss/conditions/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/case-definition/2020/

Here is how the CDC defines flu:

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/index.html

In the coronavirus article, a case becomes a case if certain criteria are met from clinical and epidemiological evidence and a positive test.

Fever plus cough is common to both flu and covid-19.  Epidemiological evidence is satisfied if someone was in close contact with another that had a probable case of covid-19 in the last 14 days.  A probable case could be someone exhibiting fever plus cough and that could be just the flu as defined.  Then, there is a high false positive rate from the rna amplification test.

Combining all of the above, it is highly possible that there is confusion between flu and covid-19 from the above criteria.  One could present with the flu (fever and cough).  Further, one could have  been exposed to someone with the same flu (fever and cough) in the last 14 days.  Then, that same person could be a false positive under the pcr test.  https://medical.mit.edu/covid-19-updates/2020/11/pcr-test-result

This is how flu could be confused with covid-19.

 

I'm sorry, I am not really following.  How a person "presents" is besides the point.  

A case is ONLY a Covid case if they test positive for Covid, and person is only a flu case if they test positive for flu, regardless of how they present, or their history.    Epidemiological evidence is only used to determine if a person should even be tested in the first place.  Requiring that a person be symptomatic or have a known contact with a positive case reduces likelihood of a false positive. That is the primary reason for epidemiological evidence - to reduce false positives.   Typically, if someone presents with flu and cough during this flu season, any good doctor would recommend both a Covid test and flu test - which is why flu testing is at a historic high this year. 

The only way that the flu could be conflated with Covid is if the person received a false positive Covid test and never received a flu test as they should have.  Surely, this happens on occasion.  What makes it highly improbable that this is significantly slanting the data to inflate Covid is that 1) False negative Covid tests are much more likely and common than false positives:

Quote

 

False negative tests provide false reassurance, and could lead to delayed treatment and relaxed restrictions despite being contagious. False positives, which are much less likely, can cause unwarranted anxiety and require people to quarantine unnecessarily.

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/which-test-is-best-for-covid-19-2020081020734

 

 

This will slant that data to inflate ILI vs. Covid even given the occasional and unlikely false positive case that was actually a flu, and the person didn't test for flu. 

2) When you take into consideration all the reasons why Covid would be coded as an ILI that I mentioned above, this will also significantly slant the data towards ILI.

3) You also have to consider that no test is perfect.  The flu test can also give false positive and false negatives.  We are testing for flu this year more than ever before, because people are being recommended they receive both tests.   Everyone loves to point out the imperfect Covid test to place doubt on numbers, but for some reason they don't question flu numbers or other infectious disease numbers which rely on similarly imperfect tests that can give false positives and false negatives too.  They can only believe that Covid is being overcounted.   

4) the data just doesn't bare it out.  We are seeing an increase in ILI cases this year despite an increase of flu testing and decrease in flu numbers.  We wouldn't expect a decrease in flu cases with an increase of flu testing unless the flu cases truly are lower this year.  Also, we would not expect to see an increase in ILI with an increase of flu testing and a decrease of flu cases unless the ILI cases could be attributed to something other than the flu.   We are in the middle of a pandemic with an illness that causes "flu like symptoms", which makes it almost predictable that ILI codes will be used much more this year than previous years. 

 

 

Edited by pogi
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1 hour ago, Harry T. Clark said:

This is how flu could be confused with covid-19.

So when there are few cases of Covid, what is causing the lower flu cases?

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41 minutes ago, Danzo said:

I am not accusing anyone of falsely attributing deaths to Covid.  What I have learned is that the numbers reported as COVID death aren't Death from COVID Necessarily but death with COVID.   I just noticed that our local paper just started changing the title of their headlines to reflect this.  Of the deaths with COIVID, according to my doctor friend, the connection of the death with covid can be strong (death from respiratory failure, from pneamonia caused by an ongoing COVID Infection), Not as strong (Cardiac arest while having an active COVID infection of someone who already had congestave heart failure),  Weaker still (Had covid several months ago, recovered, tested negative, then had a stroke), and really weak (fell off a ladder and broke neck, then tested positive).  He said there was one case that was contriversial in his area where the patient tested negative for COVID and still got classified as a COVID death.

He said the first two examples he would classify as a COVID deaths, the third and fourth examples he wouldn't but he has seen others put them down as covid deaths.

I agree with your doctor friends judgment on Covid deaths.  There absolutely are gray areas sometimes and it can be difficult to determine "cause" of death.  Ultimately, it is a judgment call.  What I am trying to point out that this is true with just about anything.  There are always gray areas.  I don't want people to think that this is unique to Covid.  What bothers me is that many (not including you) trust doctors and coroners judgment in determining cause of death with just about everything...except Covid.  They learn something about the process and think it is unique to Covid, when in reality this is how it is done with everything.  There are not definitions, etc. 

I am also trying to point out that many of these cases of death with Covid (falling of a ladder) which are obviously not covid related will work themselves out.  As I pointed out, many jurisdictions are required to report ALL causes of death "with" covid as a covid death initially.  This is to get quick data to the decision makers as death certificates can take many months to process, which would critically slow down the data and response.  Once these death certificates are finalized and processed, the numbers will be corrected in time.   Someone who died from trauma from a ladder fall will not ultimately be classified as a Covid death in the end. As I said, the numbers will work themselves out in time as death certificates are processed.  This is really no different than we see with the flu every year, which is why numbers are fluctuating for up to a year after the flu season has ended.  

  

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

So when there are few cases of Covid, what is causing the lower flu cases?

My point, as you know, is that there might be some confusion between the two based on the fact that flu and covid-19 share a lot of the same symptoms and the fact that at 40 cycles, the pcr test generates a lot of false positives.

However, if there is a situation in the future where there are few covid cases and the flu is still low as it is today apparently, I will be happy like most will be.

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3 hours ago, pogi said:

I'm sorry, I am not really following.  How a person "presents" is besides the point.  

A case is ONLY a Covid case if they test positive for Covid, and person is only a flu case if they test positive for flu, regardless of how they present, or their history.    Epidemiological evidence is only used to determine if a person should even be tested in the first place.  Requiring that a person be symptomatic or have a known contact with a positive case reduces likelihood of a false positive. That is the primary reason for epidemiological evidence - to reduce false positives.   Typically, if someone presents with flu and cough during this flu season, any good doctor would recommend both a Covid test and flu test - which is why flu testing is at a historic high this year. 

The only way that the flu could be conflated with Covid is if the person received a false positive Covid test and never received a flu test as they should have.  Surely, this happens on occasion.  What makes it highly improbable that this is significantly slanting the data to inflate Covid is that 1) False negative Covid tests are much more likely and common than false positives:

 

This will slant that data to inflate ILI vs. Covid even given the occasional and unlikely false positive case that was actually a flu, and the person didn't test for flu. 

2) When you take into consideration all the reasons why Covid would be coded as an ILI that I mentioned above, this will also significantly slant the data towards ILI.

3) You also have to consider that no test is perfect.  The flu test can also give false positive and false negatives.  We are testing for flu this year more than ever before, because people are being recommended they receive both tests.   Everyone loves to point out the imperfect Covid test to place doubt on numbers, but for some reason they don't question flu numbers or other infectious disease numbers which rely on similarly imperfect tests that can give false positives and false negatives too.  They can only believe that Covid is being overcounted.   

4) the data just doesn't bare it out.  We are seeing an increase in ILI cases this year despite an increase of flu testing and decrease in flu numbers.  We wouldn't expect a decrease in flu cases with an increase of flu testing unless the flu cases truly are lower this year.  Also, we would not expect to see an increase in ILI with an increase of flu testing and a decrease of flu cases unless the ILI cases could be attributed to something other than the flu.   We are in the middle of a pandemic with an illness that causes "flu like symptoms", which makes it almost predictable that ILI codes will be used much more this year than previous years. 

 

 

We don't live in a perfect world and medical professionals make mistakes like everyone else does. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29763131/

Do you know if someone is always tested for flu if they already have a positive covid-19 test?  It seems to me that in practice the flu test wouldn't be administered if there is a positive covid-19 test already.

Also, has there ever been a year when the flu is so low?  If so, when?

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1 hour ago, Harry T. Clark said:

My point, as you know, is that there might be some confusion between the two based on the fact that flu and covid-19 share a lot of the same symptoms and the fact that at 40 cycles, the pcr test generates a lot of false positives.

However, if there is a situation in the future where there are few covid cases and the flu is still low as it is today apparently, I will be happy like most will be.

There are situations around the world right now...for months actually...where there is both low flu and low Covid demonstrating that the procedures used to limit Covid do a great job on limiting the flu and other contagious diseases like measles, chicken pox...which is like a no brainer.

The US does not, even if some people act like it, exist on another planet with different rules than the rest of the world. Lower flu rates are occurring where social distancing, etc is taking place without any corresponding rise in Covid counts in many countries. I gave 3 examples already. Why assume it is different in the US and lower flu rates are somehow more likely caused by human error or fraud in conflating the two?

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11 hours ago, Harry T. Clark said:

Also, has there ever been a year when the flu is so low?  If so, when?

In the last decade the highest estimated flu deaths for a season was 61,000 deaths and the lowest (2011-2012) had an estimated 12,000 deaths which will probably be lower than the 2020-2021 numbers.

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14 hours ago, Harry T. Clark said:

We don't live in a perfect world and medical professionals make mistakes like everyone else does. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29763131/

I don't understand your point.  Medical professionals make mistakes just like everyone else, therefore we have good reason to assume that Covid numbers are being inflated at a statistically significant level?  If your only point is that medical professionals make mistakes, why do you assume that those mistakes are only happening in one direction to inflate Covid numbers?   Should I also assume then that flu numbers are inflated every year, heart disease, stroke, diabetes., etc?  Why do you single out Covid and assume that we just can't trust this one because medical professionals make mistakes in general?  What is your reasoning?   By the way, the link you posted is in reference to "medical errors" which isn't really what we are talking about.  If your only point is that they can make mistakes, I don't really need a link.   I know from experience that we make mistakes. We all do.  I gave you 4 reasonable points that you haven't even addressed.  Instead, your rebuttal is that medical professionals can make mistakes in general, therefore we can dismiss Pogi's points?   Sorry, that is unreasonable.  Using the same logic, I could dismiss any medical data we have about anything. That would be pretty detrimental. 

14 hours ago, Harry T. Clark said:

Do you know if someone is always tested for flu if they already have a positive covid-19 test?  It seems to me that in practice the flu test wouldn't be administered if there is a positive covid-19 test already.

If they go to their PCP, they will usually order both tests at the same time.  No doctor wants to wait around for results (which can sometimes take several days) from one test only to find out it is negative and then have to wait around for the next test.  They do them both at once.  Many testing centers will test for both.  There are even single tests now that test for both at the same time too.  Having said this, I have already acknowledged that there are certainly cases that will have a false positive for Covid and not test for flu.  I have already addressed this.  It will not slant the data in any statistically significant way to inflate Covid and reduce flu numbers once you account for all the false negatives, etc.  False positives happen much less frequently than false negatives, therefore we are much more likely to see artificially high ILI numbers with lower than actual Covid numbers.  Especially considering that a HUGE percentage of people who have Covid don't ever test.   The numbers are in reality WAY low.  

14 hours ago, Harry T. Clark said:

Also, has there ever been a year when the flu is so low?  If so, when?

See Nehor's reply.  

Edited by pogi
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Both Harry Clark and rongo have visited the board at least once since I asked my question of them and one has responded to other questions and threads.  I am hoping they will take the time to respond to my question since they have already invested time in the discussion and caused others to invest time.

I will repeat the question for ease.

Given the evidence that flu numbers have dropped dramatically in many places in the world even when COVID has not had substantial numbers, why not assume the US is reacting in the same fashion and lower flu numbers there are a result of the same practices of social distancing, masking, etc., even lockdowns instead of assuming in the US low flu numbers are a result of error or fraud?

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2 hours ago, pogi said:

I don't understand your point.  Medical professionals make mistakes just like everyone else, therefore we have good reason to assume that Covid numbers are being inflated at a statistically significant level?  If your only point is that medical professionals make mistakes, why do you assume that those mistakes are only happening in one direction to inflate Covid numbers?   Should I also assume then that flu numbers are inflated every year, heart disease, stroke, diabetes., etc?  Why do you single out Covid and assume that we just can't trust this one because medical professionals make mistakes in general?  What is your reasoning?   By the way, the link you posted is in reference to "medical errors" which isn't really what we are talking about.  If your only point is that they can make mistakes, I don't really need a link.   I know from experience that we make mistakes. We all do.  I gave you 4 reasonable points that you haven't even addressed.  Instead, your rebuttal is that medical professionals can make mistakes in general, therefore we can dismiss Pogi's points?   Sorry, that is unreasonable.  Using the same logic, I could dismiss any medical data we have about anything. That would be pretty detrimental. 

If they go to their PCP, they will usually order both tests at the same time.  No doctor wants to wait around for results (which can sometimes take several days) from one test only to find out it is negative and then have to wait around for the next test.  They do them both at once.  Many testing centers will test for both.  There are even single tests now that test for both at the same time too.  Having said this, I have already acknowledged that there are certainly cases that will have a false positive for Covid and not test for flu.  I have already addressed this.  It will not slant the data in any statistically significant way to inflate Covid and reduce flu numbers once you account for all the false negatives, etc.  False positives happen much less frequently than false negatives, therefore we are much more likely to see artificially high ILI numbers with lower than actual Covid numbers.  Especially considering that a HUGE percentage of people who have Covid don't ever test.   The numbers are in reality WAY low.  

See Nehor's reply.  

1. My point is that you aren't properly considering that medical professionals make mistakes.  However, you admit such further down.

2. I don't assume one direction, only that we need to consider that the low flu numbers might be because there is some misdiagnosis going on.

3. Your questioning my reasoning is a debate tactic used when one doesn't want to consider certain points.  You automatically assume that I am arguing that mistakes only occur in one direction when I never said that.  I only bring up the possibility that there might be some confusion as to flu and covid due to the obvious gaps in the testing procedures and the difficulty in determining the difference between the two.

4. No they don't usually order both tests at the same time.  There are many testing centers for covid only throughout the country and they don't order a flu test at these centers at the same time.  Most who get sick aren't sick enough to be admitted to the hospital. They may go to the local covid testing center because they have a mild fever and cough and get tested.  Flu isn't screened at these centers.

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1 hour ago, Harry T. Clark said:

1. My point is that you aren't properly considering that medical professionals make mistakes.  However, you admit such further down.

I considered it, and acknowledged it.  I don't understand why you think it would make a statistically significant difference with nationwide numbers when you consider the details.  I will explain below.

1 hour ago, Harry T. Clark said:

2. I don't assume one direction, only that we need to consider that the low flu numbers might be because there is some misdiagnosis going on.

Doesn't it seem more reasonable that the low flu numbers are due to increased preventative measures, high risk populations taking extra precautions more than any other year, flu vaccine administration is at record high levels, many schools are online, a larger population working from home than ever before.  The health department has helped many Utah companies with thousands of workers convert to at-home work.  Some of the most populous states have lockdown orders, mask mandates all over, social distancing, more people avoiding social contacts during the holidays than ever before, maybe, just maybe prevention measures are working.  No maybe about it, we have studies which prove that mask mandates work to reduce Covid.  This doesn't even take into account all the other preventative measures taken.   We have also historically seen mild flu seasons like this before, so it is not unreasonable to suggest that it could be just another mild year, and not abnormal at all.   But instead you want to explain the low numbers on misdiagnosis in-spite of all these reasonable explanations?  I have already acknowledged that misdiagnosis happens, but it is NOT the single factor which is explaining the low numbers.  I think it is most reasonable to suggest that ALL of these factors are likely playing a role, misdiagnosis alone will NOT make any statistically significant difference however. 

1 hour ago, Harry T. Clark said:

3. Your questioning my reasoning is a debate tactic used when one doesn't want to consider certain points. 

I have considered your points. Maybe I am just questioning your reasoning because it seems unreasonable to me. 

1 hour ago, Harry T. Clark said:

4. No they don't usually order both tests at the same time.  

Yes, they do.  I specifically said if they went to their PCP.

1 hour ago, Harry T. Clark said:

There are many testing centers for covid only throughout the country and they don't order a flu test at these centers at the same time.  Most who get sick aren't sick enough to be admitted to the hospital. They may go to the local covid testing center because they have a mild fever and cough and get tested.  Flu isn't screened at these centers.

Most people who get tested for Covid have a known contact with someone who is positive for Covid.  This is a fact.  When they come down with similar symptoms 2-14 days later (within the normal incubation period), after close contact with someone who is positive for one of the most contagious infectious diseases out there, is it more likely going to be Covid or the flu, do you think?  The minority develop symptoms without any known Covid contact.  This minority would be advised to test for Covid and flu by most medical professionals.  They are a smaller fraction of total cases, however.  Of this smaller fraction, many DO receive both tests, some don't.  In fact, we have HIGHER testing for flu than any other year on record this year to prove it!  Of that even smaller fraction, a tiny percentage will receive a false positive for Covid.  Of that tiny percentage, an even smaller number will actually have the flu and not some other flu-like illness (of which there are almost endless varieties).  

But of course it is easier to blame it on human error and ignore the details. 

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3 minutes ago, pogi said:

just maybe prevention measures are working. 

Just as they have been demonstrated to work in other countries.

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14 minutes ago, pogi said:

I considered it, and acknowledged it.  I don't understand why you think it would make a statistically significant difference with nationwide numbers when you consider the details.  I will explain below.

Doesn't it seem more reasonable that the low flu numbers are due to increased preventative measures, high risk populations taking extra precautions more than any other year, flu vaccine administration is at record high levels, many schools are online, a larger population working from home than ever before.  The health department has helped many Utah companies with thousands of workers convert to at-home work.  Some of the most populous states have lockdown orders, mask mandates all over, social distancing, more people avoiding social contacts during the holidays than ever before, maybe, just maybe prevention measures are working.  No maybe about it, we have studies which prove that mask mandates work to reduce Covid.  This doesn't even take into account all the other preventative measures taken.   We have also historically seen mild flu seasons like this before, so it is not unreasonable to suggest that it could be just another mild year, and not abnormal at all.   But instead you want to explain the low numbers on misdiagnosis in-spite of all these reasonable explanations?  I have already acknowledged that misdiagnosis happens, but it is NOT the single factor which is explaining the low numbers.  I think it is most reasonable to suggest that ALL of these factors are likely playing a role, misdiagnosis alone will NOT make any statistically significant difference however. 

I have considered your points. Maybe I am just questioning your reasoning because it seems unreasonable to me. 

Yes, they do.  I specifically said if they went to their PCP.

Most people who get tested for Covid have a known contact with someone who is positive for Covid.  This is a fact.  When they come down with similar symptoms 2-14 days later (within the normal incubation period), after close contact with someone who is positive for one of the most contagious infectious diseases out there, is it more likely going to be Covid or the flu, do you think?  The minority develop symptoms without any known Covid contact.  This minority would be advised to test for Covid and flu by most medical professionals.  They are a smaller fraction of total cases, however.  Of this smaller fraction, many DO receive both tests, some don't.  In fact, we have HIGHER testing for flu than any other year on record this year to prove it!  Of that even smaller fraction, a tiny percentage will receive a false positive for Covid.  Of that tiny percentage, an even smaller number will actually have the flu and not some other flu-like illness (of which there are almost endless varieties).  

But of course it is easier to blame it on human error and ignore the details. 

Low flu but we have an outbreak, second wave in covid cases.  How do you explain the rise in covid cases recently if these procedures/policies are working so well for the flu supposedly?  Here is california:  https://covid19.ca.gov/state-dashboard/  The case count is spiking despite the measures that apparently are working so well for the flu as you say.  Shouldn't it also be driving down the covid cases as well?

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40 minutes ago, Harry T. Clark said:

Low flu but we have an outbreak, second wave in covid cases.  How do you explain the rise in covid cases recently if these procedures/policies are working so well for the flu supposedly?  Here is california:  https://covid19.ca.gov/state-dashboard/ The case count is spiking despite the measures that apparently are working so well for the flu as you say.  Shouldn't it also be driving down the covid cases as well?

Are you going to ignore scientific and medical consensus on the matter?  Will you too dismiss the data and multitude of studies in favor of talk radio and twitter?

I answered this over a dozen times throughout this thread it feels - even very recently in my responses to rongo (who has mysteriously vanished in action without an answer). 

We have multiple studies (which I have linked to throughout this thread) which demonstrate that they work to reduce relative numbers.  People seem to have a hard time grasping the concept of relativity.  These measures will reduce overall numbers, as they have been shown to do.  They will not necessarily prevent surges at seasonal times.  There will still be surges, but they will be relatively lower.   There will still be flu, but it will be relatively lower.

You also have to factor in that Covis is WAY more contagious than the flu.  These measures will therefore work better to reduce flu than it will to reduce Covid.  You can't expect Covid to act like the flu given the same precautions.  

You also have to consider that flu numbers this year are not very abnormal for a typical year.  Why are you assuming something is significantly wrong with the numbers?  

 

 

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1 minute ago, pogi said:

I answered this over a dozen times throughout this thread it feels - even very recently in my responses to rongo.  

We have multiple studies (which I have linked to throughout this thread) which demonstrate that they work to reduce relative numbers.  People seem to have a hard time grasping the concept of relativity.  These measures will reduce overall numbers, as they have been shown to do.  They will not necessarily prevent surges with a seasonal disease.  There will still be surges, but they will be relatively lower.   There will still be flu, but it will be relatively lower.

You also have to factor in that Covis is WAY more contagious than the flu.  These measures will therefore work better to reduce flu than it will to reduce Covid. 

You also have to consider that flu numbers this year are not very abnormal for a typical year.  Why are you assuming something is significantly wrong with the numbers?  

 

Why do you assume what supposed authority is above reproach and feel it necessary to defend it?  Why not look to see what is the best approach instead of blindly following leaders?  It seems odd that the flu is so low while covid is spiking.  This should be researched.  I've been tested for covid and wasn't tested for the flu at the same time.  Co-workers experienced the same.  You impliedly admitted that the flu and covid are difficult to distinguish when you commented that separate tests for both are always done at the same time in order to determine such.  However, the flu test is not being done in the testing centers where I have been and know.  So, perhaps our leaders aren't following the correct path?  Perhaps because it is so new and obviously we don't know everything about it, our leaders are making mistakes?  Maybe the better course would have been to quarantine the old and infirm, the groups that covid affects, rather than destroy the economy?  Is that something we can consider or should we just shut up and listen to our leaders without question?  This seems to be the underlying theme of your comments, unquestioning trust in authority.

Please look or those who are reading this, please look at the history of our government with pandemics:

https://www.forbes.com/2010/03/10/swine-flu-world-health-organization-pandemic-opinions-contributors-henry-i-miller.html?sh=4f448d801617

https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/atlanta/rush-create-flu-vaccine-1970s-led-outbreak-deadly-illness-scientists-say/6BMGRZDSPJHCHNCMCXVATDCGMQ/

https://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/22/health/22whoop.html

Now before you freak out and go to snark mode. I am pointing out this information to let people know that it is probably healthier to have some skepticism with claims made from government leaders and other commenters, including me.  There is a lot of misinformation going around and with a new virus, perhaps the government leaders are making mistakes too, as they have in the past.

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Harry, this has been asked and answered so many times, I think we have reached a rut where there will be no improvement. Plus you want to take it into a political direction, which is not allowed on this thread (or the board, but as thread starter I have the right to limit the topic on the thread and have done so...please start another thread if you wish to discuss such things when you hit 25 posts).

If you are not going to address the evidence that last spring in a number of countries with limited COVID present, the flu rate dropped dramatically when practices meant to limit the spread of COVID were set in place, then please move on to another medical topic on this thread or move to another thread...though be aware the more questions left unanswered by posters, the less others want to discuss things with them as it is not respectful to the time people put in for research etc.

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2 hours ago, Harry T. Clark said:

Why do you assume what supposed authority is above reproach and feel it necessary to defend it?  Why not look to see what is the best approach instead of blindly following leaders?  

It's called science.  It is our greatest hope.  Scientific consensus is the gold standard.  Our "leaders" base their recommendations on scientific studies.  When a consensus among the studies is determined, they make and adjust their recommendations to reflect the data.  If our "leader's" recommendations were contrary to scientific consensus (like many of political leaders), then I would question it.  I am not a blind follower.  I actually do my research, unlike those who prefer to trust their favorite political source.   

"Look to see what is the best approach?"  Where am I going to look if not at science?  Politics?  No thanks!   Perhaps we should rewrite the whole scientific and medical gold standards because this flu season was low?  Seems reasonable!

2 hours ago, Harry T. Clark said:

I've been tested for covid and wasn't tested for the flu at the same time.  Co-workers experienced the same.  You impliedly admitted that the flu and covid are difficult to distinguish when you commented that separate tests for both are always done at the same time in order to determine such.  However, the flu test is not being done in the testing centers where I have been and know.  So, perhaps our leaders aren't following the correct path? 

The CDC does recommend taking both tests.  The fact that some local clinics are not following best practice is not their fault.  However, the fact that we have seen record high flu testing this year says somethings...

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/diagnosis/testing-guidance-for-clinicians.htm

2 hours ago, Harry T. Clark said:

Maybe the better course would have been to quarantine the old and infirm, the groups that covid affects, rather than destroy the economy?  Is that something we can consider or should we just shut up and listen to our leaders without question?  This seems to be the underlying theme of your comments, unquestioning trust in authority.

I am not unquestioning.  I trust them because I question them.  I don't doubt them without evidence (like you are doing) however.  That is reckless and endangers lives!  I have argued (you can go back and read it if you want) that our economy is MUCH better off if we all do our part.   Quarantining at risk groups (A huge percentage of which are still working) is not realistic.  Wearing a mask and social distancing wont "destroy" the economy for crying out loud.  If we all did that as recommended (even in our own homes when extended family and guests are over) and encouraged others to instead of resisting and complaining and doubting, there may be no need for lockdowns.  You seem to think that I favor lock-downs without question.  Why?

2 hours ago, Harry T. Clark said:

Please look or those who are reading this, please look at the history of our government with pandemics:

https://www.forbes.com/2010/03/10/swine-flu-world-health-organization-pandemic-opinions-contributors-henry-i-miller.html?sh=4f448d801617

https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/atlanta/rush-create-flu-vaccine-1970s-led-outbreak-deadly-illness-scientists-say/6BMGRZDSPJHCHNCMCXVATDCGMQ/

https://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/22/health/22whoop.html

Now before you freak out and go to snark mode. I am pointing out this information to let people know that it is probably healthier to have some skepticism with claims made from government leaders and other commenters, including me.  There is a lot of misinformation going around and with a new virus, perhaps the government leaders are making mistakes too, as they have in the past.

Polio, measles, yellow fever, small-pox, typhoid, etc. etc. etc.  Yes, lets consider public health measures on pandemics and outbreaks!  

1st link) H1N1?  Go ahead and look at their response: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/2009-pandemic-timeline.html  It saved lives!!!

2nd link) The government developed a vaccine for flu bug scare that never came to fruition.  Better to be prepared than gamble 50 million lives! 

Quote

“Influenza is really unpredictable,” he said. “You can make a decision to ramp everything up and be prepared and try to prevent a lot of harm,” he said, “or you can wait and see what happens.”

Wise choice, I'd say!

The fact is THIS IS a pandemic, it is real.  It is not a bunk!  there will be over half a million lives lost in the US before this is all done.  But yes, lets keep questioning science!

3rd link) I can't read it.  Can you?

 

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