New antigen test results in an increase in COVID-19 cases

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You might remember an increase in COVID-19 cases recently. Turns out the results were due to a new antigen test for the virus. We talked about that and other COVID concerns with Will Humble, Executive Director of the Arizona Public Health Association.

The antigen test works just like the nasal swab but instead of amplifying the results in the lab, it looks for a protective coat. This allows the test to be able to give results in less than a hour. Humble thinks that the risk in accuracy is worth it because this is such a time sensitive case.

“To me, it is worth sacrificing some accuracy to get the results really fast.”
He confirms that this is why the numbers were a lot higher last week. The state health department decided to count the antigen tests as confirmed positive, this does mean that the numbers might not be as bad as they were reported.
“Yes, I think one of the reasons why a few days ago we saw a big spike in the number of cases was the fact that the state health department went back and looked at some of the historic antigen tests, which previously had not been considered a diagnostic positive for a case, and now they have changed their mind on that.”
Flu season is coming up but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be as bad as it has been in the past years. With social distancing, face masks, and on top of that, the vaccine, it seems that it will slow the spread of the flu as well.

Will Humble, Executive Director of the Arizona Public Health Association

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